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winter project - track trailer build

  1. #1
    Lifer isaac_'s Avatar
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    winter project - track trailer build

    I'm stoked to have picked up Catahoulabuldog's trailer over the weekend. . Pictures can be seen here. And for the moment, it's found a great spot for the winter in my parents driveway.

    This trailer is already in amazing shape as far as my untrained eye can tell, but I'd still like to do some work on it and I'm going to use this space to document that work. This project should make the winter much more bearable and give me something to do so I don't sit idly.

    Here's a list of ideas I have, in no particular order and by all means not exhaustive:

    1. Install breaks. I took a quick look from underneath and it appears I have break mounting flanges on the axle, so I should be able to bolt on electric drum brakes. I'll need to remove the wheels to make confirm.
    2. Install a fold up trailer bed like these. I'm more than likely to try and attempt to build some on my own to try and keep the cost down.
    3. Install a couple of chocks. The pitbull TRS in the picture did not come with trailer and the hidden chock on the trailer is too far forward to keep the weight of the bike over the axle. At least one more just in case.
    4. Longer term I'd like a retractable awning. In the mean time, my EZ up will do just fine.
    5. Redo the wiring harness. It works but could use some love.
    6. Put down a new floor. Something a little less slick. I almost face planted over the weekend.
    7. It currently has a string of lights around the top, but I may install something a bit more permanent. I haven't decided how much this is worth to me.


    One question I have for those of you with race/track trailers, how do you normally get electricity in them at tracks? Let's say I'm not close enough to plug into an electrical outlet of some sort...

    This is a personal project more than anything. I could very well leave it as is and it'd do just fine. But I've taken track days seriously and would prefer something more comfortable than the back of my SUV. Who knows... it might just begin to make appearances at Loudon towards the end of next season.

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  2. #2
    Lifer
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    Re: winter project - track trailer build



    I have nothing solid to add.

    Most RV style roll up awnings I've seen are pretty big money. Arguably worth it in the long term. But much more spendy than an ez-up.
    Couple less robust alternatives I've seen:
    - ARB awning : ARB Awning 1250 (ARB3110A)
    - Bus Depot : Ezy Awning Plus - LARGER Version - Beige

    These seem to effectively be ez-ups bolted to the side of a van (or trailer in your case). So I'm not sure there is a big advantage vs just setting up an ez-up next to the trailer. Much more versatile. Storage is easier though.

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  3. #3
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: winter project - track trailer build

    If the floor is in good shape other than being slippery, get some paint at H-D or Lowe's and add a friction additive. They are basically packets of sand/grit that you mix into the paint before applying it.

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  4. #4

    Re: winter project - track trailer build

    I made 2 fold up beds in my trailer - they work great and allows me to use a full thickness mattress, so nice and comfy. it did it out of a 4x8 sheet of 5/8" maple (or something like that... it's a very smooth wood, not plywood). Buy the mattress first, as the first step is to rip the wood so one piece is the thickness of the mattress - which will be the part that does not fold up.

    I would suggest purchasing new Pit Bull restraints... they are worth it.

    Figure out what you are going to put in for gear, and how much it weighs. You may find that all that stuff will be up front and you might want the bed and bike to be a little behind the axle to even it out a little.

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    Tony
    Trackdays in CT, NY, and NH
    www.TonysTrackDays.com



    Pirelli Track Tires - www.goMTAG.com


  5. #5
    Lifer Ductard's Avatar
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    Re: winter project - track trailer build

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post


    I have nothing solid to add.

    Most RV style roll up awnings I've seen are pretty big money. Arguably worth it in the long term. But much more spendy than an ez-up.
    Couple less robust alternatives I've seen:
    - ARB awning : ARB Awning 1250 (ARB3110A)
    - Bus Depot : Ezy Awning Plus - LARGER Version - Beige

    These seem to effectively be ez-ups bolted to the side of a van (or trailer in your case). So I'm not sure there is a big advantage vs just setting up an ez-up next to the trailer. Much more versatile. Storage is easier though.
    I looked at last summer - I'm not sure about the vernacular but there are "RV Style" awnings that go for a couple hundred bucks. I think they are called "bag awnings" and they looked to be a little sturdier than the ARB / Bus Depot awnings you posted appear to be. They're more of a manual job than what most people with an RV want to deal with though.

