One of my themes here at CC has been to document large trailers being pulled by small cars, or at least seeming to be. It must be a Eugen thing, as this is what greeted me this morning in a local news website after being gone a few days: a local driver was given a warning by the police after he was seen driving this rig on the streets. It’s a good sized boat being towed by a Kia/Hyundai sedan. And the tongue of the trailer is somehow attached to the inside of the trunk.
I see in this shot that there’s some tires/wheels being used to support the tongue. It appears that the driver is bending over into the trunk to address something. Maybe the zip ties that were used to attach it needed some reinforcement?
FWIW, I’m familiar with this boat, having seen it several times parked on the street at a city-organized homeless encampment. It had a For Sale sign on it, asking $12,000. And according to this report, the boat is the home of the driver/owner.
Or at least it was. It appears that the owner has taken the car and trailer and left the boat and some detritus behind. Hopefully things work out for him somehow.
Seems like this Sonata… will end off key.
*puts on sunglasses*
Maybe off quay. (Insurance job)
Dang… and I thought this example I saw this past spring was a bit extreme:
“And the tongue of the trailer is somehow attached to the inside of the trunk.”
Sounds like a 5th wheel hitch to me…
This must be what rental yards are thinking of when they refuse to rent a trailer to anything less than a 6,000 pound 3/4 ton pickup truck. If they or their insurance agents realized a semi tractor of maybe 20K pounds is pulling another 60K in trailer and payload they’d probably soil themselves. Or if they saw a car from the 60s pulling a 27 foot motor home, which they routinely did.
Looks like he needs a set of air shocks and some plywood to reinforce the trunk. Inflate those rear tires to about 80 psi. By the way the tires under the hitch aren’t going to slide very well unless you put a lot of grease on them. Lastly make sure you put the trans in tow/haul mode.
Yeah, I hope so too. Of course, I really don’t know, but the whole thing has the air of a person making desperate and poor decisions likely because that’s the best he could do on both the decision-making as well as the towing fronts. Which is sad.
His Kia/Hyundai doesn’t look too healthy either, regardless of what he was trying to drag behind it.
Just a slight correction: “pulling a 27 foot motor home,” The only reason to pull a MOTOR HOME would be if some part of the power train broke down. OTOH, a travel trailer does need to be pulled by a motorized vehicle!! Fifth wheels need to be hitched to the pickup of choice, too! :):):) DFO
PIC: Motor Home/class A…..self powered.
I’m not sure about the zip ties Paul. Velcro is just so much easier to mount and dismount – a perfect application for this! /s
Well, la-di-dah, mister fancypants. Velcro…! Naw, this calls for duct tape.
Velcro? Duct tape? Too transitory. Slather some glue on there and you only have to worry about the hookup job once. Efficiency!
1. Boil down a horse
Get about 10 tubes of JB Wield and go to town!
Here’s someone with a similar sedan setup in 1948—but I’ll guess the gross weight he’s towing is much, much less (and that welding was involved):
I looked long & hard at the photo, and the written explanation in the sidebar. It appear the inventor figured out how to place the tongue weight directly on top of the rear axle. He put the ball hitch over the rear axle, but added vertical braces on each side of the square tube tongue. This made it impossible for the extension tube to turn sideways, while allowing the ball & socket to move up and down. The side to side movement has been transferred to the big black box at the end of the trailer’s factory frame. The base of this box probably includes another ball & socket, but the size of the black box’s base results in it rotating horizontally, thereby allowing for turns and backing the trailer.
Basically, the up and down movement between car and trailer was handled by the front ball & socket, the sideways movement handled by the ball & socket joint inside the big black box.
I suspect this never entered serious production due to a fatal design flaw. In an emergency situation, the normal ball and socket allows for 3 different planes of movement. [Up/down, right/left, and rotational.] In this design, the 3rd rotational plane is mostly eliminated. If the driver suddenly has to turn the steering wheel to the left to avoid something in front of the car, the car has a natural tilting [lean] force first to the right, then back to the left, as the driver tries to correct by steering back to the right. The force is always opposite to the driver’s intended direction.
