The garage that I store my 1923 high hood T coupe in is no longer available, so I need to move it out. Since I don't have other places to store it, I figured I would just get an enclosed trailer to use as the garage and to haul it to events.
I've read a bunch of different threads as well as talked to some local T members, and pulled the information together. Can you make sure I didn't miss anything that is a must? Also, any manufactures to go with or stay away from? I don't need top of the line, but I don't want to be replacing the trailer in a few years because I cheaped out somewhere.
8.5' x 18' (maybe 20')
Four wheel electric brakes
Four D rings
Radial trailer tires
Bright interior and exterior lighting
16" on center cross members
One piece roof with no ceiling vents
12" extra height
Seven foot high ramp door
Nice to haves:
Check with your insurance. Some do not allow storage in a trailer.
I think you have it nailed!! Bud.
Dale - Thanks for the tip. Insurance told me they just want it locked and chained to a tree. Best part is they are willing to insure the trailer and give it a multi vehicle discount!
Bud - thanks for the reply! Just wanted to be sure I didn't miss anything.
Any makers to stay away from?
Andrew,Freighter Jim usually has some good ideas? Bud.
Looks good. Be sure to get ten ply trailer tires, not 6 or 8 ply LT pickup truck tires. The ten ply tires are a lot longer lasting and won't fail if you have a flat on an adjoining tire.
I use a trailer to store both my 1925 tudor and a 1923 coupe. The make is u.s. cargo inc. made in Goshen, IN 46526. The 25 is 76" tall and the 23 is 77" tall. The trial's door opening is 80 1/2" high, 92" wide, the inside is 84" high. I paid $3,800.00 for it.
My experience with tires, and I buy the good ones, is if one goes flat, you just as well replace both tires on that side, because the remaining one will only last another 150 miles before it shreds also. The damage a shredding tire can do to the trailer is far more than the cost of the tire.
So have two spares, not just one.
You may have an issue with mildew or mold when storing in a trailer. A dehumidifier might be something to consider.
Mine is 16' which is plenty for a T but not enough for a modern car. Mine has the narrower of the two standard widths with the wider fenders. Rearward visibility is much better when towing. At some point in the future I'll add a winch, but other then that, I'm happy with what I have.
Andrew, I forgot to look where you are from. You are in the snow belt. Consider any snowloads on the roof. My trailer lives in Florida and has a roof capacity of 250 lbs. This would not be any ways near enough where you live. It would be only about 2 1/4 lbs per square foot. Cleaning snow off the top of a nearly 10-foot-tall trailer is not easy. You may have to install some temporary bracing in the winter months.
My good friend Tim Woods at Colony Cargo LLC in Fitzgerald, GA ...
Arising Industries is located in the same town.
They build the trailers Tim sells.
I have been to their factory several times.
I have bought several trailers from him over several years.
After the sale is what matters when you need service & both Colony Cargo LLC and Arising Industries are A+ in my book ....
Freighter Jim - I've been sort of "shopping" for an enclosed car hauler trailer for quite some time now, and altho' I'd like to keep the cost down by buying a used one, the fact that I want the extra 12" height makes it almost impossible to find a used one with that extra height. So, that pretty much dictates that I'm gonna' hafta' have one built. My other problem is that I live here in the Pacific Northwest, and it seem that every time I find a company that builds a "QUALITY" trailer, its someplace on the east coast, or, even more often, in the southeast like Colony Cargo in Georgia! With your experience, would you have any recommendations in regard to a good quality builder on the West Coast? Thanks,......harold
We have had ours close to 20 years but if i was to ever get another i think i would like the side door to be a french door of 5'? Never a problem with snow load but our's is black. Bud.
I would reconsider roof vents. I would try for two vents. Then install MaxAir vent covers, heat rises. I have them on my RV, I leave my vents open year-round helps keep the heat down and moisture under control.
You may want to consider plush carpeting if your '23 is a bonifide "Dr's Coupe".
I suggested to him to consider a solar powered roof vent and a couple of air intake vents near the floor to develop good air circulation especially in the summer. I also recommended the U.S.Cargo brand. Very stout trailer.
