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Old 07-10-2013   #11
Southeast, On the river...
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 28
What repairs are needed on this trailer? Keep the tires inflated properly and grease in the hubs, they should last a long time.

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Old 07-10-2013   #12
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
Originally Posted by Outback View Post
What repairs are needed on this trailer? Keep the tires inflated properly and grease in the hubs, they should last a long time.
Re-wired the lights - twice. Had to replace one of the lights. The hinge on one side broke. Despite greasing the hubs, had to replace one.

A lot of it comes from the fact it's such a flimsy trailer. It will bounce, sway, vibrate and rattle a lot just going down the road. Things come loose, things break, etc. My new trailer is so much more solid, it's hardly noticeable when towing it. It doesn't bounce, vibrate, sway and rattle. It's made of higher quality materials too. The wiring is protected and well attached to the frame. The lights are mounted solidly, not a flimsy bracket. The wheels are larger, so it's smoother and more stable on the road, thus less destructive forces on the trailer. To each his own, I just wouldn't get another one.

You get what you pay for....

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Old 07-11-2013   #13
San Francisco, California
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 105
I went for 7'x9' aluminum quad trailer for my 16' round boat. As long as your trailer bed is longer than the straight section of your tube, you should be fine. It's nice to have the bed cover the width of your tube too. I had a local welder fabricate a winch stand at an angle. The longer the tongue, the easier to tow, and the more space for the raft and the winch.

Harbor freight sounds like a good deal, but by the time you spend the money to make it suitable for your boat, you would've spend more money than what could get you a decent used trailer. Do it right the first time. Even with a good trailer and a winch, you will also need a set of rollers. Otherwise, you defeat the purpose of having a trailer and a winch.
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Old 07-11-2013   #14
Southeast, On the river...
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 28
Lots of choice's on trailers... buy one for $1600 or build one for $500 or less.
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Old 07-11-2013   #15
Southeast, On the river...
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 28
I'll take a lightweight trailer any day over a heavier one. It saves on gas and wear on the vehicle pulling it also.
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Old 07-11-2013   #16
Lawson, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by Outback
What repairs are needed on this trailer? Keep the tires inflated properly and grease in the hubs, they should last a long time.

* When I first put this trailer together, I upgraded the wiring by adding PVC, etc. between the front of trailer, rear & side lights. Had a problem this year with lights found out last minute so I had to buy a cheap 2nd set and throw them on. That said, all trailers seem to have light problems at some point.

* I'm sure the hubs will last a while if maintained, but they are marked for 55mph max on the highway, and don't seem very "heavy duty." We drive 70-75 have not had trouble, but I did buy & carry a full spare hub kit which I am prepared to use roadside if needed.

* Platform is about 5'x12' it is 3x 4'x8' sheets cut down.

* We tow with a GMC diesel so weight and wear-and-tear were never a concern for us: this was my idea of a cheap way to get a trailer.

* I have for sure spent over $500 on my rig, lots of time. I'm not getting rid of it now, but will upgrade when $$ allows. Like Boiler said "To each his own, I just wouldn't get another one."
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Old 07-11-2013   #17
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 361
Trailer lights definitely have problems... on most trailers, eventually.

Keep in mind that with smaller trailer wheels/tires, the tire turns more times per mile than a larger wheel... which means more wear on the hubs. Or put another way, you should be able to drive a bit faster without worry.

I'm not sure if they're easy to find in the US, but in Canada there's always someone trying to get rid of an old trashed tent trailer for cheap/free. Those trailers area built to handle larger weight capicities and will likely have high weight capacity axles and leaf srpings. Just gut all the parts but the frame and build to your needs.

My raft trailer is a gutted tent trailer frame that I build my own decking on. It's still relatively light (I'm guessing mabe 300-400 pounds dry), but is pretty tough.

On mine the leaf spring u-bolts were already flipped, which raises the trailer bed higher relatively to the axle. This allows me to put larger diameter tires on the trailer.

I'll add pics tonight.
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Old 07-11-2013   #18
Eagle`, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 16
We JUST did this. Trailer is flimsy, and takes some work to make raft friendly. Assembling was about 1/2 a day, or 2 days, 1/2 a day at a time. Didn't take too much, but having access to a bunch of socket drivers is useful to get things tight. Wiring was a pain, have to grind the powder coat off to use the "trailer as ground" the way they want it.. this will eventually lead to problems down the road I think. Otherwise you need to run an extra ground wire. (Off topic... why doesnt' someone make a bluetooth setup that communicates when the brakes are pressed and do it wirelessly?)

Seems like the trailer will have a high "fiddle factor" as we go through time, stuff seems to loosen up.

Something that affected us because we live in a smaller town in Colorado... in order to get the actual registration you have to have it inspected by the State Police. This required creating an appointment several weeks out where we live. Probably a lot easier if you live in a bigger town, or somewhere else.
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Old 07-11-2013   #19
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,022
Note on trailer owners..........
You should have a "repair kit" for your trailer that includes whatever else, a spare bearing kit with some grease.

I know. I spent a most miserable day sitting in the shade of a trailer while my mates drove 100 miles back to Las Vegas to get one cause, you know, a bearing blew out crossing the desert. In August, in the desert.

The good news was, we pulled into a gas station. The bad news was, the owner was a flaming ass who threatened to tow our rig off his property. After he pulled the offending wheel and bearing off and discovered he didn't have a spare. We limped it across the road and I was nominated (abandoned) to sit in the "shade" of the trailer with no water, food, or beer. For 12 hours. Thanks Niner!

But, lesson learned. I had another bearing blow out probably 150 miles from anything a few years later. No problem; half an hour, a little cussing and bitching, and we were back on the road.
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Old 07-11-2013   #20
Southeast, On the river...
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 28
I repack my bearing before each long trip and have never had one fail in over 50-years of towing trailers.

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