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Econovanman

Trailer SIDE ESCAPE DOOR??

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I am going to have a 24' enclosed trailer built to haul both my 1965 Mustang and my Wife's 1957 Belair in (separatly) and was wondering about these so called side escape doors on the drivers side of the trailer that I have seen on some.....I have never used an enclosed trailer so I really don't know if they are nessessary or not and would appreciate some opinions....Thanks!

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Hi- the side doors are great, but make sure that the clearance between floor of trailer and the bottom of the door opening is sufficient to fully open your door. My enclosed trailer is great for older cars, but some more "modern" iron (like the T-bird) has such low doors that the side door does no good. That said, enclosed is great, a new garage, protects the car, an enclosed workshop on a tour! dc

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Econovanman</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am going to have a 24' enclosed trailer built to haul both my 1965 Mustang and my Wife's 1957 Belair in (separatly) and was wondering about these so called side escape doors on the drivers side of the trailer that I have seen on some.....I have never used an enclosed trailer so I really don't know if they are nessessary or not and would appreciate some opinions....Thanks! </div></div>

Be advised that some enclosed car trailers come in either 8 ft or 8.5 ft width. Go with the widest trailer you can get.

Escape Doors are one of the options that are WELL WORTH the Money.

If you are having a trailer built (not purchased from a dealer's inventory) you can have the escape door placed just about anywhere along the side of your trailer. Knowing that, you have a real challenge as to where you should locate your escape door. Unless I am mistaken, the length and weight distribution of each of your vehicles is VERY different from each other. That means, in order to balance your load, each vehicle will, most likely, be parked in different positions in the trailer (ie closer to the front or rear of the trailer). If both vehicles do have to be parked in different positions in the trailer it may be difficult to have one escape door that will work for both vehicles.

When I had my trailer built, I tried to calculate where my escape door should be located based on the length of each of the three vehicles I intended to tow. If I had it to do all over again I would have loaded each of my vehicles in a dealer demo trailer and used a tongue weight scale to determine where each vehicle should be parked in the trailer. Then I would have used blue painter's tape to mark where the escape door should be located. That would have given me both the optimal location in the trailer where each vehicle should be parked and the location of the escape door for each vehicle. Then I would have had a more accurate location for the escape door.

BTW, trimacar makes a good point about being careful about the clearence between the trailer floor and the bottom of the escape door and how that relaes to the bottom of the door on each vehicle. I had this same concern with my three vehicles. Some people here may not realize that trailer manufacturers have the ability to change this clearence distance when a trailer is built. In my case, my trailer's floor was raised so that the doors on my vehicles cleared both the wheel well inside the trailer and the bottom of the escape door.

Be advised that some trailer dealers and/or manufacturers may be reluctant to custom build a trailer.

I ran into one or two dealers & manufacturers like that and kept looking until I found some that would build the trailer I wanted.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> floor of trailer and the bottom of the door opening is sufficient to fully open your door.</div></div>

The trailer inner wheel wells sometimes dictate the door height. I had to solve that problem by laying a couple of 2X12's on the floor to raise the car enough to clear the door opening. That said, A side door is a must.........Bob

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My first enclosed trailer did NOT have the escape door - what a major mistake that was. The last two have had the doors and it makes getting in and out of the car a breeze. Ensure you get a trailer with the "show car" option which will have the lower fenders in the trailer so you can clear the car's door. Even with my Corvair, I ahve no problem clearing the fender and the escape door frame.

BOB

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When I ordered my trailer, I asked for 4' barn style doors for the escape door. This opens the whole area above the wheel wells and accommodates all of my cars very well.

I made the mistake of not specifying the floor height to make sure that the car doors cleared the escape door frame. I fixed the problem the same way that bhigdog did, with 2 2x12 planks laid the length of the floor. I put two for each wheel because the track width of the Fords is much narrower than the Chevys. The trailer manufacturer should be able to raise the floor for you by using an 8" I-beam frame instead of the standard 6" frame. Just be sure to examine the angle of approach to make sure that you don't scrape when you load or unload the car.

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I also have owned many trailers with the escape door and agree with the others on the distance between the floor and the threshold it needs to be 10 1/2 " or less---my last trailer was a highly optioned Storm I had built with barn doors also with a 6' opening and it was great but i decided to go with a gooseneck--in my opinion the escape door needs to be located around 96" from the back for all cars (just measure from the door to the back bumper on the 57 and add sone distance) and needs to be a 54" opening ---I have a friend with a nice one check it out it is for sale

http://doug396.smugmug.com/gallery/6212445_TM3hz#391699179_vumGZ

or email me at doug396@bellsouth.net for pictures of the one I sold with barn doors

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The escape door is a great idea if you haul the same iron on a regular basis. We found that the escape door in a factory spot did not match up real well to anything we owned in my Dad's trailer. When I built my trailer the best option in my opinion is a good winch set up. I do not drive load anything into my trailer. They are winched in and out. I feel this gives me the best control and best view while loading. The door of the vehicle can stay shut and steering can be done through an open window. I reach in and set parking brake and reverse gear and never touch the seat.

