Winching onto a trailer - backwards?

I need to winch my Exige onto my trailer, to take it to Dave Andrews, but the trailer manufacturer recommends that it goes on backwards, and if I follow that advice I won’t be able to use the towing eye.

Is there a recommended / safe point on the rear that I could use?


I drive mine on backwards, and have the scuff marks on the rear wheels to prove it

Anyhow, the best way is to make a bar that fixes on the two M8 diffuser “holding” bolts - the ones that screw into the subframe ( where the jacking point is ).

Then you need a tow eye welded or bolted to the centre of that bar and use that to pull on.

Idea being, take the two M8 bolts out, bolt the bar in place and there you go

By the way what trailer do you have ?


Otherway I just thought of … is use two M8 lifting eyes and pull on a strap that goes across the two eyes …

I have a small garage door, just a fraction over 2 metres wide, and the total inside length is 5 metres and 6cm, so the usual A-frame / minno type from Brian James would not fit, and I wanted to be able to put the Exige, on the trailer, inside the garage and lock it down!!!.

So I bought a beavertail, from PRG Engineering. It is 4m long (loadbed) plus another metre for the drawbar, making a total of 5M. This is the design where the back quarter slopes downwards, and the wheels are underneath the load bed. That makes it somewhat less stable, but not so as you would notice in practice. It has a solid load area, so the trailer can be used to move fridges / beds / small houses etc…

Piers at PRG agreed to make it to my exact specifications, and it came with 8 foot ramps which stow away behind the number plate, a two ton winch, a spare wheel, and four x 2 hook heavy duty straps (for the mother in law)

Although that was more expnsive than a standard trailer, I am very pleased with the result.

Although that was more expnsive than a standard trailer, I am very pleased with the result.

Hope your mother in law is also pleased

I am taking her for a ride tomorrow, to check that the trailer will be strong enough for the Exige…

Hee Hee Hee

I guess BrianJames recommend you winch the car on in reverse, because the Exige is rear engined and most weight should be forward of the trailer axles…

With my trailer (not sure which one) winching the car on forwards has the engine sat over the trailer axles, with the rest of the car forward of this point, so it’s not an issue.

How long is your trailer ?

I find driving the car on forwards is far more convenient, and is easier to tie down (towing eye etc)

The trailer is 4 metres long so I guess the engine would be more or less in the right place…

I suppose I could just take it a bit slower, and once the head is back on, I could reverse on under power…

I agree with the earlier comment that issue of whether you can load forwards or backwards depends on the length of the trailer and where most of the weight sits when loaded.

I have a Brian James CLubman 1400 and mine sits on forwards perfectly well.

There is a simple test to see if a trailer is correctly loaded - most trailers will try to lift at the front when something is being loaded - a perfect load will be just forward of balanced so that there is enough weight over the hitch to start tipping the trailer forwards. There should be enough weight over the hitch so that you can still lift it by hand, but not so much that it is unliftable. Try the car both ways and see which works best. If you have a twin axle trailer with a bed of 13 foot or more, you should find the engine is near as dammit over the axles so that it doesn’t matter which way you load.

P.S. Rant time - NEVER, NEVER, NEVER rely upon a winch to hold a car down (as suggested above) winches have a very simple ratchet mechanism which can easily jump into the reverse direction and let go of your car. Invest in some decent straps to tie the car down - preferrably ones that loop around the tyres as this does not put strain upon the suspension - if you strap around the wishbones of a Lotus you risk bending the suspension over a long distance

Thanks for that Mark…

Car is now sitting on backwards held down by four double hook heavy duty straps, and this gives 85 kg weight at the hitch

An update - I have bought 60 kilos of mild steel to ballast the front of the trailer and can now put the exige on facing forwards - it tows like a dream up to 100 mph, and then the rear spoiler kicks in and the trailer does a wheelie !!!

(Just kidding about the wheelie)



Ideally, you should have 10-15% of the weight on the tongue of the trailer. This weight distribution will give you a good tow with less sway.

Thanks for the guidance - my set up with the ballast gives me 75kgs weight on the hitch, which equates to just under 10%, so perhaps I should go for a bit more - however BMW recommend a maximum of 75kgs for the tow hitch (with a natty little sticker to prove it!!) so I don’t dare go higher in case it breaks off and they say “told you so”

Your 75kgs should be fine - especially towing with a BMW! My tow vehicle can pull a house off its foundation!! It hardly notices my 26’ enclosed trailer (probably around 6000lbs loaded) behind it.

You towing with a Sherman Tank ???

My tow vehicle can pull a house off its foundation!!

Like in Lethal Weapon 2??

During my 2 weeks in the UK I never saw any trucks the size of mine - I’m not sure they even import them there…

Check out this link - mine is a '96, but you get the idea.

Chevy C3500


You suggest that your vehicle could pull a house of its foundations…

To me it is much simpler - your tow vehicle IS a house on wheels

What would it be like on a track, I wonder??


what the hairoil do you need a trailer for, why not just stuff the exige in the back along with the beers ??

Hell, just build a track in the back of it!!!