Seeking cargo trailer size recomendations
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Thread: Seeking cargo trailer size recomendations

  1. #1
    Member Eric's Avatar
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    Seeking cargo trailer size recomendations

    I have decided I will get a cargo trailer and perform a few mods to make it a toy hauler I can sleep in. (I can fit 2 twin bunks in a 5x8 or 10 with no leftover room, or up to 3 in a 6x12; only need extra bunks to take my young daughters along on NON Tw rides). Larry has a sweet 6x12 and I saw a few others at Moab. My issue is I have a 13 year old 4runner and do not have the money to get a real tow vehicle. Mid size SUV with moderate torque and HP. I know for a fact I cannot pull more than a 6x12. I also am 6'3' and think it would be best long term to get one where I don't have to stoop over the whole time (insert Neanderthal joke here). I live in a small town with no towns of any size within a 6 hour drive, so I will always be on the highway at speeds (70+ in Montana) or on rough forest service and hopefully even rougher remote roads.

    For those of you with campers, etc, what size do you recommend for my use? My 4runner is basically 6' tall and 6' wide. Is the extra height going to kill highway speeds? Would a 6 wide (7'+ at wheels) limit high and rough roads? Maybe a 5 wide is better? I will never have more than 600 pounds added, and will likely get an aluminum version to hold the weight down to no more than 1600 total. I would like it to handle long trips to group rides like Moab, WA, ID and norcal, but also higher gravel passes like the one outside Avery, ID last year. Please let me know your thoughts. Currently paralyzed not wanting to make the wrong decision, but REALLY need to ride more outside my home area.
    ejfranz, maddawgj, Ken and 2 others like this.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member TopPredator's Avatar
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    Most utility trailer companies can custom build you a trailer and to get the extra height shouldn’t be that much more in cost. I had a 5x8 built adding roof racks, roof vent, side door and custom wheels. There are many options to choose from plus you can choose any color at no extra cost. I use my trailer as a shed on wheels and tent camp from it.
    I tow with a 2006 Toyota Tacoma which pulls it easily but the gas Milage sucks when towing.

    United Trailer Company

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    Last edited by TopPredator; 11-22-2017 at 10:42 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member TopPredator's Avatar
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    Check out Cycle Cruza’s custom van it may give you some ideas to mod out your trailer.

    littletommy, maddawgj, Ken and 1 others like this.
    If I’m ever on LIFE SUPPORT, UNPLUG ME. Then plug me back in... See if that works. Hidden Content

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  5. #4
    Senior Member jtstdub's Avatar
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    We fixed up a 5x8 for our Alaska trip. It weighed 950 empty and loaded right at 2,000. It served as a motorcycle hauler, NC700x and all of our son's equipment along with 5 5 gallon empty fuel cans... etc. We installed E-track on the walls and floor for tie downs... The trailer also served as our son's bedroom for the trip. If I were to do it again I would do a 6x10....

    We did modify the tongue on the trailer, adding an additional foot. That had 2 pluses for us. Less tongue weight on the rear of the truck and I could actually jackknife the trailer thus not having to disconnect when camping most of the time. I used the Uhaul small 5x8 trailer tongue dimension/length and added another 6". hahahaaa. We re-inforced the front of the trailer frame to support the additional tongue extension... So the 10-20% tongue weight does not apply... We ran about an actual 5% tongue weight... That trailer tows straight and with 40mph quick left-right there is no oscillation with 1000lbs of cargo. The trailer is now used for my son's business and is loaded all the time.. It tows like a dream!

    We pulled the trailer with a f250 460 gasser Truck and slide in 4000lb camper.. On the flat ground I could not tell the trailer was back there.... climbing any grade greater than 6% with all that weight does make our truck work.
    You did not say which engine you have in your 4 runner so I can not provide any advice except for brakes... Single axle trailers will not have any brake assist so down hill caution should be exercised. Use that engine and transmission for braking, staying off the brakes as much as possible thus letting the engine and gears do the work.

