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Trailer Shopping

This is a discussion on Trailer Shopping within the GM Trucks forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; About 2 months ago we purchased our 2007 Suburban with the intent of pulling a trailer. I'll be installing the ...

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    Trailer Shopping

    About 2 months ago we purchased our 2007 Suburban with the intent of pulling a trailer. I'll be installing the electric brake controller, and probably a deep transmission pan and auxillary cooler, in preparation as we do have to climb some decent hills in our area. The truck is already equipped with air bags in the rear springs and has the factory tow package.

    I have looked at both Trailex and Featherlite enclosed aluminum trailers. I do not want a steel trailer as everyone I know that has one ends up with rust issues within 2-3 years. In addition, an aluminum frame trailer will weigh substantiually less than a steel one. The Trailex has to be the nicest and most well thought out trailer I have ever seen -- but it comes with a hefty price tag. The only Featherlites I was able to look at in person are older models.

    Any recommendations or other brands that I should consider? Options I'd like would include a winch, tire rack, some internal storage cabinets and possibly an awning for use at the track.

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    Your dealership guy konigandy6's Avatar
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    I've only ever pulled 3 different trailers. An open tandom axle steel frame, and 2 enclosed featherlites. One was 25' x 8' "deck over" and the other was 18' x 7.5'.

    Both Featherlites towed awesome compared to the steel. Much lighter and easier to handle. I wouldn't recommend a large deck over since they seem less stable the faster you go. I don't tow that often... just when the quads have to get up north. And also, no hills like out in the sticks of PA.

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    Featherlite is much more affordable than the Trailex. I wish someone in my area had one I could go check out.

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    Your dealership guy konigandy6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Featherlite is much more affordable than the Trailex. I wish someone in my area had one I could go check out.
    lol Drive up to MI and I'll let you borrow the company trailer. It's the 25x8 enclosed featherlite. It's a little hefty for a half ton pickup with 4 quads and 4 200+ pound guys though, but the smaller versions I've towed have been amazing.

    Looked into Haulmark trailers? Haven't heard anything bad about them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by konigandy6 View Post
    Looked into Haulmark trailers? Haven't heard anything bad about them.
    Nope. I'll take a look on-line. Thanks!

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    I found my trailer last week. Turns out that we have a company about an hour south of us that specializes in aluminum trailers -- Worthington Trailers. We went down on Thursday and were treated to a tour of the production facility. I sat down with the sales staff and spec'd out a 22' enclosed trailer with a 4' V-nose, 6' 6" interior height, and a host of other goodies. Significantly cheaper than the Trailex and the bastards at Featherlite never responded to my e-mail inquiries. Hope to order it early next month and may even take another ride down to see it being built.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    You'll probably outgrow the 22 footer if you do alot of towing to tracks and larger events. By the time you get a 16-18 foot car in there you don't have much room to crawl around the front to tie it down, especially if you are packing stuff in the front of it. Since you got a V-nose, it's hard to say but most trailer companies include that V-nose measurement on the inside overall dimensions they advertise, so it might be even tighter yet.

    Wish I could have caught you sooner. I would have recommended a 24' at the very least, and that's before the V-nose. Another issue with the V-nose, is you have to buy special brackets to make your load level setup work,,,,I hope you have one of those too, it's a must on these larger trailers.

    You can see in the pic, I have the rounded nose that extends over some of the tounge but not all of it, and my load level brackets are close.

    Something else I prefer is the Torsion suspension, they ride and tow so much nicer.

    This is a 28 footer. I can pull my chevelle in there (close to 18 feet) and the front of the car comes right up to the beginning of the side door. Which makes it nice to walk in, plenty of room to tie the car down, yet I can pack motorized pit bikes up front, with a generator/air compressor and tools and basically have a garage on wheels,,,,and still have room to pull out lawn chairs inside to get out of the weather if we have to, and still have the car in there with us.

    If you hit enough meets, and get caught in enough bad weather, keeping the car in there along with the family, it'll get a bit tight in a 22 footer. Guess it's okay as long as everyone really likes each other


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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Here is what it looks like at the door with a car in there. I actually have this one pulled forward a bit, it's about 3 feet from the back door. Still plenty of room up front to get out of the weather.


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    ^^

    That is awesome. I have not ordered yet -- we just spec'd it out and talked options. I was going to trace it out on the floor of my garage around one of our cars to see how much room there is. It is a 22' by 8' box with the V-noce added on to that. You still think I should go 24'?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    ^^

    That is awesome. I have not ordered yet -- we just spec'd it out and talked options. I was going to trace it out on the floor of my garage around one of our cars to see how much room there is. It is a 22' by 8' box with the V-noce added on to that. You still think I should go 24'?
    Ah okay, well 22 isn't too bad if the V-nose is added to that but there are some things to consider.

    General rule is to leave a 1 foot clearance between the car and the rear door when you strap it down. That's just fudge room in case the car loosens up and more of a precaution, but it's something I always follow. So that makes 1 less foot up front.
    Depending on how long the car is plays a roll. I haul different cars in mine depending on where I'm going. I'd make sure you buy something that also has the capability to haul something longer than your 4th gen too,,,just in case things change a few years down the road. You only want to have to buy a trailer once.

    I can also tell you I've played around with 20 foot enclosed trailers and that's one tight sob. With nothing up front I was squeezing between the walls and laying on the floor trying to tie the front down.
    A 22 footer would be better, but I pretty much decided nothing less than a 24 makes a comfortable towing trailer, still relatively light, with a little room up front. With a V-nose on top of that you'll have space to tie things down, put up cabinets if you like, yet still have some room for a couple of lawn chairs to sit in there with the car if the weather turns ugly.