Andrew, Here is my trailer I bought about a year ago. I had it custom made by the Arising Industries company Jim recommended above. I bought it thru a local Arising Industries dealer here in Arkansas. Its price included them getting it to Arkansas for me to pick up local. My local dealer orders 5 to 10 trailers at a time and did not charge me anything for transport with their own trailers. I was going to buy an 18 foot but decided on a 20 foot because it only cost about 100.00 extra for the extra 2 foot. Im really glad I bought the 20 footer. The room in front of the car is really nice to have. The 20 foot size is the main box and does not include the soft-V front. The soft-V area is nice for the winch and spare tire to mount. Other things I had changed were, I upgraded to 10 ply tires and 10,000 pound axles. I had it made one foot taller. I have a dovetail that also adds rear door height, and less angle to the ramp. (no extra cost for dovetail) I agree with Jason about the skylights. I added one extra vent/skylight. (it is really nice to be able to see inside at anytime there is light outside) They come with one skylight, the extra was 35.00. Ill take the risk of leaking to have the vent for light or heat removal. I also had the tongue made a foot longer. It helps on towing and also is not as likely to hit your truck if you jack knife it while backing up. They come with one light inside and I had them add another light. I think it was 12.00 more. I was going to have them install a winch plate up front but I opted to add it myself. I also asked for "full perimeter welds" on all frame members, with a special QC check of all welds. I wanted all four sides of every weld joint fully wrapped. Most trailer companies just weld up both sides and sometimes across the top. They did an excellent job on my trailers welds. (It may be because I told the owner of Arising Industries, I was a retired construction welder and weld inspector and I would be looking ) I had the rear door beefed up to the "heavy duty" option. I think that was another 50.00. I bought a spare tire that was 50.00 extra (most trailers do not come with a spare tire) I had 18 foot of e-track installed into the floor for 250.00 more. and I highly recommend to get e-track in the floor. The trailers come with 4 D-rings included in base price. I had the "flow thru" side vents added. They are about 65.00 if I remember correctly. I also had a step put into the side door. It really does help. The 36 inch side door is "standard" and did not cost extra. I also had it painted Penske Yellow. that was 250.00 extra. But with yellow or red paint the side aluminum sheets are .035 thicker. .035 does not sound like much, but I can feel the difference when pressing on the white or black trailer sides compared to my yellow trailer. I got yellow because I do not want to blend in, Im not a "blend in" type of guy. And it really is a good theft deterant. I may have the only yellow trailer in Arkansas. And I have yet to see another one on the highway. I see a few red ones and some black trailers, but its mostly a "sea of white" With everything I added and including Arkansas sales tax I got it for just a little bit over 6000.00 delivered to my local dealer. The base price was about 3800.00. Here are a few pics, with it and my 27 touring.
Used extra tall trailers are out there, just takes a lot more time to find one.
I spent about a year looking for one and finally found a used extra tall trailer in the price range I was looking for.
Consider Haulmark or, better yet if you can afford it, Wells Cargo.
Few trailer builders make a full perimeter steel tube frame trailer.
Labor and material costs keep most manufacturers in the South.
Tim sells trailers to folks in your area - Canada as well.
Depends what you are going to pull it with, diesel dully or a big gaser you can get by with a flat nose If you got a half ton get a V nose, get roof vent with covers like campers have. Get it longer for tools and parts and a port a potty, your wife will be a lot happier E track is nice. Listen to the guy that said 10 ply tires or heaver
Also read Donnie Brown He knows what he is doing, he will never steer you wrong
I would suggest a tie down system the full length so you can make sure to get enough tongue weight no matter what you haul...I placed mine more in the trailer center so I could use the frame or main spring to tie down...it keeps the car suspension tight so it doesn't rattle apart on a rough road or skip side to side because the straps are pulling front to back instead of downward.Longer tongue was suggested and a must for tight turns or backing up to prevent the trailer from hitting the tow vehicle.
