Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
10/15/19 7:24 a.m.

I just bought a used 24' enclosed trailer with a ramp door to replace the 14' swinging door trailer I've been using for 15 years.  My old trailer had d-rings in the floor and not much room for anything else, so I didn't outfit it with any trailer doo-dads.   I've also got an 18' open trailer I use when I don't need to be enclosed.

For this trailer, I'm thinking about adding:

  • E-track on the floor (How far apart to place it? What types of hooks to use?)
  • E-track on the walls so I can roll a tool box or other big things in and secure them
  • 12V LED lights inside (it's currently got 120V florescent)  
  • Folding tire rack
  • Fold-down bench in the front
  • Maybe cabinets above the bench, maybe just fold-down shelves or wire rack with a cargo net to keep things from falling during transport.  I generally keep spare parts, liquids, and other things in plastic tubs for the car being towed.
  • Maybe a winch

My sons and I have several cars for autocross and track use and also tow Hope College's FSAE cars (with this trailer, we can tow 2), so I want high flexibility.  That's why I'm thinking about E-track and fold-down stuff, so it's easy to reconfigure for the car and competition at hand.  

What are your favorite products for these things?  Other tips?

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/15/19 7:42 a.m.

just installed a folding tire rack from amazon in mine and it seems sturdy.  $38ish.  I spent a bunch on e-track and i have no regrets.  I have straps and rollers that allow you to go right over the tires to tie a car down.  Also got some free led strip lights so i stuck a battery in and switched them 

jimbbski
jimbbski SuperDork
10/15/19 9:05 a.m.

If you plan on spending any time in the trailer while at an event and you live somewhere where it can get hot I would consider adding insulation to the ceiling and the walls.  I did this to my new trailer that I bought last spring.  The 1 X 2 top rails allowed me to install 2" thick "pink" ridged foam insulation in the ceiling and 1" thick in the walls.

 

It didn't cost that much when I consider the cost of the trailer.

pirate
pirate HalfDork
10/15/19 9:27 a.m.

A centerline winch is very handy for loading vehicles rather then driving into a trailer or when a vehicle is damaged or will not run for a variety of reasons. If you have a rooftop vent and a battery for lighting I would consider adding a power vent such as the FanTastic fan. These fans are reversible and move up to 800 cubic feet per minute and the speeds can be adjusted. Great for exhausting fumes or sucking fresh air into the trailer during a rain storm or getting out of the sun.

codrus
codrus UberDork
10/15/19 10:39 a.m.

IME, while it's not too bad to load a car into a trailer when it's got a street clutch, a lightweight race clutch makes a winch pretty much a necessity.  It's also nice not to have to climb out the window. :)

Bench at the front is great, but I'd make it a permanent one with cabinets & toolbox underneath.

Think about power.  Solar to keep the battery topped up is very convenient, put an inverter on it to run stuff like laptop chargers or a TV.  A decent-sized inverter will even run a small pancake air compressor.  If budget allows, then a generator & roof-mounted AC are really nice.

PitPal has some great trailer accessories.  I particularly like the bars that mount on the wall for holding spare tow straps, the jackstand shelf, and the helmet shelf w/ clothing hanger bar underneath.

Whiteboard & cork board on the inside of the trailer door, great plate for writing notes, posting schedules, etc.

 

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 Dork
10/15/19 10:52 a.m.

Battery and in-floor winch were the two things that I added to mine right away. There is a kit that uses the smaller ATV style ones that is plenty for cars that still roll. Little hole in the floor, bolts to cross member, hides when not being used. http://www.midwestracecabinets.com/store/c12/Infloor_Winch_Mount_%26_Winch_kits.html

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
10/16/19 10:09 a.m.

Thanks for the ideas and resources. 

For those of you who have E-track on the floor, how far apart do you have it?  I'm not a big fan of wheel bonnet straps and prefer to strap to the chassis, so I'm thinking around 48" apart.   I generally tow LBCs and Miatas, which are 5-6' wide.  We will be towing the CAM-T Falcon Wagon sometimes, which is wider.

For those who have E-track on the walls, how high?  One strip or two?

What about floor covering? It's currently got worn carpet, which is pretty nice, but gets oily and wrinkles/loosens up.  I haven't liked tile/linoleum in other trailers as it gets slipper when wet.  What about rubber?

