Road Racing / Autocross & Time Attack Road Racing / AUTOX, HPDE, Time Attack

Trailer Options

 
Old 05-13-2019, 11:33 AM
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Default Trailer Options

Hey guys, I am looking at a few different options for a trailer. I am looking at open trailers in the 16ft length with a tire rack (so I can park it in my garage with the car on it). I am going back and forth with closed/open centers and wondering what the benefits/drawbacks are of both. Hauling will be with a v8 4runner for now with 7K tow capacity. I am trying to keep the weight down, not opposed to aluminum if the price is right. Anyone have some recommendations or feedback for hauling the EG? The last event I used a rental open center, it was 20ft, heavy (3300 lb unloaded weight) and way more length than I needed.

Thanks for any info!
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Originally Posted by Dublocivic View Post
Hey guys, I am looking at a few different options for a trailer. I am looking at open trailers in the 16ft length with a tire rack (so I can park it in my garage with the car on it). I am going back and forth with closed/open centers and wondering what the benefits/drawbacks are of both. Hauling will be with a v8 4runner for now with 7K tow capacity. I am trying to keep the weight down, not opposed to aluminum if the price is right. Anyone have some recommendations or feedback for hauling the EG? The last event I used a rental open center, it was 20ft, heavy (3300 lb unloaded weight) and way more length than I needed.

Thanks for any info!
I have an 18ft. closed for my Civic and it works great, it's dove tailed. For me the drawbacks with open centers is that debris can fly up the center area, if something falls off the car from the bay area it's gone and then you have to make sure when loading the car its perfect lineup each time.

Not really sure what advantage an open center would be with 1 exception if the car is on the trailer you can work on the car from the underside with some extra room.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Your civic will fit on a 15 ft (that's what I am running) with the same tire rack setup. 15ft is non traditional and usually a little cheaper.

Since you are using your 4runner, I'd stay with an open steel deck. A closed deck will just add weight without a lot of benefit. Generally the closed decks are stiffer and survive an accident (God forbid) better... but as long as you have a name brand open deck you are fine. with the 4 runner, trailer, and tire rack you almost need an open deck. that open deck will account for the weight of the tire rack and maybe a set of tires.

The aero dynamics of a tire rack will be felt by any vehicle, even my tundra. I was going to add a tire rack to mine, but I decided that I might as well just keep going and go enclosed. I think you want to keep it as low as possible BUT I'd also make sure you can put your 4runner on it if needed... my design was to be able to keep my wife lifted TJ on it and still keep it below the roof line of the truck... but it was still going to effect MPG.

you are going to have to play with your weight distribution with your 4runner. car placement, the tire rack, etc will effect it much more than my Tundra... so start with the bare bones of an open deck and work from there. if you have a steel trailer and steel tire rack (don't cross metals when you do your rack) you might have to load your EG on the trailer backward or get airbags on the 4runner. you wont know until you get your hands on one and start loading it.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Originally Posted by AZ_CIVIC View Post
I have an 18ft. closed for my Civic and it works great, it's dove tailed. For me the drawbacks with open centers is that debris can fly up the center area, if something falls off the car from the bay area it's gone and then you have to make sure when loading the car its perfect lineup each time.

Not really sure what advantage an open center would be with 1 exception if the car is on the trailer you can work on the car from the underside with some extra room.
weight savings is #1 with the open deck trailer. I NEVER recommend working on your car on the open trailer... we saw someone die doing that.

open or closed deck, if it falls off the car its flying off an open trailer. nut and bolt checks are key... you will drop stuff otherwise.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Originally Posted by Kaan View Post
weight savings is #1 with the open deck trailer. I NEVER recommend working on your car on the open trailer... we saw someone die doing that.

open or closed deck, if it falls off the car its flying off an open trailer. nut and bolt checks are key... you will drop stuff otherwise.
I would not recommend it either and yes to saving weight but my 18ft closed wood floor trailer is 2500 pounds. I am guessing a dedicated track car is less than 2500 pounds and with his vehicle being able to tow 7000 pounds it should be a problem with closed floor vs. open. If he get's a 16 foot it would be even lighter or if he had the money a closed aluminum trailer would be pretty dang light.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Ok makes sense on the bolt check, debris, and not going under the trailer. I have seen some pressure treated solid decks, which look decent but I am hesitant to use that just from a maintenance perspective since it will be subjected to the elements. I think a solid steel or aluminum would be best but not as lightweight based off what you guys are telling me. I have a set of linked bags in it already which helps with the sag when it loaded gtg there. Thanks for the info!

Last edited by Dublocivic; 05-13-2019 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:25 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

If you can find a used, all aluminum open trailer at a fair price....you'll never lose any money on it.

