Trailer newbie questions...

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

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bellevuesailor
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Trailer newbie questions...

Post by bellevuesailor » Mon May 29, 2017 10:28 pm

Totally new to trailering but not new to sailing... I recently purchased a 26M. The trailer that it came with is not in good shape. One of the lug nuts is missing. Is this something I can find at an auto parts store? Also, the lug bolt is stripped, would I able to force a nut thru the bad thread? There is significant rust on the wheels. Is this something I should sand and repaint or should I get new wheels and tires? The current tires look like 15" - 5 bolt pattern bias tires. Should I replace with radial or bias tires? If I replace the wheels, would it be worth it to get aluminum to prevent future corrosion?

There was rust near the tongue of the trailer as well. The rust may be 1/8th to 1/16th inch thick on the bottom of the tongue. Is that something that I can sand off and repaint?

I have an Acura MDX which is rated to tow 5000 pounds with a 3500 lbs rated hitch. Is the hitch adequate?

https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/vHv ... 1kwJme93TA

Baha
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by Baha » Tue May 30, 2017 3:02 am

You can usually replace the lugs, but might want experts on this one, as you will have to take off the hub, and you need to repack, replace bearings anyway. Check all the rest of your lugs carefully. If the wheel came loose, then they could all be chewed up. It would be a good idea to wirebrush, sand, and repaint the wheels. I think I would use Rust-oleum of similar. Get the tires off and check the inside of the wheels. I just did mine and was surprised at how little rust there was.

I replaced my tires (tyres here in the UK) with radial trailer tires rated to the load I am carrying. Rust is a big problem on trailers. I don't know how to check this on yours, as I have an aluminum trailer. Check it carefully before you tow though...others on here will know how.

Congrats on the purchase. I hope you love your :macm: as much as I love mine!!!

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NiceAft
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by NiceAft » Tue May 30, 2017 6:33 am

What year is the :macm: :?:

Go around the trailer with a hammer, and bang away. Listen for any pitch changes.

Rust can be a major problem on older steel trailers, especially on the tongue. There have been problems with older trailers that have been immersed in salt water.

Also, be certain to get tires that are designed for trailers. You can check the age of the tires to see if they should be replaced. https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/how ... your-tires

You may also wish to read this thread: http://www.macgregorsailors.com/forum/v ... lit=Tongue

Ray

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by Tomfoolery » Tue May 30, 2017 7:50 am

bellevuesailor wrote:Totally new to trailering but not new to sailing... I recently purchased a 26M. The trailer that it came with is not in good shape. One of the lug nuts is missing. Is this something I can find at an auto parts store? Also, the lug bolt is stripped, would I able to force a nut thru the bad thread?
I don't have an :macm: , but I've heard (here) that the studs on some :macm: trailers are a little odd. Bluewater Yachts (BWY) sells both studs and nuts for the OEM :macm: trailer, just so you know. They're the main go-to source for all things MacGregor, and an advertiser here, by the way.

http://shop.bwyachts.com/SearchResults. ... ud&Submit=
http://shop.bwyachts.com/SearchResults. ... ut&Submit=

I would NOT, however, attempt to just force a nut onto that damaged stud. That's a big load on a 5 on 4-1/2 pattern (5 lugs on a 4-1/2" circle) - anything more goes to a 6-bolt or a larger circle. You need all five of those studs working. You can get nuts at any auto parts or trailer store, but the studs may be a little odd (or so I've heard). It's easiest to drive the old out and the new in using a shop press - others can comment as to the practicality of using a hammer, as I've never tried that.
bellevuesailor wrote:There is significant rust on the wheels. Is this something I should sand and repaint or should I get new wheels and tires? The current tires look like 15" - 5 bolt pattern bias tires. Should I replace with radial or bias tires? If I replace the wheels, would it be worth it to get aluminum to prevent future corrosion?
If the tires are old, based on the date code, I'd replace them. I bought new tires on galvanized wheels (already mounted and partially aired-up) from etrailer.com. Cheaper than aluminium wheels, and from a distance look like aluminium. Sort of. :D I'd be concerned about the integrity of the bearings and rotors/hubs, and even the axle itself, though.
bellevuesailor wrote:There was rust near the tongue of the trailer as well. The rust may be 1/8th to 1/16th inch thick on the bottom of the tongue. Is that something that I can sand off and repaint?
As NiceAft suggested, go around with a hammer and listen for the steel to 'ring' when struck. If it's a dull thud, especially in one particular area (like when tapping the bottom of the pole tongue, from front to back), there's a serious loss of integrity in that member. Any weld or trailer shop should be able to replace it if you can't do it yourself. Easier still if it's the aluminium trailer with the bolted steel pole tongue.
bellevuesailor wrote:I have an Acura MDX which is rated to tow 5000 pounds with a 3500 lbs rated hitch. Is the hitch adequate?
Technically, no, it's not. The :macx: trailer is 3500 lb rated (and virtually nobody has a loaded boat and trailer that weighs so little), and the :macm: is heavier still. The car may be rated 5000 lb, depending on whether or not it has a factory transmission cooler, but with a 3500 lb hitch (probably aftermarket), but it should have a Class 3 hitch. And a transmission oil cooler.

