Teggsan
Teggsan Reader
10/20/12 11:34 p.m.

After trailering the car a few times on a rented uhaul trailer, I think I want an enclosed trailer. Probably an 8.5' x 24'.

Seems like a good amount of variability in pricing. I see trailers that look pretty close feature for feature that vary by thousands of dollars in cost. In particular the ones I see on racingjunk are typically pretty expensive compared to what it seems like I could get new. At least in my area.

What are the key things to look for when evaluating the quality of exterior, roof, axles, ramp, etc?

What company has a good reputation for quality and price?

Thanks for any tips.

Teggsan
Teggsan Reader
10/20/12 11:47 p.m.

For example this 8.5 x 24 has a finished interior and cabinets for $6400. A Haulmark in this configuration looks like it would be over $10K.

http://www.hurricanecargo.com/index.php/default/our-trailers/racing-trailers/typhoon-8-5x48-enclosed-gooseneck-trailer-1.html

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
10/21/12 12:37 a.m.

That certainly looks like a deal. I bought a new Pace a few years ago in that size. It was their lowest end trailer with torsion suspension (you dont want leaf springs, something to check for). With plywood walls, a couple of windows, a land line, and an A/C unit it was about $9500. No cabinets and no aluminum finish in the interior. I've never heard of Hurricane trailers, so I'd be wary of the quality.

Research the suspension and axles and see if you can compare the box structure to the mainline guys.

codrus
codrus Reader
10/21/12 2:18 a.m.
Basil Exposition wrote: (you dont want leaf springs, something to check for).

Can you elaborate on this? I'd been told elsewhere that leaf springs were preferrable for enclosed trailers due to strength issues with the torsion ones.

Right now I have an open trailer, but I've been keeping an eye out for a deal on an enclosed one.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
10/21/12 7:24 a.m.

The advantages to torsion bar are many. You won't find leaf spring suspensions on anything but the cheapest enclosed trailer from the major manufacturers. A quick Google search came up with this:

http://www.ucfamerica.com/FlexirideTechnicalLiterature/TRAILER%20BREAKTHROUGH.pdf

unk577
unk577 Reader
10/21/12 8:13 a.m.

I would go torsion axle. And get the highest axle capacity you can, it doesn't effect the price too much. You will meet/exceed their capacity quickly if you stick with the 3500's most less expensive trailers come with.

I would also upgrade to a v-nose. It pulls a lot better- less input on the tow vehicle, better mpg, etc. You will also gain a considerable amount of room inside the trailer.

If you don't purchase it with a/c then at least get it prewired and set up for a/c(extra supports in the roof so it won't sag later). Also insulated ceiling and walls help keep temps down inside.

Some of these options could be the difference in price you are seeing as some of the name brand trailers may come standard. Also if the price seems ridiculously high there's a good chance that its all aluminum.

Just what I've learned over the last few trailers I've had

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Reader
10/21/12 11:29 a.m.

+1 on the axle capacity. Even though you might not need to carry the weight of the higher rated axles, they will allow you to use a heavier duty tire. Good trailer tires are hard to find and it helps to be able to use a larger, higher capacity tire.

This is a lesson I learned the hard way.

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro Reader
10/21/12 1:06 p.m.

Definitely go with the 5200 lb axles, and get torsion axles as well. They ride much smoother and usually last longer. Plus the heavier duty tires will hold up better.

Hopefully your tow vehicle is up to the task, quite a difference between an open and enclosed trailer, which I know first hand. A bit of an eye opener.

Don49
Don49 Reader
10/21/12 2:22 p.m.

5200# axles and 16" E rated tires. The extra capacity is cheap insurance against flat tires or axle problems.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/21/12 3:48 p.m.

Along with looking for a V-nose, consider the lowest roofline you can stand.

It makes a huge difference in wind resistance and towabiliity.

High rooflines seem nice, but they encourage shelving, cabinets, and storage up high, which raises the center of gravity quickly, and increases the chance of random stuff flying around the trailer. The truth is, most folks really don't need the high storage.

Teggsan
Teggsan Reader
10/21/12 7:04 p.m.
81cpcamaro wrote: Definitely go with the 5200 lb axles, and get torsion axles as well. They ride much smoother and usually last longer. Plus the heavier duty tires will hold up better. Hopefully your tow vehicle is up to the task, quite a difference between an open and enclosed trailer, which I know first hand. A bit of an eye opener.

