Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Entegra Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-01-2022, 08:48 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
darjacob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 245
Challenges with a trailer

We decided to stop flat towing and start trailering our car. There are a number of reasons for our decision, and I'll list a few;

1) We trade cars every few years and I found myself only looking at cars that could be flat towed. Usually, we would settle for something we really didn't like that much. I know Jeeps are a favorite vehicle for towing, but we don't like them.
2) If we found a car to tow, it was the same old thing every time. Buy a baseplate, have it installed, get the taillights wired, set up some sort of braking system, update the tow bar every couple of years, etc.
3) When you flat tow, you're putting as many miles on the car as you are the RV.

That's why we decided to start trailering. As a bonus, there is plenty of room in the trailer to carry any extra stuff we might want to bring along for extended trips. Sometimes we find unique things that we'd like to buy while traveling but don't have room to carry it/them.

I began looking for the "right" trailer to pull. I looked at a lot and quickly realized that none of them fit my needs. First off, unless you're Twiggy (I'm dating myself here) you can't get out of the car once you load it. One dealer told me that I could mount a winch in the trailer and winch the car in. Another told me to open the hatch and crawl over the seats to get in and out. Another option that I thought was great was a driver's side escape door. The problem with those doors is that they're made for classic or muscle cars. Cars that don't have a frame around the window. The doors, all of them I looked at were too small to allow my BMW SUV door to open.

So I bought a trailer and backed it up to my little shop. I measured the floor to the bottom of my car door, then measured the floor to the top of the door and got out my 4 1/2 grinder and went to work. I can drive the car in and open the door and step out. Makes strapping down the tires easy too.

Here is a couple of photos of the job.

Click image for larger version

Name:	trailer1.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	348.4 KB
ID:	381839

I removed the plywood

Click image for larger version

Name:	trailer 2 (2).jpg
Views:	23
Size:	144.4 KB
ID:	381840

Cut the ribs out and then welded a rib across the top

Click image for larger version

Name:	trailer3.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	429.4 KB
ID:	381844

Went to work cutting the side out

Click image for larger version

Name:	trailer4.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	183.1 KB
ID:	381841

Lastly, I replaced the fender flare and added a folding step to the side to aid in getting out.

I talked to the manufacturer of the trailer when I purchased it. I asked if making a hole the size I needed would compromise the integrity of the structure. The engineer told me that it would have on effect on the carrying capacity. He said the side ribs are there just to hold up the roof. He said the trailer frame, springs, and tires carry all the weight.

So far we haven't had any issues finding RV resorts that can handle the full length of the RV and trailer. I'll give an update after we've used it for a while.

Everyone has their own preference for bringing their car along and I'm not promoting the use of a trailer. I just wanted to share the things I ran into after making our decision.
__________________
Fleetwood Terra, Airstream Land Yacht, Tiffen Pheaton, American Eagle, Gulf Stream Friendship, Beaver patriot Thunder, Forest River Charleston, "In-country" 1971-72
2015 Entegra Anthem 42RBQ
darjacob is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-01-2022, 08:56 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,596
Nice. Others may be interested in the specs of the trailer you chose to modify.
__________________
2020 Chevy Silverado 1500
Forest River Wildwood XLite 263BHXL
carybosse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 09:10 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
BayRunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by darjacob View Post
We decided to stop flat towing and start trailering our car. There are a number of reasons for our decision, and I'll list a few;

1) We trade cars every few years and I found myself only looking at cars that could be flat towed. Usually, we would settle for something we really didn't like that much. I know Jeeps are a favorite vehicle for towing, but we don't like them.
2) If we found a car to tow, it was the same old thing every time. Buy a baseplate, have it installed, get the taillights wired, set up some sort of braking system, update the tow bar every couple of years, etc.
3) When you flat tow, you're putting as many miles on the car as you are the RV.

That's why we decided to start trailering. As a bonus, there is plenty of room in the trailer to carry any extra stuff we might want to bring along for extended trips. Sometimes we find unique things that we'd like to buy while traveling but don't have room to carry it/them.

I began looking for the "right" trailer to pull. I looked at a lot and quickly realized that none of them fit my needs. First off, unless you're Twiggy (I'm dating myself here) you can't get out of the car once you load it. One dealer told me that I could mount a winch in the trailer and winch the car in. Another told me to open the hatch and crawl over the seats to get in and out. Another option that I thought was great was a driver's side escape door. The problem with those doors is that they're made for classic or muscle cars. Cars that don't have a frame around the window. The doors, all of them I looked at were too small to allow my BMW SUV door to open.

