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TOPIC: How fast can I tow a small trailer?

How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1193

  • Erik
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I have a 14ft trailer that came with the boat and some 8" wheels (I believe) that I will have to travel about 100 miles with. I threw 2 new wheel and tire combo's on since the existing tires were not going to make it home the 20 miles I had to go. I plan on pulling the bearings and either replacing them or just packing them, but I feel like the tires would get too hot and blow out if I drove 65mph for 100 miles to the lake.

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1197

  • PC1000
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Hi Erik,

I travel hundreds of miles at 65-70, even sometime 75 with a utility trailer that has 8" wheels. Every time I stop I check the hubs and tires to see if they're hot, but have not had a lick of problem. I repack my own wheel bearings at least once a year, more if I make more trips.

My boat trailer has 14" wheels, which I do NOT worry about! What I do worry about is getting my boat done so I can actually use the trailer.

Frank

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1253

Yeah, no problem. My old boat trailer had 8" wheels and never had a problem doing speedlimit long hauls. My 24' pontoon trailer had 8" wheels single axle ( needed twin axles due to weight ) and I towed it lots of times 150-300 miles one-way no problems. You will be fine. One thing I did have to correct on my new trailer for my 15' 1958 Glastron FireFlite was not enough tongue weight. I had to reposision the axle rearwards, could't move winch stand farter forward, not long enough tongue. It would fish tail really bad over 35 till I did that , now zoom! I'm off to the races. LOL.

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1272

  • Erik
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The trailer pulls fine at 50 or so. I didn't want to push my luck, but I'm sure it would be fine at 70 as well. It's a tilt kind of trailer... Kinda neat, since I've never owned one before.

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1290

Just remember that pi X Diameter = Circumference

So if the outside diameter of your trailer tire is 14" and the outside diameter of of you car is 24" (small car) then you would 75.5" / by 44" = 1.7.

now if you were driving 55 MPH you trailer wheels bearing and tires would be doing the same rpm as your car doing 93.5 MPH. at 70 MPH they would be doing the same rpm as your car doing 119 MPH. The tires will heat up more and cause them to wear out faster and the bearing may heat up more.

The big problem (and I know from having it happen on a Jon boat) is if you do have a blow out at the higher speeds the tire comes apart so fast and may come up and hit the boat. The dent was able to be worked out, however on fiberglass they do not dent too well

Allan

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CAVU

Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1300

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Yeah, I usually leave pretty early so I can take my time. I also like to leave plenty of time to consume beverages at the lake... So I don't think that I'll be going too fast. Is it worth to try to find better quality tires or trying to find spindles that fit a larger wheel? It just seems easiest to drive slow peraps..

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1313

  • BillF
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Please note that there is a difference between how fast you CAN pull a trailer and how fast your state laws will allow you to LEGALLY pull a trailer. Better check on that also, before hitting the road. If you have ever seen the result of an out-of-control trailer, you will understand why the laws are in place.

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1316

On behalf of the fuddy duddys and old fogeys out there, including me, I limit my speed to 55 mph when towing a trailer. Wheel speed of an 8 inch rim isn't the only thing to consider; handling, braking, maneuvering, and rear vision are all impaired when towing a trailer. And yes, in some places there are special speed limits on trailer rigs. I just stay in the right lane, don't worry about radar, and cruise along .

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 4 months ago #1331

  • MarkS
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Well spoken, guess that makes me a member of the old fuddy club too. I have 12" rims on both boat trailers, and still worry about their speed if the tow vehicle creeps above about 65 mph even for short periods. Those little buggers are SCREAMING back there compared to regular sized tires at speed. (See TT's formula. I didn't know the numbers, but common sense tells you something, right?)

Just remember your pride and joy is riding back there if something does happen, how big of a hurry do you really need to be in? ;)

I can remember way back when I was just a kid, my family was on vacation pulling a small camper in our full sized (Olds Vista Cruiser) station wagon. A sudden cross wind pushed to trailer into the next lane and we weeble woobled for a good half mile before Dad could get the rig slowed to a safe speed! My little brother actually bit through the vinyl on the back of the front seat he was so scared. The rest of our vacation was traveled at a much more leisurely pace.

And just to make sure I'm a charter member of the Fuddy Duddy club, PLEASE let someone else drive home if you've had more than a couple of those "beverages". (Been there, did that, thank God I didn't kill anybody or get caught!)

Guess I should get off my soapbox now, sorry!

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Mark

Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 3 months ago #4395

One suggestion if you can is to take a 5 mile practice run before you take off. Run it up to the top speed you are comfortable with for the trip and then stop after a mile and again at the end and check the tire and hub temperature. this should be loaded the same as your trip will be. if either side hub is hot or the tires are hotter than the car you need to address that otherwise i feel pretty safe after a check or two.

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 3 months ago #4396

  • PC1000
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Erik wrote:

Is it worth to try to find better quality tires or trying to find spindles that fit a larger wheel?


Yes, good tires help, and your spindle is probably a 4 stud and could take 12" tires no problem. You might need new fenders to swap up in diameter, just a thought.

Frank

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 3 months ago #4405

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Some trailers (my old Holsclaw for one) had two sets of mounting holes for the fenders. One for 8" and one for 12" rims, I guess. If this is not the case, you may be able to re-drill the mounting holes, or make some brackets to move the fenders up enough. (I call it thrifty, some folks say I'm cheap.) Definitely recommend going to 12" rims if you can swing it.

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Mark

Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 2 months ago #4830

If you have highway rated tires, 100 miles should be no problem. I've made several 300 to 500 mile trips on 8" and 12" wheels, and as long as the bearings were in good shape, I've had no problems at speeds from 65-75 mph. However, I do agree that you need to stop every so often and check to see if the hubs are getting too warm. Also, it sounds like you got the wheel/tire combo similar to what Wal-Mart sells. If so, and if possible, they usually sell 2-8" tire and wheel combos. One is a 4.80 X 8.00, and the other one is a 5.30 X 8.00. The price is the same, but the 5.30 X 8.00 are rated to carry a heavier load.

I guess I should throw a variable in here so somebody doesn't think I'm crazy or something, so...if it were 110 deg. day outside, and the pavement was VERY hot, I would probably adjust me speed downward... B)

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 2 months ago #4872

I have to drive the Calif freeway sometime and it is post for 55 for trailers but just try it. I have never been tailgated so bad. In order to protect my boat and motor you have to go 65 or someone is going to hit you. I have a one of a kind boat and not to going to lose it trying ot do the posted speed limit if I'm going to get hit or worse for those a-- holes.
Sorry
Mike aka pathfinderz1

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 2 months ago #5237

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Regardless which size you choose, be aware that the number one reason for blowouts on trailer tires is under-inflation, as it causes the tire to heat up. Most folks assume 35 PSI is ok, similar to a car, when in fact most tire makers recommend 50-60 PSI or more. Also not a good idea to use automobile tires on trailers, as the sidewalls aren't stiff enough. Proper tire inflation is always stamped on the side of the tire. I never run less than 50 PSI.

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Re:How fast can I tow a small trailer? 8 years 2 months ago #5322

i had a 1964 seaking cabin cruiser with the original seaking 1964 trailer,with 8 inch tires,and had a flat,i carry fix a flat in emergencies,got back on the road and i go slow with a trailer,and then the side wall blew out,so i put 12 inch tires and rims,they were to big to put back on the fenders ,but what the heck,it gave me more peace of mind,i think 8 inchers were not enough for that old boat,it was very heavy.below is before and after.
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