Project – VirtualGT 24′ Race Trailer
After deciding on a custom trailer for the “mobile room”, we set out to find a local trailer manufacturer with the capabilities to create something special for a reasonable price and build it in 4 weeks! We were fortunate to find Ultra Santek Trailers in Corona, CA where owner Victor Nappi was more than capable and willing to work with us on this very custom project.
List of Features
The first step was to come up with a list of features that the client wanted us to include in the design. After a few consultations, we had our design goals.
- A fully-loaded VGT Carbon Pro motion simulator, placed behind the double axle to balance the hitch weight.
- 6 KW Cummins diesel generator at the front end with cabinets accessible from the inside mounted above it.
- Large sectional couch for abundant and comfortable seating.
- 15,000 BTU Rooftop AC unit with heat coil.
- Refrigerator built into the cabinets in the front.
- DirecTV HD-DVR satellite system with Winegard folding dish on the roof. Automatically finds the satellite.
- Samsung 55″, 4k LED LCD TV on a pull-out, swivel and tilt wall mount.
- Sonos Playbar attached under the TV with Sonos sub on the floor below.
- 3-zone LED track lighting system with wall mounted dimmer switches to control them.
- WiFi receiver-repeater with roof mounted high-gain antenna for extra range.
- Network jacks and wired connection to TV, Sonos, DirecTV DVR and VGT PC.
- Triple-screen display mount built into rear end of trailer, using VGT’s new “race corner” concept.
- Electric levelers, front and rear to level and stabilize the entire trailer. Will actually lift the wheels off the ground.
- Removable tongue to minimize the overall length during storage.
Finding the Right Size Trailer Body
The next issue was to determine the proper length. We knew we wanted a “wide-body” (8′ 6″ wide), but the length was tricky. Too long and the VGT at the rear would be too far away from the couch. Too short and the couch would not fit. We wound up with 24 feet as the perfect compromise, with a 7’6″ interior ceiling height.
Building the Trailer
After locking down the trailer size, we selected Ultra Santek to build the trailer. We wanted more than a product. We wanted a partner in the design process and owner, Victor Nappi, was that perfect partner. He was more than willing to work on all the custom aspects of the design and lent us his 35 years of experience in building high quality trailers.
Ultra Santek began construction of their all tubular steel frame product as we evolved the design during periodic on-site visits to their factory.
Victor fabricated several special welded tube-frame assemblies per our plans. This included a pair of hinged frames to provide a 45 degree mounting surface for the two side 46″ displays. These fold back against the rear walls so the VGT can be rolled out of the back of the trailer without removing the side displays.
Another frame assembly was fabricated and welded into the rear of the trailer to create a storage compartment above the VGT displays. The bottom side of this compartment also serves as the top of the display enclosure.
All surfaces are carpet covered so the acoustics are plush and quite.
We had weekly meetings every Saturday AM to review progress and tweak the design. That was a good idea as several problems were solved before they became major.
Our VGT team made several visits to delver parts, pull wire, install electronics and lighting, and monitor the progress.
Victor and his crew managed to pull off the build in the quoted 4 weeks in spite of several design changes and some vendor problems.
Finally, is it was time to deliver and install the VGT into the completed trailer.
Ultra Santek modified the floor tubing under the VGT to provide extra strength and located weld-nuts per our plans, enabling us to bolt the motion frame to the trailer floor.
We also fabricated special “hold-down” brackets to secure the VGT and motion frame for transport. Weld-nuts were also added in the floor to secure them.
Originally, we had planned to bring the trailer into our factory for the final installation. However, the trailer was too long to make the turn into our rear entrance so our team spent the final week at the Ultra-Santek facility. We worked on the interior installation while the trailer exterior was nearing completion and the vinyl wrap was applied.
We started with bolting down the Motion System. Everything fit well. We added the wood panels to the side displays mounting frames and added the articulating wall mounts.
We built the VGT on top of the Motion System, then installed the three displays. The VGT’s built-in display mount takes care of the center display. The side displays mount to the welded framework provided by Ultra-Santek. The articulated wall mounts make the final alignment of the triple screens about as easy as it can get.
Meanwhile, we also attended to installation of other systems inside the trailer such as:
- DirecTV Satellite system.
- Winegard HD staellite rooftop antenna and wiring.
- Computer networking and WiFi bridge with rooftop antenna (since the all aluminum trailer prevented ANY WiFi signals from being received inside).
- Extensive LED track lighting system.
- 55″ LED LCD TV on side wall with Sonus Playbar and wireless subwoofer for audio.
- Fitting Gatorfoam branding panels across the top of the display system.
Here’s a cutaway view of the interior.
We hit the road
After testing and configuring the system, it was time to deliver the trailer. Normally, this would be the easy part but the delivery site was 2,700 miles away in NYC!
We found a transporter that was willing to drive straight-through in order to meet the delivery deadline… a birthday party with NO option to change the date or time.
The trailer was hitched up and left Corona, CA at 11 PM Wednesday evening.
It was a harrowing trip with some June storms that slowed progress through Indiana and Ohio. But the trailer finally rolled into the city with a few hours to spare after getting lost and needing to re-route across the George Washington bridge because we were turned away from the Lincoln Tunnel (you can’t take a trailer that size through the tunnels!).
Delivery a success!
The client was amazed with the final product. The party was a total success.
The trailer is still on-site at a commercial location in New York City and is available to see on an appointment basis. If you would like to look at this product and test drive the VirtualGT inside, contact us for details.
To get you own custom VGT Race TRailer, call Toll Free (888) 366-9205 or fill out the contact form below.