Enclosed Car Trailers - What do I need to know?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Enclosed Car Trailers - What do I need to know?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin J. Perfitt on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 12:07 pm:

I was looking for a T (and for the second time I struck out) and ended up with a 1918 Buick 3-four-35. She weighs 2,100lbs., 139” long, 71” wide, and at least 81” tall — and I know this because of the 2 1/2 gash in the top from the garage door opener.
The boss has forbidden a new garage “because it will increase our property taxes!” Not yet discouraged I thought, “ I always wanted an enclosed car hauler anyway...” After 2 weeks of phone-tag with ‘The Nations Largest’ trailer dealer in MI I’m asking for your help:
What have I gotten myself into here? (I need your horror stories.) The Dealers I’ve found online act like 1960’s used car dealers (before they were regulated). Slimeballs, don’t list any prices - “call for ‘quote’”. One asked what I was “willing to spend” then never got back to me with the interior dimensions I had asked for.
I live in Michigan and had preferred to buy new - as it could be financed. Anyone know of a reputable dealer? Also, what exactly am I looking for here - the car is tall, but only 2,100 lbs. Does it really need a ‘car trailer’ (at nearly double the price) rather than an identically sized ‘cargo trailer’?
Thanks in advance!1918 Buick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joe Fedullo, Milford MI on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 12:41 pm:

If you want more clearance in the garage, consider a jackshaft garage door opener. Gets rid of all the junk that hangs down from the dor and is silent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON0NbQmCXeo


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joe Fedullo, Milford MI on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 12:41 pm:

If you want more clearance in the garage, consider a jackshaft garage door opener. Gets rid of all the junk that hangs down from the dor and is silent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON0NbQmCXeo


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 12:41 pm:

I have a Cargo Mate. The roof has leaked since day one. I first got the runaround from the dealer. Then by the time the company got back to me, my warranty was up. At this point a large section of the roof ripped away and rose up on one side, leaving a wide open gap, as there weren’t enough rivets to hold it down. Needless to say I was very upset and finally was able to talk to someone at the company. They told me if I brought the trailer back to them, they would put a new roof on it. I would have to pay labor or materials. I would have to bring the trailer to them which is located in Indiana (I am from NY). They would not reimburse me for my travel expense to take it there. After all that, it would only be guaranteed for one year. Needless to say, I fixed it myself. I continue to patch it myself for continuous leaks. Of course with all the water leaks, the inside is stained and looks like crap.
Second were the Carlisle tires. After the second one blew out, taking part of the fender with it. I replaced all the tires.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Schedler, Sacramento on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 12:53 pm:

Have you tried "Flex-Steel"? (Ace carries it)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Fuller on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 01:04 pm:

If you are patient enough, I suggest keep an eye on Craigslist on a daily basis for a used one.

Just a warning, you will come across some really junk ones and some overpriced ones but if you hold out long enough and have cash ready you should be able to find one.

It took me probably around 6 to 9 months but I ended up finding a used 20' extra tall Haulmark at a great price. I can pull my Touring in with the top up.

I always took a ladder with me when I went to check out used trailers so I could get a good look at the roof.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 04:44 pm:

Ben, look for the wide one not one with fenders/wheels on the outside. I have that kind and the only downside to the wider one is a bit less visual behind you. The upside is a lot more room inside which is really nice. The O/A width is the same.

I think a V or Sloped front is a great plus especially when you have a taller unit. Always seems like we're driving into a Headwind no matter which direction we travel.

I have access doors on both sides which is nice when parking is tight. Good advice for waiting and watching for the right used one.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter McIntyre on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 05:13 pm:

I have 2 enclosed trailers first is a 1999 Pace second a 2016 Pace both speced very close to each other.
One piece aluminum roof
Torsion axles
18 inch extra heights
3500 lbs axles
Insulated walls and ceiling
Spare tire well with a spare tire
Fully finished interior
On the second trailer stability jacks were put in the rear corners,saves me putting 2 screw jacks under
Steel wheels
I do not use the trailer in the winter and put covers on the tires when not in use also some spray rust proofing in the seam of the wheels has keep the rust away
I put my roof down before putting any of my cars in the trailers or garage.
Cheers pete


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 06:59 pm:

If you are thinking about using your enclosed trailer as a garage, better check your insurance carrier first. Many of them want the car stored in a secured building instead of a trailer. I ordered a new NEO this spring. 22ft V-front model 7.5 ft. wide, extra height, and a bunch of other nice goodies. I was am happy with the trailer except for one thing: it came with cheaper import tires. They went away very soon after the purchase and a set (plus spare) of Goodyear Endurance trailer tires went on it. Doesn't make a lick of difference how nice the trailer is if the tires are a liability. So whatever you get, check your tires carefully.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By FreighTer Jim on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 07:26 pm:

Benjamin,

A car hauler trailer is 8.5 feet wide.

