How often has someone tried to load a snowmobile in the back of the trailer only to have the carbides grab the ramp or trailer deck and cause the track to spin out? When this happens you either have to have someone pull the skis forward or you have to drag the sled back off the ramp and try again.
And what about the damage your ski carbides do to the ramp and the deck of your trailer?
Although our 28-foot Mirage trailer comes with polybead laminate floor, carbides will still catch the edges. It’s nice to not only protect the interior of the trailer, but keep the snowmobiles where you want them. That’s why we add Caliber traction products to our trailer.
The beauty of Caliber is that the company makes several different designs in their ski and track traction products. This allows customers to custom design according to specific needs. When you contact Caliber, the company will happily give you a full-blown design with everything you could possible want … or a bare-minimum design to suit your immediate needs. With Caliber, you can always add a little as you go. Everything simply screws into the deck or ramp of your trailers.
On our recent install, we weren’t looking to go full-out since we also use our trailer to haul side-by-sides. But we did want to protect the deck from carbide scratches and allow for easy loading and unloading. So we went with just the Caliber Edge Glides 2.0, LowPro Grip Glides and Edge Guards.
The Edge Glides 2.0 is a new 4-piece kit with 8 feet of smooth transition from the snow to your trailer. Each Edge Glides is 24 inches long so you don’t have to worry about missing your mark when you drive into the trailer. These glides have a new hinge and pin system so you don’t have any more metal hinges to grab a carbide or rust. They feature the combination of traction knobs and cut lines to allow the skis to glide while providing traction for your feet.
LowPro Grip Glides are designed for the deck of your trailer. The kit is a 16 piece (40 linear feet) friction-free guided path for skis while still giving traction for walking. The nice part about the LowPro Grip Glides is that they allow your skis to continue to steer so your carbides are not stuck in a grooved channel. For our 28-foot trailer we actually used three boxes (120 linear feet).
And just out of curiosity, we decided to add Edge Guards, a 12-piece kit (72 linear inches). This is a containment system designed to keep the skis on the ramp and not into the cables supporting the ramp. Normally on the edge of the ramp we would use the LowPro Grip Glides. But the Edge Guards provide the friction-free guided path for the skis up the ramp.
Just for the record, Caliber also offers LowPro Glides (without the traction knobs), Multi-Glides (deep channels to suspend carbide runners), Grip Glides (for snowmobile skis and ATV tires), Edge Glides (6-inch width), Flex Glide (assist the ski for turning), Trax Graber (traction for the track), Trax Mat (traction for the track), Grips (traction for the track) and Trax Saver (to suspend track off trailer deck).
Caliber products come with all the necessary mounting hardware and drill bits. And since most of these products are used in both extreme cold and warm conditions, it is recommended to leave a 3/8-inch gap between edges to allow for expansion.
As a side note, we found that pre-drilling each hole made installation smoother. Also, when inserting screws, do not over-tighten. When you do, you weaken the grip the screw has to the wood … and eventually the screw will work its way out.
Starting at the ramp, we first installed the Edge Glides 2.0. Just like the standard Edge Glides, these can be mounted individually, or connected together to extend the entire length of the ramp. Since the Edge Glides 2.0 are 24 inches wide (compared to the 6-inch-wide standard Edge Glides), we thought that three across the ramp would suffice.
- First you have to attach the hinge to the glide. This is done using a connecting rod that slides through the slots the entire length of the Edge Glides. We found that by slightly rounding the leading edge of the rod, it was much easier to push it through the slots. Once the rod is in place there is a white plastic button that pushes in the slot on each side to secure the rod from moving.
- Position the Edge Glides on the trailer ramp so it doesn’t interfere with the door shutting. Then screw them in place.
Next we installed the Edge Guards. A 12-piece kit covers 6 feet of edges. We needed two kits to do both sides of the ramp door. The pieces are designed to interconnect. However, you can choose to use fewer edges and in strategically placed positions. But then you would need to insert LowPro Grip Glides to fill in the gaps.
- Connect the pieces for each side of the ramp. Lay them out in the proximate location, making certain they will provide clearance when the door is closed. We put one screw in the first piece at the bottom of the ramp (top of the door when shut) and closed the door to make certain they would not be an obstruction.
- Screw all the pieces down, making certain that the little plastic tab provides the proper spacing.
Now it was time for the LowPro Grip Glides. Each Glide is 30 inches long and 9 inches wide. There are screw holes on each side in the center, and slotted screw holes (to allow for expansion) on each side on the ends.
- Starting at the end of the door, lay out your pieces to ensure you have enough for the coverage desired. We needed two rows spaced in the middle of the door for loading and extending the length of the trailer, and a row along the side walls of the trailer.
- Pre-drill the center holes while positioning each glide. Then insert the center crews. Once secure, pre-drill holes in the center of the front and back slots on each Glide, then insert the screws with the plastic bushings.