Enclosed Trailers, who do you love? Any advice?

anacar312

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So, now that we will be adding a R the scale may be tipping to the point where owning a trailer make make sense.... as we could use the enclosed car hauler for HEP R and well as our Lemons "race" car.

I know very little about these trailers. I've been towing boats since I was 16 but have zero knowledge on car haulers. I have been looking as Discovery, ATC, Stealth, Pace American, Trailer and others.

What brands are good? which are crap?
What features/attributes should I look for in a "quality" aluminum enclosed trailer?

I intended to tow with my Grand Cherokee (max tow rating of 7700lbs)
So, R weights 3700lbs, and I'll need weight to spare for race weekend (tools, spares) so I figure the trailer should weigh no more than 3000lbs.

BUDGET: $10-$12,000

Features I'm looking at:
escape hatch
min interior height 6'
wired for electric hook up
winch plate
interior lighting
exterior lighting
ramp extension
extra tie downs
tire rack

any thoughts, advice or referrals would be appreciated.

Ideally I would be able to find a dealer that would take my Mercedes Sprinter (delivery van for my now closed furniture store) in trade. I figure it's worth around $14k.... would like to pretty much just trade it straight up for a trailer.





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ARMRER

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So, now that we will be adding a R the scale may be tipping to the point where owning a trailer make make sense.... as we could use the enclosed car hauler for HEP R and well as our Lemons "race" car.

I know very little about these trailers. I've been towing boats since I was 16 but have zero knowledge on car haulers. I have been looking as Discovery, ATC, Stealth, Pace American, Trailer and others.

What brands are good? which are crap?
What features/attributes should I look for in a "quality" aluminum enclosed trailer?

I intended to tow with my Grand Cherokee (max tow rating of 7700lbs)
So, R weights 3700lbs, and I'll need weight to spare for race weekend (tools, spares) so I figure the trailer should weigh no more than 3000lbs.

Features I'm looking at:
escape hatch
min interior height 6'
wired for electric hook up
winch plate
interior lighting
exterior lighting
ramp extension
extra tie downs
tire rack

any thoughts, advice or referrals would be appreciated.

Ideally I would be able to find a dealer that would take my Mercedes Sprinter (delivery van for my now closed furniture store) in trade. I figure it's worth around $14k.... would like to pretty much just trade it straight up for a trailer.
Pete Brock’s Aerovault trailer.

Your are welcome.
 
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anacar312

anacar312

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Pete Brock’s Aerovault trailer.

Your are welcome.
(1) Wow, that is an awesome well thought out trailer
(2) Don't even have to ask how much to know it's out of my price range

thank you for the link info though. I'm glad to now know about the Aerovault.
 

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So, now that we will be adding a R the scale may be tipping to the point where owning a trailer make make sense.... as we could use the enclosed car hauler for HEP R and well as our Lemons "race" car.

I know very little about these trailers. I've been towing boats since I was 16 but have zero knowledge on car haulers. I have been looking as Discovery, ATC, Stealth, Pace American, Trailer and others.

What brands are good? which are crap?
What features/attributes should I look for in a "quality" aluminum enclosed trailer?

I intended to tow with my Grand Cherokee (max tow rating of 7700lbs)
So, R weights 3700lbs, and I'll need weight to spare for race weekend (tools, spares) so I figure the trailer should weigh no more than 3000lbs.

BUDGET: $10-$12,000

Features I'm looking at:
escape hatch
min interior height 6'
wired for electric hook up
winch plate
interior lighting
exterior lighting
ramp extension
extra tie downs
tire rack

any thoughts, advice or referrals would be appreciated.

Ideally I would be able to find a dealer that would take my Mercedes Sprinter (delivery van for my now closed furniture store) in trade. I figure it's worth around $14k.... would like to pretty much just trade it straight up for a trailer.

Assuming you're buying new?

Trailex makes a really nice unit. But unless you find a great deal, I think they're going to be outside your budget. As far as I know, they make some of the lightest options available.

Futura is also a great option, but again, more $$$.

I would also add Featherlight and Aluma to the list of contenders.

I've yet to come across an aluminum trailer that I thought was crap. Maybe without some features I would want, but build quality across the board seems to be fine. Aluminum in general does not deal well with overloading, but I don't think you'll run into that.