http://m.acura.com/pdf/owners/2016/MDX/ ... Towing.pdf

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sailboatmike
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by sailboatmike » Tue May 30, 2017 4:09 pm

My standard X trailer has a 1990Kg load rating plate or 4390lbs, in real life a X never mind a M would struggle to be legal on much less 3500lbs is only 1590Kg and just about impossible for a X with any sort of larger motor to get below that, never mind fuel, water cruising gear batteries etc. etc.

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NiceAft
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by NiceAft » Tue May 30, 2017 4:38 pm

bellevuesailor,

Remember, when the owners manual says 5000 pound towing capacity, it means total weight of the trailer, boat, contents of the trunk of the car, combined total weight of the passengers, what's in the boat, etc.

Now, that being said, I believe one of the moderators tows his :macx: with a Volkswagen bus, I think.

Ray

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Don T
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by Don T » Tue May 30, 2017 6:07 pm

NiceAft wrote:bellevuesailor,

Remember, when the owners manual says 5000 pound towing capacity, it means total weight of the trailer, boat, contents of the trunk of the car, combined total weight of the passengers, what's in the boat, etc.

Now, that being said, I believe one of the moderators tows his :macx: with a Volkswagen bus, I think.

Ray
This would be the total aggregate weight. Towing capacity does not include the load in the vehicle. For some vehicles (most mid sized), increasing the vehicle loading will reduce towing capacity.

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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by paul I » Wed May 31, 2017 6:53 am

Don T wrote:This would be the total aggregate weight. Towing capacity does not include the load in the vehicle. For some vehicles (most mid sized), increasing the vehicle loading will reduce towing capacity.
I am not clear what you are saying here. It seems two of your statements contradict each other. I just purchased a new 2017 Chevy Traverse with factory tow package to use when towing my :macx: . Towing capacity is 5200 lbs with the tow package and a ridiculously small 2000 lbs without it. I can state with certainty that every vehicle I researched prior to purchase does indeed include the load in the vehicle in the maximum tow capacity. It includes vehicle contents, passengers, basically anything that is cargo in the vehicle. It seems the only thing it does not include is the weight of the vehicle itself. This is the same for virtually every vehicle I looked at, even trucks.

My previous vehicle was a 2007 Chevy Equinox V6. Tow capacity was 3500 lbs. I considered the Equinox barely adequate (even borderline inadequate) for towing a :macx: and was glad I didn't have to tow very often or very far. The Traverse is better, but not by a lot. If I was determined to tow frequently or for long distances I would look into a V8 truck or a large SUV (Tahoe, Suburban, Expedition, etc.)

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by Tomfoolery » Wed May 31, 2017 6:57 am

Don T wrote:For some vehicles (most mid sized), increasing the vehicle loading will reduce towing capacity.
Excerpted from the link I posted above:

Image

As to Mike's trailer GVW, which is a lot higher than mine, it's possible his is a different trailer, being in Australia. I know the hitch and brake requirements are different there. Don't know about the axle rating. But I do know mine has a factory nameplate with 3500 lb GVW, which is pretty puny for a boat with a listed 'boat weight' of 2350 lb (no OB, no head sail, which was optional, no nothing) plus trailer weight of 710 lb, or 3060 lb total, per the marketing data sheet. :|

