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Trailer Help

Post in 'The Gear' started by Berner, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. Berner

    Berner Member

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    Hey guys, I'm hoping some folks can shed some light on trailers for me. The wife and I are trying to decide on a new car and have narrowed it down to either a Honda Pilot, Toyota 4Runner or (my choice) a Toyota Tundra. I'm a newbee to hauling wood and am planning on purchasing a trailer. What should I be looking for in terms of stats both with the car and the trailer? Payload, towing capacity, trailer load, gross load etc. There are a lot of terms that don't make a lot of sense to me. I was surprised the Honda advertises a 5000lb towing capacity. Since a cord of green oak roughly weighs in around there could I potentially tow a cord of oak with a pilot? Is there something I'm overlooking?

    Any other thoughts are always greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Me . . . I would go with the Tundra. If you are determined to go with the trailer, it will work fine . . . but even better . . . sometimes (or at some time in the future) you may not want to go through the hassle of hooking up a trailer or dealing with registration and those confounded lights and may find loading up the pick up bed much easier . . . or you may want to just increase what you haul home at one time by loading up the bed and trailer.

    That said . . . are there any other factors to consider? How often you may be hauling folks around? What other purposes will the vehicle serve? Etc. For me I have a Titan . . . but besides being the "spare" vehicle it is used for hauling stuff -- wood, ATVs, lumber, sleds, etc. Due to the poor gas mileage we do not use it as a daily driver. Now, if I needed a vehicle for a daily driver or had to haul folks around . . . I might have got a very different vehicle . . . it really depends on your needs . . . or a combination of your needs and wants.
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    For a family with just one vehicle, I'd get the Pilot or 4Runner & a 7,000lb dual axle trailer with brakes.
    Very "multi tasking" set up ;)

    7,000 lb max weight (trailer & load)
    usually rated 5000 to 5500lb pay load (cord of oak ;) )

    I found a trailer with brakes to be almost a must when hauling a heavy load of firewood.

    When you buy the new vehicle, get the "towing package". It should be set up with a nice hitch & receiver. Wired with the round 7 pin (normal US) towing plug for a trailer with brakes. Get the brake modulator installed for a trailer with brakes. Dealer may not do that but it's easy if the vehicle is set up with the tow package. My Toyota, the brake modulator plugged into a ready to go plug in under the dash. Trailer parts store guys will set you up & help if you have any problems.

    If it were just my rig, the Tundra & a trailer
    Hey, that's what I have :)
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Remember that 5000lb tow rating includes the weight of the trailer and what it's carrying. There's no way you're going to get a cord of Oak in 1 trip with the Pilot.

    Without knowing more about your scrounging habits and vehicle usage, it's difficult to make a hard recommendation.

    Most single axle utility trailers are rated at just under 3000 lbs GVWR. The trailer typically weighs in at 7-800 lbs so count on being able to safely haul roughly 2200 lbs. That's 1/2 cord of most woods, oak and hickory will be heavier. Also some trailers have their payload capcity on a label along with the axle information. That label is typically on the tongue or near the front of the trailer.

    So while the Honda may advertise a 5000lb tow capacity, you will never get near it with a single axle trailer and if you upgrade to a tandem axle trailer, you won't be able to safely use the full capacity of the trailer. The Tundra however should have no trouble with 7000lbs. I 'm not sure of the 4Runner's tow rating. Also keep in mind the truck itself has a max weight rating for the rear axle that must be considered if your plan is to load both the trailer and the vehicle with wood.

    I have seen single axle dump trailers with a 5000lb axle under it. If you were only going to use it for hauling wood or other materials, then I'd definetely be looking into something like that.
  5. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I forgot to mention . . . engine size also matters in some cases.

    My old V-6 4Runner was capable of hauling a load of wood or a couple sleds or ATVs in the trailer . . . but it was a dog . . . and more often than not I had my foot buried to the floor going up a hill and it still wasn't enough. Granted, a newer 4Runner may have more power these days.

    Having driven and ridden in my sister's Honda Pilot I will say straight up that this could haul stuff . . . but it was still pretty under-powered. It struggled at times while hauling their Polaris Ranger on back.

    Both the 4Runner and Pilot worked . . . but they were struggling on the hills to keep up the speed. I have no doubt a nice V-8 equipped Tundra would present no issues in terms of power. The flip side however is reduced gas mileage.
  6. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    IMO, you don't want to over load the trailer or the pull vehicle with a cord of wood. I would get an SUV instead of a pick up and get a single axle trailer. Its much easier to maintain and manuver. Unless you use a P/U for commercial or farm work an SUV is more versatile. Take more smaller loads which is easier for everthing involved.
  7. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Just like when building a garage or pole building - decide what you need and then go a little bigger!! You can always put a small load in a big trailer but not the other way around. If I was to buy another over the road trailer dual axle would be a must.
    MasterMech likes this.
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Crew cab pickup is pretty damned versatile. ;) Only downside is the fuel consumption, which compared to an SUV that even approaches a 1/2 ton pickup in capability is actually quite comparable. (with newer model pickups that is.)

