16 foot raft 4x8 ft trailer??? - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 05-10-2010   #1
 
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2008
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16 foot raft 4x8 ft trailer???

I just bought a 16 foot raft with frame and am now looking for a trailer as the raft takes up the bed of my truck. I found a 4x8ft folding trailer and am wondering if it would work. After looking at some posts my idea is...
To build up side walls about 18" maybe make a box to store oars, pfd's etc. with a plywood top on hinges to open.

Should I build the back out another 2 ft? Is that safe? I'm wondering if a boat hanging
4 ft on either side is ok?

This is my first set up, looks like it's been done with 14 footers, does the 2 feet make that much difference? The trailers a good price so if I can make it work, I'd be good.
Thanks for all your help, see you in the river
Joe

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Old 05-11-2010   #2
 
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fraser, Colorado
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Hey Joe,
Your going to better off buying a longer wider trailer. I've got a 14 foot boat and it has barly fit on the same size trailer that you were talking @. Spend the money once for the right trailer. you won't regret it. Plus you'll be able to rig more stuff and more boats as you might need to in the future. Till then fold it up and pump it. You'll work up a thirst that way.
If your in the river, I'll throw you a bag. Good luck with your new boat and your decision.
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Old 05-11-2010   #3
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
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I just got a 5'x10' trailer for my 15' boat and it is the perfect size. I looked at the 4'x8' models and they all had the axle too far forward. You can definately make that trailer work for carrying the boat but you would need to extend the tongue on the trailer to make it work. Otherwise all of the weight will be behind the axle which makes the trailer tow poorly.
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Old 05-11-2010   #4
 
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Golden, Colorado
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I agree- That's just too big a boat to drive any distance with that small a trailer. Look for a bigger trailer, or transport it rolled up inside and blow it up at the put-in with a blower.

And then keep your eye out on craigslist - I found a super-sturdy 7'x10' homebuilt for $300 and all it needed was new tires and new wiring (about $125).

If you have an iGoogle custom homepage, try using a search gadget that displays results on your Home page: Add gadgets to your homepage

Kinda handy if you don't want to miss a new posting.
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Old 05-11-2010   #5
 
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Telluride, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeambrosia View Post
I just bought a 16 foot raft with frame and am now looking for a trailer as the raft takes up the bed of my truck. I found a 4x8ft folding trailer and am wondering if it would work. After looking at some posts my idea is...
To build up side walls about 18" maybe make a box to store oars, pfd's etc. with a plywood top on hinges to open.

Should I build the back out another 2 ft? Is that safe? I'm wondering if a boat hanging
4 ft on either side is ok?

This is my first set up, looks like it's been done with 14 footers, does the 2 feet make that much difference? The trailers a good price so if I can make it work, I'd be good.
Thanks for all your help, see you in the river
Joe
My buddy has that same trailer with the sides built up and it is a joke. If you are just planning trips with paved put ins/take outs (!) then it would be ok. We did a westwater with that trailer and the potholes swallowed his wheels. We ended up putting his trailer on my 16' trailer to make the shuttle less painful. Spend a little more money and buy a sled trailer or at least one that is 5' wide. Stay away from folding trailers!
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Old 05-11-2010   #6
 
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Castle Rock, Colorado
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I've got a 6 x 10 with a 13ft raft and I think the trailer is a little small. Spend the money and get a bigger trailer with full size wheels.
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Old 05-11-2010   #7
 
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Are you talking about the Harbor Freight folding trailer? If so it is hard to beat that price point. You could do extensive modifications on that and still end up with it being cheaper than just about any other option. I went with the non folding trailer to get the 12" wheels. On sale now for $360

1720 Lb. Capacity Super Duty 48" x 96" Utility Trailer with 12" Five Lug Wheels and Tires

The wheels on these trailers do stick up above the deck, so you you are going to have to build it up a bit anyway. I used some 4"x6" as cross pieces and ran them out to 7' wide and then extended the tongue by 2 feet. I used it like that for several years with no problems. I finally wanted something that looked a little more finished, so I added a plywood deck, some carpeting and a homemade roller on the back.

I use it to haul all of my boats, including my 18' Aire Cougar, which is one big boat. It does hang over the ends, but so far that hasn't been a problem for me. I keep it pumped firm and it does fine. Having said that, I live on the east coast, so I don't have deal with the pressure changes that come from going over the high mountain passes out west.

I was able to get mine for only $275 at the time and it came to about $165 for the additions, for a total of $440. It will be hard to beat that price on a new trailer, though you might get lucky with a used one off of craigslist.

Here it is with my 13' Wildcat on it.
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Old 05-11-2010   #8
 
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Golden, Colorado
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Blind-dog nailed it. I also have a 6x10' trailer which works great to pile up 5 rafts on, a bunch of paddles and drive 5 miles to the river. Once I go on a multi-days that trailer gets small real quick, especially if you are bringing your trailerless friends stuff along also. The real size tire thing is probably the most important, you'll need the clearance unless all you boat is Shosone. I also have the trailer you are looking at and all we use it for is moving rafts around the lot, total waste of money. Also, it sounds like you're using a truck to tow. If it's has a longer wheel base get a longer tongue, it will be easier to back up. When backing a short trailer with a large raft you may hit your vehicle with the raft as well, which is no big deal unless you hit a sharp spot or you exhaust pipe. As with most things in rafting --- Go Big! or GO Home!
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Old 05-11-2010   #9
 
Denver, Colorado
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you've got the right idea

Buying a trailer and building up the sides is a great idea. But the 4x6 will be a waste of time and money. I've got a 5x10 foot trailer with the raised box that is similar to what your describing. It's perfect for loading 3-4 14' boats. I haven't tried putting anything larger on there. If you did have a larger boat it would be ok to let the rockers float free, but you don't want much more hanging off the edge.

A snowmobile trailer would definitely get you there, but you'll still miss out on a place to store your gear.

Also, when you're shopping make sure you get a trailer with at least 14" (preferably 15") wheels so you don't get swallowed up in ruts. That size tire will also be rated for highway speeds and allow for more weight.

I included a pic of my trailer and some rafts loaded up. If you're interested I can try to dig up some more.

good luck
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Old 05-11-2010   #10
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Do not. I repeat, do not extend the back of the trailer. This is what I did, and found out very quickly that the more the weight of the load is oriented aft of the trailer axle, the worse the trailer will track. Mine got to dancing back and forth so bad one time out of Loma that I almoste peed myself. I was trying to make a cheap trailer work. What ended up happening is that I spent $600 fixing a shitty trailer, only to find it didn't work and made me paranoid. Now I plan on spending $1500 on a brand new one. Skip the first $600 and go right for a great trailer. Ever been going 80 down the interstate with something that you are not confident in carrying your big recreation investment? Let's just say there's not enough chemicals in the world to make that a chill drive.
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