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Just bought my first trailer and.....

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Old 10-11-2017, 09:59 PM
  #1
dgrobs
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Default Just bought my first trailer and.....

...can't wait to trailer my 2014 Cayman S to NJMP Lightning this weekend. (Especially after watching all the Lightning videos you awesome folks posted for me in the other thread).

I bought a 2005 Trailex CT 7451 SB. It's an open trailer that fits my 981S perfectly.

I am very nervous about trailering it for the first time.

That being said:

I had a racing buddy come over today and help me with the ins and outs of getting the car onto the trailer, the tie down straps, the locks, the ramps, etc.

I put the car on the trailer then took it off the trailer and then put it back on the trailer. It's gonna take a bit more practice, but I did finally understand how to get the car on and off the trailer and secure it tightly once on the trailer for good.

Then, I just spent 2 hours in the Home Depot parking lot with the car on the trailer practicing.

Practiced reversing into a parking spot, slaloming the light posts (slowly), more reversing and figuring out which way the trailer turns when in reverse, some more slaloming, some braking (both gradually and a bit harder), and more reversing and then was told by Home Depot manager to leave the parking lot. (Not sure why because it was pretty empty). I did get in 2 hours there first though.

Anyway, I've figured out that I want to be in reverse as little as possible. I did finally get it into a tight parking spot in reverse, but it took a few tries. I guess the more I do it, the better I will get at it. Still not something I want to be doing too much. (Reversing that is).

When I get to the track Thursday night to unload, I will pretty much just pull straight into a spot and make sure I have room to get out straight at the end of the weekend without being in reverse too much (if at all). I am going to need a lot more practice at reversing, that's for sure.

Since you folks have been so helpful before with my previous newbie type questions, I was thinking maybe you all could give me some trailering advice, ya know, the little things, and anything else that might help a first timer with his "new to him" trailer. (Highway speeds, distance between other cars, top speed to tow at, how much additional braking room needed at any speed, trailer maintenance, the emergency brake on the car while it is being towed, etc.)

Again, it is an open Trailex CT 7451 SB (surge brakes) and I have never trailered a car before.

My tow vehicle (for now) is an Acura MDX that can tow up to 5000 lbs with the new trans cooler I just put on it.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice for this trailering newbie...
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:22 PM
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two pieces of advice - (1) never ever ever load or unload car from trailer with it unhitched from the tow vehicle (2) when reversing, the trailer will go whichever direction the bottom of the steering wheel is going.

You'll want a better tow vehicle eventually. The MDX will struggle mightily on hills.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Thundermoose View Post
two pieces of advice - (1) never ever ever load or unload car from trailer with it unhitched from the tow vehicle (2) when reversing, the trailer will go whichever direction the bottom of the steering wheel is going.

You'll want a better tow vehicle eventually. The MDX will struggle mightily on hills.
1). Yes, I was told about always having the trailer hooked up before putting the car on or off. More common sense than anything else I think (ya know, physics and all). That's great advice and seems to be the number one thing I have been told by the limited number of people I've spoken to so far. Thanks for confirming.

2). Yes again, the MDX is not the best vehicle to tow with, but for now, that's what I have. The new Trans Cooler I just put on brought the towing capacity from 3500 to 5000 lbs.

My wife will only let me go so far, and she has let me go pretty far already with the track stuff. (A good wife is key to doing as many track days as I have been doing lately). Eventually, I will upgrade the tow vehicle, but maybe I'll upgrade the trailer at the same time (something enclosed perhaps?). That's well down the road though. As much as I love tracking the Porsches, I love my wife and family more and if I bought a new tow vehicle now, well, let's just say I might have to fight for track days. I'm gonna work with what I have for now. Again, great advice. Thank you.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:07 AM
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Congrats for taking the time to get comfortable with towing a trailer. My thought every time I leave the track pulling my trailer is "now for the most dangerous part of the weekend"... Keep a massive amount of distance between you and the vehicle you're following and be smart about who you're behind. It's generally pretty easy to determine who around you is paying attention and who is not. The ones that are not are the people that have no idea you are towing something nor do they know your inability to make quick moves or stops and probably don't care. More than likely your speed will determined for you, back when I had a less than ideal tow vehicle and an open trailer my sweet spot was determined by how much sway I was comfortable with.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:21 AM
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Develop a routine loading and unloading.

Don't let anyone help.

