Please Give Me Some Open Car Trailer Advice ;)

Epitome

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2001
I will be buying an open car trailer in the next couple of months or so and want some feedback from those of you who have been down this road before. I know that if it is a dovetail with built in ramps that I want the ramps to work without having to use boards or anything, I just want to drive up on the thing with no problems. I've seen some people having problems with this. Just tell me what you would do if you could get one from scratch so that it is problem free. What is minimal length? Thanks :)

PS A tilt and/or aluminum trailer is not out of the question, just a bit more than I think I really need to spend.
 
Hi Ted,

FWIW I have a Bri-Mar 18 foot dovetail open trailer with built in ramps and I have zero problems driving the car up onto ot and nothing hits or rubs, I can also open the doors and the do not hit. Also the fenders on mine can be unscrewed and tilt backwards if needed.

I think Bri Mar has a website......try Bri-Mar.com.

Best of luck.
 
18ft minimum.. Needs to have a 2-3 ft dove tail. Key is also not to have the ramps too short. around 3-4 ft is good. Low deck trailer with a removable/flip up fender for easy door access.
HTH..

Unless your GN is lowered, clearance shouldn't be a problem on most any dovetail trailer..
:)
 
Originally posted by 1ARUNEM
18ft minimum.. Needs to have a 2-3 ft dove tail. Key is also not to have the ramps too short. around 3-4 ft is good. Low deck trailer with a removable/flip up fender for easy door access.
HTH..

Unless your GN is lowered, clearance shouldn't be a problem on most any dovetail trailer..
:)

That's what I would recommend, especially if towing with a 1500 or a raised 4X4 truck. Drop axles with be the most stable. Get electric brakes and a Class IV hitch (set to the right height with a loaded trailer)/Load leveler bars and you are set.
 
All of the above!!! 18' would be my recommended absolute minimum. IMHO a 20' bed would be far better (that's because that's what I have) ;)

I traded a cheap 18' dovtail in on what I have now. My first one had an open center, ramps slid out the sides, had surge brakes, and cost a whopping $1200. I had to get the left fender cut off and modified to be removable so I could get in and out of the car.


Here's my new one:
http://community.webshots.com/photo/24421558/70056893hrcOPU
My latest trailer is an absolute dream compared to that one. full 20' bed all diamond plate, had a 3500# SuperWinch installed (came in handy for helping my Father-in-Law remove a junker), a full 4' dovetail, with ramps that slide in and out from the rear. Also added the low profile pickup bed tool box (worth EVERY penny). Trailer has electric brakes (ya I know, more expense with having to add the controller and what-not, but again, worth every penny).
Here's what I think is one of THE most important features!!! I looked for one that had a "higher" bed as compared to fender height, this way, I can drive almost any car I want up on there, and not have to worry about removing a fender to get in and out. It's even low enough to allow my Z28 door to open.

One other feature I added. If you look closely maybe you can seee that the entire trailer (horizontal surfaces) is "gator coated", pluse all surfaces on the tongue (all the way back). NO more chips, and rusting.

Here's another view:
http://community.webshots.com/photo/24421558/70056932sbrlsY

And another:
http://community.webshots.com/photo/24421558/70056833vHOIqX

You will find, some years down the road, that the extra money spent for conveniences will be well worth it!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck on your search!
 
i have a 18 foot premere with a dovetail and i get my trans am on it fine and the front is lowered and with the 28 in hoosiers on the back there isnt much room under there either.


i put my gn on the same trailer with no problems what so ever.

if you have the option, get the extra wide, it makes it alot easier to get the car on by yourself.
 
Ted

Few things to decide on:

-Open center or full deck. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

-Placement of the tandem axles on the trailer. Wheels more in the middle have less stability than ones more in the rear. But more in the middle takes weight off the truck.

-Must have 4 wheel brakes

-Width of trailer.

My trailer specs:
-Open center
-Tandem placed more towards rear
-Made custom ramps that fold in half, like heavy equipment trailers.
-4 wheel brakes
-Beaver tail
-Extra running lights.
-2 spares
-Working on finding a winch for it.

