New Trailer?


In the market for a new trailer, open or enclosed? Looking for opinions.

This is our tow vehicle, 5.4/towing pkg.


Once you have an enclosed you won’t want to go back to open.

We have a 20ft which I’d say is the minimum, sometimes I wish it was a 24ft.
Most basic enclosed trailers come with axles that are easy to overload, so pay attn to actual trailer weight and the axle ratings.


So safe to say if you had to do it again, you would go 24ft?


We had a 24ft enclosed trailer which was a must for us in the beginning of last season as we were living in it. Having the enclosed comes down to a few things to think about;

How much stuff do you typically bring with you to the track? this also determine the length. For us, we have cabinets, work bench, fridge and carried all of our gear in it, plus all the extras like pit bikes and spare parts and tools. for us, the 24ft was a must as we were easily able to fit everything.

Do you plan on sleeping in it? Some sleep on their open trailers rain of shine under a canopy, no thanks but it can be done.

Do you trailer a lot in the rain? if you do i would recommend an enclosed as having that allows you to remove the windows and mechanisms in the the car for weight while not worrying about the inside of your race car getting drenched on the drive.

Where do you store your car? if you store your car in the garage then the trailer doesn’t really have a factor here but if you store on the trailer, having an enclosed gives the car a “Garage” to sleep in.

How much storage do you have for a trailer? we have a huge lot and can fit all our race trailers and work trailers in the lot so a trailer size doesn’t matter to us, but if you are not fortunate enough to be able to store huge trailers, a 16ft open may be your only option

This is just some of the things we thought about when looking for a trailer. However that being said; we have a few now, a 16ft open carson and a now a 24ft stacker, since we trailer two cars. I hope this helps some.


Great info, thanks! I did think about bringing my “pit bike” along with me to the events so maybe the 24ft is the way to go.

The pit bike:


There’s a guy in Charleston that is looking to sell his 24’ enclosed. He wants $4500 for it.


Thanks, but I am going to try to find one locally, Northeast, before I look down south. Any purchase down there adds $300-$400 to the cost for travel.


Just as another data point. I brought my car back in a buddy’s 18’ V-nose. There was just enough room for the car and alot of room for junk in the V. As said above, whatever size you get, you will accumulate crap to fill it!

We also tow our e36 with a 20 and there’s tons of room there.


How much room is inside an 18’ (square) after the car is added? Thing is, I live in a cul-de-sac so I can only have a small trailer that I can turn around in that tight circle. A 24 is waaay too big. I think 20 is ideal, but there’s an 18 for sale…


Wont be much room left without the V (couple feet at the most).


I have a 20’ enclosed and am very happy with it. I did a lot of work to optimize the inside for storage and utility. I also have dual 7K axles. For locking stuff up, getting out of the rain, etc. They are wonderful. If you have to work on your car, doing it in an enclosed is hard to do sometimes. A 24’ would help with that but now you’re getting heavier.

My 20’ trailer weighs in at 3800lbs, plus car, tires, spares etc. Need to make sure your truck can handle that. I have a 3/4 ton diesel I use for towing. My truck with the SE30 in the trailer with spares and 3 engines in the bed rolls over the scales at a weigh station at close to 15,800 lbs. About ~6500 of that was truck. Admitedly, that was more than normal.

Another thing to factor in is that an enclosed trailer will create more wind drag and use more fuel.

If you have hills to climb, factor that weight in too.


Well, traveling from CT to some of the SE/Mid Atl events have me going over some pretty heavy duty hills. I am looking into a nice 16ft aluminum open trl that weighs 988 lbs. Kinda pricey, but should tow nicely. I think if I had a different tow vehicle, the 24ft enclosed might be the way to go. Thanks for all the input guys.


With your tow vehicle, I think that is a great choice.


Here come my thoughts, in totally random order: Make sure you have plenty of space for spare tires, toolboxes, and a pit bike, golf cart, or whatever else you might get in the future to take to a race track. I think 24 feet is a minimum size to get everything in. Your tow vehicle isn’t a total beast, so watch where the wheels are mounted on the trailer. The further to the back they are, the more they force the truck to carry the load. Get the wheels moved up forward some, and the trailer carries more of the load. Make sure you don’t get one with 3500 pound axles, because they don’t have much carry capacity once you figure the weight of the trailer. E rated trailer tires at a minimum. Aluminum trailers are nice if you can afford them, but even used they are usually double the price of a standard trailer. Put e-track everywhere, that stuff is useful. I have some on the walls, too, and its amazingly useful there. I have a rubber floor and I love it. Easy to kneel on for whatever, cleans up easily. Workbenches are overrated, I have never used mine. Cabinets are pretty, they don’t get a lot of use either. Pit Pal Products makes really nice fluid holders for the doors for all of the oil, cleaners, rags, etc. Get one of the little ramp devices that lets you change trailer flats without a jack. I have used mine at least a dozen times. Trailer tires go on at like 150 foot pounds, keep a breaker bar with the correct sized socket on it, and keep a charged cordless pit gun when you travel, if you blow a tire, you want it changed fast while you sit on the side of the road.

Sorry to shotgun you with disorganized ideas.



The wind drag difference between an open trailer and a box trailer is simply shocking. If you put a tire rack on an open trailer, you get almost the same drag.


Re. tire rack and gas mileage. I have a small open trailer. The tire rack is mounted high enough that the hood of the car goes underneath it. A full tire rack will reduce my mpg by ~15% which really adds up on long trip. As a result I always put the tires in the back of the truck.


Here’s how we designed/built the tire rack on my trailer…

It holds two full sets, stays out of the wind and is super easy to load/unload.



Wow, that is really nice. I like it.


I built my tire rack using the front post pockets. Two 3.5" peices of channel iron slide into the pockets and keep the tires above the hood. The pockets on my trailer are right up by the corners though. The hole thing is held on by 3 padlocks. In back I build built two jack pads into the post pockets that I can drop down for loading and unloading. This helps a lot since I don’t have a dovetail I usually need to jack the front up to full height to clear the bottom of the car.


Cool setup Matt - very nice.