View Full Version : Enclosed car hauler trailer

04-07-2010, 01:16 PM
As some of you may recall from past conversations, I intend to acquire an enclosed trailer to haul our 2002 T-Bird around the country when we retire in 18 months. In addition to the car we have a lot of bikes....a mountain bike, two road bikes, a tandem, and two tadpole trikes.....that we would like to carry around with us, too. Finally, I would like to have enough room to create a work bench area in the front where I can keep my tools, and work on the bikes. So, I'm looking for a 24-26' trailer which is 8 to 8.5 feet wide.

I am looking at a 26' one on Craigslist in the Phoenix area that I am waiting to hear back on....not sure if it is still for sale. I like this one because it has 2 side entry doors near the front, as well as a 4X4 cargo door about midway back on the drivers side.....lots of access points (http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/cto/1675951383.html). Anyway, if any of you come across a similar beast as this in the $4-5,000 range let me know. Obviously, need to have 9,000-11,000GVW capacity.

** 7:30am PST - Update: Just saw the Phoenix Craigslist one on Ebay, so that answers the question "Is it still for sale?"

04-07-2010, 03:26 PM

let me know if you want me to go look at it for you.


04-07-2010, 03:42 PM
Thank you for offering.....I may ask. Waiting for pix of interior.

04-09-2010, 02:08 PM
It turned out that Tom's wife, Darlene, was visiting her daughter yesterday, not too far from where the trailer was. She stopped there on the way home and inspected the trailer, and took some pictures of the interior, now that it has been emptied. It turns out the trailer exterior length is really 28', not 26', and then there is the additional 4' feet for the tongue, making the total length 32'. That combined with my 36' Newell would put me at 68' total length.....3' longer than is allowed in many states. And, frankly, really a lot longer than I wanted. What I really need is something between 20' and 24'. When we towed the 'Bird down to Austin a year ago it was on a 24' flatbed trailer (really 29' total with tongue putting us right at 65') and that was right at the edge of what I felt comfortable with, and frankly what would fit in many pull throughs at RV parks on the trip. In fact, in Las Vegas at the CircusCircus KOA they had to move us twice because the first two spots they tried to put us in weren't long enough.

Thank you Tom and Darlene for your help in making this decision. There will be other trailers. One of the features I really liked about this trailer in Phoenix was the side 4' X 4' door on the drivers side of the trailer just above the tandem wheels. I found out later this is called an "escape door"....for getting in/out the vehicle when it is being loaded/unloaded. The second feature I like was the "tilt" feature that allows you to raise the front of the trailer while hitched to level out the loading ramp in back. I need that because the 'Bird has a very low ground clearance making it difficult to get it over the hump. The tilt feature eliminates the hump.

04-09-2010, 04:48 PM
Slow day here. Just did a local Craigslist search.
Houston has quite a few.
Good luck searching.

04-09-2010, 06:29 PM
enclosed utiliity trailers are different than car haulers. so one of those ads was for a utility trailer.

if we each find one for clarke to go look at then we can have him traveling all over to see us?


Richard and Rhonda
04-09-2010, 07:08 PM
Nothing is more fun than spending other people's money.

Let me know if you want someone to look at one in Fort Worth :-)

04-09-2010, 07:42 PM
Found this one on the L.A. Craigslist......he only gives an e-mail address, and I am waiting for a response on lenght/width, GVWR, etc. This trailer appears to be around 24-26 feet, has A/C, generator, winch, and work bench for $3200.....it DOES NOT include the Lamborghini!

Forest, thank you for the links. The first one is the type I'm looking for, and it is in the price range.

Richard....sure, if I find something in your vicinity I will certainly give you a call.

By the way, Darlene did a wonderful job of inspecting the trailer in Phoenix yesterday....she has a good discriminating eye.

04-09-2010, 11:08 PM
Clark reminds me of some of my "daydreaming"!! I've envisioned a large enough trailer to haul my car,bikes, etc. At one point I concluded that since I've always liked the style of the Peterbilt 359 conventional I should get one of those with a 45' low floor trailer (similar to what the race teams are using) then build my living quarters in the front half of the trailer. I even engineered a pass-through from the cab directly to the trailer. However, a quick calculation of available funds and time jerked me back to reality...Luv my Newell, there's no better "bang for the buck"
Clark, If you find something in my area I'll be glad to check it out for you...

04-10-2010, 12:32 AM
Thank you Dean......I enjoy day dreaming, too....one of my day dreams is that I will be travelling through Indiana in a year and half and will get to meet you! If I come across anything interesting I'll certainly contact you!

