Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm soon going to be upgrading my tow rig for use for rally and stock car racing. For the last 7 years stock car racing I had a open trailer and always wanted an enclosed trailer... now I'm going rallying I hear an enclosed trailer isn't necessarily the best solution. I'm interested to hear if a 28' enclosed trailer would be good, bad, impossible?

I'll be doing Ontario regional this year and hopefully full CRC next year and Targa Nfld.

I'll also be upgrading my tow vehicle from '88 Suburban to E350 ford van (around year 2000)... I originally wanted a cube, but insurance is prohibative ($4500CDN / year!). Van would be 7.3PS diesel. I'd like to get EXT for the extra space... How does the extra length effect towing good/bad? This would be a primary concern if towing 28' trailer, not such a concern if I opt for open trailer.
I hear these vans are great tow vehicles, any comments? What sort of milage are people getting and towing what sort of trailer?

BTW.. 28' trailer is Pace America Shadow GT. I've found one locally for a really good price almost new.

Thanks for sharing your experiences... I only want to do this once to cover me for the next 5 years or so, and I want to make the right decision.


-Martin.
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>I'm soon going to be upgrading my tow rig for use for rally
>and stock car racing. For the last 7 years stock car racing I
>had a open trailer and always wanted an enclosed trailer...
>now I'm going rallying I hear an enclosed trailer isn't
>necessarily the best solution. I'm interested to hear if a
>28' enclosed trailer would be good, bad, impossible?

Depends on whether you will need to take the trailer up a stage road to fetch the car... Service areas can be a bit tight for enclosed trailers, too (if you need the contents of the trailer at service). You might want to keep the open trailer for the rally car.

>I'll be doing Ontario regional this year and hopefully full
>CRC next year and Targa Nfld.
>
>I'll also be upgrading my tow vehicle from '88 Suburban to
>E350 ford van (around year 2000)... I originally wanted a
>cube, but insurance is prohibative ($4500CDN / year!). Van
>would be 7.3PS diesel. I'd like to get EXT for the extra
>space... How does the extra length effect towing good/bad?

When I crewed for Barry Latreille he had an E350 EXT with the PS diesel. That towed fine (custom open trailer, 3500 lb rally car). It only really slowed on long steep hills (crossing NB to Baie or beyond Quebec City to Charlevoix). It handled stage roads pretty well too (I was crewing for Barry, after all ;-)). Lots of range with the big tank/diesel, too.

>This would be a primary concern if towing 28' trailer, not
>such a concern if I opt for open trailer.
>I hear these vans are great tow vehicles, any comments? What
>sort of milage are people getting and towing what sort of
>trailer?

We did Cornwall to Edmundston on one tank of diesel, fully loaded (about 660km). It was pretty empty when we got there - I think it took 128 litres (on a 132? litre tank). Note that Barry carried tires on a rack on the front of the trailer, but that was (mostly) below the roofline of the van (and there was nothing on the roof of the van).

Adrian
 

·
Faster Mabricator
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
Depends.

The disadvantage of a large enclosed trailer is the difficulty in using it to retreive your disabled rallycar from a specialstage. Even if you do get in in there, it can twist the frame and pop all the rivets holding the walls on as I've seen happen at Defi.
The advantage of the enclosed trailer is that for winter events or inclement weather, your crew has shelter and a workshop.

An advantage of on open trailer is your sponsors get noticed going to and from events.


http://sandblastrally.com/2001/photos/IrishTransport.jpg
 

·
Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
Joined
·
2,953 Posts
Funny you should ask...
http://www.practicalcaravan.com/towcar/winners.html

Unless you can limp your car into an overnight stop, figure you only have 1-1/2 hours at most to fix it so anything that'd take longer than that to fix you may as well leave home. (Usually 20 minutes).

Going on that assumption, you can travel a lot lighter in rally, unless you run winter events and have ACP's tire fetish.

rz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd considered the suitability or rather non-suitability of getting into stages. I figured as long as I can make a deal with another team I shoudl be OK on that front. I'm a little concerned about the service areas. Getting in and out, having enough space etc.

Yes I'd need the trailer at service or no point in having it... it would be set up as workshop.. work benches and cabinets, welder, generator, plazma, compressor etc. hopefully an attached canopy. We might even use it for camping at some events.. probably not Winter ones though!

Randy.. I'm torn between traveling light, and going fully equipped!

Someone suggested keeping teh open trailer for rally.. too late, it's already gone, and it wasn't really legal anyway.. no brakes, no suspension etc.

Oh.. BTW.. yes I do have a tire addiction :)

Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming!

-Martin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
>I hear these vans are great tow vehicles, any comments? What
>sort of milage are people getting and towing what sort of
>trailer?

Not quite the same, but an '90 E350 with the International Diesel (norm aspirated). Steering it is an aerobic workout, it's hard to start, smoky, loud - I don't ever shut it off when the tank is really low (anymore). Get's 25mpg empty and driven properly gets 20mpg towing open trailer with Talon on board. Has no trouble towing, but the tranny is sometimes problematic if you aren't gentle with it.

