Advice - Towing a light trailer.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by 68BUS, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

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    Hey folks.
    I am after a bit of advice.
    I want to road trip a bit more and having a tin top we cannot fit 2 adults and 2 kids in the bus. So I am giving serious thought to a little tear drop camper. There is one I like in NSW that weighs between 300-400kg. As such it has no brakes.
    By the time I fit it out and store a sensible amount in it that weight would be upto 500-550kg.

    Is this sort of weight okay to tow behind our old busses? Is the lack of brakes and issue when travelling down hilly ranges?

    And not having a tow ball at this stage is it fairly easy to fabricate one / buy one / fit one? Any ideas on where might be able to fabricate one for a split rear end (Basically the same as a lowlight rear end).

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

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  3. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

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    I did not know that about the compliance plate. I will factor that in.
    This is the little teardrop that caught my eye. Needs a bit of work but seems mainly sound. And the sleeping area extends to allow for smaller storage but a bit more room inside. I really want something that one adult can sleep with one kid in each area is we are doing truck stops for trips. Makes me feel more comfortable knowing they are safe.
    The other option I am thinking is a roof top tent which is cheaper but slightly less user friendly for eating and the like with a family. (But I could then take it camping to the beach too so swings and round abouts.)
     
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  4. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

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    Down in Mullimbimbi, so a bit of a hike. But nice drive once off the freeway.
     
  5. gazman

    gazman Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that weight would would be fine to tow behind your bus, I've pulled waaay heavier!
     
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  6. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Phill and Garth.
    Appreciate it.
     
  7. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

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    Kombis were a commercial vehicle ;)

    Jules has a teardrop so check with her.

    I would have no issue pulling one but a head temp and oil guage would be comforting.

    As long as you are below gross vehicle weight no issues with braking but expect you have upgraded for motor anyway.

    You will notice the weight and aero drag.

    In economy trials on beetle the whale tail rear spoiler gave significant gains so I expect a similar item to give separation if airflow on a teardrop would be a consideration.

    Recon the teardrops are a useful item
     
  8. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

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    Nice. I will fit a whale tail on the back of the bus. Tell everyone Col made me do it. :p

    Yes, I am running disk brake front end, and the braking is quite modern now. No need to pump up the brake pressure any more like with the old drums.
    I was more wondering if the light weight busses were prone to the trailer trying to bully them side to side on decents.

    The other thing I am wondering about is a camper trailer. A lot more work to pull up at night for a single night camp. But also able to be towed behind a normal car to the beach for camping. Less drag too, but from what I can tell the weight is the same.

    The other advantage a teardrop has is greater resale value then a camper due to supply and demand still being slightly in favour of cheaper tear drops.
     
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  9. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

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  10. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

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  11. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

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    A couple of years ago these were sub $20k and really good value.

    If you get a trailer it would be easy to fit electric or overide brakes. It would make long distance driving much easier.
     
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  12. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

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    Rear drums upgraded as well ?
    Rear discs are nice.
    My assumption is you will still have some heavy load in bus?
    Keep a substantial weight on towball, 20kg?
    Good rear shocks .

    I recon shocks are a useful addition to camper trailers etc.

    A narrow spoiler would suffice if you are too proud to fit a beetle boot with whale tail attached :rolleyes:
    Just can't help some people.

    A test braking on light gravel road
    Would give an indication of stopping balances
     
  13. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

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  14. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

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    That is a cracker of a camper
     
  15. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

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    Still drums on rear. System is in good nick though. I last bled the brakes 3 years ago and still top notch. So I don't think I have any worries compared to anyone else.
    Yes, shocks on the bus are on the list. But still good for now. The elastomers are starting to show signs of wear and that is about it. But I also want to lift the bus a couple of splines and fit larger tyres if I can find them, because 2 of my tyres are nearly due replacement with the other 2 not far away. I assume doing a minor lift will result in needing to get a longer travel shock or a progressive travel shock?? So would look at that as a package. But that is definitely after the house is done.
     
  16. jjdz

    jjdz Active Member

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    Just be careful of the ball weight with the wheels so far back will not be able to put much in box on front we had one for a few years it was great
     
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  17. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

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    General rule of thumb for safely towing ANY trailer, is to aim at having around 10% more weight on the tow bar side of the trailer axle, than behind the axle. ;)
     
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  18. paul77

    paul77 Well-Known Member

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    Aim for less than 30 kg on the tow ball is what I was told and have kept to when towing 400kg. Barely even notice trailer. Did tow a club trailer of about 700kg with more than 60kg on tow ball and not much fun. I am a big fan of teardrop campers. Keen to see one behind Evie!
     
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  19. David H

    David H Well-Known Member

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    2,622
    Location:
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    Hi 68BUS,
    Got a Campomatic (not the fancy new ones) that I've had for years. Very happy with it at about 350kg empty. Sits nice behind my bus travelling. 5 minute set up. Fits double bunk beds (after set up) & has a double bed for parents. Cost $3,500 20 years ago. Got my monies worth:)
    DCP01721.JPG
    Cheap on Gumtree;)
    Cheers
     
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  20. Weekender

    Weekender Well-Known Member

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    Just a further comment about shocks. I had another vehicle - drove fine, until I towed - at 60kph the car and trailer would get the sways in a big way. New shocks - no problem. Think about the longer trip and towing the trailer - shocks may get worse over the 3000km round trip. Also shocks will heat up and lose performance - so maybe after 30kmk or some rough roads they may go bad til you stop and let them cool.
     
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