I think you have it mostly covered. Personally I order my floors unfinished and use garage floor paint. I've had the vinyl and linoleum and both got slick when wet. The last two trailers I've had we put drip pans screwed down. This one also has loading lights. You can see them in the pics. They are low on the sides and 12V. It also has a ramp light and a light over the hitch and toolbox that are 12V. You can see the ramp light just to the left of center above the door. These extra lights really help at night. This is the first trailer I don't have to carry a flashlight when loading. Those 12V LED lights were about $25 each installed. I also had 110V lights installed because I knew I planned on using it to store the car as well. It's a Stealth trailer.
I have read conflicting stories on exactly how much good the V-nose actually does. My feeling is that (assuming that you are pulling the trailer with a pickup truck) that the air is so turbulent by the time that it reaches the trailer, that conventional aerodynamic perceptions do not apply. I saw a MYTHBUSTERS show where they tested various methods to aerodynamically improve a conventional pickup truck's fuel economy. Removing the tailgate (or even leaving it open) did not improve fuel economy at all. This goes counter to what most (including me) would think. My trailer is a V-nose, but it was very close to what I would have ordered anyway, and the dealer got it from another nearby dealer who had it in stock.
If you have it custom built, suggest having an aluminum roof vice galvaluminum. I have an 18' box with 5' V-nose, extra tall. The 5 ft. V-nose is great for storage (Batt./Winch/Spare Tire/Tools) and a big benefit when making tight turns. I also included an electric front jack....makes it harder to steal as you can disconnect it inside.
You can have an electric floor jack mounted inside the trailer if you specify when ordering for theft deterrence.
Or threaten prospective thieves with a lifetime fruitcake of the month membership.
Hey thanks a lot for all the tips! I've got a few quotes out at the moment, so we'll see what happens.
Still hoping to get lucky with a used one, but we'll see what happens.
Freighter Jim, how does the electric floor jack work?
Particularly if you are using the trailer as a garage, I would look at built in drop down rear corner jacks, and a heavy duty tongue jack. The typical tongue jack is rated at 2000 lbs. The jack on my new trailer is rated at 5000 lbs and is a LOT easier to crank than my old jack. Also check the tongue length. On my new trailer, the standard tongue is too short to allow the use of torsion bars on the hitch. I ordered an extra long tongue. It not only made it possible to use the torsion bars, but it seems like it makes the trailer tow nicer.
A typical trailer tongue has a center support that usually ends at the front of the trailer.
That s where you can mount your electric tongue jack.
Mine is an actual third frame member that goes back to the first axle.
You can have the electric jack mounted inside the trailer in the center when the trailer is being built.
You can also drill thru the floor & to retrofit an existing trailer.
Jim and all,
Thanks for the advice. I just ordered two trailers from Colony Cargo with the following options:
8.5' x 18'
Dual 5.2k axles with brakes on both
8' high loading ramp rated at 4k lbs
Embedded E Tracks in the floor
E Tracks at 36" on each wall
10 ply radial tires
Spare mounted on inside of V Nose
Two roof vents
Smooth screwless exterior side walls
Delivered to Indiana for less than $7,500 each.
Thanks again, Rod
I take issue with the "radial" specification.
I understand that tires made for trailer duty do not use radial plies. The reason is, that radial tires are designed to be able to "squirm" sideways as a car turns, giving better contact with the road, for better traction. The problem with that on trailers, is that they can promote tail-wagging of a trailer.
Check with a reputable tire dealer and see if they agree with what I was told, that any tire specifically designed and tagged for Trailer duty will not be a radial-ply tire.
And, if anyone tells you that automobile tires and trailer tires are the same, or that you can use automobile tires on a trailer, walk away -- they do not know what they are talking about, and are simply trying to sell you what they have on hand.
Great to hear !
I am going to sell my trailer this year and order another from Tim.
Say Hi to Tim for me ......