I do let my 11 year old Daughter help steer if she is with. She is great at it and ties the load down as well. She already knows what we use a j hook on and which gets an axle strap.

Love a closed trailer. You will never go back.

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Escape Door is a MUST - none of us escape the ravages of time !

Seriously, we had our Forest River car hauler custom-built with 7-inch fender height and a 54-inch escape door. Because we have cars of many differing sizes and weights, the relation between car and escape door varies, and we are having the manufacturer extend the opening with a second door (an expense, but I'm worth it, and so are our cars).

While we have a winch installed for emergency use, we've never had to use it so far. I always drive into the trailer, and generally use the escape door -- it makes life so much easier, and by the way, a TONGUE JACK makes life much easier too !!! My pacemaker likes it better.

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I load the same as you, winch my stuff in unless it is one of the smaller vehicles which are easy to drive in and the door opens without hitting the side of the trailer. They now have cordless controls for the winches. My trailer doesn't have a side door and the new one I am looking at doesn't have one either. For me the doors are never in the right place especially if hauling 2 small vehicles.

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I quit driving my cars onto or into my trailers. I have seen several examples of damaged cars and car trailers. The combination of aging eye sight and slower reactions sometimes results in stopping too late, slipping off a ramp, or just forgetting to put the top down before driving an old touring car into an enclosed trailer.

I think it is much safer to winch vehicles onto or into trailers. Besides, when the car breaks down on a tour, it can always be winched back into the trailer. If you are not in the car, you don't need an escape door.

My two cents...

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I really agree. My Willys fire engine is so close going through the door cables I defy any one to "drive" that in. Yes, the trailer is a 102.

The winch is smooth and stops instantly when you let off the button. It gives you a moment to take a second look.

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Just bought a 24' Pace Daytona enclosed trailer and had Pace add an escape door. Also had a Bulldog electric tongue jack installed with a battery in the trailer and connected to the towing vehicle through the 7 pin hitch. Also installed a 5000# Superwinch and a few other tweaks.

Just drove 2500 miles round trip with the trailer from Fort Worth, TX to Concord (Charlotte) N.C. for the AACA Eastern regional. Picked up my 1932 Buick Model 67 that had been shipped from Connecticut to Concord for judging for a First Junior award. We got the first junior with 399 our of 400 points and then I loaded the Buick in the Daytona and came back to Fort Worth. The escape door is a must if you have a show car and want maximum flexibility.

My $0.02

Chuck Nixon

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I'm sure you'll love the closed trailer. Just curious if they were handing out judging sheets is Charlotte so you knew your score so well?

Congratulations on the win.

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He should not have gotten his score. That's a big NO-No. Any judge or AACA member giving out scores immediately loses their judging privileges....so I hear. blush.gif

Wayne

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Wayne,

That's how I thought this system worked too. I requested one judging sheet review and got the generic one as it's done. I had a deduction made for a spring cover. To this day I don't know what a spring cover is on a truck? It does not matter I moved on and improved with each showing.

Thanks

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32Buick67,

First, Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum.

Congratulations on your First Junior.

As has been noted, a judge who is found to have revealed a score will be removed from judging, so you might not want to mention that again. It tends to get folks worked up.

I hope that what you posted about the score and what really happened were a little bit different and you misunderstood.

Sounds like you have a nice trailer there. Being a cheapskate, I have to get by without an escape door, but with a Model A Ford Phaeton, it is not too difficult.

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Matt,

With our earlier cars, I agree that not having had an escape door on our older trailers was no big deal, but with the cars of the '40s/'50s, the door is a modestly priced convenience, and added very little to the price of our newest trailer. Now that I have one, I really enjoy it.

Two of our other trailers do not have the escape door; one is 8ft wide, the other is 8-1/2 and they are fine for the early cars.

Approaching age 67, and few tour banquets under my belt, a few extra bucks for the convenience is welcome. Of course I appreciate your opinion as well. Hope to meet you on tour soon, maybe the Vintage??

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Marty, I certainly look forward to the opportunity to meet you. I do plan to make the Vintage Tour. See you there!

Working for a living has recently interferred with the rest of my life way too much. I could not go to Charlotte due to having a conflict with the NC Azalea Festival Parade here in Wilmington.

Hopefully, I will be able to make it to a few meets and tours in the near future.

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Marty, I forgot to ask you in the past. Is your latest trailer taller on the inside to accommodate those early touring cars of yours?

Wayne

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> He should not have gotten his score. That's a big NO-No. Any judge or AACA member giving out scores immediately loses their judging privileges....so I hear. blush.gif

Wayne</div></div>

I now know the story about the score and it is a very innocent one. The team captain did not divulge the complete score but brought up a very obvious one point deduction for a non-factory feature. He was trying to help a member at his first show. This was just a miscommunication and the owner meant no disrepect, ill-will or incorrect information.

His Buick, however, was absolutely stunnning and a very, very well done restoration.

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Thanks for the update, Steve.

I didn't want any show particapants to think that score sheets were passed out. smile.gif

Wayne

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