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Open Roads Forum  >  Toy Haulers

 > Looking to put a small car into a toy hauler

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Bradbova

Fulltime RV'R, (Georgia Home Based)

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Posted: 06/26/08 06:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am a Fulltime Rv'r and presently live in a 34 foot fifth wheel. I am in the market for a toy hauler. Because of the rising fuel prices I figured on putting a small car like a short toyota, Nissan, Chevy or a Gem car typ vehicle, really anything that I could legally drive on any of our US roads.
In my search for a fulltime RV I like the KZ and its features. Others caught my eye as well but either limitations on the ramp capacities or the other features turned me off to them.

In researching these toy haulers they seem to only push the garage to hold 4 wheelers, quads, or motorcycles.

Does anyone out there have any experiences in putting a roadable vehicle into their toy haulers?

Thanks to all that reply!
Brad


FULL TIME RV'R
1999 F-250 SD/Powerstroke/Pullrite Super5'r hitch/Tekonsha P3 Brake controller.
Pulling 33' Fleetwood Savanna
Fulltiming with my spoiled rotten Pomeranian Mickey and his daughter Molly! www.facebook.com/bradbova58 .


Dick_B

Palos Heights, IL USA

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Posted: 06/26/08 07:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check out the Smart Car? I think that would fit in a large wheelbarrow!


Dick_B
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carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Posted: 06/26/08 07:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was able to put a Toyota minivan in my Weekend Warrior without any problems (well I did have to take a running start because the ramp was slippery). But... triple axle tow-behind units tend to have more payload capacity than fivers.

A shorter car may actually be more limiting in some cases. If it's too short, both axles will be on the ramp at the same time, so your car's total weight can't be more than the ramp rating. A longer car will only put one axle on the ramp at a time, so as long as the axle weight is under the ramp rating, you're fine. Of course... you still have to watch the trailer's GVWR, and some trailers have a specific limit to the garage area.


Bryan

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Decay

Allentown, Pa.

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Posted: 06/26/08 07:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am in the process of getting a Smart Car as we speak for the same reason.


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MrOffshore

Goshen, Indiana

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Posted: 06/26/08 07:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The above poster is correct, when ever I think about putting a car in the back of a toy hauler I think of the Smart Car...it's roomier inside than you would think and the mileage is phenominal...sure they're small, but they get around great and would leave room in the cargo area to spare.

When thinking about putting a car in a toy hauler look at these important items. Garages ramp door capacity, I believe you don't want anything less than 23500# capacity, but 3000# capacity would be better. Also look for the garage area capacity...don't go less than 3000# there and consider the construction.

You absolutely don't want an OSB garage floor when loading an automobile of any size. OSB does not have the same strength or construction of a plywood product and the weight of the car could possibly punch down through the floor. You also want to make certain that the garage floor has a "sub-floor" below it, you don't want the plywood decking to be placed directly onto the mainframe of the RV...the crossmembers on the mainframe are not on 16" centers and therefore would not support the weight well...the floor would sag and eventually fail. The subfloor should be built on 16" centers...this is very important.

Another think to consider...you won't want to use the standard d-rings found in most toy haulers...they simply aren't designed to hold automobiles. You should use a 5000# d-ring or some kind of airline track. Keep in mind that any kind of fastening system, d-ring or airline track is only as strong as the installation and hardware used to install it. You want to make certain you are thru-bolting the hardware and if possible going through the mainframe steel structure to ensure longevity. If this is not possible make certain you use a proper size backer plate...a steel square plate 1/8" thick that's 6" x 6" should be adequate.

As for size of the garage...make sure you have at least 6" in front of the car and behind the car when tied down...more is better, but a properly tied down car should not move at all. I would also chock the tires in place before ratcheting the car onto the d-rings as a secondary precaution.

