Featherlite vs Trailex - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Featherlite vs Trailex

Is there any reason to choose a trailex over a featherlite? I'm considering picking up a used featherlite 3110 of a recent vintage, mostly because I want the option of towing my car to events and being able to go get it myself should I ever be stranded on the side of the road. It would also be nice to be able to pick up any other cars that were stranded and be able to bring them home as well...

Is anyone towing with a featherlite, and if so how are you securing the car to the trailer?

Is there some reason I should definitely wait for a trailex to show up instead? (durability or features of some kind?)

Are there any other brands that I should consider looking for?

thanks!

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 06:55 AM
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I have the Featherlite, it's a nice device. However, some of the Trailex I see are really appealing. They look to be much more customizable. I see some that are just plain awesome as to how well they are customized for our applications. They can carry much longer ramps. They are lighter.
Main drawback seems to be the suspension. Trailex use leaf springs, Featherlite torsion bar. As I understand it, if one wheel/tire fails the stability is much more compromised with the leaf spring setup. Some people staunchly avoid it for that reason.
Securing to the trailer is simple with our cars. If the strap will pass through the wheels they are used to secure to four points on the trailer. Simple. Problem comes in if one has large front aero due to the angles.
The Europa wheels/brakes did not allow straps to pass through the rear wheels, so we used a recommended point, the transaxles.

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Oh yeah. Knowing you have a trailer to get her home takes two seconds off your lap time

And you can haul hay bales or such if you need to.

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
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2005 Elise LRG, track prepped ,
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2007 Audi S4 DTM (RIP) 1980 Rover SD1 (new home) 2015 Honda Civic Si
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 07:14 AM
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I had a Featherlite 20' 3110... very nice trailer, but as mentioned the ramps are rather short and I had to use RaceRamps for both my Exige and 2-Eleven to get clearance for the front splitter. Also a minor, but annoying issue: the license plate mount has failed in at least a few cases I know of (including mine), leading to loss of the license plate.

I now have a Trailex enclosed trailer, which is only slightly heavier than the Featherlite open trailer, and as mentioned, is easier to customize (especially tie down points). The Trailex's bed is higher, so even though the ramps are longer I still need the RaceRamps.

In both cases, I use Mac's Tie Downs with a set of D-ring straps looped through the wheels at either end.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 07:51 AM
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Those two brands are the best, imho, and both retain their value quite well are are easy to sell used -- can't go wrong with either.

One advantage of the Trailex open trailer is that you can order their short bed model (I believe it's 13') making for an even lighter load for towing and easier trailer storage. Featherlite may also have a short bed option??

When I had a Featherlite open, I also used the 'strap-through-the-wheel' method for securing the car ... no issues.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 07:54 AM
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^^^

Is that tire shine on the spare?

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 07:56 AM
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^^^

Is that tire shine on the spare?

Yeah ... back in the day, my mobile car detailer had a sense of humor.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 08:03 AM
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As to the length. They do make the shorter trailers that fit our cars nicely, but a longer trailer will fit a lot more cars and might be easier to sell as well as more versatile. Longer is easier to back up as well. Shorter easier to merge in traffic, store.

And I need some of those Mac tie downs for the front. Those are the ones that wrap up over the tires?

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
2011 Evora S Racing Heritage Edition (#3 of 4) (Now with alexsharkeyross)
2005 Elise LRG, track prepped ,
1974 Lotus Europa Special 3841R in JPS livery
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 09:51 AM
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I have never owned a featherlight, but I have owned the short Trailex and the Enclosed Trailex. Trailex trailers are anodized aluminum. That is nice because if you live where there is salt in the winter, or by the ocean, anodized alumimum is practically unaffected by it.

Trailex trailers are lighter as well and you can fix them yourself because they are all bolted together.. You could even take one apart if you had to. I really liked mine.

I sold my enclosed Trailex, (a mistake). I looked around for another and could not find one. I almost bought another open Trailex, but was at Auto Europe one day and they had taken one of their enclosed (opens like a clamshell) models in on trade and I bought it. Very nice as well and light and low for wind resistance.

I like it as much as the Trailex.

There is one more thing on the short Trailex. (and the one from Auto Europe) Because it fits only small cars, people dont borrow it to haul their Chevy.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the opinions guys. I like how the trailex seem to be a little more purpose built but it seems like either of these guys aren't that plentiful on the used market, although i do find more featherlite than trailex.

