I know this has been a long time coming but I’ve finally got around to go weigh the 16′ aluminum car hauler trailer I’ve fabricated in winter ’13-’14! If I recall correctly, I had estimated it would weigh around 1,200~1,400 lbs. Well, I did build it “overkill” with 1/4″ thick aluminum all around and added a lot of “features” so it actually came in at 1,600 lbs (725 KG). Admittedly, I did reinforce my 12 feet long steel ramp system with 3/8″ thick steel flatbars in the channels (2 each) to make sure they wouldn’t buckle. Again, overkill, as the ramps weigh 100 lb EACH. So, without the ramps, the trailer comes in at 1,400 lbs (635 KG) but otherwise fully accessorized. I reckon it’s not too bad! In any case, it has served me without fault ever since. It’s very sturdy, well balanced, and overall a very nice achievement if I dare throw myself flowers. Here’s the updated specs:
- Tires (205/75D15): 1825 lb (825 KG) x4 = 7,300 lbs (3300 KGs)
- Axles (camber type): 3,500 lb (1600 KG) x2 = 7,000 lbs (3200 KGs)
- Suspension (leaf spring type): 4,000 lb (1800 KG) x2 = 8,000 lbs (3600 KGs)
- Coupler (2-5/16″ ball): 15,000 lbs (6800 KGs)
- GVWR: 7,000 lbs (3200 KGs)
- Tare (with ramps): 1,600 lbs (725 KGs)
- Tare (without ramps): 1,400 lbs (635 KGs)
- Net Payload (with ramps): 5,400 lbs (2450 KGs)
- Net Payload (without ramps): 5,600 lbs (2540 KGs)
- Tongue Weight (empty): 80 lbs (35 KGs)
- Tongue Weight (with Wabi~Sabi): 220 lbs (100 KGs)
- Tongue Weight (at max payload): 350 lbs (160 KGs)
If you need a little help with these terms or figures, here’s some help!
“GVWR” means “Gross Vehicle Weight Rating” which is the maximum road weight of the unit plus its cargo. How is that determined? Ever heard of the phrase “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link”? For a trailer such a this, it means the component that has the lowest load rating. In my case, it’s the 2 x 3,500 lbs axles (7,000 lbs tandem) rating. Hence, the “weakest link” dictates a maximum road weight of 7,000 lbs.
The “Tare” is basically the weight of a container / vehicle destined to carry a load. In this case it’s the weight of my trailer. Take the GVWR and subtract the tare and you get the “Net Payload” rating of the particular vehicle. So, in my case, it means that the maximum payload for my trailer is 5,400 lbs. Which is waaay more than what I need it for. In fact, it could carry Wabi~Sabi plus the Scirocco stacked on top…
The “Tongue Weight” is the weight that is actually applied vertically (down) on the coupler / hitch by the trailer. You may be surprised to know that it is normally not very much. In my case, my trailer puts down 80 lbs of tongue weight when it is empty. I do not have the exact figure when it is loaded but I estimate (by using simple “rule of three” math) it to be around 220 lbs when Wabi~Sabi is on the trailer. I also estimate the tongue weight to be around 350 lbs at the max payload capacity. Which is just about spot on perfect for most pickup trucks / SUVs. This means that, albeit I had never built a trailer before, I balanced it near perfection for my specific application.
Other questions about the trailer might be answered if you read this FAQ!
I do plan on fabricating some sort of closed box system to protect Wabi~Sabi from the nasty winter road elements and from dangerous prying eyes on the highway. I went to the track two times last winter and got bad road conditions on both occasions and before that I could proudly say that Wabi~Sabi was rust free… until then! She got peppered like crazy with salt and calcium and she didn’t like it. No biggie, all is fixed now, back to her old self.
Also, she attracts unwanted attention when she’s on the trailer. Some people slow down, speed up, swerve, sway, all to get a better look under her skirt! No more of that, not if I have something to do with it, no more! It’s simply too dangerous at highway speeds. I have a few ideas churning around and I’ve yet to settle on one. No matter, it’ll come to me when the time is right. Of course, the “box” will reduce the payload capacity a bit but I’ve got pleeeeeenty of room now don’t I?
I’ll keep everyone posted after the fact. Meanwhile, there’s a dark presence looming about, just about ready to come out of the darkness, soon my minions… soon!
For now, here’s a very recent pic of the hauler, which got a nice wood treatment not long ago! Golden Honey, awwww!
Yes, it kills…. the grass underneath! 😉