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Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UltraDork
2/22/16 7:21 p.m.
logdog wrote: Remember, a dry wife is a happy wife.

Not always.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg MegaDork
2/22/16 7:34 p.m.

Bad Tom, rolls up newspaper...

I have towed more miles with my 2 E150s than anything, trips include from Ohio to Waco TX and back, many trips to the challenge, Mitty and Rolex 24, plus rounding up parts all over. I have 2 x F600/700. F350 and even an Expedition, but the vans have done more work. Plus they can easily swallow an engine, trans or rear end without needing a trailer and can be parked with parts safely inside.

My trailer is very old, ugly and heavy yet the vans have hauled it safely.

 photo 20140816_133132_zpsffgyuvrr.jpg

logdog
logdog SuperDork
2/22/16 8:04 p.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote:
logdog wrote: Remember, a dry wife is a happy wife.
Not always.

Years ago we did a fly and drive for a Capri XR2. It had a leaky top and we picked it up during a cold, rainy October in Maine and drove it back to Ohio. She was very unhappy for much of the trip.

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 Dork
2/22/16 9:28 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: In reply to Paul_VR6: Dude, I'm sorta "near here" Is Econotrailer garbage, because their prices are not bad at all for a new trailer, and I'm within their 300 mile free delivery envelope...

If I didn't find a deal, they were my backup plan.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy PowerDork
2/22/16 11:57 p.m.

There are a lot of cons to an enclosed trailer:

1) Heavy
2) Cuts through wind like a pair of 4x8 sheets of plywood = awful mpg
3) Storage. Open deck trailer sort of hides itself due to low height. If you have crappy neighbours, enclosed trailers stick out like a sore thumb and draw complaints
4) Length; arguably, an enclosed trailer sort of needs to be longer than an open deck trailer so you have places to put other stuff and to physically be able to tie down the car, as well as move around in front and behind it

I don't really follow on the whole "get out of the rain thing", isn't that why you have a tow vehicle to sit in? As an added bonus, said tow vehicle has heat/ac/power.

Since you said "track car", I assume there will be no snow. No need to shop for a 4x4 then.

So lets do the marth:

Car = 3400lb
Open Deck Trailer = 2000lbs
Spare parts = 500lbs (including tires, tools, etc)
Human bodies = 500lbs (giving some wiggle room here for two people)

Looks to me that you are going to need at LEAST a 6400lb tow rating. Trailers may or may not be lighter than that (good luck finding one under 1500lb's that doesn't cost $6k plus). Luckily, that range is easily had with most 90's duhmestic pickups.

Add an additional 1500lbs MINIMUM for an enclosed trailer, and you start to see the problem. You are rapidly approaching needing a 2000+ model year pickup or older 3/4 tons to get the tow ratings required to haul 8k+ lbs. This can start to add up in a hurry.

Personally, I'm all about extended cab 1988-1998 gm extended cabs. Good power, dirt cheap, decent mpg and reliable as a hammer. If you are towing an open trailer, I recommend any of the vans, trucks, suvs of that era (tahoe's are questionable due to short wheelbase, YMMV). They are comfy as all get out (especially the 2wd models) and the sky is the limit in making them into exactly what you want.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
2/23/16 12:06 a.m.

I have a small $500 used 14' tilt trailer; the Datsun is 1600lbs and the F500 is 565lbs, I use a 1990 E250 Ford Coachman (Class B camper van) as a tow vehicle.I did have to clean up the wiring on the trailer

I do track events within 60 miles of the house so while the van doesn't have a lot of oomph it gets the job done. I do have a steep grade to deal with but all that happens is I'm down to 35-40mph for about a mile or two. Also on the downhill I need to be mindful of the brakes, not a big deal other than people behind you get annoyed because you're going 55-60 down the hill. If we didn't also use the van for lake outings and the like I would do some customizing so that the back half would have a small work bench.

Enclosed trailers are nice but one word of caution. Do not store any valuable stuff in it unless it is very secure. I know of more racers who've gotten valuable gear, cars etc stolen buy thieves who either took the whole trailer or broke into it.

On my open trailer I intend to add some storage boxes along the side so I can store small spares, I currently use the storage in the van.

As for packing the extras; I see people carrying 300-400 lbs of assorted stuff that they never use and realistically would never have time to change at the track. I have a separate set of tools for the jobs I'm willing to do at the track. As my cars tend to reliable it's not an issue, when they do break some thing big like a gearbox I'll go home and fix it. On the rare occasions I do out of town events I bring components.

