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Last Post 17 Apr 2017 11:25 PM by  tdeziel
Enclosed trailer help
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ratt_finkel
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20 Sep 2011 11:30 AM

    My original flat-bed trailer was stolen back in early June. Had a chance to tow with a slider to nats. Loved the ease of loading and unloading. But I have found some really good deals on enclosed trailers lately.

    What should I look for in the way of features, dimensions, etc. I have the proper truck to tow one of those behemoths. Any other disadvantages to owning an enclosed trailer.

    Basically just looking for advice. I am completely clueless in this arena. Also, I have a budget of around 5k. So if you have any in particular to look at, I would appreciate it. Hoping to get something before the Tri-state tour in two weekends.

    Thanks!

    IlliniSTi
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    20 Sep 2011 01:37 PM
    Having just bought an enclosed this season, I can tell you I really like my Pace. I don't have much guidance to give as to the trailer other than to recommend 5000# axles. But I can give some advice on accessories that I'm glad I have.

    1) Trailer Aid - get one of these. It's basically a ramp that you can drive one of the wheels up on when (not if) you have a tire failure.
    2) Spare Tires - I always travel with two. One came with the trailer, one came as a hand me down from somebody that upgraded axles.
    3) Replace the tires that came on the trailer - We blew out a tire on the way to spring nationals. After that weekend I replaced all 4 tires. Don't buy cheap trailer tires. I bought carlisle and have been happy. I have heard that the goodyears are coming back to domestic production, but no confirmation on that.
    4) Reese hitch with load distribution and sway control - We dragged the trailer back empty with just a regular hitch. Cross winds and passing semis was a bit white knuckle. I installed the kit the first time and it was a massive improvement. I have since gone through a few adjustments and now the trailer hardly moves when we pass a semi.

    Some of this stuff isn't cheap, but my philosophy is that I'd rather spend a few hundred bucks now, than be spending a few thousand bucks after an accident.
    kjchristopher
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    20 Sep 2011 03:50 PM
    I'll add that 24 feet isn't as big as you think it is. But I'd probably have the same problem with 28 or more....
    S2kTas
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    20 Sep 2011 07:42 PM
    I'll give you some dimensions to take under consideration..... These apply to most new car hauler type of trailers.

    Outside width - 101 inches

    Inside max vehicle width - 82 inches (This is the measurement between the fender wells inside the trailer.

    Wall height - 72 inches

    And the following are some other considerations.

    V-nose - provides better gas mileage

    20' models is probably the smallest one that you want to look at.

    24' models provide more room, but also heaver to tow.

    28' models.....although nice to have the room, pretty big trailer for Autocross

    Smooth, Rivetless Aluminum sides.

    Undercoating

    Rock Guards - most good car haulers have a Rock Guard on the front, usually 24 inches high

    Size of Coupler - most will have a 2 5/16ths inch coupler

    Electric Brakes on all four wheels

    Interior Dove Tail.......most have a 4' dove tail

    Rear Door Ramp - Spring assisted for easy lowering and raising

    Transition Flap on the door......most have at least a 12 inch transition flap

    Tie Down System - look at the condition of the Tie Down Rings

    Before you buy it.......take it for a Tow for 10 miles or so. See how it tracks, check the electric brakes, feel the hubs when you get back for heat.

    If the used trailer that you are looking at has been sitting for a long time.......be very concerned about the condition of the tires.


    That's all that I can think of for now.

    Joe

    ratt_finkel
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    20 Sep 2011 09:06 PM
    Joe, this is great info! Thank you very much!

    Looks like I'm leaning towards the 24' er for the additional room.

    How does this looks?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NEW-...2885#v4-42
    vreihen16
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    20 Sep 2011 09:18 PM
    As you can see, I've got a little wasted space in my 24-foot trailer:

    Most of my trailer shopping list has already been touched on, except for these:

    1) One-piece roof. Spliced roof sheeting = leaks over time.

