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MG TD TF 1500 - Trailer advice

I am looking to trailer my TD about 2000 miles this summer and wondering what I need to look for in a lighweight trailer that would handle the TD? This will be pulled with a 6 cyl SUV.

I think the u haul type trailers will be much to hard to tow with the SUV, but I also worry about overloading some of the smaller utility trailers out there.

I am also uncomfortable in pulling it with the rear wheels on the ground with a dolly.

Any experience you folks have would be appreciated.
Bruce Cunha

The U-haul trailer may be the way to go. You want a tandem axle trailer for stability. The U-haul trailers are very light weight, and some have surge brakes, so you won't have to add an electric brake controller.
D. Sander

I just bought a Look 7ft. wide 18 ft long enclosed v nose trailer with a lowered basement to decrease the loading ramp angle. I had the side door installed on the left side and also had a winch put in to facilitate loading. Both floor and wall tiedowns are installed to allow it to be used in a utility mode as well. Torsion axles improve the performance too.

Since I live 8 miles out in the country with 4 miles of gravel roads I'm hoping this will help stop rock chips.

The 7 foot width allows the use of standard mirrors.

In any event I think this trailer will fit my needs just fine
A. R. Todd

You might look for an open tandem aluminum trailer. A friend of mine had one and we brought my TD home on that and it was about 350 miles. He had good luck with the trailer but sold it when he sold his car. It was a very easy trailer to pull.

Cheers, David.....
David Honness

A good lightweight aluminum trailer should work but a 6 banger is going to have a time if you are in the mts. at all.
Tom Maine (TD8105)

Hi Bruce,
The car will be a ton and a steel open trailer will be a ton. So you have 4000 lb with a 6 cylinder SUV. It may be OK depending on the torque you have. An important factor, more than pulling, is how much you have in brakes on the SUV, expecially if you are heading for the "hills". An aluminum trailer would be good for your pulling rig, by far, but they cost 2X what a steel trailer costs. Get tandem axles with brakes on both axles, and a gravel shield on the front. Mike
MW Davis

Bruce, a good equalizer hitch will work wonders as well. Make sure you have a transmission cooler, and I would also consider electric brakes a must.

Dave Braun

I used a U-Haul trailer to transport my TD. I towed it with a small truck with a 2.9L 4 cylinder. U-Haul has a calculator on their site and should not rent you one if load specs are not right. U-Haul trailers are robust, with surge brakes. The trailer itself is very heavy. TD fits on it excellent.

A light weight aluminum trailer designed for car hauling would be a better bet.
C.R. Tyrell

A warning to anyone planning to tow a T car on a dolly- check the ramp dimensions. You'll probably find the MG is too narrow. I had to weld on an extra ramp. Other than that, the dolly works fine, and is the lightest choice.

Another tip is to check out the trailer rentals ahead of time. Most outfits refuse to rent for out-of-state travel. U-haul will. They also provide for one-way rental, something convenient on an emergency. Been there, done that.

On purchasing our first TD, we rented a tow dolly and small box truck from U-haul. Stuck the TD in the box and towed the Honda home on the dolly.
Jim Northrup

I hope I'm not teaching my Grandmother to suck eggs! I don't know about the US but I've done a bit of trailer pulling in Europe. You can't be too careful cos when it goes wrong it happens very quickly!

I found the important "rules" are: -

1 The SUV will have a maximum "nose weight" that the tow hitch on the trailer can impose on it. You need to balance the load on the trailer so you don't exceed the specified down-force on the tow hitch for your vehicle. I would measure this down-force by balancing the tow hitch on a suitable length of wood resting on a bathroom scale and raising the wheel on the tow hitch to determine the down-force doesn't exceed the spec. If you get this wrong it very much affects the stability of the rig apart from overloading the chassis of the SUV.

2 In the UK it's illegal for the total weight of the rig being towed to exceed the weight of the towing vehicle. I think this pretty much dictates whether or not you need an aluminium trailer. Most experts in the UK recommend that the weight of the rig being towed should not exceed 85% of the weight of the towing vehicle.

In the UK Al-KO do an anti lock breaking system for trailers which I found very re-assuring when I was coming down steep hills. Maybe they do a similar system in the US.

Can't be too careful pulling these heavy loads around but I hope I'm not teaching my Grandmother to suck eggs!

A R Jones

I have towed my TD on a car dolly.
I backed it onto the dolly and tied off the steering wheel so the front wheels stayed straight.


I towed a MG midget racecar across country with a 4.0 liter Ford Ranger on a homebuilt (not by me) single-axle trailer with two tilting ramps. It was very simple, therefore very light, although it was made from steel. It had no braking system.

Occasionally I would use it to carry my street MGA.

I had no problems getting it over mountains, etc., even with the truck loaded down with tools, parts, luggage and me and my buddy. I added a transmission cooler to the truck.

Having said that, the Midget only weighed about 1500 lbs. And if I were to do it again today I'd want a tandem axle and a separate braking system.

I have a friend that had a custom-built trailer made for his Midget. It really wasn't very expensive. It was steel, but it was kept light by building it to size for the Midget with only two ramps instead of decking. The U-Hauls are built for the heaviest vehicle they will carry, so they tend to be heavy.

Check the towing capacity on your SUV. If it was equipped with a towing package from the factory (usually a transmission cooler and some other, heavier duty items, like an upgraded alternator) it will have a higher capacity. If it wasn't then you can probably get away with just adding a transmission cooler.

Aluminum trailers are wonderful, but can be very expensive.

