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Pro'a vs Con's - trailing vs driving to track

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Pro'a vs Con's - trailing vs driving to track

 
Old 11-21-2013, 12:24 AM
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Default Pro'a vs Con's - trailing vs driving to track

For those that tow vs drive to the track what are the major pro's and con's of each ? I've come up with these so far

Driving to the track pro's
Simplicity
Get to drive car vs truck with trailer
Not having to store a trailer at your house
More time to enjoy your car

Trailer to the track pros
Bring many more consumables (wheels)
Can setup car with most aggressive alignment
Car already prepd for track ie track pads tech
Bring as any tools as you need
If something goes wrong you can easily get home


Lime Rock is 1hr from me, so it's pretty easy to shoot up and back in a day. Even if something goes wrong it's not the end of the world, but I feel I am limited on my alignment.

For further tracks The Glen, NJMP, Poconnos I'm starting to think I really need a trailer. Especially if I do a weekend at the Glen.

I'm sure many on here have come to this crossing point, would love to get some ideas of what ppl are doing.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:36 AM
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If you have the means to haul & store a trailer then I don't see why anyone with go without one. The logistics of getting home after a wreck is reason enough to have a trailer.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by josserman View Post
For those that tow vs drive to the track what are the major pro's and con's of each ? I've come up with these so far

Driving to the track pro's
Simplicity
Get to drive car vs truck with trailer
Not having to store a trailer at your house
More time to enjoy your car
These "driving to the track" advantages I actually give the nod to trailering...

I can leave the car in the trailer between events.
I'd rather drive a nice, clean, AC'd, quiet tow vehicle than a race car... not to mention if you're on race tires and the conditions to the track are sketchy (some early morning frost, dew, etc). Or if it's raining and you want to keep your stuff dry in the back of the truck. Plus, you don't have to unpack all the crap unless you wind up using it. Unlike carrying stuff in the trunk of your S2000 and having to unload each time.

It takes less time to strap down the car than to change a set of wheels if you get a good set of wheel loops or J-hooks and purpose built tie downs (I love the MAC's).
You can rent outside storage a lot of places for $40-60 a month.

Basically the only downside is $$
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:10 AM
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+1 to everything CKit said. I actually look forward to the tow up to the track. Very relaxing. I hated commuting in my time attack Mitsu Evo. Very loud, uncomfortable, and always the potential for a ticket just because it was ricey looking.

And don't forget about safety. All the safety systems of a road car are designed to work together. If you start changing them you risk serious injury. In said Evo, I had a race seat, 6 point harnesses and no air bag. In a a bad front-end collision without the HANS, I would have been injured much worse than in an Evo with stock safety bits.

Originally Posted by CKit View Post
These "driving to the track" advantages I actually give the nod to trailering...

I can leave the car in the trailer between events.
I'd rather drive a nice, clean, AC'd, quiet tow vehicle than a race car... not to mention if you're on race tires and the conditions to the track are sketchy (some early morning frost, dew, etc). Or if it's raining and you want to keep your stuff dry in the back of the truck. Plus, you don't have to unpack all the crap unless you wind up using it. Unlike carrying stuff in the trunk of your S2000 and having to unload each time.

It takes less time to strap down the car than to change a set of wheels if you get a good set of wheel loops or J-hooks and purpose built tie downs (I love the MAC's).
You can rent outside storage a lot of places for $40-60 a month.

Basically the only downside is $$
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:56 AM
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Another Pro for not trailering it is the amount of gas you are going to use. Specially for a long tow.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:50 AM
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I didn't mind the drive in my car to the track as it is just a fun HPDE vehicle, however, I would prefer a trailer if I could afford it and/or had a place to keep it.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:52 AM
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I drove my Miata to the track and pulled a tire-trailer along with it. It got me by for 2 years or so. I now have a truck & trailer for my S2000 for autox events that are out of state (Nationals). Here are my pros & cons list. I found it hard to write b/c I really love trailering my car now but...

Driving to the Track
Pros
Don't have to purchase a truck or car trailer.
Don't have to store either of them.
Gas mileage is better going to the track.
If the car breaks or you stuff it into a barrier it's only going to be a couple hundred dollars to tow it home (less than paying for a truck, trailer, etc) as a one-time expense.
~26-28mpg driving in the s2k to the track.

Cons
You better hope they have fuel at the track or near the track b/c you're going to need to fill up throughout the day.
You can only pack so many things into an s2k.
You're limited to driving on your track tires unless you have a tire-trailer.
If you get a nail in one of your track tires, your weekend is possibly shot. Very limited tire stores are open on Sunday.
If it's a weekend event you have to worry about parking your s2k at the hotel exposed to thieves.
If you break down at the track you probably don't have spares of anything due to lacking of cargo space.
If the car breaks or you stuff it into a barrier you have to get it towed home.
Due to possibly worrying about stuff breaking or going off track, you're not going to drive the car to its potential.
If you take a tire-trailer, plan on spending 30 min to 1 hour in the morning un-strapping the tires from the trailer & swapping wheels.
In the afternoon plan on the same amount of time swapping wheels and securing them safely to the trailer for the drive home.

