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The OFFICIAL Trailer vs. Truck/Van Thread

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  • #31
    If you a considering a trailer......

    I'm not a groomer yet, but I've towed trailers for many years. I've noticed many people on here have problems with their tow vehicle. I think this is because they try to skimp and tow it with a small truck/suv. If you buy a van, you are buying a heavy duty3/4 ton or 1 ton truck. You are putting the same stuff in a trailer...so you need the same truck or you will quickly wear it out. Don't be scared by a big truck. It will actually be much easier to drive. The longer the wheelbase on the truck ...the less you will know the trailer is back there.

    Oh...and you should be able to rent a truck at U-Haul as long as your trailer is under about 6k lbs.

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    • #32
      I have had a 2008 Gryphon trailer for 2 1/2 years with NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS, it seems...sure. it cost MUCH less $$$$....it's almost paid off already, but I have replaced the a/c, all the plumbing, the floor, the water pump, the grooming table, the roof vents, the dryer... We figured we could use a truck to tow it & when I'm not grooming use the truck for other things but lemme tell ya - it's a hassle to hitch, unhitch, drive in the rain & snow, and speaking of snow, even with 3 heaters it froze last December so I missed tons of clients. I would never buy a Gryphon again.

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      • #33
        Thats good to know about gryphons but I think when considering a trailer one needs to remember insulation. When/if I have a trailer built (which is what I'm sorta-kinda- planning on now) -- I will make sure they insulate. And that inludes the pipes, too. But over time, all the other things groom2go mentioned...are pretty much things that are going to wear out over time in any mobile ... a/c, dryers, plumbing, and yep, even floors over time. (some faster than others if they were built the wrong way or get too wet lol). A trailer needs to be put together well to last... but we can't loose sight of the fact that over all mobile whether van or trailer will have stuff to replace... The upside to them is over all it seems to be they are cheaper to get started in.

        I am wondering if electric hitch things would be faster and easier....

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        • #34
          Great info... thanks Some SUVs are diesel and are touting they can pull up to 7500 pounds...but because of their body weight and length I'm guessing if one used that to tow, it should be a tiny/smallish trailer. the bigger/heavier the rig compared to the trailer ...isn't that better for towing? Or is that a jackknife waiting to happen?


          Originally posted by JourneyAbout View Post
          I'm not a groomer yet, but I've towed trailers for many years. I've noticed many people on here have problems with their tow vehicle. I think this is because they try to skimp and tow it with a small truck/suv. If you buy a van, you are buying a heavy duty3/4 ton or 1 ton truck. You are putting the same stuff in a trailer...so you need the same truck or you will quickly wear it out. Don't be scared by a big truck. It will actually be much easier to drive. The longer the wheelbase on the truck ...the less you will know the trailer is back there.

          Oh...and you should be able to rent a truck at U-Haul as long as your trailer is under about 6k lbs.

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          • #35
            Hi there!
            I thought I had a closed mind to Trailers... but not so anymore. I would would to find out more info on trailers specially. Could people post pics here and when they talk about their trailers, say exactly which kind they have and what they pull it with??
            Thanks!! This would be So helpful!

            I have pulled trailers before but only a few times ever and that is the easy part, going forward! I am most concerned with backing up/parking... (as others may have been as well). I just recently needed to back a trailer into my driveway and had a heck of a time, although I am sure with practice over time I will be able to maneuver trailer correctly and with ease!

            I recognize there are pros and cons to all options, I do however like the trailer option for - price point, can be stationary, switch another vehicle to pull it if regular one breaks down, ...
            parking seems to be the biggest con...??? anyone else?

            There seem to be so many sizes and companies... be great to get more responses here!

            Thanks!!

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            • #36
              Great idea with the "consultation" .. definately adding that aspect to the business plan.

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              • #37
                With experience with both we went with the WGT sprinter van. They use a "dually" rear wheel setup that greatly adds to the lifespan of the rear ties and gives the vehicle lots of extra unused capacity so it isnt so close to maxed out like the Hanvey or a Pet Pro.

                The diesel gensets and engines are vastly superior to their gas counterparts in terms of maintenance and fuel economy.
                There is no comparison between the 2 - full stop.

                I published comparisons between a ford E250 and Onan 7000 gas setup vs the sprinter and 8K diesel and we are saving between 4 and 600 a month just in fuel and more when you compare oil changes, time to maintain and time lost due to 2x the frequency of frequent fueling stops. Fueling three times a week was common in the Ford setup vs typically once in the sprinter at about 20 minutes a stop thats around 33 hours a year saved or pretty close to one full work week of personal time recouped.

                Trailers are flexible- BUT dragging around 2-4 extra tires is simply less efficient than than fewer- especially in a city where you are constantly making turns because they all use solid axles. You have twice the tires and an extra set of brakes and wheel bearings grease maintain and replace.

                Parallel parking is hard for some as is the extra length. Some neighborhoods prohibit trailer parking overnight.

                I have a capable tow vehicle (9500 pounds) but choose not to wear it out towing a work trailer.
                A 1/2 ton truck will wear quite a bit faster when towing 5-7K every day all day and a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck is total overkill.
                The WGT has about a 500Lb tongue weight to in many instances one SHOULD use a weight distributing hitch.

                To the people that say if their tow vehicle breaks down they can "just use another tow vehicle" I wonder how many of you actually own 2 tow capable vehicles?

                After skinning this cat multiple ways in convinced the Sprinter dually/ diesel setup is the way to roll....

                Uncle Dave

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                • #38
                  My husband and I are starting a mobile business and decided to go with a Class C RV, an older model when things were built right and easy to work on, which is cheaper and gives you all the amentities like water heater, generator and bathing area and the space for equipment and storage of supplies. Plus they are built to take the additional weight and have a bathroom which is needed. When we decide on our rig we will post before and after pictures!

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                  • #39
                    I have been mobile since 2006. I have always had a van never a trailer. The van has always worked better for me. I just recently put a new van in service. It is a van that runs strictley off of batteries. It recharges as you go from client to client. You never have to worry about running out of power. If anyone has any questions about this van I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

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                    • #40
                      I have a 5x12 trailer that I pull with a ford explorer. Water tanks, heater & tub are in the rear of the trailer. Ive been mobile for a year. No pRoblems other then a few holes in my tv number from learning to maneuver it backwards.

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                      • #41
                        We bought a 1978 dodge van that was being used as an ice cream truck. It was a lot of work and took many months but my hubby is very handy. We got it converted into a working rig. Interesting i thought other than maneuvering a trailer would be a better option. I started out with a very small budget had to but bits and pieces at a time before it was a usable rig.


                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                        • #42
                          I am looking at getting a diesel shuttle bus to convert. The conversion won't be much of an issue as I built my own trailer 8 years ago and keep it maintained myself. I'm going to insulate the **** out of it to start. Anyone with regrets on using a shuttle bus? Pros/cons?

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                          • #43
                            Finally going from trailer to van so happy. Trailer was a good financial start but love not having to tow any more.

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                            • #44
                              Hi what size trailer did u get ?Does it have a generator?If so what kind?How much did it cost?

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by 1mobilegroomer View Post
                                Finally going from trailer to van so happy. Trailer was a good financial start but love not having to tow any more.
                                I hear ya. Just bought a short bus to convert. After pulling a trailer for almost 4 years I'm ready to not be towing my 6x10 trailer around. Our biggest hurdle now other then time and money is where to put the genny

                                Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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