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Old 07-09-2014   #11
mongopush's Avatar
Upper Idaho, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 25
Option 1 sucks! Those little tires don't like long hauls over time.

Option 3 is the better if not the best.

Option 4 could be to find an old motor boat trailer and modify it. I've seen some sweet set ups from old boat trailers. just a thought.

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Old 07-09-2014   #12
peterholcombe's Avatar
Where ever the water is...., Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 441
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I might have a great option 3 for sale in the near future.

5x10, custom welded raft attachment (remove able ) with steel frame and supported 2x12 runners with rollers and storage for other gear underneath. Let me know and I can take a few pics to send. Not sure on price but it's a real sweet set-up for a 12-16 foot raft.

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Old 07-10-2014   #13
John_in_Loveland's Avatar
Loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 149
So I have to weigh in since it is my trailer shown in option 1.

First of all, let me say that I paid $275 for the trailer and another $125 for the wood and galvanized posts to build it back in 2011. It did take a day or so but I enjoyed it. Secondly, my boat at that time was only a 12' Tributary so weight wasn't an issue. The trailer has performed admirably on trips to Grand County, The Main Salmon, The Green through Browns Park and around Colorado. It tows well if you keep the weight forward and tows at high speeds (70 MPH+). Its the 1720 capacity trailer with 12" wheels, which are fairly standard on small trailers. In summary, for the price, I got something to hall my boat (with no stress on the bottom I might add since there is no weight on it) and use around the house and yard for a pittance. At the time it was a good investment and fit my budget

I just rebuilt it with larger skids and no sides for my new 14' boat. Its a bit overloaded and the tongue is way short but since I already had it, I opted to go that route instead of buying a new trailer. If I didn't already have a trailer, AND was feeling flush, I'd go with something more commercial from Tractor Supply or Jax. $1250 is a lot to spend, but one has to weigh how much you will use it and where and how fast you want to drive over bad roads.

These harbour freight trailers aren't bomb proof, but for $300, what do you expect....and it gets you a trailer that is quite roadworthy in most circumstances.
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Old 07-10-2014   #14
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 101
I hear you, John_In_Loveland. I've got a HF trailer already, so it's appealing from a cost perspective. Your solution is one of the more elegant mod's I've seen of the HF trailer for sure--- its what made me even consider it.

I'm leaning towards getting something along the lines of #3. I'll try to find one used to save some $$$, and then modify as necessary.

Another question for everyone; what size is about the smallest that you can fit a 14' raft? 5x8? 5x10? 5ft width looks like the sides would be right under my tubes, so I could easily add runners to support the boat and then store gear below.

I worry that an 8' long trailer deck would have the bow of my boat too close to the vehicle. I have another line on a real nice 5'x12' trailer, but that'd really take up a lot of my driveway.
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Old 07-10-2014   #15
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
I had a trailer similar to option 1 also, for my 14' raft... Had...

It was OK on the highway, but just OK. You feel and hear every single bump in the road, and that tells me it was taking a beating (which it did and I now bo longer have it).

On some of the rougher roads to the rivers, it was barely adequate. It struggled mightilly. And definitely took a beating. By the time I got rid of it, it was in pretty rough shape.

Some suittle companies won't shuttle trailers with the small tires like option 2, and some won't even do option 1.

I went to option 3 two years ago, and wish I had started there from the beginning. The several years I got out of the HF trailer can be considered a rental I guess, but Imnow kinda view it as I paid $1,800 for a $1,500 trailer... LOL
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Old 07-10-2014   #16
mtrafter's Avatar
bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 152
option #5-dismantle an older camper and build from scratch off from it
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Old 07-14-2014   #17
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 9
I live in slc & have used a 20 yo 4x8 home depot utility trailer with those small bias ply tires. I've gotten to know most of the tire repair guys to & from the middle fork, yampa, main fork, deso, etc. most recently this morning I spent an hour or so at Bruneel Tire Factory in McCall (good guys who explained to this short bus rider the difference between bias ply & steel belted radials in the size range of st 175/80R13). Needless to say, the next trip will be with option#3 & the HD Special will be reassigned to dump runs as it should have been from the start.my 2- hope this helps
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Old 07-14-2014   #18
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 175
seems like i remember folks talkign about the HF trailers and they were pretty cheap built. you may want to do a search on HF and trailer, could save you some bucks in the long run.

good luck, buddy has a old snowmobile trailer with the little wheels, says to just lube it up every few hundred miles.

I'll boat til the rivers run dry
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