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Old 05-03-2011, 12:38 AM   #41
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I had a 1997 5.2L Dodge Dakota, sold it in good+ condition for $3,500 with 121K miles. Sucks gas, but that's true of most anything that can tow. It had really comfortable seats which you'd want for long trips, plenty of power, handled well and it looked good. If I ever get another truck, it'll be a Dakota R/T, which had a bigger engine etc then the 'Sport' that I had
Here's a twin of mine:
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:29 AM   #42
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crunching knees on the bed while crawling around positioning and accessing stuff really sucks
...so stand up. I've never crawled around the bed of my truck.

TrackDayHookey tows his Miata with a diesel Sprinter. From what I can gather, he loves it.

If you're towing a Miata like 2-3 times a year there are a lot of vehicles that will do it just fine - pretty much every V6 SUV, all the V8s, etc. The question is whether you want to do it. A V6 SUV will get **** mileage, you will struggle up hills, and forget about passing anyone. Having a V8 makes the journey that much less stressful - you aren't worried about the next set of hills. When I've just spent 2 days at the track tending to two cars, I don't want to stress about the semi rig next to me, or who else is about to blow my doors off as I struggle up a 6-7% grade at 45mph - I want to set the cruise at 70, set the A/C, crank up the tunes, and relax. With a flatbed and a Miata in tow, pretty much every half-ton pickup/SUV made in the last 15 years will allow you to relax when you're towing.

The gap from V8 to Diesel is much smaller than the gap between V6 and V8. Diesel will get better mileage and give you the ability to tow BIG **** if you ever want to. If you're only talking about a 5000lb open trailer, though, a half-ton truck will do the job very well.

Having said all of that, if you buy an enclosed trailer and tow it with a gas truck, you're a fool. I get better mileage towing 9000lbs on an open trailer than I do towing our empty 28" enclosed, which weighs half that. If you're going to the track often enough to justify the cost of an enclosed trailer, sack up.
Truck has a canopy on it, can't stand up and some of my stuff I just don’t want out in the weather without the canopy or not be able to close it up with the appearance of being secured from theft.

I currently have a single axle car trailer that is just big enough for the miata. no trailer brakes but big beefy commercial size mega ply tires on it. It is really light. I don’t think it weighs much more than 400 lbs for just the trailer. I can lift the tong up and walk it around the yard by hand even can lift and scoot the back of it sideways by hand while it is hooked up. It is very well made too. Can’t buy anything like this anymore.

My 95 S10 blazer has no problem pulling it up to speed with a Miata on it and I towed over Cyuse pass on the flank of Mt Rainer with it several times The braking ability of the Blazer is a bit lacking so you have to be careful about getting into a panic stop situation is the only issue. The V6 blazer gets about the same mileage towing this trailer setup as the Dodge but will go a bit faster without killing fuel economy 70 is no problem and right now regular unladed is way cheaper than diesel so it is significantly more economical. My issue with the blazer is it is a 95 with almost 300k miles on it and it has never had a major repair it is going to have a major failure some time and could use replacement soon. A heavy *** U-haul type car trailer over my light weight trailer makes a pretty big difference in the way it will tow a Miata as well. The 3500 diesel Sprinter looks like it has the about the same hp and torque as my S10 V6 Blazer and the things seem to get great milage especially unloaded.

I’m also considering a 20’ enclosed trailer though so I could put tools and tires all in the trailer and it would solve my packing the back of the truck issues. Maybe get a light weight camper for the truck and save on hotel bills too.

Bob

Last edited by bbundy; 05-03-2011 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:18 AM   #43
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I’m also considering a 20’ enclosed trailer though so I could put tools and tires all in the trailer and it would solve my packing the back of the truck issues. Bob
Exactly - but I cringe knowing how bad it'll be towing it with my 1500 too... all I have is a carport, so the track car gets covered up under it. An enclosed 20 or 22' hauler would be awesome for everything you mention plus a portable garage for me. I see basic new ones come and go for 4-5K.
Any of you try using a Bully Dog with your tow rigs?

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Old 05-03-2011, 12:43 PM   #44
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I know this is probably taboo, but do you guys ever stop and think about why you modified your car so heavily that you need to buy a truck and trailer that gets bad gas millage to tow your unstreetable race car?

Honestly, any regrets?
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:53 PM   #45
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No, I would have the same truck anywayz cuz I am a man.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:01 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Trackwhore View Post
I know this is probably taboo, but do you guys ever stop and think about why you modified your car so heavily that you need to buy a truck and trailer that gets bad gas millage to tow your unstreetable race car?

Honestly, any regrets?
if you gotta ask...............






.................you must have never driven on a track before.......................







............or your really old!!!!!!!


fyi, most can still drive to the track, i can but it feels alot better knowing if something happens you can still get home. that's the same wether it's modified or stock. next your gonna ask why we feel the need to go faster, make more money, or cheat on our girlfriends with our wives!
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:01 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Trackwhore View Post
I know this is probably taboo, but do you guys ever stop and think about why you modified your car so heavily that you need to buy a truck and trailer that gets bad gas millage to tow your unstreetable race car?

Honestly, any regrets?
For a few people the miata is purely a track car and is not street legal, so it has to be towed.

