Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby ris » Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:34 am

Not sure why folks pick a 6 foot or 7 foot wide over 8.5 width. For short trips a narrow trailer is not much different than a wider one. On a long trip a 16 ft trailer that is 7 foot wide has 112 square feet of floor space. A 8.5 wide X 16 long has 136 square feet of floor space. The difference of 24 square ft is a lot of real-estate. Our build was very open as we travel 6 to 8 months at a time. By having a 18 X 8.5 trailer at 153 sq.ft. instead of a 18 X 7 at 126 sq.ft we have a lot more room. I know most folks do not live for months in their trailers but that extra room is nice even for a couple of weeks. As far as down the highway the dimensions at the outside of the tires on a 7 foot box are basically the same as the tires on a 8.6 foot box. So trailer width is no issue. I would not like to haul either without a rear view camera. We would always pick the widest width for the length of trailer. Just wondering about your thoughts on this subject.
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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby onehoser » Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:46 am

i went with a 5x8 and 6x12 because we mostly camp on crown land so that means using narrow fire access and logging roads with tight campsites otherwise i would have gone with 7' wide
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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby hankaye » Tue Dec 22, 2020 9:32 am

ris, Howdy;

It's all just a matter of choise isn't it? Sometimes cost, other times where you plan on dragging it,
some want better fuel/gas mileage. For others it might be what is affordable not only to buy but
to finish out to their needs. What does it matter? If we all bought the same thing it wouldn't be
as interesting a forum as it is would it? We are all individuals, we think for ourselves and make
our own decisions.

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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby swoody126 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:14 am

a 6' wide box will closely match most tow vehicles in this category in both height and width therefore elongating the package thru the wind

once you goto 7' wide you have disturbed the flow of air and begin to generate buffeting and disturbed air forces around your combination

at 8' or 8.5' in width the buffeting and wind resistance increase geometrically and require a longer and heavier TV to maintain safety and thusly reduce fuel economy by a very easily measured amount

for towing behind my F-350 going from 5' to 6' width there was a noticeable difference in buffeting and fuel economy

jumping up to a 7' wide utility trailer the differences were more pronounced

going to 8' wide the foreward/frontal surface created a drastic difference in towing ease/buffeting as well as dragging fuel economy down into the crapper

for tripping it was my experience that when towing the wider trailers it became more n more economical to look for moderately priced motels than to tow the wider trailers over longer distances

if remaining local(under a coupla hundred miles) the wider trailers came close to breaking even economically

a btw is in order here... when going 7' wide and wider you commonly pick up another axle and 2 more tires

the tires wear/age at the same rate no matter if they are on single or tandem axles and so do the bearings shackles and such

the tires recommended for the wider/longer trailers are heavier and substantially more expensive

we found that when traveling from our DFW home to Colorado on vacations it took camping in the National Forest off grid for 8-10 nights to get close to breaking even $$wise once CG fees and increased fuel expenses were factored in and that didn't take into consideration the potential for breakdowns which are always looming

once you factor these elements into the build/equation and still want your own bed every night and are willing to pay the price... GO4 IT

as i reply to this thread our 8' wide travel trailer is being emptied out and spiffied up for a spring sale leaving me w/ the 6' wide utility for casual/near by adventures and the dream of building a narrower one

YMMV

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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby Ottsville » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:23 am

Excepting wide open western interstates, I would much rather tow a 7' wide over an 8.5' wide trailer. Travelling through cities, construction zones, and narrow back roads, narrower is less stress to me.
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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby John61CT » Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:46 pm

Lots and lots of roads / fire tracks through public forests

you're lucky to get a 6' rig through without getting out with your chainsaw to clear the way every 5min

Not to mention ones with no turnarounds that could handle that wide a rig.

Some tracks are so rough, when "picking yout path" it really helps for your trailer tracks to match that of the TV.

The aero and MPG issues already discussed.

For rearview side mirrors, the wheels may be wide, but if your walls are too you may need to spend a lot on add-ons, also cutting MPG.

Not saying don't do it to you, but those are some of the reasons many don't
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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby EZDog » Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:16 pm

You can also sleep cross ways in a 7’ but not in a 6’ but I dont like dragging a bigger rig than I need for its own sake.
This made the 7’ ideal for me in the end.


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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby flboy » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:10 pm

Everything already said.. boils down to preferences for each individual. One size does not fit all.. and that goes for width and length as well as height.

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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby Karebru » Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:31 am

Ottsville wrote:Excepting wide open western interstates, I would much rather tow a 7' wide over an 8.5' wide trailer. Travelling through cities, construction zones, and narrow back roads, narrower is less stress to me.

I guess it depends on your tow vehicle width and mirror set up, but visibility is a factor for me. An 8.5' boat, on a 8.5' trailer is much easier to see around than my 7' cargo trailer. With a 7' or 8.5' box, the axles are gonna be the same, lane-filling width. To me pulling an 8.5' box with the wheels tucked up under it sounds unnerving. I like being able to see where my wheels are.
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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby twisted lines » Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:59 am

As a mechanic I had to test drive Class A truck Trailer combos, did a few company sponsored Very high dollar long hauls, Not that fun.
Same applied to my 8.5' boat trailer, barely fit in the 10' door one time it didn't. A few times crossing bridges ect, I shut my eyes because I didn't want to hear it :worship:
5.5 X 10 Flatback Benroy in a pile,
And it's growing!
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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby John61CT » Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:25 am

My limit is 88", so it rolls into a connex for shipping
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Re: Why pick a trailer width of 7' over 8.5' ?

Postby ris » Sun Dec 27, 2020 4:50 pm

We bought a nice rear view camera when we bought the trailer. We put the small monitor for the camera which is wireless on the mirror. So when you look in the rearview you see the 1/4 mile by 120 degrees behind the trailer. The reason for the question was I simply wondered why more folks chose the 7' over the 8' 6". So thanks to all those who responded. We also bought OEM extended mirrors for the truck also. They were about $200 a piece.
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