nsogiba
nsogiba Reader
3/22/23 3:00 p.m.

Been casually looking at open deck car haulers to take my M3 to track events. I have used the U-Haul auto transport in the past and liked the concealed ramps, light trailer weight, galvanized finish and low profile. U-Haul doesn't sell their old used trailers to the public, but in searching I found some old Penske trailers on Ironplanet auction sites...

https://www.ironplanet.com/Demco-Car+Carrier+Trailer

Past auctions show the typical sale price to be about $2500, which is $1500 to $2000 less than an open car hauler in my area (WNY) that has a bunch of surface rust and probably needs tires and general TLC (brakes and lights). 

Any thoughts on these? I can't seem to find any other literature about them out there. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/22/23 5:08 p.m.
nsogiba said:

Been casually looking at open deck car haulers to take my M3 to track events. I have used the U-Haul auto transport in the past and liked the concealed ramps, light trailer weight, galvanized finish and low profile. U-Haul doesn't sell their old used trailers to the public, but in searching I found some old Penske trailers on Ironplanet auction sites...

https://www.ironplanet.com/Demco-Car+Carrier+Trailer

Past auctions show the typical sale price to be about $2500, which is $1500 to $2000 less than an open car hauler in my area (WNY) that has a bunch of surface rust and probably needs tires and general TLC (brakes and lights). 

My opinion?  Ew :)

For their size they're pretty heavy (2200 pounds for a 12 foot deck), surge brakes suck, and the design forces you to secure the car too far forwards to idiot proof the tongue weight.  There's a reason that people who are buying their own race car trailer never buy that model.

 

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/22/23 5:27 p.m.

If you're willing to drive down to GA, NC, TN then you could buy from these guys Maxbuilttrailers. Plenty of new trailers for under $3500. Some even under $3000 like this one.

 

 

nsogiba
nsogiba Reader
3/23/23 7:18 a.m.

Under $3000 is nuts for a new one. Around here anything that's decently nice is $4-5K. 

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/23/23 7:56 a.m.

You just have to be willing to travel to find deals. 

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
3/23/23 7:59 a.m.

In reply to yupididit :

I bought a Maxbuilt trailer in TN last year. I think the out the door cost was the advertised price, which for the model we bought I think was $3100. It has an 18' deck with a dovetail and 5' ramps that stow underneath. It's been good for us so far, it's not particularly heavy duty and the paint is thin, but it tows my Miata very well.

BA5
BA5 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/15/23 1:37 p.m.
AMiataCalledSteve said:

In reply to yupididit :

I bought a Maxbuilt trailer in TN last year. I think the out the door cost was the advertised price, which for the model we bought I think was $3100. It has an 18' deck with a dovetail and 5' ramps that stow underneath. It's been good for us so far, it's not particularly heavy duty and the paint is thin, but it tows my Miata very well.

Do you know about how much it weighs?

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve HalfDork
5/15/23 4:04 p.m.

In reply to BA5 :

I haven't weighed it but my guess is somewhere in the range of 1600-1900 lbs. That's just a guess though. Towing it unladen feels like it's almost not there, like I said before it's not super heavy duty.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/16/23 12:29 p.m.

I had a similar steel+wood deck trailer with a 16' foot deck, it weighed 1800.  18' is probably another 100 pounds or so.

collinskl1
collinskl1 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/1/23 12:27 p.m.

http://www.econotrailer.com/Open.html

 

These are more expensive now than they used to be, but are a known quality. I have had one for about 5 years now, and it's been great.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
6/10/23 11:20 p.m.

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

Is that Elvira?  

dannyp84
dannyp84 HalfDork
6/12/23 2:18 p.m.

+1 for the econotrailer, I have the open deck 18' version and I've been happy with it so far other than the ramps being noisy over bumps and the paint chipping easily. It has been a nice stable setup to tow so far. 

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/12/23 4:52 p.m.

That eco no trailer is outrageously cheap. I'm in central NY and we would pay what they want for a full deck car trailer for a 6 x 12 utility trailer. I would like the shorter deck so I could fit it in my garage, how limited would that be for what cars I could carry?

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
6/12/23 4:58 p.m.

Do they have plans for building a small open car trailer that could haul Miatas. That woudn't be that hard to weld together if you can weld.

dannyp84
dannyp84 HalfDork
6/12/23 5:13 p.m.

In reply to NY Nick :

For reference, this is my 18' deck trailer, and the Lincoln is a 108.5" wheelbase:

I think the shorter econotrailer has a 15' deck, which is what I wanted to order but some more experienced friends advised that I get the longer one for smoother towing. One thing to keep in mind on an open deck style like mine is that the deck surface is kind of far apart, my RX7 only has maybe an inch or two on each side between the inside tire sidewall and the edge of the decking, so a really small/narrow car might require the full deck, which is heavier.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve HalfDork
6/13/23 7:07 a.m.
spitfirebill said:

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

Is that Elvira?  

It is! I bought her about 3 years ago, she's been wonderful. I assume you know the Theodores?

collinskl1
collinskl1 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/13/23 7:45 a.m.

I have the 15 foot econotrailer in the standard width. Length was motivated by storage space - I have to fit it in my garage, and the 21 foot overall length was the right answer for me.

I added a tire rack and toolbox to the front, which has me load the car pretty far back to get the tongue weight in check, but it tows fine.

With my e36 318ti, I have a couple inches of runway width inside the tires on each side. I've also had miatas on the trailer with no issue.

nsogiba
nsogiba Reader
3/26/24 10:20 a.m.

So I ended up buying one of these. There was nothing available semi-locally that even came close in terms of condition for the same price, so it made sense for me to buy these. I also plan on renting this out, so the idiot proofing features will come in handy. 

 

Going to get it Friday....

nsogiba
nsogiba Reader
5/8/24 1:58 p.m.

Last year I wrapped up the HPDE season knowing I wanted to make a changing in my trailer setup. It was getting old renting U-Hauls. Convenient not having to store or maintain it, but the following factors sealed the deal to buy my own:

-Sunk rental cost
-Not always available - having to reserve months in advance 
-Lack of storage (tires, tools)
-Having to load everything up the night before or day of the event, and repeat as soon as I got home from a long hot weekend

Step 1: Sell old HF trailer. I had this thing for almost 7 years and beat it to death hauling mowers, firewood, anything and everything. Paid for itself many times over. I refinished it and got full asking price for it.

Step 2: Acquire used Penske hauler. 

Slightly different from U-Haul transport: 
-6 lug axles
-longer ramps
-slightly lighter (~200 lbs)
-torsion axles rather than leaf sprung
-relocated tongue jack allows tool box mounting

Step 3: Add toolbox from old trailer. 

Step 4: Design tire rack 

One of the gripes I had was loading/unloading spare tires, tools, etc in the back of my tow rig for every event. The rack allows me to easily transport spare wheels while also serving as storage between events. My toolbox holds most of my "dirty" gear (jack, toolbag, spare fluids, jackstands, etc). I still need to figure out where to put my gas cans - thinking about a small removeable "cage" between the toolbox and front of the deck.

Step 5: Build tire rack out of 1" square .120" wall tube.

Step 6: Engage hover mode on M3 to start track prep

Step 7: Put M3 wheels on rack. I added a removable vertical brace at the front of the rack for some additional support. 

Now that the trailer is loaded with tools and wheels, I can test fit the car and play with placement to figure out ideal tongue weights.


 

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