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chandler
chandler UltimaDork
4/4/21 6:24 p.m.

I'm looking to buy a car trailer; I use a dolly for most things and have an equipment trailer that is way overkill for most of the stuff I move....and it's huge. Want to buy new, 18' probably, $3k or under. I use one of my pieces every month pretty much so it will get used but not as an everyday. So...learn me what I'm looking for exactly. 
 

My dolly

The trailer I use(it's not mine, just my FIL loves to live vicariously through me)

Part of my issue with that trailer is how high and heavy it is. Most of my cars are slammed so getting them it takes some real work. TIA

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/4/21 6:37 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

That doesn't look any higher than my conventional car hauler and the price of the FIL's trailer is better.

 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
4/4/21 6:39 p.m.

I'm no help on buying new race trailers, but Race ramp extenders and the FIL trailer is probably the cheapest.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/4/21 6:43 p.m.

Paging Evan...

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
4/4/21 6:56 p.m.

maybe this shows the height difference? It's very tall. To get my coupe which is pretty dang low on I needed a raised parking spot (luckily it was where the car was), two arched ramps and it still hung up. Used some extra 2x4s to bring it up a little more.

 

Also, the trailer isn't mine, I can't hook up and go at 9pm or 6am to get whatever I find. I need to ask and go snag it from whatever barn it's in and I hate asking (haha). Maybe it's better to have that buffer...

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/4/21 7:03 p.m.

I think the back might be a bit taller because of the beaver tail, but I think that's pretty much the normal height. My car trailer isn't that much, if any, lower either. As other people said, Race Ramp ramp extenders are your friend.

Given your budget I think you're pretty much stuck with heavy trailers, most of the aluminium ones I've seen start around twice your budget.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/4/21 7:04 p.m.
chandler said:

Also, the trailer isn't mine, I can't hook up and go at 9pm or 6am to get whatever I find. I need to ask and go snag it from whatever barn it's in and I hate asking (haha). Maybe it's better to have that buffer...

Some of us who are weak willed and own trailers would say that's a good thing. At least that way, it's harder to drag any old E36 M3 home. Which is way too easy if you have a trailer that's just sitting there waiting to get hitched up.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/4/21 7:25 p.m.

IIRC my trailer is80" between the fenders, 18' deck length, don't remember the overall length but assume 24', two 3500 lb axles.

The deck center is open and the decking is diamond plate. It likely weighs a ton. Main frame is 2x4 tubing with 2x2 cross members. The rear is dovetailed. I have friends with much newer trailers that were $3-4K new. They are both constructed of C-channel , have full wood decks and are heavier than my trailer. I've had mine since 1995 and have used it to haul my race cars, Miatas and VW GTIs. The thing is overkill for what I've used it for, but you rarely see car haulers sized to small cars. In my daydreams I'd have bought a Trailex aluminum trailer instead. Here are a couple of photos to judge the size and height..

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/4/21 7:51 p.m.

Example of a tubular frame trailer. It weighs 1940 lb without a spare tire, tire rack, toolbox, etc....and given the current shortage of trailers and components, I'll bet they don't have one in stock. But , it's not a bad price if they did have one.2021 Sure-Trac 7 x 18 (14+4) Steel Deck Car Hauler Trai | Eds Auto and Trailers | Union City MI (edsautoinc.com)

Marketplace - 2021 Sure-trac 7 X 18 (14+4) Steel Deck Car Hauler Trai | Facebook.....this ad has the price.

 

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/4/21 7:56 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Paging Evan...

I got mine from this place in southern Ohio. 

https://www.facebook.com/D-K-Auto-Sales-Farm-Supply-123076547748772/

In 2018 it was $2000 for a brand new 18' (16' deck, 2' dovetail) trailer which beat any used deals I could find. Not sure what they have in stock now but they had a full lot when I bought mine and a few different options. It's a little out of the way but the owner said he had a friend who would buy from him and tow them up to Columbus to sell for $3-400 more. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/4/21 8:05 p.m.

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

That was a great deal. Is it leaf sprung or torsion springs? Nice low deck.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/4/21 10:03 p.m.
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) said:

I think the back might be a bit taller because of the beaver tail, but I think that's pretty much the normal height. My car trailer isn't that much, if any, lower either. As other people said, Race Ramp ramp extenders are your friend.