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Donzo's Avatar
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    Buy the biggest one you can afford/pull. You may want to tow a couple friends bikes or quads with you on trips. Rarely does someone complain they got a trailer to big. Often hear folks complain for buying one to small. One example is a buddy has a really nice aluminum enclosed trailer but it is just a tad to small to to fit both our street bikes -- My Victory bagger and his Harley Ultra. He plans to trade it for a longer/wider one - and will loose major $ in the deal....

  7. #6
    Senior Member Bobo413's Avatar
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    I use a 6x10 Haulmark & the standing room height with a rubber mat is just over 74" .
    Your mpg will suffer , but it's been a great trailer for me.
    I've used to to haul motorcycles behind the motor home or pickup & there's plenty of extra room for gear & stuff.
    Its funny when you get a enclosed cargo trailer , all your friends & family will use it probably more than you will . Lol
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  8. #7
    Senior Member PlacerLode's Avatar
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    I own small Kendon (open) trailers with my 2002 Tacoma 4 cyl and while you can do it I don't recommend it the fuel mileage drops below my Dodge Cummins Quad Cab and you are always pedal to the floor trying to hold freeway speeds

    It's hard on the AT trannies the fluid goes dark after a few thousand miles and with a manual the clutches are quite small and not really up to the task IMO

    I now just take the big Dodge at 18 mpg it's a hotel on wheels and I can haul all the tools and gear I want

    I have decided on a 20' enclosed Featherlite for my TW shenanigans a 24 was nice but a lot to maneuver in parking lots and most 16's have narrow bodies with wheels sticking out so they waste valuable space IMO

    Ideal height 7' I find the standard 6' is irritating and I prefer barn doors instead of a ramp in the rear

    If I custom order one I'll go 8' tall

    Remember if you travel in Kalifornia the speed limit is 55mph towing and they write hellacious tickets for speeding with a trailer
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
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    I recommend use masking tape on the floor, or better yet use some cheap framing materials and cardboard to mock up the sizes you're considering. Put in the stuff you'll be using, etc. This well help reality set in on what you will actually want/need in the spacial reality. I also recommend gettting your trailer with the common option of a 6'6" ceiling. There is no sense in stooping. You'll be miserable stooping. You will notice a dragging resistance with the trailer at high speeds. Reduced mpg is a reality. I found that using a wind deflector helped. It increased the mpg 1-2, which doesn't seem like much, but it was the reduction in the dragging sail effect that was most noticeable. It just made for a smoother ride. I have this Icon Black Wind Deflector, purchased from Amazon here...http://amzn.to/2iLOmsZ. Like others have said, get the biggest you can afford. If you choose, you can add brakes later. I did add brakes to my single axle 6x12. I recommend it. Work in additions to your total budget, such as: upgraded tires, a wind deflector, adding brakes to the trailer, a spare tire, extra stuff you'll need, etc. If you plan on using it at 70 mph+, you might want to consider upgrading the tires. Trailers often now come with "China Bombs", cheap tires that have an increased reputation for the blow-outs you see on the sides of the freeway. A big factor on this is that they usually are not speed rated to go over 60-65 MPH. An upgrade in quality and an increase in speed rating can prevent scary situations down the road and give you more peace of mind. Here are some videos that helped shape my philosophy on the issue...





    Finally, Eric has seen my trailer tour, but here it is if it helps anyone out or if anyone has interest...

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  10. #9
    Senior Member plumbstraight's Avatar
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    I have an 8x16 and should have went for a few extra ft. I fixed it up to be able to have all the amenities except for bathroom. My bed sits in sideways so having the 8ft wide is a must. Still room for a quad, bike, freezer, refrigerator/freezer, some shelves in the front with microwave, 3000 watt inverter to run them and a 4D cat battery on the tongue for power along with wiring for 110ac and charger for 12v when plugged in. It works out well. This is a lot for a smaller pickup, but if being on the road and taking some family with you, you might want to upsize a bit.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Maxpower's Avatar
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    I say dont get an 8ft trailer
    Do a 10 or 12
    You can use it for more than just bike hauling. I dont feel a 12 is all that much more to pull than a 10
    Ive towed a 12 a few times with my 05 Tundra and I hardly noticed it
    Enclosed trailers in general are great to have
    littletommy, maddawgj, Ken and 1 others like this.

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