On my tow vehicles; I've used 1/2 ton to 1 ton picks ups and until the van never spent more than $2500, sure they are not pretty but they were all mechanically sound. For the camper van I went "crazy" and spent $4500 on it.

I was into my F350 for $1800 and it even had working A/C. It wasn't particularly quiet or great ride but it towed well. Newer is nicer but I'm cheap. The hobby is already expensive so there is now way I'm spending 20-30-40K on a truck and trailer. If the nearest track was 6-7hrs I might have a different attitude.

Tom

Tom

wae
wae Dork
2/23/16 5:44 a.m.

I've been towing an open trailer with a conversion van for about a decade now and I'm a fan. The van gives me a lot of comfort and versatility but I have to sacrifice the pickup truck bed for hauling and I lose some tow rating. The open trailer is a nice multitasker but I don't have a portable garage to hang out in or to use as storage.

When I'm going to a multi-day rallycross, the van has a bed in the back and I can take the middle captain's chairs out to give me a nice bit of room. I put a shower curtain on a bit of PVC pipe to block off the view from the windshield and got some mosquito netting to cover the barn doors. Not as nice as an RV, but beats a tent.

The open trailer is about a 16' deck but I've been able to pull a 97 Chevy 1500 on it since I don't have walls to contend with. Technically it's more of a utility trailer than a car hauler, so with the rails on the side I've been able to pile all manner of crap on the trailer including bulk mulch and skids of things.

Towing the open deck with the car on it puts me at a combined weight of just about 5 tons and I get around 12ish mpg doing 70 on the highway between Cincinnati and Columbus and slightly less than that if I'm going through mountains. When I've put a box trailer on the van weighing significantly less, the van struggles to sit at 70 and gets more like 7mpg no matter the terrain. In fact, I got it to the top of a mountain once with an enclosed trailer, pushed it to 70mph then slipped it in neutral and let off the brake. Going almost straight down, the trailer slowed me to about 45.

For storage, I have a 10x30 storage garage up the road. Keeps the deck looking nice and the tires from aging out as fast.

The winch is a great idea, but on an open deck you can get the $100 Master Lock 12v and use the trailer jack as the temporary mount. I keep it in the van at all times and have slipped it on the hitch ball when i don't have the trailer to pull myself or someone else out of a mess.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
2/23/16 6:06 a.m.
alfadriver wrote: It's too bad the guy who made my trailer stopped shortly after making mine. Mine is a 14' 700lb dual axle (with brakes) aluminum trailer. Mine's rated to 2500lb, but he made them to 3000lb. Being that my cars were 2400lb, it is still perfect for me. Short, but loaded correctly, it's a dream to pull. I bought it new (unassembled) for $1500.

That sounds perfect and awesome and of course they aren't made anymore.

logdog
logdog SuperDork
2/23/16 6:57 a.m.
Knurled wrote:
alfadriver wrote: It's too bad the guy who made my trailer stopped shortly after making mine. Mine is a 14' 700lb dual axle (with brakes) aluminum trailer. Mine's rated to 2500lb, but he made them to 3000lb. Being that my cars were 2400lb, it is still perfect for me. Short, but loaded correctly, it's a dream to pull. I bought it new (unassembled) for $1500.
That sounds perfect and awesome and of course they aren't made anymore.

That had to be a hard price point to maintain for whoever was making them. It sounds like a killer deal.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/23/16 7:17 a.m.

After the 2002-04 challenges, a few had taken and posted pictures of our trailer.

It's an incredibly simple design- two 10'x2' 1/4" aluminum sheets bent into shape (5 bends) where you drive up on. One big welded tube for the tongue and that has steel L welded to it that bolts to the aluminum. Some cross braces (some that double as ramp holders, and two axles all hold it together.

The hardest part is finding a metal brake big enough to bend it. Then one needs to make some jigs to punch holes in the aluminum and steel. And they are punched and not drilled as I saw it. It uses round head/square neck bolts and positive locking nuts- so many of the holes are square.

And the axles are off the shelf units.

If you know of a large metal brake, I'll take pictures.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/23/16 7:27 a.m.

Looking for old pictures on the 'net- nothing of our car and trailer.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/23/16 7:31 a.m.

Does this picture make it? It's the best I can find of my trailer. The spider gives you some perspective of it's size.

DSCN0007

whenry
whenry Reader
2/23/16 9:19 a.m.

