Towing an Elise, how big a trailer do I need? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Towing an Elise, how big a trailer do I need?

I need to tow my car to TJ at Gator in Indy from Chicago and a Lotus Corps member has quite graciously offered to do the towing. However, I need to rent a (preferably covered) trailer and I'm honestly not sure what to rent. How big a trailer do I need? I have no conception of how to tow the car or trailer sizing since I've never done it before. There are threads here for people who are buying trailers, but I couldn't find anything for someone who just needs to transport.

For example, would the car fit in the 7x10 (here: Equipment Rentals Chicago IL | Tool Rentals Store in Westmont IL, Downers Grove, Naperville, Lombard, Woodridge IL and the Chicagoland area

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 03:40 PM
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Assuming that you avatar is your car, an Elise needs at least 14' clear in length (car is a bit longer than 12'). And with mirrors you should have at least 84-90" clear width. Keep in mind that with an enclosed trailer you'll need to climb out of the window or remove the top to get in/out. Height is rarely an issue.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 04:51 PM
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Uhaul open car hauler works fine if you have some 2x8's and a saw

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by khamai View Post
Assuming that you avatar is your car, an Elise needs at least 14' clear in length (car is a bit longer than 12'). And with mirrors you should have at least 84-90" clear width. Keep in mind that with an enclosed trailer you'll need to climb out of the window or remove the top to get in/out. Height is rarely an issue.

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Thanks, I actually was unsure about the length because the interior lengths seem to be measured differently by different people (e.g. some include overhangs and nose sections).

Looks like I have a winner with a 7' x 16'.

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Uhaul open car hauler works fine if you have some 2x8's and a saw
That was going to be my fallback option - I figure I can buy a long 2x8 at home depot and saw it into pieces with a hand saw in the parking lot. I'll probably have to do it anyway since I'm still worried about the front clam contacting stuff.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 05:19 PM
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Thanks, I actually was unsure about the length because the interior lengths seem to be measured differently by different people (e.g. some include overhangs and nose sections).

Looks like I have a winner with a 7' x 16'.



That was going to be my fallback option - I figure I can buy a long 2x8 at home depot and saw it into pieces with a hand saw in the parking lot. I'll probably have to do it anyway since I'm still worried about the front clam contacting stuff.
Go buy a porter cable cordless kit with the impact wrench and circular saw so you have that! Can cut the wood with it + use the impact next time you change tires

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 05:48 PM
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I have used 2x8 before in loading the car. i needed 5 ft to make an incline enough to clear the front splitter. My first few loading was no issues, a little bit of flexing on the 2x8. But after a few months the boards started to creak as if it was about to break. Im sure a good quality two 2x8 will be no issues.


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 05:56 PM
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That was going to be my fallback option - I figure I can buy a long 2x8 at home depot and saw it into pieces with a hand saw in the parking lot. I'll probably have to do it anyway since I'm still worried about the front clam contacting stuff.
Home Depot will cut it for you, just have them make several lenths if you don't know exactly what you need.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 06:48 PM
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Nice solid ramp.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Home Depot will cut it for you, just have them make several lenths if you don't know exactly what you need.
Good to know - I'm going to have them cut some various lengths to stack like in rsamani's example.

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Nice solid ramp.
Were the boards nailed together or otherwise joined? My main concern would be slippage.

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Last edited by gray; 10-10-2016 at 06:54 PM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 08:54 AM
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Looks like they are nailed together from the photos.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 09:53 AM
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67in by 167in
I just moved one in a trailer that was 70x180

With the mirrors folded it fit with a half inch on either side!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 10:27 AM
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67in by 167in
I just moved one in a trailer that was 70x180

With the mirrors folded it fit with a half inch on either side!
Considering how much paint and clams cost... you have much bigger balls than I do
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 10:28 AM
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I think it's worth pointing out that this is <200 miles, so if you're a AAA gold member they'll tow it there for you, no problem. In fact, I'm sure you could get them to tow it back, too. Free.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 10:29 AM
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Considering how much paint and clams cost... you have much bigger balls than I do
It's a project car, salvage title and looks to already need clam repair/repainting
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 10:38 AM
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Uhaul/penske trailer works fine.



I just used a few boards that I had home depot cut and did just fine.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 12:24 PM
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Car hauler Rentals Chicago IL | Where to rent CAR HAULER in Westmont IL, Western Chicago, Downers Grove Illinois, Oak Brook, Hinsdale

I used these guys. $95

I preferred an enclosed trailer too, but couldn't find any around town. I used this trailer 4 times going back and forth to Gator in Indy. Super light weight and it only dropped my mpg about 3 miles.

It was my first time towing and it ended up being simple. I just used a couple of boards for clearance as well. I used the tie downs that they provide. I just put towels down first to protect the wheels.

In fact, I think I met you down there a few months back! You saw my set up...
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 08:55 PM
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Were the boards nailed together or otherwise joined? My main concern would be slippage.

No nails was used. all wood screw, long ones. used impact drivers.
I used old woods and did not want to risk braking the boards.

This is just a temporary ramp until i decide which direction to go.

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 07:28 AM
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Here's mine on my 18' trailer. Plenty of extra room. I have custom built 6 foot aluminum ramps plus a dovetail. Only takes one 2x10 to smooth out the transition up onto the trailer.



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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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I think it's worth pointing out that this is <200 miles, so if you're a AAA gold member they'll tow it there for you, no problem. In fact, I'm sure you could get them to tow it back, too. Free.
It's actually a few more than 200 miles. I've thought about doing the AAA gold thing with a tow truck, but getting it on a flatbed isn't easy either (as one of the people at the Lotus Corps track day found out).

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Car hauler Rentals Chicago IL | Where to rent CAR HAULER in Westmont IL, Western Chicago, Downers Grove Illinois, Oak Brook, Hinsdale

I used these guys. $95

I preferred an enclosed trailer too, but couldn't find any around town. I used this trailer 4 times going back and forth to Gator in Indy. Super light weight and it only dropped my mpg about 3 miles.

It was my first time towing and it ended up being simple. I just used a couple of boards for clearance as well. I used the tie downs that they provide. I just put towels down first to protect the wheels.

In fact, I think I met you down there a few months back! You saw my set up...
Yes, I remember you and your car well. I hope your modifications went well. Thanks for the reference to the rental place - was also not sure about that. I've been having quite a lot of trouble with less-than-completely-honest parties recently.

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This is just a temporary ramp until i decide which direction to go.
What might a long-term solution be? The stack looks like a reasonable (more-than-temporary) solution.

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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gray View Post
It's actually a few more than 200 miles. I've thought about doing the AAA gold thing with a tow truck, but getting it on a flatbed isn't easy either (as one of the people at the Lotus Corps track day found out).
I've used AAA to tow my Lotus many times, and as long as the driver isn't a complete buffoon, there is no problem getting it on the flatbed whatsoever. But to each his own!

If you need ramps, RaceRamps has what you're after
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