Trailers, enclosed vs. open for the small rally team?
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Thread: Trailers, enclosed vs. open for the small rally team?

  1. #1
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    Default Trailers, enclosed vs. open for the small rally team?

    For those small teams who have tried both enclosed and open trailers for your rally car, which do you prefer? Do the benefits of the enclosed trailers outweigh the burdens associated with towing them?

    J Cox
    #558

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  3. #2
    100 oversquare right
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    No first hand experience, but I've heard of rally teams that have dumped their enclosed trailers. One issue is they'll shake apart if you have to take them on too many rough roads (dirt!). Another is attempting to get a disabled car (think rolled, can't be driven at all) into an enclosed trailer. Certainly some advantages also.

  4. #3
    NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!! Anders Green's Avatar
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    I wonder if I can pre-summarize the thread...

    Open trailers have benefits (and some downsides). They are $ and require $$ in infrastructure.

    Enclosed trailers have benefits (and some downsides). They are $$$ and require $$$$$ in infrastructure.

    My opinion: if you want to race more, spend the money on entries and travel, and race more. If money isn't an issue, then buy what you think looks pretty and will have fun in.

    Cheers,
    Anders
    NASA Rally Sport Director
    Your question is probably answered in Rally University.

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  6. #4
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    I recently *sigh* bought an open trailer .. (my GF made me...) anywho its an Open deck 16 X 7.5 .. think it weights 1400-ish. I thought it was perfect then i noticed that langworks had a 20X8 trailer and they modified the front and built an extra deck like a 4X8 and stored a TON of stuff up there... Brilliant!

    Open trailers: Cheaper, less money up front, and provide better MPG towing, and can be towed with less truck
    sway less in high winds , are easier to load a disabled car onto, can be modified to assist working on your car during service

    Enclosed trailers: more expensive, up front, less mpg towing, need more truck (increased weight, and sway in high winds)
    protect your cars windshield and head lights, provide shelter if the weather is really bad , Reduces theft , provides a lot of Ad space, adds professionalism , have a higher storage capacity .

    do you already have a tow vehicle? what is it ? how close to the max load is each trailer going to leave you ?

    2460 Empty, 4540 Payload for a 16X7.5 Trailer btw with a 7.5 you for sure will be needing to climb out of your windows. where as with an open deck trailer you can add a little bit of height to the deck and open the doors to get in and out more easily.. If you can easily get in and out of the windows of your rally car (or someone on your crew can) that's not a problem. If you CANT .. you'll need a wider trailer
    http://www.allprowest.com/3Enclosed_Cargo_DualAxle.html 8.5X20 3360 Empty, 3640 Payload and now you are looking at 6 grand and you lost almost a 1,000 lbs of gear you can take with you.

    Will 3640 lbs of payload cut it for you? If you are looking at a 3300# race car , that's only 340 pounds of cargo 8 tires and a tool box and you are probably at the max "rated weight" . so you may need basically the same enclosed trailer with heavier duty axles which is gonna up the price yet again ...


    I got my trailer for $2400 After taxes and title fee, with a brake controller and it has trailer brakes on both axles.

    So we just need a bit more information and we can guide you to a logical choice.

    what's the weight of your race car? aprox weight of spares and tools you want to put in the trailer ? what's your tow vehicle? What's your trailer budget? $2500? $5000? $7500?
    Last edited by A1337STI; 11-29-2011 at 09:26 AM.
    Welcome to Rally Addicts anonymous! Hi I'm Alex Rademacher, and i have a Rally problem..... 23 rallies and counting....

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    100 oversquare right bentmettle's Avatar
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    The last I saw Jim, he already had a super nice Featherlight open trailer.

    Enclosed trailers are even less attractive when you service out of a cargo van.

  8. #6

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    Jim, With all the different cars and haulers you've had, you've never had a closed trailer?

    The only advantage I see from a closed trailer is a place to store the car between races. Although I think my HOA might complain about an enclosed trailer, which would mean I'd have to find off-site storage, which would make storing the rally car inside the trailer less attractive.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Eixen View Post
    Jim, With all the different cars and haulers you've had, you've never had a closed trailer?
    I'm very familiar with the theoretical advantages / disadvantages. That has been discussed before. What I was wondering is; What actual owners of enclosed trailers think after living with them for a while? Do they love their enclosed, or do they want to go back to open?

    I've never owned or towed an enclosed. I'm not looking at new, so the prices aren't that far apart between open and a basic enclosed when looking at used. The only appeal of the enclosed for me is that it potentially has more practical uses (ice racing, snowmobiling) whereas the open deck is pretty much a rally-only item due to it's dimensions and inability to keep road salt off the cargo.

    J Cox
    #558
    Last edited by J Cox; 11-29-2011 at 12:59 PM. Reason: typoz

  10. #8
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    Jim,
    We bought a 20ft enclosed new about 2 years ago. Keep the road race CRX stored in it. We towed down to central oregon for a hill climb a while back. Had the CRX, tools, tires, 2 Honda Ruckus scooters, ez-up and so on. Towed with a 1/2 ton Silverado 4x4 and a 5.3 with 3.42 axle. Ran 65-75 down the freeway, prolly a 6 hour tow at least. No problems towing or with sway. I'm guessing about 6200 lbs or so total.

    I also have a nice 16 ft open deck and we use that for the tractor and local fetch cars to the shop. The security of the closed trailer, weather protection and honestly looks make me a firm believer. Up here they seem to hold at about $4k used in good shape and just over $5k new and upwards. I have a real car trailer with a dove tail built in. Many places sell a utility trailer as the same thing but they have a flat deck and its a bit harder to load cars into. I also got the 'rv' side door. You can secure those from inside if you happen to need to camp in it...and your buddies can't padlock it like the utility door from the outside...

  11. #9
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    One other little piece is watching out for the 10,000 lb. ceiling that many states have before running into nasty DOT issues. I was just in a Kansas tag office and the poster on the wall about the 10,000 lb line was ugly and about 24 inches long....
    Tony
    KC0VSL
    Oskar-the Citation.

    "It ain't what a man Don't know that hurts Him, Near as much as what he Knows that just ain't so."
    -Mark Twain

  12. #10

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    I have both and it really comes down to cost and what you use to tow them with. I have a Chevy Express van and it pulls either very well. But I can tow as fast as I want and get almost double the fuel mileage (12 vs 7) with the open trailer. Over a long haul it makes a time and a big money difference. For rally I use my open trailer and for road racing I use my enclosed unless i have to go a long way then I use the open trailer. If I had a rig that didn't care what it was pulling then I would use the enclosed trailer, or if money was no object.

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