Open car trailer - Page 2 - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #16 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by patrickstapler View Post
Or you can move to the SE where you can worry less about that.

Roll Tide.

You hurt my feeling with that last dig. Totally uncalled for.

Signed, Kirby Gump

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post #17 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 09:15 PM
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Which part, the move SE or the ROLL TIDE?

I still love you...

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post #18 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 69GT350H View Post
I have one of each. 24' enclosed and an 18' open. The open is very easy to pull, see around, but does not offer much in the way of security. This one is a home built, back in the early 80's with house trailer axles.

do you still have the plans for that trailer? including a materials list?

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post #19 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 02:07 AM
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You'll hit 7k gvw pretty easily on an enclosed trailer and the F250 won't have a problem with it. Or more. I never had a problem with too much non racing gack in the trailer. I had too much stuff in it I used at the track. EZ Up, bottle of nitrogen, tools, grill, jacks, stands, welder, drum of fuel, coolers, microwave, generator, plenty of stuff. And the race vehicle was stored in the trailer so that pretty much took up the rest of the space. If I were to do it unless I was getting a full height 24' enclosed I'd get an 18' open like I have now. If you get a 20' low roof I think down the road you'll want another ft or so vertical and a few feet horizontal.

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post #20 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 02:36 AM
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Aluma 8218

I have an Aluma 8218 that I have been using for a couple of years. I added a front box, but it is an 18ft with slide out ramps, D rings, steak posts, two torsion axles with electric brakes. I think the empty weight is around 1425#, payload 5575#, and a GVW of 7000#. The fenders are removable. I have been very pleased.

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post #21 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 07:14 AM
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I used to pull my 21' steel trailer with my '95 F-150, it had a 302 with about 150 HP. I swapped the rear gear to a 3.73 to give it a little more pulling ability. It would climb the hills on I-5 North out of Los Angles with little or no problems, it just didn't accelerate well with the trailer loaded. So I'm sure your 6.2/385horse V8 won't have a problem.

Aluminum trailers are nice but will start looking a bit shabby if left out in the elements. I also don't think the weight savings justify the increased cost over a steel trailer. Now if you were a commercial hauler and trying to pack as much weight on as you could, an aluminum trailer could have some benefit.

Whatever trailer you get, specify brakes on both axles, and if the tow vehicle doesn't have a brake controller, get a good one such as a Tekonsha Prodogy proportional controller. Tekonsha!

And last: Don't loan the trailer to anyone, unless you enjoy replacing the brake lights/housings and touching up the scratches.
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post #22 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 09:00 AM
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Few questions:
How often will you use? Will your hauls be mostly open roads or hilly? Is your F250 outfitted with tow package or a brake controller? You think you'll only use for your car?

An F250 gas be ok if you keep trailer light. My son has a 2001 F250 diesel and towing an open trailer from NH to Carlisle PA up hills, hardly know there is a trailer behind you.

I too was worried about total towing weight when I have to tow with my 2009 F150 with the factory towing package. With the 5.4 it's rated to tow ~ 11k.

I own two trailers, one is a WELLS Cargo 20' enclosed, arguably one of the better made trailers. I orig bought it to store and transport my 67 vert back and forth to body shop when it was being restored. Now car done, seldom used, I store my car in it during winters (so wife gets garage), NO mice can get in it.

Because most my general towing was gonna either to and from big shows or helping a friend, I wanted a lighter open trailer w/o paying to much. I bought an ANDERSON 18' open deck center trailer. Similar to "69GT350H".
It's well made, several cross braces across the center, beaver tail rear deck, slide out ramps (don't like flip up ramps), electric brake both axles (not all trailers do both axles) a spare tire that is locked in place, the hitch can be adjusted for different heights. My open trailer weighs ~ 1,800, my enclosed weighs ~ 3,200 empty.

