Europa Trailer Plans
From the lotuseruopa group files section
Posted June 3, 2003 by: John White
NOTICE: THIS TRAILER IS OFFERED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO MIGHT WISH TO USE
THIS INFORMATION FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT. NO REPRESENTATION IS MADE AS TO THE
ROADWORTHINESS OR SUITIBILITY OF THIS TRAILER FOR ANY PURPOSE, AND THOSE WHO
USE THIS INFORMATION DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK. I RECOMMEND THAT ALL FABRICATION,
PARTICULARLY ALL WELDING, BE DONE BY A PROFESSIONAL WHO IS KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF TRAILERS AND CAN PERFORM THE NECESSARY WORK TO A
The trailer frame is built of 2" x 2" x 1/8" wall square tubing. This
turned out to be a little light, and I would recommend using 2" x 3" x 1/8"
tubing at least for the perimeter. The car is loaded rear end first by means
of the loading winch. This is a very ordinary hand crank winch (handle is off
in the photo) available for boat trailers. Single speed with a 20' x 3" nylon
strap and a hook. The strap is attached to the car by wrapping a short -
2'x 3"- strap with eyes in both ends around the rear frame tube and snapping
on the loading strap hook. The car is then simply cranked onto the trailer.
Off is the reverse. You have very good control in both directions. The
fenders will prevent opening the doors once the car is about 2/3rds on, so it's
best to have everything lined up right in advance. The front wheels can be
turned by turning the tires by hand, so it is still possible to steer the car
even with the doors shut. The main ramps are 1/8" stock 12" wide with a 1" lip
on both the inside and outside edges.
The hold down system consists (on each side) of a wedge shaped
piece made of 1/8" flat stock and bolted to the trailer that serves both as a
mount for the strap winch and a wheel chock (Colin Chapman: make one part do
two jobs!); a simple winch of the type used to secure truck cargo that has a
very positive locking rachet; a 2" heavy duty cargo strap with a hook on the
end; and a hold down ring attachment point that is flush to the trailer ramp.
Once the car is loaded, the strap is put over the rear tire and hooked into the
hold down ring. The winch is then tightened to hold the tire. The winch is
intended to be operated by putting a rod through holes in the axle of the
winch, but I had an 3/8 drive impact socket welded to the end of the winch axle
and I use a 3/8 drive rachet to tighten the winch. The front of the car is
secured by some ordinary 1" nylon ratchet hold down straps that go around the
sway bar and around the trailer frame. This is just to keep the front of the
car under control in some sort of severe situation.
The loading ramps are 2 x 10 pressure treated wood and are attached to the
trailer in a way that I don't like, so I won't bore you with the details. They
are stored on the trailer by slipping the forward end into some hold down tabs,
and clamping the rear ends with a piece of angle and a handle that threads into
a plate nut on the trailer frame. The fenders are galvanized and are mounted
with home made brackets. The inside of the fenders have light aluminum splash
guards to keep road debris off the car. The axle is a 3500 lb capacity with a
4" drop to get the trailer as low as possible. The axle rating is higher than
necessary, but it was the only one that I could find with the drop and I wanted
the trailer bed as low as possible. The tongue is fairly long so that I can
make sharp turns without having the corners of the car hit either the Lotus or
the trailer. The connector uses a 2" ball. All of the trailer equipment
including the fenders came from Northern Tool and Equipment (www.Northerntool.com).
Drawings - Trailer Frame Plan - Trailer Drawing - Trailer Ramps
The drawings are GIF format and are not very legible when viewed in Files. You
can download them and look at them in any photo software. You will probably
have to resize the drawings to print them out, and a width of 10.5" works well
and will get everything onto an 8.5 x 11 page (landscape).