My wife really questioned my purchase of enclosed trailer until the first race weekend at RA(usually the first weekend in March) when it was warm, dry and well lit. It became her office at the track after the car was unloaded. I was never questioned again on my choices of tow vehicle or whatever so long as I kept the enclosed trailer. Yes, it will mean an upgrade in tow vehicle and if you are real smart, you will keep your flat bed trailer for quick tows around town ie alignment shop or whatever.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
2/23/16 1:44 p.m.

Jeez, that thing is perfect. Looks nice and low and therefore stable and less likely to kick a smaller truck or car around.

Kind of like the trailers you see in the service parks at rallies in Europe where they're towing an Escort behind a Passat or 240 wagon or something.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/23/16 2:02 p.m.

In reply to Knurled:

The only wheelbase issue I've had is Michigan Roads, and whoever set the spec for the concrete paving machine. For some idiotic reason, it puts a beat in the roads that the short WB will vertically rock a small truck pretty badly. Drove me nuts.

But I've ONLY experienced that here in Michigan on concrete paved freeway roads.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
2/23/16 4:32 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver:

Our shop's extended cab Sierra gives me fits with the way it bobs around. I think it's because of the upright driving position compressing my spine, I sit back further in actual cars.

Which is a lot of why I would only want to trailer if I could find a trailer light/small enough to pull well behind a car. I'm only ever going to tow something in the 1500-2500lb range, I don't need a trailer that can haul a dump truck.

Tyler H
Tyler H SuperDork
2/23/16 4:39 p.m.

Race cars with no windows like being in enclosed trailers. They also make a nice place to camp.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/23/16 5:01 p.m.
Knurled wrote: In reply to alfadriver: Our shop's extended cab Sierra gives me fits with the way it bobs around. I think it's because of the upright driving position compressing my spine, I sit back further in actual cars. Which is a lot of why I would only want to trailer if I could find a trailer light/small enough to pull well behind a car. I'm only ever going to tow something in the 1500-2500lb range, I don't need a trailer that can haul a dump truck.

Want me to make measurements this spring?

I had also considered some ideas to make a metal frame and the rubberized cover that trucks use pretty often. Not all that secure, but it would be enclosed.

dropstep
dropstep HalfDork
2/23/16 5:02 p.m.

My first truck and trailer combo was my 76f150 and an old heavy equipment trailer. Trailer was 2600lbs empty and pulled like E36 M3. It was bad enough that i still borrowed my friends trailer when i could.

Ive never pulled with anything less then a half ton pick up.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
2/23/16 5:44 p.m.
alfadriver wrote: Want me to make measurements this spring?

No, if I were to go to that much trouble, I'd seriously consider making the skeleton trailer idea that I've had kicking around in the back of my brain. You don't drive ON it, you jack up the car and plug it together underneath, kind of like one of those vehicle specific chassis carts that fabricators will make/use, except much lower and roadworthy - it bolts to the chassis with hardpoints, so the structure of the trailer is the car that you're hauling.

It'd be like flat towing, except it allows for the possibility for bringing a car back home after it sheared one or more corners of suspension apart. (You can get brake controllers for flat towing, it applies the towed vehicles brakes.)

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/23/16 5:58 p.m.

In reply to Knurled:

What I thought would be a cool mod- airbags. Or axles that can use an airbag system.

OR- a mechanism that allows the trailer to squat down.

There are a few trailers that do that- and with a simple deck- that would be super cool to have.

One other idea I had- replace the 1/4" bent aluminum with extruded aluminum tubing. Not sure if that would be strong enough, but I suspect it would.

patgizz
patgizz UltimaDork
2/23/16 6:31 p.m.

i like my open trailer and have had it for about 15 years. at 18' i can load almost anything including a dump truck.

in the fall i set up my old 14'6" enclosed cargo trailer to haul the datsun. the trailer is just big enough for the car so i put shelves above the car at the front and down the sides to hold toolbox, tires, etc. it was awesome having the enclosed trailer at the track to lock everything up or get out of the sun or take a leak because the bathroom was pretty darn far away from the paddock.

i think the best of both worlds for my needs is enclosed for the racecar and open for anything else.

logdog
logdog SuperDork
2/23/16 6:36 p.m.
alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/23/16 7:16 p.m.

In reply to logdog:

that's exactly what I was thinking! Very cool!!! (and nice find!)

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UltraDork
2/23/16 8:08 p.m.

I've been by the place where they make those covers lots of times; I'm pretty sure they made one of my tractor cabs too. I wonder if I can just drop off the trailer and get it installed by them?

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