To your question "how to keep car secure on trailer" if using open trailer when traveling? Best you always park it in plain view if possible under a light. Also You can put a good car cover over it that you can use a cable with lock underneath. When my friends and I go to Carlisle Ford Nationals and park at hotel, we cover our cars, they're fine. To help secure both my trailers in addition to hitch locks, I use heavy chains between two wheels and locks.
Note: I also like open deck because when I've needed to do either cleaning underneath car or some maintenance under it, drive car onto trailer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg My open deck trailer.jpg (553.3 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg My enclosed trailer.jpg (505.8 KB, 10 views)

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post #23 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 09:05 AM
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I ran an open trailer for 35 years but prefer the box now that I have one. Mine is a 24'er and I pull with a 2500hd extended cab with a 300hp 6.0. The pulling power is adequate in most situations that I encounter here on the east coast. I live in the mountainous area of PA.

Even if you are not planning on hauling a big load, spring for the 10K trailer for its bigger brakes, and more importantly, the ability to run larger rims/tires. Tire wear becomes a big deal as the tires do a lot of self-scrubbing when your turning.

Here are just some of the benefits I see with the closed trailer vs the open:

Increased security as no one knows what's inside. I can come home late at night and park on the street and not worry about unloading the car right away.

Tools and parts do not need to be loaded/unloaded all the time into the back of the truck to go to the track. Pack them in the front of the trailer and they will always be accessible.

Driving the car into the box is easier (by yourself) than the open trailer as it has a wide ramp and you can use the walls of the trailer for a reference.

Likewise backing up is much easier to steer (full or empty) as you can see where the trailer is going. Another plus is that since the trailer wheels are normally mounted more rearward means the trailer doesn't veer quickly in any one direction to cause an unintentional jackknife when turning.

Trailer tracks very well going forward around turns in the city.

Its always nice to be able to drive the car quickly into the trailer to miss the rain. It's also much nicer getting under the car to tie it down during a storm (or anytime for that matter.)

Stones and road debris not being thrown on car.

Overhead lights (even the cheapies that come with the trailer) makes it easy to move around in the middle of the night.

You can also easily take a moped with you for transportation at the track if you get a 24'er. Also, because you have the room, you can also bring a small generator which is helpful as you can run 110V appliances. (Battery chargers, trouble lights, fans, a radio, coffee pot, etc.)

The box can double as a sleeping quarters if you want. Instead I have a cap on the back of my truck so that I can put a single mattress in the back for overnighters. I'd rather not sleep next to the car in the box due to heat/fumes.

The box also is also a great place to relax to get out of the sun between rounds. If you have a fan you can circulate air through it. Also easier to see phones/computers in it

Although I park my car in the garage over the winter the box makes a good place to store stuff that I remove from the car during winter projects. Its size leads to great organization in major projects. I no longer store odd items that I might not use as its a PITA to find a new home for them when the trailer is to be used again.

************************************************** *********

Positive things that I miss in not having an open trailer:

Truck pulled the loaded trailer like it wasn't there.

Easier going into some gas stations.

Being able to tie down just about anything I haul on it.

Increased fuel economy. Was 9.5mpg vs the box's 6.5mpg. HD gets 13 when unloaded.

Can store trailer in less space and can back into tighter spaces (with help if the trailer is empty.).
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post #24 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 09:15 AM
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I bought an open deck 18 ft steel trailer new close to 40 years ago that I still own and use occasionally. I also tow with a 95 short bed f150 302 (with tow package)...this truck also seems to have about 150 horsepower and it knows when you hook up the trailer with a car on it...anyways, Everything posted above is true...I have paid more in tax, tag, title and ins fees on it than I paid for it new...The 6 kids used it for their high school float parades as well! It looks rough, but is sitting on the side of the house...with my sons jeep cap on it, some pallets the wife wants the boards off of, and a sears turtle top. Sometimes it sat for years without being used-other times it was every weekend when I was transporting the 66 back and forth from shops, the mva, etc.. If you can afford a nice well thought out new trailer, I would get a Featherlite brand open trailer. You never know, you may be owning it for quite a long time making the purchase price of around 9k seem not so bad 15-20 or 40 years down the road! Or just get an old steel used one for a while too see how you like it...should be able to resell it and not lose to much if you want to upgrade. I think enclosed trailers would be much more difficult and nerve-racking for me and my current truck is not up to the task. I drive the car to shows, lock it up and put a car cover on it at the motels...and have good insurance on it and hope for the best!
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post #25 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 09:39 AM
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One additional note from me,
When time came, I upgraded my trailers tires to RADIAL trailer tires.
Much better feel with less trailer sway, and are supposed to last longer..

