Has Aerovault made the ultimate enclosed trailer?

Photography Credit: Tim Suddard

What do you get when the designer of Shelby’s world-conquering Daytona Coupe sets out to build the ultimate enclosed trailer? Meet the Aerovault.

[The famed Cobra Daytona Coupe that almost didn’t win, as told by its designer]

The idea for this better mousetrap came when Peter Brock–whose pen brought the 1963 Corvette to life, turned the Cobra into a world-beater, and helped put Datsun on the map–asked a simple question: How come no one builds a truly aerodynamic enclosed car hauler? 

The answer, apparently, was that Peter and his wife, Gayle Brock, hadn’t created one yet. And so they did. They designed the Aerovault, a single-car trailer that looks a bit like NASA hardware, to be towed easily, efficiently and safely. 

Instead of plywood and steel, this one is built from aluminum and composite materials. Where the typical enclosed trailer weighs 3000 to 5000 pounds, this one checks in at just 2340. Add a hundred pounds for the taller model. 

Some quick math: If you’re hauling a 2000-pound sports car and the typical 500 pounds of gear in an Aerovault, you don’t need to do so with a giant pickup. 

The Aerovault comes fully loaded, too, featuring niceties that, if even available, usually cost extra elsewhere: belly pan, wheeled jack, electric winch operated by remote control, and electric brakes at all four wheels. LED lighting, premium N-speed-rated tires and plenty of storage bins also come standard–as do those Moon discs. 

But does it deliver? To find out, we took one of the taller Aerovault variants for a test drive–not around the block, but across the country.

[Aerovault and Brock Racing Enterprises visit | Cross-Country Morgan Retrieval]

We didn’t take the easy route, either. After picking up the trailer from the factory, located just outside of Las Vegas, we headed north through the Sierra Nevada mountains to fetch a Morgan and three engines–about 3000 pounds of cargo. 

Details abound, including the shelf up front. It’s high enough to allow for storage space below, but not so high that it precludes stowing taller items on top of it.

Then we pointed the rig toward our Florida home. Our 3000-mile trip took us through Death Valley, across the mountains of the West, and into urban sprawl. Weather conditions ranged from hail and driving rains to triple-digit heat. Our tow vehicle wasn’t anything special, just a 20-year-old Suburban fitted with the 5.3-liter engine. 

We learned a lot during that test drive. First, loading and unloading the Aerovault is straightforward thanks to its two access doors up front and plenty of tie-down hooks. 

And once moving, it feels much lighter than our usual trailer, the typical 3800-pound, 20-foot enclosed variant. In fact, the Aerovault seems to disappear at speed, and we mean that in a good way: no tugging, no bouncing, no wavering when encountering big rigs. 

While crossing West Texas, we hit a furious storm. The wind must have topped 40 to 50 mph. The Aerovault was unfazed and even seemed to stabilize our Suburban.

So, what does this cost? A new one runs $31,990 and comes, as its maker notes, fully featured. “We always say fully featured,” notes Gayle Brock, president and CEO of the company, “because everyone else’s MSRP is a stripped-down trailer that you have to add thousands and thousands of dollars of options to in order to get close to what an Aerovault comes with.”

And the other side of the equation: the residual. Used Aerovaults don’t come up for sale often, but last year an early, 7-year-old example sold via Bring a Trailer for more or less its original MSRP. That alone is impressive. 

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