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What size trailer do you use for towing your RS?

This is a discussion on What size trailer do you use for towing your RS? within the Focus RS Discussions forums, part of the Focus RS Forums category; I used to tow with this little 14' tilt trailer. Nice and small. I always hated to have to drag my tires and tools into ...

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Thread: What size trailer do you use for towing your RS?

  1. #11
    RS Senior Member vrinner's Avatar
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    I used to tow with this little 14' tilt trailer. Nice and small. I always hated to have to drag my tires and tools into the motel room for any overnight trips.

    Upgraded to a 28' Beaver tail. A lot more concentration on driving and where to park but nice and roomy and secure.

    If your tow vehicle is at the limit, I would suggest getting something bigger. Just like JWA stated about getting the best tie-down setup, having the right vehicle to tow with is key to getting you and your family home safe. I had a friend who swore his F150 was fine for his small toy hauler until he ended up flipping the entire rig with his wife and two kids in the truck. His next truck was a F350 dually 4X4. Now thats a bit overkill but it opened his eyes up for sure. Be safe.


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    '84 Mustang SVO (the Original)
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  2. #12
    JWA
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    I think that's about what my deck height is too. If your RS is anything lower than stock height it might be tight even with those extenders. I use mine for RallyCross and run a tire that's about 1/4" taller than stock and my front lip has less than 1" clearance to the ramps on approach. If your tow vehicle has air suspension and a higher off-road type mode that can help in this regard too.

    Another option is to look into longer ramps for the trailer itself. On mine the storage location goes up to the axle so the 5' is all I have. It's worth noting that the Race Ramps weigh nothing and there is room to store them underneath the back of the RS at the back side of the trailer on top of the deck.
    Last edited by JWA; 02-26-2019 at 12:18 PM.

  3. #13
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    Here are a couple pics of my setup. Note that the shorter you go the less room you have for the tie-downs so the more creative you have to get there, and the less room you have to adjust for trailer weight distribution. I basically got lucky that the tongue weight comes out exactly perfect with this setup.

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    I find that this type of tire strap works really well for the RS. The trick is establishing the perfect placement for the car on the trailer. ( tongue weight ) and then select the mounting spots for the D rings etc. I found that the D ring needs to be pretty close to the front and back of the tires. If you have to much angle on the straps they will hit the plastic
    front cover / bumper. Altho some folks ratchet it to the edge of the trailer frame ( as in this picture )


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    Former oldies. 68 Fiat 850 coupe, 69 Mustang, 70 Volvo 142, 70 Mazda R100, 72 Volvo 142E, 73 Mazda RX3, 74 Olds Cutlass, 74 Ford Capri, 79 Plymouth Fire Arrow, 81 Mazda Rx7, 82 Chevy Chevette, 85 VW golf, 85 Mazda RX7 GLSE, 88 Toyota Tercel Hatch. 88 Audi Quatro, 91 Honda Accord, 94 Nissan Sentra, 98 VW Jetta, 02 VW Jetta, 08 Mazda 6, ( not listed , Bikes , Trucks or Vans )

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    RS Senior Member robotman321's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWA View Post
    I think that's about what my deck height is too. If your RS is anything lower than stock height it might be tight even with those extenders. I use mine for RallyCross and run a tire that's about 1/4" taller than stock and my front lip has less than 1" clearance to the ramps on approach. If your tow vehicle has air suspension and a higher off-road type mode that can help in this regard too.

    Another option is to look into longer ramps for the trailer itself. On mine the storage location goes up to the axle so the 5' is all I have. It's worth noting that the Race Ramps weigh nothing and there is room to store them underneath the back of the RS at the back side of the trailer on top of the deck.
    I'm stock, so that's a positive. No air ride, will have to experiment this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWA View Post
    Here are a couple pics of my setup. Note that the shorter you go the less room you have for the tie-downs so the more creative you have to get there, and the less room you have to adjust for trailer weight distribution. I basically got lucky that the tongue weight comes out exactly perfect with this setup.
    That's really slick, the pot for the ramps looks like it fits like a glove.

    Quote Originally Posted by carver View Post
    I find that this type of tire strap works really well for the RS. The trick is establishing the perfect placement for the car on the trailer. ( tongue weight ) and then select the mounting spots for the D rings etc. I found that the D ring needs to be pretty close to the front and back of the tires. If you have to much angle on the straps they will hit the plastic
    front cover / bumper. Altho some folks ratchet it to the edge of the trailer frame ( as in this picture )
    Good to know, i came across those in addition to traditional straps, I might just pick up both.
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  7. #16
    RS Member tytek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robotman321 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JWA View Post
    I needed the shortest trailer that would work for storage considerations and after a ton of research I ended up going with an Aluma 7814R, which is 14’ long. It took some clever and expensive mounting components to fit proper safe tie-downs but it works perfectly. This model only has 5’ ramps, so I also need a set of Race Ramp extenders. If the one you are looking at is 4’ you will definitely need them. I’m using the RR-TR-8: https://raceramps.com/car-ramps/trai...tension-ramps/