So I bought a trailer and backed it up to my little shop. I measured the floor to the bottom of my car door, then measured the floor to the top of the door and got out my 4 1/2 grinder and went to work. I can drive the car in and open the door and step out. Makes strapping down the tires easy too.

Here is a couple of photos of the job.

Attachment 381839

I removed the plywood

Attachment 381840

Cut the ribs out and then welded a rib across the top

Attachment 381844

Went to work cutting the side out

Attachment 381841

Lastly, I replaced the fender flare and added a folding step to the side to aid in getting out.

I talked to the manufacturer of the trailer when I purchased it. I asked if making a hole the size I needed would compromise the integrity of the structure. The engineer told me that it would have on effect on the carrying capacity. He said the side ribs are there just to hold up the roof. He said the trailer frame, springs, and tires carry all the weight.

So far we haven't had any issues finding RV resorts that can handle the full length of the RV and trailer. I'll give an update after we've used it for a while.

Everyone has their own preference for bringing their car along and I'm not promoting the use of a trailer. I just wanted to share the things I ran into after making our decision.
Nice work on the mod. This interest me for Iím in a similar situation. We currently do not have a Toad and are evaluating out options. The wife loves her Toyota Highlander Hybrid but it canít be flat towed. So we are debating getting yet another flat towable vehicle or a trailer for one of our existing. The concern about a trailer is that limits us to CG that have pull through spaces long enough for coach and trailer. Something for us to consider.
BayRunner is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 09:19 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,596
Maybe slightly off-topic, but for those of you who use a trailer to tow your vehicle, do you factor in to the equation having a vehicle that you tow in/on the trailer or dolly that can move the trailer around. For instance. if you are using a tow dolly, as opposed to a trailer, it is probably pretty easy to put a hitch on most vehicles that would be capable of jockeying the tow dolly around. Now, if you are doing something like shown by the OP in this project, your Mazda Miata probably isn't going to be able to jockey the trailer around.

Seems to me, if the vehicle hauled in the trailer could also haul the trailer, even if it is just an empty trailer and speeds are limited to park roads and parking lots, it would be helpful to dealing with situations that might arise.

It may be that the numbers just plain cannot work out: A trailer big enough to haul any vehicle just exceeds the capacity of the vehicle being hauled.
__________________
2020 Chevy Silverado 1500
Forest River Wildwood XLite 263BHXL
carybosse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 09:21 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
brobox's Avatar
 
Entegra Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: SW FL
Posts: 29,365
Nice mod without a doubt. As more and more cars become less towable this makes a great option.
__________________
Chuck in SW FL
Digital 2021 Cornerstone "B"
A "Digital" 2019 Cornerstone "B" Traded
A "Classic" 2014 Anthem 42 RBQ---Sold
brobox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 09:36 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Gary.Jones's Avatar


 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 10,951
Blog Entries: 1
Well, I solved the problem by deciding that I would have one car that was essentially for driving when we are at home (its "my" truck) and another car which is my wife's car to drive back and forth to the markets or to physician offices, but can be flat towed behind the coach, and forgot about her car being "new" every couple of years. So, we bought a new 2013 Honda CR-V in 2013 which was the next to last year that you could flat tow the CR-V and installed the equipment to flat tow the Honda successfully. We have flat towed the Honda for about 100,000 miles behind our Entegras .... of course engine off, tranny in neutral, plus Dee's need for a vehicle for her to get around in (she "likes" smaller vehicles and would not be happy in anything any larger than the CR-V when she is piloting the car). The car is 9 years old at this point and has been flat towed for about 100,000 miles.

The odometer shows that the car has ~ 70,000 miles on the odometer under its own power, which of course we use for sight-seeing when we are traveling in the Cornerstone and for her travel needs when we are at home. Her own mileage over almost 10 years probably boils down to 30,000 miles as she drives for her own needs and use. So, in my opinion, the Honda CR-V is still virtually new (~70,000 miles under power) and in the ~10 years that we have owned it, it has never been in the shop for anything except a couple of very small warranty items within the first year we owned the car handled under warranty which were "factory problems".

Now, neither one of us need to be driving a car that is constantly new. What matters to us is a car's reliability. We could have upgraded the car any time we wanted over that 10 years, but we have not had a need and Dee is happy with the car that she has. What she would not tolerate is a car that gives her problems or in undependable...... The CR-V with ~ 70,000 miles under power fills that need. So, no screwing around with a trailer, no need to find RV parks that can handle my overall length, a perfectly reliable car that can be disconnected from my towbar and coach in three or four minutes..... I can't imagine why I would want something else.

