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3 axle trailer?

A forum for discussing issues relating to trailers and towing MacGregor sailboats.

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Re: 3 axle trailer?

Postby Ponaldpe » Wed May 17, 2017 4:29 pm

Tomfoolery
My OB-mounted lights.

I will have to make me a set of OB lights. That looks good.
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Re: 3 axle trailer?

Postby Herschel » Thu May 18, 2017 10:24 pm

I have never towed a six wheeled trailer, just dual axled (four wheeled) ones---the mac trailer and a similar travel trailer. I have observed triple axled/six wheeled "5th- wheel" RV's, however, and when trying to turn sharply, they pivot on the middle wheels and "drag" the inner/outer wheels across the pavement. Sounds and looks a little rough. Don't really know if it is a wear an issue or not. The other concern is the cost of six tires vs. four. And the maintaining of six sets of bearings vs. four. Also, I think (don't know for sure) that Florida may (technically) require brakes on each axle. I live and trailer in Florida, and I don't have brakes on each axle (just the forward one), but I think I heard or read that somewhere.
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Re: 3 axle trailer?

Postby Tomfoolery » Fri May 19, 2017 7:50 am

Herschel wrote:Also, I think (don't know for sure) that Florida may (technically) require brakes on each axle. I live and trailer in Florida, and I don't have brakes on each axle (just the forward one), but I think I heard or read that somewhere.

And you would be correct, at least according to this site. http://trailers.com/state-laws/florida.php

Florida Trailer Brake Laws

Every such vehicle and combination of vehicles shall be equipped with service brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold such vehicle under all conditions of loading, and on any grade incident to its operation.

Every vehicle shall be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels except trailers, semi trailers, or pole trailers of a gross weight not exceeding 3,000 lbs., provided that the total weight on and including the wheels of the trailer or trailers shall not exceed 40 percent of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer or trailers; and the combination of vehicles, consisting of the towing vehicle and its total towed load, is capable of complying with the performance requirements of the law.


As to tire scuff, I think most trailer tires go bad from age before the tread is worn out. But at least, with a 3-axle trailer with a Mac on it, there's only going to be something like 500 lb on each tire, which are probably rated around 1800 lb each.

If it were me, I'd probably take one axle off, and hide it away for a spare, or for parts. And the tires would make nice spares, of course. Two is more than technically needed, but sure makes for a nice, stable ride on the highway.
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Re: 3 axle trailer?

Postby Tomfoolery » Fri May 19, 2017 10:17 am

Ponaldpe wrote:I will have to make me a set of OB lights. That looks good.

Made from scrap 2-bys and some plastic finished plywood from a shipping crate. Harbor Freight non-submersible LED trailer lights (cheapest LED lights I could find), and some standard 4-conductor trailer wiring cable, though I added a 5th conductor for the (also cheapest I could find) white backup light I added after the other pics were taken. An eye strap on the end of each 2-by is for a bungee cord, just in case it tries to jump off. The black pads are leftover bunk carpet bits, glued in place, to keep from scratching the lower unit paint. The angle of the cross board is set so the lights are looking horizontal with the OB tilted all the way, which is the way I set it for transport.

Image

Image

Image

The Romex staples should be replaced (not very nautical), and I should put a finish on it, but I only use it for road trips and not the short trip to the marina or Erie Canal, so I'll probably never get around to it. Too many boat things that need attention.

It's not pretty, but in the dark, and especially in the rain on the highway in a fog of spray, it's nice having those side markers at eye level so somebody doesn't try to move over into the boat when they think it's past them, especially when slow-and-steady me in the right lane ends up going faster than the middle lane in traffic and folks in the middle lane get impatient, looking to move over. And bright LED brake lights (they seem brighter than the wide ones on the trailer itself) right in the face of someone getting too close, as well as being all the way back and high up for the benefit of truck and bus drivers (can't see the trailer lights way under the boat at all) can't be anything but good. :)
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Re: 3 axle trailer?

Postby Sumner » Sun May 21, 2017 9:38 am

Herschel wrote:I have never towed a six wheeled trailer, just dual axled (four wheeled) ones---the mac trailer and a similar travel trailer. I have observed triple axled/six wheeled "5th- wheel" RV's, however, and when trying to turn sharply, they pivot on the middle wheels and "drag" the inner/outer wheels across the pavement. Sounds and looks a little rough. Don't really know if it is a wear an issue or not. The other concern is the cost of six tires vs. four. And the maintaining of six sets of bearings vs. four. Also, I think (don't know for sure) that Florida may (technically) require brakes on each axle. I live and trailer in Florida, and I don't have brakes on each axle (just the forward one), but I think I heard or read that somewhere.


I agree with all of the above. Love my 2 axle trailer but backing into tight spaces can drag wheels/tires. A 3 axle is going to be worst and harder to back into places that require much turning while backing.

Image

Depending on how the axles are located, using equalizers, removing one might involve more that just unbolting it.

I feel that Roger designed the transverse bunks to work with the longitudinal water ballast tanks (90 deg to each other) for strength purposes. I saw pictures of an S or D with damage after being on a trailer with longitudinal bunks but think it had also taken on rain water.

Considering the extra axles and the bunk situation I would probably pass on the 3 axle trailer. I've seen people post where they have bought a junk boat and a 2 axle trailer cheap and then dump the boat and change the bunks.

Sumner

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