    2) 5,200 pound Dexter *torsion* axles. They will blow your budget, but they come highly recommended by people who pull trailers regularly.

    3) A manufacturer that re-rates their trailer's MGVW to 9,990 pounds with the above axles, so that you don't need a truck driver's CDL to tow it in many states.

    The only down side to an enclosed trailer is the fuel mileage, and not being able to see behind it as easily as you can with an open trailer. I'm not going to mention the problem about not knowing how many friends you have, especially when it's raining at the NJ ProSolo and someone needs a dry overnight parking space for a roofless car..... :-)


    vreihen16
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    20 Sep 2011 09:31 PM
    Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention to get an electric winch if you have a low car. Some trailers come with escape doors over the driver's side fender well to let you climb out of the car after you drive it onto the trailer, but low cars and trailers with high inside fender boxes can't use them because the door hits the trailer's fender. If you have a hatchback or convertible, you can climb out the back but it is a hassle. My $0.02 is to just buy the winch up front and not worry about it. I bought a 3,500 pound ATV winch, which is at the low end of being able to get the job done. I'd go a little bit larger next time, just to have the safety margin.....
    PCalhoun
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    20 Sep 2011 09:56 PM

    Much of the above is sound advise, but I would add some additional things to look for, as a person who was employed by an industry leading trailer company for almost 5 years.

    * Look for a name brand trailer w/ a dealer network. At some point you will need parts and/or service and not everything is open market sourced. Also, these companies will offer better warranty coverage, but at your price point you will be shopping pre-owned units.

    * Do not buy a black trailer (or any dark color) in TX or anywhere in the desert southwest, esspecially if it has rivetless VHB taped on sidewalls. The aluminum does expand & contract with heat and the seams will pop. VHB's main benefits are sound & moisture protection and additional strength, followed by the asthetics of no fasteners.

    * Look for interior walls covered in 3/8" plywood not 1/4" Lauan. For strength and durability the interior plywood is an important component.

    * Minimum exterior aluminum thickness should be .030 not .024

    * Look for clean, well routed 12v wiring, preferably in conduit to avoid damage from weather and/or road debris

    * Radial ST tires w/ Dexter torsion axles are a must. Spring axles require more maintenance & repair, plus inferior ride & handling. Do not buy a 24' trailer w/ less than 5k axles, otherwise it is useless for a full-size car & equipment. All dual axle trailers are required to have four-wheel brakes per DOT.

    * Use a Tekonsha P3 electirc brake controller, best there is out on the market and fairly priced. Can find them cheap on E-Bay/

    * The fuel savings of a v-nose is a myth. They offer additional oddly shaped storage space and additional tongue weight, which makes the truck work harder. The truck is what is punching the hole in the air and the rest is the additional width & heighth of the front of the trailer.

    * Good Year Marathon tire production is moving back to the States, but the trailer and RV industry has been so decimated that it is taking a while to get old inventory out of circulation. Maxxis also makes a nice ST trailer rated tire.

    Any other questions let me know, but you are right there are a lot of deals out there now as the market is dead.

    S2kTas
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    20 Sep 2011 11:43 PM
    ratt_finkel wrote:
    Joe, this is great info! Thank you very much!

    Looks like I'm leaning towards the 24' er for the additional room.

    How does this looks?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NEW-...2885#v4-42

    Thanks, I have been to a meeting most of this evening and just looked at your post. Let me look at the e-bay listing and I will give you my view of the trailer tomorrow.

    Joe

    Dick Rasmussen
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    21 Sep 2011 10:22 AM
    Peter,

    What is/are the weaknesses of .024? I assume at least dent resistance. Any others of significance?

    Also are Homesteader or Horton Vans trailers considered major brands these days? Is Pace still a "major"?

    Thanks,

    Dick
    Scoob
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    21 Sep 2011 01:15 PM
    That trailer looks great - except for the tires on it. I'd ask them if they'll consider putting on some Maxxis or Carlisles, instead.

