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Towing Vehicle Tips
Limited slip differentials.
Generally in a limited slip rear end a clutch engages when the
right wheel, which is the driver, spin’s, allowing both wheels to give you
traction. It’s usually beneficial to have it unless you are pulling heavy
loads most of the time and on dirt or mud wearing the clutch in the
Do you need a diesel?
The right diesel can dramatically out pull a gas engine. Ever see a gas
powered semi-truck? Diesels will generally last longer and get better fuel
economy. At the present they have better resale.
|The down side.
Diesels can cost over $4000 more. If you keep them a
long time, or pull trailers constantly, the cost of the diesel option
will be minimized. You know diesels are louder than gas engines. If you
buy a diesel with a manual transmission, it will require more skill to
shift. In very cold conditions you will need to plug in block heaters
and be sure you are using blended fuel, #2 and #1. And the ever popular
if you get diesel on your hands while filling your tank you will smell
it for a few days option. Oil changes will cost twice as much or
more than gas trucks, and in area’s where you are required to have an
emission test on trucks, the diesel costs more.
1/2 ton, 3/4 ton or 1 ton?
The size of the truck you need depends of course on your needs. ½ tons
and light duty ¾ tons are for light duty work, loaded part-time.
Heavy-duty ¾ tons, 1 tons and above are designed to be loaded all of the
time. They have twice as many tapered bearings in the rear axle. Its
called a full floating axle, similar to semi-truck eighteen-wheelers.
While ½ ton pickups have a semi-floating axle similar to a car, with
just 2 bearings. ½ tons and light duty ¾ tons will have a flush axle
housing matching the wheel. With the heavy duty ¾ ton, 1 ton trucks and
larger, the rear axle housing will actually stick out past the wheel and
have an additional 8 bolts on the end of the hub holding the axle into
Pathfinder Armada, new full-size SUV and new Fleetwood model.
click on picture to enlarge and back button to return.
trip planning site]
Fox Sport] [Fleetwood]
Fifth-wheel RV Trailers
Sierra Products. Trailer lights, legal and submersible Ph.
925-443-3140 Livermore CA
Jim’s Repair & Parts 1-800-865-0339 Denver, CO
Truck Slide-In Campers
Useful RV Sites
After you spent the $40,000 on the Truck, Do You know if it will pull your
Trailer in the Mountains?
TRAILERS THE BASICS.
#1 Gooseneck, fifth wheel or bumper type.
The gooseneck, attached to a 2 5/16 ball in the bed of the pickup truck or
the fifth wheel trailer attached to a pivoting receiver with a king pin
from the trailer similar to semi-trucks, are usually attached to the truck
2 to 4 inches in front of the rear axle toward the cab. This puts enough
weight on the front axle to steer properly leaving the majority of weight
on the rear axle. This type of trailer is dramatically easier to pull,
back up and control. Bumper trailers are for lighter loads. They tend to
sway back and forth unless you attach a weight distributing hitch to the
tongue of the trailer and are more sensitive to load balance. Bumper
trailers are also harder to back up. With any trailer, having too light
of a pulling vehicle can be dangerous traveling down hill or when
stopping, the trailer can push the vehicle!
#2 Tandem, double or triple axles.
It all depends on use. For heavy loads triple axles are cheaper, but are
harder on your tires unless you never turn corners. When you turn corners
with triple axles the front tire and the rear tire flex their sidewalls
extremely. It can pop the tire beads under a heavy load. Not to mention
the pressure on the wheel bearings. I had trailer house axles for awhile
under my 33 foot hay trailer. The tires on trailer house axles are touchy.
I had to have at least 90 PSI of air in them to keep them from heating and
disintegrating. I found some 6 bolt Chevy wheels that matched the spindle
bearings. That was an improvement! When I bought my first new gooseneck 32
foot flatbed, I made sure it had 8 bolt wheels to match my pickup wheels.
You can never have enough spare tires and it’s nice to have the trailer
and truck use the same spares.
The right springs makes life much simpler if you use your trailer a lot.
Torsion axles, the most expensive, involve an round axle inside of a
square axle. The gaps between the round axle and the round axle are filled
with rubber. These axles are the least maintenance and easiest to replace.
The slipper springs are cheaper. They are a leaf spring attached at the
front and allowed to slide through equalizer at the rear. Also a low
maintenance spring. The shackle spring, popular because it’s cheaper, is
attached with hangers to the leafs. This spring gives you the least
independence of the axles. The bolts and bushings and equalizers need
checked more often or replaced. They do work well on light trailers not
#4 Wheels, tires and bearings
I’ve wore out several trailers, axles, and those wonderful brakes.
I switched to Dually’s just to be sure I had brakes. If you can, match the
trailer wheel to your pickup truck wheel. Six bolt, five bolt, and 8 bolt.
You will generally have more flat tires on your trailer than on your
truck. The axles are closer together and they tend to throw what ever they
pick up from the road at each other. I like the axle hubs that are
greaseable from the outside or oil bath with a site glass and plug. Get
the highest ply or load rated tire. C rated is 6 ply, D is 8 ply, and E is
News with Andrew Lyons.
Technology is changing the
trailer world to keep up with the more
powerful trucks that pull them. News on air brakes, disc brakes,
independent suspensions, hydraulic brake controls, and pour on flooring.
For more click
Andrew Lyons next to a Hart aluminum slant horse trailer. Horse
hauling has come a long way from the “seventies” when I would back my
truck into the ditch and jump my Quarter Horse in the back of stock racks.
tire cupping, vibration and premature wear on those expensive
truck, RV & trailer tires.
automatic wheel balancers have been saving money on tires for
semi-trucks for over twenty years. Now you can automatically
balance your tires, wheels, hub and rotors or drums while you
drive. A balanced tire doesn’t cub, vibrates less & lowers the
tire sidewall temperature from less flexing, giving you longer
tire life. 5 year warranty, made in the USA.
Here is a good site for basic trailer tips.
- Get the reports to make the right decision.