------------------------------

Pros of trailering a car
~14-16 mpg trailering a 1300lb trailer in our F150 Ecoboost. Not too shabby.
Cars can be strapped down to a trailer in 5 minutes.
If it's an enclosed trailer you can safely store the car at the track or on a road trip for long events.
Driving a truck for hours to the track is SOOOOO much more comfortable than a loud droning exhaust and firm suspension.
You can get a bed cover for the truck to safely store your belongings from thieves.
You can toss all of your gear on the trailer or in the bed of your truck and worry about "organizing it" or unpacking it later. You have to play legos/tetris to organize stuff to fit well in a tire-trailer.
If your car breaks down or is damaged you can winch it on the trailer or have a couple people at the track help you push it onto the trailer.
You can bring fuel-jugs to the track and not have to worry about paying track-fuel prices or taking your car out and losing time.
You can refuel fuel-jugs between days using the truck to go into the city. Same for food and car-parts.

If you can afford a truck & trailer I HIGHLY recommend it. The tipping point for my girlfriend and I was when I was on a trip home from a track weekend and the alternator in my Miata died 5 hours away from home. I was lucky enough to have a friend who wasn't too far ahead of me (trailering his car) that was able to come back and let me borrow his battery to make it to an Autozone and also tools to change out the alternator (I got the last one in stock). Oh, and all of this was in the rain. I had to drive home in a soaked t-shirt and shorts.

In gas mileage terms...
400 mile round-trip
s2k (26mpg): 15.4 gallons of fuel @ $3.25/gallon = $50
truck & trailer (14mpg): 28.6 gallons of fuel @ $3.25/gallon = $93

In the grand scheme of things, wouldn't you like to pay an extra $40 to have the comfort and security of a trailer setup? Just my $0.02.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:22 AM
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Great write up.

In regards to your conclusion, though, its a little more than $40.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by RavynX View Post
I drove my Miata to the track and pulled a tire-trailer along with it. It got me by for 2 years or so. I now have a truck & trailer for my S2000 for autox events that are out of state (Nationals). Here are my pros & cons list. I found it hard to write b/c I really love trailering my car now but...

Driving to the Track
Pros
Don't have to purchase a truck or car trailer.
Don't have to store either of them.
Gas mileage is better going to the track.
If the car breaks or you stuff it into a barrier it's only going to be a couple hundred dollars to tow it home (less than paying for a truck, trailer, etc) as a one-time expense.
~26-28mpg driving in the s2k to the track.

Cons
You better hope they have fuel at the track or near the track b/c you're going to need to fill up throughout the day.
You can only pack so many things into an s2k.
You're limited to driving on your track tires unless you have a tire-trailer.
If you get a nail in one of your track tires, your weekend is possibly shot. Very limited tire stores are open on Sunday.
If it's a weekend event you have to worry about parking your s2k at the hotel exposed to thieves.
If you break down at the track you probably don't have spares of anything due to lacking of cargo space.
If the car breaks or you stuff it into a barrier you have to get it towed home.
Due to possibly worrying about stuff breaking or going off track, you're not going to drive the car to its potential.
If you take a tire-trailer, plan on spending 30 min to 1 hour in the morning un-strapping the tires from the trailer & swapping wheels.
In the afternoon plan on the same amount of time swapping wheels and securing them safely to the trailer for the drive home.

------------------------------

Pros of trailering a car
~14-16 mpg trailering a 1300lb trailer in our F150 Ecoboost. Not too shabby.
Cars can be strapped down to a trailer in 5 minutes.
If it's an enclosed trailer you can safely store the car at the track or on a road trip for long events.
Driving a truck for hours to the track is SOOOOO much more comfortable than a loud droning exhaust and firm suspension.
You can get a bed cover for the truck to safely store your belongings from thieves.
You can toss all of your gear on the trailer or in the bed of your truck and worry about "organizing it" or unpacking it later. You have to play legos/tetris to organize stuff to fit well in a tire-trailer.
If your car breaks down or is damaged you can winch it on the trailer or have a couple people at the track help you push it onto the trailer.
You can bring fuel-jugs to the track and not have to worry about paying track-fuel prices or taking your car out and losing time.
You can refuel fuel-jugs between days using the truck to go into the city. Same for food and car-parts.

If you can afford a truck & trailer I HIGHLY recommend it. The tipping point for my girlfriend and I was when I was on a trip home from a track weekend and the alternator in my Miata died 5 hours away from home. I was lucky enough to have a friend who wasn't too far ahead of me (trailering his car) that was able to come back and let me borrow his battery to make it to an Autozone and also tools to change out the alternator (I got the last one in stock). Oh, and all of this was in the rain. I had to drive home in a soaked t-shirt and shorts.

In gas mileage terms...
400 mile round-trip
s2k (26mpg): 15.4 gallons of fuel @ $3.25/gallon = $50
truck & trailer (14mpg): 28.6 gallons of fuel @ $3.25/gallon = $93

In the grand scheme of things, wouldn't you like to pay an extra $40 to have the comfort and security of a trailer setup? Just my $0.02.
Lots of good info here... you are making we want to trailer my car now
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:29 AM
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If you store your trailer away from your house you have to go get the trailer and bring it back and load it with the car and all the stuff you were afraid of getting stolen while in storage (I had my trailer's door pried open and some straps and tools stolen while in storage--I had to replace the door).

After the event you have to go home, unload the car, spares, tools, etc., then take the trailer to the lot and drive home again.

Depending on climate I don't recommend leaving your car in a trailer as it can "sweat" inside and rust everything (temp fluctuation is the culprit). My neighbor's 60's replica dragster rusted out in 1 winter.
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