By the way, the winch is not a very high priority for me, just a "nice to have."  In 20+ years with my other trailers, I've hardly used a winch.  I think I'm too impatient and am fortunate to either have a running car or enough friends to push.  Winches are too slow for me, plus sooner or later the cable frays and makes me bleed.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/16/19 10:30 a.m.

Mine is gray floor paint.  I have D rings from the factory as well as e-track from the factory along the walls forward of the wheelwells.  I added e track down where the tires would ride for my wheel cradle straps as well as down the middle and at the back for non car stuff(table, parts, bikes).  On the walls i did vertical tracks in the nose area so i can use the 2x lumber brackets to arrange stuff as needed.  

pirate
pirate HalfDork
10/16/19 10:56 a.m.

What about floor covering? 
 

Race Deck or any of the equivalents. Can be removed for cleaning or individual tiles replaced if damaged. Can be solid or drain through your choice. Also protects wood floor. Put a couple of good coats of paint down while trailer is still new and floor is in good shape, saves work later on when original paint wears through or gets damaged.

Sonic
Sonic UltraDork
10/16/19 10:57 a.m.

I have line-x on the floor of my trailer, it is very durable and non skid, but it always looks dirty and is hard to get oil out of.  

 

I want to add wall e trac, insulation, better led lights and 110v wiring, and a window. 

pkingham
pkingham Reader
10/16/19 10:59 a.m.

For the floor of my last two trailers, I've used porch paint which has traction enhancing grit of some kind in it.  It will pull up on hot tires, but otherwise it's held up reasonably well for the cost and effort involved.

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro Dork
10/16/19 11:51 a.m.

My one trailer had the e-track at the bottom of the walls, plywood started above them. They were welded to the framing. I found that worked great no matter the car width, from my MGB to my CP Camaro. I did cross strap the car so it worked well.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/16/19 11:55 a.m.

I wouldn’t use E-track to secure the car. 

D-rings, secure to the trailer frame (not the floor deck)

Most E-track devices have a rated capacity up to 4500 lbs. A few items have a capacity of 6000 lbs. 

DOT regulations require a working load limit of 1/3 the rates capacity. That means a 4500 lb clip can only hold 1500 lbs. A 6000 lb clip would max at 2000 lbs. Cars generally weigh more than this. 

The ratings also assume the track being secured properly to the frame of the trailer. Sometimes they are secure to the plywood, and the wall framing Is not the same as the trailer frame. Plus, it’s easy with E-track to have the load pulling on the clip in an unusual direction. 

Accidents suck. The only thing worse than having an accident would be for your race car to come crashing through the front wall of your trailer and hit you again from behind. 

D-rings secured to the trailer frame. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia HalfDork
10/16/19 12:23 p.m.

solar GPS tracking on the roof with battery back-up ,  

logo or numbers on top of trailer,

easy to get at spare tire , 

a couple of come-a-long ratchets  and chains....and a tow truck chain with big hook,

trailer back up camera on back of trailer

shop lights mounted on the side like Ambulances have.

side awning

 

Rodan
Rodan Dork
10/16/19 2:14 p.m.

A lot of good stuff has already been mentioned...

+1 on battery + solar... I've got the battery, solar is next year's project for our trailer.  And a Fantastic fan... we have one in the camper and it's awesome.  I bought our trailer with 110 shore power hookups, and it has 110 flourescent lights, which I'll be replacing for 12v LEDs eventually, because I'm rarely in a position to hook up to 110V.  Exterior lights can be pretty useful as well.

+1 on winch...  I bought an HF 2500 ATV winch, which works great for our Miata, but I haven't tried with the ZL1.  If we'd had the Camaro when I bought the winch instead of 2 Miatas, I would have bought a 5K winch.

Floor covering - I chose 'rubber' diamondplate floors when I specc'd out our trailer.  They're awesome for traction, but suck for sweeping out dirt/debris.  I'd choose one of the 'coin' textures if I had it to do over.

I did not get E-track when I ordered the trailer, and later ended up putting it in anyway.  I use over the tire straps on our ZL1, so I went with an appropriate width for that.  Miata gets tied down to the chassis, so I still use D rings for it.