04-10-2010, 12:43 AM
Hey Clarke, just be careful of spammers. Found that same trailer (at least the Lambo looks the same) in Houston Craigslist

04-10-2010, 02:17 AM
I think it was a spammer...it has disappeared from the Los Angeles Craiglist

04-12-2010, 02:41 PM
Hi Forest....here is the e-mail reply I received in response to my inquiry about the trailer in the Los Angeles Craigslist:

"Hello, I'm the owner of Haulmark Enclosed Car Trailer Elite II on which you've recently shown interest. The trailer is in perfect working condition with a clean title. The price is 3,200 $ , shipping and handling are included in the price. Why is the price so low ? Because I am in a divorce dispute with my husband.The Trailer was bought for him and I no longer need it. I am located in Augusta, ME now and it will be shipped from here. Shipping will be done via Cargo Auto Shippers and it will take no more than 3-5 days (depending on your exact location).The transaction will be made through eBay Solutions for our own protection. If you like what you see,email me back with your exact location so I can calculate shipping costs and to discuss shipping and payment details and also other things regarding my trailer. If you are interested please email me back for the next step.


Alpina McBride"

First of all, this trailer, used and without A/C, winch, generator, & workbench is worth between $6 and $8,000, so this LOW price is too good to be true. Then to imply that the $3,200 price includes shipping and handling is an even bigger red flag. I recently shipped my mother's car from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Spokane, WA. The cost was $1,000, and that was the low bid by 1/2. I can only imagine what the cost from Augusta, Maine to Ontario, CA would be....probably closer to $2,000, or more. There is no way this "lady" would settle for a net profit of $1,200 (or less) on this trailer, unless she just wanted to stick it to her "ex". The third red flag is she wants to use somehting called "eBay Solutions" to complete the transaction. I have been using Ebay for 6 years with over 500 transactions, and I have never heard of eBay Solutions. The fourth red flag is I can find no information on an outfit called "Cargo Auto Shippers". Finally, in my initial e-mail to her I asked several specific questions, and in her reply she answered none of them.

Am I just being paranoid? I think not!

If any of you reading this post has heard of eBay Solutions, or Cargo Auto Shippers let me know.

04-12-2010, 04:02 PM
When I was looking for my jeep I found a few "too good to be true, but I'll ship it" deals. I played around with one supposedly in Georgia for a few emails. Told her (she was also divorced and bought it for her hubby) I had a nephew that worked for the shipping company and he'd open the container for me to see and I'd be up there that week. Never heard from her again!
The truly sad thing is not only are a (hopefully) few people getting scammed but that the honest people are losing sales because of this crap!

04-12-2010, 05:06 PM
Clarke, same experience as Forest when my daughter wanted to rent a place in LA for a bargain price a block from the ocean. Outta state, blah blah blah.

Good intelligence. Better part of valor is to hang on to the wallet at all times. Wouldn't want Elaine to have to extend her work time for another year. lol.

04-12-2010, 05:08 PM
These type of AD's are a scam that seems to happen a lot on Craigs List.. Contact eBay they will fill you in on what they don't do... My son fortuantly found out... Just before he sent the money on a To Good to be True Honda Accura..

04-12-2010, 05:51 PM
Sent her an e-mail advising I would be in Bangor, ME later this week, and to advise me a good time and day to view the trailer in person. I don't expect a reply...haha!

04-12-2010, 05:52 PM
Clarke, same experience as Forest when my daughter wanted to rent a place in LA for a bargain price a block from the ocean. Outta state, blah blah blah.

Good intelligence. Better part of valor is to hang on to the wallet at all times. Wouldn't want Elaine to have to extend her work time for another year. lol.

Yep......would not want to have that happen!

04-15-2010, 12:57 AM
That Haulmark trailer is now on Ebay, but it has a Buy It Now price of $9,000 and the seller has a 100% rating with over 200 transactions. My theory is someone saw this trailer advertised somewhere back east, copied the pictures and ran the fraudulent ad on Craigslist all over the country trying to scam people. This auction appears legit. Here's the link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Haulmark-top-of-the-line-Enclosed-Car-Trailer-Elite-II_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem335c23454eQQitemZ220 589147470QQptZMotorsQ5fTrailers

I wrote about this on my blog and had a guy send a comment that he had almost sent money to the scammer, but Googled the ad's seller name and it took him to my blog. My blog seems to have saved him some embarassment.

Brad Townsend
04-19-2010, 09:18 PM
Hi Clarke.
Last year after much searching I found a nice enclosed car hauler 25 ft with a 5 ft full V nose. i learned much before buying which made the find difficult because of what was recommended for many reasons. Some things are the suspension I went with torsion bar instead of leaf and glad of it. 10K gvw instead of 7K. Side frame 16 on ctr not 24. not a flat roof, slightly rounded with cast alum corners. I made my work bench in the front V which works out great. I haul my 90 cherokee and with it inside I still have gobs of room to work.
But when we are stationary the trailer becomes a multi purpose room which is quite large.
Another thing to consider, i asked around about the flat fronts verses the v nose pertaining to a mileage difference and those with a flat nose lost about 1 mpg and another with the v nose said he didn't notice a difference. I noticed an increase of almost 1 mpg. Its all about the aero dynamics i guess but when you get in the low 5's and now in the 6's the trailer is paying for itself. Plus you won't have to wash you vehicle when you arrive at your destination. Plus you can back up with it. But it does make for a long train we are at 65 ft and one must be extra careful when pulling in to places.
Hope this helps.

