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Carguy67

Car fit in the trailer, but I could not get out!

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So, I am getting the SportWagon ready to go to Brookfield and national BCA and have decided to trailer it rather than drive it for several reasons. First and foremost the weather in the midwest has been unpredictable and nasty these past few weeks. I don't want to get caught in the middle of Missouri, Illniois or points north or south in the wagon with no protection after spending a few coins on the wagon. Second, the rebuilt engine and transmission only have 100 + miles on them and I don't have time to put another 400 breakin miles on them before we leave in less than a week.

So, I carefully drove the wagon in the 24' enclosed trailer (about 18' clear due to a cabinet inside) and checked clearances carefully. I had a large orange cone at the front to tell me when I was close to the cabinet. So, once set in the trailer, I proceed to open the driver's door and surprize! even though I have an open 'escape' door on the driver's side of the trailer to let me out of cars in the trailer, the wagon door does not clear the bottom of the escape door frame. 

So, I sit there and contemplate my options on how to get out. I try to slither out the drivers door but get head and torso caught, same on passenger side. It appears the only option is turn around on front bench seat, lean over and fold down second seat, climb over front bench on to the horizontal back of the second seat, then fold third seat flat and get to the tailgate which I then opened from inside and get out!

I decided I had to come up with a solution that allowed me in and out of the car from the escape door. Knowing many before me have solved the problem with lower car doors (like Corvettes) clearing the trailer fender wells by driving up onto 2x wood material, I made some measurements to what I thought it would take to raise the car enough to open the driver's door into the escape opening. I put the floor jack under the front cross member, jacked it up, stacked three 2 x 10 pieces of wood under both front tires too get 4 1/2 " lift, let the jack down and viola! it was enough lift to open the door with at least 18" horizontal opening and enough to get my 'mature' bod in and out of the car. 

I made some crude wooden 4 1/2" ramps, bolted them to the trailer floor with 1/2" bolts and tomorrow morning I will try again and see how it all works. Wish me luck.
Chuck, 
See you in Brookfield:D
 

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F250 Trailer.jpg

Edited by chuck nixon (see edit history)
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The saga continues :(


So I drove the Sportwagon into the trailer this morning, up on my new ramps without a hitch, wheel stops worked and I put the car in park, turned off the engine and opened the door and BUMP!  Seems all my measuring was with the jack under the front cross member and when I roll in with the weight of the car on the front wheels on the lift ramps plus my 'mature' body weight, the door is still hitting the escape door frame by an inch after it cleared yesterday on the jack. Crawled out the tailgate again.:rolleyes:

So, I decide if the front is elevated then I need to elevate the back wheels and see what happens. Out comes the floor jack, under the differential and up it goes 1 1/2 " (1 thicknesses of 2X material). Walk around to the escape door, open the car door and there is an inch clearance, but, with with previous experience I get up into the front seat and start to shut the door. As I close the door the bottom of it lightly rubs on the escape door frame so my weight is the culprit again. Put my foot out the door onto the trailer floor to take some weight off the car for door clearance, open the door as far as I can, which is plenty to get in and out through the escape door, and get out.

I raise the differential with the jack, put 2 pieces of 2x10 under each rear wheel, let the jack down and go check the door again. Now there is 3" clearance without me in the car and should be plenty left even with me sitting in it. Now I have to build two more lift ramps for the rear wheels! Thought about just stacking 2 - 2 x12's on each side from back to my front lift ramps but that was expensive and I did not want to secure that much wood to the trailer floor. Also, at the time was thinking I would be using my basket tie-downs on the wheels and the wood would cover my tie down tracks in the floor. So off to Home Depot to get more 2 x 10 material and make two back lifts.

Made the back lifts, installed them tonight and will try the car again in the morning and it should work fine ( I trust!). I went ahead and evaluated tie-down options and as it turns out I can't use the basket wheel tie-downs because there is not enough room remaining between the car body and the trailer side walls for me to get to each corner, finagle the straps over the wheels, and tie them down to the track. Decided to use regular tie-downs on the rear axle connected to rear 'D' rings which works well in spite of the long overhang and gas tank of the wagon. I will cross a pair of tie-downs at the front using 'J' hooks the towing drivers use in holes in the frame and connected to the 'D' rings at the front.

Sure am glad I decided to test load the car on Tuesday instead of waiting this weekend with little or no time left before we leave. :D

I don't intend to trailer the SportWagon very often but drive it!  The trailer is mainly for my 1932 Buick and a couple of Model 'A' Fords and works great for them, no clearance problems.

Will give a report and photos when I get back from BCA.

 

 

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Edited by chuck nixon (see edit history)
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When I ordered my trailer, they asked if I wanted a "show car door" without explaining what that was, so I didn't get it...I didn't recognize it was an escape hatch...these big Buicks can present a challenge that way, although I'm still sort of nimble enough to do a Dukes of Hazzard manouvre to get in an out if necessary.  Once I'm not I may just pay a skinny person to get involved.

 

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When not hauling the wagon use one of the front ramps to change flats on the trailer.  I ordered my trailer after measuring and still have to use some 2x12 stock where the tires rest.  Anything older than my 55's will fit.

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Chuck,

 

See you in WI.  Maybe you should reconsider driving the wagon?  It is a Buick, after all!.

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2 hours ago, jscheib said:

Chuck,

 

See you in WI.  Maybe you should reconsider driving the wagon?  It is a Buick, after all!.

 

John,  the weather continues to be unstable between here and Brookfield so I am not going to take a chance on driving it.  Besides, I would have to clean it up when I get there !!:lol:

Edited by chuck nixon (see edit history)

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Final Detail:

Drove the SportWagon into the trailer this morning, front wheels went over rear wheel lifts just fine, got to the front wheel lifts, and the rear wheels engaged the rear wheel lifts. Gave it some gas and it started to climb up the lifts but the front lifts were giving more resistance due to their height. Gave it a little more gas and the rear wheels spun on the slick painted incline on the rear lifts and the car shifted to the left !:eek: Cut the engine, climbed out the tail gate again, assessed the situation and decided I had 2" clear from side of car to rear opening frame on left side to back the car out carefully. Unhitched the cable to the rear door ramp on the trailer to give me a little breathing room.

Climbed back in through the tailgate, backed the car out carefully, no damage. I then applied stair tread non-slip 4" strips to the rear lifts. Got back in the car and drove it back in the trailer and this time it went all the way in and up on the lifts. 

Re-attached rear door cable and Mission Accomplished.:D
:)

 

 

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