Van or trailer???

Discussion in 'Water Fed Pole Cleaning' started by Mick, Nov 2, 2014.

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  1. Mick

    Mick Newcomer
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    Ive been using wfp for 7 years and it's honestly a god send. But I've often wondered whether it would be worth using a trailer instead of using a van??
    I know a van is the logical thing to use but I really like the idea of unhooking the trailer at evenings and weekends and driving around in pretty much any vehicle you prefer. I know that manoeuvring a trailer would take some practice but what other bad points are there?
    Has anyone got a trailer system? Your thoughts would be much appreciated
     
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  2. spruce

    spruce Grand Master
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    #2 spruce, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
    Having a trailer sounds better in theory than in reality I found.

    Going from a trailer to a van was the best move for me. The trailer I started with with was this;

    http://www.window-tools.com/window-cleaner-trailer-system.htm

    It was a costly mistake TBH as it wasn't fit for purpose. I had 3 new hubs as the wheel bearings failed. According to a trailer supply and repair company in Middlesbrough, the trailer was over weight and hence the reason for the failures.
    I couldn't store the trailer inside the garage so all the pipes froze solid in the winter. It carried 375 litres of water which wasn't enough for the days work. It was unbraked and I used a Suzuki Carry van to tow it. The van was too lite to legally tow it so I carried 4 x 25 litre plastic containers of water as ballast. I also used them to fill the trailer up in the afternoon so I could continue.

    Due to weight and towing regulations of braked and unbraked trailers, you will need at least a medium size family car to be safe, ie Focus size. I had a small van to store my poles and ladders in. Having a car makes that more of a challenge.

    We live in a hilly area on the coast and there were times that I had to unhitch the trailer to turn it round in a cul de sac. Reversing a short trailer you cant see is very difficult, especially between a row of cars parked on each side of the road with a 'track' in the middle. There is no way you can hold an unbraked trailer with weight on a hill after you have unhitched it.

    I had a security wheel lock but I worried that the trailer was vulnerable to theft when there was no car blocking it in the driveway.

    The van is much easier to keep frost free. Its much more secure. I haven't seen one fellow windie in our area using a trailer. There was another windie in Guisborough (not far from us) that also had a trailer. I never saw him working with it but he put it up for sale on Ebay about a year ago.

    If I was to go back to a trailer, it would be a van trailer with roller door and would be braked. It would also have to be galvanised so it didn't rust. Although we use on average around 350 liters each (there are 3 of us) a day nowadays, there are days I can use up to 500 liters on my own , so would only consider a trailer that would carry this size tank. (Your trailer has now become a small caravan.)
    A fancy van trailer makes it a greater target for theft. As trailers aren't registered and liable for annual road fund tax as a car is, they are easy stolen and 'disappear'.

    You will also need to ensure that the trailer is covered by your car insurance as a business user.

    After 3 years of use and another wheel bearing failure, I scrapped the trailer, salvaging the pump and other odds and ends to sort out a 2 man van mount with a 650 liter tank in a 51 plate swb Citroen Relay.
    I replaced that Van about a year later with an 04 plate swb Citroen Relay that was 4 years old and had 33k on the clock. 6 years later I still have the van with 52k on the clock.
     
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  3. keir

    keir Guru
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    Whereas I use a trailer, as like you I don't want to run just a van. So I have made this over the last two years,[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    My focus is a 1.6 ecoboost with 190 odd bhp and pulls my trailer with very little effort, I'm lucky and have a garage and have no issues with ice in winter.
    But......as spruce says a van is better suited, it's built to do the job, a trailer will always be a compromise and more awkward than using a van. Another factor is how much work you have, if I had anymore work, especially commercial I would prefer a van, and have been tempted a few times
    Once again it comes down to personal preference....I prefer to drive one vehicle, and i prefer the comfort of cars, a van as my only 4 wheeled mode of transport is unacceptable for me personally. So I accept the compromise of a trailer so that I can drive a more fun vehicle.
    I would like a convertible one day, as when I tradded I had no hope but now it's on the cards one day lol
     
  4. Smurf

    Smurf Banned
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    Did you ever find your missing slx wfp?

     
  5. keir

    keir Guru
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    Nope!!!
    Yeah forgot to mention one of the other compromise's.........you learn the hard way sometimes of when modification is required lol, I need to add a permanant pole storage facility....my luck ran out of storing them as I have been......dohhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. Smurf

    Smurf Banned
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    Was a very hard lesson for sure bud :(
     
  7. Smurf

    Smurf Banned
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    I've lost loads of bits & bobs whilst out working but never a wfp yet. I usually leave stuff at houses then only realise it's missing when I go to use it again. It can be easily done when distracted so are you sure you did not leave it in someone's garden?
     
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