As a classic car enthusiast in Michigan, you know a big part of your hobby is transporting your car to various shows and gatherings. There are many types of trailers you could use, but you know a quality car trailer is the best option. As you look at your options, and consider the various enclosed car trailers, keep these things in mind.

The Basis

First, consider whether you want an open or enclosed car hauler. It may be easier to have an open car trailer, so you can more easily get in and out as you load and unload. However, anyone who has driven the road in Michigan knows an open trailer leaves your car exposed to damage.

Once you have a quality trailer in place, consider these things to ensure you get the best experience moving your car.

Remember the Prep

Before you set off for the season, you want to prep your car hauler to make sure it is up to the job. There are some conditions you want to check before putting your beauty on the trailer.

First, conduct a visual inspection of the entire frame. You want to make sure there are no cracks or obvious weak joints.

Next, check to make sure the axles are turning freely. Apply grease or lubricant to ensure there are no grinding or sticking points.

Check the hitch, coupler, safety chains, tie-downs, cabinetry or cages, and ramps. Also, check the wiring and lights. With all of these look for signs of wear or corrosion, that would cause any of these to malfunction.

Understand Your Capacity

You want to be careful to stay within your trailer’s capacity. The obvious capacity is the weight capacity of the trailer, known as the GVWR. If you do exceed that capacity, you are likely to damage your trailer, potentially as it travels down the road.

The next capacity you want to be careful of is the weight capacity of your tow vehicle. Too heavy of a load risks straining your transmission and engine, not to mention making your braking system ineffective.

Beyond these, consider the capacity of everything else you want to take with you. Make sure you have the proper place to store any cleaning supplies, extra fluids, rags, and anything else you need to make your trip a success. You should plan to store these in or on your trailer, and in a way, they will not leak onto your car.

The 60/40 Rule

Be sure to follow the simple 60/40 rule for loading your trailer. The rule simply says that you put 60% of your weight toward the front of the trailer, with 40% toward the rear. To accomplish this, be sure to put the front of the car toward the front.

Also, consider loading extra fluids, like gas cans, on the front of the trailer. Also, think about adding any luggage or other equipment to the front as well. This keeps the trailer from putting too much negative strain on the hitch and ball.

Secure Everything

Once you load your car into your car trailer, you want to make sure you secure everything down. To assist with this, consider adding D-rings throughout the trailer, or a securing system like E-tracks.

In addition to your classic car, be sure to secure everything else in your trailer. To assist with this, consider adding cabinets or cases in the corners of your trailer. You may also wish to add a case over the tongue of your trailer or a rack to the roof.

Before You Tow

Every time you take your trailer, you should plan to do a quick inspection and make sure it is ready for your precious classic.

First, check your tires on both your vehicle and your trailer. Legally, you need at least 2/32 inches of tread on your tires. The easiest way to check this is with a tread depth finder, or you can use an upside-down penny. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires.

Check all of your lights to ensure they are working correctly. Once your trailer is hooked up be sure to not only check your running lights but also your brake lights and turn signals.

Along with your lights, be sure to check that your brakes are operating correctly. If there is any squealing, you should consider replacing the pads. Double-check the pad thickness and that there are metal parts rubbing on the drum or rotor.

Double and triple-check that your safety chains are properly attached and in good condition. If there is any weakness in the chain, it may not hold if your hitch or tongue fails.