Flash has a new sibling: M.T. (Mobile Trunk) - Pontiac Solstice Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Flash has a new sibling: M.T. (Mobile Trunk)

I have already posted about getting and installing a draw-tite hitch for my Solstice GXP https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...04/#post824748

Once one purchases a hitch, they must then get something to haul with it. I did some reasearch, and originally decided that the Reese Backpacker model 750 would be good, the only problem is that Reese stopped making these back in '96 or '97. Shame, too. The only ones around are used.

I posted about wanting to buy https://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/f...trailer-54996/ but they are scarce enough that the nearest one would be several hours of travel away.

Complicating things are actually searching for a trailer that can be pulled by a motorcycle or sports car. Google for cargo carriers, and you get an overwhelming number of hits for large 12' - 18' trailers. Google for motorcycle trailers, and you get lots of trailers designed to haul the motorcycle.

Even asking locally, if you ask a trailer place for a small motorcycle trailer, you will get lots of information on trailers that haul one or two motorcycles.

I did eventually come up with these links, for those who are contemplating a similar quest:

Motorcycle Trailer, etc. link index
MOTORCYCLE TRAILER INDEX

After lots of searching, attempting to find a Reese Backpacker, I finally did some phone shopping around my local area. Starting at a Harley Davidson dealership, who did not sell trailers but were very instrumental in helping me locate a trailer shop who did, I finally settled on Flash's little sibling after looking at several options.


My criteria came down to these, your own may be considerably different:

Price:

Depending on appearance and functionality, anywhere from $800-$2250, if buying used requiring long distances, I would use a figure of about $1.30 a mile which would include my time, wear and tear on the vehicle, and the risk of buying used sight unseen. If more than 5 hours one way, I would add another $100 for overnight. This seems excessive, but an example was one choice: a $400 Reese Backpacker, the trailer I wanted, but it was over 7 hours away. Heading out on a 2-day trip to go pickup a polyethylene trailer in unknown condition meant an extra 1000 miles and a whole bunch of my time driving for hours on end. Then, what if the sale did not work out, or the person sold from under me?

I found a HUGE range for both new and used Motorcycle Cargo Trailers, from teeney ones for a few hundred to decent ones that can run well up to $5500 or more.

Capacity:

After looking at several models, I decided that absolute minimum was 18 cubic feet. The Reese Backpacker was 34 with the top (17 without the top), and Motorcycle Cargo Trailers, it turns out, range from 12 cubic feet (too small) to maybe 28 cubic feet.

I was looking for something with at least 200# of load carrying capability, and not much more than 1000# max load capacity.

Size/Weight:

The smaller the better, so long as the capacity is met. Again, a large range, the BackPacker weighed 190 lbs empty, and most other Motorcycle Cargo Trailers range from 175 for small ones to as much as 250 lbs or more. I wanted a target of 225 lbs empty or less to facilitate storage and manual moving.

Size was more flexible, but something narrow would be more ideal for garage storage. Desired about 3' wide, certainly nothing larger than 5' wide.

Appearance:

Prefererance for black, since Flash is Carbon Flash Metallic (aka Magnetic). Fiberglass is preferable, as it can be painted. Polyethylene is not really paintable due to the flexibility of the shell, so the color is WYSIWYG - tan on top, black on bottom. White not desireable, but depending on cost everyone has a price.

Additionally, the trailer had to be watertight, no open bed or rack-type trailers.

After talking with several trailer dealers, I did finally find a trailer that, while on the high side of cost, was locally available, in stock, on sale and fit the majority of needs.


A company down in Elkhart, IN, Jason Industries, makes three brands of small carriers Brochures - Jason Industries,

specifically:

1) a small sport car/specialty trailer called the "EGG", with a whopping capacity of almost 70 cubic feet, and an empty weight of about 300#. It is like hauling around a 2' deep truck bed that is 7' long and 4.5' wide. Max capacity of 1700#. (I certainly did not need something this big and heavy, plus storing would be an issue)

2) a highly styled motorcycle trailer called the "BLADE", Max weight of 780#, 220# empty weight, and approximately 25 cubic feet capacity. Only problem: MSRP around $3300 with no options. A handful of "lightly used" ones out there sell for between $3000 and $4000. Nice but expensive, but fear not, they still have

3) A decent motorcycle trailer called the "ION". Max weight of 810#, 1000# axle rating, 22.3 cubic feet and a low 190# empty weight. This hit just about all of my target parameters, and if I could find it in black, all the better.