If I went with the featherlite, I do live in a place where they salt the roads like no one's business, but it certainly wouldn't be part of the plan to utilize the trailer in the winter.

That auto europe trailer is awesome! I checked the website, of course new is completely out of the budget. It looks like I'll be a candidate for following the well shod path of buying an open trailer and then trading up later.

Regarding the angle of approach on either trailer, do the raceramps accomplish something a couple of 2x8's couldn't? I'd be trailering an exige so i'm going to be pretty low on the front.

How much of a pain in the butt is it loading a car onto one of these?

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 04:14 PM
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First time I used my Featherlight to haul the Elise it took me an hour to carefully get it on there and feel secure. Now it honestly takes about ten minutes from putting the ramps out to putting them back up with the car on and secured just fine. Achieving the confidence to just drive up on there took a little while. Chocks fastened to the trailer at just the right spot are crucial. Have mechanics gloves as it's pretty nasty around all that brake dust. Doing it in the rain in the dark is another matter, but still a simple task.

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jds62f View Post

Regarding the angle of approach on either trailer, do the raceramps accomplish something a couple of 2x8's couldn't? I'd be trailering an exige so i'm going to be pretty low on the front.
RaceRamps are far lighter than 2x8s, and IMHO, far more secure for loading a car onto a trailer. They also won't give you splinters. For my Exige, I was able to get a standard size set of RaceRamps (cheaper and faster delivery). You can custom design a set if you have unique requirements as well.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apk919 View Post
RaceRamps are far lighter than 2x8s, and IMHO, far more secure for loading a car onto a trailer. They also won't give you splinters. For my Exige, I was able to get a standard size set of RaceRamps (cheaper and faster delivery). You can custom design a set if you unique requirements as well.
Absolutely, they are very useful. Not inexpensive compared to lumber, but quite nice. So light I "store" them in the bed of the Tundra.

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
2011 Evora S Racing Heritage Edition (#3 of 4) (Now with alexsharkeyross)
2005 Elise LRG, track prepped ,
1974 Lotus Europa Special 3841R in JPS livery
2007 Toyota Tundra (about 10 cup holders), traded for 2015 Tundra TRD PRO
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 08:33 PM
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yes, Trailex are hard to find used. But I fail to see what buying a Featherlight gets you over a cheap steel trailer. They do not weigh less as I recall. I would buy a used cheaper trailer for now and look or save for a Trailex or one from Auto Europe.

One like this.

2010 Anderson Car Hauler Trailer - eBay (item 330526417518 end time Feb-07-11 12:19:52 PST)

trailer 18ft car hauler 7,000 brakes GRAY STEEL BED - eBay (item 250767766009 end time Feb-09-11 18:00:00 PST)

If you do buy a Trailex, I met a guy that is a dealer for them in Cinci. .....he was cheaper then buying them from Trailex. Henderson Motorsports'

Tony Vaccaro
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 09:02 PM
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I had a custom-built Featherlite 3110 with a narrow bed. It was 6" narrower than regular, making it much easier to park on the side of my house. I had a tire rack mounted on it. I used it with a BMW race car, not a Lotus. Great trailer.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 04:42 AM
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What is a good length trailer for the Elise? I need a trailer to fit into my garage...

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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 05:23 AM
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What is a good length trailer for the Elise? I need a trailer to fit into my garage...
I currently have a 12' trailer and my car fits perfectly. I am in the process of adding tire racks and 3' to the length for additional storage.

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 11:16 AM
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so it looks like 15' is plenty for storage/tool boxes and tire rack....where did you get yours?

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 11:26 AM
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Bought it used from a local ebay seller. It is a very light weight all aluminum trailer. I decided today make it 15' instead of 16' which will make it 21' tip to tail and 8'2" wide total. I added a large aluminum tongue box and getting ready to add 48" top load side boxes on either side along with a 2 jug fuel storage rack. I will post pics when complete.

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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For you guys that have had a 3110, do I have to worry about opening my door into the wheels?

I'm fishing for key annoyances on either trailer....

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 03:44 PM
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Fender comes off in about 30 seconds.

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
2011 Evora S Racing Heritage Edition (#3 of 4) (Now with alexsharkeyross)
2005 Elise LRG, track prepped ,
1974 Lotus Europa Special 3841R in JPS livery
2007 Toyota Tundra (about 10 cup holders), traded for 2015 Tundra TRD PRO
2007 Audi S4 DTM (RIP) 1980 Rover SD1 (new home) 2015 Honda Civic Si
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