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AUBBQ
04-20-2011, 03:55 PM
Hey guys, Iím looking to buy an enclosed trailer for competitions. Any must have options or things I should exclude? I thought about going for the basic trailer with insulation & air to begin with and adding other options along the way as money permits. Iíve been pricing 7 & 8.5 foot wide x 16 - 20 foot long trailers within driving distance.
Any help would be appreciated.

roksmith
04-20-2011, 04:29 PM
IMHO wider is better, but longer sometimes can get you cramped up trying to move the thing around and you may have to pay more for a bigger spot.
The things we would not want to go without in our trailer..
A nice big sink setup and table/counter space to work on.
The rest of our stuff is mobile.. comes and goes.

thillin
04-20-2011, 04:54 PM
Make sure the interior is tall enough for you. Don't want to bump your head on the a/c or a light fixture.

jrbBBQ
04-20-2011, 05:07 PM
I just started this whole competition thing and bought a 7'x16' I happen to think its about the perfect size. I was looking at an 8x20 and I'm glad I went with the 16'. I have a 1/2 ton Chevy Avalanche and most are my comps are gonna be about 2 hours away, I don't think I like to pull one a foot wider and 4 feet longer with my truck. I would definately make sure the inside is tall enough.

Captain Caveman
04-20-2011, 05:14 PM
Plan on power outages. Our trailer will run everything essential for the competition off of battery power (4 golf cart batteries). We competed last weekend without electricity or a generator.

Ron_L
04-20-2011, 05:17 PM
I just started this whole competition thing and bought a 7'x16' I happen to think its about the perfect size. I was looking at an 8x20 and I'm glad I went with the 16'. I have a 1/2 ton Chevy Avalanche and most are my comps are gonna be about 2 hours away, I don't think I like to pull one a foot wider and 4 feet longer with my truck. I would definately make sure the inside is tall enough.

This is an excellent point. Make sure that you know what your tow vehicle can tow. Besides the towing capacity spec of the tow vehicle you need to look ad the payload capacity. Payload for the trunk is the weight of the people, fuel, options on the truck and your gear PLUS the tongue weight of the trailer.

Also, ignore the dry weight of the trailer. Those specs are almost always low because they are the weight of the bare bones trailer and don't include options like lighting, a spare tire, a battery, etc. Look at the GVWR of the trailer since that is the most it would way and make sure that your tow vehicle can handle that with about 20% overhead. Also, for tongue weight figure 10 - 13% of GVWR.

Finally, look into the laws regarding trailer brakes. In Illinois the law requires trailer brakes on any trailer over 3500 lbs GVWR. You may need a brake controller. You should also look into a good weight distribution hitch with sway control as you look at the bigger trailers.

Fishiest1
04-20-2011, 05:19 PM
Electric brakes and radials should be added to your current list, imho.

Also you might want to look in GA that is like the enclosed trailer capital of the universe and beyond, beyond, beyond...

AUBBQ
04-20-2011, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the comments! Most of the ones I've priced so far have been out of Ga.

BBQchef33
04-20-2011, 07:37 PM
trailer :: trailer slideshow by bbqchef33 - Photobucket (http://s117.photobucket.com/albums/o45/bbqchef33/trailer/?action=view&current=33e640dd.pbw)


Mine is 8.5x16 with a 4 foot v nose. If I had to do it again I would go with the the 5K dual torsion flex axels, Radial Tires, 7 foot ceiling, Insulation and have them prewire it for your electric. You can always add the Air conditioner, but its expensive to swap out the axles and dump 2 perfectly good ones.

I did most of the upgrades at build time, but regret not having it insulated and getting the smaller 3500 lb axels. Fully loaded without meat, drinks and ice I weigh in at 6100 lbs. I would like to have the extra cushion to carry the bigger cookers if I wanted to.