    Yes and no. My GMC Canyon averages 16-18 MPG with mixed use. The more I use it to haul wood etc. the lower that number gets. My old '89 GMC Sierra C3500 with a 7.4L V8 (That's a 454 cu in US speak) gets 8-10 MPG, loaded or unloaded, uphill or down, day or night. The Canyon hauls roughly 1/4 cord in the bed, if it's green wood then the springs are close to maxxed out. The C3500 moves at least 1/2-2/3 cord with absolute ease and could easily pull a loaded trailer as well. Do the math and my 454 big-block gas guzzin' tree hugger's worst nightmare 1-ton pickup is cheaper to run loaded, and the numbers get better the heavier the load gets. But for less than 1/2 cord it isn't worth turning the key.
  9. Berner

    Berner Member

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    I will exclusively be using it to haul yard debris to the dump and wood back to my house. Both the Pilot and the 4 runner advertise a 5000 pound tow capacity. That would mean they are equal to each other?

    The tundra is my dream car and considering the wife will be using it most, she will most likely get her way with a Pilot. However our next car will be in a few years at which point I would definitely have the green light for a truck. It sounds like the main options are one axle vs. dual axle. Some single axles can run up to 5000 lbs which would pair up with either the Pilot or 4Runner nicely. Most dual axles tow up to 7000lbs which would pair nicely with a truck.

    My other questions are cost and size. What would one expect to pay for a single or dual axle trailer? What if I were to add the braking option? Also I imagine these things come in a plethora of sizes? Considering I don't have all the room in the world for storage should I search for a smaller dual axle trailer with the thought of stacking high? What is a typical size of a dual axle trailer?

    Thanks!
  10. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    How about getting a beater truck for wood hauling/dump runs and then buying whatever you'd like without worrying about the tow rating?
  11. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    I used a single axle for 10s of cords. It maneuvers well and could hold over 1/2 a cord. That is a lot of wood. I also have a dual axle now, and that is a different animal. That is not going into the woods like the single axle. Hold more, yes. Given the limits of the truck you are looking at, don't push for the dual axle. I got my single axle trailer for 400 bucks.
  12. Berner

    Berner Member

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    That's a good idea but its impossible for me to buy something new ( even if its an old beater truck) unless another car dies. It's going to be a few years until another car dies and I can get the truck I want. Who knows maybe the wife will enjoy the truck when we test drive one this weekend!
  13. Berner

    Berner Member

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    That does sound enticing. What kind of trailer do you have?
  14. Wildo

    Wildo Feeling the Heat

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    I concur
  15. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Here is a 2011 chart of towing capacities:
    Tow weight chart

    Chevy Avalanche 7900
    Jeep Grand Cherokee 7200

    Pilot is 4500 lbs
    4runner - 5,000

    The toyota Sequoia is made just for you to haul firewood
    7000 lbs :)
    HDRock and Pallet Pete like this.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Dave, that's a great chart!
  17. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Thanks;
    .
    Also ; figure 11% of max towing capacity for the max tongue weight.
  18. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    It is registered as home-made. Has good ground clearance, tilts and has good solid arched springs. I replaced the 4x8 plywood with a piece of aluminum treading material. It is nice and light, has ventillation that keeps it clean and is strong.
  19. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Trailer: 5000 lb, single axle with electric brakes 14 ft . Here

    TrailerTraders.com, in Ghent NY
    Could be the perfect wood hauler for a SUV/Crossover
    Wonder if they make it in 12 ft, (Yes, here)

    trlr.jpg

    5000 lb GVW, 12 ft, side view:
    JosephCardinale-1297453834-d_pic.jpg

    More trailers by
    HeavyHauler trailer company : here
    Has Aluminum 3500# models.
  20. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Loving the a la carte option sheets for those Heavy Hauler trailers. 5K single axles - nice!
  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I don't think it's very smart to pull 5,000lbs without trailer brakes though!

    Not saying I haven't done it, actually 2 weeks ago I pulled a GN trailer that weighed about 22,000lbs with no brakes. Wiring shorted out and I couldn't figure it out (out in the middle of no where with minimal tools and it was -15*) Just took it slow, not that there's really any traffic to worry about, I think I saw 4 cars that whole day.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Agreed.

    Not only is it not smart, it's illegal in many if not most states.
    bogydave likes this.
  23. rkshed

    rkshed Feeling the Heat

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    I think its very illegal in Mass.
    Check the laws there on strapping your load too. I recall my drivers getting pulled over on 128 regularly for not having loads strapped correctly. The Mass DOT was incorrect but nobody needs the hassle.
  24. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Check with the dump. My town dump does't allow dual axel trailers (think they are trying to keep out landscapers). Up in Taxaccusetts, there may be some of these restrictive tactics.
  25. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    When you said dump
    Thought your were talking about the "HeavyHauler" dump models

    If I had the 12' single axle / brakes, 5000lb model, I wouldn't have needed to go with the dual axle I just got.
    I think it's the optimum wood hauler for tight areas & hauls plenty of weight.
    For my use anyway.
    With 2" plywood sides ;)

    Yep, I agree, brakes even on smaller trailers are nice!
    That's why to get the "tow package" & have it wired for "trailer electric brakes" on a new vehicle

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