Trailers were, are, and will always be an integral part of rodding. Trailers have evolved into an indispensable part of our rodding life. To the hands-on rodder a trailer becomes a useful tool that when used properly becomes a problem solver.

There are two "tools" many of us wish we owned before tinkering with our first hot rod-a pickup truck and a trailer. Both have their place in our sport even if it's behind the scenes.

Let's take a look at two fundamental types of trailers: open and enclosed. There's no better place to gain this information than JIMGLO Trailers, located in Willcox, Arizona. Owners Jim and Gloria Norris, along with their son Tim, have spent the past 23 years hand-building custom trailers. Looks and function follow form in these limited production units.

There are books written on the subject of trailers and towing but our objective isn't to be the be-all or end-all on trailering, but rather to gain some guidelines on a trailer suitable for our rodding needs. Additionally we will look at two critical trailer accessories: Mac's Custom Tie-Downs and Master Lock security components.

Either an open or enclosed trailer will do the job but there are trade outs. Open trailers typically cost less and are more easily towed and stored, however the enclosed trailer, while costing more, offers added protection, a level of security, and don't forget it makes a great portable and/or long-term storage unit.

Open Trailer
The open version (standard in black or white) couldn't be any easier to load. The JIMGLO Trailers TiltBed design releases with one lever and as the car pulls onto the bed it levels and locks into position. Standard bed length is 17 feet with optional lengths of 18-, 19-, 20-, and custom-length decks. Electric brakes are standard on all four wheels but you can get an optional disc brake package. Speaking of electrics, the electrical hook up is the industry standard seven-pin RV plug. This design eliminates the need for ramps and a JIMGLO trailer is built low to the ground with minimal ramp angles-two more pluses. The open trailer comes in three GVW ratings: 7,000, 10,000, and 12,000 pounds. These TiltBed trailers are also steel framed.

How many times have we loaded a car onto a trailer only to find out that there isn't enough room between the car's door and the trailer's fender? Unless you have a 20-inch waist, getting out is a real pain. The JIMGLO TiltBed trailer has removable fenders allowing you to open the door and step out-like a normal 2XL hot rodder! These trailers also offer the widest width area between fenders.

Always an important consideration with any trailer is its towing characteristics. All of us with towing miles under our backside have at one time or another experienced that "uneasy" feeling as the trailer attempts to take charge. Jim designs a 5-foot tongue into all his trailers with even weight distribution, enabling stable towing characteristics. We had the opportunity to tow an empty JIMGLO TiltBed (open) trailer from San Diego to our offices, nearly 100 miles, and could barely tell the trailer was there. Next up we towed our project '31 roadster pickup from our offices in SoCal to Phoenix (375 miles) at highway speeds approaching 75-plus miles per hour (don't worry it was the posted speed limit) and, once again, the trailer was right where it belonged-behind our '06 Ford F-150 pickup following the straight and narrow.

Within the JIMGLO TiltBed trailer is the two-frame system; the bed frame and the chassis frame. Each frame is designed and operating in unison but separate from one another. It should be noted that you can load your trailer without it being attached to a tow vehicle; a unique and worthwhile feature.