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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking about building up an interesting little trailer to haul my buggy. Since parking is not an option at my condo, I hope to fit this in my garage with the buggy on it.

I have about a foot of height to play with, any more and the buggy will be hitting the garage door. (This is with the buggy suspension pulled down via the winches.) I guess if need be I could also drain the air out of the buggy tires.

The trick will be that hieght issue. Just don't know if I can get away with a trailer that low, yet still get out on some of the crusty roads like Boon road at the Hammers with out dragging the trailer all over its frame.

I've been trying to think of a simple and reliable method of lowering the trailer for garage use only, but have not come up with anything I like yet. I guess the best might be leaf spring axles, and a rachet strap to suck the axle down when going under the garage door.

Ideas?

-Wayne
 

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I would not compress the springs. At most it would only give you 3 inches more clearance. Just a guess, but it will probably shorten spring life because they would always be under max load while storing the trailer? It may also take the arch out of them ?? Sorry but I have no helpful suggestions.
 

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I've *heard* of air bags on trailers before...

Or, rent a storage unit?
 

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bag it!!! That would be sweet hit a switch and you trailer drop 8 inches. you'd be the shit!!! Actually it would work though and probably would be a reasonable solution for your problem. Just buy some bags and replace the suspension granted you are going toh ave to run some type of axle locating device so you can get rid of the spring but you'll have instant adjustable suspension which will give you the best of both worlds

-ben
 

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Build a trailer with dexter torque flex axles. They are nice and low. I just used some 7k axles on a 28 ft gooseneck and it is the lowest gooseneck that I have ever seen. On the lighter duty axles you can clock the arm and get them even lower.
 

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I think it would be cheaper to just pay to store the trailer somewhere. You are looking at custom building a trailer that if professionally done will probably require an engineer's stamp.

The olny other thing I can think of would be to remove the wheels from the buggy and set the frame directly on the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I only need to lower it when entering or leaving the garage. It can go back to upto normal ride once it is in the garage.

Luckily this is a pretty small and light buggy:


So it I do think that can be done. I also think building a trailer will be easier then the 6 months it took to build the buggy. Besides, I need another project.

But that does bring an interesting question, what is envolved in making a home made trailer legal in California. I better look into that.

One of the first thoughts that popped into my head was to run air bags. Lets just say I rather avoid those. I'm not a huge fan of them, but it would be kind of fun to slam the trailer at an event. I just rather not have a linked suspension on a trailer.

Another thought, along the lines of "keep it simple stupid" would be to build it as low as needed, then use some boat rollers on the bottom of the trailer at a few point. Rather then dragging the frame it would grind the rollers for the few times it hits a steep driveway or rough dirt road.

I'll keep playing with ideas, by all means, keep throwing 'em at me too!

-Wayne
 

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rotozuk said:
...what is envolved in making a home made trailer legal in California. I better look into that.
Next to nothing. Tow it by a DMV office and show that it has lights and they'll tag just about anything. Frame tag and license tag, FWIW. They tagged the abortion that is my 'trailer' even though it is WELL over legal width.

Wayne, what are the requirements? How tall is the buggy, winched down on both ends to the bumps (can store it that way easy enough, since you run airshocks)? How tall is your garage opening (and look at what trim you can remove to make it taller, if there's a roll-up door, odds are you can roll it further back and get it fully level, so there is no hang-down).

Brainstorm ideas:
* custom trailer allows you to build in 'wheel pockets' to help the buggy sit lower on the trailer
* drop axle (i.e. spindles not inline with axle tube) allows frame to sit even with the spindles
* air down buggy and/or trailer tires to get past the door (PITA, but possible)
* find the smallest trailer tires you're willing to work with and deisgn up from them

Heck, your buggy is light enough that you might look to the dune-buggy style two-wheel trailers where one end secures to a cradle on the tongue.

Randii
 

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CA is very easy to license a "homebuilt" (I have done maybe 2 dozen). Do NOT tow it to the DMV until you go their office first. They will give you a one day permit (free) to tow it there. Then you take trailer to them for tags and papers. They like to see receipts for materials but usually will except the old "had materials in my shop already". I usually get a receipt from a neighbor or friend (handwritten will do) for axles, springs. Brakes are required if over 3000 lbs gross. Fenders required for anything over 1500 lbs gross. 102 inch max width last time I checked. The DMV will license ANYTHING. DMV don't care about legal regulations because that is up to the CHP, police,etc that might stop you for violations (my uncle was regional director for the DMV and told me so). PS, on bigger trailers sometimes they want to see a weight certificate ($5 at any public scale).
 

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randii said:
Brainstorm ideas:
* custom trailer allows you to build in 'wheel pockets' to help the buggy sit lower on the trailer
:idea:

Great idea!
 

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Way back when, some of our racing team built a trailer that would neal for loading. We used electric trailer jacks attached to slides on the center pivot points of the leaf spring mount and could raise and lower the pivot point where the balance beam mounted. We used normal springs and shackels on this thing just like a normal trailer. The only moving part was the center attachment point. If you laid the electric jacks horizontal and mounted a bell crank to raise and lower the piviot point you could make the entire thing fit under the fenders and not even show. Ours was a boxed trailer, so our jacks were mounted vertical. It was pretty cool to be able to drop the trailer floor to the ground and load up out road racing Honda's without ramps. If you need to you could use some locking bolts to keep the thing locked in the road position.