PS- trailer tires are junk. Check the date codes; if they're more than 5 years old, replace them.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Originally Posted by ross2004 View Post
If you can find a used, all aluminum open trailer at a fair price....you'll never lose any money on it.

PS- trailer tires are junk. Check the date codes; if they're more than 5 years old, replace them.
I didn't think about resale, that is a good point. Do you guys run regular tires rather than trailer specific tires? It always seems like trailer tires are garbage.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:19 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

I run trailer specific tires. and I check tire pressures when the car is loaded and add air at home or make a note for the station.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaan View Post
Your civic will fit on a 15 ft (that's what I am running) with the same tire rack setup. 15ft is non traditional and usually a little cheaper.

Since you are using your 4runner, I'd stay with an open steel deck. A closed deck will just add weight without a lot of benefit. Generally the closed decks are stiffer and survive an accident (God forbid) better... but as long as you have a name brand open deck you are fine. with the 4 runner, trailer, and tire rack you almost need an open deck. that open deck will account for the weight of the tire rack and maybe a set of tires.

The aero dynamics of a tire rack will be felt by any vehicle, even my tundra. I was going to add a tire rack to mine, but I decided that I might as well just keep going and go enclosed. I think you want to keep it as low as possible BUT I'd also make sure you can put your 4runner on it if needed... my design was to be able to keep my wife lifted TJ on it and still keep it below the roof line of the truck... but it was still going to effect MPG.

you are going to have to play with your weight distribution with your 4runner. car placement, the tire rack, etc will effect it much more than my Tundra... so start with the bare bones of an open deck and work from there. if you have a steel trailer and steel tire rack (don't cross metals when you do your rack) you might have to load your EG on the trailer backward or get airbags on the 4runner. you wont know until you get your hands on one and start loading it.
Very well said kaan! The Toyota SUVs from what I've heard have softer rear springs, so I can back up what Kaan is saying about possibly needing air bags or playing with a load distributing hitch or whatever they're called. Benefit of a closed trailer also is that you can lay boards or other things underneath the car during transporting. Wooden boards are great to have in rainy paddocks where your feet would otherwise get soaked.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Trailer tires for me, even though I despise them. Inflate them to the max pressure on the sidewall, try to store them parked on something dry and shield from sunlight if you can (not bags, they trap moisture). Carry two spares, because when one blows and you put on your only spare...you get real nervous. Don't leave home without everything you need to change a flat on the side of the road. I have my impact wrench with the right socket and
Trailer-Aid Trailer-Aid
ready to go whenever I leave the house/track. I can change a flat and be back moving in under 10 mins.

I've blown out a lot of trailer tires.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

This is a 14' x 6' steel trailer with a wood deck. I keep thinking I should weight it, but probably less than 1,200 lbs. It would be easy to add a tire rack to the front. The trailer has two 2x10 by 14' runners down both sides and 3/4" treated plywood in the middle. 3,500 lbs, 4" drop axles, 6' ramps. I had it made by a trailer fabrication company in the Portland Oregon area. Cost was about $1,200 (20 years ago).

I currently tow it with a Honda Pilot (17 mpg with car in tow). Have towed it with a few Pathfinders, a Frontier, Dakota R/T, and a Hyundai minivan.


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Old 05-15-2019, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Originally Posted by Dilbones View Post
Very well said kaan! The Toyota SUVs from what I've heard have softer rear springs, so I can back up what Kaan is saying about possibly needing air bags or playing with a load distributing hitch or whatever they're called. Benefit of a closed trailer also is that you can lay boards or other things underneath the car during transporting. Wooden boards are great to have in rainy paddocks where your feet would otherwise get soaked.
Yea the factory rear springs are soft. Good for trail riding and overlanding but not so good for hauling. I have had these:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CW6IBU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CW6IBU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
on it for a few years now and they have worked flawlessly. Ran a fill valve right to where the 7 pin is on the hitch. Usually, I can get it pretty close to the same fender height as unloaded when its fully stuffed. I think they give about 500 pounds of tongue weight leveling, the 4runner handles like crap with the nose up, reminds me of that rodeo game in college. Made a big difference with that heavy (3300#s unloaded) 20 foot car hauler rental that I have used.

That is another great idea with the planks/plywood with the closed center, thanks!
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ross2004 View Post
Trailer tires for me, even though I despise them. Inflate them to the max pressure on the sidewall, try to store them parked on something dry and shield from sunlight if you can (not bags, they trap moisture). Carry two spares, because when one blows and you put on your only spare...you get real nervous. Don't leave home without everything you need to change a flat on the side of the road. I have my impact wrench with the right socket and Trailer-Aid ready to go whenever I leave the house/track. I can change a flat and be back moving in under 10 mins.

