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  1. ARP

    ARP ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Just polling the good readership to see what the consensus is.
    I'm considering a small enclosed trailer to pull behind my minivan. I'm looking at 5 x 8 enclosed with 15" wheels.
    I'd like to know what you think about V-nose vs. flat faced trailers. I would think a v-nose would cut the wind better but how much difference could it really make?
    So, what say you? Any experiences?
  2. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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  3. TerribleTed

    TerribleTed Limited User

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    After a couple years of using a 5X8 flat nose with inside dimensions of 96 L 56 W 65 H, here is what I've learned

    - V nose trailers carry premium prices, as do side doors, rear ramps, torsion axles and 16" stud spacing in the walls
    - A 5X8 hauls two bikes very nicely and can hold three facing forward if the bikes front wheels are wedged in the front corners
    - For three bikes, I think a 5X8 V nose would carry them very easily because the center bikes front wheel can go into the V staggering the bikes
    - no matter how many bikes your trailer accomodates, it will always be one less than the number of friends you have with dirt bikes
    - I'm not sure how a V nose affects mileage, but a tall trailer will definitely use more gas.
    - 5 feet of interior height is enough, 5.5 is better and anything taller than 6 feet extends well above the height of the tow vehicle and uses gas.
    - trailers with the box height less than six feet tall will fit into an average garage
    - torsion type axles ride smoother than leaf springs and leave the trailer floor lower for loading
    - white trailers stay much cooler inside than black ones which is good when it's also your change room
    - remember to turn the gas off on your bike before trailing
    - I prefer two swinging doors on the back because they're easy to open at a gas station and in tight quarters when a ramp type would be cumbersome
    - A side door increases the trailers price but well worth the cost
    - LED lighting is far superior to bulb type on a trailer
    - An enclosed trailer parked at a motel with your bikes inside makes it easier to sleep well
    - vents, interior lights and tongue jacks are desireable options
  4. dougwi

    dougwi Limited User

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    I would add that Etrack is GREAT. I have a strip at 15" off the floor and 50". The 50" strip supports a shelf in the front corner which is great for gear and spares. If I wanted I could build a deck above the bikes but have never needed to. I have a piece of unistrut that serves as wheel chokes that locks into the etrack at 15". (you can buy etrack clips that hold a 2x4, I slip unistrut into it and it works well) I have 3/8 ply walls which is nice when securing things to the side walls.
    I have a 6' high unit and the previous poster is right, height cost in fuel. It is great for changing in and for storage, but even empty there is a lot of wind resistance even with the Vnose. I find that these trailers are a lot for mini vans. (I have a Montana) You can pull but you have to be patient on the drive and be prepared to watch the fuel guage drop as you drive.
    Don't get me wrong, covered trailers are great. All your gear can simply live in it ready to go and everything is safe as you travel..... But my van really likes hauling my landscape trailer better...

    Doug
  5. TerribleTed

    TerribleTed Limited User

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    You're right about the E track Doug. Princess Auto sells it in various lengths and priced well. On my own trailer, I've mounted the wheel chocks and tie-downs on a sheet of 3/4" 4X8 plywood. This way I can slide out the plywood and use the trailer for other purposes.
  6. michel mondou

    michel mondou ODSC President

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    Probably not much difference: the front of the trailer is shielded by the tow vehicle. A lot of the drag is genereted by the flat trailing edge of the enclosed trailer. Ideally, the rear would be shaped like a bombshell to provide smooth exit airflow. But I've heard that the "V" part of the trailer is extra strorage room good for storing gear.

    Michel
  7. ARP

    ARP ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Great stuff guys, thanks.
    Keep the comments coming.

    P.S. Randy, you and I are dealing with different budgets.
  8. Wow Signal

    Wow Signal Limited User

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    Some risks are reduced, like vandalism or the theft of individual parts like a damper, but I think you're equally likely to have your entire bike stolen whether it's enclosed or not.

    When they're not in use, an open trailer is actually less appealling to a thief, because clearly it's empty. He won't know your enclosed trailer is empty until he's forced his way in ($$$). And I wouldn't leave it unlocked for fear of kids' safety.
  9. Randy_K

    Randy_K Limited User

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    I think a nicely fitted one was around the 5G mark. Not sure what a plain trailer would cost. When you look at rides like the Maz or Algonquin and factor in the cost of a place to sleep , its not a bad deal IMHO.