If you use a tow dolly and put the rear wheels down, then you'll need to disconnect the drive shaft. The bearing at the front of the gearbox will not get oil at a tilt and will eventually seize up if you try to tow it with the 'box in neutral. I was told a horror story about a guy who looked back to see his transmission spinning in the chassis and destroying his TD from the inside out. I don't know if it is true, because I'd expect the driveshaft to break or shear before the bellhousing bolts, or the tires to start skidding, but you get the picture.

In most cases an equalizer hitch would be unnecessary with the weights we are talking here, IMHO, although much depends on the type of SUV you are talking about. Some SUV's are just tall cars while others have truck underpinnings that are more suited to towing.

David Littlefield

Bruce; I prefer the enclosed for security, for keeping Mother Nature at bay, and for the additional space for tools and luggage. Best setup for a smaller vehicle that I have seen is Tom Belongia's rig. Believe it is a 7 X 16 with the low ceiling height. His has an escape door for easier car egress when loaded-really helps on the 7' wide trailers. Tom was pulling with a Pathfinder the last I knew and was happy the combination. V nose units give a good place for a winch and a bit less wind resistance,but the real key to pulling with a small motored vehicle is reducing the frontal area thru narrower and shorter profile. I have seen some of the motorcycle trailers configured in this manner coming up for sale used. The configuration of your tow vehicle (gear ratio,engine torque,braking system,etc.) will also make a difference in how pleasant and safe your tow time is spent. As Dave mentioned-good trans cooler a must with auto transmissions. What vehicle are you planning to pull with? Dan
Dan Craig

We have a Hyundai Santa fe with the 2.6 Liter 6 and automatic. Car has a towing package with a 2" hitch. I know it does have a separate transmission cooler. I have towed the TD with a dolly for short distances and it does well, but I don't think that is a good idea for a longer trip.

I towed the TD out to Wisconsin on a U-haul trailer behind a large u-haul cargo van. With the exception of loosing one overrider somewhere in Kansas, I had no issues, but that trailer is quite heavy and large.

I like the thought of a covered unit. Any one have some brands that they are using to carry their car?
Bruce Cunha

I think you'll be hard pressed to find an off-the-shelf enclosed trailer that you can safely tow with that rig. I'm guessing the rated tow capacity is 3500 lbs max? Then, of course, there are tongue weight and combined weights to worry about. So you need a trailer at less than 1500 lbs. and it really isn't a good idea to be at max capacity for towing the distances you are contemplating.

Having said that, the best chance you have for a workable, lightweight enclosed trailer is a canvas-covered one and/or an aluminum trailer of some sort. I've seen some aluminum trailers with a sort of clamshell Fiberglas covering that might be workable, but don't recall the brand. There was also a small racecar trailer with a low profile Fiberglas enclosure called Aeroflo, but I don't think they are still in business.

Featherlite is the most popular aluminum trailer manufacturer out there, though there are others.

I've done a lot of research on this in the past. I ended up buying a Dodge diesel pickup for my towing when I got a 20' enclosed trailer for the racecar. I then went up to a 28' (with two MG Midgets in it!) and back down to a 24' with one Midget and a golf cart.
David Littlefield

Bruce, let me add my experience to the list. A number of years ago our youngest daughter (and a long time friend) decided to seek their fortunes out West in LaLa Land. After a lot of discussion about it the decision was to rent a small U-Haul van. Along with the usual assortment of furniture, clothing, etc., our daughter had a VW Rabbit Diesel that we had given her. It fit perfectly inside of the van. To get it in we paid a tow-trucker to back the VW up on his tilt-bed truck and lower the bed to the height of the van's floor. Drove the VW right into the van and lashed it down (after filling it with stuff). When they got to California my daughter just reversed the process and drove the VW out of the van. I'm quite certain that a TD would fit into the small U-Haul van. Good luck. Bud
Bud Krueger

I have seen many T series MGs riding in the back of U Hauls. Hardest part is the approach. I've seen wooden planks used. Many years ago I saw a TC kick out a plank on the right side and fall.
Fortunately, a number of people were there and just picked it up and pushed it in.
It seams at almost every GOF someone breaks a crank shaft, snaps an axle shaft, has a generator quit, etc. U Haul has a propriety lower floor which makes it easier.
D. Sander

I recommend Trailex trailers...aluminum, tandem axle, surge or electric brakes...the one I use to tow my TC weighs about 895 lbs.
I've had almost as many compliments on it as I have on my cars.

I tow with a Toyota Venza or Tacoma...both with V-6's and have been as far as Sedona, AZ with no problem (that's from Gulfport, MS).
Gene Gillam

Ok, who's TD did Trailex use for their sports car open trailer?

Obviously it works for the TD pretty well. A bit pricy, but very nice.
Bruce Cunha

Trailex with optional front deflection shield.

Gene Gillam

I've seen that guys car on you tube before. don't know who's it is though.

I've towed my TF from Portland to Seattle and again to Olympia on a rented u haul trailer. the tow vehicle was my 4.3l v-6 astro van. it did fine once I took it out of over drive.
Alex Waugh

Bruce, When I picked Little-T up from the body shop I rented a fully enclosed tandem axle U-haul (can't remember the length) and he fit perfectly. I pulled the trailer with my Jeep Liberty without a problem, and my Jeep is not a powerhouse.
The only problem was U-haul's strict regulations agains pulling trailers with many certain vehicles. To be on the safe side I picked the trailer up with our old Ford pickup and switched vehicles after I got home.
Richard Taylor TD3983

Thanks Richard.
I am thinking that may be ok. I will rent one for a day and give it a try prior to making the trip.

Bruce Cunha

This thread was discussed between 07/01/2012 and 10/01/2012

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