Time for a new car hauler trailer.
I am going to get the widest possible rear door opening available which I am told is 93 inches - anyone see a trailer with a wider door opening than that ?
I know this sounds crazy - but when I visited the LeMay Family Collection last Fall in Tacoma - I was inspired by Harold’s open car carrier design which features a garage door.
As many of you know I am a big advocate of not having a ramp door on the rear but instead opting for commercial aluminum ramps.
A simple rollup garage door would be an economical alternative to barn doors - I would be able to have the widest & strongest rear opening.
So - I wonder how hard it would be to build an enclosed car hauler that had a rollup garage door at the back ....
Arising industries probably would not do that but I could order the back left open ....
I am always am trying to think outside of the box.
Semi trailers and box trucks have roll up doors. Takes a little off the vertical dimension.
Yes, a rollup garage door would take quite a bit off your head height. Especially if you have an electric garage door opener.
If you have not heard of them, take a look at those "low headroom" clearance door tracks. They are known in my area as Chicago garage doors because so many old garages were built with low ceilings and those double track doors can work with way less headroom clearance and that might help you with your idea by giving your more headroom without having to add extra footage to the top clearance. I like your idea of using heavier ramps than the door too. I suspect your driving force in that using the door as a ramp for a heavy car is a bit unnerving since clearly it works OK for my T's but When I used the same trailer to go get my wife's 65 mustang convertible I really felt it was a marginal thing to do to drive up that door as the ramp. Do it very often and it probably doesn't fit the opening very well any more. Keep us posted on your idea and would love to see some pictures of the final setup.
Rollup doors are common on box trucks. A quick search found www.todco.com, but I'm sure there are many options.
Chris Landry & "Freighter Jim" - Your mention of "TODCO Doors" sort of "rang a bell" with me Chris. When first married and when I was sort of "between jobs" in the early '60's, for a year or so, I drove a 5-ton truck for the U.S. Post Office, carrying 1st class mail between a main distribution center, and many N. Suburban Chicago Post Offices. All those USPO trucks had the exact same box on them, with TODCO rear doors, and I'll bet I've opened TODCO doors several thousand times, and even today, I sure know a TODCO door when I see one! And I see them even nowadays, in all kinds of box trucks as well as semi-trailers, all the time. The interesting thing to me is that THAT particular TODCO roll-up-door has not changed even one little bit (even the latch mechanism) in over 50 years since I drove truck for the post office. They always worked easily and well, and never gave any trouble. Building the same exact roll-up-door for over 50 years tells me that it really IS every bit as good a product as they always seemed to be.
Jim, if you manage to get someone to build you a trailer to your own design and with a roll-up-door, by all means, get them to install a TODCO door and trust me, you won't be sorry! FWIW,....harold
A Pella standard residential 8 foot wide x 7 foot tall complete garage door kit with trac is $309 at Lowe's..
But the actual opening you get is only 6 feet four inches with the door raised.
The other end is specialty enclosed trailer door manufacturers - there are only a few - I think those doors like you see on dry freight semi trailers would be at least $2000.
I measured a full 102 inch wide trailer & it only had a 84.5 inch opening with one of those doors.
I measured my 8.5 wide car hauler trailer & was surprised to find it was under 100 inches wide overall.
The solution appears to be:
Build a full 102 inch legal width trailer.
Turn the rear 4 inch tubing frame members sideways so your rough framed opening is 98 inches.
The rear strap hinges require 1.75 inches of width to mount.
That should give me a nominal 96 inch wide finished opening.
Stick with barn doors
Trailer opening width became an issue recently when I was contracted to haul a " Hero Vehicle " from the Fast & Furious movie franchise.
It was represented to be a 1969 Charger.
I haul wide body Moparts old school cars all the time - I just dropped off this beautiful Plum Purple 1970 RT Challenger 440 4 speed in California last week.
But this other car - was no ordinary 1969 Charger
Turns out it was the Green Screen car - one of two Built for Fast & Furious 7 ....
I always try to get a footprint of a vehicle before I pick up just to make sure it will fit in my trailer ( length - width - height - curb weight ).
I was repeatedly assured " this would fit in my trailer " - getting actual measurements was proving difficult - so I requested an image ...
That .... did not look like it was going to fit in my trailer - I finally told them I needed measurements before driving from Las Vegas to Gardena, CA to pick up.
They finally called the builder - he told them it was 93 inches wide & would not fit in an enclosed trailer.
This is a video about the car ...
Have the roll up on top of the roof and not in the doorway.
Having had "barn doors" and roll-up doors on semi-trailers, I vote for the "barn doors". With roll-ups, you'll need a heavier door frame and the tracks will take up part of the width. Also, the roll-up doors won't last as long as the "barn doors". True, the roll ups are nice when backing up to docks like on a local delivery trucks - until you hit one of those dock plates that sticks out from the dock. Some of this fits here and some not. I'll leave you to sort it out. Oh, another thing - if something fall against a roll up door, you have problems.
Barn doors on commercial trailers are often close to 101 inches, and are strong enough to last for a million miles easy. Dave in Bellingham, WA
They make compact roll up doors but they need to be serviced often because of all the hinge pins.