It turns out that this company also wholesales the EGG and ION trailers to Continental Cargo, who resells them to trailer dealers under their Forest River marque, as a model called "Travel Companion". The EGG is considered a 5X7 and the ION considered the 3X5.

http://www.continentalcargotrailer.c...lcompanion.pdf

(PS - do NOT try searching craigslist for a "travel companion". Or at least be prepared before you do. Apparently, craigslist has lots of listings for, shall we say, "alternative services", if you know what I mean. )

I did have one trailer dealer that, as soon as he found out I was towing with a sports car and not a motorcycle, tried like heck to sell me an EGG that he had on his lot. No IONs in stock, so it would have to be orderded and they could only get it in white, but he had a black EGG for sale and he would make a deal on it, etc.

Eventually, my persistence paid off. I found a local dealer with two 2008 black Continental Cargo Travel Companion, with carpet and a spare tire. Out the door for a few hundred less than my max - not a cheap purchase but a good, versatile purchase. I can use any of my normal vehicles to tow this trailer and have an extra trunk available at any time. A Malibu pulling this small trailer will still get better mileage than an AWD Astro Van, for those long distance trips where you need a bit more capacity. I have confirmed that a guitar case fits in this trailer, and the styling is pretty decent too.


Plus, it is the right color.

So, I introduce MT:
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I am a GM Engineer.

I do not claim to be a GM representative, all of my postings are my own interpretation and personal opinions.

I am a proud Solstice GXP owner (Flash). My wife, A FORMER GM engineer, is a proud Solstice GXP Coupe owner (Wicked).

My other hobby: hot turbo wastegate nut adjustment.

Last edited by Flash's Owner; 03-23-2009 at 07:56 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 02:42 PM
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A great read, and a REALLY COOL TRAILER! Those pics are so cool!

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 04:21 PM
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Very nice, looks more useful than some, and sharp too.

Great info, and I for one will be watching for updates on the trailer wiring. I want to add a plug/connection for my hitch, too many times at stop lights when it was obvious that the flyswatter was not noticed until the last second.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 08:18 PM
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Nice links, thanks for the write up.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 08:25 PM
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I guess this means you are serious about making the trip to Denver.

Looks Great. And very functional.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS Stage 1 View Post
I guess this means you are serious about making the trip to Denver.

Looks Great. And very functional.
Yes, one of the reasons I have been working on it. I need to carry just a bit more than I had for weekend trips for my wife and I. It looks like the trip to Denver is going to be a 2-day there and 2-day back trip, and if I spend 2 days there, that is nearly a week. I need at least a couple of carryon bags or larger size, and I would feel alot better with a spare tire and proper jack for Flash.

I am a GM Engineer.

I do not claim to be a GM representative, all of my postings are my own interpretation and personal opinions.

I am a proud Solstice GXP owner (Flash). My wife, A FORMER GM engineer, is a proud Solstice GXP Coupe owner (Wicked).

My other hobby: hot turbo wastegate nut adjustment.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Great info, and I for one will be watching for updates on the trailer wiring. I want to add a plug/connection for my hitch, too many times at stop lights when it was obvious that the flyswatter was not noticed until the last second.
AR - I put adhesive reflectors on my flyswatter to help the visibility.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 12:46 PM
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Thanks for all the reasearch and info.

One accessory item to go with the hitch carrier I will be looking for is a platform/rack I can use to carry two sets of golf clubs.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 02:23 PM
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LOL

The only person on the forum who is more woordy than me and it has to be another engineer . . . . sigh.

Outstanding work as always. Thanks.

I went through a similar analysis and came up with my approach to a trailer

1) bought the GM luggage rack and motorcycle luggage for use there upon.
2) FEDEX. We ship anything that will not fit.
3) I took two spare wheels (I replaced my stock painted wheels) and mounted one left and one right hand tire so I have spares for the two family Kappa's. And yes, the Sky will wear the Pontiac shoes but only in an emergency.

One of the sponsors of the 09 Meet is a Kappa trailer manufacturer and has donated a trailer for the silent auction so all attendees might have one to take home with them. If you win, you can give me yours and I will give it a good home.

If you want to ship your bags, we can get you an address.

Among the musts and wants for my personal TsquaredS (Trailer Trade Study) was "must allow cruising at max mileage speed = 85 MPH". Getting the V rated tires for the trailer was pretty much a deal killer for us.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that I did eventually figure out a way to wire a plug that functions for the trailer lights.

I ended up using a male and female connector for the X408 junction in the right rear of the car.

