sachilles Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 3:35 p.m.

Keith posted a picture of a mini van, grafted with a trailer that piqued my interest. What other home brew car haulers have people come up with. I once borrowed a retired US mail truck/trailer to haul my mini.

I have an old dodge pickup, that I tow my trailer with for the mini. I've often thought about trying to bring a second car to an event. I've toyed with the idea of making a custom bed for the truck that the mini could be transported on, eliminating the need for a trailer. However, if I wanted a second car, I could tow the trailer with it on there. It would only need 10 feet of deck space to be stored, and it is already a long bed truck. Of course this is all a flight of fancy at this I don't really have the time to worry about this.

problemaddict Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 3:45 p.m.

Is your dodge a 4x4? You could hack the rear off and build something like this:

FWD. Low deck hauler. Pretty neat.

aussiesmg Dork
Feb. 14, 2009 3:50 p.m.

My trailer is the rear end off an old slope bed hauler, loads of under-bed storage

Opus HalfDork
Feb. 14, 2009 3:50 p.m.

I have a friend with an old army Jeep that he hauls in the back of his Chevy full size long bed along with towing his camping trailer

I have also seen pictures of a 60's Eldorado that had been converted in to a hauler since the car was fwd.

sachilles Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 3:59 p.m.
problemaddict wrote: Is your dodge a 4x4? You could hack the rear off and build something like this: FWD. Low deck hauler. Pretty neat.

Keith posted something similar with a minivan. It is a 4x4, but I'd like to maintain that, as I use it to plow my driveway. I'm thinking something more a long the lines of the army jeep picture. I'm sure you've seen folks that have replaced their rusted out truck bed with a wooden bed. I'm thinking something on the same idea, but use a metal structure. It would likely need a dove tail or something. Imagine a flatbed tow truck, without the hydraulics.

aeronca65t Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 4:09 p.m.

OK, here's my Chevy StepVan (for sale right now in the GRM Classifieds for $1975 (but I'll take talks!) And yes, the roll-down door will clsoe with a Sprite inside.

~Link To Ad~

sachilles Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 4:23 p.m.

I like that. When at the track you can pull the car out and camp inside. I can't buy it though. I'm curious, does it have A/C? It would be like having a mobile garage.

914Driver Dork
Feb. 14, 2009 4:36 p.m.

I got the BatVan trailer from a friend who's an insurance adjuster. A 28ft. camping trailer took a dive off I-90; I got the frame, 4w brakes etc. for $200; he got the glass and porta-potty. Add angle iron, aluminum deck, elbow grease, got a car hauler for under $600.


sachilles Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 4:46 p.m.

The batvan looks cool.

alex Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 4:52 p.m.
aeronca65t wrote: OK, here's my Chevy StepVan (for sale right now in the GRM Classifieds for $1975 (but I'll take talks!) And yes, the roll-down door will clsoe with a Sprite inside.

There's a guy who comes to local bike trackdays with a similar setup, but he's using a later-model Isuzu-ish turbo diesel cabover box truck with a tommy lift. Bike goes in effortlessly thanks to the liftgate, his toolboxes are all bolted to the floor/wall, and there's tons of space with the bike(s) out.

Add a/c and a translucent roof (as in UPS trucks and such), and you'd have the makings of a somewhat luxurious wrenching space for smaller-than-car-sized projects. I seriously considered a set up like this when I was living in Chicago without a garage for my bike. Hell, I should probably consider it now, since I'm living in St. Louis without a garage for my bikes...

dculberson Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 5:06 p.m.

Your loading deck will end up very high with keeping the 4wd setup. The high center of gravity will make it a little top heavy and you'll need some really serious ramps. But there's no reason it wouldn't work. Just nowhere near as well as a FWD based hauler.

Keith SuperDork
Feb. 14, 2009 5:35 p.m.

for more information on the car I posted (it was a support vehicle for multiple LBCs during the Targa), see the builder's page: It's called the Car Camel.

EvanB Reader
Feb. 14, 2009 6:19 p.m.

I would like to have this one:

MedicineMan New Reader
Feb. 15, 2009 6:25 a.m.