After hauling for years I have tried:
Because the roads are so bad - I go thru a lot of trailer tires
on the curb side - I carry (3) mounted spare trailer tires along
with a 6000 pound Harbor Freight aluminum racing jack in my
After buying trailer tires from a variety of sources I settled on Discount/American Tire Co and Hartland ST trailer tires in load range E with road hazard- free replacement extra coverage.
Regarding recessed e-track:
It is hard to remove debris that falls into it.
It is spot welded to the frame members so the strength
of the track depends on the strength of the weld.
It is expensive to have it factory installed.
I spec out double trailer floors with the joints staggered.
For floor mount e-track:
I install heavy duty e-track I buy thru Redneck Trailer Supply
that can withstand heavy vehicle traffic (rated at 50K).
I surface mount it on the wood floor using standard 1/4 "
bolts with fender & lock washers underneath.
I would not recommend mounting e-track to the side walls.
They are not suitable to handle the demand.
I called Colony Cargo and requested Non Radial tires. They called the MFG but they only offer the radials. FYI, I'm working with Carroll.
Regarding the E Tracks, these trailers will be primarily used for my business so the wall tracks are necessary. My box truck has wall mounted E Tracks with no troubles. I have never had a problem with my floor mounted E tracks in my 24' trailer. As we are using these for business, the tracks need to be flush.
Thanks for all of the advice!
Box truck construction and semi trailer construction is different than enclosed trailer side wall construction.
The framing is lighter - there are less cross braces.
Unless you install more side wall upright and cross supports when you build the trailer - you will break the welds.
Enclosed trailer side wall frame work is intended to tie the roof & frame together - not fasten payload.
You can specify 10 ply tires from Colony.
There is an additional charge.
Standard are 8 ply load range D ST tires.
ST tires are built with steel belts.
You can get bias ST tires but they usually cannot be patched and wear out quicker.
I used to use them years ago.
All ST tires are duty rated for trailer use only - by design there is minimal sidewall flex.
They are giving me 10 ply radial tires for FREE.
Thanks again for all the help! I am going to be ordering my trailer later today!
I had one other question for you - where should the D-Rings be placed and how should the T be parked inside? I sketched out a few different ideas, but wanted to see your thoughts.
The first has the D-Rings two feet from the rear door, in the beavertail. The T is parked one foot in front of that (still on the beavertail) and the other set of rings are one foot in front of the T. The D-Rings are two feet from the walls. The thought is that having the T on the beavertail allows for more room up front.
The second idea has the D-Rings mounted under the car. Again the width is two feet from the walls. The sketch is not exactly correct - I need to measure where the straps will hook onto. The thought is to have the D-Rings right under the frame so that all the force is pulling down rather than at an angle.
The third sketch is with the T completely off the beavertail and drawn like the first - one foot behind the T and one foot in front of it for the D-Ring placement and two feet from the walls. The back D-Ring is still mounted on the beavertail.
At two feet from the walls, there is approximately four and a half feet between the two D-Rings. Is this good? Or should they be move around two and a half feet which gives three and a half feet between D-Rings; or even three feet from the walls which gives two and a half between D-Rings? See the sketches below for D-Ring width placement (as opposed to T placement). The sketches look a little closer together than they actually would be.
At two and a half feet
At three feet
If you have any other better ideas, here is a blank sheet to work with.
Drop down rear door is a must for us that do not load at a dock, but when you let the door down make sure you are on level ground or you will twist the door, but if you must unload on uneven ground and one side of the door is off the ground carry blocks to put under the side that is off the ground and a little 2 foot ramp for the high side.
My new trailer made by Atlas is equipped and looks very similar to Donnie's (but silver, not yellow) and I figured if it was "only" 6 feet longer, I could fit 2 Model Ts in it... so that's what I did.
The 7 years until my oldest son will have a drivers' license will go by quickly so we'll be taking 2 cars to most tours then, but until then I can haul my parents car or another club member's car to distant events and get help with the gas money.
I bought my trailer from a long-established dealer in Medfield, MA. He had me drive my T to his shop, load it in the trailer, and the E-Tracks were placed where they would best work. My trailer has been specifically tailored to a model T, so carrying other cars was not a significant consideration. Should the need arise, if the existing E-Tracks won't work, it isn't a major issue to add more of them.
