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Thread: Minimalist trailer options for Atom

  1. #1
    Gluon
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    Minimalist trailer options for Atom

    I am considering purchasing Atom primarily for doing track days. Where I live space is at premium so I am trying to figure out what is the most compact trailer solution for getting Atom to track. I think two-wheel dolly man not be an option due to transmission lubrication issues - but perhaps if it is towed backwards? But even then ground clearance could be a problem.

    That leaves traditional trailer option.

    Any experience with very compact (or folding) trailers? Atom does not weigh a lot - so trailer does not need to be heavy duty.

    I will be using minivan to town - 3500lbs towing rating.

    Thank you
    Aleks

  2. #2
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    I've tow dollied my Atom many times, when I don't want to use my big enclosed trailer. Because the Atom uses a manual transaxle,you do not have to worry about lube issues, as the diff lifts fluid for lubricating all the bearings etc. that will be spinning, and ground clearance has not been an issue.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  3. #3
    Lepton
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    I have been watching for one of these trailers for sale for quite a while with no luck.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQm-JS1F0oE

    Another option I've heard of people doing is putting a small aluminum trailer in the garage and parking the car on top of it. The Atom is short enough that it could be done.

    Here is a neat space saving car dolly. It even has brakes.
    Kar Kaddy SS, Space Saving Tow Dolly- Free Shipping! - By Demco | HitchSource.com

  4. #4
    Electron Lane's Avatar
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    Although I do prefer to drive my Atom whenever possible, I use a tow dolly when I have other items that need to go along with me to the track. It's an extra set of wheels & tires mainly, plus tools, but I think it also brings some measure of good luck. Murphy's law says something will break if I have to rely on the car to get me home so if I dolly the car, nothing will break.



    I've used a rented dolly previously and I believe it had surge brakes and the thing weighed an unbelievable amount. I ended up buying a used one without the brakes for about $800 IIRC, and it's able to be moved/handled by hand for storage quite easily. Probably only weighs a few hundred pounds empty if I had to guess. I roll mine by hand onto a corner of my lawn and it sits behind some trees hidden from view when not in use. And it's a joy to tow with it as you don't even feel it behind you most of the time. If you're using anything above a midsize truck, its brakes do just fine with the low weight of the Atom behind. I've used an open steel two-axle trailer in the past, and also a 2-axle enclosed featherlight aluminum and both felt like I was towing a house compared to what the Atom on the dolly feels like.

    Only consideration with a dolly is that many of them cannot be backed up when a car is on them due to the turntable design. I've been using mine for almost 15 years with various cars and that has never been an issue. You just have to keep that fact in mind and be mindful when you're looking for a spot to park.

    I've never heard of a car with a manual transmission having lubrication concerns when towing with the drive wheels on the ground. I know that does apply to automatics although even some automatics are being designed more intelligently so that you can tow them with the drive wheels on the ground as well. Many RV'ers tow vehicles on dollies and I'd guess automakers would prefer not to exclude their offerings from that market.
    SteveTheMechanic likes this.
    Ariel Atom 2, Ecotec 300, owner since 2007. Drive, Detail, Improve, Repeat. Visit my website.

  5. #5
    Up Quark
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    What I did was go to a trailer manufacturer and have him build me one. Was not as expensive as it sounds ant $3,100. But what I wound up with was trailer similar to an ATV hauler that has the wheels under the trailer instead of on the side. This let me make the deck length and width equal to the Atom. It works great. I had dual axels and brakes installed for safety and have not ha an issue for 2 years now.

  6. #6
    Up Quark
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    Here is a PIC

    Attached Images Attached Images
    RyanD, ncarlsonmd and justin3 like this.

  7. #7
    Gluon
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    Thank you for posting the pics - looks very solid. Can you post side view showing front/rear - I want to see how close to the edge car is.

    I have 3500 towing weight limitation - so staying as lightweight as possible is desireable. Perhaps similar concept but in aluminum.

    I also came across this interesting concept Lotus Europa Trailer Plans - dimensions would need to be changed of course. Perhaps it can also serve as limited purpose lift/ramp to work on car?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulrom View Post

  8. #8
    Up Quark
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    Hi Lane, what kind of dolly are you using? I'm looking for a similar setup for my SRA.

  9. #9
    Particle
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    This is mine. My trailer weight is only 1,150 lbs I believe, so right around your 3,500 lb limit.




  10. #10
    Particle
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    BTW That's a 16' trailer but they come in 12' or 14' configurations also.

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