Gerrit_Boys
04-20-2011, 11:04 PM
As far as brakes go, I wouldn't want to pull a trailer that big with a half ton without them. I've had trailers push me around and it sucks. I have a 7 x 16 v-nose and although I'd like to be 8' wide it is what I'm comfortable pulling with my 1/2 ton ram.

crd26a
04-21-2011, 10:26 AM
First and foremost, ask yourself what kind of cookers you're going to haul in this. A couple of webers, no big deal. You want to load an offset into the back - figure out the dimensions. What do you have to haul? How many do you need to sleep in the trailer?

If anything, I would try and think of how you'll layout the trailer. Where do you want cabinets / water, where you plan to sleep, etc. I've got a 7 x 16, can fit 2 Superior SS'2 smokers, a small fridge, and have counter space in the trailer. For sleeping, its zero gravity chairs that will fit two side by side in the back. Plus this will fit in a 20 ft space, allowing me to stay in smaller spaces.

If / when I upgrade, I will go to an 8.5 ft trailer (v-nose) and probably 20-22 ft, just to have some additional room in the trailer.

AUBBQ
04-21-2011, 11:07 AM
All very good points to consider. I’ll be pulling this trailer with a Toyota Tundra and hauling a Superior Smoker SS-2. Eventually I would like to add another SS-2, maybe next year sometime. The ultimate goal is to have a fridge, cabinets, shower, toilet and fold down beds.

crd26a
04-21-2011, 11:28 AM
All very good points to consider. Iíll be pulling this trailer with a Toyota Tundra and hauling a Superior Smoker SS-2. Eventually I would like to add another SS-2, maybe next year sometime. The ultimate goal is to have a fridge, cabinets, shower, toilet and fold down beds.

In a 7 x 16, cabinets, fridge and fold down beds are possible, but you can scrap the toilet & shower. If you want all of that, I'd move up to an 8 x 20, and in all honesty, have it built for you unless your buildout skills are great (and have the time). I'd look at having James at Extreme spec one out for you, and in honesty, look at doing a porch trailer. The SS'2s will mount great that way

KC_Bobby
04-21-2011, 04:23 PM
All very good points to consider. Iíll be pulling this trailer with a Toyota Tundra and hauling a Superior Smoker SS-2. Eventually I would like to add another SS-2, maybe next year sometime. The ultimate goal is to have a fridge, cabinets, shower, toilet and fold down beds.

What's your tow cap of your Tundra? Sounds like that trailer might be getting heavy.

Contracted Cookers
04-21-2011, 06:31 PM
continental cargo for sale 8'X20' AC 2beds sink shower and stool microwave 5 gallon hotwater heater trailer brakes awning ramp backdoor 2 batteries

AUBBQ
04-21-2011, 08:51 PM
The towing capacity is roughly 6800 lbs. I will check out continental trailers as well. Thanks.

rksylves
04-22-2011, 08:57 AM
Right in the middle of doing exactly what you're talking about. I went with a 8.5x18 flat front.

Yes to: radial tires, rear ramp door, RV style side door, multiple roof vents pre-wired for A/C, stand-up headroom plus at least 3", extended tongue, insulated ceiling with white vinyl finish, side windows.

No to: V-Nose, beavertail, heavy duty rear ramp door, torsion axles, 3/4" plywood on walls, factory option water system.

If you disagree with me about the above that's fine. However, if you are going to go for the factory packages then I very strongly recommend that you download some free CAD program and spend the time to design your floorplan VERY carefully. I can't stress that enough. Account for every inch of space. If you are going 8.5 foot wide then find out where the wheelwells are going to be in the interior space.

Then, when you go to specify what you want the factory to do for you, be absolutely SURE that you HAVE IN WRITING EVERY DETAIL. I don't care if the contract is 5 pages long, get every detail in there. Exactly where everything is to be installed and even exact part/model numbers if you can.

Stuff like, is the water pump 12vdc or 110vac, is the hot water heater 110vac or LP gas, exactly where is the fresh water tank going to go, black tank, gray tank, etc. Things that are very obvious to you but don't get written down WILL become a mistake. Ask me how I know.