I've blown out a lot of trailer tires.
You guys are great! I appreciate the good advice!
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

I'll 2nd the trailer-aid and keeping your impact ready to go for the trailer. the 2nd spare is most beneficial for leaving on sunday. there is NOTHING open sunday evenings on the drive home.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tedr View Post
This is a 14' x 6' steel trailer with a wood deck. I keep thinking I should weight it, but probably less than 1,200 lbs. It would be easy to add a tire rack to the front. The trailer has two 2x10 by 14' runners down both sides and 3/4" treated plywood in the middle. 3,500 lbs, 4" drop axles, 6' ramps. I had it made by a trailer fabrication company in the Portland Oregon area. Cost was about $1,200 (20 years ago).

I currently tow it with a Honda Pilot (17 mpg with car in tow). Have towed it with a few Pathfinders, a Frontier, Dakota R/T, and a Hyundai minivan.


Have you replaced the wood deck at all in 20 years? If not, that makes me want to consider the wood deck for the weight. Nice to see how the EG fits on a 14 foot trailer too, thanks! I think I will go with a 16 to fit the tire/fuel rack and have enough length to fab up the roof top tent rack.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Dublocivic View Post
Have you replaced the wood deck at all in 20 years? If not, that makes me want to consider the wood deck for the weight. Nice to see how the EG fits on a 14 foot trailer too, thanks! I think I will go with a 16 to fit the tire/fuel rack and have enough length to fab up the roof top tent rack.
I have replaced the plywood once. The 2x10's are original and still in good shape. They are pressure treated douglas fir.

I do run Air-Lift helper springs in the Pilot. Makes a huge difference.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Kaan View Post
I'll 2nd the trailer-aid and keeping your impact ready to go for the trailer. the 2nd spare is most beneficial for leaving on sunday. there is NOTHING open sunday evenings on the drive home.
Haha, I can understand that... I had a hard time finding somewhere to eat on the way home last time never mind a spare trailer tire! Egypt-tucky man.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tedr View Post
I have replaced the plywood once. The 2x10's are original and still in good shape. They are pressure treated douglas fir.

I do run Air-Lift helper springs in the Pilot. Makes a huge difference.
That's good to know, I may just opt for the solid wood deck, the wood looks pretty good after 20 years. Do you store it outside? The one I am looking at is about 2080#s before adding the racks so probably ~2380 unloaded once I fab up the racks. The 4.7 4runner is good for 7K capacity so once its loaded with everything I should be around 5900-6000#s.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

Originally Posted by Dublocivic View Post
That's good to know, I may just opt for the solid wood deck, the wood looks pretty good after 20 years. Do you store it outside? The one I am looking at is about 2080#s before adding the racks so probably ~2380 unloaded once I fab up the racks. The 4.7 4runner is good for 7K capacity so once its loaded with everything I should be around 5900-6000#s.
One thing to factor in with the tire rack is added wind resistance more than just weight. That 4.7 might struggle to keep temps down on long tows in the summer with the extra drag. Consider mounting the rack as low as possible.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 90civichbsi View Post
One thing to factor in with the tire rack is added wind resistance more than just weight. That 4.7 might struggle to keep temps down on long tows in the summer with the extra drag. Consider mounting the rack as low as possible.
Good information on the tire rack, I need to get measurements on the height and see where the premade option ends up height wise (proline trailers has a trailer with a premade rack). With the 4runner lifted 3 inches, it took a 6 inch drop hitch to level the other trailer out, that may help lower it down to mitigate wind resistance as well. I was running with the rooftop tent on top of the 4runner and I feel the wind resistance a little with that up there. I think moving the tent to the trailer (and lower) will help too.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Dublocivic View Post
I may just opt for the solid wood deck, the wood looks pretty good after 20 years. Do you store it outside?
Yes, it has been stored outside for all those years. Some winters I have thrown a tarp over it, but probably only 3 or 4 winters that I have done that.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

I too am afflicted with the Tundra and the next upgrade is the airlift bags for the rear.
Plenty of HP and i installed a tranny cooler but the suspension needs just a little help.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Trailer Options

If space is not an issue, the closed trailer offers nice option of not having to load / unload everything before or after a race. Everything stays dry in the rain. You can sleep in the trailer if you are doing overnight events. If you aren't planning to pack too much to the track or do many overnights, than it might not be worth it to go closed vs open.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim2179 View Post
If space is not an issue, the closed trailer offers nice option of not having to load / unload everything before or after a race. Everything stays dry in the rain. You can sleep in the trailer if you are doing overnight events. If you aren't planning to pack too much to the track or do many overnights, than it might not be worth it to go closed vs open.
I would absolutely do an enclosed if I could. I have to store the trailer in my garage due to HOA bs and the enclosed wont fit height-wise.
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