    Also, make sure you have somewhere to put this larger trailer. I have to keep mine at a storage place which creates some logistical issues.
    S2kTas
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    21 Sep 2011 04:03 PM
    Well, today I have had some time to take a look at the E-bay trailer, and my thoughts are..... "I don't have enough Info to have an opinion on the value of the trailer".

    Main reason - I don't have any experience with the Cargo Craft brand.

    http://www.cargocraftinc.com/index.htm

    However, it looks very nice and it has many of the features that were noted earlier in this thread.

    Good luck with your bid, and let us know when the bidding closes.

    Joe
    ratt_finkel
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    21 Sep 2011 04:34 PM
    A friend of mine said the CargoCraft trailers look poor in comparison to the pace trailers in real life. But the pace trailers are double in price.
    miataxr
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    21 Sep 2011 06:01 PM
    One thing I noticed in the photos, the front tie downs for the car are way forward. Make sure there are plates under the floor so you can move them back if you want to. I have a 24' Pace trailer and the front ties are just at the back of the side door well. Keeps the ties from being under your feet when the car is loaded. And there should be structure under where the tires will end up, a wood floor will start to sag over time and if not reinforced under the wood flooring, could be trouble in the long run. I can testify, I have a 2001 Pace Shadow GT that I bought used, and it still looks and pulls as good as a new one 10 years later and probably 70,000+ miles of towing across 3 owners. No buckles in the siding, roof in great shape, no leaks, all the interior panels line up, cabinets still look new, etc....So quality is worth something and you don't have to buy new, there are good ones to be found out there with a few years and miles on them. The Pace is the best I found for the dollar, used and new.
    Joe T
    Rich Grunenwald
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    22 Sep 2011 07:36 PM
    Agree with most everything stated here. I have a 2002 Pace Pursuit, 20 ft box, finished interior. Probably have 25,000 miles on it. Really, the only issue I have had is with the cap on the front.

    This trailer has a plastic cap on the outside front top where the front wall goes up to the roof. This cap cracked and every Pace Pursuit I have seen has had this problem. A used trailer of another brand will obviously show this flaw.

    Make sure it has high quality tires, brakes and bearings are in good shape, and that wiring is done right. Also agree on the Dexter axles.
    Rich Grunenwald
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    22 Sep 2011 07:36 PM
    Agree with most everything stated here. I have a 2002 Pace Pursuit, 20 ft box, finished interior. Probably have 25,000 miles on it. Really, the only issue I have had is with the cap on the front.

    This trailer has a plastic cap on the outside front top where the front wall goes up to the roof. This cap cracked and every Pace Pursuit I have seen has had this problem. A used trailer of another brand will obviously show this flaw.

    Make sure it has high quality tires, brakes and bearings are in good shape, and that wiring is done right. Also agree on the Dexter axles.
    AutoXrMini
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    22 Sep 2011 09:31 PM

    Would Peter C or anyone else be able to provide some guidance on negotiating trailer pricing? Obviously for used trailers from a private party you can haggle based on what a similarly equipped trailer lists for new, but for new trailers, when the trailer dealership quotes you a price, any rule of thumb as to what their margin likely is or how much negotiating room is built in?

    Jeff J.

    ratt_finkel
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    22 Sep 2011 10:07 PM
    Good point Jeff. I'll tell you what though. Trailer shopping online is tough.
    S_Whitney
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    23 Sep 2011 10:44 AM

    We had great service from our Pace Rallye 20'. When I was shopping, I found a dealer with good prices on eBay, and he had one ordered to my spec's from Pace and I picked it up at the factory outside of Waco. You can check them out here. Much better prices than those in town, by a few $k.

    turbotoddie
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    23 Sep 2011 11:37 AM

    FWIW, my Pace has treated me well except for the front cap. It is expensive to repair but Kurt Janish replaced my front cap.

