<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.
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:
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?
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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