That would probably allow you to lower the trailer frame almost to the ground to get it in the garage with the buggy on top. the shackels would handle any issues with the springs, since the shackels on a two axle trailer are both mounted at the balance beam.

SSSRodeo
 

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Some companies (I cant think of any right now) make trailers that raise and lower, right down to the floor via hydraulics. So you can load rollers, or other types of equipment without having to deal with ramps. Im sure the trailers arent cheap, but you might be able to pick one up used and save yourself the hassle of fabbing something up. If you look around in construction equipment magazines, or at auctions, Im sure you can find one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
SSSRodeo said:
Way back when, some of our racing team built a trailer that would neal for loading. We used electric trailer jacks attached to slides on the center pivot points of the leaf spring mount and could raise and lower the pivot point where the balance beam mounted. We used normal springs and shackels on this thing just like a normal trailer. The only moving part was the center attachment point. If you laid the electric jacks horizontal and mounted a bell crank to raise and lower the piviot point you could make the entire thing fit under the fenders and not even show. Ours was a boxed trailer, so our jacks were mounted vertical. It was pretty cool to be able to drop the trailer floor to the ground and load up out road racing Honda's without ramps. If you need to you could use some locking bolts to keep the thing locked in the road position.

That would probably allow you to lower the trailer frame almost to the ground to get it in the garage with the buggy on top. the shackels would handle any issues with the springs, since the shackels on a two axle trailer are both mounted at the balance beam.

SSSRodeo

That is a great idea. I had thought about raising and lowering the center shackle pivot, but discarded the idea as I could not think of an easy or affordable method to raise and lower. The ide of breaking out a jack and changing hitch pins was about as close as I got.

I checked the prices of the electric tungue jacks, and they are not that bad. So lets play some numbers.. If I have a 3400 lb buggy, some tools, etc and say 1000-1500lbs of trailer weight with dual axles, how much weight you think that center shackle mount is going to see? Under 1500 lbs per side? Probably use a hitch pin to lock it upright for highway use.

Good call!

-Wayne
 

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Why not unload the buggy and drive it into the garage... back the trailer into the garage as you drive the buggy up on it.

Cheap as you can use any trailer.
Quicker then compressing suspension, airing down tires ETC....

I can't believe you have a large enough garage at a condo for a trailer :confused:
 

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no reason the deck couldnt be under the axles. hanging the springs could get interesting but it could be done.
 

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randii said:
Heck, your buggy is light enough that you might look to the dune-buggy style two-wheel trailers where one end secures to a cradle on the tongue.
I googled a bit for ya:





This sort of minimalist trailer might do the trick - I imagine you'd back the buggy on for weight distribution, tho.

When you get home, if it won't back straight in under the garage door, pull the buggy off the trailer and into the garage, then turn the trailer around and skid its tongue back underneath your buggy. I have seen these types of trailers stored vertically, up against the side of the house, as well. Dunno if your condo would permit that...

How much does the Mazdurai weigh, Wayne? What do you tow with, the kayak or the Taurus? :p

Randii
 

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Discussion Starter #19
randii said:
I googled a bit for ya:





This sort of minimalist trailer might do the trick - I imagine you'd back the buggy on for weight distribution, tho.

When you get home, if it won't back straight in under the garage door, pull the buggy off the trailer and into the garage, then turn the trailer around and skid its tongue back underneath your buggy. I have seen these types of trailers stored vertically, up against the side of the house, as well. Dunno if your condo would permit that...

How much does the Mazdurai weigh, Wayne? What do you tow with, the kayak or the Taurus? :p

Randii
How the heck do you load the sand rails onto those? I see.. You just pull up on them and slide the front end along that tube. Interesting.

Don't think I want to go that minimal on my trailer, but it does get the brain juices flowing. Hmm.. The rear axle could just sit on a pair of tubes that support the tungue. Might be a bitch if I ever kill a link though. I imagine I can always pull on with winches if I kill the drivetrain...

We estimate that the buggy weighs under 3,000 lbs right now. But the buggy will gain weight as it gets more stuff added and starts to add tools and spares to it. (Still is just like you saw it in Moab.) Lets face it, they never get lighter. The tow vehicle for now is an Astro Van. Yeah, let the hate mail begin. I picked the Astro as a couple of friends towed similar loads with 4.3 powered rigs (Blazer and Astro) and they both towed well and returned nice fuel economy. It should do the trick for the short hauls out to the Hammers. Not planning on doing Moab again for a while.. etc.

The garage is a single stall with a normal door. The garage has a bit of width to play with, and is about 27 feet deep. Once past the door I gain another 6 inches or so of height before I bump into the garage door opener or kayaks hanging from the roof.

-Wayne
 

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Wayne I just did a quick measurement on my trailer. With the amigo on board the deck is at ~20" and thats with straight axles leaf sprung under the frame. I dont see any reason we couldnt' get that down 10" pretty easily without building something really wierd and sketchy. Honestly I think goin with drop axles and no springs like we talked about earlier would do the trick pretty easily.

BTW, I'd be careful taking towing suggestions from Randii. I've seen his trailer before :flipoff2:

Dallas
 
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