Keep a spare set of trailer keys in the tow vehicle glove box.

Don't forget the track car keys.

Don't let anyone help.

Use a checklist.

Check everything before you pull out, if you find something wrong, start over from the beginning of your checklist.

Leave extra space, figure out where people are in your mirrors when it is safe to merge. You're about to have a new appreciation for truck drivers.

And for God's sake, whatever you do,don't let anyone help.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:31 AM
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Frank 993 C4S
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Originally Posted by DTMiller
Develop a routine loading and unloading.

Don't let anyone help.

Keep a spare set of trailer keys in the tow vehicle glove box.

Don't forget the track car keys.

Don't let anyone help.

Use a checklist.

Check everything before you pull out, if you find something wrong, start over from the beginning of your checklist.

Leave extra space, figure out where people are in your mirrors when it is safe to merge. You're about to have a new appreciation for truck drivers.

And for God's sake, whatever you do,don't let anyone help.
^^^^ This plus don't let anyone help you load or unload because something really stupid will happen.

Also: As soon as you hit the road with your trailer, everybody around you will turn into an idiot.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:42 AM
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Everybody has at least one trailer story. If they don’t, they’re lying.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Frank 993 C4S View Post
^^^^ This plus don't let anyone help you load or unload because something really stupid will happen.

Also: As soon as you hit the road with your trailer, everybody around you will turn into an idiot.
+1 - and don't let anyone talk to you...it's easy to get distracted and make a mistake.

Also, another tip (ask me why I'm saying this) is to have a second set of keys for the car and trailer locks on you.

I use a winch to load/unload because it's very easy to mess up loading onto the high deck of a Trailex, especially if you have a wide car like an RS.

You'll start to appreciate what truck drivers deal with. The idiots around you will give you even less space and margin to brake.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DTMiller View Post

Don't let anyone help.

Don't let anyone help.

And for God's sake, whatever you do,don't let anyone help.
I like these tips.

And I will add buy a winch sooner rather than later. I winch totally take the stress out of loading and unloading. It makes the job much safer with less potential damage to your car. And in case your car dies at the track it is much easier to get it on the trailer to go home.

Oh...and Don't let anyone help!
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:32 AM
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Edward
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"Don't let anyone help" ... I've never even had anyone ask to help!!! LOL!!!

But yeah, develop a routing (write a list at first and follow it) and be methodical. Talk to yourself; yeah, aloud! FWIW, my brother was my track-rat buddy who came as my bud and timer but never drove. Loading/unload method was all mine but he knew the routine down pat. This is essential if you want to avoid damage to car, trailer, and most importantly your body parts.

BTW, loved my trailex with surge brakes ...a killer trailer that when I sold it I got the same for it as when I bought it...amazing units these. Enjoy!

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Old 10-12-2017, 01:45 AM
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Lots of great advice here, all of which I agree with. One thing I will say is you might get comfortable before you bump into inclement weather, so be aware of that, and prepare to adjust at that time.

Last time I had a trailer was when I was back home in Florida. Trailered many cars to Sebring and back. Worst experience was in a rain storm on the way back with our 89 930 on the trailer going over the skyway bridge. Very high winds and on the down-incline portion the car+trailer was pushing around my mountaineer like you wouldn't believe. Didn't like that experience. Later, same mountaineer, dragged a 951 up here to NoVa, rained the whole time. Had a few dodgy experiences with semi aqua-planing.

So, basically, be careful. You will love the trailer experience no doubt!
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:50 AM
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1. Monitor pressures and the condition of your trailer tires very closely. They will dry rot, crack, split, and bubble... and don’t forget the infamous tread separation in the middle of BFE.

2. Spare tire

3. Window panels for inclement weather (race cars).

4. Start looking for enclosed unit and better equipped tow vehicle now LOL.

“I didn’t even know it was back there...”

Sure, until you lose a tire, or that 18 wheeler blow by induces sway, or that guy cuts in front of you forcing an evasive maneuver... suddenly equalizers and tow overkill make sense.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:58 AM
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Designate one place that you will always keep all your keys (truck, trailer, track car) and never deviate from that plan. And never make that place the tailgate....
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:58 AM
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Over/under is 18 months before you get an enclosed trailer.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:16 AM
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Long list of things to not do here.

https://rennlist.com/forums/racing-a...and-traps.html

Last edited by mglobe; 10-12-2017 at 10:46 AM.
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