Classic Cars & Cargo Trailers
Your Classic Car Is Everything
It’s not just your hobby or a cool dinner story, it’s your passion. You’ve put a lot of time and energy into restoring it and keeping it looking like new. So, the last thing you want to worry about is getting it across the country for that next big car show. And, you don’t want to waste money on those car hauling companies every time you head out.
With the sporadic weather, rumble, and tumble of the road and fragile nature of the cargo, what you need are some tips for hauling your car to and from events. That’s where we come in.
GENERAL CAR HAULING TIPS
Up first, the basics. Often overlooked as you tow more and more, these are essential for ensuring your car is safe and secure while in transit.
Prep the Proper Components
If you store your trailer outside or if it hasn’t been used in a while, you’ll want to inspect for rusting and any dirt and grime that’s made its way into components. Getting things up and running like new may require a little dry lubricant, but it’s always a best practice to give the trailer a quick rinse and dry.
Take a look at the hitch, coupler, safety chains, door handle, and locks, as well as any aftermarket wiring, cabinetry, appliances, etc. You don’t want to get caught off-guard a mile down the road.
Keep Capacity in Mind
Overburdening your car trailer won’t just cost you when it comes to fuel consumption, it will add dangerous stress to both the trailer’s axles, wheels, and structure, but the towing vehicle, as well. Make sure to check your trailer’s manual or specifications guide for the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and payload capacity. By adhering to these limits, you’ll be ensuring your trailer won’t put unnecessary strain on the brakes and that the rig meets all road regulations.
Just as you would with a typical cargo load, make sure 60% of the weight (as much as you can with a car) is in the front of the trailer and 40% is in the back. By front, we mean the trailer end closest to the towing vehicle. This means any extra equipment you need to bring along should be loaded in first.
Note: Most Formula trailers come with secondary doors in the front, so you won’t find yourself sacrificing access to gear or stuck moving the car in and out to access all of your cargo.
Secure the Goods
Once it’s inside, make sure your car is secure by utilizing tie-downs, covers, and any D-rings or E-tracks that are available. You might be asking, “why the cover?” Well, unless you’re using straps that are wrapped in a soft fabric, you run the risk of rubbing off paint as the car shifts slightly during transportation. We suggest opting for E-tracks, as they give you the most freedom when it comes to strapping the car in.
The car’s in, the doors are closed, tunes are prepped, so you’re ready to go. Well, not so fast. Do these quick preliminary checks to ensure you’re at least prepped in the most important places.
- Tires: Proper PSI is provided by the tire manufacturer, so always defer to them first.
- You’ve probably heard about the coin test, so we’ll stick with the easiest way to determine tire health. If you use a penny, insert it into the tire tread (Lincoln head down and facing you), and if you can see the President’s head, it’s time to replace.
- Lights: Do a walk-around to ensure all lights are functioning as intended. That’s taillights, dome lights, turn signals, and any others you have installed.
- This is much easier if you have a second person call outsides when you’re pressing the brakes, using turn signals, etc., otherwise, you’ll be doing more guesswork than checking.
- Brakes: Always perform a proper brake inspection before departure. This goes for the trailer (if applicable) and the towing vehicle. If they squeal, this is a good sign you need to invest in some new ones before hauling cargo.
- When inspecting the brake pads, you’ll be looking for thickness and any metal showing. If they’re worn thin, it’s time to replace them. If you see metal, you may need to replace the discs, as well.
- Safety Chains: Make sure these are attached before you tow. They connect the trailer coupler to the towing vehicle and offer an emergency backup should the trailer become unattached for any reason. The two chains should be crisscrossed to offer even more strength.
TIPS FOR CLASSIC CAR MAINTENANCE
Just as you would clean your trailer, you’ll want to keep your classic car just as spotless. This prevents chemicals and grime from eating away at your car’s exterior and underbelly.
Oils & Fluids
Make sure all oils and fluids (transmission, for sure) are changed out at regular intervals to prevent them from harming the engine. And even if the vehicle isn’t being driven, leaving old oils and fluids in the motor will inevitably cause long-term harm.
Bearings & Joints
Now that the oils have been taken care of (hopefully), it’s time to make sure the hardware is working as intended. Check for rust, anything broken or chipped, as well as build-ups of grease, grime, and dirt. Replace or clean out as needed.
Now, we realize you’re probably an expert when it comes to your car, but sometimes it’s worth bringing it to a trusted mechanic (one that specializes in your particular vehicle) to do a proper inspection of key components that can be hard to reach or replace should time or resources be limited.
FIND A CLASSIC CAR NEAR YOU
We could list out every car show across the country, but we think a quick Google search is a much better use of your reading time. Just type in “classic car shows + [your state]” and you’ll be greeted by a list of upcoming events in your area.
BROWSE AUTO HAULERS JUST AS STYLISH AS THE CAR INSIDE THEM
Sure, the following Formula trailers are geared for the racetrack, but that doesn’t mean these car haulers are any less worthy of your vintage automobile.