HomeTechnical ReviewsRance Aluminum Motorcycle Trailer

Rance Aluminum Motorcycle Trailer

Rance Aluminum Motorcycle Trailer
By Don Smith


Ever wonder what we have in common with the following list of
people? Rickey Gadson, Kendall Johnson, Trip Nobles, Chris Hand, AMA Prostar.
As you may have guessed from the above photo we all use Rance aluminum trailers.
One of the great things about the affiliation of Dragbike.com and AMA Prostar
drag racing is the exposure to some of the best parts and accessories in the
industry. A quick trip down through the midway and paddock at most any race
and you will see that many of the pros and sportsman are using aluminum trailers.
Many of those aluminum trailers come from Rance.

(www.rancealuminum.com)
You may have also noticed that Rance is one of the sponsors of AMA Prostar drag
racing. In fact they are the official trailer of AMA Prostar and AHDRA drag
racing.





Those of you that are serious fans of our sport, know that drag racing exists
because of the support of companies like Rance. Without that support there is
simply no way it can continue. So as fans we encourage you to support Rance
and all the other sponsors of Prostar drag racing.

Like everyone else that has seen the beautiful Rance aluminum trailers at the
races, we too looked at them with envy. The promise of reduced weight, easier
hauling, better tow vehicle mpg and many other benefits were always of interest
to us. Now that we have our own we can confirm that all the benefits are true
plus a lot more. After the first time I towed this trailer I sat down and noted
21 distinct advantages over a traditional low cost, low quality steel trailer.
When most people shop for a trailer they look simply at the price and size,
but more educated buyers are more likely to appreciate the benefits of a high
quality aluminum unit like this one.

The advantages of a Rance go much deeper than just weight too, though with a
whopping 870lb advantage over a similar sized steel trailer, you simply can’t
make an informed trailer decision without “weighing” all the advantages.
Of course they offer a wide variety of sizes and shapes and each one can be
had in several colors and equipped with a full list of options if you take that
route. For our use we wanted a 7’x 14’ V-Nose trailer to haul two
full sized bikes with a full compliment of tools, leathers as well as a pit
bike. If you look closely at other V-nose trailers, the V section is actually
built out on the tongue, leaving only a foot or so of extended tongue. This
type of design is very poor and results in a lot of tow vehicle problems and
lack of maneuverability. With the short tongue, the rear of your tow vehicle
is so close to the nose of the trailer that during sharp turns or when backing
extreme care must be used or you will damage the trailer and tow vehicle. If
you are using a motorhome or other large vehicle it only gets worse.

Rance on the other hand uses a full 7’ tongue which leaves plenty of room
in front of the V-nose. The extra long tongue allows me to turn my vehicle to
full steering lock and not worry about the trailer hitting the corner of the
truck or motorhome. This added factor of safety also allows easier backing because
you can turn the tow truck to extreme angles in order to reach your desired
spot.

With fuel well over $2.00 a gallon, any increase in economy is worthwhile and
the Rance is ready to help there too. As of this writing we have only towed
the trailer a few hundred miles but we did take the opportunity to check the
MPG of my Dodge 2500 diesel. This vehicle’s MPG has been documented during
every mile it has ever been towing so we know exactly what to expect and that
is about 13.2 mph at 70MPH. After the first short trip the new trailer is showing
14.7mpg, which is an impressive 1.5mpg difference. Not only is this trailer
lighter by almost one thousand pounds, it is also more aerodynamic. The nose
is pointed like most V nose designs, but it also has a dropped nose. It actually
looks a little like the nose of a Hayabusa motorcycle. This dropped nose design
is likely one of the reasons for the increased fuel economy. Another explanation
is that because the trailer is lighter, it can use more efficient aluminum wheels
and tires with lower rolling resistance. This trailer came with 205-75-14 Goodyear
Marathons.