Yeah, if you've got leaf springs and a normal axle, that's pretty much the height you're set at.  A lower deck needs different suspension.

Most aluminum trailers aren't actually all that much lighter -- I had a steel/wood 16' open trailer that was 1900 and the featherlite equivalent was only about 300 pounds lighter.  I have been told that this is due to the welded construction annealing the aluminum, and since nobody has a heat-treat oven big enough for a trailer frame they have to add more material to make up for.  Trailex is the exception due to the bolted construction preserving the original heat treatment.

 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
4/4/21 10:28 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

Trailex trailers get as low as 700lbs for their smallest model, middle models is about 900lbs and fits most "track-centric" cars.

 

**Edit, my bad, I missed the end of your comment about trailex trailers.

jgrewe
jgrewe Reader
4/4/21 11:40 p.m.

Check out Econo trailers. I just sold one to a friend and I still borrow it occasionally. Light weight for steel, fenders are low enough to open doors over even on a Spec Miata or lowered FB RX7.

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
4/5/21 6:15 a.m.

Right, a 7k# trailer would be great, this one is a 16k trailer. See where Evan's is lower than his bumper flat?  Mine is leaning down to line up with the bumper on a slightly lifted 4x4. I'm reading all the info here, thanks guys.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/5/21 6:25 a.m.
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

That was a great deal. Is it leaf sprung or torsion springs? Nice low deck.

It's leaf sprung. The only thing I still want to do is make the left fender removable. Most doors don't clear it. 

lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter)
lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
4/5/21 6:33 a.m.

http://www.econotrailer.com/Open.html

 

Ive had 3 of their trailers and they are great. I picked up my latest one 3 years ago. Back then my current trailer needed tires, brakes and lights, so I called Econo to find out what their current pricing was. Something like $2699 plus they delivered up to 200 miles away for FREE. I sold my current Econo "open" trailer for $1850 via CraigsList and upgraded to a new "full deck" one for a net ~$800 which is what the repairs on my old trailer would have cost. They make a nice trailer and are easy to work with if you want any changes or additions done to the trailer. I've had several friends buy trailers from them after seeing or using mine.

 

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
4/5/21 6:47 a.m.

Open deck trailers are great for using as a 'lift' for undercar work. Downside is they are lousy for hauling non-car things like lawn tractors and motorcycles.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
4/5/21 7:09 a.m.

I also have an econotrailer. Mine is the shorter length in the open deck configuration, and works great for my race car. As mentioned above, it does not work great for non-car things.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/5/21 7:09 a.m.

In reply to lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter) :

Mine is much older but I also have an Econo open deck. From their website, it appears that the design hasn't really changed since whenever mine was built. I can also say that they are nice to deal with and seem to use very off-the-shelf pieces so replacement parts are easy. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/5/21 7:37 a.m.
EvanB (Forum Supporter) said:
DeadSkunk (Warren) said:

In reply to EvanB (Forum Supporter) :

That was a great deal. Is it leaf sprung or torsion springs? Nice low deck.

It's leaf sprung. The only thing I still want to do is make the left fender removable. Most doors don't clear it. 

My old beast needs new fenders, so I'll be making the left one removable for door clearance,too.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/5/21 7:39 a.m.

Do the ramps on those Econotrailer units just slide up under the tread plates for storage? That would be a nice feature.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/5/21 7:50 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

Yes and are just held in with a pin. Every so often one of mine will get caught but it's usually a painfree exercise. I'm sure if the trailer wasn't 30 years old it would never get caught. 

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/5/21 8:27 a.m.

When I finished the "Outlaw Bug" I was a bit frustrated with trailers on the market and 4" of ride height.

So... I cranked up the MIG and spent a weekend and ~$1,500 and built my own using all new parts.  A 4' drop axle got the tilt deck down to about  14".   Since the car is light I went with 1 axle with brakes.  Adding another axle would not be much harder on a bit longer trailer.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
4/5/21 9:05 a.m.

In reply to Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) :

Nice. I'm a fan of trailers built to a particular purpose. Here's my first trailer. Hauled a Mini and a Formula Vee to autocrosses with it. No suspension or brakes because it was so light. The tow vehicle was  a 1983 Pontiac 6000 STE.

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