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Motorsports, Racing & Track
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  #1  
Old 04-12-2004, 04:48 AM
BobC BobC is offline
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Location: Portage, MI
 
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe, '91 318is
question for the people who trailer their cars...

It's a simple question, open or enclosed? I've been thinking of buying a trailer for hauling my '99 M Coupe to the track for driving schools. I've done a little shopping and found that, in general, an enclosed trailer costs about 2 times what a similar sized open trailer costs. I can see some advantages in having an enclosed trailer but are those advantages worth a 100% increase in cost? I'm new to trailering as well so any tips on what to look for/at would be appreciated. For those that do have an inclosed trailer what size vehical do you tow it with? IE, truck, suv, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton?

Thanks,
Bob
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Bob C.
Secretary - Michiana Chapter, BMW CCA
'95 318ti - my daily driver
'99 M Coupe - my toy
'99 740iL - wife's daily driver
'76 2002 - wife's toy
'07 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - for taking the Coupe to the track

"If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck" - unknown
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2004, 05:15 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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The enclosed trailers are nice, kee the car clean and dry,a nd provide place to hang out when teh rain s come.

But they are much more expensive and they are heavier.

You can tow an open trailer with the car behind a V8 SUV (Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, etc), you will not be able to tow a closed trailer behind one. So you are looking at full sized SUV or full sized truck.

Around here a brand new 16 foot open railer is $1800 list. A closed trailer starts a $5400
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2004, 07:04 AM
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DannO DannO is offline
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Terry covers most of it. I have a 28' Exiss enclosed trailer that I pull with a Ford F350 Dually Crew Cab diesel. I really enjoy this setup, but it is not the cheap or low maintenance way to go. The advantages Terry pointed out are all big ones for me. A few other things to consider:

- Security. I do track events. Typically 2 or 3 days. At night I just roll the car into the trailer and lock it up. The whole schebang is insured thru K&K Insurance with a storage and off-track policy - tools, car, trailer... everything. No worries.

- Storage. When I get back from an event the last thing I have time to do is unload, etc. I park it in the driveway until the next morning when I drop it off at the trailer lot. There it stays until I have time to drag it back to the house for unloading, cleanup, etc.

Basically the enclosed trailer becomes a mobile 4th bay for my garage. It also occasionally doubles as a storage shed.

If I had to do it again I would do it the same way... except maybe I'd get a gooseneck. If I had to buy an open trailer I'd call Trailer World and order one of their custom aluminum rigs with storage boxes / tire racks. They run about $5k. That price is what sealed the deal for me on enclosed trailers.
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  #4  
Old 04-12-2004, 08:27 AM
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SLang SLang is offline
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Definitely spend the extra money for an enclosed trailer, for all the reasons above. It's like a mobile garage. I would seek out a good used one. Enclosed trailers when new are typically stripped bare; no tire racks, tie downs, e-track, cabinets, etc. You should be able to find a good used one where somebody has already installed all that stuff, plus maybe a compressor and/or generator for the same money or less than buying new.

This link hgas some decent ones: http://www.racer-net.com/trailen.htm

There are other site on the web that cater to racer classifieds., Also try a search on ebay.
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2004, 09:01 AM
BobC BobC is offline
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Location: Portage, MI
 
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe, '91 318is
Thanks for the info guys. Now I know the salesman wasn't just giving me a line when trying to talk me into an inclosed trailer. Now for the really dumb questions, what's e-track and what do you all use for tie downs? I've seen people use T hooks that attach to the lower control arms, I've also seen people use heavy straps that go through the wheel. Any comments on either methods? Where can I shop for this stuff on line?
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Bob C.
Secretary - Michiana Chapter, BMW CCA
'95 318ti - my daily driver
'99 M Coupe - my toy
'99 740iL - wife's daily driver
'76 2002 - wife's toy
'07 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - for taking the Coupe to the track

"If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck" - unknown
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  #6  
Old 04-12-2004, 09:15 AM
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JonW JonW is offline
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Those guys up above pretty much covered the open versus closed points. Here is an excellent link discussing what type of tow truck to get:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...hlight=trailer
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2004, 09:31 AM
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DannO DannO is offline
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Great info here on towing limits...
http://www.thedieselstop.com/faq/199...AQ-Hauling.htm
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  #8  
Old 04-12-2004, 09:53 AM
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SLang SLang is offline
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Tie-downs: http://www.trailer-parts-forless.com.../10090011.html

Link to e-track: http://www.trailer-parts-forless.com...ess/etrack.htm

Here's a link to some of the attachments used with e-track: http://www.trailer-parts-forless.com...k_hardware.htm

That site has some pretty good info.
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2004, 02:12 PM
BobC BobC is offline
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Location: Portage, MI
 
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Sooner or later I'll run out of questions...

