Slap some paint on the walls, throw down some checkerboard flooring and your bargain trailer will really start to come together. It won’t happen overnight, but over time you will realize what you need to have handy at the track and the best way to hold these things in place.

Most racecars don’t have license plates. Some racecars don’t even have headlights or fenders. This means that to get the racecar from the garage — where you spent hundreds of hours fine-tuning it — to the racetrack, you need a trailer. Most drivers spend every last penny they have, and borrow pennies they don’t have, to make their racecars fast, which means tow vehicles and trailers are often a lower priority.

The result is often a beautiful racecar being dragged along the highway on top of a rusty car trailer, with one taillight and four tires with cracked sidewalls. Sure this setup will get the car to the track, most of the time, but the deal you scored on Craigslist.com may be more of a hassle than you bargained for. You may want to spend some cash and upgrade to an enclosed car trailer for one simple reason: you can store a ton of stuff inside, and you can lock it.

When you get a great deal on an enclosed trailer, you will immediately know why when you open the ramp and see a lot of nothing. The good news is there is room for a car. The bad news is there isn’t any infrastructure for anything else.
When you get a great deal on an enclosed trailer, you will immediately know why when you open the ramp and see a lot of nothing. The good news is there is room for a car. The bad news is there isn’t any infrastructure for anything else.

We all have parked our open-car rigs and pickup truck full of tools at the gas station and gone inside for a much needed bathroom break. The whole time you’re in the commode, you are thinking, “I hope my tools are all right.” I know some guys who have driven 18 hours straight to a race and skipped staying at a hotel for some rest because they didn’t want to leave their open car trailer — and car without windows or keys to start — sitting exposed in a hotel parking lot all night. I also know guys who have fallen asleep while towing trailers. Not good.

An enclosed car trailer means you can get some rest. But you don’t have to drop $14,000, an amount that surpasses the price of many NASA racecars. You can pick up a new enclosed trailer for less than half that. But with half the money, you get half the options. The interior is where you will really see the difference between high-end pricey Pace American car trailer versus a no-option but easy-on-the-wallet version like a Load-Runner. I found with a little ingenuity, some sweat equity and a few trips to Orchard Supply Hardware, you can make the inside of your bargain trailer look so good, Roger Penske himself could stand it.

The biggest advantage of an enclosed trailer, versus an open trailer, is the opportunity to lock up tools and tires while traveling. At many events where weather is awful, the racecar sits outside in the rain while the crew can take refuge in the trailer. The trailer pictured here is a no-frills, zero-option bargain model.
The biggest advantage of an enclosed trailer, versus an open trailer, is the opportunity to lock up tools and tires while traveling. At many events where weather is awful, the racecar sits outside in the rain while the crew can take refuge in the trailer. The trailer pictured here is a no-frills, zero-option bargain model.

Okay, maybe that was pushing it a bit. When was the last time Penske stood in a 24’ single-car, two axle trailer? 1958, maybe? Regardless, check out the photos and the captions to get some simple tips to turn your plain-Jane trailer into something that works well for your racing effort.

A great way to keep items in the trailer is to use two eye bolts and a rubber bungee cord. I crimp one side of the bungee cord’s “S” hook around the eye bolt so the cord stays in place and doesn’t get lost.
A great way to keep items in the trailer is to use two eye bolts and a rubber bungee cord. I crimp one side of the bungee cord’s “S” hook around the eye bolt so the cord stays in place and doesn’t get lost.
To store umbrellas, cut some PVC pipe and screw it into the wall. Easy, cheap and organized. When the rain comes, the team always knows where they can find them.
To store umbrellas, cut some PVC pipe and screw it into the wall. Easy, cheap and organized. When the rain comes, the team always knows where they can find them.
One of the handiest things to have in the paddock is a wagon, for carting fuel jugs around during the race and kegs of beer after the race. But they take up a lot of space. We drilled a couple of holes in the front of ours and attached two “J” hooks on the trailer wall. We placed some side support boards to keep the wagon from wagging back and forth. Works great. Yes, that is a spare tire mounted to the bottom of our custom race wagon.
One of the handiest things to have in the paddock is a wagon, for carting fuel jugs around during the race and kegs of beer after the race. But they take up a lot of space. We drilled a couple of holes in the front of ours and attached two “J” hooks on the trailer wall. We placed some side support boards to keep the wagon from wagging back and forth. Works great. Yes, that is a spare tire mounted to the bottom of our custom race wagon.
We tried to build our trailer interior as cheaply as possible, but some things are easier to purchase than to build yourself. This tire rack from Pit Posse Motorsports is a great example. It bolts to the wall and is foldable, so it stores flat when you aren’t using it. We added a pool noodle to the bottom of it after hitting our heads on it a few hundred times.
We tried to build our trailer interior as cheaply as possible, but some things are easier to purchase than to build yourself. This tire rack from Pit Posse Motorsports is a great example. It bolts to the wall and is foldable, so it stores flat when you aren’t using it. We added a pool noodle to the bottom of it after hitting our heads on it a few hundred times.
Again, some things are easier to buy than to build yourself. This fluid storage rack from Pit Posse Motorsports is another easy-to-hang item, and it holds all sorts of different size fluid bottles. This is probably one of the most important additions to a trailer interior.
Again, some things are easier to buy than to build yourself. This fluid storage rack from Pit Posse Motorsports is another easy-to-hang item, and it holds all sorts of different size fluid bottles. This is probably one of the most important additions to a trailer interior.
For endurance racers who have removable light systems, there is always an issue as to where to put these expensive light setups when they aren’t in use. We built a custom rack to hold our Lightforce lights on the wall.
For endurance racers who have removable light systems, there is always an issue as to where to put these expensive light setups when they aren’t in use. We built a custom rack to hold our Lightforce lights on the wall.
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Image courtesy of Rob Krider