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 New Trailer - need help with size 
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Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:29 pm
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I'm thinking hard about getting rid of my now 20 yr old 8.5 x 20 ft United enclosed trailer and going to a new enclosed trailer. I tow with a 2014 Silverado 1500 with weight distribution hitch.

My trailer still hauls great but is just too big (and old) and no sense having one that size if it can't fit 2 cars anyway.
I want one that would get better gas mileage when pulling (going with a slant v-nose and maybe all aluminum) and one that would be much easier to maneuver and tow and store.

I'll be hauling the BMW 2002 that is 14 ft long by 5-1/2 ft wide and on of 2 small pit bikes (these could go in back of truck).
I'm trying to go to a 7 ft wide x 18 ft trailer, would love to try 16 ft but still want enough room for toys.

I can custom order a trailer out of GA that would have an escape door for getting out of the car to load/unload or else just use a winch to load it in.
I also like that the escape door gives you access and cross ventilation as we generally camp out of it.

What are your thoughts and expertise?

Thanks.
Keith


Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:47 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:26 pm
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Keith,

I'm looking for a similar trailer, my car is 13 x 5. What supplier are you looking at in Georgia? I got quotes a while ago for custom aluminum enclosed, roughly 8x16, and some prices were extremely high. 7 ft wide seems to be a standard size for motorcycles and snowmobiles, but I'm concerned that it will be too narrow (inside) for comfortable access. My old trailer was 7 ft inside, and it was really tight for me to scramble around the car when it was on the trailer. If you're buying a custom, I'd suggest considering 7-1/2 or 8 ft wide (axles & frame would be same width anyway). The other standard width seems to be 8-1/2, but the problem (for me) is mirrors -- I wouldn't be able to see around a 8-1/2 ft wide trailer with my tow vehicle, even with extended mirrors (no really wide mirrors available for SUV's), and besides I don't need 8-1/2 ft.

The other issue I ran into was deck height. Our cars are pretty low, and many car-hauler trailers aren't designed for that. I'm shooting for 16" deck height. A lot of trailers are more like 20 - 22" deck ht. A beavertail may help. Some manufacturers offer extended ramps that flip out off the end of the drop-down door, too.

I've heard that the vee nose doesn't really help fuel economy very much, but it seems like it should help at least somewhat. Also, aluminum should help, but I've been surprised at the weights that suppliers have quoted for all-aluminum trailers -- not really that much less than steel. And of course weight is only a factor during acceleration and on hills. At steady-state on level highway, aero is probably the bigger factor. I need a shorter (height) trailer so I can put it in my garage (can't store trailers outside in my neighborhood), and I think the shorter height may help fuel economy more than the vee nose. Although in the long run, how much fuel cost are we really talking about, if you tow a few hundred miles 4 or 5 times a year? The extra price of aluminum may have a pretty long payback.

Re: length, I've also been thinking about what tools & spares I want to carry in the trailer, how much room I need for that (I tend to carry a lot of spares!). I'm getting tired of loading & unloading a lot of stuff in the back of the SUV for every race. Would be nice to leave the stuff in the trailer between races. To me, it feels like I wouldn't notice that much difference maneuvering an 18 ft trailer versus a 16 ft, and the extra 2 ft could make a big difference for tools & spares.

My old trailer required a winch to load the car, because of such tight clearance. It was OK, but definitely takes more time at the end of the weekend when you are loading up, tired, and just want to get home. And if you have to use the winch to unload the car, it's a pain -- you have to park on a slope in the paddock, or jack up the nose of the trailer. I found I needed much more slope than I anticipated to get the car rolling. Eventually I discovered that I could drive the car out of the trailer, and just use the winch for loading. Even if you don't need the winch for routine use, I'd get one anyway in case the car breaks down -- it's invaluable for that. And I definitely recommend a wireless remote for the winch.

Another nifty thing would be a back-up camera mounted on the rear of the trailer -- never had one, but I'd like one for backing the trailer into my garage.

If you haven't already, check out Becker trailers (I think they're in Wisconsin? Indiana? someplace midwest) -- a lot of nice looking all-aluminum enclosed trailers on their web site. You might get some ideas there, big side entry doors, etc. I think they even do slides (like RV's) for camping in the trailer.

Good luck, and let me know what you decide. Maybe we'll end up ordering two the same!

Mark


Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:07 pm
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All of the things that you mentioned is what I debating in my mind - width for hauling versus loading. Overall length for car plus goodies.
I'm thinking I could get away with a narrow but longer and lower trailer (maybe even go to 6 ft interior height).

I'm kind of settling for a 7 ft wide (need a winch to load & unload but that's only a few times a year) but 18 ft interior box not including V-nose.

Here is a custom factory direct builder in MI that I'm working with now - http://rnrtrailers.com/
Their base 716 VDC (with beavertail) is $6350. It comes standard with torsion axles, RV door, finished ceiling, screwless exterior and more.

I also really like the Al construction but it seems once you go to 8 ft width the difference in weight is almost nothing compared to steel.