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by Tomfoolery » Wed May 31, 2017 7:09 am

paul I wrote:
Don T wrote:This would be the total aggregate weight. Towing capacity does not include the load in the vehicle. For some vehicles (most mid sized), increasing the vehicle loading will reduce towing capacity.
I am not clear what you are saying here. It seems two of your statements contradict each other. I just purchased a new 2017 Chevy Traverse with factory tow package to use when towing my :macx: . Towing capacity is 5200 lbs with the tow package and a ridiculously small 2000 lbs without it. I can state with certainty that every vehicle I researched prior to purchase does indeed include the load in the vehicle in the maximum tow capacity. It includes vehicle contents, passengers, basically anything that is cargo in the vehicle. It seems the only thing it does not include is the weight of the vehicle itself. This is the same for virtually every vehicle I looked at, even trucks.

My previous vehicle was a 2007 Chevy Equinox V6. Tow capacity was 3500 lbs. I considered the Equinox barely adequate (even borderline inadequate) for towing a :macx: and was glad I didn't have to tow very often or very far. The Traverse is better, but not by a lot. If I was determined to tow frequently or for long distances I would look into a V8 truck or a large SUV (Tahoe, Suburban, Expedition, etc.)
The GCWR (gross combination weight rating) is reflected in towing capacity. It's the total weight of vehicle, trailer, and all cargo and passengers. Increase passengers and/or cargo and towing capacity may drop, if the total exceeds the GCWR. GVWR (vehicle, not trailer) also includes passengers, cargo, and tongue weight, and of course, GTW (gross trailer weight) still cannot be exceeded. And many (most?) vehicles can't hold more than a driver and a box of tissues when towing a max GTW trailer with a heavy tongue load without exceeding the GVWR or the GCWR.

These terms came out of the diesel supplement to my Grand Cherokee manual, but there are online sources with the same info. I remember a good one that illustrated how quickly the towing capacity goes down with added people or cargo. I'll see if I can find it.

But the OP's problem, or one of them, is that his hitch is only 3500 lb (class II) rated, and he may not have a transmission cooler, as it doesn't sound like a 'factory tow package', which presumably would include a class III hitch (and cooler and electrical, maybe even a larger alternator).

bellevuesailor
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by bellevuesailor » Wed May 31, 2017 8:58 pm

Thanks for all the info. I'll look into getting a bigger hitch and a transmission cooler. My M26m has no options or accessories on it so it's pretty close to factory weight.

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NiceAft
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by NiceAft » Wed May 31, 2017 9:10 pm

bellevuesailor wrote:Thanks for all the info. I'll look into getting a bigger hitch and a transmission cooler. My M26m has no options or accessories on it so it's pretty close to factory weight.
Are you sure about that? You don't have an outboard on the stern? No gas tanks? You might have hundreds of pounds more on that :macm: than you believe.

Ray

orwell10

Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by orwell10 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:34 am

This would be my first time to use a trailer and it's nice to find this thread that has the same question I had in mind. - Orwell.

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sailboatmike
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by sailboatmike » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:51 am

Add to the factory weight of about 1300Kg
Trailer 350Kg single axle 400Kg Tandem
Outboard 100Kg
Fuel 50Kg
Water 50Kg
Batteries 50Kg
Assorted bits and bobs (spares etc) 150Kg
Total is around 2000Kg or 4400lbs if your lucky
Many weigh in much heavier than this depending on what gear they carry

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Sea Wind
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Re: Trailer newbie questions...

Post by Sea Wind » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:32 am

If you are only towing a few miles to a ramp the 5000 pound limit should be OK. I used to have a Honda Pilot rated for 5000 and It felt underpowered towing my 26X for long distances with wife and two toddlers. I drive from Maryland to Florida at least once a year, about 2400 miles roundtrip. Also, pay attention to Tom’s table and how quickly towing capacity drops as you add weight, remember the 5000 pound only applies with two passengers weighting 150 pounds and having 15lbs of luggage.

I estimate that between tandem trailer, engine, fuel, gear, fridge, spare parts and luggage I am right around 5000 pounds. I got a Durango with Hemi rated for 7200 lbs. Between the longer wheelbase and the additional power, the drive on I-95 is a different experience.

Get new tires and wheels, not sure on the tongue rust. How about brakes and lights? I second repacking the bearings. When you start adding up all the cost a new trailer is not a bad investment in the long run, unless you are mostly using a wet slip. As has been said here before, engine and trailer are the two largest investments after the purchase of the boat.

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