Oh what did you decide on. 1500 or 2500. I was talking with my friend (GM mechanic) who just recently left GM, and he said to get the 2500 by far, don't get the 1500. It's a TRUCK, suck up the difference between in MPG. Go ahead and get the 1500 and when you are pulling those mountain passing going to BG in a wimpy 327, you'll be saying "I should have gotten the 383" and your wife will be saying "Yea, should have listened to your friends":rolleyes:. But anyway, I will still blow by you with my Powerstroke anyway:D And say"I should have gotten a diesel":cool: :D

Billy T.
gnxtc2@aol.com
 
Originally posted by gnxtc2
Ted

Few things to decide on:

-Open center or full deck. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

-Placement of the tandem axles on the trailer. Wheels more in the middle have less stability than ones more in the rear. But more in the middle takes weight off the truck.

-Must have 4 wheel brakes

-Width of trailer.

My trailer specs:
-Open center
-Tandem placed more towards rear
-Made custom ramps that fold in half, like heavy equipment trailers.
-4 wheel brakes
-Beaver tail
-Extra running lights.
-2 spares
-Working on finding a winch for it.

Oh what did you decide on. 1500 or 2500. I was talking with my friend (GM mechanic) who just recently left GM, and he said to get the 2500 by far, don't get the 1500. It's a TRUCK, suck up the difference between in MPG. Go ahead and get the 1500 and when you are pulling those mountain passing going to BG in a wimpy 327, you'll be saying "I should have gotten the 383" and your wife will be saying "Yea, should have listened to your friends":rolleyes:. But anyway, I will still blow by you with my Powerstroke anyway:D And say"I should have gotten a diesel":cool: :D

Billy T.
gnxtc2@aol.com


2500 pulls nice!
 
Originally posted by Epitome
I will be buying an open car trailer in the next couple of months or so and want some feedback from those of you who have been down this road before. I know that if it is a dovetail with built in ramps that I want the ramps to work without having to use boards or anything, I just want to drive up on the thing with no problems. I've seen some people having problems with this. Just tell me what you would do if you could get one from scratch so that it is problem free. What is minimal length? Thanks :)

PS A tilt and/or aluminum trailer is not out of the question, just a bit more than I think I really need to spend.

Mine's 16, and I'm more then happy.
Dual axle, at least brakes on one of them.
Keep the trailer light, and carry the carppe in the tow vehicle.
A good winch is good juju.
ALWAYs, carry some wood for loading. It's nice to think that you'll never neeed it, but reality can step in from time to time.
Real good tie downs.
Lots of lighting, Maybe a remote hookup for a hand held search light.

Of course check to see if the doors will open with the car on it. It makes for a slightly taller trailer, but it's worth it, IMO.

Lowered and with an airdam, you'll be hard pressed to get a trailer that has long enough self contained ramps not to need wood.

Go for 15" wheels on it. And of the proper load rating.

A good trailer setup is fun to tow, a bad one is a disaster. IMO, a lighter trailer, is a key element in that. And if the unexpected happens, light can make all the difference, from a blow-out to an evasive manuever.
 
open is good

I agree with most of what has been posted. Both axles with brakes is a must, along with the controler for the tow vehicle. Not hard to install, post back if you need help. 18' total length with 2' dovetail is what my first car hauler was(is as I still have and use it). Mine has a wood floor with a raised deck. Be sure to get the raised deck to be able to get the door open and I would get diamond plate floor if I had to do it again (it isn't over yet as when the wood wears out it might get replaced with d/p). Open center wasn't even considered by me as I use the trailer for so much more than just hauling cars, your choice there and the price reflects it. I'd love to have a winch on mine(bought a cheap H/F one for $69 and it works ok with a snatch block to double the pull). Wrapped tongue (tongue structure goes back to the axles)adds strength to the trailer. Good hitch coupler is a must. I like the bulldog brand but there are many good ones on the market. Watch the tail light placement if you intend to use the trailer for other things. I cut wood and low hanging lights and wiring gets damaged in the woods. Ramps that came with the trailer slide into the side and I like this as this keeps the rear from dragging. I would like the ramps to be longer so I welded some length on to them. I think 5' would be ideal for me but I get by with 4' your length need may vary. Check this out before you buy. All I can think of right now. Good Luck with your choice.

Rich
 
Top