The Trailer Conundrum

So, as I ease back in to karting, purchasing a trailer rears its head. Last time around, I had a 5x8 open trailer from Lowe’s and pulled with a TJ Wrangler. It fit my kart and that was about it so since it had open sides.

15 years later, and I have acquired a UTV, which requires a 6’6" interior trailer height. Perusing the web shows this is a common option on 6x12 enclosed trailers. Hauling the UTV is simply for servicing, about an hour away, all highway.

My main concern is if our SUV would struggle with the extra height (2019 Subaru Ascent).

The height issue is obviously negated if I purchase an open trailer. I’ll give up security, weather protection, but the height won’t be a issue. When you look at open aluminum trailers (I really like the features of Apogee Trailers), you are at the same price as an enclosed.

Kart/stand/tools will be kept on my garage, so the trailer won’t serve as a storage.

Any pro-open trailer/anti-enclosed folks here?

I’m definitely pro closed trailer, as long as you don’t get anything much bigger than what your already looking at, especially if the trailer is aluminum I don’t see too much of an issue

Yeah, I can’t go much bigger. I want to avoid the dual axle hassles (more hubs/tires/brake controller).

That car / trailer combo is going to be miserable. As much as I loved the move to enclosed trailering if you aren’t thinking about a different tow vehicle I would stick with open trailer.

I have a 6x12 with extended interior height and an AC unit on top and the trailer is a massive parachute above 70mph despite not being very heavy. I towed with a 1500 GMC with a 6.0L and a 4 speed and even that truck struggled at times because of the transmission. Moved to a GMC with a diesel and 10 speed and its magic. Was given a VW atlas with the 3.6 V6 and an 8 speed when my truck was in the shop recently and if someone broke wind and created a cross wind the thing struggled massively. There was one day when it was really windy and I literally had to drive in 5th gear at 4000+ rpm to maintain speed.

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I appreciate the feedback, this is what I am looking for.

The other option is a smaller enclosed trailer without the increased height, maybe a 6x10 and just sweat the UTV service logistics when the time comes? My main goal is to have the kart, stand, fuel, pancake compressor, canopy, misting fan and tires outside of the car.

I drive an STI, so I am going to have to use my wife’s car to tow.

I’ve used an ATC 6x10 (aluminum) for four years and it’s served me well. It’s 1,000lbs empty and roughly 1,600lbs loaded. I tow it with a Jeep GC V6 with no issue. Your Ascent should tow it easily. It can fit two full size karts, stand, compressor, 10x10 tent, generator, etc. with ease.


Awesome, this is what I had pictured in my head!

You’ll want to consider how far you’ll regularly be towing, what type of roads you’ll take to get there, speed you want to go, and comfort level of wear and tear on the Subaru.

Any enclosed with extra height is going to put a lot of wind resistance on the tow vehicle when you get above 60mph, and it goes up exponentially it seems when you get to 70mph and above. So if you’re going to want to tow 75mph on freeways the whole time it could be less enjoyable from a vehicle stress standpoint. If you’re driving 55mph the whole way you won’t have a care in the world. For reference when towing at 70mph, my aluminum enclosed 6x12 is more resistance than towing my steel open car trailer loaded at 5,000lbs.

Another thing to consider if you’re using a SUV is a towing wing like this: Aeroplus Wind Deflector - Purple Line

I use this on my SUV and while it looks ridiculous it really helps with smoothing out wind forces and helping my transmission not hunt as much.


I’ve seen these on the camper van tow behicles before.

I really like the idea of enclosed, bit the Apogee X700 is sweet…with a price to match!

Another bit to consider is weather where you are. Like many people I started with a small open trailer and it worked great….except if it rained going to or from the track. Since all of the bearings on karts are open steel bearings and other parts are exposed steel it makes the cleanup process after getting wet terrible and if you don’t clean there will be rust everywhere. The feeling of having a good race day and then having the karts get drenched on the way home and knowing you have to completely tear them down to clean them was frustrating. Or add in anxiety if it rains on the way to the track.

If you live in a dry climate no worries.

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That’s true, smaller enclosed may be the way to go. I can see tarps ripping constantly.

I am a believer in this device as well. I have a Toyota Sienna. When I first bought my 6x12 aluminum trailer it had a weight of just under 1000lbs but it felt like the brakes were hung up above 45mph. So, weight isn’t an issue, its the wind. I mount my wing to a crossbar as far back as possible, the difference in milage and wind resistance is very noticeable.

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I towed a 7x18 Heavy Duty enclosed trailer with my 2004 Acura MDX, which I think it’s similar to your subaru. Not ideal but you can make it work as long as you stay within allowed weight (check the car’s manual) and you use a weight-distribution hitch with sway reduction. And of course, you can’t speed. Dual axle also helps taking some tongue weight off the car. Big difference compared to open trailers

My .02 cents.

I went with a dual axle cargo trailer because if I sustain a blow out, I’m not stranded and I can limp it along if need be if I don’t have a spare.

My trailer is a 7x14 and the size is perfect for hauling up to 3-4 karts and all the tools needed. The only down size is its HEAVY for my little (aging) 1/2 ton truck.

Trailer 1

Trailer 3

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Its a 1 trick pony, but saves hassle of storage, registration, flat tires etc:

Would need to bungee down a cover and then the stand would still need to go in the trunk.