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Last Post 24 Oct 2008 09:42 AM by  Dale Seeley
Tying down a car in an enclosed trailer - Is e-track strong enough? Please post your towing tips for noobs
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gpny
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22 Oct 2008 02:06 PM

    I just bought a used 16*7 Haulmark Enclosed trailer that I will be using first to move, and then hopefully to store and tow my honda civic.

    I know i will need to winch the car up onto the trailer as I wouldn't be able to get out of the car otherwise... I was thinking of using e-track to help guide the car in and to tie it down once it's in. That said, is e-track strong enought to hold the car down. How should the e-track be bolted into the trailer which has 3/4" thick plywood floors an 16" On Center beams. Shoud the e-track be bolted to the plywood, or into the beams (making holes in the beams), or using u shaped bolts around the beams?

    The E-track I'm looking at is 12gauge steel and has a 2000 lb rating, 6000lb burst. The car weighs about 2500 lbs (600lb/wheel?)

    I think I'll be strapping the car down by the wheels + a hold down on each side to prevent the suspension from moving too much. Is that OK or is there a better way to do it?

    If you have any tips and tricks, please post them, as it is the first time i'll be towing the car.

    I'll be towing the trailer/car with a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8. I have the load stabilizing bars and a tekonsha P3 Brake controller that I installed this weekend.

    Thanks

    Davard
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    22 Oct 2008 02:25 PM

    e-track seems to work best when you are pulling perpendicular to the surface.

    I've seen professional car haulers that use e-track with tire nets.

    But a friend that has it going across the back of his trailer tried to tie down in a cross fashion to the rear of his Civic, and the e-track is deformed, as if it were close to failure, just from cinching too tight with 5k tie downs. This is pulling upward at a 45 degree angle and along the track at about 15-30 degrees from parallel to the e-track.  The front tie downs are similarly strained.

     For straight 4-corner tie downs, d-rings or [url=http://www.etrailer.com/pc-TIE~RR05.htm]recessed d-rings[/url] would be my choice. 

    Davard
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    22 Oct 2008 02:27 PM

    I forgot to ask/mention.

     Can you get to the front of the car to tie it down? Winches aren't really made for load holding or tie down purposes. 

    gpny
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    22 Oct 2008 02:50 PM

    Thanks David!

    No problem getting to the front of the car since the trailer has a side door.

    atcovan
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    22 Oct 2008 05:55 PM
    +1 on the D-rings with BIG backing plates bolted to something metal under the plywood and good ratchet straps attached criss-cross to the body, rather than the wheels. You don't need to gorilla down the car, just keep it in place if you hit a curb or big bump. I deck-screwed down paired, 2x6's to raise my Z06 and cut a rectangle in the trailer's interior wood wall right where the 'Vette's door would hit, so I could open my doors. I stuffed a chunk of soft foam in there to cushion the door. E-track is great for everything else.
    TeamRX8
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    23 Oct 2008 10:37 PM

    Ideally you'd weld a thick plate between the beams with center/mounting holes in it for mating with a D-ring, make the D-ring holes in the plate before welding it in and then after it's welded in use them to transfer the holes through the plywood from underneath

    Not the simplest solution, but the right way to do it.

    Dale Seeley
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    24 Oct 2008 09:42 AM
    Remember that when choosing tie-down parts and assemblies, the force that is pressing down on the floor of the trailer (~600 pounds per tire) is negligible compared to the force pulling up and probably at an angle to the floor during a panic stop. In other words, it's easy to keep a car from floating away when it is at rest, nothing is accelerating or decelerating it, but a little more stressful in Atlanta traffic.
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