    As for different budgets you are right , i cant afford one right now and you are looking. I sure wish i was more like you Alex. Id love a RIM job :D
  10. Singletrack

    Singletrack ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Re: Trailers - V nose vs. flat - sizes??

    OK, so let's hear about optimum size.

    I tend to think 5x10 would be optimum - 3 bikes fit, plus 3' left at rear of trailer for gearbags, canopy etc.?
    Or is a 5x8 V-nose just as good?
    But is it worth going to 6' wide?
  11. Husaberger

    Husaberger Limited User

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    +1... I got the Vnose and fit a nice Stanley 6' tall tool chest/cabinet up front. There is no difference in drag...drag is about the exit as much as the front. Note...this thing is like pulling a parachute and mileage is horrific...but once you get there, there's nothing like a mobile garage with extra everthing. Mine is a 6x12 v nose with barn doors....love it! And get the LED lighting all around. Never replace a bulb again.
  12. Singletrack

    Singletrack ODSC-OFTR Member

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    I just got a new to me (used) 5x10 x 5.5' high, flat-front trailer. :D Pulled by Mid-size 4WD SUV with 3.7l V6 engine.

    1 Hr drive to pick it up - no trailer I averaged 11.7 l/100Km (city driving + highway, avg. speed 100 on 2 lane hwy and 120 kph on 4oo series)

    Pulling trailer - after 1 hr drive home, plus another 1.5 hrs combined city/hwy round trip next day my avg. fuel consumption was 14.7 l/100Km
    (Typical speeds 80-90 kph on 2 lane road, 100 kph on 400 series highway)

    Bottom line - about 25% greater fuel consumption pulling trailer, albeit at slower speeds. Not as bad as I feared. But previous rental showed headwind is a killer.
  13. ecarnell

    ecarnell ODSC-OFTR Member

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    Congrats onthe new trailer! I wish I had somewhere to store an enclosed one (have a dinky 4X8 folding trailer that gets stored up against the wall in the garage).


    Just wanted to compare mileage pulling a trailer with a smaller 4 cyclinder SUV (2010 Ford Escape - 2.5L 5spd manual).

    I just did a round trip pulling a 2 wide snowmbile trailer (open deck - with just a nose cone - 104" - borrowed from a friend) from Kincardine to Lewiston and back with two used snowmobiles (2011 600 etec Renegade and a 2011 1200 GSX (long track 4 stroke) - only 230 and 202 miles on them.....).
    Normally my little SUV gets around 29.5-30 US MPG around here in SW ontario, and on a run down to Lewiston it would surely do 30 MPG (36IMPG)/7.85 L/100km empty pulling nothing.

    On the way down pulling the big empty trailer it was 22.2 MPG /10.6L/100km - which is what I would pull with just a single sled on my small trailer - was getting worried what it would be full on the wayhome.... Reset for the way back and I ended up at 20.4 MPG(24IMPG) / 11.53L/100km with two Long track sleds - not bad for a little four banger!

    The 5 spd manual that I have in it helped I think. Cruised at 85-105km/hr both ways - usually 5-10km./hr over.The only "think-I-can" part was on the way home (fully loaded) going upthe big hill on hwy 6 from the QEW/Hamilton - had to push her down to third to just maintain 85 km/hr going up.I'm sure in the winter with winter fuel, winter tires, gear and another guy in the truck it would be down another 10-15% - but still wasn't bad IMO.
    No need for a bigger V6 or V8 and giving my money away to the oil companies (they get enough at $1.30/L)!
    Eric
  14. gybeman

    gybeman Limited User

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    My experience towing an enclosed trailer with a Suzuki 2.7L (4sp) had similar results. Horrid gas mileage in head winds, hills and engine screaming trying to maintain 80kph on the bigger hills. A newer 5sp would be better, but on the other hand, my current 4.4L V8 (6sp with manual override) is so much nicer I'll never tow a big box with a V6 again. The 8 can maintain 100+kph up the biggest hills and still be able to accelerate without raising a sweat in 5th or even 4th at less than 3000rpm if its really loaded, and gets the same or better gas mileage as the V6 without having to take it over 2000rpm most of the time. The bigger the hills, the better the gas mileage difference.
    Unless its an unusually torquey V6, most are useless for towing with max torque somewhere in the 4800rpm range.