Appreciate the tips. I have an Excursion with the 7.3L diesel so I think I'm good on the towing front.

I was leaning toward a 7' ceiling (I'm 6'4" and hate to duck) but will do some measurement to see how far that would stick up above the roofline of the truck. Better that it tucks behind the truck, I imagine.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/21/12 7:20 p.m.

Neither will "tuck" behind the truck.

My hair occasionally touches the ceiling ribs. I could whack my head badly if I got a good bounce in my stride. In my case, that's 72" (standard height). That's about perfect in my book.

A 7' trailer is a foot higher than standard. That's about 17% more frontal area, and it nearly doubles the frontal area above the car's roofline.

Most car trailers are 78" interiors.

You might want to think about it.

Toyman01
Toyman01 PowerDork
10/21/12 7:39 p.m.

Having owned spring and torsion axle trailers, I wouldn't buy another torsion axle, to the point I've gotten rid of all the torsion axles I had and converted to springs. Every one I have had experience with ate the inner edges of the tires and bounced like crazy. Even on my boat trailer I ditched the torsion axles for springs. I'd rather replace $30 salt water rusted springs every 5 years than $70 tires every 2-3.

I would definitely go with the load range E tires. I run radials on my enclosed because they tend to run cooler than bias ply tires at interstate speeds.

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro Reader
10/21/12 9:27 p.m.
Teggsan wrote: Appreciate the tips. I have an Excursion with the 7.3L diesel so I think I'm good on the towing front. I was leaning toward a 7' ceiling (I'm 6'4" and hate to duck) but will do some measurement to see how far that would stick up above the roofline of the truck. Better that it tucks behind the truck, I imagine.

Mine is 6'6" high inside, which ends up at about 100-102" up from the ground. It is a good bit higher than the roof of my truck.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Dork
10/22/12 9:36 a.m.

After shopping around for horse trailers, I can tell you the difference in price is usually the quality of the construction.

Everybody who sees our trailer comments on the welds, usually something along the lines of "That guy was anal" or "He had some extra time on his hands."

Go check trailers out first hand, and if you can, tow one around. Even empty a good one and a bad one pull differently.

BigD
BigD Reader
10/22/12 10:06 a.m.

I got one of these in 20ft (+4.5ft v-nose), couldn't be happier!

http://neotrailers.com/products_trailers_ncvr.php

Not the cheapest way to go but they don't weigh much more than an open steel trailer. This was the deal-maker for me. I have a 4.7L 4Runner and I was looking at open aluminum trailers. But the cheapest acceptable ones are almost 5 grand. That made me look at enclosed trailers but those would require a more serious tow rig. I played with the idea of selling the gunner, buying an economical sedan and a cheap diesel pile of ugly awesome but any way I sliced it, I would take a massive bath on the car change. So having decided that the gunner stays is an axiom, and that I can't bring myself to pay 5k+ for a flat top, I found these guys. Towing the trailer unloaded, with the electric brakes and torsion axles, I sometimes almost forget that it's back there. The only time it really lets me know is when a semi passes me.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltraDork
10/22/12 10:22 a.m.

Support our advertisers? Call Pete - I (should) get a commission on these.

http://www.bre2.net/pdfs/bre2_aerovault_brochure_2011_11_27.pdf?phpMyAdmin=k9QIsjCI-UCmbjFU6X2usBJKjz3

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Dork
10/22/12 10:50 a.m.
Datsun310Guy wrote: Support our advertisers? Call Pete - I (should) get a commission on these. http://www.bre2.net/pdfs/bre2_aerovault_brochure_2011_11_27.pdf?phpMyAdmin=k9QIsjCI-UCmbjFU6X2usBJKjz3

That would be a good commision given those are around $20k

dj06482
dj06482 HalfDork
10/22/12 11:22 a.m.

I just read the entire BRE brochure - that's a work of art. Very well thought-out, too bad it's so expensive.

Teggsan
Teggsan Reader
10/22/12 12:35 p.m.

That BRE isn't in the budget. Too bad. Nice trailer.

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