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Plodding Along
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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have experience with the Serpent Express trailer system? I'm hoping to hear from owners as to durability / longevity of the covering, workmanship, overall reliability, and (for those who did the retro-fit install) the ease of DIY installation.

Please share your experiences!!!
 

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I've had mine for about a year now, so can't give real world experience about the durability / longevity quite yet. But the overall product is great, and a perfect solution for a reasonably priced covered trailer that is also easy to pull. I went with the all aluminum version to save weight and also hopefully last longer. Towed my Mk3 to several events last year, including London. Also took it to NH and back to pick up my Mk4 build. It's been flawless. I pull it with a V-6 powered SUV with a towing package, and it's painless.

 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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A fellow FFR owner has one and he's kind enough to let me borrow it on occasions. It was used when he bought it a few years ago.

We have had to replace all the zippers. Solution, (keep the zippers lubricated). To do this had to remove the cover to take it to a shop to have them fixed. PIA the first time not so bad the second.

This model has a velcro flap covering the zipper flap on the front. Velcro tore off. Still need to repair and not sure how. Will have to remove the cover a third time.

No structural problems, tows like a dream. Very narrow, watch out when loading/unloading or you will chip your paint, did that. Tie down is a little tough but manageable. Top fabric holds up well as does the top frame and brakes work well.

Out of 10 I'd give it a 7 if 10 was perfect and 1 was awful
 

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81 Posts
I have had mine for about two years and would buy another in without hesitation. Mine is the same as Edwards, all aluminum, black top. It gets easier to load every time you do it. Tie downs in the front are alittle more work, but if you get the car in the right spot, just clip and unclip the front. Drive on alittle more than needed, hook the front and let the car drop back to tighten the front ,hook up the rear and away you go.
I didn't order mine with the spare carrier but wish I did. Zippers have been no problem for me yet. Keep the cover tight and it tows so well you won't even know its back there.


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Plodding Along
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Discussion Starter #5
For guys with the R&R aluminum trailer - what was your experience in dealing with R&R? How has customer service been, if you've had issues? How is the fit/finish of the actual trailer, too?

Thanks for the feedback, to far... hope to hear more!
 

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For guys with the R&R aluminum trailer - what was your experience in dealing with R&R? How has customer service been, if you've had issues? How is the fit/finish of the actual trailer, too?

Thanks for the feedback, to far... hope to hear more!
R&R was only a couple hours drive from me in Three Rivers, MI. The trailer was ready for me, as promised, and they were helpful to get me hooked up and ready to go. No customer service issues, so can't comment. Hard to imagine too much to go wrong. They fab the aluminum deck and related. Larry Johnson sends them the fabric cover. The rest of the parts (axles, wheels, lights, brakes, hitch, etc.) are all standard off-the-shelf items.

I did have one very minor issue. The bottom of the rear zip open door was held in place with a piece of conduit through some hook eyes in the trailer. It was pretty cheesy and bit of a pain. I replaced the hook eyes with some threaded inserts and thumbscrews. Literally about a 15 minute fix and probably more of a personal preference than a real problem. Wouldn't think of driving it back to Three Rivers for that.
 

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Chris as you know I do not own one. However, I did witness a Cobra being loaded at LCS about 4 year ago. The ramp on one side kicked up and detached itself from the trailer and fell to the ground. I yelled for the guy to keep going since the rear tire was almost on the trailer and it was OK. However, I think a better way to attached the top of the ramp to the trailer should be considered.

I have only experience with rented U-Haul trailers and the ramps slide out and are still attached some how.

Just something to consider. It could have been a fluke caused by the uneven ground or something else.

Lee
 

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iBuild
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5,824 Posts
I have had a 15ft steel SE for about 3 years I guess now, and really pleased with it, its a great little trailer for the roadster and also now will be using it for the miata as well.

I don't think there are any issues unique to it, I do wish it was a foot longer, I did add a cheap winch from Harbor Freight as I am much more comfortable pulling the car up the driving it up, especially if loading it alone. The ramps on mine, while I haven't had an issue with them coming off, I have had them walk out from the stored position while towing. On my model the back of the cover is all that was holding them in place so I added a short chain and a clip. I also added or should say have tried to add some additional turn indicators on the back of the trailer, as on mine the only sides markers are on the fenders of the trailer which make them hard to see for someone directly behind you.

All that said, it really does tow well. I originally pulled it with a Ram 1500 and it was effortless. I pull now with an 08 Mercury Mountaineer V8 which also has no problem pulling it. The shorter wheelbase mountaineer I do get a little trailer sway from time to time, but nothing major.

Over-all been very pleased with the SE.

Scott
 

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Chris as you know I do not own one. However, I did witness a Cobra being loaded at LCS about 4 year ago. The ramp on one side kicked up and detached itself from the trailer and fell to the ground. I yelled for the guy to keep going since the rear tire was almost on the trailer and it was OK. However, I think a better way to attached the top of the ramp to the trailer should be considered.