Last, when you get your floorplan figured out, show it to a couple of people that understand the general idea of what you're trying to do, preferrably other competitors that you trust. Every question they ask should be a red flag to you that your drawing isn't clear enough. Make the changes to add the detail to make it clear before you place the order for the trailer.

Don't mean to rant on this but I don't want to see other people make the same mistakes I did.

Russ

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
04-22-2011, 09:37 AM
What's your tow cap of your Tundra? Sounds like that trailer might be getting heavy.

A few weeks ago we towed a 8.5x24 flat front with our gear and a stumps stretch in the back 425 miles with a Nissan Frontier. It was an experience to say the least. :)

BBQchef33
04-22-2011, 09:56 AM
just a heads up. Your're getting real close to your towing capacity, and just because its rated at 6800 doesnt mean it will enjoy it. My truck is rated at 8500lb towing, I tow 6100 on 8.5x16 loaded for a contest. You will me surprised how things add up when it comes to weight. For instance, the commercial floor tiles I installed added 350 lbs to the trailer. Things u dont anticipate will be added in there and u may come to close to your capacity to be safe, or at least comfortable towing.

My trailer is a carhauler, with beavertail and ramp door. But I had them build the flooring straight. It keeps the trailer lower to the ground and less of an incline on the ramp. (bad knees and walkign up and down a steep ramp for 2 days sucks )

Definite prewire on the AC, and get 2 roof vents.

Also, add extra receptacle, even if u think u dont need them. Also have one installed on the outside.

Ron_L
04-22-2011, 10:25 AM
Here is a good site to help you determine how much you can safely tow with your vehicle...

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml

With most SUVs and 1/2 ton trucks the limit is typically not the rated towing capacity, but rather the payload capacity, so look at the vehicle GVWR and then get the actual weight and the difference between them is your payload capacity. Subtract a full tank of gas, additional people besides the driver, and your gear and that will tell you how much additional weight you can handle for the trailer tongue weight. A good WD hitch will help and may be mandatory, check your owner's manual. For example, my Nissan Titan can handle 900+ lbs tongue weight with w WD hitch, but only 500 without.



No to: V-Nose, beavertail, heavy duty rear ramp door, torsion axles, 3/4" plywood on walls, factory option water system.


I'm curious as to why no V-nose? Also, why no to the heavy duty rear ramp? With the weight of the smokers I want a HD ramp in case I wanted to use the ramp as a cooking platform.

Ford
04-22-2011, 10:29 AM
When towing a 7' will be much easier on the truck than 8.5. Calculate the sq footage of the front. There should be some info in your truck manual on this. And think maybe a vnose with a half ton pickup. And plan on at least 1000 lbs less than the max tow weight when fully loaded.

Having said that an 8.5 gives way more room and I love it.

AUBBQ
04-22-2011, 10:40 AM
Thanks guys. The last two companies I spoke with also recommend the 7’ trailer for my truck. I’m leaning toward a 7x16 with many of the options mentioned here. This thread has been a great help.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
04-22-2011, 11:29 AM
just a heads up. Your're getting real close to your towing capacity, and just because its rated at 6800 doesnt mean it will enjoy it.

Oh I know the truck didn't enjoy it. The 6mpg average for the trip told us that. It's far from ideal but we don't have a choice. A 3/4 Diesel is on the budget for next year. We only have 1-2 comps left that are over 150 miles round trip.

jrbBBQ
04-22-2011, 11:45 AM
A few weeks ago we towed a 8.5x24 flat front with our gear and a stumps stretch in the back 425 miles with a Nissan Frontier. It was an experience to say the least. :)
I seen you guys at Benton, I was wondering how you guys pulled the trailer that far with that little truck.

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
04-22-2011, 12:03 PM
I seen you guys at Benton, I was wondering how you guys pulled the trailer that far with that little truck.

To be honest I'm not sure either.

rksylves
04-22-2011, 12:09 PM
I didn't want the V-Nose because my bed runs across the front of the trailer and I couldn't make anything else fit in the 'V' area.

