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@Sphere Love it all. So I'm just starting to mess with creating my own trailer and I'm wondering how do you feel about tongue weight? The rear looks a bit saggy, how noticeable was it?

Super excited to hear about the mileage. It would seem as long as you keep the footprint smaller than the body of the Bolt itself there's minimal hit at reasonable speeds.

I find towing is fine if the trailer has small tires (narrow) and is flatbed.
How narrow are we talking? I was actually looking at used rear Sonic axles and maybe messing with putting 16x6.5s on there this way I could have a spare that would double as both a spare for the trailer and car. Am I going to be creaming my mileage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I would say about 150 to 200 pounds of tongue weight should be about good depending on trailer size/loading I feel I’m probably over that with this load but seems fine. the reason why the back of my car is sagging is because I have weight inside of the car itself that’s mostly the reason. the trailer is also contributing but it’s mainly the weight inside the car. My hitch is also not the right drop/rise to level this trailer so there is that illusion as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
I think the perfect trailer for the bolt would probably be about 4 foot wide bed 8 foot long, a flatbed (basically plywood size), tall skinny tires, and as flat as possible above and below, made of aluminum, and have wheel covers kind of like you see on the solar cars or the aptera. With no tailgate/ramp

a tongue box would be fine as it would probably be in the airstream there
 

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I think the perfect trailer would probably be about 4 foot wide 8 foot long, a flatbed, tall skinny tires, and as flat as possible above and below, made of aluminum, and have wheel covers kind of like you see on the solar cars or the aptera. With no tailgate/ramp

a tongue box would be fine as it would probably be in the airstream there
The project I'm toying with is a teardrop camper for me and the wife now that we can ditch the kids more easily that they're teens. At this point we can put them out back on a chain with food and water and we have the neighbors check in on them and walk them once a day.

I'm not going to be offroading in any true sense, but it being a camper and it being implied that I could have a flat area off the beaten path, I like the idea of universalizing the wheel system across trailer and car.

Maybe this wheel then and make it 6" on a 16" instead of 6.5" on a 15" on the cheapest low rolling resistance tire I can find:

This is all conceptual atm, I need to pick a direction and begin to plan. Right now I'm thinking of putting together something similar to Polydrops:

Wheel Tire Mountain Automotive tire Motor vehicle


Obviously not as well finished, this is my first custom built trailer.

I think I'll be happier with the end product if I can really manage to easily integrate the Sonic rear axle and can size it better for my needs/the Bolt specifically. Like the front part comes way further down than it needs to because they're trying to accommodate for a Model 3 specifically on the Polydrop, mine can be higher, higher is more space. All I need is like 500-1000 hours to get that worse but custom trailer done. :ROFLMAO:

Anyways, your journey has been inspiring because the whole time I'm like, "this is stupid, even with an aerodynamic tear drop I'm going to be getting 1.1 mi/kWh and want to kill myself." Gives me a lot of hope.
 

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A wedge is what you want. Be about as tall as the second load of solar panels. And maybe 4’ wide taper back to a pointy end. With a pointy end it can be as long as you want
I don't know what I want to do with power yet. I may simplify the whole **** thing and say, "Oh hey look I have a 65kWh battery right there that I can run a 1000W continuous load with a cheap inverter that I can run for literal days without having to think about anything." At that point does any solar at all make sense? Like if I use 10kWh by being a greedy pig with electricity, somehow is 1kWh generated really going to make any appreciable impact on either travel or the stay?

A queen-size mattress is 60" wide, so, it's going to be wider than I want but I'll mitigate with tapering. The Sonic rear axel is going to be about 1.5" narrower than the Bolt's and the Sonic's body overall is 68.3" which should help.

So much of this is theory atm, literally at the brainstorm phase and haven't even committed to a project yet. I'm a 3D artist by trade so I'm kind of like, "Hey so I can design something to cut out on a C&C machine like super easy in theory as well as run it in a simulated wind tunnel" and maybe want to do that. But I'm also a cheap ******* and if I can find a salvage teardrop I'm gonna save the probably 200 hours and make that work.

This thing is so awesome and cheap for what you get that it's really compelling but at the same time I know I can get it done a lot cheaper by buying peoples abandoned hobbies.

Really.. that CLC is gorgeous and I'd love to just build that on a custom trailer... decisions to be made.
 

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I think the perfect trailer for the bolt would probably be about 4 foot wide bed 8 foot long, a flatbed (basically plywood size), tall skinny tires, and as flat as possible above and below, made of aluminum, and have wheel covers ....
Here's a candidate trailer kit: 5' x 8' aluminum trailer kit
Not sure what to make of the 5 x 8 dimension. What material would you use for the floor?
And it's expensive compared to the Harbor Freight steel 4 x 8 trailer kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
That kit is basically what I have now but longer without sides. I think 4’ wide would be better

it’ll work though obv.

i’d use aluminum dimondplate. Add ribs maybe on underside.

perhaps diamondplate below also.
 