X408 Chassis Harness to Instrument Panel Body Harness
Female:

OEM: E-5225-001
Service: 88988066
Description: 8-Way F Sealed (BK)

Pins: 6-8
Terminal/Tray: 7116-4102-08/9
Core/Insulation Crimp: E/1
Release Tool/Test Probe: 12094430/J-35616-2A (GY)
Pins: 1-5
Terminal/Tray: 7116-4103-08/9
Core/Insulation Crimp: E/1
Release Tool/Test Probe: 12094430/J-35616-2A (GY)
AC Delco # PT1758



Male:
OEM: E-5222-003
Service: 88988067
Description: 8-Way M Sealed (BK)
Pins: 2-6, 8
Terminal/Tray: 7114-4102-08/9
Core/Insulation Crimp: E/1
Release Tool/Test Probe: 12094430/J-35616-3 (GY)
Pins: 1, 7
Terminal/Tray: 7114-4103-08/9
Core/Insulation Crimp: E/1
Release Tool/Test Probe: 12094430/J-35616-3 (GY)
AC Delco # PT 1758 (used on Corvette/HHR/kappa) or PT2133 (GM PN 88988345, used on HHR only, with different color pinouts)



Pictures from here: | pi | wiring-connectors | gm | pigtails | 8-cavity | female | ACDelco TechConnect


Unfortunately, with leads (used on HHR) the parts are list price at $160 and $150 (about half at gmpartsdirect). At the junk yard, about $15 IF you know where to find it - clip clip and walk up and say you got it from the HHR in the field. It is the forward lamp harness connector, but it will have different wire colors than if you get the same connector off of a Solstice. It is X121 for the HHR, and X186 for the Corvette, in their respective service manuals, both used for connecting the body harness (HHR) or engine harness (Corvette) to the Forward Lamp Harness.

Re-pinning is a pain in the azz, though. For that, you need to know someone at a dealer or a technician that can help you re-pin the connectors. Then, it is a game of tapping into and t-ing off of the ground/supply/left and right lines for your trailer light connector.

Now I have a connector that plugs in or is removed and the car goes back to stock. I wired the sensor wires straight through.
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I am a GM Engineer.

I do not claim to be a GM representative, all of my postings are my own interpretation and personal opinions.

I am a proud Solstice GXP owner (Flash). My wife, A FORMER GM engineer, is a proud Solstice GXP Coupe owner (Wicked).

My other hobby: hot turbo wastegate nut adjustment.

Last edited by Flash's Owner; 06-16-2009 at 12:05 PM.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 12:12 PM
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maybe I missed it...what did you actually end up paying for the trailer??? I guessing about $2K?

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 01:09 PM
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I didn't thought such a mod would look or fit that great with the Solstice, but it does! I might go this way, eventualy. Thanks for all the information.

Nice house by the way. Looks like the ultimate garage!

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash's Owner View Post
I forgot to mention that I did eventually figure out a way to wire a plug that functions for the trailer lights.

...
Can you expand on your post above for the wiring-impaired?

Exactly what gets connected to what? (Photos would rock for those of us who are visual learners. )

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Can you expand on your post above for the wiring-impaired?

Exactly what gets connected to what? (Photos would rock for those of us who are visual learners. )
Sorry - I didn't take photos. I can show people the finished product at Colorado for those interested.

I just connected the male and female with re-pinned wires of approximately correct color, and parallel-spliced in the 4-wire trailer connector to the black (cavity 1) and the left/supply/right (yellow/brown/green; Cavity 6,7 and 8).

When I want to use the trailer, I disconnect the connector, snap in the adaptor, string the wire to the trailer hitch and off we go.

I think brentil had pictures of the exact connector and wires, but it is on the outside of the right rear rail, behind the wheel well, just inside the exhaust pipe. I can see the connector if I lie on the ground, you can verify the connectors with the attachment for the connector wire pinout, as the colors are correct for all eight cavities.


PS: found a pic that brentil gave me that shows how he connected the lights - this is the connector I mention.
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I am a GM Engineer.

I do not claim to be a GM representative, all of my postings are my own interpretation and personal opinions.

I am a proud Solstice GXP owner (Flash). My wife, A FORMER GM engineer, is a proud Solstice GXP Coupe owner (Wicked).

My other hobby: hot turbo wastegate nut adjustment.

Last edited by Flash's Owner; 06-16-2009 at 02:58 PM.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 03:17 PM
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I now understand! Thank you.

I do hope to see it in person at Nats.

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