Just different ways of solving the same problem.... If and when the Honda becomes a problem, then a change will be made to something that satisfies all the various needs. But a huge trailer behind the Cornerstone is not likely ever going to be considered the right solution. I've considered that solution probably 50 times and discarded it each time.

Gary
__________________
Gary and Dee, Zowie and Bowie (traveling cat sibs)
2019 Cornerstone 45B, X15-605hp, Imperial, Spartan K3,
2013 Honda CR-V toad, Demco Excali-Bar II,
Demco Baseplate, Demco Toad Light system, 73 de W5FI
Gary.Jones is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 09:56 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
BayRunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post
Well, I solved the problem by deciding that I would have one car that was essentially for driving when we are at home (its "my" truck) and another car which is my wife's car to drive back and forth to the markets or to physician offices, but can be flat towed behind the coach, and forgot about her car being "new" every couple of years. So, we bought a new 2013 Honda CR-V in 2013 which was the next to last year that you could flat tow the CR-V and installed the equipment to flat tow the Honda successfully. We have flat towed the Honda for about 100,000 miles behind our Entegras .... of course engine off, tranny in neutral, plus Dee's need for a vehicle for her to get around in (she "likes" smaller vehicles and would not be happy in anything any larger than the CR-V when she is piloting the car). The car is 9 years old at this point and has been flat towed for about 100,000 miles.

The odometer shows that the car has ~ 70,000 miles on the odometer under its own power, which of course we use for sight-seeing when we are traveling in the Cornerstone and for her travel needs when we are at home. Her own mileage over almost 10 years probably boils down to 30,000 miles as she drives for her own needs and use. So, in my opinion, the Honda CR-V is still virtually new (~70,000 miles under power) and in the ~10 years that we have owned it, it has never been in the shop for anything except a couple of very small warranty items within the first year we owned the car handled under warranty which were "factory problems".

Now, neither one of us need to be driving a car that is constantly new. What matters to us is a car's reliability. We could have upgraded the car any time we wanted over that 10 years, but we have not had a need and Dee is happy with the car that she has. What she would not tolerate is a car that gives her problems or in undependable...... The CR-V with ~ 70,000 miles under power fills that need. So, no screwing around with a trailer, no need to find RV parks that can handle my overall length, a perfectly reliable car that can be disconnected from my towbar and coach in three or four minutes..... I can't imagine why I would want something else.

Just different ways of solving the same problem.... If and when the Honda becomes a problem, then a change will be made to something that satisfies all the various needs. But a huge trailer behind the Cornerstone is not likely ever going to be considered the right solution. I've considered that solution probably 50 times and discarded it each time.

Gary
Your point is valid. We have owned a CRV (not towing) and Iíve also had a Ridgeline that went 279k miles. However, even though they are good, the idea of getting a 10 year old car for cross country travel just does not sit well with me. Statistically speaking, a newer ďreliableĒ vehicle is much more appealing. The odds of a 10+ year old vehicle needing service is significantly higher and just donít want the potential to have to deal with it while on the road.
BayRunner is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 10:32 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
darjacob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary.Jones View Post

The odometer shows that the car has ~ 70,000 miles on the odometer under its own power, which of course we use for sight-seeing when we are traveling in the Cornerstone and for her travel needs when we are at home. Her own mileage over almost 10 years probably boils down to 30,000 miles as she drives for her own needs and use. So, in my opinion, the Honda CR-V is still virtually new (~70,000 miles under power) and in the ~10 years that we have owned it, it has never been in the shop for anything except a couple of very small warranty items within the first year we owned the car handled under warranty which were "factory problems".

Gary
Your analysis is not entirely true. The car may show 70K miles but in reality, it has that plus all the miles behind your RV. Motors and transmissions usually outlast the car. You have to consider all the other suspension components that get wear and tear while being towed behind your RV. Could you in good conscience sell that car to someone and tell them it's only got 70k miles on it? I couldn't.
__________________
Fleetwood Terra, Airstream Land Yacht, Tiffen Pheaton, American Eagle, Gulf Stream Friendship, Beaver patriot Thunder, Forest River Charleston, "In-country" 1971-72
2015 Entegra Anthem 42RBQ
darjacob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 10:35 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
darjacob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by carybosse View Post
Nice. Others may be interested in the specs of the trailer you chose to modify.
I don't think the make is very important, they all are basically the same. But I bought a 8.5W 20'L and 10,000# capacity.
__________________
Fleetwood Terra, Airstream Land Yacht, Tiffen Pheaton, American Eagle, Gulf Stream Friendship, Beaver patriot Thunder, Forest River Charleston, "In-country" 1971-72
2015 Entegra Anthem 42RBQ
darjacob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 11:11 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Flyer15015's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: On the continental divide
Posts: 1,507
OP,
Nice job.
I did the same thing a couple of years ago for our classic car (1940 Buick LTD).
I had a 24' "V" nosed trailer, so I put the door a bit forward compared to yours.
I also put in a winch and guide rails 2 x 2" so I can load the car remotely.
You would be surprised what you can do with a 4' grinder and a MIG.

