Whether it’s to haul a new project car home or protect a show car from the elements, one of the handiest pieces of equipment a gearhead can own is a car trailer. That said, a car trailer is only handy if it’s in tip-top shape and ready to roll at a moment’s notice.
We’ve owned our tandem car trailer since 2006. We lost count of how many vehicles we’ve hauled on it, but we’d estimate it has traveled at least 20,000 miles during that time. It was not so much the miles, but the period of passed time that motivated us to service the trailer. During this servicing process, we discovered three modern upgrades that greatly improved how easily the trailer loads and tows.
To report an accurate evaluation of the changes made to the trailer, this article was written six months after installing the Carlisle radial trailer tires, Summit Racing LED taillights, and tie-downs with axle straps. After installation, we racked up many miles hauling a 1927 Ford Track T, 1966 Chevelle, 1988 Chevy C/K pickup, 1951 Ford F-1, 1964 Chrysler 300K, and a 1969 Buick Riviera.
The top improvement was a new set of radial tires. The switch from bias-ply to radial trailer tires has been nothing short of miraculous. Where the bias-ply tires had a tendency to wag the trailer increasingly as the speed rose, the radials tow dead straight under all conditions at any given speed. Remember, a wagging trailer can quickly turn into a jackknifed trailer.
The second-best improvement was the switch from ordinary tungsten lighting to LED lights. Instead of continuously having to replace ordinary tungsten light bulbs, the LED lights work every time. Even more important, the LED lights are much brighter—as bright as a new car’s.
Our new tie-downs with axle straps were the third improvement we made. We realized quickly how much easier to use and more secure the eight-foot ratcheting tie-downs with axle straps are in comparison to the typical long tie-downs with bulky ends.
Three easy, quick, and very affordable improvements made a world of difference for our car trailer. Check out the slideshow above to see how they can transform your trailer, too.