Gary_Ash

Custom enclosed car hauler - DELIVERED

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I picked up the ALCOM/EZ Hauler enclosed 20 ft car hauler trailer I ordered - it was delivered from the factory in Maine to the dealer in Massachusetts in 2-1/2 weeks.  I'm happy with the quality; the aluminum welds look good, the outside panels are screw-less.  I did get two spare wheels/tires and a tire changing ramp.  I put the 1948 Studebaker pickup (15 ft long) in the trailer to test the fit.  With about 1 ft of space at the back, I've got 4 ft in the front, could throw a sleeping bag and mattress in there, if needed.  The tires will mount in the Vee-nose.  The truck is 6'-6" high, but I still have several inches of clearance at the door and under the ceiling light.  The truck running boards are above the trailer wheel wells, so lots of side space.  I can open the truck door and get out easily.  It towed home easily, though it was empty.  It will take a road test fully loaded to see how it really tows.  With the trailer empty, my Expedition EL squatted about 1 inch; with the 2700 lb truck on board the hitch was down 1 more inch - I think that's OK.  The ramp has a small fold-out piece to ease the transition and the spring-loaded cables make it comfortable to raise the ramp. 

 

The trailer wasn't as cheap as  I wished, but the outcome was good.  The paperwork that came with the trailer said the weight was under 2200 lbs, but I think I'll take it to a weigh station to check that.  All of my cars will easily fit in the trailer.  I'm going to need a lot of practice to learn how to back this thing up.    

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EX_Hauler8X20_clearance.jpg

EZ_Hauler8X20_front-space.jpg

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Glad you have your new trailer and like it.  Looks great and with the hitch to trailer wheels more than the towing vehicle wheelbase should be a dream to back up.  Of course you know the old trick...one hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and move that hand in the direction you want the trailer to go.

Happy towing.  Show us a picture next year with no scratches or bumps.😀

Edited by Tinindian (see edit history)

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Nice rig.  Did you get the two 5500 lb. Dexter Torqueflex axles with 4 wheel brakes?

Should do real well behind your Expedition, happy motoring!

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Looks good ! Enjoy!

I would suggest painting the floors and walls with a good epoxy paint before you start using it. Oil leaks will ruin that floor real fast. And don't forget to use A LOT of the non skid additive so you done slip in the rain

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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Gary, 

You'll quickly find that backing a trailer like this, with a longer distance from the hitch to the trailer axles, is a piece of cake. There are many techniques, tips, and strategies offered out there, but after many, many years of using such trailers constantly, my most important suggestion is that you should back it slowly. Having a few extra seconds to correct things when it gets slightly out of kilter makes you look like a seasoned pro. 

 

Backing a very SHORT trailer, on the other hand, can be really tough since they change direction so incredibly fast. 

 

Good luck to you!! 

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I bought an EZ Hauler late last year and hauled 7000 miles this summer with it. It's a fantastic trailer and had zero issues and not one single loose screw! Like someone else said, paint the floor and seal it up! I went with the fully finished walls and ceilings to reduce any winter issues with sweating.

 

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Edited by amxdreamer
adding pictures (see edit history)

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I tow a similar trailer, albeit 24' or 26', with my Suburban.  I added EZLift airbags inside the rear springs on the Suburban to level it out when I tow.  Makes a huge difference!  Remember when you are backing up the trailer you want to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction of where you want the trailer to go.  Its counterintuitive but it works!  I also carry TWO spares!  I learned my lesson the hard way when I got a flat and the cords punctured the NEW tire right next to it.  I had just installed the new tire the day before!

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Gary,

    They also make these in Montana.  I bought the same 20' V nose all aluminum trailer last year from a dealer in Spokane WA. who had one with options for taller inside height, laminated white walls inside.  I tow it with a 2013 GMC Denali SUV using a Husky brand weight distribution hitch & tows nicely with all my heavy Buicks.

I changed the two inside lights to LEDs and used floor paint to seal the wood floor.  I also added four more tie down D rings for my smaller cars.  

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Trailers with a side door that opens to allow your inside vehicle's driver door to open all the way are the easiest to use. So much easier to get in and out of.

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Congratulations on your new trailer.

