Project Trailer-All Done and Using It!

By Mike Kojima

We have gotten a few emails asking about the status of Project Trailer and to be honest we had kinda forgotten to write about it in the mad rush that life in our world is about.  The truth is that our trailer works quite well and that we are pretty happy about going with a custom trailer built to our specs by Shadow Trailers in Cypress California.

If you have been following our trailer stories, you would know that we were trying to build an open deck trailer that addresses all the shortcomings that we have experienced with our trailers in the past.  We wanted to stay open deck because not all of our several tow vehicles around here have enough beans to pull an enclosed trailer.

Shadow is well known for their high quality powersports and personal watercraft trailers but they wanted to show that they can build excellent car haulers as well.  After owning and breaking a couple of cheaper trailers, we can tell that the Shadow trailer will last a lifetime without much maintenance.

Read Part One Here! 

Read Part Two here!

Perhaps the biggest beef we have had with our other trailers has been wrestling with the ramps.  Our trailers all have had big heavy ramps that pull out of the side of the trailer.  So you have to undo them, pick them up and carry them around to the back of the trailer.  This sucks and the ramp's length is limited by the width of the deck.  For our low cars, we want long ramps so our departure angle is reduced.  Side loading ramps are often stuck on the trailer by curbs, buildings and other people in the parking space next to you right when you want to load or unload your race car,
On our trailer, our ramps are hidden in the back under the deck behind this flap door.  To use the ramps, just open the door, pull them straight out and hook them up to the rail on the rear of the frame.  Super quick and easy on the back.  Our ramps are extra long as well.

Our ramps were custom fabbed by Shadow and have a steel frame with an aluminum deck top.  This won't cave in like the typical steel mesh used for most ramps and is somewhat lighter considering their length.  We love the neat, tidy and easy to use ramps!

Look how flat our ramps angle is.  Our goal was to be able to load and unload low race cars with splitters without having to remove the splitter or to have to carry tons of wood to jury rig field expedient ramp extensions.  We just use two pieces of wood to help the car make the transition up the thickish ramp.

Piece of cake and no rubbing or broken parts!
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Tuesday, September 03, 2013 7:33 AM
how much was this bad boy? trying to see if i can afford it and have shadow build me one just like yours assuming it would work as effective for my s13
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 8:04 AM
It was designed to fit anything from a GT-R to even larger like a station wagon. It costs around $7000 but I had about $4000 in repairs to my $1700 trailer over the years including a bent tongue. Nearly all the damage was done by friends borrowing the trailer, then not admitting they did it and thus not paying for it. A lot of it was just wear and tear. The cheap trailer also swayed and bounced around and had terrible brakes that didn't work well. It had bearings go out in the middle of nowhere and the hitch wore out and it almost fell off the car. Another friend with a $1500 trailer has even worse issues. If you tow a lot it's worth every penny. If you are young you probably don't need the powered winch and trailer jack.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 8:10 AM
Is there any clearance concerns using the long ramps, with the axle movement?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 8:13 AM
Of course not.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 8:17 AM
The trailer axle up and down movement, hitting the stored ramps. Hope that was clear.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 8:21 AM
Yes that is a very basic thing you want to avoid. The back of the trailer is pretty long and we have to the beavertail deck, another couple of things we did to reduce the angle.
Wednesday, September 04, 2013 7:36 PM
WOW!! Beautiful overkill details. Did you guys specify a lot of the stuff after years of faulty trailer experience or just let the pro's do their thing?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, September 04, 2013 7:43 PM
I tried to address every lame trailer experience I had then asked the guys at Shadow what could be done about it.
Thursday, September 05, 2013 6:52 AM
cool thanks for the info
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 5:42 AM
Awesome write up! I am currently looking for a trailer, but a close one. Any input in that case ? Thanks!
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