04-20-2010, 01:25 AM
Brad...thank you very much for your write up...I am coming to the same conclusions. I want at least 10,000 GVWR, and at least a 22'-24' inside length. You pretty much outlined all the benefitrs of an enclosed trailer.....clean car, all purpose room, work bench area, ability to back up, etc. Ironically, I really like the Haulmark trailers, and I see that is what you ended up with. Last April we hauled the T-Bird on a 25' flatbed trailer my son has....we mounted our bike rack on the fron the trailer for our bikes. Got used to being careful not to pull into a place I couldn't get out of.

Will keep all updated on my process....

04-25-2010, 12:36 AM
OK....bought a trailer. 2006 American Trailer, 20' X 8.5' X 6.5', with sway control, 10,000 GVWR, etc. Here are the pix...has a rear beaver tail ramp, perfect for the T-Bird, a side ramp door, and a third 3 foot side door on the passenger side, plus a tool box mounted on tongue. Tongue is extra long at 4.5' for easier RV towing and backing. Will pickup up Monday! Another piece of the retirement puzzle in place!

Even better it was within 30 miles of our home. So happy to find a 20 footer with 10,000 GVWR....hard to find. Was tring to avoid a 24' footer. Plenty of room in front for a work bench, and the bikes.

04-25-2010, 02:21 AM
Glad you found something that will work for you. Looks like a very nice trailer. Have fun!!

Richard and Rhonda
04-25-2010, 10:12 AM

Before you paint it to match your coach, you might want to consider adding the V nose.

It wouldn't be hard to add a V, with an access door.

Brad Townsend
04-25-2010, 10:21 AM
Glad your hunt is over looks like a nice rig. Is there tie down rings in the floor?

I had to criss cross my rear tie downs because the jeep would actually slide from side to side on rough roads. The beaver tail is a nice feature. Carry a spare tire, I got a flat and didn't know it till I pulled into a rest area by then there was only a few inches of rubber left.

04-25-2010, 02:24 PM
We saw some great car trailers this year at the good guy car show at Alameda, CA. Here are some pics of one that I would love to have. I hope that Clarke's has a door near the car window!! I can see it now.....
This guy couldn't open the door once the car was inside. Yep these trailers have a 4 post lift with a work bench in the front. This one has a Firebird on top with the '55 below. Another one had a '32 roadster in front, a BMW at the rear and a '49 Chevy Pickup up top in the lift!

04-25-2010, 03:49 PM
Richard....leave to you to start modifying the trailer for me before I take possession....lol!! I would have liked a V-nose......I guess I would get better mileage, but ultimately "it's only money"......haha!

Brad....in addition to the e-track, there are also numerous, well placed, tie down rings. I also found last year when we pulled the car on a flat bed that I had to cross tie the straps for the very same reasons you mention. There is a trap door toward the front the trailer that when opened reveals a spare tire!

Wow, Steve, those stacker trailers must cost $20-30,000!! They are beutiful! Getting out the car will be a trick. I have some thoughts on that I'll share later...haha!

Brad Townsend
04-25-2010, 07:14 PM
Steve, it was good to visit with you and Trish.

I was told that a side door was a bad thing as it weakened the frame that is why some have a winch at the nose.
Fortunately with my jeep I have about 8 inches and have to squeeze out the door but my belly is not as well fed as others. A good reason to stay somewhat in shape. Went from drinking soda to drinking iced tea and lost a couple inches.

I saw the trap door, a convenient location for the spare.

04-25-2010, 10:52 PM
Brad, you are right, the escape door, as they are called, does weaken the structure. Better to stay trim. I am going to install a winch to pull the car into the trailer, and then strap it down without having to egress from the car. On the other hand, the T-bird is a convertible, so I could install a lift system to lift the top off after I pull into the trailer, but that is rather involved. Most use an electric winch to get it in the trailer. Going to install a lift system for the hard top to be able to remove it, and leave it hung from the ceiling when we are staying in one place for a period of time. Right now it is removed manually.....a heavy lift for Elaine and I. It also has a soft top, so we can drive around without the hardtop in case of inclement weather.

04-26-2010, 01:37 AM
"better to stay trim"............
are you guys picking on me, I like my beer; it does a body good!