Here are some of the GA factory directs that I have to research:
https://diamondcargo.com/85x16-Tandem-3 ... 57881.aspx
http://www.trailersnow.net/trailers-for ... ilers.html
http://www.colonycargo.com/listing/716
http://plainoltrailers.com/8-5-diamond- ... ler-14-18/
https://bigbucktrailers.com/7x16-Tandem ... 78399.aspx
https://www.southernusatrailers.com/

Keith


Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:08 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:26 pm
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Keith, great info, I'll check out those manufacturers. Another detail I'm interested in is the Dexter Nev-R-Adjust brakes. I'm tired of jacking up the trailer, lying on my back, flashlight in one hand and screwdriver in the other trying to find the stupid little detents on the adjusters on my old brakes. Anybody here have the Nev-R Adjust? Do they work well?

And another detail, there has been lots of info on trailer tires, so when I buy a new trailer I'm going to specify the exact make and size of tire. Most trailer manufacturers use cheap & dangerous tires.

Mark


Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:00 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:57 am
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If you get a v-nose trailer try to get a extended tongue it helps with sway becuse it extends the wheel base,rear axle of truck to trailer axle. Dave


Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:09 pm
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Hey Guys;

Would have liked to have gotten in earlier on this, but was travelling with family for last 10 days, so a little late to the party. The correct choice of trailer has so many variables that it is almost always a very difficult decision for anyone to make. A trailer that's just the right size for one person won't be right for someone else, even is he's racing the same size car, because he's just a different guy.
We all know people who are very organized. They carry what they need, it's all easy to hand, labelled, clear, easy to get at. Harry (FV) and Mack (Mini) are two folks who come to mind...their trailers are just the right size and laid out exactly as they want and they need nothing more...but not everyone is so organized and sometimes that means a larger trailer is a better choice...you just need a little extra room (sometimes a lot more extra). I'm more of that sort of owner/driver myself.
Another variable is the car you are racing...and will you be racing that forever? I've had a number of cars over the years and still have a couple which are very different in size and weight, so a trailer which would work for one, isn't really going to be optimal for the other and will I ever be bringing both??? Tough decisions. Keith, I assume that at some events you'd like to add an FV in that trailer too? Those of you who know exactly what car you want and will be racing into the future have an advantage here too, but a lot of people change their rides over time..even if they never planned to do so before. I don't think this is an issue for Mark...but it is for others.
How tall/big you are also plays into making these choices. My present trailer is way bigger than I need, but it belonged to a dear friend who passed away and I think of him every time I trailer to a race or use it. It has special meaning to me. Todd was way taller/bigger than I at 6'6" and 300+ pounds. I need a step stool to reach the roof vents as my trailer has an extra foot of head room he needed and I don't. Also, he and his child bride used to always camp at the track, so he needed to carry a heater and/or fan and built in a little fridge and sink. I'm more of a camp if I must kind of guy who's happier at a nice hotel with hot showers available...again...how do you plan to use it? If camping at the track is a thought, you might want to consider something a bit larger if you're planning on living in it over a weekend, especially if you're looking to bring family/friends/children (and their friends?) along.
Lastly, while it's may not be a main concern, do consider what will be easiest to sell after you stop racing or decide to move on to another vehicle. It's harder to sell a small highly specialized trailer than something more standard sized which will cover a larger populations usage. I realize Mark, you're thinking of something that might fit in a garage, but I would recommend a minimum of a 20' trailer and the standard 8' width as a minimum and most people will be well served by trailers going up to about 24' if you're towing one car...you'll need more if you're carrying 2.
I've been towing with 3/4 ton diesel pickups these last 10+ years and they don't seem to care if I'm pulling 22' or 32' of trailer. It's all the same to them, but clearly, what you want to tow and with what, will also affect what you can get.
In my experience the V nose doesn't trailer any better, nor does it return any better MPG that a flat faced trailer. I have found that a wing positioned (like semi's use) before the trailer does make a difference (slight) in that regard, though most people don't want to mount them on their tow vehicles.
I have had large and small side doors and definitely prefer the larger doors. A self retracting step or a manual one makes getting in and out of the trailer easier too. I have had a second large side door on two trailers I've owned and hardly ever made use of them. Multiple vents with shrouds are terrific for trailers that you will be camping in...installing a venting fan on one will keep a constant flow of air moving through the trailer...a very good thing.
All my trailers have had built in floor cabinets in the forward nose with a work bench and vise and overhead cabinets or shelf too. The shelf was infinitely better in my experience as the upper cabinets look nice but actually hold very little of anything. Best storage I ever saw was in a friends trailer where he built a storage unit into the front of his trailer that held everything he needed in well marked containers that took up half the room the fancier cabinets filled.
I have had a winch in everyone of my trailers and though you may not need it, having one when you do is a life and back saver! They are cheap...Horrible Freight has them with remote fobs that are so cheap, why would you not want one?
Also consider pit vehicles...you've got your bikers...scooter fans...golf cart enthusiasts, mini mokers and some over the top guys who have restored little old trucks to use in the pits. What you use today, might not be what you will want to use later...I was a bike boy for years...or just walked. Now I like having a scooter to get around on...but I love the Mokes and have had an eye on some other strange pit vehicles over the years...I'm betting as I get older, my shift from bikes to scooters will also shift...don't discount this as you decide on what is going to work for you either.
I use my enclosed trailer for almost all my racing, but having an open trailer is also so handy. They need less of a tow vehicle...can be parked/stored so much more easily and are great for loading up and unloading easily. I have almost always had one and though they have been used little...when you need one, they can be a godsend. I got rid of my bid old 20' open steel/wood trailer and upgraded to an aluminum Trailex...what a difference! Loved the Trailex...but, as it turns out, the other trailer was better for my needs (and cost me about 1/4th of the Trailex). I don't use the open trailer just for the cars...I have some compact tractors and other toys that need to be moved around or brought in for service and the Trailex wasn't good for that...so, I am now looking for a new stablemate for my enclosed trailer.
One thing that is true is you won't go wrong talking to lots of people about their trailers and experiences. Spend some time walking around the paddock on any race weekend and just look at how people organize and set up their trailers. Ask questions and take notes...in the end it will save you time and money and make sure you are more likely to end up being happy with whatever you do finally decide to get.
Good Luck with the search!


Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:01 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:06 pm
Posts: 43
Location: MA, Boston Metro-West
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I have relatively little experience towing race cars. So here's my 1 cent worth of opinions.
(1) Tow with an SUV (diesel x5)
(2) Car is about the same size as a 2002, but lighter and lower (Alfa spider, 12'7" long, 1840 lbs)

Width: I could live with a 1ft narrower trailer, but then I'd be unable to open the doors to any useful extent unless one side were very close to a side wall. If centered in the trailer, I'd be okay because mine is a convertible, but for a 2002 I think you'll need to load with a winch or climb out of the sunroof.

Length: I have a 20' long box trailer, and like this size very much. When my car is in a position that gets me to the right tongue weight, I have about 1.5 or 2ft of room in the back and about 5ft in the front. This gives me space to setup a chair, have various bins of stuff, etc. If I wanted to minimize length, I would give up 3 of those 5ft. If you can load your car all the way to the rear and not end up with too little tongue weight, I think a 16' might fine. You could install shelving and/or upper cabinets for storage and hang a bicycle inside as pit transportation.

V of flat nose. I had Bill Hollingworths ATC 8.5x20 V-noise for a while, and got about 14.5 - 16mpg on the highway . The empty weight was about 4900lbs (luxuriously appointed), and mileage seemed totally unaffected by load. I now have a flat nose of the same size (another ATC, bare-bones aluminum). The empty weight of this trailer is 2900lbs. No matter if it's empty or loaded up with a 1100-2900lbs of car, my mpg is fairly consistent at 13mpg. Therefore, in my limited experience, the V-nose improves mpg significantly. And with a V-noise you get more space and perhaps to to a shorter trailer.

John

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John Feng
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Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:05 am
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Guys--

For several reasons I am looking to dispose of my present 20' enclosed trailer and get an open AL one (Trailex or similar) that I can tow behind a light SUV. I'd like to have a solid deck and perhaps the "windbreaker" that would keep the car a lot cleaner, etc. when on the road.

They are pretty expensive new and I don't see used ones popping up. If anyone has a line on one please let me know.

Best--Michael Oritt


Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:58 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:06 pm
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Location: MA, Boston Metro-West
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Michael Oritt wrote:
Guys--

For several reasons I am looking to dispose of my present 20' enclosed trailer and get an open AL one (Trailex or similar) that I can tow behind a light SUV. I'd like to have a solid deck and perhaps the "windbreaker" that would keep the car a lot cleaner, etc. when on the road.

They are pretty expensive new and I don't see used ones popping up. If anyone has a line on one please let me know.

Best--Michael Oritt

Michael,
I bought mine for about $2700 and later sold it to Storm, for about that amount. So they do pop up now and then. I looked for about 6 months before I found it. Suggest you use a CL search engine with updates so you get notified when one comes up for sale. As you know, they only weigh about $850lbs and therefore tow very easily.

See if the guy who bought Storm's trailex is willing to sell it.

John

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Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:28 pm
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One point worth considering is that the narrower, 7 foot wide trailers are a bit easier to back up.

I'm terrible at backing up and the having a slightly narrower trailer helps. But I have a skinny car so trailer width is less of an issue. When I used this trailer to move my Miata, I had to drop the top (or I would not have been able to get out of the car).

I like the Vee-nose since it helps the aero but also can provide a useful storage space (I keep my generator and some tools in that area).

Mine is a Pro-Line and is 7' X 16'. It's conventional steel frame and aluminum skin. It's not as "deluxe" as some of the high end trailers but I haven't had any problems with it. All the hardware (axles, brakes, hitch) are standard commodities that are the same on most of these trailers no matter who makes them.

Also, I ordered my trailer 6" taller so it was easier for me to walk around it.

I paid around $4000 for it new.

You can see some examples of Pro-Line trailers here.

https://www.prolinetrailersales.com/specials

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Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:06 pm
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