I recommend Radial trailer tires when your time comes.
Even tough a LOAD RANGE "C" was rated ok, I went to Load range "D". Better to handle extra weight and pot holes. lol

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post #26 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by afrett View Post
Looking in to buying an open car trailer to tow my '69 to the local track. Seems like the aluminum ones are nice but which brands are recommended and can you put a weight distribution hitch on an aluminum trailer? For steel trailers there are a whole lot of manufacturers so it gets kind of confusing. Which ones would be the top choices?

Or should I just forget about an open trailer and just get an enclosed one in case I end up traveling some distance and have to leave the car/trailer in a hotel parking lot overnight? I like the idea of an enclosed trailer but I would think the open trailer would be a lot easier to tow.
I have a 20ft open trailer. Love it. I can haul anything on it (mostly card tho) Snake River Trailers in Caldwell Idaho is a great dealer to work with, I am sure they have dealers up north too. Here is a pic of my 70 on it.

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post #27 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
do you still have the plans for that trailer? including a materials list?
Sorry, I bought it built,

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post #28 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, for all the helpful advice and photos. I ordered the truck with all the towing stuff including the brake controller. If I end up with an enclosed trailer I won't use it for storage since I have a lot of garage space.

I plan on just mostly going to the track as a day trip but might end up going to a more distant track once in awhile which would involve an overnight stay. If it were only day trips the choice would be easy to just go with an open trailer. It's just the rare occasion of overnight trips that gives me some concern. The idea of using a car cover for overnight parking is a good idea. Too bad there are no car covers that can be used while towing.

Isn't it a good idea to use a weight distribution hitch even with an open trailer? Do any of you guys use one? And how would it work with an aluminum frame trailer?
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post #29 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 02:35 PM
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Open car trailer

When I towed my 20í Haulmark enclosed with my F250, I only needed an anti sway bar to keep it inline. Also as said before, buy the highest rating radial trailer tire you can afford!

Itís very important to get the weight loaded correctly. Too much or too little tongue weight and itíll get crazy back there!

I currently haul the car in a 38í gooseneck with a F350 dually.



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post #30 of 47 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by silverblueBP View Post
When I towed my 20’ Haulmark enclosed with my F250, I only needed an anti sway bar to keep it inline. Also as said before, buy the highest rating radial trailer tire you can afford!

It’s very important to get the weight loaded correctly. Too much or too little tongue weight and it’ll get crazy back there!

I currently haul the car in a 38’ gooseneck with a F350 dually.


This! You want about 10% of your total load on the hitch. To little and the trailer will fishtail wildly.

Just an FYI on tires, Goodyear brought back the Endurance to manufacture in the USA again. I just put a set of 4 on my enclosed 24ft. Prior to this year, all trailer tires were Chinese junk. Hence the with for the highest load rating you can find. I had 3 trailer tire blowouts in 3 years when I was driving the country road racing my Cadillac. Not close to load rating, fully pressurized and bam, shredded tire.

Diesel helps with towing as lots more torque but gas is fine to a point. Also longbed/long wheelbase tows more stable than shorter wheelbase as do dually's. I also make sure to keep a UV protectant on the tires because sun will destroy them over time. I use 303 Protectant.
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