The following is my opinion peppered with a small amount of experience. It's worth exactly how much you've paid for it.

I would take a real hard realistic look at your tow vehicle. Depending on the locale, I think even the lightest enclosed trailers may make for an "interesting" towing experience. You're adding considerable wind sail area to a relatively light vehicle with a short wheelbase.

Maximum tow ratings account for 300lb of passengers, NOTHING ELSE in the vehicle, and maximum of 10% tongue weight. In the case of exactly 10% tongue weight, for every 1 pound you add to the vehicle you will lose 10 pound of towing capacity. Can you share the yellow payload sticker from your driver's door jamb?

I personally like to run a bit more tongue weight, in the 12-13% range.

I'm glad that the industry has FINALLY standardized tow ratings, but I feel that actually attaining those numbers is almost always unrealistic in the real world.

Another thing to consider. Running toward the high range of tow vehicle capability, you will definitely want to run a weight distributing hitch. Most aluminum trailers will void the warranty since it introduces additional point loads on the tongue. You will need to talk to each manufacturer about this individually.

If you're dead-set on using your Cherokee as your tow vehicle, I'd be looking at the absolute lightest possible option available. You may need to give up some of your wish-list features to do that.

For example Trailex makes a 2000lb enclosed unit. But it's just under 5ft interior height, and only about 16ft long. Your R should fit but it will be a tight squeeze.
 
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honeybadger

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I bought a typical Interstate 1 enclosed car hauler for $8.5K licensed and bought a Raptor with the intention of utilizing its 8k lbs towing capacity 1-2 times a year (Raptor was bought for daily duty, not for towing). Now I have about 23.5k towing miles on this setup 3.5 years later.

tenor (2).gif


I only say this because I really, really, REALLY wished I had bought a trailer that's more suited for my level of use. A trailer this cheap flexes, tows worse, and is quite heavy compared to a better built trailer (like an ATC). While it's obviously worked fine and been up to the job, it's clearly built for lighter use. I expect to replace it in 1-2 years due to the wear/tear. If I had doubled my budget, I could have gotten a trailer I wouldn't need to replace unless I just wanted to.

Obviously there's a good chance you won't be towing as much as I do, but I'd still recommend buying a trailer that can grow with you if you decide to get serious about your track time. A better trailer won't cost you anymore when you go to sell it later, but a cheap one will cost you double if you end up needing to upgrade.

20191123_154847.jpg
20191123_154931.jpg
20191123_154952.jpg
 
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anacar312

anacar312

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Assuming you're buying new?

Trailex makes a really nice unit. But unless you find a great deal, I think they're going to be outside your budget. As far as I know, they make some of the lightest options available.

Futura is also a great option, but again, more $$$.

I would also add Featherlight and Aluma to the list of contenders.

I've yet to come across an aluminum trailer that I thought was crap. Maybe without some features I would want, but build quality across the board seems to be fine. Aluminum in general does not deal well with overloading, but I don't think you'll run into that.



The following is my opinion peppered with a small amount of experience. It's worth exactly how much you've paid for it.

I would take a real hard realistic look at your tow vehicle. Depending on the locale, I think even the lightest enclosed trailers may make for an "interesting" towing experience. You're adding considerable wind sail area to a relatively light vehicle with a short wheelbase.

Maximum tow ratings account for 300lb of passengers, NOTHING ELSE in the vehicle, and maximum of 10% tongue weight. In the case of exactly 10% tongue weight, for every 1 pound you add to the vehicle you will lose 10 pound of towing capacity. Can you share the yellow payload sticker from your driver's door jamb?

I personally like to run a bit more tongue weight, in the 12-13% range.

I'm glad that the industry has FINALLY standardized tow ratings, but I feel that actually attaining those numbers is almost always unrealistic in the real world.

Another thing to consider. Running toward the high range of tow vehicle capability, you will definitely want to run a weight distributing hitch. Most aluminum trailers will void the warranty since it introduces additional point loads on the tongue. You will need to talk to each manufacturer about this individually.

If you're dead-set on using your Cherokee as your tow vehicle, I'd be looking at the absolute lightest possible option available. You may need to give up some of your wish-list features to do that.