Any comments on electric vs. manual winches would be appreciated, as well as brand and model suggestions for each.
Just sort of "thinking out loud" here, but in my experience, let's say that there is an "ideal" placement of four "D" rings relative to a typical Model T. If you have the front "D" rings too close to the car (and too close to the rear "D" rings) it could be a real problem to place your ratcheting tie-down straps properly, plus, you have to be sure to have enough space to stretch the straps long enough for proper adjustment. (....if way too long,....no big deal, but if even just a little too short, it will be difficult to adjust for tightness....)
Conversely, if you have the two front "D" rings further out in front of the car, and have to "vary" from whatever is "ideal", and also have the two rear "D" rings too far behind the rear of the car, it really won't matter much because you'll still have plenty of room to stretch the tie-down straps long enough for proper tightening and adjustment.
Also, if you have the two front "D" rings further apart from each other than ideal, and also the two rear "D" rings too far apart from each other than ideal, that won't much matter either. That's because the best way to arrange the tie-downs is to cross them in the front of the car, and also to cross them in the back of the car. That is because crossing them will tend to keep the car from working sideways while traveling. And the further apart the front pair are anchored to "D" rings from each other, the better as far as preventing the car from working sideways.
In other words, if you have to vary your spacing of "D" rings from whatever is "ideal" (whatever that is) it would be much better to have them spaced too far apart in all directions than too close together, as "too far apart" really won't matter much.
For what it's worth,....... harold
D rings are not the way to go.
Delete the D rings so you have a smooth wood floor.
Surface mount e-track through the wood floor with quarter inch bolts as I outlined above in my earlier post.
D rings are either tack welded to a crossmember or more commonly bolted through the floor.
Because they are flush mount, the wood floor is cut with a holesaw which allows water to enter from the road surface.
The structural integrity of the floor surrounding the cut out for the D ring is also compromised.
D rings are preferred by trailer manufacturers because they are easily installed, not because they are the best way to secure a vehicle inside an enclosed trailer.
If you are interested in objective advice I have learned over the years hauling many different enclosed trailers, feel free to give me a call.
I am glad to discuss with you the fundamental features you should consider quipping your enclosed trailer with.
Well,....there you go Andrew! By far, the best information comes from experience, and there's probably nobody more "experienced" with enclosed trailers than "Freighter Jim"! Why,....heck! He'll even tell you how to avoid being "run over" by your own trailer! (:^)
Sorry Jim,.....couldn't resist the "wise crack" in regard to ALL of your experience. And by the way, it's pretty darn nice of a "professional" to share valuable advice with us "novices"! ..... harold
Placement might better be dictated by tongue weight. Others might have more experience, but 10% of the trailer weight should be on the tongue. I took my trailer and T to a local scale, and weighed everything, then hooked up the trailer with the T in it. I moved the car back and forth until I got the number I wanted on the tongue. I installed those loops that motorcycles use for each of the front wheels. That way my car is in exactly the same spot every time I load. Mine worked out best when I backed the car in the trailer.
I always give advice based on first hand experience.
I still get chills thinking about running over my leg.
Some of us here have more experience than others
in certain areas - we all share what we know to help
each other out.
Just got off the phone with a guy who bought a vehicle
in Utah - he lives in Georgia - not a Model T.
I explored options with him - in the end it was best
he fly out & drive it home.
Helping out - that is the first " rule " of both friendship
and business in my opinion.
When i installed the D rings in our trailer i centered on cross members and used long bolts and maybe 1/4 x 2 under the cross member's.After i was done while the trailer was new i had it under coated Our 18x8'6"" haulmark is close to 20 years old,but it was never bought to haul just model T's. If one spreads the tie downs too far you increase [sling angle] and that can be bad! Bud.
Thanks for all the information. Much appreciated!
Is it OK to have the T on the beavertail while hauling? Or should it be as far up front to put the most weight up front? Or in-between somewhere?
I would think not as the tail might wag the dog?Bud.