    Anyways, if you are going to use a bumper pull, DO NOT get a 28' trailer unless you want to drive 55mph everywhere. They have a tendency to whip and are weight placement sensitive. Definitely buy a winch. I have a 5000lb Superwinch with a wireless actuator kit. Loading is a piece of cake. Also, if it doesn't come with it, look at having a tailgate extension added to it so nothing drags.

    FWIW, I have read to many fire stories with enclosed trailers so I do not tow with a fuel jugs inside the trailer. I put them in the bed of the truck. And, I keep a fire bottle in the truck just in case. Also, buy a trailer ramp and keep your battery impact to reduce time changing flats. I also carry a spare hub, bearings and axle nut/washer just in case.

    47CP
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    23 Sep 2011 04:35 PM
    Regarding winches....

    I have used Superwinch in the past in my enclosed trailer. They work OK (BTW, a S1800 was plenty to drag any car in, including my 3000# CP car or Marcus' old ESP car) but are a $400 nut by the time you get the wireless, which is priceless.

    On my new trailer, I got a Harbor Freight unit which quickly fulfilled its prophecy to become a hammer. It was a flaming POS from day one, noisy, slow, limited range on the wireless. Its one redeeming feature was the price of $59.

    I have been tired of it for a while, but hadn;t made the extra $400 available in the race budget for a Superwinch/Remote setup. I stumbled across a place called MotoAlliance.com which makes/sells Viper winches. I got a 2500lb ATV unit with wireless for $189.

    It is, by far, the best winch I have ever had. I highly recommend looking at this brand.

    HTH,
    DaveW
    vreihen16
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    23 Sep 2011 09:18 PM
    PCalhoun wrote:

    Use a Tekonsha P3 electirc brake controller, best there is out on the market and fairly priced. Can find them cheap on E-Bay/

    I will respectfully disagree with this one recommendation. Tekonsha doesn't publish this in bold letters on the package, but their Prodigy P2 controller uses a tri-axis accelerometer whereas the P3 only has a single-axis accelerometer. Yes, the P3 has a color LCD display, multi-color LED backlighting, and can tell you everything short of the surface temperature on the back side of the moon, but it can't tell your trailer how much braking force to apply nearly as well as the Prodigy P2 because of the crippled accelerometer used in the P3. Anyone who ever used a GEEZ G-Cube (dual-axis accelerometers) knows how its accuracy was hurt by body roll, and every run had to be manually tweaked by eyeball to compensate for it. I can tell you first hand how cranky the P3 gets about being installed level (which mine is not due to not having a flat spot anywhere in my truck within reach of the driver's seat). I can also tell you first hand about the feeling you get when someone cuts you off driving through New York City hauling a 24' trailer and you don't know whether the P3 is going to lock the trailer brakes or pretend that you don't have trailer brakes at all. It seems like a random crap shoot every time I step on the brake pedal!

    Although I have never used any other brake controller, I regret purchasing my P3 based on fanatical user feedback in another forum. In retrospect, I would have either gone with the Prodigy P2 , or the Hayes G2 that I didn't know about until after purchasing the P3. Both of those are tri-axis. and the Hayes G2 has an LCD display that can display more than I'll ever need to know. Since I have another four round-trip tows through NYC before the season ends, I should probably break down (no pun intended) and order a Hayes G2 this weekend and see if there's a difference.....


    vreihen16
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    23 Sep 2011 10:18 PM
    Jeff Jacobs wrote:

    Would Peter C or anyone else be able to provide some guidance on negotiating trailer pricing? Obviously for used trailers from a private party you can haggle based on what a similarly equipped trailer lists for new, but for new trailers, when the trailer dealership quotes you a price, any rule of thumb as to what their margin likely is or how much negotiating room is built in?

    I will share my secret. The dealer where I bought my trailer was also a distributor for several brands, and accidentally posted their wholesale inventory price sheet on their web site one day! Made the entire month that I spent before that doing an insane amount of online research about the trailer industry into a waste of time, well almost.