For the ramp, I cook with WSMs and don't really ever plan to switch to Stumps, anything heavy enough to warrant a heavy duty ramp. It's a big chunk of weight. Now that I have the trailer, I'm convinced that even the medium duty ramp is more than enough to handle even a medium size Stump's. It has a 3/4" plywood floor on it and I can jump up& down on it with no problem.

Russ

Ron_L
04-22-2011, 12:21 PM
I didn't want the V-Nose because my bed runs across the front of the trailer and I couldn't make anything else fit in the 'V' area.

For the ramp, I cook with WSMs and don't really ever plan to switch to Stumps, anything heavy enough to warrant a heavy duty ramp. It's a big chunk of weight. Now that I have the trailer, I'm convinced that even the medium duty ramp is more than enough to handle even a medium size Stump's. It has a 3/4" plywood floor on it and I can jump up& down on it with no problem.

Russ

Makes sense... For the ramp, it's usually not the ramp itself but the hinges that can be a problem. The HD ramps typically have bigger and more hinges.

smoke-n-my-i's
04-22-2011, 01:01 PM
If you don't want the v-nose, at least try and get the more rounded nose, stay away from the flat nose, it will have more wind resistance when pulling it.
Extra height is a must. I got a 6 1/2 ft interior and loved it.
Tandem axles.
Brakes are a must.
Radial tires.
Plenty of outlets... you never know when you need one, and it was already mentioned, one outside.
Put Maxxair covers over the roof vents, you can leave the vents open year around. I loved mine.
As far as a brand, I can only tell you which one to stay away from. They even told me that their warranty is no better than the paper it was written on, and that is how they stand behind their warranty.... way behind. I had two major issues with mine, and they refused to fix anything..... I will only mention they are out of Douglas, GA (Lark United).
I had a 6x12 thinking it would be large enough.... Next time out, at least a 7x16. A 6ft wide is just a little too narrow.

Hope all of these ideas from everyone helps. If you want more info on why not to by a Lark United, just send me a pm.

rksylves
04-22-2011, 02:11 PM
I can also tell you a trailer company to stay completely away from. Oh..... wait.... It's the same one! When I pulled out of that lot I swore I would never even go near that town ever again.

Isn't that a lovely bunch???

Russ

smoke-n-my-i's
04-22-2011, 03:04 PM
Yes, a lovely bunch..... If you call and want to talk to customer service abt warranty work, you have to talk to a salesman... duh, a salesman in working on commission and sales, not crappy workmanship that they screwed up....

Here is a link to my original post abt my trailer problems..... rather long.. so go get a large glass of ice tea, a sandwich before you start...

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=56564&highlight=mildew

CivilWarBBQ
04-23-2011, 03:02 PM
Remember that cargo trailers are built for utility use - not as RVs. You just aren't going to find the same level of craftsmanship in a cargo trailer as in a motorhome. Yes there are a few builders who go the extra mile, but you will pay for it in a healthy premium on the price tag. When I bought our last trailer I looked around quite a bit, and in the end decided to go with a lower-cost unit from Freedom Trailers. It's not perfect, but then our team will use the cargo trailer for just that - hauling equipment to contests. We're not going to live in it, so AC, plumbing and the rest of the expensive extras aren't needed.

I guess what I'm trying to say is at the end of the day you have a choice between buying a utility trailer and expecting to have to do a lot of work on it yourself, or buying a full-fledged RV set up for human occupation. As long as your expectations are in line with what you purchase you should be fine.

getyourrubonbbq
04-24-2011, 12:53 PM
I have too agree the above post. I get several calls a day about the design/layout of a trailer. My suggestion is to think long and hard about what your long term plans are. We can outfit a trailer with basically any option you can get in an RV including full bath packages.

Most of my customers use their trailers for multi purpose, they set it up for comps as well as catering. By doing this you have better resale and you're basically set up for the trailer to make you money.