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Old 04-22-2012   #1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 78
Harbour freight

Ok, I know this topic has been brought up time and time again but I am torn. Been looking for a trailer for some time for a 13ft air with simple frame. I find it's either a cheap HF trailer or drop 1500 on a legit raft trailer. I can't do the expensive option. I see a lot of people running the HF trailers. Give it to me straight, are they ok? Has anyone run one on dirt/rough roads? What about highway speeds? Long distance trips? My raft and gear is only about 250pounds, way under the trailer limit. Most trips with the raft are day trips on paved roads non highway and about 40 miles round trip. Is it worth welding the trailer to make it even stronger?

Please some detailed reviews from others using the HF trailer would be so appreciated!!!

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Old 04-22-2012   #2
Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 85
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I had a hf trailer for 2 years, it did well once I welded it. Make sure you get the trailer with the bigger wheels and tires and grease the fittings all the time. Also I welded the fold point for storage solid. Upgrade your lights the ones they give you are junk the first time you get them wet in the river they won't work. All I hauled on it was my raft and 2 snowmobiles during the winter. I've upgraded now but it's a good starter trailer.

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Old 04-22-2012   #3
The Big Smoke, Washington
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by T1112 View Post
Is it worth welding the trailer to make it even stronger?
If that's your plan, you have the skill, and tools, why not source an axle, some steel, and build your own from scratch?

Another option would be Craigslist. I was on yesterday and saw a few in your area in the 500-1k range that would fit the bill. I'd throw a new set of bearings in em' and some bearing buddies on, but you'll still be less than $1500.
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Old 04-22-2012   #4
Western Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 86
cheap and effective

If you don't mind how it looks you can watch craigslist, your local paper and local thirfty nickel type ad for a cheap flatbed trailer. I took my time and over a 4-5 month period found 2 trailers. One for $250 the other for $200. They just needed some paint, indoor/outdoor carpet on the bed to protect the raft, a bit of greese and I now have a perfect shuttle system. I went to my local Ace hardware and with a little help built my own roller system with braces and conduit pipe. There were several good threads on making your own roller on the buzz awhile back. I am not overly handy so if I can do it most others can too. I would rather spend money on my raft and have an older trailer, plus the taxes are lower as they are not worth much! Just a tightwad at heart. Saving for a casting platform!
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Old 04-23-2012   #5
Engineer Civil Structural Hydraulic, Evans CO
Paddling Since: 68
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 158
Craigs list for trailers

Some can be had or almost nothing
Gary Strome
Friends Don't Let Friends Drive PVC Boats
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Old 04-23-2012   #6
Tenacious B
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 82
I have one of those trailers. I actually got it at Fred Meyer but they are the same thing. I unbolted and removed the tongue and replaced it with a longer version; no welding, just drilling and bolts. I bolted 4x4's to the frame (to get the finished deck above the wheels wells) then lagged 2x4 outriggers across the width of the trailer and covered it all in ⅝" OSB and carpet. This is my first trailer so it is CHEAP. I just use it on day trips, paved roads. If you don't plan on exceeding the load limit of the trailer then i dont think you need to weld a bunch of stuff or have a heavy duty deck. The main drawback is that it comes with very small wheels which makes me nervous about long freeway rides or extended dirt road trips. 90% of my trips are about an hour one way and the thing has served its purpose well. Someday i will upgrade.

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