For the other I think a lot of it comes down to not having to worry about breaking something or crashing into a wall. I know when I start tracking in the fall I am planning on towing the car just because I don't want to have the worry about how I will be getting home.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:04 PM   #48
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^That is the ******* bizzness... but I'm definitely with PUSHA on this one... old'ish crew cab Ford Diesel. I know I'll have one some day.
I bought it a little over one year and 24k mi ago for $3,500. EVERYTHING works but the horn because I took the train horn off and haven't hooked the factory horns up yet (i r teh lazy).
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:38 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trackwhore View Post
I know this is probably taboo, but do you guys ever stop and think about why you modified your car so heavily that you need to buy a truck and trailer that gets bad gas millage to tow your unstreetable race car?

Honestly, any regrets?
Nope. I bought mine because I wanted to bring the Miata and my wife & kids with me, without having to drive two vehicles the whole way there and back.

As for the 2500 diesel, well, the first trip was San Jose to Grand Junction for the FM open house last year, and the middle of the San Rafael swell in Utah is not where I wanted to decide that I really should have bought more truck (actual freeway sign: "next services 120 miles").

--Ian
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:42 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trackwhore View Post
I know this is probably taboo, but do you guys ever stop and think about why you modified your car so heavily that you need to buy a truck and trailer that gets bad gas millage to tow your unstreetable race car?

Honestly, any regrets?
Nope. Driving a car to/from the track requires that you make concessions I was no longer willing to make (HVAC, side windows, headlights). I've also been stranded at the track before - having to get a ride home, then go back up the next day with a borrowed truck/trailer sucks a whole lot more than just towing it there in the first place.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:59 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trackwhore View Post
I know this is probably taboo, but do you guys ever stop and think about why you modified your car so heavily that you need to buy a truck and trailer that gets bad gas millage to tow your unstreetable race car?

Honestly, any regrets?
Nope. Allows me to build a spartan race car that's truly track prepped (no creature comforts, no windows, big cage, etc) without need for annual emissions/insurance/registration, and without worry that I can't get home if something happens.

Another benefit is you can push the car off the trailer when you get to the track and you're done. Not having to work before and after the event to make your car track/race worthy = epic.

Cool thread! Here's my junk, if you haven't seen it yet.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:12 PM   #52
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This is the DIYAutoTune.com hauler (yes Jerry knows he needs a bigger truck).

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Old 05-03-2011, 02:12 PM   #53
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Exactly - but I crinch knowing how bad it'll be towing it with my 1500 too... all I have is a carport, so the track car gets covered up under it. An enclosed 20 or 22' hauler would be awesome for everything you mention plus a portable garage for me. I see basic new ones come and go for 4-5K.
Any of you try using a Bully Dog with your tow rigs?
Yea the 20' covered trailer weighs about 3000 lbs by itself. The V6 S10 Blazer or even a mercedes diesl Sprinter is not going to like towing that. The Dodge Cummins however doesn’t seem to care much whether it is towing 3000 or 6000# total weight It still gets about the same fuel economy and goes up hills without issue. I also have a Banks exhaust brake on it it really saves using the brakes hard going down hills.

Bob
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:20 PM   #54
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Another benefit is you can push the car off the trailer when you get to the track and you're done. Not having to work before and after the event to make your car track/race worthy = epic.
This. Not having to unpack in the mornings is nice, but not having to pack up in the evenings is even nicer. I pull the car onto the trailer, hook up the straps, throw a few things back in the truck, and I'm gone.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:30 PM   #55
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Seriously considering buying that Chevy truck for 3k now...
I can't get over how much I would hate driving that thing though.

samnavy, my friend has a 98-00 (somewhere around there) 4Runner that is well kept and I know he got it for way less than 15k (I honestly can't see him spending anything above 6k on any kind of car). After some google searches though I see that the 3.4 out of the earlier 4Runners is weak as ****.
GOD DAMMIT DONT WANT BIG CAR WAT DO

Also +1 for not having to worry about your **** breaking, and unpacking/packing your **** at the track. I intend to keep my car legal enough to keep it registered so I can actually enjoy it a couple times a week.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:31 PM   #56
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Also +1 for not having to worry about your **** breaking, and unpacking/packing your **** at the track. I intend to keep my car legal enough to keep it registered so I can actually enjoy it a couple times a week.

I have swapped out broken transmissions twice at pretty remote locations and in parking lots hundreds of miles from home. after driving my car to a track.

Bob
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:04 PM   #57
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I could do it in a parking lot as well if I had to, but I would much rather do that at home. Did you have a spare transmission with you or did you have to source it? How long did the whoel thing take? There is a lot of crap that I could get done to get my car home if I had to, but I would prefer to be able to work on it at home with all the right tools and parts on my own schedule. If I have the ability to trailer it, then I always do.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:40 PM   #58
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I have swapped out broken transmissions twice at pretty remote locations and in parking lots hundreds of miles from home. after driving my car to a track.

Bob
I broke a main bolt and split two caps in my motor at the track back in March. No way you're repairing that in a parking lot anywhere.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:27 PM   #59
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Man, after hanging around a friend's local company rig at the Mitty, I totally want a semi-truck setup. Of course that's assuming your hauling 2+ cars. It's quite nice to haul 3 race-cars, a Jeep to drive around the track, all the food, a big SS grill, tables, and chairs to feed 10-15 people for the weekend, a place to sleep 3, and then stuff another racecar in it to take back home. It was quite impressive to say the least.


I have a feeling I'll need to pony up and find a truck this time next year. Thankfully I live in the land of be-loved pick-ups and I can have a reliable tow truck for ~$3k
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:21 PM   #60
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I definitely see the perks, I was just curious. If you already have a tow vehicle, then it seems like an obvious decision. I can just see how things can get out of hand quickly when modifying a car for track duty, and adding another vehicle on top of that is a pretty big commitment.
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