Robin
 

·
[email protected] -> Magnetic Tree
Joined
·
438 Posts
At RNY last fall, the Last Ditch Racing/Team O'Neil teams serviced out of a monster of a tow rig (18+ wheeler, half RV, half Dream Car Garage, four car capacity deal).

Bottom line - it was awesome. Having a rolling workshop like that on hand makes life very easy for service. Sounds like you're not going quite that big, but thinking along the same lines in terms of prep and capabilities.

Now the bad - you will have problems at some service areas at some events. There are service areas that you may not be able to bring the service trailer into. Plan on having a contingency for that situation.

The other REALLY bad is vehicle recovery. You will not want to drag a large enclosed trailer out into the stages, and even if you did, it's not going to be real helpful extracting a car and could even hamper your efforts. A smaller open trailer is much better suited for that sort of work.

Our saving grace at RNY was the fact that we had enough rigs floating around between the 5 teams we were servicing, that we could send a pickup and trailer off to handle anyone who needed on stage assistance without having to even think about disturbing the main service rig.

So, buddy up with other teams - loan them the creature comforts of your rig at the service area in exchange for mobility and extraction services of their smaller rig and trailer and you should be golden.

As for the "sponsorship display" issue. You just need to make sure the trailer gets stickered up accordingly. If done right, it looks extremely professional and can give your sponsors even better visibility than just having a car on an open trailer.

Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
Others have commented on the trailer and I agree, stick with open trailer. I have (for the last year) a 95 E350 7.3 turbo ps diesel. IMHO it's great. Not the extended but still enought room to haul my stuff. On my recent 600+ mile trip to Cherokee trails with full spares, 3 passengers, 8 spare tires on the trailer, the car, and 24 gallons of fuel on the trailer i got 11 MPG. There's absolutely no problem towing (I actually had it up to 90 MPH in a burst on this trip).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,641 Posts
I went from an open, to enclosed and now back to an open trailer.

The enclosed trailer started to tear apart after a season of rally use. This was due to the rough roads.

So, although I liked the enclosed trailer, an open with a tire/fuel rack is more practical for rally.

Most service areas are in small towns and you often have to park the trailer separate from the service area. Finding a place to stick a 28' would be hard at some events.

BTW, there's a nice F250 crewcab for sale in my yard that makes a great tow vehicle! ;-)

Cheers! John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks John... interesting, switched to an enclosed trailer, then back! Hmmm...

I've been reading everyones feedback carefully, and I leaning towards the open trailer with tire racks, an maybe mount the generator there too?

Anyone have pictures of how their open trailers are setup? Storage boxes? Tire racks?

Thanks...Martin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
I am a fan of the minimalist trailer idea. Just a simple, light trailer with a tyre rack up front. You can go nuts on what you tow it with, but I would keep as little stuff on it as possible. Anything I did put on, I would make removeable easily, so you don't have to worry about your generator snapping off and rolling down the embankment you're currently trying to drag your car up. Makes it a lot easier to tow with a wider variety of vehicles too, when your rig gives up the ghost halfway back from Rocky.
 
G

·
our trailer has nothing mounted to it at all.

If our receiver hitch actually pulled out, I was thinking of making a rack that could attach to either the front of the trailer or into the hitch of the van for things like generators or fuel tanks.

I don't leave anything on the trailer that would ever be needed at a service. I'm doing good to be able to remember where I left at the end of the weekend ;)
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>Thanks John... interesting, switched to an enclosed trailer,
>then back! Hmmm...
>
>I've been reading everyones feedback carefully, and I leaning
>towards the open trailer with tire racks, an maybe mount the
>generator there too?

You don't want anything mounted on the trailer that you might need in service, since some service locations prohibit trailers. However, a place to transport the generator might not be a bad idea.

>Anyone have pictures of how their open trailers are setup?
>Storage boxes? Tire racks?

No pics, but Barry's trailer had the tire rack over the front of the car, with a lockable box in front of that which could hold 3 gas cans and a few small things (like bits of wood for chocks/jack support). This meant that the gas cans were stored outside the van when going to/from the event. The box was also a good place to store the torsion bars and the hitch ball while at the event

Adrian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah I wasn't planning on leaving the generator on the trailer as I realize many events require you to park your trailer somewhere other than service... just trying to figure out how/where to transport everything... my problem is I'm down from a 16' cube van to a EXT cargo van... And down from cargo van and 28' enclosed trailer to cargo van and open trailer... my storage space is dissapearing fast!

How much of a drag is it transporting tires on a roof rack on the van?
Drag as in lugging them on and off, and drag as in wind resistance?

Thanks...Martin.
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>How much of a drag is it transporting tires on a roof rack on
>the van?
>Drag as in lugging them on and off,

Depends on the size of the tires, but it isn't too bad (gravity helps the unloading). It is a two-person job though. It is sometimes easier to get the correct set of tires if they are on the roof instead of being stacked inside the van.

>and drag as in wind
>resistance?

If you have a row of tires standing vertically you are increasing your frontal area by something like 25% (plus some interference effects unless you have a deflector in front of them). Running with Scott last year, towing with a minivan, we saw a noticeable a drop in fuel economy if we had tires on the trailer rack (since they extended above the roofline of the van).

Adrian
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top