Converting a Utility Trailer to a Raft Trailer - Mountain Buzz
 



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-20-2015   #1
 
Springboro, Ohio
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1
Converting a Utility Trailer to a Raft Trailer

Need some help to figure out best way to put a top on a utility trailer that will keep out most water if driving in the rain. The bottom is made of 2x6's and I am putting a heaving grade sheet metal on sides. Problem is how to put a flat surface on top to set the raft on for transport and still allow access to interior for storage when raft is removed. Trailer size is 6 x 12. Thought of using 3/4 inch marine grade plywood and putting three 4 x 6 sections side by side with hinges on one end so I can lift from other side to access contents. Would run 4 cross member 2x4's to provide some support (two at seams). But the plywood would not be connected to cross members....just lay of top to provide support. I'm thinking of putting u-channel edging on sides of plywood to avoid splintering when sliding raft off and on. I would use some kind of locking clasp on side that opens to keep it shut during transport. Would also paint the plywood with some kind of exterior paint to help with weather proofing.
This is a design from someone who has never built or modified a trailer so it may be a disaster waiting to happen. Trailer will be stored outside. Would plywood likely warp, therefore allowing a lot more water to get inside?
Any help or suggestions would sure be appreciated.

rbigler is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-21-2015   #2
J
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 178
Send a message via AIM to J
Check Trailer Porn thread. There are at least a few pics and discussions of what you are describing...

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...n-50862-2.html

and this page too...

https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...-50862-13.html
J is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2015   #3
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 486
I converted my 9x5 utility trailer. I wanted to keep weight to a minimum and I needed to make it removable so I could use the trailer to haul other stuff.

I filled in the sides with sheets of roll flashing, pop riveted to the steel angle trailer frame. They don't need to be super strong, just fill the holes so suff doesn't fall out.

I added a bolt-on top made of two panels hinged along the center line of the trailer. The top is made of 1x6 fence rails open spaced at about 12" o.c., these are bolted to a frame made of steel U channel. The U channel is typically used to mount electrical junction boxes. It comes with all kinds of connection bolts and mounting hardware that can be adapted to the trailer. It is found near the conduit in the electrical aisle of most big box hardware stores. The U channel frame is bolted to the trailer and easily removed. The fence rails are carefully placed to align with my rubber and provide walkways. I cut the weight almost in half by using rails over solid surface.

Some things I learned. All nuts and bolts need to be made vibration proof. At least use Nylock locking nuts or stuff will just shake loose. Screws or lags do not work, only through bolts. I used a lot of low profile T nuts for most of the connections.

I achieve my water proofing by placing a tarp over the load before closing the lid. The tarp is big enough to roll down the sides and tuck under a bit.
Most of the time I want my trailer to be more drip through than weather tight. If I load wet stuff and keep the top covered it has a chance to dry out on the drive home. The tarp is a cheap easily replaceable solution.

My top panels overhang the trailer by about 8" front and back, about 6" at the sides. I took section of PVC pipe, notched them to fit over the fence board and attached them front and back for a smooth edge to drag the boat over. I added a bunch of eye bolts to the perimeter of he trailer so I would have a lot of tie down points.

One challenge with the utility trailer is that the platform is so high that is is difficult to get the boat onto it. I don't often try to do it from the water. I find it easier to drag he boat to dry land, park the trailer along side and lift the boat on from the side. If I roll the boat onto its side I can rest one edge on the trailer and lift the opposite side to slide it on.
kengore is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-21-2015   #4
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Raft Trailer

I used a pretty sturdy 4 X 8 trailer with full sized wheels I found on craigslist for $300. I built a box and platform to fit my 14.5' NRS using 2x4s and plywood, sanded and watersealed it. The box is tall enough to fit my 128 liter cooler, drybox, toilet system, and pretty much all the gear I need, to where we don't need to haul anything but people and canines in the car. The box just sits inside the trailer except for two bolts with wingnuts on either side of the back (mostly to add lateral stability). When I need to use the trailer to haul stuff I can just lift the box/platform out. I store the inflated raft on it in the garage during the winter. The attached picture is after 5 years of use.