Any particular brands of enclosed trailers better than others? There's a Pace dealer near me so I've looked at some new ones of those. I'm also going to go look at a used Haulmark '01 20 foot enclosed tomorrow. What should I look for and lookout for?
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Bob C.
Secretary - Michiana Chapter, BMW CCA
'95 318ti - my daily driver
'99 M Coupe - my toy
'99 740iL - wife's daily driver
'76 2002 - wife's toy
'07 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - for taking the Coupe to the track

"If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck" - unknown
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2004, 07:44 PM
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DannO DannO is offline
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Location: Orlando, FL
 
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Pace has several lines that range in quality from medium to above average and some pretty good. I think haulmark falls into the medium to average range. Featherlite and Exiss (both all aluminum trailers) are both near the top of the quality range.

Let us know what brands you are considering and I'm sure you'll get some feedback.

For trailers (new and used) and gear check out RJays.com. I nearly bought my trailer from him and have since bought all my rigging from him. Good outfit.
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2004, 04:29 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Do you have a tow vehicle. Figure an open steel trailer is about 1500 pounds. You car weighs 3200 pounds. All the other stuff (wheels, tools, etc)???

Add it up. Now look at the towing capacity of the tow vehicle you have. Are you going to have to buy another tow vehicle? Don't forge to look a GVW which will include that stuff in the vehicle, as well as the trailer.

I agree with the ida that an enclosed railer has lots of benefits. I also agree that if you have a big truck to tow, gooseneck is the way to go.

Also consider, if you leave the trailer packed, that means all the things you want to take to the track with you, have to be duplicated in the trailer and your shop. Another expense to consider.

Other thids that enter into the idea. Dedicated track car or trailering one of your street cars? Do you need the trailer as a mini lift for work (open trailer with open middle can access the underside of vehicle)? Storage for the trailer (do you have a place to store a 20 - 24' trailer, plus tongue length)? Open trailers run 16' plus tongue.
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'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
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  #12  
Old 04-13-2004, 05:13 AM
BobC BobC is offline
Looking for a project car
Location: Portage, MI
 
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe, '91 318is
I don't have a tow vehical yet but I'm ready to pull the triger on a '99 GMC Suburban, 5.7 L, 4WD, towing package. Edmunds says the beast weighs 5300lbs and has a Gross Weight of 7300lbs which give a Payload capacity of 2000lbs. So out of that 2000lbs I have to concider the weight of everything I put in the Suburban and the tounge weight of the trailer? The hitch on the Suburban says 5000lbs max trailer weight, 10000lbs max trailer weight with a weight distributing hitch. Edmunds doesn't say anything about the trailer capacity of the Suburban. If I go by what the hitch says I should be able to pull an 8000lbs trailer (enclosed trailer, car, tools, tires, ect) with a weight distributing hitch no problem.

Pinecone,
To answer your questions, I'd be towing one of my street cars for now. I don't really need to use the trailer as a mini lift but I can see the benifits of having an open center trailer. I have a couple of place where I could store the trailer for free. There are also a few places around where I could pay to store it.

Ugh... I feel more confused than ever.
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Bob C.
Secretary - Michiana Chapter, BMW CCA
'95 318ti - my daily driver
'99 M Coupe - my toy
'99 740iL - wife's daily driver
'76 2002 - wife's toy
'07 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - for taking the Coupe to the track

"If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck" - unknown
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  #13  
Old 04-13-2004, 07:21 AM
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SLang SLang is offline
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Quote:
So out of that 2000lbs I have to concider the weight of everything I put in the Suburban and the tounge weight of the trailer?
Yes.

Quote:
The hitch on the Suburban says 5000lbs max trailer weight, 10000lbs max trailer weight with a weight distributing hitch. Edmunds doesn't say anything about the trailer capacity of the Suburban. If I go by what the hitch says I should be able to pull an 8000lbs trailer (enclosed trailer, car, tools, tires, ect) with a weight distributing hitch no problem.
No. 10 bucks says the hitch was made by someone other than GM. That's just the hitch capacity, and it has nothing to do with your vehicle's trailering capacity.

You need to check with GM for the specific trailering capacity of the Suburban. I don't believe that the math works the way you're thinking. The GVWR of the truck is mainly for the load carried within the vehicle itself (how much the truck is allowed to weigh) and doesn't have bearing on it's towing capacity. It may be that you can tow 8000 lbs. (I doubt it, though), but if so, it won't be because of what the sticker on the hitch says.

Oh, and going 4WD will reduce your trailering capacity, I believe.
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  #14  
Old 04-13-2004, 07:39 AM
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SLang SLang is offline
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I found these capacities using a quick Google search "suburban+towing+capacity" for the 1999 MY.:

C1500 Suburban 5.7 V-8 A 6,500 (b,f,h,i)
C2500 Suburban 5.7 V-8 A 6,000 (b,e,f,h)
C2500 Suburban 5.7 V-8 A 7,500 (c,e,f,h)


b - Requires a 3.73:1 axle ratio
c - Requires a 4.10:1 axle ratio
e - Requires heavy-duty cooling equipment
f - Requires special trailer-towing equipment
h - Tow rating for 4WD version is lower.
i - Requires optional trailer-towing package.

