Evaluating Your Towing Needs

So you have your 1988 Honda Civic Hatchback and you have a kart.  You remove the wheels and bodywork and shoehorn your kart inside, stacking your equipment around the kart like a can of sardines.  Ice chest on the passenger side floor and your gearbag sitting on the passenger seat.  This system works for you, and it is practical, very practical.  On Sunday, race transport, but Monday through Friday, paycheck transport.

If I just described your motorsports transport, post your photos and loading system on kartpulse under this thread, Kart Pulse – How Do You Transport Your Kart.

I’ve been there, albeit for a short time.  Currently I am looking into expanding our karting transport from a 6′ x 10′ enclosed trailer to a 8.5′ x 20′ enclosed trailer.  Our current loading and unloading system includes wooden ramps to run a triple decker kart stand through the cargo door opening.  Squeezing my fat ass between the tires and the trailer walls, neither move, so I end up climbing up or under the karts, axles, kart stands, to reach the tie down points.  For the two of us, this system has worked for us since 1997.  There might have been some cussing and swearing in the above process, but it is not Facebook official.

My dad and I actively race at our local NorCal kart tracks, participating in the Briggs 206 classes.  However, we also have a couple of 125cc shifters that we leave at our homes in order to have enough room for our two race karts.  The motivation behind a larger trailer, we have a new teammate, my five year old daughter.  I’m not sure how her racing will progress over then next couple of years, but I do know on practice days, we will have to have at least three karts heading to the track.

My dad and I have talked about a larger trailer for some time.  Looking at multiple brands including Haulmark, Interstate, Carson, Wells Cargo, Pace, Look, TPD, inTech, CargoMate, Double R, Charmac, Logan, and a few others.  Most of these were found online, then I started driving around to the different local dealers to inspect the quality and options.  I will list the local dealers and brands at the bottom.

I’m writing this series for a couple of reasons.

  • There is not a lot of easy to process information online
  • There is not a lot of local trailer dealers that have multiple options on hand
  • Help others find the information they need
  • Highlight towing and trailer safety
  • I’m very hands-on and I want to touch, feel, and smell my new trailer

As I visited multiple locations, not a single one had an options center or demo trailer.  All the information was verbal or in a  brochure, printed or online.  Some manufacturers had very cheap finish work, and others had proper finishing touches.  Each manufacturers trailer brochure presents each trailer like a show piece, but in reality, there are differences.  For the purpose of this article, we are searching for an 8.5′ x 20′ enclosed cargo or car hauler.  We do not need built in cabinets or other nice finishing touches, since we plan on building the inside to fit our needs.

We are also targeting a price range of under $10,000.00, which eliminates the aluminum frame trailers from our lists.  However, the nicest finish that I found out of the trailers I personally looked at, it was the inTech brand out of Indiana.  The trailer was built on an aluminum frame and the finishing touches were done properly.

Again, we are staying under $10,000.00 for our trailer budget.  We kept looking at used trailers in the same price range, and you do get more trailer for your dollar when you go used, but we both didn’t see the advantage of saving 10%-25% on the trailer purchase with the unknowns listed below.

  • Was the trailer overloaded and damaged the suspension?
  • What is the life of the tires after sitting?
  • How Many Miles Are Really on the Trailer?
  • Cost of New vs. Used is a small difference
  • Trailers hold good resale value
  • Most 20′ Trailers have 7000 lbs capacity, I want 10,000
  • Looking for extra height for a triple decker kart stand

Two very important things that will affect your trailer purchase, what is your current tow vehicle and the capacity and where will you store the trailer.

I have a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado HD2500.  The GVWR of my particular vehicle is 9200 lbs.  This is the maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of my truck, fully loaded with passengers and gear, plus the tongue weight of the trailer.

I also have a 25′ trailer pad that I have easy access to.  For some of us, this is critical from a budget standpoint.  In a previous karting life, I had a 28′ trailer that I had to store at a local facility.  It cost $220.00 per month to store the beast.  Throughout this series, I will have a few various forms to fill out to request free checklists and spreadsheets.  Ask me for my trailer buying checklist.

 

 

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