    Edited.... 2.7L !
  15. Husaberger

    Husaberger Limited User

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    For my 12 foot v nose, I get 26 litres per 100km (yes, that is correct). I pull with a 2002 Lexus RX300 with a 3.0 V6 with 220 HP and 220 torque. The problem is that at 90km/h, I'm in highest gear but at 110km/h, it needs to drop a gear for torque which puts me into the 4000rpm range and the engine is screaming - hence the mileage. At 3000rpm I can get about 18l per 100km.

    From my hours and hours of research, a fantastic towing vehicle is the 2007/8 Grand Cherokee with the 3.0 Mercedes CRD Diesel engine. Nearly 400 ft lbs of torque with 7000 lb towing capacity. Not bad for a 6 cycl!!!
  16. gybeman

    gybeman Limited User

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    Yep, a 6cyl diesel is the best choice. But has the Jeep sorted out the rest of the vehicle that has a history of horrendous fit,finish,quality ? (aka Chrysler)
    I just realized I said 3.7L V6 in my previous post, and it should have read 2.7L. (fixed) You are in the save boat with your 3.0 (no low end torque). Is it only a 4sp? I would have thought it would be a 5. But if it doesn't have a manual mode or gear hold feature it probably drops down 2 gears when you only want 1.
    When my V8 is fully loaded I use 5th gear mainly, and only 6th when its downhill, totally flat, or no wind. Being in manual mode does a lot better than letting the computer do the work and 5th at 100kph is only 2k rpm. (6th is 1700rpm)
    Came back from up north yesterday loaded with bike, camp gear, 1/2 a face cord of heavy fresh cut firewood, and no wind. 13.2l/100km, but it goes up to 15L in the US mountains, which is still better than a friends new Ford dual turbo EGO (haha), ECO Boost V6 and the same load.
  17. 3BeeJay3

    3BeeJay3 ODSC Past President

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    Shawn- I'd suggest looking at leaving the big tool box at home & just carrying a small box with the tools that fit your bike(s). That 6ft tall box loaded with tools, is probably adding 500lbs or more, of un-necessary weight in your trailer, which is a big contributing factor in the bad fuel mileage you're getting.
    Yeah it could come in handy, but how often do you really need it?

    Personally, I just keep a small Princess Auto toolbag in the truck filled with a few basic items, spare parts & sundry items such as duct tape, wire ties, bug spray etc., along with socket set and whatever is in my fanny pack. Haven't needed anything more than that in the last 5 years for day trips.
    When I go away for a few days to places like Mazinaw, where infrastructure is lacking, then I carry a bunch more stuff.
  18. gybeman

    gybeman Limited User

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    Holy crap, if I take a toolbox at all its only a 4or5 drawer one and I keep it over the axle . A 6' one up front would add at least 200lbs to your tongue weight which for your vehicle is probably only about 300lbs max.
  19. ScottyR

    ScottyR Limited User

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    I just sold my 6x12 flat nose trailer and need to replace it ASAP. I am seriously thinking about getting a 5x8 aluminum trailer with a v-nose and side door. I know I will miss the extra room that the 6x12 footer gives but my wallet cant handle the gas that I am using pulling that parachute of a trailer around. My Dakota with a 4.7V8 drops down to 10-12mpg real fast pulling the trailer, especially on the 401.

    Will 2 bikes fit in a 5x8 comfortably? Most times I am just carrying 1 bike and all my crap. The 6x12 needs some motor to pull it around and I am hoping that if I get a smaller trailer I can pull it with my wifes small SUV.
  20. Husaberger

    Husaberger Limited User

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    I got my enclosed trailer from Tottenham trailers and prices were very reasonable. But the more I think about it, enclosed trailers are not useful for hauling bikes....just good for hiding stuff inside (which is now what I use mine for). Instead of $40 in gas to drive somewhere in gas, I was using $80. I have a 4x8 flat garden trailer for hauling the bike (the one that now doesn't get used either). Oh woe is me.