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When is it time to buy a trailer?

Discussion in 'General' started by suzuki_steve, Dec 4, 2023.

  1. gapman789

    gapman789 Well-Known Member

    Exactly my point. Its an ‘05 winnebago aspect 26…. I bought it in Nov 2020 from original owner with 27k miles for $22k. The trailer is a ‘21 homesteader 7x16x7 i bought new for less than $5k.

    Drives /rides fantastic….. 4.10 gears, v10, 85 mph all day. ( its governed at 85).

    i had an ‘07 E250 15 passenger, hi-top van and 16’ trailer before the RV.

    i could damn near double my money on that RV but no way. Single best purchase in my life.
    bncadvr, YamahaRick and BrentA like this.
  2. dave3593

    dave3593 What I know about opera I learned from Bugs Bunny

    I like it. Right down to the red fender!
  3. BrentA

    BrentA Very expensive.

    Your fuel economy in the single digits at full tow?
    At least make me feel better about that. :)
    gapman789 likes this.
  4. Wheel Bearing

    Wheel Bearing Professional low sider

    Love my little harbor freight folding trailer, can tow it with damn near literally anything. Has been great for hauling bikes and getting 30MPG in my car doing it.
    23103a and BrentA like this.
  5. nlzmo400r

    nlzmo400r Well-Known Member

    It sounds like your tongue weight is excessive. Yes the car is probably rated to tow 1,000lbs, but what's the carrying capacity? Google says it's around 680lbs, so I'd guess the rear axle is probably only prepared to take roughly 300lbs of that. So if you've got a uhaul trailer (which is all heavy gauge steel) and a bike that's loaded all the way near the hitch, the tongue weight is probably 300lbs-ish.

    Short of the long - you're probably just overloading the car's suspension a bit and that's why it feels like garbage. A lighter trailer, or better yet, a loading scenario that doesn't place quite so much weight on the hitch, will go a long way in making it ride better. Remember though 10-15% is what you want on the tongue for stability. So if your total load is 1300lbs and you go much less than say 130lbs on the tongue, the whole thing may feel a little waggy while driving.
    fzrkidd likes this.
  6. YoshiHNS

    YoshiHNS Mr. Slowly

    The answer to when to get a trailer, is ASAP. Whenever you find space to keep one.
    My setup was an 05 Colorado with a trailer with a box on the front. Ramp, gas cans, spares went in the box. Other gear in the bed of the truck. Had a tonneau cover on the bed that I would sleep under.

    Since it's a Civic, go into the ricer part sites and see if you can get stiffer springs for the rear. And then find the lightest trailer you feel comfortable putting a motorcycle on. And definitely take Boman up on his offer for a test run.
  7. gapman789

    gapman789 Well-Known Member

    lol These V10's are single digits no matter the rig that they're in, the speed you drive, and whether you're towing or not. Has a 50 gallon tank which helps.
    bncadvr and BrentA like this.
  8. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    I have a friend that did all sorts of weekend track days on the west coast with a prius, a cheapo aluminum hitch rack, and HF open trailer.
    He had 2 10x10 canopies that were transported on the trailer fastened either side of the bike, a cooler across the front rails and a holder for the 2 VP 6 gallon fuel cans on the hitch rack... some folding tables, chairs & some other pit basics in the hatch. He slept in the car on a camp mat that rolled up nicely. Toted an EU2200 & extension cord along as well just in case.
    No chemicals or machines in the vehicle and it had a ton of storage for all kinds of incidentals. Also it was his wife's commuter ride so he couldn't afford to muck it up.
    I'm positive he did something like 15-20 weekends a year for quite sometime. Eventually we spoilt him with a trackside garage he could keep his bike & gear in.
    Then he just kind of quit riding... left the bike in our garage.
  9. dave3593

    dave3593 What I know about opera I learned from Bugs Bunny

    This thread reminded me of something I saw years ago.

    I was at a national enduro in South Carolina. A guy had an opposed twin BMW with side car. The sidecar was all flat floor. He had an enduro bike on the sidecar and he tent camped. Coolest thing ever.
    bncadvr, BrentA and Once a Wanker.. like this.
  10. Mike Fennell

    Mike Fennell Never Was

    There's a Prius that comes to NJMP from DC with a 3 bike trailer all the time. Usually one bike but pretty sure I've seen her with two on it.

    I'm with the high tongue weight being the problem with the uhaul test although I vote for HF or similar. I recall the OP is in the military. Is there base parking for trailers/RVs?
  11. Riot

    Riot Well-Known Member

    IMO this is the answer.

    I used and still have “The Ace” from USA trailer store:

    I towed several thousand miles behind my 98 civic, and then several thousand more with my current car. No modifications to cars other than a hitch. I bought a van for the reasons listed elsewhere in this thread, but also because I now need to haul multiple bikes.

    The key element OP failed to list is your storage situation:
    • The Ace is great for minimal storage, it folds up under a 5ft workbench. That said, it is kind of a pain to use.
    • The Kendon is basically better in every way, but the storage compromise is more.
    • Enclosed trailers have obvious benefits, but storage is a huge consideration where I live. You gotta find a trailer specific spot, and have a suitable haul vehicle.
    • Van/truck/rv is the certified pro solution, but now you are maintaining and parking a whole other vehicle. You have to do a lot of track time to make it worthwhile.
  12. bncadvr

    bncadvr Well-Known Member

    When I moved last year I took the v10 26' Uhaul truck with 6x12 enclosed trailer. I was expecting a gas rig of that size to be a dog, but it wasn't in the least. It pulled hard all the way up to the 76mph limiter. Gas bills were real though, lol.