    From there you need to figure out a good safe and secure tie-down approach. Do not use anything short of the best. In my search I came across a story of a well-known Porsche track instructor from Canada who thought his car was properly secured, until he got into an accident on the freeway on the way to Sebring and his prized 911 went through the front of his enclosed trailer, up onto the bed of his truck, and sheared the cab off. The best in the industry are Mac’s Custom Tie-downs. I bought three different setups, and I particularly like their Tire Block system with idler rollers. Start here: Tire Block Straps

    Best of luck with it.
    Ah! Your fantastic, they are indeed 4ft and i've been researching like crazy for a solution that would extend or replace the ramps to be around 8ft (which is supposed to be the length for a 19" height), thank you!
    I will second this suggestion regarding TR-8 ramps being great. The are incredibly light yet durable. The angle of attack worked for my track only C5Z Corvette that was lowered and raked. Worth the purchase price if you track your car often. You can build cheap wooden ramps for much less, but your back will thank you for switching to RaceRamps.

    Aluma trailers are great (may be the best?), but very pricey. Almost as much as a good enclosed trailer. There are other open deck alternatives that cost much less, but those either feature a wooden deck or are of lower quality. But, in your case, the lighter, the better. All decent ones will offer electric brakes on both axles.

    If you have non-leveling suspension the at back of the tow vehicle (Ascent), I’d suggest including an rear airbag retrofit kit into the stock springs. Firestone makes the best one and they are cheap and easy to install. Will let you level the tow vehicle, putting more weight on the front wheels to improve steering, stability, and feel. This, along with an anti-sway weight distribution hitch, will improve overall safety.

    With that said, I eventually ended up with a proper tow vehicle (full size SUV) as towing near max capacity is never very reassuring nor safe, particularly in cross winds or stop and go traffic. It can be done, but you don’t want the tail wagging the dog.

    Keep in mind that the max rating of 5000 lbs contributes to your gross weight and will limit what all you can load in the tow vehicle (people, tools, wheels, etc.).

    A shorter trailer will also limit what you can put on it; either a larger car or a tool box, wheel rack, winch, etc.

    The good news is that if you buy a trailer at a fair price, you won’t lose much money on it when you sell it. They hardly depreciate. So tell your wife that you are parking your cash in it for some time and without interest.

    All in all, a long wheelbase (120”+), serious mass, proper gearing, a tranny cooler (and gauge), along with an electronic brake controller are important to have when dragging anything above 3500lbs. Get a more expensive adjustable height hitch as well. It will help level the load and ensure proper tongue weight, if you don’t want to go with a weight distributing one.

    It cost me more in the long run to arrive at the above conclusion than doing in properly from the get go.

    If you don’t tow often, you can inexpensively rent a Uhaul’s lighter car hauler and transport the Focus. That’s what I did when I bought it out of state and didn’t feel like dragging my empty trailer all the way there in a snow storm. Photo is before my self leveling suspension had aired itself up.
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    Last edited by tytek; 02-28-2019 at 11:42 PM.

  8. #17
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    The good news is that if you buy a trailer at a fair price, you won’t lose much money on it when you sell it.
    That was exactly what I experienced with my first fully enclosed trailer. Bought it for $6,200 (back in the 90's), used it for 10+ years hauling my race cars, put thousands of miles on it, used it for storage during the winters, used it to haul fire wood, used it when I moved to a new house, sold it used over 10 years later for $4,500.
    Now after a few years of seller's remorse, I purchased another trailer....
    Last edited by hyracer; 03-01-2019 at 05:39 AM.

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  9. #18
    RS Senior Member robotman321's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone that added to this topic, I got the trailer and was finally able to test the setup tonight, my only real issue now is trying to figure out weight distribution, what did you guys use to figure out how far up/back to put the car?

    Pics of my test:
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    JWA likes this.
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  10. #19
    RS Senior Member vrinner's Avatar
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    This is a great document for Trailer towing. Tongue weight procedure on page 44.

    http://www.looktrailers.com/files/Pa...al_0716_HR.pdf
    robotman321 likes this.
    '84 Mustang SVO (the Original)
    '86 Mustang SVO (the Rustang)
    '86 Mustang SVO (the Sleeper)
    '86 Mustang SVO (the Race Car)
    '02 F350 7.3 PSD DRWD (the Tow Pig)
    '03 Excursion 7.3 PSD Limited (The USS Alabama)
    '05 Focus ZX5 (daughters car)
    '05 Focus ZX4 (other daughters car)
    '13 Boss 302 LS SBY (garage queen)
    '16 Focus RS (name...TBD)
    I like my Fords and I like 'em with turbos!

  11. #20
    RS Senior Member robotman321's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrinner View Post
    This is a great document for Trailer towing. Tongue weight procedure on page 44.

    http://www.looktrailers.com/files/Pa...al_0716_HR.pdf
    That is fantastic, bookmarked and saved, excellent documentation, thank you!
    vrinner likes this.
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