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Hello,

In a few weeks the plan is to trailer the elise up to michigan so that kestrel's CO can spend some quality time with her evil step-sister (my KG) for the Woodward Cruise/import hating festivus. This will be the first time they have met face to face, and I hope they play well together. Anyways, I've never trailer a car before, and frankly do not have a trailer. I do have access to a tow vehicle for the 9 hr journey. So, a few questions:

1. Where is the best place to rent one from, and what "features" and/or dimensions should the trailer have?

2. What is the best way to get the car up on the trailer to avoid any damage?

3. What is the best way to tie it down and where can i get straps? or should they come with the trailer?

4. Should i cover the car with anything on the drive?

5. What are some things to remember/look out for when driving with a vehicle in tow?

6. Any other questions i should be asking?

I know some of this information is scattered about the forum.....i was hoping to get it in one place for my benefit and others in the future.
 

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What will be your tow vehicle?

Some suggestions:

2. Long ramps. Park downhill if you can. Have someone help. They can watch your clearance and if you are centered on the ramps.

3. Tie down through the wheels

4. If you cover the car (unless with a covered trailer) flapping in the wind will beat her up.

5. I doubt that you will want to back up the trailer at all as a newbie. Think ahead. Don't drive into a place where you can not drive through or circle around. Be mindful of traffic merges well in advance. Lane changes in a longer vehicle can be just about awful in traffic.

Transmission in neutral, e-brake on.

Stop in a few dozen miles and check for straps loosening as wheels rotate a bit. Straps do not have to be super tight.

Try not to look back and see if it's still there more than a hundred times.
 

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u haul or penski have nice open trailers for rent.i have not seen an enclosed trailer for rent.that would be best if you can find one.you can back the tow vehicle onto ramps or blocks of wood to lessen the angle of the ramps.also can use some 2x6s to make the ramps longer.for securing the car its best to use tire straps over the tires.this way the suspension is free to move.
 

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Be sure to find a trailer that has (electric) brakes. If your tow vehicle doesn't already have a brake controller unit, get one installed. They are relatively inexpensive. Depending on the weight of the trailer, you could almost get away without trailer brakes, but they sure help if the weather gets bad.
 

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u haul or penski have nice open trailers for rent.
+1.

I used a U-Haul open trailer to take mine to a dealer 3 hours away. I had never trailered a car before and it was not very difficult. The hardest part was finding a trailer within 50 miles of my house (gotta reserve EARLY). They have a good website and demonstration video on how to attach the trailer and how to load low-clearance cars. Pick up a couple of 2 x 8" boards to raise the ramps so nothing scrapes and try to park on a slight incline while loading. The trailer has its own tie-down tire straps that worked great.

Good luck.
 

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Also, it is recommended that you load the heaviest end of the tow vehicle towards the front. Which, of course, means backing your Lotus onto the trailer. Grab a friend. :D
 

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A followup question...

I'm considering getting a Buick Enclave, well, ok, the wife is. Tow rating is 4500lb, so no matter how you slice it, a towing setup would be pretty close to the limit of the vehicle (trailer + elise + passenger + xtra set of tires/wheels + tools > 3500lbs). If I don't use an ultra-lite trailer, than I'll definitely be close or at the limit.

I want a small economy car. The only thing has me considering giving in at this point is being able to tow the elise to track days. :)

Towing with an Enclave, bad idea?? (FYI, Enclave curb weight is just under 5000lbs)
 

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A followup question...

I'm considering getting a Buick Enclave, well, ok, the wife is. Tow rating is 4500lb, so no matter how you slice it, a towing setup would be pretty close to the limit of the vehicle (trailer + elise + passenger + xtra set of tires/wheels + tools > 3500lbs). If I don't use an ultra-lite trailer, than I'll definitely be close or at the limit.
Not sure where you are getting 4500 at...its actually 2000. Not a good tow vehicle for anything...
 

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Here's this:

A transmission designed for heavy loads is imperative in a vehicle intended for towing. All Enclave models
have a towing capacity of up to 2,000 lbs,* enough to hitch on two jet skis, snowmobiles or ATVs, a 5’ x 8’
utility trailer or a small fishing boat. Yet challenge Enclave to comply to your whims, and it will: With the
available Trailering Provision Package, its towing capacity is increased to a maximum of 4,500 lbs* to draw
double the number of vehicles, increase the trailer size to 6’ x 12’ (or make it a light 20’ travel trailer),
take on a speedboat, runabout or deckboat, or hitch on a 16’ to 18’ pop-up camper.
* Maximum trailer ratings are calculated assuming a properly equipped base vehicle plus driver. See dealer for details. #Cargo and load capacity limited by
weight and distribution.
But sounds like its pushing the upper limits of what the vehicle is able to do.
 
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