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Old 08-03-2010   #1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 2
Alum. trailer fabricator? Marshall Welding?

Looking for a welder / fabricator who could make a good custom aluminum raft trailer for me. I realize there are servicable alternatives, some of which I have read about in this forum, but I have some requests I want to at least run by somebody. I thought Marshall Welding in Salida was going to be my guy, but phone and email are both out of service. Anybody know what's up? Any alternative recommendations? If he's out of business I hope it's because he wanted to be...Thanks ahead of time

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Old 08-04-2010   #2
no tengo
mania's Avatar
Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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Posts: 1,768
Marshall is out of biz and I do believe he wanted to be. Why do you need aluminum for a raft trailer? steel seems much more suitable IMO.

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Old 08-04-2010   #3
John the welder's Avatar
Delta, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1971
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 161
We can build you a aluminum trailer. 970 874 5737 ask for john or craig
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Old 08-05-2010   #4
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by mania View Post
Marshall is out of biz and I do believe he wanted to be. Why do you need aluminum for a raft trailer? steel seems much more suitable IMO.
Thanks mania for the info about Marshall. I am drawn to aluminum because my wife and I want / sort-of need for either of us to be able to move it around by hand. Also, my truck (176K miles) will give it up someday and I don't pull a horse trailer anymore so I can see how I might go to a smaller rig, which would still need to be able to haul the raft trailer. There is that price thing though...Other than the price, why does steel seem more suitable to you?
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Old 08-06-2010   #5
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
Get an aluminum snowmobile trailer, have John do mods to it for your raft, file any sharp edges down and slap a low-tech roller (do a search for the numerous threads on that topic) on it. Yeah, one day you may have to say "no" to someone that wants you to haul all the gear for a trip but that distant possibility isn't what you should base your vehicle and trailer decisions on. They'll get their gear to the put-in if they really want to go.

I can't bear the idea of getting a gas hog truck or SUC just because of the extra 500 lbs that steel would add to a trailer, for the 5% of my vehicle's miles that I pull my trailer. My '94 Suby Legacy hauls the raft, gear, a couple of kayaker friends, and all our crap just fine. If I'd gone with the steel trailer Marshall spec'd out for me once upon a time, I'd be at the Suby's towing limit without any load.

Don't let the tail wag the dog. It'll be cheaper in the long run in terms of fuel, your rig, and your carbon footprint.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 08-06-2010   #6
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
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well I like aluminum as well as the next guy but steel is just easier to weld in case you had a problem on the road. a smallish steel trailer is pretty easy to move around on the wheels.
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Old 08-06-2010   #7
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
try packmuletrailers dot com


they do both stock and custom work

awesome trailers
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Old 08-06-2010   #8
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
I'll vouch for an aluminum trailer. I spent much time looking at friend's trailers and being indecisive about a trailer. I know I wanted double axles for better tracking and security, and a large load capacity.

I was also worried about repair-ability in backwoods places, so steel was attractive. Originally I was looking at a car hauler type trailer, solid, double axle, sturdy, etc. I priced one locally at around $1700 new. Most weighed around 1500lb.

I had also looked at aluminum trailers, most were snowmobile trailer with tiny tires, but were light, the small tires were a no deal, I've seen several other snowmobile trailers literally burn up axels or through the rims off.

I ended getting an AlumaTtrailer, w/ 14 inch rims, 2 * 2500lb axles, and 16 foot flat deck. It was pricey, but weighs 650 pounds, and will carry 3 loaded big boats cross country. I have a large truck so pulling a car hauler wasn't an issue, but now I can offer up my trailer and a frontier or tacoma can pull it with a large load, if you get a large steel trailer you'll have less friends that can pull it and you'll be truck and trailer bitch forever. I figured the extra money would pay for itself in saved fuel, and it has. I took a loaded car hauler several years ago to Deso, got about 11 mpg, I can take the same load on the aluminum trailer and get around 13mpg, or over 10% better mileage. A trip around ID, MT, UT, with 3 boats an 4 people in a Titan and LOTS of gear we got 15mph, the extra 800-1000lbs would have killed the mileage and slowed us down on the hills.

For repairing, the axels and the mounts are steel and bolted to the aluminum superstructure. The only complaint I have is that the aluminum deck is easier to scratch/gouge than steel or wood, but no big deal. The nice part is that other than the axles nothing can rust. For trips with several people I can load the truck and trailer to the gills, and the people can ride in the subie wagon or Westfalia, not a problem to have 6-8 people and only 2 vehicles for long trips. Saves on fuel, shuttle, etc....

Check out a an Aluma Dealer

Not sure of the options would want, but any decent welder could do it,
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Old 08-06-2010   #9
Colorado Plateau Metropolis, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 42
Ridge Runner ATV, in Loma CO.
Makes any kind of trailer you want, including raft trailers.
Call Dan
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Old 08-06-2010   #10
Boy Howdy!
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Colotucky, USA
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,054
Wow, I just got a woody from your trailer DGSON
Now I know what to ask for my birthday

Who's your monkey?
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