I have only experience with rented U-Haul trailers and the ramps slide out and are still attached some how. Lee
The SE is built on several different platforms depending on the location and trailer provider, so I think there may be some variations in the design and specifically the ramps. I can only speak to the all aluminum version pictured in post #2. Due to the beaver tail rear, there is limited room for the ramps to slide in out like the U-Haul. In my case, the ramps have an attachment point on the front. It's very robust, and they're not going anywhere. When used to drive the car in and out of the trailer, they are captured by the rear bumper and an extruded piece on the front of the ramp. Also very robust. I don't see how it would be possible for the ramp to kick up and detach like described. That would be scary...

I did one other thing. I actually glued rubber chocks to the floor of my SE. Used those solid triangle ones from HF and glued to floor with construction adhesive. Made it really easy to drive in and stop against the chocks, and be in the perfect position to strap down and also eliminate fear of hitting the nose inside the trailer. Thought about getting a winch, but with the chocks, it's a piece of cake to drive in and out.

Here's a picture of the ramps and where they stow.

 

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Premium Member
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I'm going to do that conversion on the rear flap you described, that's a great idea. I was thinking of others but were all more complicated.
R&R was ok to work with, but seem not real comfortable dealing with customers at the facility. When I went to pick mine up , took a long time to get things in order before I got my trailer. They did call me to tell me it was ready and knew I was coming. The woman was nice but did get much help from the guys in the back.


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my buddy has one he towed to Mid Ohio-said backing it up in the dark hotel parking lot at night was a little tough with the trailer dark too-some marker lights near the top would be a good idea.

Bob
 

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I have had two, the first one I had already purchased a trailer, then I bought the serpent express cover and framework used from a forum member. I welded the pockets on the trailer and installed the cover and it worked out just fine, Towed great and was an excellent trailer, I sold it to another forum member and friend when I purchased an aluminum trailer. He has used the trailer many times and towed it to London Ohio from Boston MA last year.

The second one I purchased has worked out excellent as well, I purchased the trailer then purchased the cover from Larry Johnson.( Mr. Serpent Express) Larry took the measurements of the trailer and I sent him some pictures and he designed a cover and fit it to the trailer. I bolted the pockets on this one because it is aluminum and installed the cover. I towed it to London Ohio from Boston MA

The first one I owned was towed with a 2001 S10 with a 4.3.v6
The second one is towed with a 2010 GMC canyon 5.3 V8.

In my opinion these trailer’s are perfect for a roadster, and the service from Larry is very good.


My new trailer has ramps that are stored under ther ear of the trailer and slide in from the passengers side, My old trailer they slid in from the rear. I prefer that they slide in from the rear. Slideing them out the side is a PIA and if you pull in next to someone there is generally not enough room to slide them out.

This is a characteristic of the trailer itself, not the Serpent Express cover.

I would not hesitate to purchase another one if there was a reason too. It is a great value.
 

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Plodding Along
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Discussion Starter #13
My new trailer has ramps that are stored under ther ear of the trailer and slide in from the passengers side, My old trailer they slid in from the rear. I prefer that they slide in from the rear. Slideing them out the side is a PIA and if you pull in next to someone there is generally not enough room to slide them out.

This is a characteristic of the trailer itself, not the Serpent Express cover.
Sounds like a Featherlite 14' aluminum trailer... I used to have one of those. I'm thinking about either a 17 1/2' Featherlite with the SE cover system purchased separately from Larry or just going with the full turnkey trailer and cover (R&R aluminum trailer) from him.

What do you guys think about the extra $3k for the Featherlite?
 

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Sounds like a Featherlite 14' aluminum trailer... I used to have one of those. I'm thinking about either a 17 1/2' Featherlite with the SE cover system purchased separately from Larry or just going with the full turnkey trailer and cover (R&R aluminum trailer) from him.

What do you guys think about the extra $3k for the Featherlite?
It is actually a Forrest River, I paid $ 3000 for the trailer new,I think it is 17 feet.It is a bit longer than I need,but plenty of room for a cooler or boxes when picking up a kit at FFR I got a smokin' deal on it, It was on the company's website for $4495.
I bought it from a local travel trailer company who bought 10 of these, this was the last one he had and he said he was not buying any more, the owner is a car guy and bought 10 to get a deal one for himself and sold the other 9.

I added the aluuminum wheels and radial tires and serpent express cover

 

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Plodding Along
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Discussion Starter #15
Dave S - you have a PM... I'd really like to drop by and take a look at your trailer if possible.
 

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Premium Member
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What do you guys think about the extra $3k for the Featherlite?

When I was shopping for an enclosed trailer, I found out that the featherlite trailers were actually heavier than an equivalent steel trailer.

If you are buying a feathlite based on the assumption that it is lighter, and easier to tow, do some homework and conpare it to other steel trailers.

If you are buying with the peace of mind that aluminum wil not rust, then that is a totally different game.

I did not buy the featherlite.
 
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