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Last Post 22 Oct 2014 03:42 PM by  cntnuum@gmail.com
Toy Haulers as Car Trailers
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cntnuum@gmail.com
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29 Jun 2014 09:35 PM

    I am looking for information on any toy haulers that people have used to haul their race cars to and from the track.  I have an ITS/STL RX-7 that I want to get to the track with my 2500HD (14.7k lbs towing) while having a comfortable place for the rest of the family to relax, and possibly stay in overnight both at the track and on non-track weekends.  Budget is max $25k with a strong preference to not go over $20k.  That puts me in the used market.  There seem to be three difficult to evaluate concerns beyond making sure I have enough garage space:

    • Whether the structure of a toy hauler can handle the weight of the car, tools, spares, and tires
    • The weight limit of the ramp
    • The angle of approach on the door for a lowered vehicle with a splitter

    I've seen at least one GearBox at the track being used with a 911 but I didn't get a chance to talk to the person or see how they got it in or out.

    So far I have found the following that say they will work:

    • Voltage (too much $)
    • Forest River Work and Play (looks like it may be the ticket)
    • Holiday Rambler Next Level (angle of ramp still a concern)
    • Car haulers with living quarters added (hard to find one with nice living area)

     

    Looking for any experience anyone has, preferably first hand.

     

    Thank you,

    Jason

     

    Impala SS AutoXer
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    30 Jun 2014 01:48 AM
    The usual issue is weight capacity...what does the car weigh?

    Steve Ekstrand and Stacey Miller (Solo Street Touring Civic) use a Toy Hauler similar to your intention. I do know that to get one with enough "toybox" capacity for the car (STC Civic weighs right at 2000 lbs) that they have a 3-axle Toy Hauler. The ramp situations is also, let's just say "non-optimal" but they make it work.

    cntnuum@gmail.com
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    30 Jun 2014 02:15 AM
    My car will be a minimum of 2732 lbs in STL trim. I've been estimating 4000 lbs just for the car ans related items. Every toy hauler that says it can handle 4-6k total carry capacity seem to have 3 axles. My suspected issue is the location of the weight. I don't think many are designed to have 4k in the cargo area.
    SteveEkstrand
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    30 Jun 2014 02:56 AM

    We have a 375FS Gearbox.   Backdoor to the kitchen stove is 19ft.    Unladen weight is 11,600.  GVWR is 17,000.   We are usually in excess of 16,000lbs.   If tanks, including fresh water (126gallons) are empty I can make the weight rating on my 3500 Dodge.

    Our original ramp door supported the cars weight just fine.   Our civic weighs 2035lbs, but is quite nose heavy.  A more balanced 2700lbs car might not load the ramp any worse.   However, we had an accident and had to replace the ramp door and frame.   The new door supposedly built to factory specs is a joke and barely supports an adult walking on it.   We'd have rejected the work, but of course it was done right before a whole series of important race weekends.   Built by the same clowns that built the deadly spiderman rigging for Broadway.   We bolted in 8 ft ramps over the door.   Now its fine.  Although the door is heavier and it was already heavy.   We rest the ramp on axle stands and use six foot aluminum ramps at the end of the door.   In a pinch we can use our race ramps scale approach ramps as well,   But that is about 16ft of ramp to get a really low car in.   We lowered the trailer 3 inches by using the higher holes in the spring hangers and clearancing a bit.  We also installed much better front landing jacks that can raise the front of the trailer quickly to aid in loading.  We also installed etrack on the floor much longer than needed, but it helps distribute the load across the floor for attachment points.   Each section of track has atleast four bolts through something resembling metal underneath.   However, it has to go through the 3-4" of subfloor gap.   Most of the holddown strength is just coming from the 3/4" plywood floor deck itself.   

    The trailer living space is very comfortable.   Electric bunk beds in the rear raise to the ceiling.   Nice couch and dinette fold down.   Lots of cabinet space and storage.   Full kitchen.   The seperate master bedroom has tons of storage, bathroom, vanity, shower, dresser.  The bedroom is a slide out.   

