The $500 Pickup Replacement Project!

I’m starting a new project; this will be a quick/ easy one.  Here’s the plan:

  • I sold my Rabbit pickup; I need something for Home Depot  and Craigslist treasure runs.
  • I no longer have use of my father’s Chevy 1500/ dual axle trailer to haul the White car and spares to the track.  For track days, I’ll need some way to get tires and tools there.
  • The Rabbit Pickups had a nice, usable, size bed but couldn’t haul much weight.  I could haul stuff like engines, but I couldn’t (shouldn’t) tow a car with it. (I did actually).  This limitation is fine with me.
  • A used pickup truck will require fuel, registration, insurance, and maintenance.  It’d be nice to tow the Miata to the track, but… budgets, man.  Budgets.
  • The trailer needs to be registered every 5 years for $27 here in CA.  No insurance. Axle bearing & tire maintenance will be needed.
  • There are a lot of folks using a small trailer behind a Miata to bring tires to an autocross, etc.  This is where I’m going.trailer.stock

OK, so I’ve decided to get a little utility trailer.

  • I’ll get a Harbor Freight trailer: cheap, complete and cheap.  It’s cheap, too.
  • I want the 4′ vs the 8′ bed because of storage space when not in use.  It will be stored more than it will be used.
  • I want the smaller tires (8″ vs 12″) again because of storage space.
  • HF has a 4×8′ with 12″ wheels that folds: I did own this trailer years ago with my kart.  It was great, but still, too big. even when folded up.  Think small.
  • I have a Curt Hitch on the Mazda5, I’ll look into options for the Miata.  Maybe something removable?
Example of a typical autocross / track day setup
Example of a typical autocross / track day setup


  • Will I simply bolt on a piece of wood for a flat deck? This is probably the most versatile solution.
  • Maybe a pair of plastic toolboxes?  This could be used as lockable storage and the top could be used as a platform to tie stuff to.
  • A wooden ‘box’ to do the same as above?  Will that be too heavy empty?
  • Should I extend the tongue an extra foot or 2 for maneuverability?
  • Hitch receiver on the back of the trailer for a bike rack?  I have a 2 bike rack for the Mazda5 that would work great.
  • Will I store this thing inside or outside?  It’s not big, but yeah, it takes up a bunch of precious garage space.

Lastly, I don’t want to spend much money on this thing that will sit around most of the time… so let’s say there’s a $500 cap on this project.  Stay tuned.

This is what will happen when the project goes completely off the rails/ out of budget
This is what will happen when the project goes completely off the rails/ out of budget

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