 

With your flooring choice; keep it dry!  From the pics and also from the  ALcom/Ex specifications; it looks to be engineered flooring.  I see plywood was available, at a higher cost; but this has the look of the  standard floor.  Go to the flooring, maybe on the tailgate; and see if the saw cut line (edge), is plywood,  or if the edge will flake off in small pieces. 

 

From what I can see and I went to the  Alcom/Ez site then to the flooring manufacturer Advantech.  That flooring is moisture resistant to a certain degree. The Advantech is probably a product like Dry-Max from Georgia Pacific.  I am hesitant to call it OSB board, Oriented Strand Board; because it does have better resin and glues than OSB. The better resins make it more resistant to moisture than  regular OSB.

 

Don't try to kill me here; because I have a new trailer with this flooring; and I did my homework.  I weighed the costs of 3/4 marine plywood against this type of floor; and by treating it inside and a few coats of oil based Rustoleum.  The coated side of this flooring is usually put Down, to ward off the effects of road water splash and ground moisture.  Mine sort of looks undercoated with a rust proofing  spray.  It looks like that. 

 

I have another trailer, an older one with marine grade plywood; and I never hesitated to hose the trailer out once in a while; if I came  home from a race and brought home some of the dirt race track.  This new one will not be hosed out.

 

Again, I painted the interior with Rustoleum oil based paint ( took forever to dry); because the new Latex paint is water based.  And water swells up the engineered flooring product.

 

So I would recommend you make sure what you have; so you take proper precautions. Go to the Advantech site, and maybe the Dymax site and others and study up on these products.  You can tell by looking at the board itself; and if you see chunks and pieces of wood, pressed and glued together; you have engineered flooring.   You notice I didn't call it OSB board; that was the early engineered board; that blew up when water ever got near it. 

 

It is water resistant not water proof.  I am OK with mine; because I weighed the advantages (cost) to the inherent disadvantages.      

 

Edited by intimeold (see edit history)

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8 hours ago, 63RedBrier said:

I tow a similar trailer, albeit 24' or 26', with my Suburban.  I added EZLift airbags inside the rear springs on the Suburban to level it out when I tow.  Makes a huge difference!  Remember when you are backing up the trailer you want to turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction of where you want the trailer to go.  Its counterintuitive but it works!  I also carry TWO spares!  I learned my lesson the hard way when I got a flat and the cords punctured the NEW tire right next to it.  I had just installed the new tire the day before!

 

Gary, When I first got my trailer a friend of mine with MANY years of towing experience told me the following when backing up a trailer:

 

Make sure the front tires are straight. Put both of your hands at the bottom of the steering wheel at 6 o'clock.

Move both hands in the direction you want the trailer to go. This takes all the thinking out of the process. No opposite direction, counter intuitiveness, etc.

It just works. Give it a try sometime.

 

Also I agree with others here. The FIRST thing on your shopping list BEFORE you tow a vehicle in the trailer is to buy a weight distributing hitch with sway control.

The first picture you posted appears to indicate a noticeable difference in the distance between  the top of your tires and the bottom lip of your wheel well when you compare your front and rear tires. That would indicate that you have more weight on the rear axle (ie rear end squat). One function of a weight distributing hitch is to even out the weight between the front and rear axles which also returns more traction and steering control to the front tires.

 

Also if it is possible you should consider mounting your two spare tires in the rear of your trailer (one on each side). Putting both tires in the V-Nose at the front will add 100-150 pounds of tongue weight which could be an issue depending on the towed vehicle's weight and how you position it in the trailer.

 

Charlie

 

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Yes, a weight distributing hitch will go on my shopping list quickly.  Painting the floor will also get done.  Moving the spare tires to the rear sounds like a good idea, too, as minimizing the tongue load would help.  

 

As for backing up, I'm OK at backing my flat-bed car trailer and small utility trailer.  The big problem with the enclosed trailer is that I can't see behind it and can barely see around it.  I'll need some new mirrors, too.  Has anybody installed a video camera at the back of a trailer? 