I'm currently looking at tire racks, but will probably end up building something on casters that I can roll around and tie down where I want it for versatility and weight balancing.

I built a custom bench in the front of our trailer, and modified a HF tool cart to 'dock' in the center.  I left it on casters so I can roll it out in the pits if necessary.

Back up camera is also an awesome idea.  I have 3 cameras wired on ours, rear and both sides, and can monitor from a split screen in the truck.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
10/16/19 2:43 p.m.

Paint the walls white or Formica like material for ease of cleaning and brightness.

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
10/17/19 8:32 a.m.

Rodan,

Can you provide a little more info about your camera system?  What cameras, how are you connecting, monitor, etc..  I tow with a 2002 GMC 2500HD that still has a lot of life in it, so adding cameras and a monitor is appealing. 

 

Rodan
Rodan Dork
10/17/19 9:17 a.m.

In reply to Carl Heideman :

This is the camera system I'm using:  eRapta 4 camera rearview on Amazon

The fact that it's still available 3+ years later under the same branding says something.  I did have an issue with one dead harness, but they replaced the system and haven't had any issues since.  

I looked at wireless systems, but reviews indicated most of them had issues, so I went with wired.  The online reviews for some of the high dollar systems were even worse than for the cheap ones on Amazon...

I ran a set of cables from the dash monitor to rear bumper, with enough slack to make it to the trailer tongue.  Another set of cables picks up there and runs to the cameras on the trailer.  I have the 4th camera on a magnet mount that I can connect to one of the cables, and stick on the back of the truck, or on our camper.

Most of these systems come with 5-7" monitors, which are really too small for multiplexing.  I found a 9" monitor that works great, but after two years it died, and I can't find a replacement that will multiplex, so I'm back to the 7" monitor.

This thread:  Video install in 2017 Ram  covers the install in my current truck.

wake74
wake74 New Reader
10/17/19 6:06 p.m.

I started with a basic used 20 footer with upgraded axles last winter, and spent about a week turning it into what I wanted.  It doesn't compare to those fancy aluminum $30k trailers you see on Rennslist, but mine's "a bit" cheaper, and fits well with the E36 Track Rat.

  • Stripped the plywood off the walls and ceiling and insulated both, painted all white
  • Installed RV power set-up, with basic breaker panel.  30 amp plug on outside of trailer
  • Install multiple power outlets in front and along walls.  I used MC cable as it was easier than trying to drill all the studs and burying it in the walls.  Doesn't look as nice as buried wires tho
  • 120V LED Lights
  • 15,000 btu AC / heat
  • Cheap Rustoleum Epoxy garage floor on floor and ramp.  The ramp has lots and lots of grit in it, that Epoxy floor is slippery
  • Installed a cheap HF winch
  • Installed a NT electric jack
  • Basic work bench in the front (I tow with a 4.7L Tunda so weight is a concern)

The previous owner installed 4 wireless cameras, and I can tell you they are junk.  I don't know if it's my truck or what, but the rear one is all but useless.

Things I'd eventually like to do:

  • Install a 120V exterior light over the side door
  • Install an awning at some point

 

 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
10/18/19 7:46 a.m.

Thanks guys, all very useful.  The trailer is already painted white on the inside, has an awning, a generator door, a service door, an exit door on the left for getting out of the car, and a ramp door of course.  It's on torsion axles, has good 4 wheel brakes, and has an electric front jack.   So it's got good bones, and the additions will make it very convenient to use. 

I think I'm leaning away from E-track on the floor.  SVreX confirmed some of my skepticism, plus even with those ratings I'm always concerned that a stress riser or Chinese bits will cause failure below the ratings.  I'm not going to mount anything at the front because we may tow two cars from time to time (two FSAE cars, a Mini and a Miata, a Lotus 7 and an MGB, etc..).   That's why I'm thinking folding bench, with E-track to strap in a toolbox below when we have room.  Rubber floor, camera system, and folding tire rack, LED lights, solar panel, etc., will all go in.    Oh, and Jack just bought a Trail 70, so we'll need to strap down the pit bike, too.

Thanks again!  If you're interested, I'll put it up as a build thread as we work on it over the winter.

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