For example Trailex makes a 2000lb enclosed unit. But it's just under 5ft interior height, and only about 16ft long. Your R should fit but it will be a tight squeeze.
Below is the sticker.
Received email from Trailex... trailer sounds awesome but start at $20k which is a bit stiff but then again I’m not all that knowledgeable on the trailer market.
Thanks for the info, I’ll take some time to digest and look into that weight distributing hitch.

BB249459-7B6B-45D7-B21F-135EC51F55E7.jpeg
 
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anacar312

anacar312

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I bought a typical Interstate 1 enclosed car hauler for $8.5K licensed and bought a Raptor with the intention of utilizing its 8k lbs towing capacity 1-2 times a year (Raptor was bought for daily duty, not for towing). Now I have about 23.5k towing miles on this setup 3.5 years later.

tenor (2).gif


I only say this because I really, really, REALLY wished I had bought a trailer that's more suited for my level of use. A trailer this cheap flexes, tows worse, and is quite heavy compared to a better built trailer (like an ATC). While it's obviously worked fine and been up to the job, it's clearly built for lighter use. I expect to replace it in 1-2 years due to the wear/tear. If I had doubled my budget, I could have gotten a trailer I wouldn't need to replace unless I just wanted to.

Obviously there's a good chance you won't be towing as much as I do, but I'd still recommend buying a trailer that can grow with you if you decide to get serious about your track time. A better trailer won't cost you anymore when you go to sell it later, but a cheap one will cost you double if you end up needing to upgrade.

20191123_154847.jpg
20191123_154931.jpg
20191123_154952.jpg
I am giving an ATC a hard look from a local dealer. Problem with this plan is March delivery For the trailer.... and the R should be arriving well before then.

BTW... A+ on the meme....
My budget has jumped 50% in 48 hours of research. Now looking at $15k?
 

Rob-17GT350

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I have a 24’ Intech Lite. Great trailer. Intech and ATC are similar. I’ve heard it’s because some of the people from ATC left and started Intech. If budget allows, definitely invest in an aluminum trailer. They are lighter, tow better, don’t rust and hold their value WAY better than steel.
 

honeybadger

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I am giving an ATC a hard look from a local dealer. Problem with this plan is March delivery For the trailer.... and the R should be arriving well before then.

BTW... A+ on the meme....
My budget has jumped 50% in 48 hours of research. Now looking at $15k?
I'd seriously consider picking up a used ATC or InTech. You'll get a bit of a discount and there are plenty that are barely used.
 
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anacar312

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I'd seriously consider picking up a used ATC or InTech. You'll get a bit of a discount and there are plenty that are barely used.
Great!

Best places to search?
been through the usual google searches but have not be able to comes up with a used one.

TIA!
 

honeybadger

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Great!

Best places to search?
been through the usual google searches but have not be able to comes up with a used one.

TIA!

I've always had good luck with racingjunk.com Double bonus that many selling on that site used stuff for similar purposes.

https://www.racingjunk.com/category...icles/Car-Trailers/Enclosed-Car-Trailers/5670

Something like this maybe? https://www.racingjunk.com/Enclosed...r=time-new-old&length=230&make=&np_offset=4#6

Or this one. A v-nose tows very well behind SUVs https://www.racingjunk.com/Enclosed...r=time-new-old&length=230&make=&np_offset=6#9
 

key01

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That Rance V-nose is really well equipped with awning on rain days and a/c-heater plus plus. 1/2 price from new
 

svttim

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Ive had numerous trailers. I recently picked up a used American hauler and I like it. I have had a Stealth and several others as well. How much do you think you will use it? You can spend more, save a little fuel but if you dont use it your loosing money. Also know, not all trailers of the same brand are equal. ATC has a bargain trailer as well as premium models. You are looking for a smaller aluminum looking at your specs. Aluminum does not always equal lighter. Compare specs. V nose will give you a bit of extra inside storage but will not save you any fuel and are generally not as stable.
 
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anacar312

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That Rance V-nose is really well equipped with awning on rain days and a/c-heater plus plus. 1/2 price from new
Agreed. If the weight is 3000 lbs or less we may have a winner.
 

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