Now for actually loading the car...think about it this way, RV's unlike car hauler trailer sit a bit higher, this is to accomodate for the tanks, plumbing and heated underbelly...so you end up with a higher deck height in the garage. A longer ramp door will help cut this angle down making loading and unloading far easier. Look for at least an 8' long ramp door for this. Even at 8' you might find that it's not long enough. You can go to the PitPal website and buy a ramp extension, this is the transition flap that often sticks of the bottom of the ramp extending to the ground. You can either buy one wide extension (often very heavy, even though it's made of aluminum) or two separate extension ramps, which are much ligher. They need to be positioned properly to load correctly, but that's the easy part. Make certain you attach these well too, thru-bolting if possible. These extensions are typically available in 3', 5' and 6' lengths. You will need to carefully consider what length to get without overkilling with a longer than necessary flap...remember the longer it is the heavier it will be. Weight is a serious factor because this will effect how easily your ramp door will shut or how quickly it will come down...the more weight you throw at the end of the ramp door the more difficult it will be to open and close. The springs on the ramp door are not adjustable...so what you get is what you have...keep that in mind. You might even want to simulat the weight of the extensions and see how easily it opens and closes before actually purchasing them. In addition to the ramp extensions you will also need to get taller ramp door bumpers...the rubber bumper/stops on the exterior of the door that rest against the ground. These need to be taller so that you can raise the ramp door height and cut the incline so that the car won't hit during loading and unloading. The problem here is that it's difficult to find bumpers that are taller than 3"...and you may need something taller than that. I know of a company in Chicago that has access to adjustable bumpers...I believe they adjust from 6" to 9" tall...these are great to have and are fabricated out of aluminum and rubber. The company is Advantage Trailer Sales (630-832-3131) talk to their sales department if you need them, they should know just what you need.

Loaded and ready to go...not so fast...filling a cargo area to maximum capacity requires a few checks before hitting the open road. Make certain that by loading the cargo area to full or near full capacity that you haven't upset your hitch weight...you want to maintain a 20-25% hitch weight for proper towing...putting a large load in the back can reduce hitch weight making towing a bit more difficult giving you a tail happy RV. So, make certain you're careful while first towing and if possible check your hitch weight before hitting the road.

If you find that you don't have enough hitch weight there are a few things you can do to increase it...first if possible move more of your cargo load/weight forward...this is not going to be easy if your automobile is barely fitting to being with...weight makes a much bigger difference when you can move it from behind the axles to in front of the axles...so don't expect much by moving your car forward only a few inches...instead consider if anything else in the cargo area can move forward of the axles or if you can simply add more cargo to the front of the trailer as far forward of the axles as possible. This will be a bit of a game and every RV will be differnt...but overall, if done correctly you should have a properly towing RV that will be that much more useful when you arrive at your destination.

Hope this helped and good luck!

JIH

Roseville, CA

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Posted: 06/26/08 07:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe I am not good at math, but is there really any possibility of a payback in buying a different trailer, and a different vehicle just to save a few dollars on gas when not towing???


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broccoli2

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Posted: 06/26/08 07:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Smart Car. It is smaller than a Rhino. It weights 1808 lbs. It is a great car, my last tank I got 50.3mpg. I could fit the Smart and all my toys in my rig... The only problem with the car is that it bounces to much for my bad back but, still less then my f350 with nothing in it... So with 1k miles it's for sale


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BensBox

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Posted: 06/26/08 09:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A 2004 Mustang fits inside my trailer. Floor mounts are plenty strong enough.

Ben


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PegLeg2000

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Posted: 06/26/08 10:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JIH wrote:

Maybe I am not good at math, but is there really any possibility of a payback in buying a different trailer, and a different vehicle just to save a few dollars on gas when not towing???


Exactly what I was thinking...


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VintageRacer

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Posted: 06/26/08 11:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can finance the payments on the truck and trailer, but the gas money has to come out of your "current" pocket. For some people that makes a difference. Some people think of the truck and trailer as an investment, too. Pretty simple to do a five year outlook and see what the numbers will actually do, based on simple assumptions. I just traded my SUV at a pretty good loss and bought a new econo car, over five years I'll save about $8K.

Brian


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20 ft race car hauler, Lola T440 Formula Ford, NTM MK4 Sports Racer
1980 MCI MC-5C highway coach conversion
2004 Travelhawk 8' Truck Camper

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