For those of you that have a few thousand miles of towing on cheap Chinese tires
that come on most trailers you know what a nightmare that can be. Last year
alone I replaced two tires on the old trailer before replacing all of them at
a cost of over $400. Many of those other trailers that look like a deal up front
often cost you more in time and money over the long run, so make sure you figure
true life cycle cost before you make a bad decision. Things like replacing cheap
lighting packages, repainting rusty steel, rebuilding cheap axles (Rance uses
quality Dexter-Torflex axles) can all cost you in the long run.

Seeing is believing they say, so rather than trying to point out every one of
the advantages we see, it may be easier to show you. So please take a look below
at all the photos so you can see just how well built this trailer is. I can
honestly say this is the best built trailer I have ever seen and I have looked
at most every product on the market today. So before you make a trailer buying
decision, check out Rance and talk to their customers. Many people make the
mistake of waiting until their second trailer to buy one of this quality after
getting a “deal” on the first low cost trailer. Before you make
a mistake and buy another brand make sure you compare all the features and benefits
as well as the long term cost of ownership. If you take a look at Rance like
we did you will enjoy the quality and durability and actually save money in
the long run.


Notice the complete absence of side screws for the sheet metal. This trailer
features the optional epoxy smooth side construction. This allows you the ability
to situate your graphics for maximum sponsor visibility. Now you don’t
have to size graphics to fit within the screw pattern.

Notice the nose is not only rounded
toward the front like a traditional V-Nose trailer, but it is also dropped
at the tip.

This means better towing and mpg due
to the smaller frontal area.

A nice optional feature we choose
was to have the V-Nose section closed off into a closet. This included
an interior light and clothes rod.

It’s a great place to hang
leathers or store a helmet keeping them out of the way while loading
and unloading gear.


The curb side entry door includes a handy clip that allows it to stay held open
during loading. The design of this one makes securing it almost an automatic
operation. Then to release it simply release the spring loaded clip and the
door closes as normal.


Unlike many low quality trailers that only use foam tape to seal around the
ramp and side entry door, Rance uses real rubber gaskets just like on a house
door. This means long lasting trouble free operation and assures you no leakage
even in heavy rain, one more example of the quality of this product.


The side door features a recessed lock that has not one but two separate locks.
One is a dead bolt. Both are operated by the same key for ease of use.


A standard feature of this trailer is 8 floor mounted D-rings for tying down
your bikes. When not in use they are not in the way. This allows you to use
your trailer to help your relatives move out of your house if they stay too
long.


As you can see this trailer is fully pimped out from the factory. We added real
vinyl floor, white wall interior, built in closet, and we even added a touch
of our own with some Baxley Sport Chocks we had lying around.


Inside the front closet is a 12v fuse box which makes fixing problems a snap.
Since each light is on its own circuit it also prevents you from losing the
whole trailer lighting package in the event of a short as is common on other
low cost trailers. If a short develops only that light will be affected because
the trailers fuse will blow instead of taking out your tow vehicles fuse box.


Look around at most trailers on the market and you will never see a tire with
Goodyear on the side wall. The normal practice for many trailers is to use cheap
Chinese made tires. If your experience is like ours those tires usually last
until the first hot day. Rance instead opts for the best tire on the market.
Goodyear Marathons in our case with a C rating. Four of these give us a tire
capacity of over 7000lbs with a trailer rated for 5000lbs. meaning the tires
are oversized for the application, another sign of quality by design.



All of the trailer’s rust free hardware and hinges include zerk fittings
for easy maintenance. No more trying to spray penetrating oil on the hinges
and getting it all over the trailer and yourself. This is a standard feature
on all Rance trailers.


Our optional interior includes several interior lights for night time use. One
on each side of the trailer as well as front and rear and inside the closet.
Plus there is a handy wall switch and can be used to turn the whole interior
on and off. You just would not want any more interior lights in normal use.


After years of constantly fooling with faulty and cheap 12v incandescent lights
we decided to equip this one with LEDs. This means not only LED brake lights
but even the side and front market lights are LED.

