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Divemaster
03-05-2008, 10:27 AM
OK guys, I’m looking for some advice....

I’m in the market for a trailer to take to comps and was thinking of getting a used extended 2 horse trailer (and yes I plan on cleaning it out real good before I start)… Price is going to be a concern since I’m just starting on the comp trail and have already invested in a new smoker and would have to build out the trailer and stock it…

Here is my logic, this type of trailer is generally taller and should give me more head room, is lower to the ground so I can easily load and unload the cookers, is built for hauling large/heavy loads, and are generally less expensive than an enclosed utility trailer. My plan is to convert one side to a kitchen (kind of ‘Pullman’ style) and leave the other side open for the storage of the cookers while on the road and movement around the prep area while at the comp…

My only real concern is with this type of trailer being lower to the ground; would it be a problem with uneven ground at the comp locations? Do you think I can easily get it in and out of the area? I should note that I am doing my first comps this year but have ‘Pit Bit@hed’ at a couple last year but they were all relatively flat. Is this the case with most comps or should I think of a trailer with a higher clearance?

butts a fire
03-05-2008, 12:22 PM
I would say that in most cercumstances you will be just fine with a horse trailer. There could be a comp here or there that you may have to think a little bit about how to get you trailer in there but for the most part I have found that contests are generally held on some what flat land or at the very least in a park with you spot right off of a paved road and not just in a field or ravine some where.

Scottie
03-05-2008, 12:30 PM
Before you dump your entire savings into it, I would persoanlly go for a smaller one and build up from there. If you start off with a big trailer and decide that knitting is more your style. You are stuck with a big trailer for your knitting... 8-)

I personally started off by renting trailer, before I knew that I really wanted to do comp cooking. Now, there isn't enough money. My other thinking is if you pump that much into just starting off, contests will become bitter if you don't get any calls.

Good luck whichever way you go.

Scottie

KC_Bobby
03-05-2008, 12:42 PM
The thing with low trailers is going over curbs or some rough spots. It sometimes doesn't take much to get high centered with long low trailers.

Not sure what heavy eq you have to load. Is an enclosed trailer with a ramp not a good option due to costs/size/both/other? Seems like stock trailers cost just as much as a basic cargo trailers around here.

Divemaster
03-05-2008, 12:50 PM
Before you dump your entire savings into it, I would persoanlly go for a smaller one and build up from there. If you start off with a big trailer and decide that knitting is more your style. You are stuck with a big trailer for your knitting... 8-)

I personally started off by renting trailer, before I knew that I really wanted to do comp cooking. Now, there isn't enough money. My other thinking is if you pump that much into just starting off, contests will become bitter if you don't get any calls.

Good luck whichever way you go.

Scottie
Trust me, I appreciate what you are saying, my hope is that you and I are not at any of the same comps (that way I have a much better chance)...

I've been watching a couple of sites and then checking out the 'merchandise' and think I can get a decent trailer for ~$1,000 to $1,500... I'm thinking of starting slow since I can do my own electrical and plumbing... I'm thinking of this as more of a 'Work In Progress' (kinda like me).

My rough guess is that I can get the initial setup completed for around $2,000 and then add on to it...

My dream is not to have a huge trailer that I need to buy a new truck for... Just one I can pull behind my SUV.

Divemaster
03-05-2008, 12:53 PM
The thing with low trailers is going over curbs or some rough spots. It sometimes doesn't take much to get high centered with long low trailers.

Not sure what heavy eq you have to load. Is an enclosed trailer with a ramp not a good option due to costs/size/both/other? Seems like stock trailers cost just as much as a basic cargo trailers around here.
From what I've seen, the enclosed trailers are running about double... I would rather stay away from a trailer that is not enclosed and the horse/stock trailers look like they would work....

You have brought up a good point on having to jump curbs and the such... Does that happen often?

The equipment would be my Lang and more than likely my BGE...

Scottie
03-05-2008, 12:55 PM
Then if you can find a used horse trailer for that price, that is a good deal. My whole thinking is to get a "higher" end comp cooker before you pump money into a upscale trailer or RV... The reason for that is the smoker can win you money before the trailer or RV will... 8-)


You will have real good odds with the local contests in the area. They like to bomb my food or at least one category... but it is a new year...

Pig Headed
03-05-2008, 01:06 PM
Before you dump your entire savings into it, I would persoanlly go for a smaller one and build up from there. If you start off with a big trailer and decide that knitting is more your style. You are stuck with a big trailer for your knitting... 8-)

I personally started off by renting trailer, before I knew that I really wanted to do comp cooking. Now, there isn't enough money. My other thinking is if you pump that much into just starting off, contests will become bitter if you don't get any calls.

Good luck whichever way you go.

Scottie

I would think that crocheting would be more fun.:-D

KC_Bobby
03-05-2008, 01:08 PM
From what I've seen, the enclosed trailers are running about double... I would rather stay away from a trailer that is not enclosed and the horse/stock trailers look like they would work....