The starting point is your tow vehicle that you plan to pull the trailer with.

Find out how much weight it can safely tow - deduct the weight of the vehicle you are putting in the trailer - what remains is the empty curb weight of the trailer you can safely pull.

FJ


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 07:34 pm:

Kevin,
have you or do you know of any issues with import tires?
I have Asian 8ply on my enclosed trailer for several years with no problems, touch wood!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin J. Perfitt on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 07:42 pm:

Thanks all!
That’s pretty much the info I needed (especially the leaky roof).
LOL I knew the top-down issue would come up. This house has a basement/garage that could never be built today. For reasons unknown (probably some idiot bought a too-tall Model T in the late 20’s) it was shallowed out for the garage door. There is a 10” slope in the floor about 5’ in. While the Buick does squeeze in it requires me to park it at an angle to miss some ductwork - thus wasting a lot of space and evicting one John Deere tractor.
Putting a gash in the top - well, that just told me it was 81” tall at least. I had measured it 2” less - the high-point being over the rear doors. I measured from the rear of the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Whelihan Danbury, WI on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 08:47 pm:

Frank, I lost a trailer due to a sidewall blowout on new Chinese Marathons a couple years ago. Even my dealer recommended getting rid of the stock tires (Power King) after 3K miles. Or better yet, take them off and install Goodyear Endurance tires.
Right along with Chinese tires, friends who have Carlisle tires report a 50% failure rate before the tread is half gone. I've come to the conclusion that like lots of things in life, with tires you get what you pay for.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 09:11 pm:

A car hauler might not be 8'6" if your cheap? WE have had our 18'X 8'6" for twenty years and living in Mi,get the underside-undercoated.Our Haullmark is far from the top of the line but it has given good service? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 10:08 pm:

Hal, I tried the spray, didn't work, but acted like paint remover to the other product's I used to try to stop the leaks. I leaked worse than ever after that. Maybe if I encased the whole thing in the tape it would work LOL.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Benjamin J. Perfitt on Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 12:14 pm:

Happy Father’s Day all,
Lord I feel about 1” tall...I sent a highly frustrated email via their website to the Trailer Manufacturer represented by the “Nations Largest” Dealer to inquire about buying direct from them. I complained about the dealer’s ‘slimeball’ practice of not listing prices and how the saleswoman asked “what I’m willing to spend” and never got back with me on the interior dimensions I had asked for.
I cringed when the ‘sent’ notification said, “We’ve sent your information to your local dealer, and one of their knowelegable representatives will be in contact with you soon.” Not 2 min. later my phone rang — it was the owner of both the manufacturer and the dealership (which I didn’t know there was even a relationship there).
He offered to build me pretty much anything I wanted to any dimensions I wanted along with suitable ventilation, Only question is: How much am I willing/able to spend. Though I’m still baffled by this practice of not listing any prices.
All I can say about all this car craziness is: I’ve anticipated owning a car like this since I was 9 or 10. I’ve anticipated it as much as anything else a boy might think about — and finally being at that age where my living expenses are pretty cheap — I’m surprised I’m still alive. To be honest about it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 01:28 pm:

Dan, I had the same issue with my enclosed trailer. I tried everything to stop the leaks and got nowhere. Just a poor design. Finally I took it to an Amish stainless shop (he makes custom stoves and pipes, plus other small sheet metal things like lanterns). That was in the fall, when he was busiest; he told me to come back in the spring and he'd put an all new stainless roof on it that folded down over the sides. He did, for $300. No more leaks!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 03:34 pm:

Denny Seth hasn't posted in a while, it's raining and I'm bored, so please forgive the impulse for a smart-aleck post:
"What's the fuss over a trailer for an enclosed car ? Shouldn't a car trailer be able to haul both open and enclosed cars ?" ; )"

More to the point, it's well to have good recommendations for a sound using trailer ! I fear a lot of trailers are not really up to snuff these days. I have a 16' flatbed trailer I bought in 1991 (built by a local blacksmith shop). I pulled it cross country once, it's never failed me, and I ran on the original tires up until a couple of years ago. On the other hand, I bought a "big name" 2-horse trailer back in 2011, and since then tires have failed, suspension has broken, the paint is failing, and so have the wheel bearings. It's all too light for a payload about equal to Benjamin's Buick.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul G in Central Florida - #27359 on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 07:15 am:

I recently took delivery of a tall (11’ high w/ 8’ rear door) custom cargo / car hauler. As previously recommended by FJ, make sure the frame supports the full width of the trailer and the structure is solid. You will find yourself using it for more than just your car as time goes on.
If you go the route of ordering an enclosed trailer, I Highly recommend you require they hang the outer skin in warm weather, or prewarm the panels, and when you take delivery, the trailer has been in the sun for some time before you inspect it. And remember when you take delivery, you own it - and probably won’t get any ‘dealer’ or factory support. It’s not like a car dealer with a factory supported warranty. I’ve had no problems with leaks, but the top seams and vents were heavily glued and caulked, almost to the extreme.
Just my thoughts and experience.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By FreighTer Jim on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 07:47 am:

I will take delivery of my newest enclosed car hauled trailer
in the next couple weeks bought from the same company
and built at the same factory I have used for several years.

