Owners or folks with experience please. The guy that parks next to me has a Chameleon on his flat for about 3 years now an loves it. Mine will be on a 51-53 low deck step. I'm hoping to get 10'4" interior clearance with 17.5 tires? Looking for a good design as well as run-open capability. It also needs to be easily removeable besides the bulkhead. Are sectional tarps better? I'm going to MATS to figure out my next trailer, but would like some opinions here.
Someone edited my title, please change it back as I have more than enough normal tarp knowledge. Sectional tarps was referring to how some tarp systems use a one piece tarp, while others have replaceable sections, like Jumbo has stated.
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IMO, QuickDraw hands down. I've had 4 different brands (Aero Conestoga, Verduyn Eagle, TarpStop Fastrack, and QuickDraw) although all of mine were on regular flats most of the parts are the same.
I would ask Pfuse, he has a 53' Mac step with a QuickDraw and he previously had a Reitnouer with a RollTite.
These are the main reasons I like the QuickDraw.
1.Tarp can be tensioned and released from the front or the back. Of all the other brands out there only the Verduyn Eagle can also do that. Most make you release the tension from the rear before you can open the front.
2.NO CABLES and NO VELCRO!!! The only velcro on a QuickDraw is to hold the rear flap closed. Other brands have it actually holding the tarp panels to the bows. The TarpStop Fastrack has cables ran down the bottom of the tarp and they all fray out and ruin the curtain. Aero also used to but I'm not sure about the new one.
3. Rollers roll on top of the track so dirt/debris is easier to remove.
4.Rear tensioner pulls from the center of the rear car so the tarp is always tight. Regardless of tarp height it always is in the center, (taller the tarp system the taller the tensioner) Others only pull on the bottom of the car so the top of the tarp can be loose (Chameleon and Aero), or they use ratchet straps which means you have to climb on the trailer to tighten it and the rear flap has to be open.
Most don't say they can be ran open but unless you get the double or triple lift bows and your not over-height you can secure any of them open. As far as rolling the system off you can either make a rack by buying sections of track or if you have access to a forklift you can remove them like I do. (This is my Verduyn Eagle tarp)
Here's my new trailer with a QuickDraw I just picked up. Doesn't matter if there's an 80k coil sitting in the center of the trailer or it's completely empty the tarp always looks the same and is tight.
Because of the way the tarp panels lock onto each car it looks like a one piece tarp but it's sectional. If you look out your mirrors you think your pulling a van because the tarp is always tight.
Jfaulk, thanks for the post.
Why would the double or triple bows keep it from being run open?
I was planning on putting some track on a 20' container so I could back up to it and roll it off. At least that was my idea.
What is up with the center floor section of your trailer. Is it polished?
The more I think about it, the more I think the sectional tarp panels are the way to go.
The center of the floor is a coil well. Normal flooring is left out and they just weld 1/4" plate in so it's 1 1/8" lower and you don't need coil racks to haul shotgun coils.
I like sectional tarps, some companies say you don't need them since they can repair just about any tear but I like being able to pull out a panel and slide a new one in.
You can use just about anything to take the curtain off. The whole kit added just under 1700# to the trailer including the bulkhead so the curtain it's self is pretty light.SHC Thanks this.
I would go with a Quick Draw for all of the reasons that Jfaulk99 stated above. I should say that the new Roll Tite functions much more like the QD, but I wouldn't get one only because I'm completely satisfied with my kit.
A few things to consider;
I don't think you'll be able to achieve 124" inside. Our Roll Tites installed on Reitnours with 17.5s could only do about 122 or maybe 123" inside. My MAC with 19.5s will do 119" inside.
It will be almost impossible/useless to run with the kit open. When you roll the kit onto the top deck the lower set of rollers/bottom of the tarp will prevent you from turning left or right because your drives will hit them. It's hard to explain, but I'll try to take a pic when I open mine tomorrow. You could theoretically open your kit only to the step, but then the first 10' or so of the bottom deck would still be covered. Almost useless. Also, if you are 13'6" with the kit closed, you will be about 14' with it open. You could remove the lifters, but this would be a serious pita.
Extra lifters may not be necessary on flats, but they are much more useful on SDs where your freight is always really close to the bows. You can order your trailer with just the single set, but when you get something really tall you can still close it normally, but to open the kit you have to pull it from the side of the tarp that is staying closed in order to clear the freight. Where the tarp bunches up it hangs lower.
Don't know if you've ever run 17.5s, but they tend not to last more than 12 to 14 months. Maybe that's just on spread axles, but I assume your trailer will not be a closed tandem.
QD has an option called the roll past kit. This allows you to move the whole tarp onto the top deck. My top deck is 10' and everything but 2" will go up. It's not cheap, but definitely worth it.
See where the bottom of the tarp ends up if you have everything rolled forward?
Take a look at the difference in tensions between a QD and a Roll Tite...
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