jungle New Reader
7/28/10 5:16 p.m.

I am looking at upgrading my open car trailer....Currently I use a trailer that is made to haul bobcats not 2400lb cars...the roof of the neon is at or above the roof line of the tow vehicle. The tow vehicle is a Dodge 1/2 ton w/ a 318ci....so it works pretty hard.

So a lighter trailer, w/ a lower deck and tires that are 205/75's vs 225/75's should help a bit.

I got a line on a used featherlite for $3300, so it is roughly a $2000 upgrade! OUCH!

Are featherlites really that much lighter than a "light weight" steel trailer. What concerns should I have? Modding it becomes a bit harder as I can't weld Alum. I have heard people talk about the welds on these cracking, is this true? Is it really an issue?


DILYSI Dave SuperDork
7/28/10 6:03 p.m.

Is it lighter than a lightweight steel? No. unfortunately, the only way to get a lightweight steel is to build it yourself. Commercial trailers are all heavy.

Do the welds crack - Yes. Aluminum fatigues to zero strength. Steel fatigues to a weaker, but still strong state. Given enough cycles, aluminum will always fail.

$3300 is pretty cheap for a featherlight, and they are some nice trailers. I typically don't think the premium is worth it, but i sure do oogle at the ones owned by people who do.

Rob_Mopar Reader
7/28/10 6:22 p.m.

I have a Worthington aluminum trailer. Used to pull it with my '96 Dakota with a 318 Maggie. Trailer would typically be carrying late '60's Mopar A-bodies, aprox 3400 Lbs.

The trailer weighs about 1600 Lbs. It's a full 18' deck with dovetail. Had 205/75-14's on it new. Had to go to a 225/75-15 when I got the Ram since it's so tall even using a significant drop hitch the dove tail would bottom out. The 14" wheel/tire combo was fine with the shorter truck.

44Dwarf HalfDork
7/28/10 8:40 p.m.

Try this trailer http://www.bre2.net/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=B&Product_Code=bre2_aerovault_trailer&Category_Code=car_trailers

it's only 18,500......

Woody SuperDork
7/28/10 8:48 p.m.

I have a Trailex and it's less than 1000 pounds. It's 26 years old and it's still in great condition..

jungle New Reader
7/29/10 1:26 p.m.
44Dwarf wrote: Try this trailer http://www.bre2.net/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=B&Product_Code=bre2_aerovault_trailer&Category_Code=car_trailers it's only 18,500......

Yeah, I have seen those.....it would be kinda funny having a $3000 truck, a $4000 race car in a $18000 trailer! :P

alfadriver Dork
7/29/10 1:33 p.m.

Search for "Travel-Lite". Mine's mostly aluminum, with some steel- weighs all of 700lb, including axles (assuming shipping weight was close). And can carry 3000lb.

Very few were made, and a friend of mine has the last one.

if you see pictures of our challenge Spider on a trailer- that's the trailer I'm talking about. But that was 2002, 2003, and 2004 when we came down.


curtis73 HalfDork
7/30/10 1:04 a.m.

I once borrowed an $8000 aluminum trailer to haul my $300 pontiac.

I prefer steel; cheaper, more durable in the long run, easy to repair if it breaks, and modifying it with a welder is easy and cheap.

mad_machine SuperDork
7/30/10 7:53 a.m.

it all depends on what you are doing with it.

If you are going to move cars occasionally (less than once every couple of months or so) go with steel and go slow to save your towrig

If you are trailing on a consistant basis.. get a lightweight trailer

Rob_mopar brings up a good idea.. can you downsize the rims and tyres to lower the roof of your neon?

jungle New Reader
8/5/10 2:59 p.m.

I tow the race car to scca/nasa events about 5~8x per year, the longest event away being 12 hours and the closest being 2.5hrs.

What do we think about H&H? I can get a brand new H&H aluminum one w/ a wood deck for $4k brand new...supposidly it weighs 1400lbs.

914Driver SuperDork
8/5/10 3:10 p.m.

6 X 10 deck, 19" off the ground. 3500 lb. axles, no brakes. Ramps underneath. Aluminum deck. I don't know what it weighs.

Big enough for a Neon. $900.

euro_rs None
8/5/10 3:21 p.m.

In reply to jungle:

Although Curtis73 is making light of your question, I can recommend from experience that the aluminum trailer is a better investment in the long-run for three reason: (1) lighter weight means less stress/damage to your SUV drivetrain, (2) no rust means less structural damage, and (3) resale value (getting your money back).

I've owned Featherlite, Tommy's Trailers, and Trailex brand. I scoffed (like Curtis73) at who would spend money on aluminum -- but I'm a believer now as i can tow my 2600 pound Porsche race car, with gear, in an enclosed Trailex with a Toyota FJ Cruiser and be under the 5,000 pound tow limit!!

If the cost of your car is less than the trailer -- buy steel. If you own anything decent (or hope to in the future) you will never regret aluminum.

ansonivan HalfDork
8/5/10 3:50 p.m.

Did you build this?

I've considered a single axle trailer but the idea of a blowout scares me.

914Driver wrote: 6 X 10 deck, 19" off the ground. 3500 lb. axles, no brakes. Ramps underneath. Aluminum deck. I don't know what it weighs. Big enough for a Neon. $900.
kellym New Reader
8/5/10 5:08 p.m.

Are there any runflat tires that are approved for trailer use? If so, you could install a TPS to monitor the pressures on a single axle trailer, the runflat would potentially eliminate any ugliness from a blowout

mad_machine SuperDork
8/5/10 5:11 p.m.

that is a good question.. and a GOOD place for runflats

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