Notice that Note 'h' says 4WD tows less. Common consensus seems to be that you subtract about 300 lbs. if you have 4WD.

Also, trucks are rated by GVWR (Gross vehicle weight rating) and GCWR (Gross cargo weight rating), and most people subtract GVWR from GCWR to establish overall towing capacity.
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  #15  
Old 04-13-2004, 08:41 AM
BobC BobC is offline
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Location: Portage, MI
 
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe, '91 318is
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLang
I found these capacities using a quick Google search "suburban+towing+capacity" for the 1999 MY.:

C1500 Suburban 5.7 V-8 A 6,500 (b,f,h,i)
C2500 Suburban 5.7 V-8 A 6,000 (b,e,f,h)
C2500 Suburban 5.7 V-8 A 7,500 (c,e,f,h)


b - Requires a 3.73:1 axle ratio
c - Requires a 4.10:1 axle ratio
e - Requires heavy-duty cooling equipment
f - Requires special trailer-towing equipment
h - Tow rating for 4WD version is lower.
i - Requires optional trailer-towing package.

Notice that Note 'h' says 4WD tows less. Common consensus seems to be that you subtract about 300 lbs. if you have 4WD.

Also, trucks are rated by GVWR (Gross vehicle weight rating) and GCWR (Gross cargo weight rating), and most people subtract GVWR from GCWR to establish overall towing capacity.

No wonder I couldn't find what I was looking for, I was using different search words.

Anyway, looks like an enclosed trailer is out for me. I'm sticking with the 1/2 ton Suburban and going to an open trailer. I'm figuring 5000 lbs for the weight of the trailer, wheels and tires, and the car, it may be a bit less if I get an aluminum trailer. The Suburban should pull that just fine and I will still have room and weight capacity to put tools and lugage in the back of the Suburban. Thanks for all your help guys! I'm glad I didn't get in over my head
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Bob C.
Secretary - Michiana Chapter, BMW CCA
'95 318ti - my daily driver
'99 M Coupe - my toy
'99 740iL - wife's daily driver
'76 2002 - wife's toy
'07 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - for taking the Coupe to the track

"If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck" - unknown
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  #16  
Old 04-20-2004, 04:24 AM
BobC BobC is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe, '91 318is
I got the truck now I need a trailer. Does anyone have any experience or comments about Bri-Mar trailers? I found a new one not to far from where I live. It's an 18 foot, open center, 82" between the fenders, removable fenders, 3500 lb axles, brakes on both axles, break away kit, ect... $2200, it sounds like a good deal to me based on the other trailers I've looked at but I
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Bob C.
Secretary - Michiana Chapter, BMW CCA
'95 318ti - my daily driver
'99 M Coupe - my toy
'99 740iL - wife's daily driver
'76 2002 - wife's toy
'07 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - for taking the Coupe to the track

"If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck" - unknown
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  #17  
Old 04-20-2004, 10:27 AM
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SLang SLang is offline
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Sounds a little steep. Is it aluminum?
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  #18  
Old 04-20-2004, 07:27 PM
BobC BobC is offline
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Location: Portage, MI
 
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Mein Auto: '99 M Coupe, '91 318is
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLang
Sounds a little steep. Is it aluminum?
Nope, it's steel. The place near me that sells aluminum trailers wants $3550 for an 18" open aluminum trailer.
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Bob C.
Secretary - Michiana Chapter, BMW CCA
'95 318ti - my daily driver
'99 M Coupe - my toy
'99 740iL - wife's daily driver
'76 2002 - wife's toy
'07 Chevy Silverado 2500HD - for taking the Coupe to the track

"If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics suck" - unknown
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  #19  
Old 04-20-2004, 07:43 PM
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SLang SLang is offline
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Sorry, just saw that you noted it was new, not used. Price might not be that bad.

Does it have a tire rack on it? If not, I assume you'll want to get one rather than pile all those wheels/tires in your tow vehicle. A storage box on the tongue is a good idea, too. The more weight you can get on the trailer the better, to keep the GVWR down on the tow vehicle. Let the trailer take the wear and tear.
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  #20  
Old 04-21-2004, 05:43 PM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Sounds high.

Check out Indian Valley:

http://www.indianvalleytrailers.com/...0059/index.htm

Local Jiffy Hitch wants $1795 for a new steel open bed with beaver tail, 16' trailer. Electric brake on one axle, 3500# axles and break away kit.

Another place across the line in DE is around $1500 for steel 16' narrow trailer. Don't know what they mean by narrow. This info from a local 944 racer.
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