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Old 08-10-2017, 09:38 AM   #1
ilikenapalm
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Default Track Vehicle discussion

So, I bought a shitty pickup truck in hopes of using it as a track hauler / general purpose bike mobile and it sucks.

What do you guys use for your track vehicle, and do you like it?

In your opinion, what is the best setup for under $10K?

Johnny Rocket threw out the idea of a van and I've been looking pretty hard into E150s and shit, but just want to see if I'm potentially overlooking something else.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:41 AM   #2
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Meh I see zero point to having a dedicated track hauler unless you're going sprinter or fun mover. Stick with a daily vehicle you can tow with and a decent enclosed trailer you can sleep in. Having a vehicle sitting around for weeks on end is pointless and will give you more headaches than its worth. Ive watched people change their setups more than they change their underwear and Ive had the same setup for 4 years now.

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Old 08-10-2017, 09:57 AM   #3
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For under 10k, probably a van. Plenty of people do the cargo van thing. Travel with the bike in the back. Sleep in the back once the bike is out. Its not glamorous, but it works.

I much prefer the truck/enclosed trailer set up. If your truck can tow a 5x8 or bigger enclosed trailer and you have the room to store it, do that. Trailers can be had for $1k-5k new and used.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:13 AM   #4
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I concur with Matt. I went from compact cars towing a HF 4x8, to a Chevy Express 2500 when I decided that I wanted an enclosed place to sleep and store the bike(s). That lasted a year or two before I got very tired of the van. Cargo vans drive, sound, and feel like big empty tin cans. I got the same or worse mileage in it than in any of my other track rigs. It was loud (because of being a tin can, and you not being separated from the cargo area). It was sweaty even w/the A/C, because you're on vinyl seats. The radio sucks, because it only has two speakers - not fun when you're driving multiple hours each way to tracks. Not to mention, it was another vehicle to register and insure. Oh, and I'd had to look at about 30 vans before I found one that wasn't beat to shit or smelled like oil/gas/whatever else it had been used to haul.

I happened to swap daily drivers as I was getting tired of the van (went from a TSX to a GTI), and wanted to go with an enclosed trailer. I said "fuck it, let's try" - and threw a hitch on my GTI, bought a low-height 5x10 enclosed trailer (steel even, not aluminum), and it worked awesomely for years! The only reason I got rid of the 5x10 is because BK's / Keith's / Isaac's low-height 7x12 aluminum trailer came available, which also towed awesomely behind the GTI. The only reason I swapped that trailer for my current (taller and longer) trailer is because I got rid of the GTI.

If you have a car that can tow 2k, I say go the 5x8 or 5x10 enclosed trailer route. If your DD can't, maybe replace it with something that can?
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:23 AM   #5
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Unfortunately right now I can't use the DD as a tow vehicle because it's a company car and against policy, though I might try to get on the personal vehicle reimbursement program. It's good to hear a GTI can handle the enclosed vehicle without issue. Did you have to do any brake upgrades? Ever have any sketchy moments with it?
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:30 AM   #6
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Before I met tracey/had kids I had a dodge caravan that was my daily driver/bike hauler. Believe it or not I was able to fit even my RM 125 & 250 in there. Not ideal/easy but they fit. I'd store the seats in my garage and then pop them back in when I didn't need to room for a bike in there. I know the social stigma of riding in a soccer mom/grocery getter isn't the best but IDGAF........I was more interested in getting my bikes around......besides the extra room is fantastic when going out with friends.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:34 AM   #7
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Foe only a couple track days per year, my parents Dodge Grand Caravan worked great. A sportbike fits pretty easily in the back, take the bike out, and an air mattress fits perfectly back there, cooler/leathers/toolbox go in the front seats when sleeping.

Minivan plus a small trailer for the bike/gear wouldn't be a bad setup for a moderate number of track days. It's not glamorous, but the van is actually a lot more practical as a vehicle/hauler than a pickup, and the stow-n-go seats they have nowadays are a lot more convenient.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:18 AM   #8
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I'm currently towing a 7x10 enclosed with a 2005 Toyota sienna van (the Van was free). It gets the job done. and i honestly love my trailer set up. fits 2 bikes plus my tool box, a built in bench, fridge etc. wired for lights and AC, full sized bed platform sets up in a few minutes and it's more than roomy enough for me, the wife and the dog.

If you go the "Questionably large trailer for the vehicle" route, make sure to get a trailer with Electric brakes. makes a world of difference.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:22 AM   #9
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Do you plug your trailer in to power at the track? I'm assuming you don't run a fridge and AC off of a car battery...?
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:29 AM   #10
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correct. shore power at the tracks. some tracks obviously won't have that luxury though. it's theoretically not difficult to set up a breaker box with 2 different sources so that at say, Palmer, you can run the inverter for lights, or just have a single 12 volt light, or do what most people do and get a set of remote operated LED lights for inside that run on battery.
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