mwrench is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2017   #5
 
Red Lodge, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 8
I'll try to make my first post a useful one. I just converted my lowes utility trailer to carry my aire 156R. Thru bolted 10' 2x10's in 2 spots (counter sunk) on the frame with stable results. Then lag bolted a 2x4 stud on the end. I then attached a 1" dowel with pvc over the top as a roller. This needed some L brackets to increase the stability, but now it can take my full weight concentrated on one spot. I think it should work out pretty well. I'll add a hand winch next.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0389_1490540572992.jpg
Views:	1047
Size:	1.17 MB
ID:	15818   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0390_1490540589955.jpg
Views:	802
Size:	1.28 MB
ID:	15826  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0391_1490540609395.jpg
Views:	1126
Size:	1.56 MB
ID:	15834  
mtmed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2017   #6
 
2tomcat2's Avatar
 
Westminster, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 469
Nice rigs! My 2 cents worth, don't skimp on the tires, go a bit larger; cover them as well as the trailer when storing outdoors.
__________________
"If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."
Zen verse
2tomcat2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2017   #7
 
Dr.AndyDVM's Avatar
 
Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 385
Why not weld some stake pockets on the side of the trailer. Then you can add some raft platforms. That is how my two trailers roll. My bigger black and silver trailer came with the platforms. I added a winch and some upgrades like aluminum decks. When I got my second raft, I added pockets and platforms to an old 4x8 utility trailer. I used 2x6's and 1 inch rectangular tubing and a few counter-sunk bolts to make the platforms and decks. I added some rollers from harbor freight to the back of the the 2x6's to make loading easier.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1490589860.723054.jpg
Views:	1200
Size:	67.7 KB
ID:	15914Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1490589906.012230.jpg
Views:	758
Size:	66.1 KB
ID:	15922Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1490589954.454356.jpg
Views:	549
Size:	66.1 KB
ID:	15930Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1490590014.080034.jpg
Views:	695
Size:	86.3 KB
ID:	15938
The platforms are removable or can be raised to two different heights so I can load coolers and dry boxes underneath.
I bought a mig welder to convert my grey and red trailer. It's super easy to use. It's like using a hot glue gun but for metal. If you can beg, borrow, or buy a welder it will really open up some possibilities for you.


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
Dr.AndyDVM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017   #8
 
curtis catman's Avatar
 
Rivertown, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 9:45
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 644
Dr Andy, That looks great. Did you raise the inside boards with spacers so they hold the raft in place? That is what l thought l saw in the pictures. Good idea.
curtis catman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2017   #9
 
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 6
I found a utility trailer on Craig's list and than added rollers I got from Jake at whitewater worthy and it works great. Super easy to load and unload boats too. I can winch too 13 footers on with minimal effort.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	1614
Size:	1.33 MB
ID:	16018   Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpeg
Views:	606
Size:	835.1 KB
ID:	16026  

Alex_Kayaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2017   #10
 
Dr.AndyDVM's Avatar
 
Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis catman View Post
Dr Andy, That looks great. Did you raise the inside boards with spacers so they hold the raft in place? That is what l thought l saw in the pictures. Good idea.

No. The all of the decks are flat. I have three rafts, 13', 14', and a 16'. They all have floors of different widths. Also, I would be worried about rubbing holes in the floor. I just use straps to hold it in place.


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
Dr.AndyDVM is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Typical cost for plates on a 6'x8' utility trailer? climber-420 Rafting | Gear Talk 6 03-13-2014 11:24 AM
UTILITY RACK - FOR HAULING RIGGED BOATS rafterman Kayaking | Gear Talk 11 10-04-2012 08:57 PM
Converting from pins/clips to oarlocks kazak4x4 Kayaking | Gear Talk 5 09-28-2009 02:24 PM
Converting snowmobile trailer into raft trailer ecarlson972 Whitewater Rafting 21 03-01-2008 08:06 PM
Converting a Werner paddle to a breakdown? thatguy Whitewater Kayaking 2 10-01-2004 04:28 PM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.