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Old 10-09-2012, 06:58 AM   #1
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Location: Tolland, MA/Narragansett, RI
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Going to Buy an Aluminum Open Trailer

I want the option of being able to use several different cars depending on which season and where I go so a flat open trailer will work best for my needs. Dual axle and 7000 GVW will be plenty.

I have narrowed my search to Aluma and Cargo-Mate. Both are comparable in price. The Cargo-Mate has a beaver tail sloping down from the flat deck thus reducing the sharp angle from the ramps to the deck which I like a lot but it has leaf spring suspension. In my experience with salt water boat trailers leaf springs rust, squeek, the rubber bushings squish out and are heavy.

The Aluma just has the flat deck, no sloping beaver tail but torsion suspension which I prefer over leaf springs. Aluma can make me one with the BT but will take a couple months.

I like the idea of torsion bars. They are light and simple. Any thoughts from you folks regarding torsion bar suspension on a trailer? As a "yute" I recall working on Plymouths that had torsion suspension. If one side sagged you could turn a bolt and lift that side back up. Pretty convenient.

I will be buying in the next couple of weeks.


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Old 10-09-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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I have an enclosed dual axel trailer with torsion axels for six years and love them, never had a problem.

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2007 43.5' Monaco Dynasty Palace III (All Electric)
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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I am thoroughly impressed by the quality of the Aluma trailers. It would definitely be on my short list.

I avoid any trailers with a leaf spring suspension.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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A trailer certainly eliminates any issues regarding the towed vehicle and aluminum certainly reduces the weight. A drop axle is nice because it lowers the deck and makes it easier to load low vehicles and, it gets the weight nice and low. Regardless of which style you go with, depending on the vehicle being towed you may need to build up the wheel locations to make ingress and egress easier. The problem is opening the doors. If the vehicle is low, the doors may hit the trailer fenders making it difficult to get in or out. Easy fix!

Good luck on your purchase and if you later on decide the trailer is too much bother, good used car haulers are always in demand with the race crowd.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:49 PM   #5
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Also, you might take a look at the Aluma 7816 or 8218. The whole bed tilts so no need for ramps or a beaver tail. It is the one I was considering before I ended up with a dolly. My local dealer had the 7816 available for $4800.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:16 PM   #6
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I have had a variety of trailers over the years...
I recommend you find a way to get both, Torsion suspension and a beavertail rear end.
The tilt trailer suggested might also work well, I have only used those for snowmobiles, never had one for a full size car.

Torsion will give you a much smoother ride and will likely allow your deck height to be lower.

The beavertail will create a smooth transition if you load anything low to the ground. We used it for our BMW 3 series.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:49 AM   #7
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I have custom ordered a 8216 aluma open trailer. It will have the beaver tail and the front rock guard. Also front storage box. Upgrade to 15 inch tires with aluminum wheels with spare tire and wheel mounted on side. Also upgraded to surge brakes and extra stake pockets a 8 tie down rings on the deck. Also a bi fold full width ramp. This is a tandem axle rig with 2 3500 pound torsen ride axles. I have been hauling a smart car on a 4000 pound 22 foot steel car trailer. Just traded the smart on a new 4X4 escape and put it on the heavy steel trailer. The specs say my aluma trailer will weigh 1200 pounds. It has a build date of November first. With the surge brakes I can pull the trailer with any vehicle and always have brakes. I can back up the trailer and I can also haul my jeep wrangler if I so desire. No mods to the toads at all and can haul any toad I want. This trailer will have full led lighting also with 2 5/16 hitch size. The deck is 82 inches wide and 16 feet long. The doors cleared the fenders on my steel trailer, both smart and escape buy a inch. Sure hope they clear the new trailer or it will be very hard to get in and out. I know the wrangler doors will clear as they are very high.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:27 AM   #8
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How tall is your storage box? I have a Featherlite trailer with a custom storage box. The box height obscures the motorhome tail lights, so I added lights on the storage box for additional visibility to those behind. Note, I have two spare tires. If a trailer tire fails, and you don't catch it immediately, the other tire on that side will be damaged.
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George Schweikle Lexington, KY
1999 Safari TREK 2830, FMCA 190830, Safari International chapter
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:50 AM   #9
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I believe the storage box wil be triangle shape and set on the tounge in front of the rock guard. The rock guard will be 24 inches high. Don't really know how high the storage box will be as I have never seen a trailer like the one I have ordered. My tail lights sit high and wide on the MH so I would think you could still see them, but who knows as I am going into this blind as I ordered this from the options on their web site with a dealer on the phone. Dealer is 200 miles away from me and when I was there once, they had no trailers with rock guards or storage boxes. Looks like a nice rig you got there. I believe my spare wil be in front of the fender on the passenger side. They say with the torsion set up you can run with only one tire on a side, as it is indepedent of the other axle and you could just remove the flat tire and limp in on the other one. Have never tried this on one. Just sold a 24 enclosed steel trailer with this setup and it had no spare and they told me I didn't need one. I never had a flat and traded it on the new MH so I can't say for sure.

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