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Enclosed Trailer Owners?

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I'm in the process of transferring to the East Coast (Miami). I've decided to get an enclosed trailer to help haul the '02 and my garage stuff. I have a 2500 Suburban for a tow vehicle with a 10k rating. I'm hoping to be in the range of 4-5k worth of cargo including the car.

Does anyone currently have a trailer and/or have experience with buying used ones? It seems like a 16' would be minimum, while a 18-20ft would be ideal. The car is 14' long from what I can tell. Any thoughts there?

Most of them come with 3500lb axles, giving them a max load of 7k. From what I can tell, they vary in weight from 2-3k empty putting it close to my working load. If I get one with 5k axles, then I can pull up to the 10k capacity of the 'burban...though for safety I'll keep it closer to 8k.

Finally, if anyone on the west coast has a trailer they're looking to get rid of, let me know. I'm in the $3-5k budget range.

Thanks!

-Lloyd

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Not selling mine yet, but what you want is a 20 footer. Easier to buy, easier to sell and you will have room for cargo. I've towed with a dodge 1500 for a few years. It works fine. Drinks gas, but pulls. Empty trailers start at about 3500lb, then add all your cargo and accessories. Get a good trailer brake controller.

2002 does not really have good attachment points for straps. Do not tie to control arms. I use e-track with straps that go over wheels.

Steve K.

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i have/had 18ft, 20ft and 26ft.

18ft (pace american, quality fair) is good for just moving cars around. kinda limited on extra space for stuff. well, mine is actually not even good for that anymore, wife took it over for her antiques biz when i left it unattended and empty for a few weeks...

20ft would be what you want. just enough room in front to put some shelves. i towed my 20ft (wells cargo, quality excellent) with a 2500 'burb (454 big block) for years. basic enclosed 20ft trailer empty is going to be 3k+ lbs. add car and stuff and you will be over 6k. 7k is good limit for a 2500 burb for long distance and mountains.

26ft (haulmark, quality decent) requires big p/u truck. (f250 diesel crew long bed) close to 10k with race car multiple sets wheels, tool boxes, spares, a/c, full cabinets, etc. it rocks for race support and distance runs, but totally sucks to drag around in town.

2002's are easy to tie down. use 4 axle straps. two around front subframe at the control arm bolts, two around rear subframe just inside sway bar mount points. ratchet straps from those to basic d-rings in floor.

i avoid wheel straps. hold over from transporting race cars. i don't want chassis bouncing up and down in trailer on $4k worth of race shocks.

also DO NOT USE THE RINGS ON FRONT SUBFRAME OR THE RING ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SPARE TIRE WELL as tie down points. all of them will break off easily.

and get a load equalizing hitch setup. don't just use the ball.

happy to chat if you want to call....you know how to find me Lloyd...:-)

Miami...doing what? Jealous...wish i could get assigned down there again..

166.jpg

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20' minimum. If shorter, you can only re-sell to to go-karters.

In addition to the other excellent comments, if your tow vehicle is close to capacity or the least bit under powered, there is a hitch that not only equalizes weight, it reduces sway. It is nice if you have the few extra coins. A hitch or trailer company will know what I babble about.

I too use e-track wheel nets with my cars attached to recessed e-tracks. If the trailer goes upside down, theoretically, the car will hang from the floor. Not having a race car like the Admiral, I see nothing wrong with the suspension working inside a trailer that is suspended.

However, when I was hauling high end cars for money, we used four one ply, 1"X5' lifting slings. http://www.cargoequipmentcorp.com/Flat-Eye-Sling-p/ee1-901.htm. Looped them through the wheels and secured the ends of the sling ends (crossed) to four heavy duty ratchet straps. Surprisingly, they are so quick to hook up and extremely strong in a front or rear end collision. Only once did I run into a car with wheels that the slings would not go through. The slings never damaged a wheel and often, the two car box had right at or over $1 million dollars of cargo. The slings even work on wire wheels. There is a way to wrap the sling around the center knock off and secure to the ratchet straps.

And, always, always, check your load after 30 - 50 miles, the straps will loosen a bit and loosen even more if you made a mistake or were careless. Did I mention always?

Spare tire, jack to get the trailer off of the ground, spare bulbs, fire extinguisher, wheel chocks, and a lock for the hitch and doors in case you have to abandon or park the trailer for any reason. Triangles are not bad to have either. Good tow mirror for the tow vehicle too.

If you buy used, take a real good look at the bearings and races or replace if in doubt.

Make sure you know how to adjust, test and use the trailer brake unit and the break-away on the trailer. Most drivers never test the break-away unit. If the DOT man stops you (he shouldn't but can if he has cause), he WILL test it and park you until it is fixed.]

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If the front subframe loops are undamaged, they do work for tiedown, he says,

disagreeing with Marshall. But if they've been bent or cracked, they'll fail.

And they aren't good for loading, as any side load will distort them.

In back, there are 2 holes in the shell that were used for transport tiedown.

They work pretty well if you put a shackle through them.

The loop on the spare tire well is for getting the spare tire out if you've

lost your trunk key, not for trying to move the car...

If you're buying a used trailer, budget for 4 (or 6) new tires and a

full hub and brake service. Trailer tires age out before they wear out,

and when they age out, they fail catastrophically.

Likewise, an inertial controller is essential, and a weight- distributing

hitch is a big help. Sway control may or may not be useful.

Things I think I know,

t

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If the front subframe loops are undamaged, they do work for tiedown, he says,

disagreeing with Marshall. But if they've been bent or cracked, they'll fail.

And they aren't good for loading, as any side load will distort them.

t

the side load issue is exactly why they should not be used for tie downs. proper tie downs are crossed side to side, inducing a side load which will bent them off.....

of course, to cross or not to cross is a holy war fought for pages on most racing forums. ;-)

totally agree on the tire and bearing points. buy new tires for used trailers, take apart and regrease the wheel bearings (just like the 2002 front procedure), adjust the brakes, buy a good (not cheap) brake controller. and always carry two spare tire/wheels for the trailer. when one tire blows out, you will not notice it immediately. that means the other tire on that side of the trailer will be massively overloaded for a bit. guaranteed you will have a second blow out shortly after you fix the first.

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of course, to cross or not to cross is a holy war fought for pages on most racing forums. ;-)

oh, yeah, right- if you're a crosser, the loops will rip right off.

heh

t

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A big thank you to everyone! This is some great info. I've got 2 20fters lined up to look at this weekend. I'll post pics if I get one!

-Lloyd

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All great advice above. You didn't say if you are buying the trailer just to move or for a more permanent situation. However, if just buying for the move, consider keeping the trailer as it will be the cheapest storage (and most portable) you'll ever own.

Also, someone mentioned locks for the hitch and the trailer doors. When towing, I never lock the trailer to the tow vehicle. In case there is a fire, you can separate the vehicles without scrambling to find the key. I use a tractor type hitch pin to keep the hitch engaged to the ball.

Good luck with your cross country (and then some) move.

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That was me that mentioned locks and I followed with "in case you have to abandon or park it." I leave all the locks in the trailer while towing. I like the doors "not locked" so I can peak at the security of the car whenever I stop.

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i leave locks on everything, all the time, including the hitch when towing. i also don't want to go put four locks on the trailer at every food stop. easier and more secure to leave them on and just take the extra few seconds to unlock to check things.

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