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I've heard some of the wireless cameras can be a little sketchy. I drive past anything I'm backing into and get out a lot....lol. I keep my spares in the bed of the truck as I try to have nothing in the trailer but the car. I don't want something bouncing around in there for several 100 miles before I notice. The tongue weight is better than having the trailer tail heavy, that will get you swaying a lot. I also highly recommend spare lugnuts, if you lose them you're SOL! Have you got one of these trailer wheel ramps yet?Makes changing a flat really easy not having to jack everything up!

 

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Gary

My GMC has the rear trailer camera option that shows on the main mapping screen when it is on.  I find now that I rarely use it when backing into a tight spot but do use it when near my "bump stop"  The reason is when backing and turning the mirrors indicate the placement of the trailer as the camera only shows what is directly behind the trailer back. Also the truck mirrors have cameras and the split screen showing of them on the GPS screen  when backing is great especially at night.

Robert

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A lot of good suggestions here. I have around 71,000 miles towing in 22 years with a 24’ enclosed trailer. I recently installed a wireless hitch and rear trailer camera. For the rear camera it did take some tweaking with extender antennas and more powerful receivers / transmitters to get it to connect regularly. It is great to have when backing up especially at night into a tight hotel space as the grid lines easily get you within 12” of a object, plus the wife and I no longer argue and yell at each other.

 

I also installed a wireless trailer tire temperature / pressure monitoring system which recently saved me on a 2,200 mile trip. Never had a trailer tire go flat while towing (2 in a parking lot). On the NY throughway it start beeping telling me a tire was losing air (down to 30 psi). Had to time get off an exit and sure enough had metal thru the sidewall. Highly recommend installing a TPMS.     

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I second what Ron suggested re TPMS.  It will be the best money you can spend if you are going to do any serious towing.  Having the ability to pull off on a exit or rest area to change a tire instead of changing a drivers side tire along the interstate is priceless.  You WILL have tire problems as most trailer tires are crap from China.  Just my TCW.  I also carry a DeWalt impact wrench and a Torque wrench.  Along with the Trailer Aid device I have changed a flat tire in 12 minutes in the rain.  Also if using an oil based paint be sure to use an oil based primer.

Edited by Robert G. Smits
Addition (see edit history)

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As I told a friend of mine who bought a new trailer, go inside the front door and put a date in magic marker exactly 5 years from today.  When that date comes, change all four tires to new ones.  Repeat every five years.

 

This advice from someone who's lost three trailer fenders due to flat tires, until I started over with all new, and will change as mentioned above.  Expensive, but cheaper than replacing a windshield in a pickup truck hit by a fender.  As me how I know.....

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About backing up.

I find that if one turns around in the seat and watches the trailer rather than using mirrors it is less confusing.

I sold boats for a living for over twenty years and I saw a lot of people that had no clue about backing up a trailer. So I always gave that advice.

Me of coarse can stick my trailer where it shouldn't fit even with my eyes closed !! (tongue in cheek)

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When I was in the trailer lot for the Eastern Grand Classic last Saturday most of the trailers had 16 inch wheels (which Ed argues for forcefully).   The 16 allows you to use an industrial truck tire that has a much less chance of blowing out.

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If one keeps their trailer tires PROPERLY inflated, COVERS them when not in use, does NOT EXCEED their speed rating, CHECKS them for CRACKS in the sidewalls and REPLACES then every 5 Years one can MINIMIZE the chance of a blowout that does not involve running over road debria. In the 13 years I have owned my trailer I have not had a blowout. The original tires that came on the trailer were from China. The second set were Goodyear Marathons made in the USA the current set are Maxxis made in Thailand. I did lose one of the Marathon tires when I ran over road debris on my way to Fall Hershey one year.

A TPMS unit would have told me sooner that I lost that tire which would have put less stress on the other tire on that side that had to carry the load. I ended up replacing all the Marathon tires when I found varying levels of cracks in the sidewalls of the other tires on the trailer. 

 

True one can get 16" industrial tires but the problem with them for some is the size of the tire versus the available space in the trailer's wheel wells.

For some, these tires are not an option. What one can do however is move up to a higher load rating and still stay with the same tire size. I did that with the Maxxis tires I bought. These tires hold more air and have a higher speed rating which helps.

 

Charlie

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