You have brought up a good point on having to jump curbs and the such... Does that happen often?

The equipment would be my Lang and more than likely my BGE...

Craigslist can be your friend if you hit it at the right time. I got mine for about 60 cents on the dollar of new. Not bad for being 6 months old. Being closer to the ground would be nicer for the highway. As far a going over curbs or having some rough ground to go over. We did 5 comps last year. 3 were in parking lots, so no issues. One was in a city park, it did have an access road so jumping the curb was not needed, but it was easier to get to and out of by going over the curb. The other was in an open area of a business park and the ground had some spots that were pretty rough and filled with dips. So I didn't find it the norm, but it's something to consider.

Divemaster
03-05-2008, 01:19 PM
Then if you can find a used horse trailer for that price, that is a good deal. My whole thinking is to get a "higher" end comp cooker before you pump money into a upscale trailer or RV... The reason for that is the smoker can win you money before the trailer or RV will... 8-)


You will have real good odds with the local contests in the area. They like to bomb my food or at least one category... but it is a new year...


Scottie, we met at either the 'Q in the Zoo' or 'Lambs Farm' (I was the tall guy in the blue jeans... LOL)... I would love your setup... and after seeing how well you did last year, I doubt that you 'Bomb' all that much!!!

I am going to try it with the Lang & BGE and if I do well, I may move up... In the mean time, I do have a couple of people that would like for me to cook for them and I think that this setup would work outside of the comp world as well as inside. Wait, is there a would outside of comps????

Divemaster
03-05-2008, 02:36 PM
Craigslist can be your friend if you hit it at the right time. I got mine for about 60 cents on the dollar of new. Not bad for being 6 months old. Being closer to the ground would be nicer for the highway. As far a going over curbs or having some rough ground to go over. We did 5 comps last year. 3 were in parking lots, so no issues. One was in a city park, it did have an access road so jumping the curb was not needed, but it was easier to get to and out of by going over the curb. The other was in an open area of a business park and the ground had some spots that were pretty rough and filled with dips. So I didn't find it the norm, but it's something to consider.
Craigslist is one of the places I've been looking... Along with a number of private sites...

Next thing on my list is to get the Electric Brake Controler installed in the truck (it came with the 7 pin connector) and then pick up a weight dist. hitch... Once that is done, all I have to do is find the trailer...

we'll smoke u
03-05-2008, 03:19 PM
Hey Divemaster
I just had a new comp trailer built last year and had him go as low as he could. the trailer is going back in the shop sometime soon to be raise up three inches.
But a horse trailer may have the axles located in a different location that will work better for tale drag. I think they are set back more to carry the weight of the horses.

Divemaster
03-05-2008, 03:27 PM
Hey Divemaster
I just had a new comp trailer built last year and had him go as low as he could. the trailer is going back in the shop sometime soon to be raise up three inches.
But a horse trailer may have the axles located in a different location that will work better for tale drag. I think they are set back more to carry the weight of the horses.
By the look of it you are correct... I think that the only difference is that the trailer sits lower because the wheels are outside of the unit rather than under the box... Also, the other thing I noticed is that a number of them use std. full sized tires rather than trailer tires... In my mind that would raise the axle wouldn't it?

smoke-n-my-i's
03-05-2008, 03:55 PM
I would check with a couple of trailer places, measure the distance from ground to frame.. just see how much difference there really is.

My brother uses his 3 stall horse trailer for hauling his lawn equipment in. Since there is no ramp, he has to put the aluminum ramps in and out every time he wants to unload or load his mowers... kind of a bummer.

Enclosed trailers can be ordered with extra height, for a fee. I would go with a 7ft inside height myself.

For the most part, the comps I have been in, they have been relatively easy to get in and out of. They have been asphalt, grass, open field, and no problems with the enclosed trailer I use.

Be sure and check to see just how much your gross vehicle weight is, and don't over do it.

I have even looked at maybe doing the same thing, so keep us posted.

I think a lot of us have looked at a LOT of options, and each one of us has our own unique needs.... so, take your time, and shop wisely.

Divemaster
03-05-2008, 04:08 PM
I would check with a couple of trailer places, measure the distance from ground to frame.. just see how much difference there really is.

My brother uses his 3 stall horse trailer for hauling his lawn equipment in. Since there is no ramp, he has to put the aluminum ramps in and out every time he wants to unload or load his mowers... kind of a bummer.

Enclosed trailers can be ordered with extra height, for a fee. I would go with a 7ft inside height myself.

For the most part, the comps I have been in, they have been relatively easy to get in and out of. They have been asphalt, grass, open field, and no problems with the enclosed trailer I use.

Be sure and check to see just how much your gross vehicle weight is, and don't over do it.

I have even looked at maybe doing the same thing, so keep us posted.

I think a lot of us have looked at a LOT of options, and each one of us has our own unique needs.... so, take your time, and shop wisely.

