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Old 12-03-2015, 08:37 AM   #1
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Default Stacker questions

We need to take a car with us for our outing this weekend. I figure I will just strap the DW's Audi to my equipment trailer and drag it behind the truck. However,this has really gotten our wheels turning on a car hauler or stacker trailer.

When we did our first test drive in this truck it had an enormous 31' stacker attached. You could not tell it was there, until the salesman started negotiating intersections. I think that a 31 footer is too big for us.

What are your thoughts on length, maneuverability, over length towing, and last, but not least…how do you exit a midsize SUV once it is loaded? It seems the door would hit the wall. Thanks
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:28 PM   #2
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Petrel,

I have looked into all these ideas and a stacker is going to be more trouble than it is worth if you ask me. Now I tow a Jeep Liberty behind my tc and it a sweet deal!!! I have pulled trailers for most of my driving life and towing with a blue ox tow bar is the way to go. But I want to take more! I want my jeep, the harley and a small fishing boat to florida this winter. The only way I know to do that and spend thousands is to tow my tag along behind the jeep behind the tc.....Will that work, I believe so, how big a pain I don't know. I have tried to think about how it would work and I would have to stay on interstates, truck stops and rest areas. But with a range of over 800 miles and all interstates till I am close to the camp grounds sounds doable.
My tag a long is 8' and I am planning on building a rack above it for the boat. The harley will be on the deck under the boat rack. The liberty is around 13' throw in the tow bar, tongue length etc I am pushing 60'. 10' less that a stacker with my tc.
I am open for opinions and ideas

Sam
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:34 PM   #3
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Sam,
Here is an idea for you. Saw a guy with this couple months ago. He pulls behind is MH drives his car up under the boat.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:47 PM   #4
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petrel,
I pull my Ford F150 behind me with a Blue OX tow bar. Follows very nice, easy to hook and unhook. Best of all I can also take along my golf cart when I want.
The down side is you cannot back up towing four down. In five years I only had to unhook twice because I messed up.

Thought about both a trailer and or stacker trailer also. For me for now I rather pull the Ford. No place for me to park a trailer at home anyways.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:16 PM   #5
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Blue Ox doesn't offer a baseplate for my pickup. They offered to fabricate a custom baseplate, but the cost and their requirement that I leave the rig with them for a week made that unrealistic at this point. Plus going to that trouble to drag a nearly 20year old truck down the road might be impractical. A truck upgrade in the future will definitely get me going four down. In the meantime, I am still interested in learning the ins and outs of stackers or enclosed car haulers.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:04 PM   #6
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Petrel
that great set up, my boat is a alum. Flat bottom,lol. i have seen on line great stacking open trailer like the picture. it was hyd. And really kool set upbut was not in my price range.there are so many ways of doing this, all you need is time and an idea. I also have a tandum axle trailer that is 16' the jeep will fit but not the jeep and the harley together. I have thought about adding a drop tail tomake itlong enough for both on the trailer deck.
sam
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:05 PM   #7
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I have done both flat-towing and using a std open car trailer. Flat is better since once you get where you are get to where you are going you do not have the trailer to deal with. Second the slight PITA for not being able to really back up with tow bar, a trailer can be backed up. I have backed up with tow bar a short distance (10 ft or less) when near straight, absolutely forget it when turned.

The trailer is good for my hot rods that are not set up for flat-towing, but it takes more time to hook up trailer, load car on trailer, tie down car; and then repeat once you are at destination. Open trailer much easier than enclosed.

As to getting out, your option is climb out window or back hatch/doors. *Some* enclosed trailers have the mid-door so you can get out easier. Most racers with enclosed use a winch to pull the car up into position. You could do similar although a bit harder to kick the front tires to adjust position on your SUV.

To me a dolly is useless. Only good if vehicle is fwd and can't back them up either. All of my cars have rwd, so either car trailer or flat-tow for me.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:19 AM   #8
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no fan of dolly's or even (open) trailer towing if were camping or traveling for vacation etc
dolly's and trailers are just one more thing to service and worry w/ and you can't dolly tow a jeep wrangler (not that you'd want to).

i can't tow my electronic shift on the fly (ESOF) 4x4 ford (f350) because theres no way to disengage the transfer case....GMC has a button (pushing) sequence that allows you to disengage the transfer case so you can flat to their 3/4 & 1 ton pick up trucks.

theres a couple different MFG's of those stacker trailers now -

sport trailers inc and BUILT RITE was another one but i can't find their web page anymore....heres a picture of a Built Rite one that we saw several years ago.



just do what John (on this forum) does....double tow...



or i guess you could do this....

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Old 12-04-2015, 12:22 AM   #9
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we'll stick to this....



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Old 12-06-2015, 01:34 PM   #10
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I pull a 24' enclosed. Love it. Total length of trailer from ball to back is 31'. We have a winch to pull the race car in which makes it much easier than climbing out the door or window. But often I just drive my regular car in and squeeze out. I'd love a bail-out side door. Don't know if it's worth adding to my trailer. Ours has a v-nose which is great for more space for junk. I'm 68' total. Never had a problem.

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Old 12-06-2015, 08:48 PM   #11
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Isn't it funny how two people can share the same experience and have a completely different take away? After having to drag a trailer through the rock lined serpentine roads of a small mountain KOA, I am over a trailer and want to revisit a toad. My DW, on the other hand, loved having the dinghy and the extra flexibility and storage it afforded. She is in the other room shopping stackers!