This huge strip of LED brake and running
lights assure that your rig will be seen even in bad weather.

LEDs are not cheap but neither is repairing
your trailer and cargo because someone rear ended you on a rainy trip
to the races.


The long aluminum tongue with a flip down jack assures you maximum clearance
between your tow vehicle and the trailer and no issues with dragging a solid
mounted jack. Plus since it has a wheel on the jack you can use it to speed
up the process of hooking up your trailer. Yes that means that an average person
can actually roll the trailer around due to the light 1600lb weight of the trailer.
You would never try this with a heavy steel trailer. Here you can also see the
break away safety switch which activates should the trailer and two vehicle
become separate. This activates the brakes using the onboard battery.


Rance is a member of the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers and this
seal assures you that the trailer was built to their standards. Not trailer
producer is a member because of the cost and standards involved with achieving
this seal.


Sure Aluminum tread plate looks good on a ramp door but have you ever tried
to ride a motorcycle up it in the rain? So have we and so have the people at
Rance which is why they offer this black weather resistant and slip free carpeting.
It is durable and a safety feature that we would not be without. Though it is
hard to see in the photo the last few feet of the trailer also slopes down toward
the ramp door. This gives you a slightly lower ramp height and minimizes dragging
of bikes when loading them, that along with a full six foot spring loaded door
plus the flip down flap assure you no issues of loading and unloading. Even
on difficult angles.

The tongue of the trailer also includes a handy
storage slot for the 7 way trailer plug when not in use. This keeps it up off
the ground and prevents it from getting dirty and causing electrical issues
later on. These guys have thought of everything.


Our trailer is equipped with an anodized trip plate on the bottom mostly because
we like the way it looks, but it also aids in durability from road debris being
kicked up on the trailer.

 

With the read door closed you can also see
the lighted tag holder up high just below the upper LED brake light. The
light weight but strong aluminum door also includes rubber bumpers and no
exterior rivets. This makes your trailer a great rolling billboard for potential
sponsors. Also notice the three heavy duty strap hinges at the bottom. Some
producers only use two.


The rear door also includes two of these corrosion resistant locks that you
can add your padlocks to for maximum security. Trailer burglary is no joking
matter when you are hauling around two or three bikes and gear.

This curbside personal door makes loading
tools and other gear a snap and prevents you from having to open the rear
cargo door every time you want to check on cargo or just grab a small item
out of the front closet.


We opted for a spare tire mounted inside the trailer, this prevents theft and
due to the great mounting location it is not in the way of loading or hauling
other gear inside. It too is a Goodyear Marathon but on a steel wheel.

This 14’ trailer comes with tandem Dexter
Torflex axles for maximum comfort and lower trailer height than with old fashion
leaf springs. The difference in towing is dramatic. One set of the axles includes
10” electric brakes. Plus check out the 14” aluminum wheels we picked
off the option list. This means no more trying to keep the steel wheels painted
to stay ahead of rust, plus these look great.


The upper rear of the trailer even includes a third LED brake/running light
for maximum rear visibility. Plus with the added bulbs in a LED bulb you don’t
have to worry about one bulb blowing and losing the whole light.

The entire lower front of the trailer is covered
with aluminum tread plate to beef up this area that is often prone to damage
from items coming off the tires of the tow vehicle.
Not
only does it look good it protects your investment.

How many times have you tried crawling under
the trailer to retrieve the rear jacks on your old trailer? Too many if you
ask us. With the Rance design the jacks are very accessible and include their
own locking mechanism. Unlike some jacks that have to be pinned these include
its own lock for easy use and storing. Also notice the corner reflector for
when the trailer is parked at night.

Rance also offers optional Salem vents for
the side of the trailer. We had two installed in ours and they can be rotated
to allow air to enter them directly from the front, or when it is rainy
and you want to allow passive air rotate the vent to the rear, or completely
close it.

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