Lotus Elan

What sized trailer do i need?

PostPost by: dellboy13 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:47 am

Hi
I have just had all my mechanics overhauled on my Elan +2, but I need to pick it up from Somerset and take it to Essex. I am going to trailer it, so I have been looking for a cheap light weight trailer, I have found one that?s bed length is 8 1/2' by 5' wide. Is this trailer going to be big enough?
Thanks for any help
Mark
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:38 am

Mark,
I would have thought that is too small, you will just about get the wheels in widthwise but the wheelbase is 8ft, that's the distance between the wheel centres so the tyres may not fit. Also bear in mind that the car is 12ft long so you would have 4ft of overhang.

When I moved mine, I hired a trailer large enough to take the whole car within the bed.

Also bear in mind that you will need a car capable of towing the weight of Lotus plus trailer.

regards
Mike
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PostPost by: dellboy13 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:54 am

Thanks Mike

I thought it was going to be too small, i have already got my eye on one on the magic shop on the internet for all things things car like ......Ebay.

Could i ask where you hired one from and how much it set you back for the hire?

I have a 2002 Honda CRV 2 litre, so that should be able to tow a Lotus Elan i hope!!!!!

Thanks again

Mark
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:41 am

Mark,
I hired mine from:

Trail-O-Way Trailer Hire Surrey
24 Homefield Road
Walton-on-Thames
Surrey
KT12 3RD

Contact : Jennifer
Tel : 01932 246413
Fax : 01932 880677

I would certainly use them again, in fact I probably will when my shell is ready for painting. Their trailer was excellent. You will also need some means of lashing the car, I think Trail-O-Way can help but I borrowed some straps from a friend - the sort of thing they use on trucks.

Your Honda should certainly be powerful enough but weight and torque are actually more important for towing and I suspect your Honda isn't great for either. Your towing car should be heavier than the loaded trailer. If you do use the Honda, take it really easy!

Good luck
Mike
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:17 am

5 1/2 wide x 12 -my formula car trailer holds the 7 the elan and the europa ----but no heroic driving ---ed
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:25 am

but is very minimal ed
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PostPost by: chicagojeff » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:17 pm

does anyone know the track width...that is the distance between the rear wheels? OR front wheels? I need to plan for a lift. And am not near my car. thanks.
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PostPost by: dellboy13 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:21 pm

I would like to try to use my car (being a cheapskate), the spec is the torque is 142 lb/ft and the curb weight 1,491 Kg. If i keep it to 50 to 60 MPH at night, do you think it would be safe enough?

Cheers

Mark
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PostPost by: rjaxe » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:24 pm

Mark, I collected my Elan Plus 2 with a tandem wheel 14ft x 6ft car trailer towed by a 2 Litre Mondeo. The car was up to it with no problem BUT any attempt to go near 50 mph resulted in the onset of swaying. A smaller trailer is likely to be worse so you need to be very careful if you proceed as you are suggesting. Not wishing to sound over the top but the trailer only cost me ?50 to hire for the day, not a lot compared with the potential damage that could occur.
Richard
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PostPost by: dellboy13 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:42 pm

Thanks for the great advice Richard, 40 mph with a hire trailer it is then.

Cheers

Mark
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:01 pm

Mark,

This is the car and trailer. As you can see, my Elan was stripped out so was quite light, just a bare shell and chassis. With the diesel Citroen, not powerful but lots of torque, I was able to tow the trailer easily at 60+ on the motorway. A lighter car may well have been pulled off line but this combination was very stable.

The trailer (with ramps and winch) was great.

regards,
Mike
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:06 pm

Sorry forgot the attachment!!!!
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PostPost by: 264889socal » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:53 am

Mark,

A minimum of 10% of the total weight of the trailer and load on the tounge should keep sway to a minimum. The tounge should be in a down attitude from the trailer to the vehicle mounted hitch ball. A high hitch ball will make driving a real challenge and dangerous.

If you use a trailer similar to the one Mike posted, you should have no problem with toung height.

Rob Walker
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:16 pm

And I strongly recommend that you refer to it. My recollection, based on a friend who has one, is that the CRV is nearly incapable of towing anything. I'm nearly certain that the specs were well below those of my ancient Corolla wagon, and I was quite surprised to learn this. The Corolla would not be capable of the combined weight of Elan and trailer, which except for a rig like Ed's would be right around 2000 pounds.

My friend desired a hitch-based bike rack capable of muliple bikes, about 100 pounds. She was told by the dealer that one is not available from Honda because it would exceed the maximum tongue weight of the CRV.

I once did a quick and very incorrect calculation that suggested an earlier Corolla could manage a U-Haul and 40 sheets of sheet rock. The result was a payload in excess of 2,000 pounds. We drove from the local Home Despot to a friend's house, not exceeding 30 MPH over a distance of maybe two miles. It was the scariest drive I've ever made. :shock:
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