    To the OP, if you are doing 2 TDs a month you definitely something better than your current setup. I already had a large SUV and built a Northern Tool folding 4x8 trailer that worked fine. Then I found a deal on a Kendon and sold the other. The Kendon is great. A big van/RV setup would be nice as well. The main drawback I have with the Kendon is the that the bikes are exposed. I would sleep easier if the were enclosed, regardless of where I parked, but I have mostly done day trips and hope to return to that pattern next season.

    I have a Prius as well and have tested towing the Kendon with an FZ1 on it. It was okay and I'd have no problem using it if my SUV wasn't available. I have seen a guy towing the 5x9 Uhaul trailer with a Prius, which could be approaching the 1600lb capacity of the car depending on what bikes he was bringing.
  13. MrGooch

    MrGooch Well-Known Member

    I had the Ace. It was one of only two purchases I've ever made which I genuinely regret. The rattle while driving was deafening, it was a bitch to load, and the welds are all over the place. I had the fender fly off (with one of the lights) on the NJ Turnpike because the welds holding it on cracked. The one other person I've met who used one had the same thing. I would actually modify a HF trailer instead if I had to cheap out again.

    After I sold the Ace thing for nothing I bought a Kendon. It's a dream in comparison. Even though it's slightly heavier (still probably only ~800 lbs) it'll do 30 mpg at 75 mph although I prefer 28 mpg at 85.:D Keep in mind, this is a car that is not rated to tow anything in the US, although it can take 2000 lbs/300 at the tongue overseas.

    Only semi-related, but I'm baffled by Kendon's pricing. The US made 3 bike version ($3889) is now cheaper than the single ($3989) which is massively cheaper than the double ($4699)? I would be willing to try USA trailers knockoffs (probably coming from the same factory as Kendon's chinese built Kendons) but when I bought I'm pretty sure it was under $3k for the Kendon US version. The USA trailer knockoff is damn near half the price now...

  14. Gixxerguy855

    Gixxerguy855 Well-Known Member

    So many excellent points about trailers both Toyhaulers and pull behind. However, the biggest issue I’ve come across is the monthly payment, plus insurance, plus storage payment (HOA) or garage space issue.
    Living in Texas and dealing with severe weather every so often I cannot afford to take up any extra space by storing the trailer indoors and surely can’t leave it outdoors. Every time I load up the Ram at 0430 to head to the track I dream of a Toyhauler, but after I’m there I forget all about it and its trouble's (tanks, tires, wear and tear, storage, food, setup, storage trip, travel time, etc). Hotels, if needed, do suck (COTA).
  15. Wheel Bearing

    Wheel Bearing Professional low sider

    I sum up having a toy hauler as the most convenient pain in the ass you'll ever experience. Prices on both toy haulers and trailers are still stupid, but my work and play has been paid for long enough that it's a catch 22. I could get an enclosed trailer, but I'm selling high only to buy high. And then there's the adjusting to the new setup and tailoring it to your wants/needs.

    I've done a few easy single day TD's with my HF trailer, and it's nice...and a pain in the ass at the same time. Ironically enough, I always seem to forget something when I do that...because I'm so used to keeping everything in the toy hauler, it's always something stupid - visor cleaner, rags, tear offs, etc.

    On those rainy track weekends...toy hauler is truly priceless. When it's being a pain in the ass, or your dumping the black tank....you're wishing you didn't have it :D
    Gixxerguy855 likes this.
  16. Monsterdood

    Monsterdood Well-Known Member

    I tent camped at Willow for a while and the problem was being cold and sore in the morning right before practice. I decided the $100 dive motel right at the highway exit was worth the softer bed and a hot shower.
  17. rpm894

    rpm894 Well-Known Member

    You guys need to do some mountaineering. Tent camping at the track is a 5 star resort in any weather after that.
  18. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    My first time roadracing, I camped at Willow. Another buddy and I were sleeping in the bed of our trucks and a lady there took pity on us and let us go into the room at the bottom of the tower to sleep there.
  19. 05Yamabomber

    05Yamabomber Dammit Haga

    I used to sleep inside my truck early days of WSMC in 1997. Thought I could sleep in my bed but DANG it gets cold there at night! I was barely 20 years old and had no money but wanted to race. All good points on here and I did the small trailer towing/hotels for years. Once I got a toy hauler trailer I wont ever go back. So important to get out of the elements to conserve energy and be comfortable.

    I havent done it yet but Chuckwalla has trailer storage for $50 a month onsite at the track. I pay $100 a month to store mine in town as my place doesnt have side yard big enough to get it in backyard. My trailer is a 2017 sandstorm and full coverage insurance is only $25 a month. If you calculate the math on hotel/ vs storage its almost a break even. But there is no price on racing in 102 degree weather and sitting in your AC controlled trailer.
  20. MELK-MAN

    MELK-MAN The Dude abides...

    towed with a 92 acura vigor for many miles, but never out of the state of flat florida. and never more than this wire mesh bed 4x8 trailer. bought it with 12,000 miles and used it for years appraising real estate, and put 336,000 miles on the original motor (but had to put in 2 used transmissions over the years i owned it)
    Me and a buddy did have 2 sport bikes and gear on the 4x8 open trailer, and would drive 3 hrs each way from Tampa to Jennings way back when we were doing lots of track days. with it's 5 cyl motor it would do ok and was at or not much above 1000lbs, but towing any kind of enclosed trailer? would be tough, and hard on the car, and worse if you had elevation (which ya do in CA i'd assume).
    As your interest in this sport evolves, so will your tow rig.


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