trailer talk - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-06-2012   #1
 
bend, Oregon
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trailer talk

Ive got line on a trailer for my 14ft raft. $350. The deck itself is 16ft long with the total length of the trailer being 20ft. Single axle. Apparently light enough to be moved around ,unloaded, by one person. The question is....Is this too much trailer? Too long for sensible use????? Any comments from trailer owning BUZZards out there.
Much appreciated.

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Old 02-06-2012   #2
 
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If you have room to park it and the truck to tow it, the size should be fine. It is bigger than you need but you can haul or store more on it. It will be harder to turn in tight spots, but it'll be easier to back it up straight, as in shorter trailers turn easier, but are harder to keep straight when backing.
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Old 02-06-2012   #3
 
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As long as you have the rig to tow it, I'd say go for it. Your rubber will be well protected from road grit and gravel. Plus you can load dryboxes and other heavy gear in the front near the tongue, and if the boat is hanging off a bit that's OK. Given the dimensions, it does seem like it has a short tongue. Depending on where the wheels are, that might make it dodgey to back up. Take it for a test spin and definitely try backing it into a driveway.

Great price, BTW...
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Old 02-06-2012   #4
 
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Damn you, Quick Draw Dave!
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Old 02-06-2012   #5
 
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In addition to Dave and Flaco's comments - If the axle is fairly far back or at least close to half way back, it should be much more stable at higher speeds(with or without a load). My trailer has no issue going 65-75. Where as others shorter trailers I know can't go much over 55 without bouncing and wobbling like crazy.

Also, make sure you have good bearings, or keep them super greased. Or you'll end up having to replace the axle as I did. Which actually worked out for the best. Now I know what weight it's rated for, and how many miles it's gone. Only 100 bucks on etrailer.com
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Old 02-07-2012   #6
 
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Itís hard to say without seeing it but for $350 you are either getting a heck of a deal, a fixer upíer, or junk. Hard to have too much trailer, always nice to have extra room as long as you can store it and tow it. Room for gear is always great and if you ever decide to jump up to a 16íer then you are set too. Since itís a little longer Iím going to assume it also has some larger tires and a little more beefy which is good. If it is a small trailer with 8Ē wheels someone built a huge deck on then I donít know. Makes a difference if you are talking about a quick roll over to the Ark or loading it up for a multi-day and tackling Sand Wash.

I donít think the length of the trailer has much to do with how fast you can go. Itís all about weight distribution. If you can only go 55 you arenít using the right tool for the job. If it starts jumping around at a given speed you need to move some weight forward, itís a simple fix. I towed a Northern tool trailer around for years loaded with gear and no problem going 85. Of course if you start with a short trailer and are trying to make it work for a big raft in you are in the hole to start. Iíve never had an issue going however fast I want with the 6x10 I use now and a 14í loaded raft hanging off the back.

You didnít say if it was a flatbed or utility that needs some racks for the raft to sit on. Low decks are nice, back it in, float on. Some cargo room under is great for oars, boxes, etc. for long trips. Might want to put a roller and winch on, something to look at when looking at it on how you would do it. If you do need an axle replacement do yourself a favor and get rid of the springs and go torsion. Never have to think about it again and rides smooth on those nasty roads that break springs. Just my .02.
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Old 02-07-2012   #7
 
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I also use a 10 X 6 trailer for my 14 ft. Cat. It tows like it's not even there at full highway speeds. As Osprey says.....bouncing & wobbling is usually a load balance issue. I will say that my short trailer is a challenge to back up. But then this is my first trailer experience ever in my life, and I was definitely not born with the "trailer backing gene." Mine is an Echo ATV trailer. My rafting buddy had stake pockets added to it and metal mesh removable sides made for me (he's my hero). I can use it with the boat rigged & ready, and just back her into the water to launch & load, or I can put the sides on for gear hauling action. It's a small enough & light enough trailer that I can roll it around easily.
I love my little trailer.
KJ
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Old 02-08-2012   #8
 
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Watch that backing into water. It's almost time for the annual "repack your trailer bearing" thread. And no, bearing buddies don't cut it.
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Old 02-08-2012   #9
 
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Thanks....good reminder. We had quite the trailer adventure on the way to the Rogue last summer. I don't want a repeat of that.
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Old 02-08-2012   #10
 
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C. Springs, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cataraftgirl View Post
I will say that my short trailer is a challenge to back up. But then this is my first trailer experience ever in my life, and I was definitely not born with the "trailer backing gene."
Next time you try and back your trailer up......try this trick.

Steer from the bottom of the wheel. By this I mean......hold on to the bottom of your steering wheel and turn it in the direction you want the back end of the trailer to go. If you want it to go right, turn the bottom of the wheel to the right.
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