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That kit is basically what I have now but longer without sides. I think 4’ wide would be better

it’ll work though obv.

i’d use aluminum dimondplate. Add ribs maybe on underside.

perhaps diamondplate below also.
The frame itself I'd love to incorporate some kind of shape and meld the asthetic in, just sitting on aluminum looks unfinished to me. This is the best trailer integration I've seen for it so far:

Wheel Tire Motor vehicle Automotive tire Plant


I don't understand everyone tacking on permanent things on to the teardrop. It completely defeats the point, might as well just a huge box with tapered edges at that point and probably get even better aerodynamics than sticking a solar panel on 4 corrugated steal pipes. Frankly even the top vent I find stupid towards the design, is something flush really that hard?

Also, why? It's not even better. If I can manually place solar panels I'm going to get better sun exposure than being stuck to whatever direction my camper is positioned, which, should be for views and convenience, not for facing south every time no matter what from a specific vantage.

Unless it's something that specifically can't go in the vehicle or trailer like a kayak or something I really don't understand the approach to roof racks, solar, etc. on the top.

But the trailer there, perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Sorry, you were talking about your teardrop project I was talking about a flatbed trailer solar panels would not be worth less if you could integrate them into the profile of the design perhaps flexible sunpower panels adhered to the contours

you could have a small lithium ion battery bank back there or you could just run everything through the trailer wiring harness depending on how many loads you had anyway kind of getting off topic here

I should arrive in North Carolina today I think I may have accidentally said South Carolina previously I will probably stay there for a little while I’ve been getting full night Sleeps so this has not been a marathon run for those of you keeping time LOL Sorry if that messes you up anyway I will probably stay in North Carolina for the better part of a day down tinkering with inverters and playing with car charging issueat this guy’s shop.

then on to Alabama to pickup a volt battery
 

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How narrow are we talking? I was actually looking at used rear Sonic axles and maybe messing with putting 16x6.5s on there this way I could have a spare that would double as both a spare for the trailer and car. Am I going to be creaming my mileage?
Harbor Freight 12" trailer wheel wide.
It is 4.8, whatever that means... Is it 4.8" what translates to 125 mm?
Anyway, this wide :D

I would say about 150 to 200 pounds of tongue weight should be about good depending on trailer size/loading
I do not think I ever put more than 100 lb on the tongue regardless of the total load.
I follow European standard of 5% tongue and slower speeds.

Put 20% and go 70 mph or put 5% and go 45 mph. Since I am not doing 70 mph with 1500 lb behind my back anyway, I do not stress the car and keep 5% and do not exceed 50 mph.
 

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The frame itself I'd love to incorporate some kind of shape and meld the asthetic in, just sitting on aluminum looks unfinished to me. This is the best trailer integration I've seen for it so far:

View attachment 49788

I don't understand everyone tacking on permanent things on to the teardrop. It completely defeats the point, might as well just a huge box with tapered edges at that point and probably get even better aerodynamics than sticking a solar panel on 4 corrugated steal pipes. Frankly even the top vent I find stupid towards the design, is something flush really that hard?

Also, why? It's not even better. If I can manually place solar panels I'm going to get better sun exposure than being stuck to whatever direction my camper is positioned, which, should be for views and convenience, not for facing south every time no matter what from a specific vantage.

Unless it's something that specifically can't go in the vehicle or trailer like a kayak or something I really don't understand the approach to roof racks, solar, etc. on the top.

But the trailer there, perfect.
Hey! They guys that build this kit are right around the corner from me. Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD.
 

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I would say about 150 to 200 pounds of tongue weight should be about good depending on trailer size/loading I feel I’m probably over that with this load but seems fine. the reason why the back of my car is sagging is because I have weight inside of the car itself that’s mostly the reason. the trailer is also contributing but it’s mainly the weight inside the car. My hitch is also not the right drop/rise to level this trailer so there is that illusion as well
Wow! That's a lot of tongue weight! You'll get a smoother (and more level) ride if you can redistribute the load to bring that down a bit. I used to have a Scamp 13 camper, and as it came it was about 1,250 pounds with a 250 pound tongue weight. It towed like a pig. I moved the battery to the back under the dinette seat and moved a few other things to get the tongue weight to about 125 pounds. It towed like a dream behind my Scion xD after that.

Tire Wheel Plant Car Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Yeah lol, I’ve pulled a little more weight than that before 😁

More tongue weight the more stable. But it’s a battle to not overload the car. More weight on tongue is more strain on car.

ecohitch rates tongue weight at up to 300 lbs. but like I said, there is a tradeoff between stability and being easy on the car. Gottafind sweet spot.
 

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Yeah lol, I’ve pulled a little more weight than that before 😁

More tongue weight the more stable. But it’s a battle to not overload the car. More weight on tongue is more strain on car.

ecohitch rates tongue weight at up to 300 lbs. but like I said, there is a tradeoff between stability and being easy on the car. Gottafind sweet spot.
Yeah, towing with a car and towing with a truck are different things. In Europe, where they tow with smaller cars a lot, it is typical to shoot for 4-10% tongue weight. They also don’t tow at 80MPH.
 

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Wow, you are very brave. In the three years with my Bolt, I have only taken two trips out of round trip range of my Bolt and will never do so ever again. It was very interesting to hear about the trip so thanks for sharing.
As you get more comfortable with your Bolt you will find that the Bolt is fully capable of long-distance travel. Just as long as you don't mind stopping for an hour to charge every 200 miles or so.
 
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