    The high ceilings mean its a parachute towing.  Its 13'3" tall.   But the height means I can store tires above the car.  We put etrack on the walls and use aluminum shurring beams with etrack ends to form tire racks.   A bike, a second kart, a little giant ladder, a mountain unicycle are all other items that have found its way onto the racks.  Along with 9 to 13 tires (2-3 sets of race tires and a 2nd trailer spare tire).   

    Toyhaulers are not constructed as solidly as a traditional race car trailer would be.  The RV type construction seems pretty flimsy for the weight.  Its certainly not confidence inspiring.   We've long considered alternatives.   But other than a diesel pusher motorhome and 24ft enclosed trailer costing twice as much and up as our truck and trailer combo, nothing is as comfortable.  And we have the benefit of our truck at events and at home.   And also the toyhaulers are often set up for serious dry camping and play.   I have a 15 gallon race fuel tank.  35 gallon gen tank.  5.5K genset.  126gal of fresh water and very large black and grey tanks.   They generally have larger capacities than motorhomes.   

     

     

    Scootin159
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    30 Jun 2014 10:18 AM
    Just bought a toyhauler, but I've yet to use it, so I can't provide you too much input on what it's like in the field, but let me share with you what I learned in my research:

    1) 99% of these were built with the assumption they'll hold a motorcycle or two - in particular dirt bikes or ATV's. As such, they often sit very high (for off-roading), have steep ramps, and don't have the construction for a single heavly load (more intended for many lighter items put together). You're right to be wary of floor and ramp construction, as well as weight distribution - the sad fact is MOST toy haulers aren't rated for a 2000# car. If you were running a 1000# formula car or a kart (as my case is), this is less a concern - but for a full size car - plan on either doing a lot or research and/or post-purchase modifications.

    2) Work & Play brand generally tend to be more constructed like a "living quarters car hauler" than a "ramp door camper". As such, they'll have by far the best load capacities, lowest loading deck heights (thus best ramp angles), and strongest ramp doors. They do tend to have more spartan living quarters though. If you can find one that meets your budget and standard of living requirements, this likely will be your best option.

    3) Plan on your fuel bill going up - I've only towed mine home thus far (it needs a lot of repairs before being used), but going from a 7000# 7x16' cargo trailer with a 7' clearance to a 9000# 8.5x26' toy hauler with a 12' clearance, my truck went from 17mpg to 9mpg. It really is like pulling a parachute behind you. While I'm sure the truck has more than enough power to tow it at 85mph, you can just feel your wallet getting lighter by the second every mph you go over 70. Even still though, I've calculated that as long as I'm driving less than 350 miles/night I stay, I'm saving money in the long run versus staying at hotels - not to mention the toy hauler should be more convenient.
    vreihen
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    30 Jun 2014 07:17 PM
    Posted By Continuum on 29 Jun 2014 09:35 PM 

    • Car haulers with living quarters added (hard to find one with nice living area)

    If you can't find one with a nice enough living area, there is always the option of buying a car hauler as an empty shell and adding the living quarters yourself.  There's a web forum for people who build their own teardrop campers and convert cargo trailers into campers and custom toy haulers.....


    cntnuum@gmail.com
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    22 Oct 2014 03:42 PM
    After way too much time looking I finally settled on a just a car hauler. As I mentioned in my original post and you guys helped me confirm, there is no perfect option for my price range.

    I looked at the Voltage and Work and Plays in person. The Voltage is just way out of my price range at $70k+ but both my wife and I loved it. Well kept used ones may be in my future at some point, but that will require a step up to a 3500 equiv truck as well. The Work and Play line by Forest River surprised me. They are a very viable option for anyone that can reach into the $30-40k range. I took a look at a nicely optioned one (e.g. gene, big bathroom and shower, led lights inside/outside, awning, HDTV, etc) that was ideal for me in the $35k range but it was too far over my target budget. Nice used versions of these are something to keep an eye on.

    In the end I went with a used 2006 TPD 24' triple axle in great condition for $13.5k. It had some OEM cabinets, tool chest, air compressor, wench, and gene compartment. It's a good quality foundation to build on, and it'll be many years before the cost of hotel rooms exceed where I would have been at with even the cheapest Work and Play I found that would work ($22.5k).

    Thanks for the comments earlier this year.


    Jason


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