The Total Gross Dist. Towing weight for my SUV ('98 Navigator) is 8,800 pounds so I think I'm ok as long as I don't go overboard on what I put into the trailer as far as add-ons... The big one would be if and when I add water to the calculation...

Again, I'm looking at this as a work in progress, not something that I won't take out until it's perfict... I'm willing to do work arounds to figure out what I can and cannot live without... My biggest concern is getting to the site with a trailer that would have a lower ground clearance...

I figure that if the comp thing is really for me I can move up to a new truck and trailer later on... That is one of the reasons that I purchased the Lang 60 Patio rather than a trailer unit. I figure that most of my cooking on it is going to be in my own back yard and not at the comps.

The_Kapn
03-05-2008, 04:11 PM
There is at least one of the "SuperStar" teams that uses a horse trailer.
A HUGE one. :lol:
Can't remember who they are.

I considered one, but with the width limited because of the flat floor inside the wheel wells, I just did not see the width available for what I wanted.
But, one could definitely be made to work and they normally very rugged.

Good Luck.

TIM

Sawdustguy
03-05-2008, 04:16 PM
I agree that the type and size of your trailer is really dependant on your tow vehicle. When we went through this exercise we bought a brand new 8.5' x 14 Haulmark enclosed trailer. The trailer weighed only 2200 lbs so we thought that with our equipment we would be well under the 5000 lbs maximum tow weight of our vehicle. Boy were we ever wrong. One of our neighbors is a cop and borrowed some scales used to weigh trucks and we measured the weight fully loaded (smoker, grill, water tank full and all our other equipment) and it came in at 6200 lbs. We were forced to buy a truck to tow the trailer. It was a really expensive lesson for us. Don't you make the same mistake.

DeanC
03-05-2008, 04:16 PM
Jerry King's looks like a horse trailer. A very fancy one.

Divemaster
03-05-2008, 04:30 PM
There is at least one of the "SuperStar" teams that uses a horse trailer.
A HUGE one. :lol:
Can't remember who they are.

I considered one, but with the width limited because of the flat floor inside the wheel wells, I just did not see the width available for what I wanted.
But, one could definitely be made to work and they normally very rugged.

Good Luck.

TIM

I've seen some 'Stock Trailers' that are both wider and longer for about the same price... I would need to do more work to close it up, but on the other hand I could have some great windows for air flow than on a std horse trailer....

I agree that the type and size of your trailer is really dependant on your tow vehicle. When we went through this exercise we bought a brand new 8.5' x 14 Haulmark enclosed trailer. The trailer weighed only 2200 lbs so we thought that with our equipment we would be well under the 5000 lbs maximum tow weight of our vehicle. Boy were we ever wrong. One of our neighbors is a cop and borrowed some scales used to weigh trucks and we measured the weight fully loaded (smoker, grill, water tank full and all our other equipment) and it came in at 6200 lbs. We were forced to buy a truck to tow the trailer. It was a really expensive lesson for us. Don't you make the same mistake.

I must admit that I love my Navigator... She came with the Heavy duty towing package when I bought her new and it has come in handy a number of times...

Your experience is just another validation that I want to do this as a work in progress rather than going overboard and discovering that I either need to rip stuff out or get a new truck... I admit that my truck has over 150,000 miles but she is still running great and if I can hold off the purchase of another one, why not....

Just as a side note, I love the fact that I as a comp newbie get this GREAT advise from you guys... Thank you and please keep it coming!!

The_Kapn
03-05-2008, 04:34 PM
Jerry King's looks like a horse trailer. A very fancy one.

That's the rig I was thinking of! :oops:
I saw it at the Ft Rucker contest a couple of years ago.
Impressive.

TIM

KC_Bobby
03-15-2008, 12:14 AM
Jeff,
Not extended, but this doesn't look too bad for the price.
http://kansascity.craigslist.org/for/606475587.html

Should haul all your stuff and appears to be big enough to work in during a storm if one had to - assuming it's high enough to stand in.

Spydermike72
03-15-2008, 06:04 AM
Are you planning on putting your Lang in the trailer ? That baby is pretty heavy, have you thought of how you will get it in and out ?? Even with a ramp, it will take 2 or 3 people to get that baby in and out safely. I am thinking about a trailer as well, but I would not be using my Lang at Comps, I have a BWS Party and WSM for comps... Good thread!!

KC_Bobby
03-15-2008, 10:53 AM
Hand winching the Lang up and down a ramp would be an option.

tonto1117
03-15-2008, 11:05 AM
Jeff, there's a team out of IN I believe,that winch thier 60 lang in and out of a trailer and have the setup pretty down pat. I think thier name is Pepperitaville? Walt has the contact info if you want to give them a call.

Spydermike72
03-16-2008, 10:49 AM
Winching is definetly an option.

There would be other factors once you get the Lang in the trailer, like load balancing and travelling with something that heavy in a trailer. I am very interested in how you work this out Jeff!!