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Buiding a trailer for a VW Beetle

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  • Buiding a trailer for a VW Beetle

    Ok I'm just looking for any tips on building a trailer for my 67 Beetle. I know the rule of the 60/40 when building a trailer and wanted to know if this would still hold true with the engine weight from the car in the back. This trailer is going to be 14' for the bed and a 4' tongue. Someone I talked to who built one before this size put the axle at 110" which works out to 65/35, should this be ok?
    Also I thought about making my axle adjust, putting on a sleeve kind of set up so I could move the axle one way or the other held with a couple grade 5 bolts. Any thoughts

    Thanks
    John

  • #2
    In PA, would be difficult register a homemade trailer (safety concerns). I'd check with your DMV to make sure they won't make it hard for you, before you buy materials...
    HH190
    Hypertherm 380

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    • #3
      Ya here in Alberta we can still do a homemade trailer, we have to get a VIN number for it so the government is making $105 for single axles and I think $465 for two or more.

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      • #4
        Rule of thumb is tongue weight should be in 100 to 200 lbs range..... Never heard of the 60/40 rule (does not make it invalid though) .... IF you are building trailer for VW beetle specifically the balance point of beetle is where the jack inserts in car, that point should probably be a little forward of axle... Other option would be to put axle in traditional location (center of platform or tiny bit past center) and back beetle on to trailer so heavy end of car is forward to maintain tongue weight.... Yes its all about correct tongue weight, to much raises front tow vehicle and makes steering light and you have less control to little tongue weight tends to lift rear of tow vehicle and put excessive down force on front of tow vehicle and makes it hard to steer..... Suggest you study weight and balances well, or make trailer a little longer (traditional 16 ft car carrier) and then you can adjust load to find correct balance/tongue weight...

        Dale
        "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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        • #5
          The 40-60 is a valid theory, as is also the 100-200# theory.

          Your question...I used to be into dunebuggies and the rear wheel of the buggy would have to be parked about 1-2' behind the wheel of the trailer or else you'd run into those problems. Now, a buggy has considerable less front-end weight (you usually could lift it by hand), but the problem is the same. Also, I had a designated trailer for my buggy and it wasn't good for anything else.

          I had a friend once w/a Corvair buggy...twas very fast...anyways, he once put it on a conventional trailer and it started whipping so bad that it almost made him loose control...well, it did put him in the on-coming lane, so maybe he did lose control. What he did was put the thing on backwards, problem solved. So, if you do put it on backwards, it will fix the problem.

          So, you are either going to have to put ballast on the front in order to counter-act the problem. Say, by adding a toolbox. Or, you could make it longer, in order to be able to move the VW forward. Or, put the thing on backwards.

          If I were you, Id either make the trailer bigger, and not mess w/the 60/40 rule or I'd make so that you could park the bug backwards. If it was made w/the rear wheel 2' behind the trailers wheel, if not 1' behind the wheel it would work. That is, unless you don't mind having a designated trailer.

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          • #6
            At 14' that should give me about two feet of movement which I think should be enough to get the weight I need on the tongue, about 250lbs I think. 1750lbs for the car and about 700lbs for the trailer. I also thought of putting the axle on a slider kind of set up so I could move the axle one way or the other depending on what I need.

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            • #7
              I have an 18' car trailer (dual axle + brakes) 7500 gvw, and my tow vehicle is a 2004 Dodge Ram Quad cab short bed. Trailer weighs about 2500 lbs on its own, truck weighs close to 6000 lbs. I've had cars on that both directions, doesn't seem to matter much. I don't pull all the way forward though, it squats the truck bad.

              If I were you, I'd probably just copy a manufactured trailer. Also why make it super specific for the bug, you would be surprised what kind of stuff you'll have the opportunity to drag home with a trailer that can tow anything

              Aluminum would be my preference these days, the steel trailers need alot of care when you drag it in the winter months (RUST!). Cost kept me from purchasing it over the steel version, but now that I've had the experience - I probably should have just kept saving and bought aluminum.
              Attached Files
              HH190
              Hypertherm 380

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              • #8
                Just trying to keep the costs down, single axle as appose to dual, 14' as appose to 18'. And to tell you the truth I'll be 50 next year and the only times I've needed a trailer is to move a Beetle, across town or to a show. So a perfect size fit is okay with me. Saying that I did start with a plan to only make it 10' to start with but have moved up to the 14'. The car has a short wheel to wheel base, like 8' center to center.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bug_n_67 View Post
                  Just trying to keep the costs down, single axle as appose to dual, 14' as appose to 18'. And to tell you the truth I'll be 50 next year and the only times I've needed a trailer is to move a Beetle, across town or to a show. So a perfect size fit is okay with me. Saying that I did start with a plan to only make it 10' to start with but have moved up to the 14'. The car has a short wheel to wheel base, like 8' center to center.
                  Have a friend that buys a 16ft dual axle every 4 years, sells the old one for about what he paid for it. Basically he gets new tires for less than the cost of new tires... trailer itself is free. I'm just not as smart as he is, mine needs painted now - its a 2005 model.

                  Resale is something you may want to consider, recoup your investment down the road.... would be easier to sell a general purpose trailer. Just sayin'...

                  By the way, that friend, is in his 60s and still going strong in the car hobby...
                  HH190
                  Hypertherm 380

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                  • #10
                    What I have in mind. 14' length, 2' of that dovetail, 5' tongue, still thinking about a moveable axle. Axle at the 9' area which would put it at the jack point of the Beetle and I should have about 2' of movement in the car on the trailer for tongue weight up or down.
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                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by bug_n_67; 09-24-2013, 06:16 PM.

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                    • #11
                      http://www.carsontrailer.com/subs/ca...ar-hauler.html

                      Usually start about $1,500....

                      Dale
                      Last edited by Dale M.; 09-24-2013, 09:53 PM.
                      "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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                      • #12
                        With the steel, axle, lights I'm looking at under $500 to build this myself, I did find this and was able to get hold of him for some measurements.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bug_n_67 View Post
                          With the steel, axle, lights I'm looking at under $500 to build this myself, I did find this and was able to get hold of him for some measurements.
                          [ATTACH=CONFIG]36097[/ATTACH]
                          Have you included: tires, wheels, fenders, springs, jack, tongue, safety chains, D rings, ramps, etc...
                          HH190
                          Hypertherm 380

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                          • #14
                            Ya I was talking the big expense stuff but that $500 is everything but ramps that I need to build after I see my deck height.

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                            • #15
                              Keep a spread sheet, and get back to us on how close you came to completing it for $500... Any yes I mean account for ever screw, nut and washer....

                              Dale
                              "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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