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Trailering GTI

Ronnie_B

Go Kart Newbie
Anyone tow their GTI for track days and have some recommendation on trailer size/specs? I recently picked up a Nissan Frontier and I'm looking into towing a 14 or 16ft flatbed trailer. Prefer as small as possible, but strapping down the car on a 14ft may a bit tight.
 

GeorgiaBII

Drag Race Newbie
You need at least a 1/2 ton truck to tow a car safely. You can do it with a smaller truck but it won't be safe.
 

Ronnie_B

Go Kart Newbie
Understand and thanks for the opinion. To be fair, most modem midsize trucks are about the same size as the 1/2 ton pickups of the 80s-90s era. They certainly have more power and better brakes, and weigh about the same as well. Either way, I’ll be a full ton below the tow rating of the Frontier (3100lb car + 1500lb trailer). I have a tongue scale to properly position the car, a proportional brake controller, and electric brakes on both axles. My trip to the track is fairly straight with little to no elevation changes.
My question was more along the lines of fitting a GTI on a 14ft trailer, vs 16ft.

I was able to find a 14ft +2ft dovetail trailer, and I’m trying to do some test loading this week.
 

zrickety

The Fixer
I bought a tow dolly that has worked great to pull my Jeep and the GTI. Many SUV's and small trucks can do 5000 lbs, most of our cars are in the low 3000 range, so that gives you some wiggle room.
 

ChrisAttebery

Go Kart Champion
You may find that the balance is better with the car backwards on the trailer. There was a thread on Grassroots Motorsports forum on this topic recently.
 

Ronnie_B

Go Kart Newbie
You may find that the balance is better with the car backwards on the trailer. There was a thread on Grassroots Motorsports forum on this topic recently.
I've heard the same with FWD. It's all going to come down to whether I can get the tongue weight around the 500lb range, depending on positioning. I'd prefer to pull forwards rather than backwards, but that may not be optimal.

Thanks for the heads up!
 

1ashchuckton

Autocross Newbie
I'm not sure I'd want to put the car on the trailer backwords. Not enough tongue weight & towing can be down right dangerous.
 

Ronnie_B

Go Kart Newbie
Rear / mid-engine cars would be candidates to be backed onto a trailer, or have the trailer axles rearward enough to balance the weight. Front engine cars and especially FWD cars are front biased and should typically be loaded forward to gain required tongue weight. At the end of the day, it all comes down to combination of variables: weight bias of the car, axle location(s) on the trailer, and the positioning of the car on the trailer. For a 4600lb total load, my tongue weight should be in the 460-690lb range. The max tongue weight capacity for my truck is 630lbs, so figured I'd split the difference and aim for a 500-550lb tongue load. I'll be checking with a scale while I position the car, then I'll mark the trailer for future reference.
 

ChrisAttebery

Go Kart Champion
It's all about balance. If the tongue weight is too high with the car facing forward ti might actually be better with the car facing backward. Having too much tongue weight can be just as dangerous as having too little. That's especially true when you're using a truck that's going to be above 80% of its towing capacity. That's why I mentioned it.

I'm not sure I'd want to put the car on the trailer backwords. Not enough tongue weight & towing can be down right dangerous.
 

ChrisAttebery

Go Kart Champion
Keep in mind all of the crap you're going to be hauling along with the car and the trailer. Tires, tools, fluids, ice chest, and the guy behind the wheel. You might want to load up everything you plan to haul and get the combo weighed.

Understand and thanks for the opinion. To be fair, most modem midsize trucks are about the same size as the 1/2 ton pickups of the 80s-90s era. They certainly have more power and better brakes, and weigh about the same as well. Either way, I’ll be a full ton below the tow rating of the Frontier (3100lb car + 1500lb trailer). I have a tongue scale to properly position the car, a proportional brake controller, and electric brakes on both axles. My trip to the track is fairly straight with little to no elevation changes.
My question was more along the lines of fitting a GTI on a 14ft trailer, vs 16ft.

I was able to find a 14ft +2ft dovetail trailer, and I’m trying to do some test loading this week.
 

Ronnie_B

Go Kart Newbie
Keep in mind all of the crap you're going to be hauling along with the car and the trailer. Tires, tools, fluids, ice chest, and the guy behind the wheel. You might want to load up everything you plan to haul and get the combo weighed.
Up until now, I've hauled all my gear in the GTI and so I've weighed the car loaded vs unloaded...and it all came out to about 650lbs worth of stuff - myself included. I did that because I was nervous I was at the GVWR of the GTI. ? The GCWR of my truck is 11135lbs, subtract the curb weight of the truck(4452lbs), the weight of the loaded trailer (4600lbs), and lastly weight of aforementioned payload 650lbs puts me at roughly 1430lbs under the GCWR. The towing capacity is 6300lbs and max tongue weight is 630lbs, so my thought is that I'll be well under both of those limits as well.
 

GeorgiaBII

Drag Race Newbie
That's going to be miserable towing that close to the weight rating. I hope you have trailer brakes. If you don't install them before trying this and get a good brake controller a prodigy 3 is my go to.
 

Ronnie_B

Go Kart Newbie
That's going to be miserable towing that close to the weight rating. I hope you have trailer brakes. If you don't install them before trying this and get a good brake controller a prodigy 3 is my go to.
In my original response to you I’ve already stated that I would be using a proportional brake controller (not time based), a Tekonsha Primus IQ. I also made it clear that there would be brakes on both axles. I also stated that I would be a ton (2000lbs) under the rated towing capacity of the truck. I’m all for hearing opinions, but unless you have some actual facts to back up your claims, it’s hard to take them serious. The actual empty weight of the trailer I’m looking at is 1350lbs + 3050lb car, so total is 4400lbs...which is 69% of the 6400lb rated towing capacity. If you consider 69% of capacity “unsafe” then I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. ?‍♂

BTW, this is the trailer I’m looking at: 15ft steel split-deck with dove tail.
 

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Ronnie_B

Go Kart Newbie
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