My first job was working as a mechanic for a company in the white water rafting industry in West Virginia. We built several "chop buses" Basically you cut the body of the bus in half, move the rear door sheet metal up and build a wood flat bed on the back. The same concept could be done with a van or mini van provided it has a frame instead of a unibody design. Just be sure to build the bed seperate from the front a pickup bed...I have seen them break in half from the stress of not having a flex point in the bed.

I will try and find some pictures of the one we built...not trying to toot my own horn but it is still the nicest chop bus I have seen

aeronca65t Reader
Feb. 15, 2009 7:21 a.m.
Keith wrote: for more information on the car I posted (it was a support vehicle for multiple LBCs during the Targa), see the builder's page: It's called the Car Camel.

I thought I recognized that! My pal (and fellow vintage racer) Michael Oritt was the navigator in that 100-4.

914Driver Dork
Feb. 17, 2009 2:31 p.m.
problemaddict wrote: Is your dodge a 4x4? You could hack the rear off and build something like this: FWD. Low deck hauler. Pretty neat.

How bad is it to run the front pumpkin all the time at highway speeds?

Running my 4-Runner at 60+ in 4WD makes me nervous, it may be OK to do, just more noises and different handling.

I'm really thinking about this rig, it's very doable, easy to engineer and not hard to look at.


patgizz Dork
Feb. 17, 2009 6:53 p.m.


bet they used a FWD caddy driveline in that truck

its cool yet scary at the same time

914Driver Dork
Feb. 18, 2009 5:42 a.m.

Ooooo Caddy? I know where there's a clean El Dorado for under a grand.

problemaddict Reader
Feb. 18, 2009 6:49 a.m.

I used to see these all the time in the Dupont Registry magazine, although i just looked at their current issue online and didn't see any...

But they were being built with NEW truck chassis. Silverados and F-150s, so i doubt they were putting Caddy/Toro drivetrains in them.

Google is not helping me find any other examples except the above picture.

Here's another similar idea, but on a COE:

914Driver Dork
Feb. 18, 2009 8:07 a.m.

The car I will be hauling weighs about 1600 lbs., I'm thinking one ton van, shortened body, lengthened frame and a flat out back.

Plan B. if you can run 4WD in front wheel only, is something like the red lowboy pictured above.

Plan C: Redneck the back of an El Dorado and make something like the red mini hauler in the same thread.

I'm mostly doing research, gotta finish the car first.


Ian_F New Reader
Feb. 18, 2009 9:04 a.m.

Depending the width of your car, it may fit into the back of a 8' bed pick-up with extended ramps... I had similar thoughts about using my Dodge to haul a Spitfire or a Mini...

Keith SuperDork
Feb. 18, 2009 9:28 a.m.

I don't see what the problem would be with running a 4WD pickup in FWD only.

My Mini is 57" wide and 10' long. I think that's about 6" too wide to fit between the wheel wells of a full size truck.

btp76 New Reader
Feb. 18, 2009 9:32 a.m.

Something to keep in mind. In TX you can tow a car on a dolly or a trailer with regular insurance and have your liability cover what you are towing. If you put the car on the back of any kind of truck you become a wrecker and need one million dollars in commercial general liability insurance, which means you have to be a business to get it, which means you'll pay $3000 or so annually for insurance that will cover anything you drive / own but the coverage isn't as good as a standard auto policy. This info is about 5 years old, and I hear through the grapevine that the laws got much more strict this year. Other states may vary,

skruffy Dork
Feb. 18, 2009 9:45 a.m.

As long as you aren't charging yourself any money to haul your own car around you're not a business. And if you get in a wreck I doubt you'll sue yourself for damages. Commercial insurance is completely unnecessary so long as you don't intend to haul other peoples cars around for money.

Wally SuperDork
Feb. 18, 2009 9:49 a.m.

You just need three simple word. "Not For Hire". As far as using the front half of a 4x4, Don't the only go half as fast with the rear shaft pulled. I don't remember the reasons why but a as a kid my dad had to pull the rear drive shaft on his truck and drive it home using just the front axle and it seemed to take forever.

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