This set-up eliminates the twist because the trailer is acting like a gyroscope, trying to maintain forward motion, and that gyroscopic motion is transmitted right thru this 2-way mounting, directly into the car. The driver is unlikely to be able to overcome the weight of the trailer, therefore he cannot correct to avoid the accident. This basic explanation does not take into consideration the possibility the square extension tube twists and deforms from the excesses forced on it by outside forces.
I’m not even going to explore what happens after the trailer won’t allow the driver to avoid the accident. In this case, momentum is king.
FYI: I have a background in vehicle accident and damage assesment, and I’m a forensic mechanic, recognized and accepted in every court I’ve been asked to testify in.
^^^Bill McCoskey: wow, thanks for the knowing-professional’s take on all this. I still remember the clamp-on-the-bumper hitches, and even bolting a ball hitch to my Ford Granada’s rear bumper to haul a modest trailer (U-Haul’s smallest) across the country, 1980s. I realize there’s more to the engineering & safety issue than just “how much weight,” and you’re a great teacher-explainer (easy to see why you’d be a useful court witness). I appreciate your help with this one!
I wonder what circumstances leave one homeless but with a large boat. And then to abandon the boat. Couldn’t someone come pick it up as scrap and give him some kind of money or a useful/ helpful trade for it?
Even a bag of groceries or carton of smokes is better than nothing.
Reminds me of this guy. If you look closely, there’s a 16′ car hauler chained up underneath the mobile home.
That trunk-trussed trailer is reminding me of this. Why, what could possibly go wrong?
Wow, that poor little Kia .
Daniel, I wonder if maybe color co ordinated duct tape would be good here…….
As a former rural citizen I’ve seen many rigs like the ones displayed here and worse .
I’ve done some overweight towing of trailers with my pickups, always on secondary and tertiary roads and *very* slowly as once things get out of control or you over speed the brakes, things get ugly quickly .
Colour-coordinated duct tape? I donno; the regular kind is like the Force: it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together!
I’ve spent the last 70 years in and around the Chesapeake bay. I currently live a few hundred yards from a private beach near where the Magothy river meets the bay, and the famous Bay Bridge is a few miles downstream. I have seen this type of situation way too many times, and have concluded the vast majority of humans don’t understand the basic laws of physics when it applies to towing something.
When I have been privy to such cases as illustrated here, the situation usually breaks down in one of the following ways:
1. The boat & trailer are free [or near free], but it has to be gone NOW! The new owner doesn’t have the correct tow vehicle, nor the money to get/rent/borrow such vehicle on short notice.
2. The owner of the boat cannot afford the water slip storage fees, and the harbor master said either pay up or move the boat. As in No. 1 above, the owner doesn’t have the correct tow vehicle, nor the money to get/rent/borrow such vehicle on short notice.
3. The former owner of the boat is married. The spouse says it’s either me or the boat. He chose the spouse after realizing how expensive a divorce* can be. The new owner doesn’t have the correct tow vehicle, nor the money to get/rent/borrow such vehicle on short notice.
4. The boat is sitting off to the side because the trailer didn’t have a current license plate, and the boat had a current boating license. The police confiscated the trailer, but not the boat. Hence the police contract with the towing company called for the trailer to be towed, not the boat.
4a. The police told the owner to get proper tags for the trailer, and come back to move it with a proper tow vehicle. During the night the trailer is stolen for scrap value, and the boat has a negative scrap value. Hook up to the ball hitch, remove the trailer to boat mooring lines, and pull hard.
5. The most common reason we see this situation in our area: The driver hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing.
* One of my customers was a wealthy divorce attorney. his basic understanding of divorce was “It’s the screwin’ you get for the screwin’ you got.”
A propos of nothing really, the only band I can find called ‘The Eugenics’ is from Ottawa. Go figure.
That KIA makes doing this with a VW look sane and sensible!