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  1. #1
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Moua Her's Avatar
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    3500 max towing? is it possible. newbie here

    im new here but I have been reading through this forum ALOT. I am planning to start my business in residential area first before going big. My question is, what is a setup that will work under 3500 lbs. I will be towing with a 2014 4cyl tacoma 2wd and 3500 is the max towing. I plan on getting a cold water pressure washer with 4 gpm/4000psi (honda w/cat pump). What size trailer and water tank would fit me best. This truck is the only option until I can go diesel.
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  • #2
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    I wouldn't go much larger than a 5 x 8 trailer. As for water tank, You will most likely be strapped to a 50 gal or less. Keep in mind, A 50 gallon tank with just water will be 400 lbs. plus the weight of the tank which isn't much however, You have to be very careful with adding your weight figures as you add equipment.

    A 4 cyl. is going to be working its balls off if you go crazy with a lot of equipment. Also, Keep in mind, You will need a lot more space to stop in. A sudden slam on the brakes and next thing you know, Your trailer will be shoving your truck down the road.

    Do you plan on just pressure washing to start?

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  • #3
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Moua Her's Avatar
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    yes just starting off cleaning houses/driveways. most of the smaller equipment would be inside the bed of the truck to keep the weight off the trailer like surface cleaner and chemicals.. Maybe I will just have to drive around with an emtpy tank and fill up at the customer then drain after the job. Sounds like alot of hassle but im willing to do it for now. Will 50 gal keep a 4gpm running?
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  • #4
    Member Senior Undergraduate al9226's Avatar
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    3500 max towing? is it possible. newbie here

    Quote Originally Posted by Moua Her View Post
    yes just starting off cleaning houses/driveways. most of the smaller equipment would be inside the bed of the truck to keep the weight off the trailer like surface cleaner and chemicals.. Maybe I will just have to drive around with an emtpy tank and fill up at the customer then drain after the job. Sounds like alot of hassle but im willing to do it for now. Will 50 gal keep a 4gpm running?
    Yes and maybe. 50 will keep it running for most house washing where the water supply to the tank is adequate but larger concrete jobs will be marginal. The surface cleaner hardly shuts off especially if you don't have a gun on it. You may find yourself waiting from time to time for the tank to catch up. 4 gpm is fine for house washing. We use 8 and 4 all the time.


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  • #5
    Moderator 11000 PLUS POSTER Christopher's Avatar
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    Add up all the weight of the equipment and also the trailer, the trailer will be at least 500 pounds.

    Deduct the weight of the trailer and equipment from the capacity of the trailer. Water weighs 8.33 pounds per gallon.

    I would have brakes on the trailer and get a brake controller so it is less wear and tear on your vehicle and will prevent an accident.

  • #6
    Member Professor with Tenure mistersqueegee's Avatar
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    Remember you can put the water in at the location and transport with less than 50 gallons to start each job.

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  • #7
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Moua Her's Avatar
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    thats a good advice to leave the water over there...maybe Ill figure a way to do that. Ill try to find a 5x8 trailer with brakes. Found a starting kit with almost everything without the tank that im looking to get so just need to get the trailer and plan my layout. I see alot of you guys with big rigs and thats my motivation. Hope to reach where you guys are at one day. Thanks again.
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  • #8
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    I run a 65 gallon buffer tank with a Hudson float valve, and have a 4 gpm unit, and a 3 gpm unit. Plenty of times I run both of them and have no problem keeping up with water. I also am using an 8' single axle trailer, but don't have any brakes added to it - towing with a '15 F-150 2WD 3.5L eco-boost. I usually keep some water (10-20 gals) in my tank for a few reasons - Keeps my pumps primed, and also adds a little weight so that my trailer and equipment doesn't bounce all over the place when I hit a bump. Some of the other guys have brought up some real good pointers, but one thing I would like to add is to make sure you check your tongue weight also. Remember that when you are on a jobsite and still hooked to your truck, when you add the weight of the water, some of that weight is being distributed to the tongue. I know that when I first pull up to location, set out my cones, and start filling my water tank while dragging out pressure hoses, I can hear the trailer "settling in" as the weight increases from the water.
    A few more things to consider when purchasing your trailer - Make sure you get a wheel for the front jack "just in case" you need to disconnect from your truck and move the trailer by hand. My last 2 house jobs I had to disconnect and park my trailer in one spot, and my truck in another. Both houses had long driveways (200'+) so I could not stay on the street. Also, I would suggest looking into a jack that doesn't hit your tailgate when your kids open it while you are hooked up to the trailer. Ask me how I know about that one!!!
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  • #9
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Moua Her's Avatar
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    thanks alot for your input maynianj. keeping some water in there does make sense. I've found a couple of 5x8 trailers with brakes (they are all over craigslist) even some enclosed trailer from mobile car detailers getting out of business. Ill keep that front wheel for the trailer in mind also.
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  • #10
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    Your tank is a buffer, not meant to carry your own water. I keep mine almost empty to save on wear on the truck and trailer.
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  • #11
    Moderator 11000 PLUS POSTER Christopher's Avatar
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    That feature is called a "Set Back Jack" where they move the jack back towards the trailer about a foot or more. You will see it when looking at trailers as most trailers have the jack spot already made on the hitch part of the trailer (usually a large hole and 3 bolt holes there for the jack). I had a trailer custom made a while back and got this and now we can lower the tailgate on the truck all the time and never hit the jack. The old trailer never let us open the tailgate.

