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Questions for first trailer owner.


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I am in the process of purchasing an enclosed car trailer to haul a 1915 Touring Car. The total length of car is 160" (13', 4"). The total height of the car with the touring top in the up position is 83".

I have a number of questions for the seasoned experts.

1. Would a 20' trailer with a V nose be large enough to haul this car? I am uncertain how much extra space is required to tie down the axles and what the optimum angle for the tie downs would be?

2. Would it be best to transport this vehicle with the touring top in up position? If so, I would order a trailer to allow for the additional height?

3. Do most folks leave the tops up when transporting their vehicles?

Thank you so much for your input. I appreciate your thoughts and knowledge.

Best regards,

Dale

Edited by DCE (see edit history)
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Hi,

I just went through this for our new trailer.

1. I would go for the extra two feet in length. If you ever get a longer car, or if you sell the trailer, the small extra cost will be well spent. I believe that 45 degree angle is the best for the tie-downs.

2. Get the height to allow for the top up. When you get caught in the rain you don't want to be delayed putting the top down before driving into the trailer.

3. Yes, if they have a trailer that is high enough.

Be sure that the tie-down rings are anchored to the steel framework below the floor. Our friend got his trailer and they were only bolted through the plywood floor.

Best to have a one-piece roof. No roof vent, side vents instead. Less chance for leaks.

Feel free to reply with any other questions.

We have four quotes, and just put in our order yesterday.

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Hello DCE,

I bought a used Haulmark 24-foot double-axle enclosed trailer some years ago and I've never regretted having the extra space. My wife and I have a number of old cars (including a '15 Dodge Brothers Touring, wonderful car) that we transport to meets and tours and it's just wonderful to be able to store extra stuff in the trailer. However, for the '15 DB touring a 20' trailer will be adequate. Just get all the extra height you can for the reasons stated by Bill Boudway, but you never know what else you might acquire in the future. I recommend installing a lot of D-rings or other connectors for ropes and bungee cords on the side walls to secure such items as extra trailer wheels, jacks, etc. and 4 or 6 D-rings in the floor (or a track system). Buy 4 fabric axle straps (available online) with D connectors on both ends to wrap around the axles and then get 4 fabric tie-down straps with come-along ratchets. An extra of each wouldn't hurt. Get the highest weight rating you can buy, you will sleep better. I also recommend buying a special hitch scale to measure the tongue weight at the hitch ball which should be 10-15% of the overall weight of the loaded trailer. That is, if you trailer weighs, say, 3500 lbs and your vehicle is 4000 lbs plus 200 lbs for tools, parts, supplies, accessories etc. in the trailer, your weight at the hitch ball should be 10-15% of 7700 lbs, which is 770-1155 lbs, ideally about 900 or 1000. Get the overall weight accurately on certified scales at a truck stop. Afterwards, move your car back and forth to get the weight right at the hitch ball and then mark the location of the front axle of your car on the floor with tape labelled for that car. Do this for each car you plan to transport. Most importantly, make sure you have a tow vehicle adequate to handle the load, the longer the wheelbase the better, keep it in good shape, especially the brakes, and get a weight-distributing hitch that spreads the weight out with side bars along the tow vehicle chassis and the trailer frame. I can't stress this enough. Just watch the next time you see some guy trying to tow a 34' boat with a Jeep and a bumper hitch wondering why he can't keep the rig in his own lane. Where in Alberta do you live? My wife and I have to fly to Calgary on some business in late April and would love to see your '15 Dodge Bros. car. What's the engine number? Does it still have the air pump fuel delivery or a vacuum pump? They are great cars and quite under-appreciated in my opinion. Good luck.

Bill

Edited by Bill Miller (see edit history)
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  • 7 months later...
I am in the process of purchasing an enclosed car trailer to haul a 1915 Touring Car. The total length of car is 160" (13', 4"). The total height of the car with the touring top in the up position is 83".

I have a number of questions for the seasoned experts.

1. Would a 20' trailer with a V nose be large enough to haul this car? I am uncertain how much extra space is required to tie down the axles and what the optimum angle for the tie downs would be?

2. Would it be best to transport this vehicle with the touring top in up position? If so, I would order a trailer to allow for the additional height?

3. Do most folks leave the tops up when transporting their vehicles?

Thank you so much for your input. I appreciate your thoughts and knowledge.

Best regards,

Dale

Hello Dale,

As a suggestion, get an enclosed gooseneck trailer. The towing characteristics are unbelievably easier to handle. I will never

go back to a bumper hanger.

-Marty

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DCE,

You have received some great advice. Bill Boudway and Bill Miller both know what they are talking about.

I custom-designed my trailer, had it built by Forest River in Elkhart, Indiana, and ordered through Trailerworld in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Mine is a 24ft box plus a wedge and tapered nose which gives me all the room in the world to walk around front and rear to set, and to re-check my tie-downs. The extra space allows me to carry tools, parts, luggage, floor jack, jack stands, creeper, extra cardboard to lie on when I have to get out and get under. I have multiple sets of tie-down locations, allowing for multiple lengths of cars and varying weight distributions. The overall length is 30ft-6in. The ramp is extra heavy-duty and has a hinged flip-over extension, and there is a hinged flap to smooth the transition between the ramp-door and the floor. There is also a 4 foot beaver-tail.

I had it built extra tall so I would not have to stop in a downpour to lower the top, and would not have to leave any top folded for an extended period of time.

My trailer is ALL ALUMINUM. In my part of the country a wooden floor will rot (My old trailer had a steel diamond deckplate floor). It is built with a pair of 6,000 lb axles, 8-lug aluminum wheels. and Load Range-E tires. The floor is built higher than standard so that the wheel boxes are only 5 inches high so that the doors of even the 1950s and 1960s cars can open over the wheel boxes, allowing easier entry and exit. Additionally, I have a Driver-side access door made extra long, and opening as an awning-style, so any of my cars can open the driver's door, and I have a folding step-rack which hangs on a left-side trailer tire to allow me to step out of the car and step down to the ground, or climb up easily (also helps when checking the tow-vehicle's engine compartment).

I have a pair of side-vents which are reversible, and also Air-Maxx boxes over the roof vents (I did not order roof vents - it was a manufacturer error).

I have 4 lights in the ceiling, Multiple sets of LED lights in the floor so tie-down in the dark is a piece of cake, and also have multiple sets of lights in the lower walls.

The battery is inside in the front point of the box, right in front of the WINCH, and also operates the ELECTRIC TONGUE JACK (with remote), both of which are also important additions. Also have at least one (preferably 2) mounts built onto the front inside walls for your spare tires. The second spare means that when a tire does go (and it will at the least opportune time and location), you don't have to go shopping for a replacement on a Sunday morning a hundred miles from a good shop.

Remember to get a good Load-Leveling hitch which will make your ride smoother, safer, and more comfortable, eliminating the "bump-bump-bump" of trailering.

Good luck with your decision.

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I would also vote for the extra length. When I bought my trailer I got a 24 ft trailer, 6,000 pound axles with brakes on both axles, left side door for getting out of the car even though I have only hauled teen's vehicles, lights inside, shore line for power, and I am happy with it. The one thing I did miss was getting more height to load older vehicles with the top up.

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