If you are really just planning to use the trailer as a hauler, you can save money with a lower content. Plywood walls and floor, some D-rings and maybe a winch and some race ramps and you are done.
But if you are trying to race out of it, you will quickly find that things like a generator with a dedicated cabinet, 110V lights inside and out, roof-mounted heat/AC, lots of storage cabinets, a place to store tool boxes and spares, a tire rack, storage for a shade, secure storage for fuel cans, etc can add right up. Then maybe you need a viewing stand on top of the trailer so you can get a better, more private view of the action. And more storage, and a small air compressor, etc.
You should also consider the construction of the trailer, as it relates to weight. My aluminum trailer was about 1000 lbs lighter than the equivalent steel trailer, which meant it was easier and cheaper to tow- I could use my SUV and didn't need a pickup.
For the low-priced but reasonable value in the steel trailers, go Haulmark. They are ubiquitous, and easy to buy and sell. Visually, they will degrade in a couple of years as, for example, the rivets they use to attach the sides oxidize and start to create black streaks, the frames will begin to rust and the plywood interiors (assuming they have seen use) will begin to look a bit tatty.
For a longer commitment, consider an aluminum trailer from Featherlite or Aluminum Trailer Company (ATC). I had an ATC and loved every moment I used it. Never had a leak or problem with it, and 5 years later, sold it for almost what I had paid for it.
Setup at the track:
Gratuitous shot of VW diesel power FTW:
Trailer tires mostly fail from age-related damage, especially from the sun. Make sure you have a real trailer tire, not a passenger tire, and plan to change them every three years, regardless of miles. Brakes and wheel bearing failures are almost always the result of poor or non-existent maintenance.
Finally the oft-debated issue: yes, length matters. Don't buy less than a 24' trailer if you can tow it, as that is the minimum size most racers (who are they target resale market) will consider. Be sure the total weight of the trailer, with load, is consistent with the rating on your Lexus, and consider a pad upgrade if you tow long distances or over hilly terrain. Also, be sure you know what your truck's rating is as far as tongue weight. You don't want to go down the road with your headlights searching for low-flying aircraft! Air suspension is a Very Good Thing for a tow vehicle.
Good luck, and let us know what you decide!
Originally Posted by awatkins
Finally going to buy a trailer for my GT40 (and for a few other more boring uses) mostly towing to and from tracks, and looking for some guidance from those who've been there....
I've looked at Pete Brock's delicious Aerovault trailer and as much as I admire it, I don't really care that much about fuel mileage and visual elegance, and am not sure I need to spend that much to solve my problem. Also I like to buy this kind of thing used (recycling, you know...) and that's going to be much harder with that unit.
Looked at and seriously considered a Serpent Express like Chuck has/had, but think I want something more secure and spacious for tires, tools chests, people, etc.
Most likely tow vehicle is a Lexus LX-570.
So I think I'm looking for your typical rectangular car trailer. So my basic questions are:
- What are the makes with a generally good durability record, and what are the ones to avoid? I gather there is a sub-industry that makes "two year trailers" and I don't want one of those. Inasmuch as I considered a $23,000 trailer from Brock I don't think I need to economize too much. And I'm alarmed by all the trailer stories I read of overheated bearings, blown tires, etc. I don't see why my trailer needs to be the weak link in reliability if I'm willing to spend the right amount.
- What features might I want internally that wouldn't be obvious to a novice? I know I want a battery and winch for (un)loading. And some system for tieing tall things to the walls and for tieing the car down. Yes, electric brakes and controller. What else?
Thanks in advance for any guidance and suggestions.