Looking for good trailer, 16 to 18' dual axle;
if ordering, should I upgrade the axles (more GVW),
width & height recommendations? Any other features/options I should be considering. Tow vehicle is Dodge 3500/Cummins.
Your tow vehicle is gonna let you haul about anything your licence rating will allow. Really depends on how heavy you anticipate loading it as to what axles you put under it. Shame your not closer, I'd make ya a good deal on an 18' with tandom 5000# torsion axles.
Minimum 6'2" head clearance at the door opening
When you do buy it take it right to your local undercoating place and have it undercoated. Cheap money and it's the best thing you'll ever do to prolong the life of that thing. That goes for the dump trailers too.
I have a 7x14 w/6,000 twin torsion axles because I bent the 3,500 that came w/the trailer. Defiantly go with heavier axles it will be worth the money and will ride better (and better on the tires to ride lever) also upgrade to a higher weight class tire or ply. If your doing a lot of highway miles go radial if possible but if it job site and city driving go w/the plies. Sharp turns will wear out the outside of one Axel and the inside on the other. Undercoating if your up north definatly. I did mine and I'm in the south but I did that for the rain and moisture from the road to make the floor last longer. Also is you can handle the width go 8' wide its only around 6" wider than a 7' since a 7' wheels are outside the trailer and on a 8' they are mostly built in the cargo area. Only thing is you will have the boxed out (hump) area inside the trailer but you can build or work around that. Drop down rear gate is nice but upgrade to a heavy duty one that has extra reinforcement built in the gate so you can put some weight on it while loading and unloading. One side door is nice and go as high as you can in overall height mine is 6'2" and 6'6" inside and I wish it was taller. I now have a service body or box cube on my express van so a 9 to 10' overall trailer height would be nice and at the same height as my truck now. If you can get the electric brake upgrade to disk since they are better than drum and replacement pads are relatively cheap now days. Go with basic interior light package so you have the wiring installed so you can add on to it. Its cheaper for you to add additional lights inside and outside that it is for them to install them. Go LED if you have the option since they are brighter, last longer and take less batteries power to run (you can put more on then) my friends tell me at night my truck and trailer look like a big rig with all my lights everywhere. I you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark it nice to add a back up light set (I used some off road type mounted on the top back of the trailer) to run of the reverse switch wired into your RV type 9 prong harness. Also take the extra pin in the harness and wire it fused to your tow vehicle batteries so you have constant 12V at the trailer to charge to breakaway system, lights and any other chargers you have in the back (inventors to 110V lights) I also have a 150' GA 30 amp 220v cord and breaker box in mine with an adapter to go 110v to power all 110v tools, air compressor,lights etc..and charger to back feed charge all 12v batteries and tow vehicle.
Sorry I went on so long but I got my trailer set up nice and if you do something similar you will enjoy going to work with it. Plug in or run of the truck or generator on the trailer tong fire up the coffee pot, toaster over and microwave and a cold day just got better with hot drinks & food. I also have an apartment size refrigerator in the trailer as well. I plug in at night. If you have any questions or want to tell me I crazy (OCD) let me know.
Like said above go with bigger axles and a larger frame. I have noticed some manufacturers will post gross vehicle weight ratings and some will post weight carrying capacities. Obviously this makes a difference. My trailer is rated for 7k gross with 3500lb axles, 4" frame and 14" tires. A buddy of mine has the same size trailer but is rated for 7k weight carrying. His trailer has larger axles, 15" tires, and a 6" frame. Overall my trailer does what i ask of it but i have had some suspension issues and the frame crossmembers in the front have started to buckle from to much tongue weight. I wouldnt worry too much about the interior not being finished as you can do that yourself if need be. Overall width of the trailer will depend on what you are doing with the interior and what kind of towing you will be doing. A wider trailer would be nice for more room but would be harder to see around in traffic and when backing up.
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