10-19-2010, 06:09 PM
As you all know I pulled my "new" to me enclosed car trailer for the first time with the T-Bird in it to and from Santa Fe on this last trip. I averaged around 8mpg towing the trailer and car. Better than I was expecting. I loved unloading the 'Bird in Santa Fe just as clean as it was 3 days before when I left Ontario....no bugs, no chips in the paint, no road grime. The trailer pulled easily, and it was easy to back up when necessary. In attempting to maneuver in a gas station in Kingman to take advantage of a great diesel price I had to do a lot of maneuvering to get out.....ask Elaine. The one thing I may have to do is to mount a second camera on the back of the trailer as the one on the back of Newell is just not high enough to see behind the trailer for backing purposes. It is adequate to see who is behind me unless they are tailgating the trailer. On 2 of the occasions I had to back up Elaine had to get out and direct me so I would not back over a gas pump.

We also found on this trip that Elaine could drive the car into the trailer and easily exit the vehicle.....I am not thin enough to do that. Loading time is about 5 minutes, and unloading about 2 minutes. Nice to know we won't need a winch to pull the car into the trailer. We didn't take the hardtop with us, so did not have to worry about where to store it while we drove around with the soft top down, which we did the entire time we were there.

Brad Townsend
10-19-2010, 08:38 PM
Glad the trailer is working out for you. Yea it would be nice to have a camera on the trailer.
And yes it is nice to get into a clean vehicle after a long run especially3000 miles just like what we are about to start as we exit New Hampshire to go to Yuma AZ. We head right by camp newell so plan on getting the coach weighed for the fist time with the trailer.

Do you know what your tongue weight is? I purchased a tongue scale as I am the sort that has to know. If you need info on them plus other interesting info on trailer pulling check out this site.
The scale can also be used to weigh 5th wheel tongues as I have weighed for others I know to there surprise being far more than they thought.

Do you need sway bars? I don't run sway bars and it tracks nicely. A spare is a must as I blew a tire and didn't know it till I stopped at a rest area. Good thing I had another.
Thinking about replacing all four/5 tires on the trailer because the typical trailer tire is china made and what was left on the rim of the blown tire you could see the make up of the tire. Looked like pieces of rope not wire inside and they were radials.

Happy motoring

10-19-2010, 09:05 PM
Hey Brad......have no idea what the tongue weight is. The trailer weighs around 4,000lbs, and the car around 3,000lbs. Trailer GVW is a little over 13,000lbs. It does have the anti-sway bar, and the weight distribution bars, which I use. Had no problem with swaying at all, and the weight distribution bars really help reduce the tongue weight. The car pretty much sits directly over the tandem axles, but I'm sure with the engine toward the front of the trailer puts a little more weight there. I do have a spare tire, and all 5 are about 1 year old.

When we went down to Austin 1 1/2 years ago we used a flat bed trailer which had none of that (sway bar, or weight distribution bars), and had no problems with swaying either. It had an electric motor on the tongue jack, which made it easy to raise the tongue empty, or loaded. It was 4 feet longer than this trailer.

10-20-2010, 12:50 AM
I've been considering various tow set-ups. I flat tow our Jeep....not quite as concerned about road grime etc. but would like to be able to back up occaisionally. I have considered a "tilt-trailer" that could be easily loaded/unloaded without having to set up ramps.

10-20-2010, 02:25 PM
Another setup to consider is a trailer with a "beaver tail" setup, like ours. From just behind the rear wheels of the trailer the floor begins to slope slightly and then you have the ramp that lowers to provide a very small incline. Makes it easy to load, and unload, especially if you have a low profile car like we do. The results in the rear of the trailer being a little lower to the ground than the front. I have seen flatbed trailers with this same "beaver tail" setup. I'm not sure, but I think the "tilt-trailer" setup requires the use of a winch to pull the vehicle on to the trailer.

Brad Townsend
10-20-2010, 08:17 PM
Hey Clarke.
I tried turning the jeep around and measured the tongue weight and it made no difference believe it or not. I guess it is pretty much center to the axels either way. I would have thought differently but for the tongue scale.

10-20-2010, 09:11 PM
Good to know Brad....thanks!

10-22-2010, 09:47 PM
Well Im thinking after reading this post about buying a trailer! I currently have a 24 foot enclosed v-nose, but its not big enough to fit a mid-size car in. I put a Bmw convertible in it, and had to put the top down and crawl out. I would love a stacker, but not practical to use besides pulling with coach, so most likely going for a 25 footer. Clarke I like the access door on your trailer to get in and out of cars. But Im debating between aluminum and steel. I know the aluminum would be much lighter, but dont know many more advantages. Any input?
Thanks folks, Andrew

Brad Townsend
10-22-2010, 10:34 PM
Hi Tom
If you want to know more about aluminum trailers you can start here.


It's all about how much you want to spend. If I had deep pockets I would go with the Aluminum trailers.