My first obstacle

The second purchase of my (our!) karting career – a 5’x3′ Franc trailer with jockey wheel (uber-important when you will be dragging a kart around on top of it), cover and spare wheel. I’d been looking at trailers on eBay, Gumtree, Preloved and Trade-It but found this one was still for sale on the Karting1 forum having initially discounted it. A steal at £225 🙂

trailer

Towing was a really big obstacle for me – everything about towing (towing capacity, trailer gross weight, weight distribution, noseweight, hitchlocks) was alien to me until now. The trailer was further away than I was really hoping to travel and it would be fair to say I was in fear of towing a trailer up the M4. My fears were unfounded and, although it bounced around a bit and I was overtaken by lorries (including six artics!) for the first time *ever* as I tiptoed down the A34, it all well very smoothly and I held my own on the motorway 😉

With the limitation of towing behind a Clio, I was very keen to get a fairly lightweight trailer that would fit inside my (hitherto full of junk) garage and obviously the smaller ones are cheaper. A kart measures roughly 6′ x 4.5′ so I was keen to go for a 5’x3′ trailer and not a cheaper 4’x2.5′. My inspiration came from this Flickr image. I have my 12″ thick 6’x4′ ply sheet and some timber to make a frame; the plan is to sit the kart on top and ratchet strap it down.

Some alternative ideas that were discounted (the left image looks the part but has no cover for the trailer contents, the right uses a 7’x4′ trailer – a little large for car and garage):

9028tn_Dax 218 kart

Total spent so far: £490 (towbar, trailer, ply sheet, timber) – £10 under budget!!!

4 thoughts on “My first obstacle

  1. Hi there,

    Good work on the blog, I am interested to know now you are up and running if there are choices you would have made different, especially with regards to the trailer? I am in a similar position to your starting point, I have most things now with the exception of the trailer, trying to get the right balance of size and functionality seems to be the toughest decision.

    Also interested to know if you went for a pro awning or just a simple gazebo setup?

    Best wishes
    Tony

    • Hi Tony. Regarding the trailer specifically, I don’t think I would have: I am towing behind a Clio 1.5d so it cannot weigh too much and I take pretty much a spare everything-I-have to the track. Towing a simple flat trailer and packing everything else in the car was never an option although, if I had a van, I would definitely look at something like that. The trailer and kart also had to fit inside my garage (without occupying the whole garage). A 7’x5′ trailer would have allowed me to slide the kart in but at the expense of critical storage space. Of course there are some very nice purpose built solutions if you have the cash but my trailer budget was £250! As for regrets – I am letting the budget get away a bit and I still have a list of things I’d like to buy (it gets a little longer as my karting knowledge grows!). Had I known at the time that, over the next year I will probably end up having bought most of the nice to haves that I turned down initially (I bought roughly half of the seller’s retirement package) I think I would probably have bought the entire retirement package (~£2k) and been done with most of the spending!

      Finally, on the awning front, I was lucky enough to go halves with another Dad whose son karts with mine – he was offered a grubby but sturdy 6’x3′ one for £60 from someone who was packing up. We haven’t used it yet but, at that price, it was worth a punt. I’ll write about it when we finally take it to the track 🙂 You’ll find requests for awning advice all over the forums (this is quite timely: http://www.karting1.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13521) and having already seen my fair share of awnings become twisted wrecks at Clay, my advice would be to wait until you can afford a good one.

  2. Thanks for the reply, I am pretty sure my wife will want my trailer in the garage too so I will measure up.
    I guess it’s a case of keeping a lookout for bargins, the temptation to buy new is there but the last thing I want to look like is all the gear no idea guy.

    Really enjoying the blog.
    Tony

  3. I had an alert set up on eBay to notify me of any Erde, Daxara, Brenderup, Maypole and Franc trailers coming up. There were quite a few in the £200-£250 range but none within 100 miles of me. Keep an eye on the karting.co.uk and karting1.co.uk for sale boards too. You will need a jockey wheel although a trailer cover won’t be of much use if the kart will be sat on top.

    I wouldn’t worry about how you look – there will likely be people at the track spending many thousands more than yourself!

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