Trailer - Need Recommendations / Advice

Howard Jones

Another comment: open verse enclosed :

My first trailer was an open, very light weight "California Special " type trailer. It was 18 foot and had a simple two ramp with no center belly pan and beaver trail style. The one huge advantage. It was just about the lightest steel trailer made that would accommodate a GT40. I towed it with a short bed front seat only F150 with a V6 automatic. That was all the truck I needed. The towed Gt40 and trailer was so low that I nearly could not see it in the rearview mirror and as such had almost no aero load. Gas mileage was about 3 miles per gallon worst than the unloaded truck that could get above 20MPH on flat ground @65MPH.

It worked well for short pulls to and from the track (less than 8 hours, and one day trips) but no storage really, and everything I brought with me had to go into the bed of the truck. Also no shade at the track and no sense of "home" in the paddock as any real work to be done I did off the tailgate of my truck.

So I bought my enclosed trailer. Heavier but at 20 feet not too bad really and my next truck, extra cab F150 with a V8 and tow package pulls it fine. Good room inside for a "paddock shop/lounge" at the track and I can store a set of tools, jack, and jack stands along with two set of additional tires on racks on the walls.

I can also extend the range of my travels as I can now stay at overnight motels. There is a method to this. Plan with google maps the motel you will stay in and pick one with a parking lot that you can back the trailer up to a fence or wall. Then lock the truck up and sleep with a 12 gauge. This forces the thief to steal the whole thing. A silent alarm decal on both the truck and trailer hopefully will deter a thief that does not know what's in the trailer. I like the " Pooper Bobs sludge removal service logo on the side of the trailer" idea and I just might do that.

Gas mileage has suffered however. I now get about 10-12 MPG @ 65MPH on flat ground. The truck alone will get an easy 18MPG @70 MPH on flat ground.

Longer trips, bigger budget, overnight and a need for cover in the paddock? = enclosed. Short daytrips without a need for a home in the paddock ? = light cheaper open trailer.

SLC? You will have to work out homemade or custom ramps and you will need a winch. I tie it down with straps through the wheels and ratchet straps.
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Thanks Neil and Bill!

It helps to see what other people are doing, just so I do not forget anything.

Vulcan is a good brand for cargo/vehicle straps/ratchets. I have them for the last 13 years for my Cobra, and about time to get some units (webbing looks old).

Eric, I've changed the way I load my trailer. I now load the car on my aluminum tilt trailer "backwards". Since it is a mid-engine configuration, its weight bias is toward the rear and this way I do not need to pull the car fully forward to tilt the trailer bed down and it gives me more tongue weight which helps stability.


Terry Oxandale

Skinny Man
Great post Howard!
Very similar experience. Currently I have a 20' enclosed, and no longer worry about leaving the car/trailer it in the parking lot of a motel at night, and provides shade when needed. The ubiquitous use of E-track allows not only wheel straps (love this method of tie-down), but also installation of overhead racks (that run side to side), a hammock for resting between rounds when everything is working well, and ability to store a lot of things vertically or horizontally along the wall (ramps, etc). Cheap LED lighting takes care of the lack of sunlight, and longer a problem with an open cockpit car such as mine. I went ahead and built permanent shelves at the front of the trailer to store a limited amount of tooling, floor jack, stands, support gear, battery, fuel, and of course a large shelf if something needs to be worked on. I could never go back to an open trailer. Hell, if I had to, I'd just sleep in the hammock at the track if the motel wasn't feasible.