    With all that said, I'd personally go with a 24. There shouldn't be that much price difference between that and a 22, and the weight difference is also minimal.
    Not to mention, the 24's are generally more popular (for reasons I explained) and because of that it makes them very plentifull out on the lots.

    You'll see some 20 footers, then they jump to 24 most of the time. You'll rarely find a 22 sitting on the lot.

    The good news is,,,,most of the enclosed trailers I see, if maintained well, hold their value pretty decent. Usually within just a few thousand of the new price. So they aren't a bad investment even after you used it for a few years. They make a nice extra storage bin too when you need it, as you can see with mine.

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    Understood. I wasn't super worried about room in front of the car as the back of our Suburban is huge. I was trying to keep the weight down as well -- 2' is 2'. I'll lay it out and see what it looks like. Biggest car we would haul currently is a '66 Buick Wildcat. It's about 19' long if I recall. The other cars come in around 16-17'.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Understood. I wasn't super worried about room in front of the car as the back of our Suburban is huge. I was trying to keep the weight down as well -- 2' is 2'. I'll lay it out and see what it looks like. Biggest car we would haul currently is a '66 Buick Wildcat. It's about 19' long if I recall. The other cars come in around 16-17'.
    Ooof, ya the buick wildcat is a beast, that's about as long as our nomad.

    I'd go 24 for sure with that car in mind. With a foot clearance in the back, you are looking at the nose of the car right at 20 feet alone. That's only 4 feet of play room up front plus your V-nose. Just something to think about.

    16-18 feet is about your average car, so that wouldn't be so bad in a 24 footer.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Oh I gotcha, didn't catch the suburban thing. I use a 1 ton pickup.
    I prefer to just keep everything in the trailer where I can lock it up and it's out of site. Everything in the trailer is used just for trailering purposes, so I don't like to transfer things from the garage to the trailer when I use it,,,,that way it's all tied in there and ready to rock when I need it.

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    What's your advice on flooring. I see you have the checkerboard pattern. They recommended an oil and stain resistant material that had raised circles -- but it was a $1,000 add on!

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Well, I don't recommend that checker board stuff that I have. It's like laminate that you see on a kitchen floor. It stains very easily and it's very easy to leave marks on, even with your shoes.
    I have to simple green the darn thing and mop it all the time.
    I plan to diamond plate the floor just where the tires roll on each side.

    It's been a few years so I'm not sure what they have on the market now that is stain resistant,,,and $1,000 is a bit steep.

    If I had to do it over again, I'd leave the floors bare wood and go over them with a quality primer and paint. Something that wipes off easily, then do diamond plate where the tires roll. It would be nice to use something similar that I used on my garage floors (U-coat-it) that is just amazing in the garage.
    I've seen others that people deck out with things like astro turf. I liked to walk around the pits at big track events just to get different ideas, some of those guys are pretty inventive.

    But I definately wouldn't do that checker board laminate that I have. I like the 50's style look, but it would be better if it was made out of a more durable material.

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    Good to know. I just don't want the floor to get all oiled up and look like ass. Not that any of our cars ever drip any fluids.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Something else to consider.....

    You can see on mine that I have the white paneling inside and on the roof as well. It's nice at night, when I light up the inside the white walls and floor help to brighten things up. But it has a drawback.

    When you want to screw things to the wall, you can't screw to that paneling, you have to find the studs behind it, and it makes it a pain to install cabinets because the studs aren't always in the most convenient places. They are spread out on 16 or 18" centers on a Halmark,,,but some of your cheaper enclosed trailers spread those beams out to 20 or 22 inches, not only is that trailer not as strong, but you have an even harder time hanging stuff. So it's good to ask how far apart the frame sections are spread.

    What I would do if I did this over again,,,,,is get the bare walls where you can see the frame work. You can still get the white panels on the roof only as an option but leave the walls bare.

    Then I would buy quality plywood and hang it throughout the trailer along all the walls, and paint that white. Then when you hang your shelves, or your tie down racks,,,you can simply screw right to the walls anywhere you please and not worry about finding studs,,,if you have good quality thick plywood, it'll hold anything you want to put up there.

    Just something that might help you think ahead, and saves you alot of coin.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 03-14-2011 at 08:12 PM.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Good to know. I just don't want the floor to get all oiled up and look like ass. Not that any of our cars ever drip any fluids.
    Look close at the floor in that one pic. See those stains in front of the camaro on the floor??

    That's just from rubber tires sitting there when my son parked his go-cart in there. Can't get it off. Strangest thing I've ever seen.
    Any oil I've spilled wipes right up though.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 03-14-2011 at 08:09 PM.

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    The plan right now is to have the bottom 2' of the walls covered in wood and then a white panel material from there to the ceiling. I was very worried about something impacting and denting the trailer walls. The "stud" spacing is 16" if I recall correctly and appeared to be perfectly uniform from what I saw of the trailers being constructed. Good point though as I will most likely be mounting a few things on the walls.

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    Ordered the trailer yesterday. I did go with the 22' that has an extra 4' V-nose on the front. I measured it out in the garage floor and even allowing for a foot behind the car, it had lots of open space for what we'll be doing. Should be built within 3-4 weeks and I'll get some pics up then. I'd like to go down to see it during the build process, but not sure if I can finangle the time out of the office.

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