A User's Guide to
Buying an OpenTrailer
When the revered Dermot Healy gives advice, it's wise to listen. His words
on the subject of trailers were given on the forum but are repeated here
because (a) some readers may not have seen them (b) they're worth keeping
for longer than the auto delete period of the forum (c) they're characteristically
1. Single seaters are MUCH happier in closed trailers rather than open
2. Secondhand 'branded' open trailers are usually very poor value especially
if they are being sold on eBay, as they normally go for close to the price
of a new one...therefore…
3. If you can afford it, buy a new open trailer (Brian
James, PRG, Woodford)...then
you more or less get your money back when you sell it after 2-3 years.
4. Buy the widest trailer/largest trailer your budget allows...small cars
can go on big trailers but not vice versa so when you get your next car
(..which you should buy from me) it will fit on. Or if you go to sell
the trailer it will have a bigger market
5. Do not buy any of the 'option packs' or similar 'extras' from the trailer
manufacturers - they are poor value and the stuff can be bought cheaper/better
elsewhere ...but get the longest possible ramps
6. Tilt bed trailers may seem a great idea....but they are not. Heavier,
more complex, more expensive, worse to tow & the benefits for loading
are largely illusory.
7. Buy new trailers now (summer)..not March- April time when every one
else wants 'em
8. Manufacturers will do deals if you appear with the money and don’t
9. People who make excellent farm/horse/ implement trailers ...make race
car trailers which are nowhere near as good as their other kit.[Dermot
wrote something more acerbic but our legal department changed it.]
10. None of the leading manufacturers show the slightest real concern
about the quality of the products they produce.....just look inside their
nice shiny lighting clusters and you will see the level of contempt for
11. If your trailer shows any tendency to snake at any speed then either
the car is not correctly loaded or the tow bar height is incorrect.
12. With regard to secondhand trailer adverts the phrases - (a) brakes
need adjustment (b) brakes just overhauled or (c) no reference to brakes
at all.....all mean the same thing..ie brakes don't work....
And now even I am bored with the subject!
The editor adds:
I have always found two wheel trailers to be perfectly satisfactory
and they have the following advantages:
- They permit the trailer to be tilted for loading/unloading.
- They greatly assist manouvering if you have to park in tight spaces
- They have a natural tilt function that enables a trailer to accommodate
different tow bar heights.
- An open trailer usually elevates the race car to a reasonable height
for it to be worked on. I realise that this is of no use to someone
who has their car professionally maintained but for those of us with
bad joints who take spanners to the oily bits it is invaluable.
- An off the wall advantage of carrying a race car on an open trailer
is that it starts many interesting conversations. Some people even wake
you up to start them!
Douglas Mclay has written a superb
piece on towing on the main Mono site.
Coming next in a series on paddock kit: How to Waste
Money on an awning, by one who has.
The leading UK makes, in alphabetical
The editorial ensemble