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Old 01-21-2009   #21
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Rightó the Scout is a peach: 1972 and still runs well. Deb drove it to Alaska and back twice and is pretty attached, but we don't use it much, as it gulps gas.

About the trailer, it's used mostly for short, low-speed shuttles, close to home. No problem with road crud so far. For long drives (e.g. Deso last fall) I put the frame & oars on a roof rack and deflate the tubes. Trailering an inflated and rigged boat on high-speed roads like I-70 is a butt-cramp.

For heavy-duty trips like the Grand, we load frames, deflated tubes, oars, etc. on a big flatbed trailer and do all the rigging at the ramp.

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Old 01-21-2009   #22
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
Covered wheels is a must. You are just asking for damage if you don't have them covered. My buddies trailer has open wheels and it is a pain in the ass. If we have a long shuttle you have to derig everything and deflate with his trailer. With mine, we just toss everything on the trailer and take off.

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Old 01-21-2009   #23
I'm wrong 50% of the time
brendodendo's Avatar
RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
I have a used harbor freight 4x8. Bought used 4 or 5 years ago for $200. Needed some paint and has been rewired a few times. Used for snowmobile and raft. I added 2 L brackets to each side and then a piece of 2X10. I can load the snowmobile in the middle and use it for the raft with no modifications at the end of the season.

I would recommend upgrading the tires to something a little wider with more ply's. I would also get a set of bearing buddy's for any trailer.

Am thinking of adding some blocks between the frame and axle to get the height up some. Then I could add larger tires as well.
Claimer: Someone that makes a claim that they have been there and done that, can do anything you can do better than you. I hate "claimers"
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Old 01-22-2009   #24
Droboat's Avatar
Wild Wild West, Colorado
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 214
4x8 Hiebco with putterers upgrades - great base trailer

Would like to hear more about homemade rollers. The Northern Tool looks good and cheap, but the steel looks like it would become a rusty/pitted mess in short order.
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Old 01-22-2009   #25
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,345
We had a local hippie welder put on our roller. Our trailer, having been made for ATV's had a big hunk of metal where we cut off the huge rear loading ramp. Welder guy welded to that to make the pin point, then used aluminum for the actual roller, even got pieces and parts of the aluminum pipe from a local used home materials place and put it all together. I'd say just find some local guy working out of someone's garage. We found ours from the local community-garden word-of-mouth, he works on their tractors. I think we paid him $150, extra nice the materials were "scrap"
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 01-26-2009   #26
San Juan Islands, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 217
I'm using a modified snowmobile trailer. The bed was removed and replaced with a box about 8'x6'x17", the bed (9'x8') was then replaced with hinges on the right side and gas struts to hold it open (with a rigged 14' selfbailer). the trailer still tilts at the tongue/axle for easy loading if I ever put a winch and roller on it. it had no tongue weight so I picked up a plastic box and mounted it on the tongue the same height as the deck to add some more support for the floor. I keep it filled with trailer stuff, firewood and other stuff I want to keep away from my boating gear.
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Old 01-26-2009   #27
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
I've got a modified Sled Bed double tilt-bed trailer that I pull with a Subaru station wagon. Its an aluminum 10' x 6'8" snowmobile trailer w/ 5/8" plywood decking. Marshall Nichols in Salida did the mods when he still had his welding shop. Weighs approx 400 lbs unloaded, it has 8" wheels & a 2400 lbs rated carriage capacity. The trailer's got 3 rollers across the back that are about 2' long each - the shorter rollers won't warp like I've heard the single long rollers can. Its also been modified so its about a foot narrower than a regular Sledbed and doesn't stick out too much wider than my car - just wide enough for a 16' raft, I'd guess (mine's a 14').

I cut about six 3" x 4" holes in the decking and installed trunk handles on the frame for tie-downs. There are also about 5 holes on each side in the rail for straps to secure the boat. I lash the boat with a strap on each corner of the frame and one on the bow. The trunk handles were a mistake as they make a LOT of racket on dirt roads and I seldom use them.

With the smaller wheels I lube the bearings routinely or every 400 - 600 miles on long trips. I've probably put about 30K-40K miles on it since I got it in 2002(?). I go through a pair of tires about every 1.5 years and replace the bearings with the tires.

I decided to spend extra $$ on a lighter trailer and mods for my Suby so I wouldn't have to spend lots of money on a big truck and fuel. The Subaru gets about 20 mpg from the Front Range, over the mountains and back with the trailer fully loaded and carrying passengers (w/ roof box also). Typical highway speeds are about 75 - 80 mph. I barely notice that I'm hauling the trailer until going up hills.

I have the boat configured for overnights and like being able to load at home and then just tilt it up to slide it off into the water at the put-in.

If you're going over the mountains or dealing with big temperature differences (think of 55F water and 90F air) with an inflated boat, be wary of the pressure changes. Some folks don't think its significant but I've heard you can expect about a 2 psi difference with a mile of elevation change.

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 01-27-2009   #28
San Juan Islands, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 217
here's my trailer, also towed by a Subaru. I couldn't get the picture to load earlier
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Old 01-27-2009   #29
RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 234
trailer wheels

as you can see everybody has a different idea and they all work.My trailer was made for 4 wheelers, with plywood decking on top to make it large enough for the 14' raft. the ONE thing I have that is different from most is My wheels,15" instead of those tiny little trailer wheels. This makes for a much safer ride with NO swing.It does'nt bounce and sway back and forth . hardly even notice it's back there.
Big Dave
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Old 01-27-2009   #30
San Juan Islands, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 217
As long as I have about 75# of tongue weight I don't get any swaying up to about 75mph but wind resistance becomes a big problem, so I keep it between 65 and 70 (I usually have a couple thule boxes on the car too). I'd like to put larger wheels and torsion assembly to replace the leaf springs but it works fine for now. maybe when it's time for new tires.

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