<VV> Trailering Corvair (Long)

RoboMan91324 at aol.com RoboMan91324 at aol.com
Wed Jul 3 17:17:18 EDT 2013

There is more to it than which basic type of trailer.   Each type comes in 
many configurations.  A tilt bed wouldn't make contact  under the car 
between the front and back wheels but might be an issue on the  front of the car 
before the front wheels even touch the trailer, especially if  you have an 
air dam below the bumper.
Here is some general advice.  Consider there to be an  imaginary triangle 
defined by the two contact points of front and back wheels  and the clearance 
height under your car approximately midway between the  wheels.  Use this 
to measure against any trailer you are considering.   You can probably take 
measurements on the trailer but  if you want to take the effort, make a 
cardboard triangle to fold up and take  with you.  Another thing to consider is 
the "hump" issue could be less than  the unloaded trailer makes it appear.  
When you start the car up the ramps,  it will tend to lower the back of the 
trailer and raise the point where the  trailer attaches to the tow vehicle.  
This reduces the angle of the  "hump."  Of course , our Corvairs are lighter 
up front so this may not help  much.
Other considerations ....
1.)  To prevent bottoming out, longer ramps are better  than shorter ramps. 
 Get the longest ramps that will fit in, under or on  the trailer.  Of 
course, price and weight can be a factor.  A cheap  fix for short ramps is 
bricks or some other support.  Placed under the  ramps on the ground, they will 
raise the ramp entry point and decrease the angle  where the ramp meets the 
"hump."  It will be more difficult to get the  wheels started over the bottom 
edge of the ramp but it might ease your problem  at the "hump."
2.)  Some day, you may need to trailer one of your  vehicles with one or 
more flat tires.  This will reduce your clearance over  the "hump."  Get a 
trailer with less "hump" than you think you need under  ideal conditions.
3.)  Once friends and fellow club members know you have a  trailer, they 
will want to borrow it.  You don't know what their  requirements might be or 
what configuration your own "next car" might  be.
4.)  Get a winch with your trailer or add one.   Eventually, you will need 
to get a non running vehicle on the trailer.   Even with two or three people 
pushing, this can be a horrible experience.   My trailer came with a "free" 
hand cranked winch.  After I used it the  first time, I went online and 
bought an electric winch.  It matched the  mounting pad of the hand crank unit. 
 It wasn't too expensive.  You  don't need an off-road type of winch that 
can lift the Titanic.  Make sure  the power wires can reach your battery or 
carry jumper cables to extend the  reach.  You can check to see if you have 
direct battery power to the  electric connector between your tow vehicle and 
trailer as well.  Never,  never, never use your winch in place of ratchet 
straps to secure your car to the  trailer.  My winch just slips out of a slot 
but if yours is mounted  permanently, make sure you bend bolts over or 
secure it in some other  fashion.  Thieves are everywhere.
5.)  Speaking of straps, these deteriorate like anything  else.  Sun, 
weather, dry rot, tiny cuts and general wear can diminish  their strength without 
being obvious.  You don't want your treasure to fall  off the trailer and 
kill someone.  They last forever if not used and are  stored properly so 
consider carrying a spare or two.   I say this because I discovered that some 
low-life had cut one of  my straps almost through while I laid over in a 
motel.  He made the cut  under the car where it wasn't obvious.  Who does 
something like that?   Always inspect your straps before setting out because of 
possible vandalism as  well as unexpected wear.  In addition, make sure you 
understand the load  rating on the straps.  The advertised rating may be 
misleading.  A  strap that can lift your whole car may still be too wimpy for 
fixing the car to  the trailer safely.  This message is already too long, so I 
won't go into  the dynamics.  Take my word for it; this is a case where 
bigger/stronger is  better.
6.)  Strongly consider adding an anti sway-device to the  trailer/tow 
vehicle.  This will reduce the possibility of a deadly  oscillation between your 
trailer and tow vehicle.  Think of a dog wagging a  very heavy, dangerous 
and valuable tail.  This can throw your vehicle  off the trailer, or flip it 
AND your tow vehicle.  People will blame the  Corvair for flipping both the 
trailer and tow vehicle over .... just  kidding.  I never had a problem after 
towing many, many miles .... until  ....  Some years ago, I was towing my 
Corvette and Harley on the trailer  somewhere between Nebraska and Colorado 
when a passing tractor-trailer set off  my rig with its slipstream.  The 
oscillation was both violent and  growing.  I almost pooped myself as did the 
truck driver who had a minor  jack-knife when he slammed on his brakes.  The 
point is that you can get  this oscillation even if you think you are stable. 
 There are ways to  calculate the stability but these devices are the best  
solution.  They aren't expensive.  Basically, they are shock absorbers  
with mounting hardware.
7.)  Your trailer should come with electric brakes  on at least one axle.  
Two axle brakes are better.  Over a certain size trailer, most, if not all, 
states require a device  that will automatically brake your trailer if it 
detaches from your tow  vehicle.  The cheaper ones come with a canister type 
battery  which  will die shortly.  Murphy's Law says that it will be dead 
when you don't  have the time to get a new one.  The better system comes with a 
small solar  panel and rechargeable battery.  Be sure to mount it securely 
as they are  tempting to steal.
Good luck,
1960 Corvette, 1961 Rampside, 1962 Rampside, 1964 Spyder  coupe, 1965 
Greenbrier, 1966 Canadian Corsa turbo coupe, 1967 Nova SS, 1968  Camaro ragtop

In a message dated 7/2/2013 6:44:10 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
virtualvairs-request at corvair.org writes:

Message:  4
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 21:03:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patrick Murphy  <litetrix at aol.com>
Subject: Re: <VV> Trailering Corvair
To:  virtualvairs at corvair.org
Message-ID:  <8D044D712999CB4-1010-60C86 at webmail-m271.sysops.aol.com>
Content-Type:  text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Also had problems with U Haul  trailer. Wagon bottomed out half way up. Am 
I better off with pull out ramps  or beaver tail or tilt version?

-----Original  Message-----
From: Patrick Murphy <litetrix at aol.com>
To:  virtualvairs <virtualvairs at corvair.org>
Sent: Mon, Jul 1, 2013 7:53  pm
Subject: <VV> Trailering Corvair

Want to buy a  trailer for my Corvair wagon or sedan. What are pros and 
cons of metal deck  versus wood? What about wheel straps? Towing with Sprinter 
van. Any hints on  what to look for or order? Want to get to use for 
Convention. Thanks on  advance.

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