    Although there are scattered factories all over the country, the two hotbeds of cargo trailer manufacturing are in south Georgia and Elkhart, Indiana. There are plenty of no-name and big manufacturers based out of these two areas, and the wholesale supply chains seem to be geared towards supplying axles, sheet metal, and stuff to these factories by having local operations there as well. If you go on eBay or racingjunk.com, you'll see all kinds of no-name trailers being sold with factory pickups at either one of these hubs. South Georgia seems to have the cheaper trailers, but Elkhart seems at least from pictures to make a little bit nicer trailers. If you're lucky enough to live near one of these places, you can shop for bargains galore. The factories seem to be clubbing each other over the head to make a sale in the bad economy, and it's a buyer's market for sure.

    There are three expenses in any trailer purchase. First is the cost of the base trailer materials and labor. Look at the no-name bargain trailers on eBay or racingjunk.com to get an idea of the base cost. The second expense is in upgraded materials. Want a one-piece roof. Add $$$. 5,200-pound Dexter torsion axles with radial tires? Add $$$$. 16" on-center wall/floor tubing? Add $$. 0.040" walls? More $$. Many online web sites list the add-on costs, so you can figure it out. By the time that I got done, my planned $4,000 base trailer climbed to $7,000 with material upgrades. The third expense is delivery. My napkin math is at least $1.50 per loaded mile to deliver the trailer. From Elkhart to the northeast, figure at least a grand. If you want a name brand, mark up a little more for their stickers and add it up. If you wanted to take the chance of buying a trailer online sight unseen, this is how much it will cost. See how close your local trailer dealer can get to that price, and you'll have to make the judgement about whether it is worth the price difference (if there is one) to have a local dealer for support/repairs and be able to touch/see/tow what you're planning to buy.

    Long story short, I was able to napkin math the prices on the leaked wholesale price list within about $300 on steel trailers by doing this. That was when I noticed that they had a leftover all aluminum Featherlite on the sheet priced lower than my ideal steel trailer, and it followed me home that night for $100 over the price on the leaked wholesale sheet.

    I have to include a disclaimer that I have never worked in the trailer industry, and don't guarantee that everything that I have written or speculated is 100% correct.....


    car39
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    28 Sep 2011 09:00 AM
    The bail out door on the driver's side is worth it's weight in gold. Makes it easy to get in when the trailer is buried in a snow drift (like last year) you get good cross ventilation when parked, and easy in and out of the car. I have a 20 foot CarMate to tow my Miata. If I wasn't a pack rat, it would have plenty of space. Stuff expands to fit the available space.
    rickmartinez
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    12 Oct 2011 04:26 PM
    I'm also in the market for an enclosed trailer and leaning toward a new Pace (w/ the SCCA rebate). According to the internets, it looks like Pace American has entered an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Any opinions on whether this good or bad for my upcoming purchase?
    lowside67
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    12 Oct 2011 05:00 PM
    In my opinion, that is probably good for you at the buying end, and poor at the service/warranty end... personally I would probably avoid, too many uncertainties.
    vreihen16
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    20 Oct 2011 07:06 AM
    rickmartinez wrote:
    I'm also in the market for an enclosed trailer and leaning toward a new Pace (w/ the SCCA rebate). According to the internets, it looks like Pace American has entered an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy? Any opinions on whether this good or bad for my upcoming purchase?

    I read a post in another forum from a trailer delivery driver the other day that Pace has shut down production, and is down to a handful of office people while desperately waiting for a financial lifeline to bail them out. He also noted that the original founder of Pace went on to form Bravo Trailers, http://bravotrailers.com/ .....


    tdeziel
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    17 Apr 2017 11:25 PM

    I have a 2001 pace american cargo trailer (model #CS612SA). The front cap has cracked in a few places. I have been totally unable to find a replacement part because the company went out of business in 2005 (or something like that). Any idea how I could find a replacement or have one made? Thanks



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