How Racing Team Trailer Towing Works

Racing Team Trailer Specs

In the good old days, most drivers towed their race cars on open flatbed trailers like this one.
In the good old days, most drivers towed their race cars on open flatbed trailers like this one.
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So what is a racing team trailer like? That depends entirely upon how much money the team doles out for their equipment. The most basic kind of car-hauling trailer is a flatbed trailer with no ceiling or walls. These trailers are usually at least 14 feet (4 meters) long. While most have safety features like D-rings, breakaway connections and sway control, they don't offer any protection from the elements.

Enclosed trailers cost about twice as much as open trailers. The obvious benefit of an enclosed trailer is that it offers more protection to the car. Even if the enclosed trailer doesn't have any frills, many racing teams will invest in one to protect the vehicle. Enclosed trailers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The shorter trailers are about 14 feet (4 meters) long. The longest ones can top out at around 53 feet (16 meters)!

One of th­e basic features of any trailer is the hitch system. The hitch system is what connects the trailer to the tow vehicle. A bumper-pull hitch system connects to a tow vehicle with a rear-mounted hitch. A fifth-wheel -- or gooseneck -- hitch system has an overhanging section in the front. The overhanging section fits over the back of a truck. The fifth-wheel hitch system connects to the center of the bed of the truck. Semi-truck trailers are pretty much self-explanatory -- they connect to the rear section of a semitruck.

Another basic trailer feature is a wiring system. The simplest of these provide power to brake lights, side lights and turn signal lights. More advanced versions also include functions like power for auxiliary systems, backup lights and brake systems.

But what about the other end of the spectrum? What kind of amenities can you find in the most expensive racing team trailers? Here's just a short list of some of the luxuries a top-of-the-line enclosed trailer might have:

  • Living quarters (bedroom, lounges, bathrooms with running water, dining rooms and kitchens)
  • Stoves, microwaves, refrigerators and other appliances
  • Entertainment systems (LCD televisions, DVD players, video game consoles and satellite radio systems)
  • A power generator
  • Solar panels
  • Climate control, both for the living quarters and the car storage area
  • Tool cabinets and workbenches
  • Rubber, vinyl or metal flooring in the garage section of the trailer
  • Electric or hydraulic landing gear to allow the trailer to remain freestanding without the tow vehicle
  • Car lifts, also known as elevators, can elevate a car so that it can drive into the trailer while others have two levels within the trailer itself, allowing you to tow multiple cars in the same trailer
  • Slideouts -- expandable sections within the trailer that increase the size of the trailer's interior when fully extended
  • Viewing platforms and reinforced trailer ceilings
  • Awnings

Next, we'll look at the different types of racing team trailers.