Trailer - Need Recommendations / Advice

Mike Giblin

GT40s Supporter
OK, you have my attention. My limited research to date indicates that additional length comes at 100#/ft in an aluminum skinned steel trailer. So 400# for 20 to 24 feet . All that I have read indicates that you want 10-15% of gross trailer weight on the tongue. The same balance on a 20 or 24 ft trailer would result in the car being a little more forward of the axles in the 24 to restore the 15% but you have a longer "tonguebase" (sorry), maybe 2-3 feet. 20 ', 12.5 + 5',17.5' ; 24' , 15 +5' ,20'. My current thoughts are that longer tonguebase (sorry again) is more stable but an extended tongue is a lighter way to achieve that .
I also understand that, in addition to balance, polar moment, weight distributed farther from the center of gravity, has a significant impact. The demo shows a model with the mass at opposite ends of the trailer. See the high velocity that the aft mass achieves. If both weights were moved toward the axle but maintaining the same balance, the velocity of the aft mass would decrease.
There are what appear to be clever electronic stability devices available. I know nothing about them other than what is on the links below. Seem to be inexpensive insurance.
As always, poke at my logic or lack of it!

Howard Jones

GT40s Supporter
I have a 18 foot enclosed v nose and 6 inches shorter height than standard. It does make a difference as stated above if I don't load it in the trailer as far forward as possible. This puts the CG of the car (No1 cylinder on V8) between the trailer axels and biased towards the front one. A foot farther to the rear and I get that to and fro movement above 70mph. I have a 4 door F150. I like to tow at 65mph and it feels good if loaded correctly.

So if you have a full sized truck and can use the extra length and weight then I would recommend a 20 footer. I would also recommend having one made 6 inches lower in height and with a V nose. So 20 foot and less F150, 24 foot and longer F250. More trailer more truck.

A wench is a must but it doesn't need to be a super powerful one. Mine is a 4500 lb ATV recovery wench like this and it pulls the SLC right in with out a problem:

I cut a piece of 1/8 aluminum plate (aprox 18 X 24 inches) wide enough to span the main frame rails under the trailer, bolted the plate inside on the floor, through the floor to the frame and then mounted the wench to the plate. Very strong. I thought mounting just to the wood floor might become a issue so I didn't. I power it with a umbilical cable. One plug ( big forklift battery cable plugs) under the rear truck bumper and one under the front of the trailer. Removable cable stowed when not in use. I also put one on my SLC and jump it directly to the truck if need be with same cable.

As a aside: I mounted a roll away 8 drawer tool box and hung a tire rack on the wall up in the V. I could feel the difference with just that added weight forward. My guess is something on the order of 500-600 pounds all the way up in the nose of the trailer made a significant difference.

Make sure a mustang will fit into it. Anything smaller will be very hard to sell later.

Shop for lowest floor height as a priority with a beaver tail. The lower the trailer the better. You will more than likely make or buy some custom/homemade ramps. About the same length as the door is about right. The fold down ramp extension isn't long enough. I took mine off and made ramps that are attached to the door and fold back onto the door when up (hangs from the top edge) Aluminum and very light.

Get 10000 pound axles (total) not 7500, worth the upgrade.

LED lights are the only way to go. Just a complete blessing not to F with fixing lights.

If it's hot where you live then insulate the roof. Really, Really worth the upgrade. Insulate the whole thing if you can. I did and the trailer keeps pretty cool with the doors open even on a hot sun summer day. About 10 degrees below out in the sun inside the trailer. Good enough with a breeze.

Up grade to 16 inch tires. More safety factor on load, speed, etc.

The SLC and my GT40 both tie down with straps through the wheels and then trailer ratchet ties to the floor. I placed the tie downs out near the trailer walls to suit the straight ahead tie down in the front and the criss cross in the back. This woks well for both cars.

Here's where I got mine built for me. I am happy with the value and customizability that I wanted.

lastly: Trailers will fill up all available room with stuff you do not need at the track if you don't keep a disciplined eye on the other half. Get her a comfortable fold up chair, bring a nice cooler, buy her lunch and hold the line on all that other stuff. This is racin not campin unless you want to do that. That is a completely different discussion.

Howard Jones

GT40s Supporter
Got a couple of things wrong. I went back and found my trailer paper work

It's a 20 footer, I got the 7000GVW not the standard 5200GVW, and I got the upgraded 15 inch 225 tires instead of the 205s

Terry Oxandale

Skinny Man
GT40s Supporter
Thanks for the summary Howard. I too went with a 20 footer. Wanted the 24 footer, but I live on a cul-de-sac, with neighbors occasionally parking in the circle, so the 20 footer follows around the circle pretty well. Not sure I could handle anything longer in that tight area. I also installed a winch (crucial for loading the car, and just as important, a wireless remote for the winch. I built a platform for the winch that raised it about 18" so that I could either winch from the roll hoop, or if from the rear, the transaxle lower mount crossmember. That height for the winch eliminates any cable contact with any bodywork/windscreen in either loading direction.

You say the extra weight up front with the roll-away made a significant difference...assuming a good difference? I've built shelves for tools, a workbench, and various things to securely hold a jack, fuel, tools, etc, all at the very front of the trailer.

I can load the "Mc" either front or rear first. I am experimenting so far on the last few trips with the car's CG a few inches forward of the wheel-pair centerline. With all the added weight up front, I'm thinking this may be the best position for the car. Front loaded gives me room front and rear, rear loaded, the nose is just inches away from the rear door.

Tie-downs: I went with E-track, with swivels at each wheel (strap goes over wheel, through the swivel, and then forward/rearward to the E-ratchet. I installed E-track at the top of the trailer (using 2x4 stud brackets) to allow flexibility in overhead racks/shelves that run across the entire width of the trailer, as well as just above the highest point of the car for the same if needed. I also utilize the E-chocks, which give me a "set" stop so that the car is loaded and strapped down at the same place each time.

Wheel chocks: I am impressed with the scissor type of wheel chocks that fits between the pair of tires, then scissor out to push against both tires. My driveway has about a 10% incline, and these scissor-chocks hold the trailer in place very well.

Interior lighting: Lastly, I purchase a lot of cheap LED lights for the interior. I doubled them up for the workbench, and have found they work very well, and light the entire trailer well on about 2 amps draw.

Lastly, as much as I did not want to deal with any portable ramps, I still had to go with a pair, even with the dove-tail trailer. These are a simple affair of two layers of 2x12 lumber, stepped to raise the edge of the rear door by 3" over a 5' span. That ended any issues with scrapping the nose when loading. These are stored vertically using E-track at chest level (the track just above the highest point of the car.

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Howard Jones

GT40s Supporter
Correct more weight in the nose made the trailer ride better with less sway. It was never bad but I could perceive a straighter toe with less sway.

My swayless max tow spent up a couple of MPH also.