    My thought on awnings / ez-ups is to get something that isn't going to collapse the first time there's a big gust of wind. I think I spent $60 or so on my first ez-up knockoff, but it lasted a day and a half. I got a 10x10 Coleman for ~$100 that has made it through the second half of the summer and is still going strong. Gotta make sure you anchor the thing down though, with something other than gas cans / spare tires / or anything else you might want to grab in a hurry between sessions / races.

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    "Where are we going?...and why am I in this handbasket?"
    LRRS 919
    '12 Ducati 1199 Panigale (track) '08 Honda CRF 250 (ice) '02 KTM 520 SX Supermoto (track)

  6. #6
    Lifer
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    Re: winter project - track trailer build

    Good call! Looks like these guys are the top hit for 'bag' awnings. Price for their 'supreme' model looks to be in the $300-350 range for trailer or van sizes. Kinda pricey, but better looking quality than what I was finding.

    Growing up my grandparents had an old-school Wini camper. They put a very nice manual 'patio' awning on the side of it. I am pretty sure it was a Dometic based on what I'm seeing online. They seem to still be in business and more-or-less still the same design. Very sturdy, very nice awnings. But big money. My grandfather liked them so much he put them on his deck on the house. They were much more expensive though. Looks like $750-900 easy.

    I personally would prefer a manually operated awning. Less to break. Cheaper to buy. And really, how friggin' hard is it to unroll an awning?!
    The key is that it is built into and/or permanently attached to the exterior of the van/trailer freeing up internal storage space.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 01-06-15 at 07:41 AM.

  7. #7
    Lifer isaac_'s Avatar
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    Re: winter project - track trailer build

    Sweet! Thanks for the lead guys. I'm with bubba on the manually operated one. I was even thinking about one I could easily mount/remove and store lengthwise in the trailer. You know... to eliminate drag. I don't think it'd take up a lot of space. But it would be a hassle to put up every time.

    Progress has been slow. Mostly because I also took it upon myself to remove the engine on my bike so I could fix some threads. That's neither here nor there.

    I have been reading on brakes as that's item #1 on my to-do list. I think I'm going with this set up:

    1. Kodiak disk trailer brakes
    2. ActuLink Brake Actuator
    3. DirecLink Brake Controller


    I'm not sure yet which model brakes I will be going with (I have a general idea) but I need to pull at least one of the wheels on the trailer to confirm. It's not a cheap set-up, but I don't think I should be skimping out on brakes.

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    Last edited by isaac_; 01-06-15 at 09:25 AM.

  8. #8
    High maintenance priss
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    Re: winter project - track trailer build

    Congrats on the trailer - will be an upgrade from sleeping in your car. I have refurb cargo trailers twice now (both Thules), I'll follow along.

    If rewiring your trailer, I'd suggest getting a 7-wire distribution block and a 7-round pigtail. This would give you potential options in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by isaac_ View Post
    One question I have for those of you with race/track trailers, how do you normally get electricity in them at tracks? Let's say I'm not close enough to plug into an electrical outlet of some sort...
    You'll need a generator or house batteries in your trailer. With either one it's possible to do both 120v and 12v. Figure out what sort of stuff you want: interior lights? recharge cell phone? 120v for laptop, tv, microwave, a/c? etc...

    Most basic to start would probably just be a house battery with 12v LED lights and a couple cigarette plug things that will let you charge cell phone. House battery would be charged via vehicle connection when you're moving or could look into solar. You could add onto this system later w/ a 120v to 12v converter which would let you retain your existing 12v stuff and add 120v outlets and ability to charge the house battery w/ 120v. This setup requires a 120v source (plug into shore power or generator).

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  9. #9
    High maintenance priss
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    Re: winter project - track trailer build

    And yes - you can definitely add brakes to the axles on Thule trailers. You can buy the complete kit and it will bolt right up.

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  10. #10
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: winter project - track trailer build

    I get a surprising amount of light into my trailer just via a roof vent. That plus a 12v fan so there is some forced air flow even with the doors closed is nice and will run forever off a small battery. I have a 200w inverter I keep in my car so I can recharge my laptop/phone if needed. I keep a L. L. Bean LED lantern with me as well, provides more than enough light without needing dedicated wiring and it works outside too, etc.

    Where I find I want decent amounts of 110v is for my AC or heat. Heat is nice at night as it seems the trailer naturally turns into an icebox once the sun goes down. You'll want good insulation underneath you when you sleep.

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