One new feature - .040 inch aluminum skin - which makes for a nicer looking trailer .....

As I have mentioned on other threads - I am offering free enclosed car hauler trailer design that incorporates the custom features I have found to be useful over the years.

There should be (2) of these trailers at the 2018 Richmond Tour & Homecoming.

This is a free service I am providing - no commission or kickback from the trailer manufacturer or my dealer.

FJ


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Billy Nichols on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 08:03 am:

Something to consider is in a couple of months, race season will be over, and folks will have put their orders in for new trailers. Look then. I actually found one to suit my needs that had been an oil company incident command center. Fully insulated, carpet up both walls, electric, generator, etc.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Billy Nichols on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 08:07 am:

There are several sites on social media also where trailers are listed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 10:30 am:

Freighter Jim, is there a benefit to a fifth wheel over a bumper pull? I need to haul two T's at a time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By FreighTer Jim on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 11:06 am:

Pat,

Not for me - you lose 6 to 8 feet of floor space plus the use of your truck bed when you go with a gooseneck or 5th wheel.

Example - a 36 foot enclosed trailer has about 28 feet of usable floor space.

Plus - a gooseneck or 5th wheel is about 30% more expensive to build.

You can make tighter turns - but if you are thinking ahead when you are pulling a trailer that is not an issue.

FJ


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By FreighTer Jim on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 11:23 am:

On the subject of roof leaks ....

My new trailer has a one piece aluminum roof with no roof vents - those are really just skylights and can be an entry point for water.

I have roof framing members on 12 “ centers to add structural integrity & support the aluminum roof from snow and hail damage.

I have (2) sets of flush side vents on the front & rear to allow for air flow through the trailer.

The manufacturer stopped installing screws to hold the Thermacoool roof insulation in place on the roof frame members a couple years ago on my recommendation.

The screws were installed thru the top to of the panels that laid on the roof framing members to keep them in place before the one piece roof was installed - the screws would back out over time and tear the roof along the edge.

FJ


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul G in Central Florida - #27359 on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 05:07 pm:

Only problem with the .040 skins is that it it’s only available in white.

Pat -Mine is a gooseneck, and I would only have a gooseneck, due to the weights I carry on various trailers. It has a 24’ lower bay and an 8’ upper deck. Plenty of room for parts props and a bed for overnights if necessary. I just installed 110/12v power and air conditioned it for use depending on the load or need. Both of our trucks fit into it as they nest back to back.
In MY opinion maneuvering a gooseneck is much easier and traveling is much smoother. But that’s operator preference.9A83BC94-589F-4277-84AD-71F55960FB1C.jpeg 2A6FE0EB-8F36-432D-B083-0C51ECBDDE3A.jpeg


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garry Potter on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 05:07 pm:

I am pleased with my new enclosed Featherlite trailer. My previous trailer was a Haulmark and the roof collapsed under a snow load


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul G in Central Florida - #27359 on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 05:07 pm:

Only problem with the .040 skins is that it it’s only available in white.

Pat -Mine is a gooseneck, and I would only have a gooseneck, due to the weights I carry on various trailers. It has a 24’ lower bay and an 8’ upper deck. Plenty of room for parts props and a bed for overnights if necessary. I just installed 110/12v power and air conditioned it for use depending on the load or need. Both of our trucks fit into it as they nest back to back.
In MY opinion maneuvering a gooseneck is much easier and traveling is much smoother. But that’s operator preference.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 05:28 pm:

When the tail wags the dog it is never good! Nice wrecker Paul!! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 06:53 pm:

RV, sounds like the way to go, sure can't beat the price


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 07:19 pm:

A little over a year ago, I bought a 8.5' x 27' enclosed vee-nose trailer that has a one-piece roof and 6" extra height , built by Interstate and sold by Trailers Plus. The particular model is called an "AllSport" which is basically a toy-hauler, but with all floor, wall and ceiling beams on 16" centers which gives it the capability to haul full sized autos, including my tallest Model T with the top up, as well as any of the "toys". No trouble so far but then have only pulled it a total of four or five hundred miles so far. One thing I like is that Trailers Plus is pretty much a nation-wide company that has facilities all over the USA. Nice in the event of necessary repairs. The dealer I bought it from is really a great outfit to deal with, and he had a great half-price deal with Linex, so I had a Linex floor put in it, and then E-track full length so I can place my tie-downs anywhere I want them instead of permanently installed D-rings. Also, it has the rubber torsion suspension rather than leaf springs. So far, I like it, but we'll see how it holds up,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Thomas - Centerville, Iowa on Monday, June 18, 2018 - 09:14 pm:

I have an Aluma Trailer. All aluminum. Aluminum floor, and ramp door. 16 foot V nose, extra 12 inches in the roof, side vents. Extra 12 inches on the tongue. The V nose doesn't make it pull any easier, just gives me more storage. New cost is about $11,000.00 Torsion suspension, twin axles at 3500 lbs each. I have had it for 10 years, and like others have said, tires were the only problem. Finally went to load range D, trailer rated radial tires and pressure monitoring system, no more problems.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 05:35 pm:

Yeah, Dan! I don't think I could even buy the steel for that price.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Eugene Story on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 07:15 am:

I had a RV repair man to tell me not to look for leaks where the water is coming in. He said look at the clearance lights. the sealer goes bad or are poorly sealed in the first place. The water comes in behind the light, runs along the frame work, then shows up inside, some times far from where the leak really is.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 03:19 pm:

I've been looking for a car trailer for about five months now so this thread and information/tips was just in time. I preferred fifth wheel trailers. All our stock trailers were fifth wheel type. The idea of looking for a used race trailer is a good one. I found this used race trailer with a winch, power lift rear ramp, hydraulic landing gear, diamond plate aluminum floor, one piece top and 12k axles. It's 36' which gives me a 28' deck. Just what I wanted but could not afford as a new unit. Very happy with this find.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 03:31 pm:

Very Nice!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul G in Central Florida - #27359 on Friday, June 22, 2018 - 05:14 pm:

Lookin good. You’re going to like the gooseneck.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Memmelaar Jr on Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 06:55 am:

I am going to be a gooseneck owner shortly as I purchased a new ATC. 38' giving me 30 on the floor. It is enough room for a Model T and my '14 Cadillac. The cadillac is 4400 lbs and the model T is a standard 12 touring. Which one is loaded up front?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul G in Central Florida - #27359 on Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 10:01 am:

With the T being lighter of the two, I’d put it up front against the bulkhead, with the Caddy over the axles. Just load the Caddy so it’s heavier end is to the front, ahead of the axle centers. Then take it to a scale and check to see if your hitch weight is adequate, but not overloaded.
With the Caddy in front, you’d probably be a bit heavy with a Trailer that long.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 12:52 am:

Nice trailer John!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Memmelaar Jr on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 07:05 am:

Thank you ! I am really excited about it. I have gone through a number of used ones and never happy with them for one reason or another.

My 28’ one will be up for sale shortly. I will have a different thread at that time.

I got a lot of options on the new one but not everything. I will be towing with a F-350 diesel and should have plenty of power for the trailer with about 7k worth of cars and wife’s luggage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 10:02 am:

I'm pulling with a F-350 also. I don't even know that 36 footer is there. It didn't squat the truck down at all. That 6.7L diesel is quite a motor!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 10:15 am:

Nice "hauler" set-up, Pat !

We recently returned home to Western WA from the National Tour in CA - my old '96 w/built 460 gas pot will pass just about anything but a gas station - might have to consider retiring the old gal for a diesel !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 10:32 am:

Steve I see you're a Ford man so a move to one of these 6.7L diesels would help the MPG. Hauling the trailer home from over in Idaho running at 60 MPH I got 16.6 mpg. My 7.3 Powerstroke in my F-250 hauling a 28 foot stock trailer with 10 cows got 13 to 14 mpg.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By FreighTer Jim on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 10:45 am:

It is your rear differential gearing that determines fuel economy.

My 96’ F-350 CC 2WD 7.3 PSD gets 10 to 12 mpg towing.

It has a 4:10 Sterling 10.25 rear differential.


FJ


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 10:52 am:

I bought a 16-foot high-roof Integrity True-Line. It's seven ft wide inside - plenty for the T - and has external fenders. This gives less interior space then the enclosed-wheel style, but is easier to tow due to better rearward visibility. It is not specifically a car-hauler. I would post a photo, but since my computer upgraded itself to Windows 10 it will no longer allow me to upload photos. I am happy with the integrity and would buy it again. Only a couple of very minor issues - one marker light was installed with steel pop rivets where they should have used aluminum, and I have replaced some coated steel non-structural screws with stainless. I bought it from Yared Trailers in Medfield, MA and would do so again as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 12:10 pm:

F-250 gets 8 to 10 mpg depending on the passes going up & over. Was near $800 in fuel to run to the National Tour & back.


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