Since we were a late arrival at the campground, the DW went to the office the next day to own up to the "landscaping" I had to do to get into our assigned site, and to question their definition of "big rig." Apparently the clerk on duty when my wife called to book our spot did not know what "65' big rig and trailer combination" really meant. The owners could not have been more apologetic or accommodating, offering us another site and refusing our request to come take a look at the landscape damage.

We had to drop the trailer and drag it with the dinghy to get out. It was impossible to get out with it on the truck, and we could not back out because I had already had to do the aforementioned landscaping to get in! Thank goodness I put a hitch on the dinghy before we left home.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:57 PM   #12
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That is a nice trailer Bob. How do you go about strapping your vehicle down once you get it loaded?
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:04 PM   #13
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I actually strap the car in two ways. I have frame hooks that I fit into the frame and ratchet straps to d-rings bolted through the floor to the frame of the trailer. I also have a set of straps I believe they call "California Roll Back" or similar. Here's a set of those for sale on ebay: Rollback Car Carrier 8 Point Tie Down Strap System w Chains Carrier Hauler | eBay

I've used just the roll back method without problems. But I like to have a backup system and it's not that hard to put another set of straps on. I also have some long axle straps and can put those around the tire/wheel and hook a ratchet strap to a d-ring. If the vehicle doesn't have any easy frame hook area then I use the roll back straps. If the wheels aren't fancy and I don't worry about them then an axle strap through the wheel also. Kind of all depends on the car. I don't like to just have one system though. I also like to drive some miles and then check the straps to make sure they're tight. I also have an extra set of ratchet straps in a tote bin. Just in case a strap gets cut on something sharp, or a ratchet mechanism fails.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:15 PM   #14
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We used the axle straps this weekend. They were a pain to get on and off. I may be switching to the wheel straps, so I don't have to crawl under the car. I guess in an enclosed trailer you have to get down on the floor either way, since you can't work for the sides.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:43 PM   #15
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check out my buddy at Snappin Turtle Tie Downs - Home Page ask for Jeff. They have every imaginable configuration of tie down and if you want something special they will make it for you.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:53 PM   #16
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we've been using axle straps for years, w/ our clevis locking ratchet straps, i just welded some loops under the car so we don't have to keep climbing under it. the loops will be much easier to reach too.
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:06 AM   #17
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We just took a little weekend trip to Chincoteague, VA. Our adventure resurrected the stacker, 4-down, open trailer discussion. I remain a fan of an open trailer. The wife is now really pushing a stacker, since her car got so filthy while riding on an open trailer in the rain!

Another stacker question: Would it be possible to equip a stacker with AC/heat and bunks for overflow housing?
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrel View Post
We just took a little weekend trip to Chincoteague, VA. Our adventure resurrected the stacker, 4-down, open trailer discussion. I remain a fan of an open trailer. The wife is now really pushing a stacker, since her car got so filthy while riding on an open trailer in the rain!

Another stacker question: Would it be possible to equip a stacker with AC/heat and bunks for overflow housing?
I've never seen a stacker with a lounge, but anything is possible.

All it takes for air conditioning is some 120vac source (shore power or generator connection) and a hole in the roof (for the air conditioner/heater).

I don't personally like them but you could add some fold down benches (hung from the side wall) that convert to beds.

I helped a friend of mine add a roof top AC unit to his enclosed race car hauler, pretty simple job - I welded a 1" tube frame to the existing roof "trusses" and we ran the romex to a breaker panel that we also installed. On race weekends that I'm unable to attend with our coach, he pulls the trailer with his truck and sets up a cot in the trailer for track side sleeping in AC/Heated comfort.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:25 AM   #19
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This is a picture of the Renegade that got me wanting one. I saw this up in Oshkosh, and 12 people were sleeping in the trailer part.
Trailer specs:
Trailer three axle Air ride 37 feet long 26 foot floor bottom floor 76 inches to ceiling upper 59 inches to ceiling. Motorhome and trailer together 69 1/2 feet stacker trailer power liftgate
Two power awnings
Gas/electric refrigerator / freezer (Dometic NDR 1062)
Half bath with fan
Aluminum shelves for storage and wood cabinets
12 fold-down aluminum beds
Linoleum/Rubber flooring in cargo area with airline track and movable rings
60 gallons freshwater & 60 gallons black water
AC and propane heat
Trailer tires 245/70 R17.5 on trailer one spare
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
I've never seen a stacker with a lounge, but anything is possible.

All it takes for air conditioning is some 120vac source (shore power or generator connection) and a hole in the roof (for the air conditioner/heater).

I don't personally like them but you could add some fold down benches (hung from the side wall) that convert to beds.

I helped a friend of mine add a roof top AC unit to his enclosed race car hauler, pretty simple job - I welded a 1" tube frame to the existing roof "trusses" and we ran the romex to a breaker panel that we also installed. On race weekends that I'm unable to attend with our coach, he pulls the trailer with his truck and sets up a cot in the trailer for track side sleeping in AC/Heated comfort.
If I go with a regular car hauler or a not so tall stacker, I could definitely go that route with a rooftop unit. Unfortunately, many of the stackers are maximum height. The front mount ACs are pretty spendy.

I really want to keep OAL down. I keep going to quaint little campgrounds in little towns with lots of tight turns! My utility trailer is 25' overall. I know I only have three or four trips under my belt with the trailer, but I can't imagine that I could get much more trailer into some of these spots.

Even for short trips, there just isn't enough storage on the truck. Some sort of trailer is definitely needed, but I can't find the perfect combination of space, capacity, and compactness. Big enough to haul our Excursion, light enough to be moved with the Audi in a pinch.
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