I also strengthened my hitch with 2 x 2 x 1/4" angle and grd 8 bolts to accommodate pulling an 8K# load.

Mike in Colorado
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	483.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	251.5 KB
ID:	381864   Click image for larger version

Name:	069.jpg
Views:	10
Size:	209.1 KB
ID:	381865  

Click image for larger version

Name:	065.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	384.5 KB
ID:	381866   Click image for larger version

Name:	006.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	288.4 KB
ID:	381867  

__________________
2004 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37c, 8.1 gasser, (Jezebel) Ultra RV ECM / TCM and rear track bar, PPE deep Tx pan, Bilstein's, Sailun's & Sumo's all round, pushed by a 2002 Grand Caravan, on a Master Tow Dolly.
Flyer15015 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 12:59 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Rob_M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Posts: 2,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by carybosse View Post
Maybe slightly off-topic, but for those of you who use a trailer to tow your vehicle, do you factor in to the equation having a vehicle that you tow in/on the trailer or dolly that can move the trailer around. For instance. if you are using a tow dolly, as opposed to a trailer, it is probably pretty easy to put a hitch on most vehicles that would be capable of jockeying the tow dolly around. Now, if you are doing something like shown by the OP in this project, your Mazda Miata probably isn't going to be able to jockey the trailer around.



Seems to me, if the vehicle hauled in the trailer could also haul the trailer, even if it is just an empty trailer and speeds are limited to park roads and parking lots, it would be helpful to dealing with situations that might arise.



It may be that the numbers just plain cannot work out: A trailer big enough to haul any vehicle just exceeds the capacity of the vehicle being hauled.

I have both a golf cart trailer that I can move with the golf cart, and side-by-side trailer that I can move with the side by side. Neither is enclosed which would probably make them too heavy to move with the vehicle they carry.
A small car wonít be able to move an enclosed trailer around, but a small SUV probably can, depending on tongue weight.
__________________
2002 American Tradition 40'
Cummins 8.3, Banks 431hp, 1260 tq
Canyon Lake, TX
Rob_M is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 02:17 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 204
Nice job on the mod! Seems to be a common challenge with enclosed trailers.

Our solution was a v nose hybrid trailer:
Click image for larger version

Name:	22F836E2-B9F2-40A5-A69A-1222A1D0FC60.jpeg
Views:	18
Size:	848.1 KB
ID:	381891

Fully enclosed would be nice.
MemByTheMile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 02:51 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,596
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_M View Post
I have both a golf cart trailer that I can move with the golf cart, and side-by-side trailer that I can move with the side by side. Neither is enclosed which would probably make them too heavy to move with the vehicle they carry.
A small car wonít be able to move an enclosed trailer around, but a small SUV probably can, depending on tongue weight.
I kind of wonder if a trailer large enough to haul the vehicle will be stout enough to tow the trailer. I can see that being a major issue in some cases. However, it also seems like it might make dealing with the trailer at some campgrounds easier.

I don't know the weight differences, but could see where an enclosed trailer might be too heavy to work my idea, but the open trailer would be a better option in that case.
__________________
2020 Chevy Silverado 1500
Forest River Wildwood XLite 263BHXL
carybosse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2022, 02:54 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
darjacob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyer15015 View Post
OP,
Nice job.
I did the same thing a couple of years ago for our classic car (1940 Buick LTD).
I had a 24' "V" nosed trailer, so I put the door a bit forward compared to yours.

Mike in Colorado
I really like your door. My trailer is a 20' so I had to put the door a little further back. It still loads right though.
__________________
Fleetwood Terra, Airstream Land Yacht, Tiffen Pheaton, American Eagle, Gulf Stream Friendship, Beaver patriot Thunder, Forest River Charleston, "In-country" 1971-72
2015 Entegra Anthem 42RBQ
darjacob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
trailer



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Battery Challenges EMagidon National RV Owner's Forum 9 07-21-2008 08:14 PM
Personality Challenges Around The Christmas Holiday Every Miles A Memory Just Conversation 4 12-23-2007 05:21 PM
Electric Challenges JudyandJim Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 14 09-01-2006 03:33 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.