  • #12
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    When you go to purchase your pressure washer, Make sure you buy a belt driven model. Don't go with anything larger than 4gpm if you will be working in areas which have well systems! Most well systems in my area are "NOT" able to fill a 5 gal. bucket in 1 minute and you have to factor when the pump kicks on. As most everyone knows, When the well pump kicks on, The system is at its least gpm.

    A 4 gpm machine is the sweet spot between, Not enough flow for efficient cleaning to the domestic water supply not being able to keep up with the machine.

    Almost all belt drive systems will pull from a tank. Most direct drives will not. Or at least the ones I've seen.

    As others have already stated, Don't worry about hauling water. In 28 years, I've only come across 1 home which didn't have enough water.

    When looking for your trailer, If you can find a "Good Used" enclosed unit, Go for it. If you need to stop at a store on your way to the job or heading back home, Everything is hidden inside. A lot more secure than on an open trailer.

    Do keep your positive attitude!!! When I started out, I had a Ford Ranger long bed(with a cap). It had a 2.3L 4cyl. with a 5 speed. Even though it had its limitations as with anything else, It did a wonderful job. It pulled a 5 x 8 trailer all over the place...

  • #13
    Member Associate Professor Steven Rowlett's Avatar
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    100_0926.JPGI would suggest a machine like this with hose reels and not use a tank. You should be able to run a 4gpm machine from a faucet. A well might be an issue. You don't want to push that truck. As time goes you can upgrade to a 3/4 ton truck, then you can add a water tank.
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  • #14
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Moua Her's Avatar
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    thanks for all the input guys. I did find a honda belt driven w/ nozzle, gun, and surface cleaner under 2k online that i bookmarked somewhere online, something I can start out with. found a 5x8 enclosed trailer around 1200 on craigslist. What gave me the most motivation was 3 days after I created a facebook page, a guy called me out of nowhere. Had to tell him Im still setting up everything and wasnt ready yet.

    "whats holding you back from starting now" he says.
    Yep, I paused for a bit. Told him Ill take his info and call him back as soon as I get things sorted out. Now I'm here.
    Will be going to a pressure washer dealer near me so well see what else I need after talking more with them.
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  • #15
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    In a pinch, I am sure you can go to a rental store and rent a unit for the weekend and at least get this customer taken care of. Might not be belt driven, and might not be the greatest, but you can at least get the customer taken care of. If the customer is wanting service immediately, he may not wait for you to get all of your equipment. Just remember that your competition won't tell him NO. You already did the hardest thing there is in this industry - getting a customer to call YOU and wanting your service.

    By the way, good job finding the equipment online at a decent price. I just hope you don't do like I did when I started out - bought a piece of equipment from "(I don't want to say on here)direct.com". Price was decent, but what I didn't think about was the fact that they are just the middle man, they don't stock the equipment. They just took my order and send the order over to the manufacturer. Said shipping was going to be 2-3 days, got my order 3 weeks later. Won't make that mistake again.

  • #16
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Moua Her's Avatar
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    i didnt even think about renting one. I think I know where your going with that online store. Its probably the same place your talking about. Im going to go to the dealer and talk to them, see if i can get a better rate.
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  • #17
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    Hey Moua, Your getting there... If at all possible, Go with the Honda. It won't let you down!!! Sounds great with your potential new customer!!!!!!! Have you done much pressure washing in the past?

  • #18
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Moua Her's Avatar
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    ive done here and there but never exterior. just car detailing with a cheapo electric washer. Made a little money just when I needed cash to do something. Now looking into doing it bigger and running a business.
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  • #19
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    Those cheapo electric washers aren't all that bad. I bet you can do that house with that washer, and a garden sprayer for your house mix. There are plenty of guys on here who don't use over 60 psi to clean exteriors. All you need is the proper chemicals, proper application techniques, and proper rinsing.

    My very first commercial wash was with a $200 lowes electric pressure washer that I had bought a few years before to use around the house and on my vehicles. Took me about 6 hours, turned right around and did the owners house using the same cheapo pressure washer, and then washed his camper for him. Invoiced $1000 for everything, and took 2 days to complete. Only overhead I had on the job was chemicals (less than $20) and fuel for my truck. $500 per day when you are just starting out solo is not too shabby. Now don't get me wrong, I don't suggest starting a company with only a store brand electric washer - you still need to upgrade to no less than 4gpm especially if you are thinking about doing driveways. Just saying - don't be scared to think outside the box when it comes to taking care of the customer. If I can help any further, give me a shout on my cell - 985-637-6191.

  • #20
    Member Freshman Undergraduate Jgraves690's Avatar
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    6x12 aluminum, dry weight is 800 pounds. 3500 pound axle. Load with everything you see here it's 2000, leaving room to fill the water tank and go down the road if needed. I went with gladiator garage tracks instead of wood which helps keep some weight down. Hope this helps.




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