Raft Trailer Build - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-20-2019   #1
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 7
Raft Trailer Build

Last year I came to the realization that I was completely fed up with my current raft transportation set up. Ive always driven smaller trucks with toppers and never had an issue running out of storage room. I now drive a 4runner and realized very quickly that I over-estimated its ability to hold my gear. Long story short I needed a trailer and I did not initially have the funds for a new one. Here is the story of fixing up my $250 trailer! Im pretty stoked on it but would like some recommendations on what I could have done better, and some of your guys experiences with deck-rot and what you've done to avoid it. This is my first thread so bare with me!

When I got the trailer it was pretty simple. 6x10 frame with two sheets of ply wood for the decking and that oh so beautiful fake green grass carpet. I gutted the trailer in about 20 minutes. My plan is to construct a base frame for the deck out of pressure treated 2x4, deck it with good outdoor ply wood, and carpet it with a decent outdoor carpet-NOT GREEN. Oh, and probably throw a shady rattle can paint job on the frame!

After finishing the 2x4 framing I got my plywood cut to size and coated the side that would be facing the road with flex seal- I thought this might be a good protectant from all the debris the tires would kick up.(I was very pleased with the durability of the flex seal) Once the bottom was coated I realized I had only gone through about half of the flex seal i purchased so I decided to coat the top and edges of the plywood. -Hopefully my intentions work out

Everything is bolted down to the frame with 1/4" x 3" galvanized bolts and it is now time to carpet. I went and bought construction grade outdoor adhesive and a some lengths of aluminum carpet transitions to hold the carpet down. I knew for the sake of replacing the carpet in the future I did not want a single staple. I laid a couple perpendicular beads of adhesive, measured and cut the carpet, and put it in place. I then ran a 90 degree carpet transition(like at the top of stairs) over the back edge. A similar style flat transition went across the front. Lastly a rubber topped transition was laid going the length of the trailer perimeter. VERY CLEAN! Also wont be worrying about any snags on my boat.

I am very pleased with the way it turned out although I did put more into the trailer than I originally planned. It ran me about 400 in materials and a couple weekends in the garage with my dad. Let me know what you would have done differently! happy boating
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Old 02-20-2019   #2
 
Portland, Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 2
I have a similar setup, but I covered the plywood deck of my raft trailer with imitation wood plank sheet vinyl. It's waterproof, easy on the raft, easy to clean and looks nice. My trailer has metal fenders over the tires, but the flex-seal sounds like a great idea!
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Old 02-21-2019   #3
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 474
How big is your boat?
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Old 02-21-2019   #4
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhusbands View Post
How big is your boat?
I recently got an Aire Sabertooth that I plan to run an oar setup on. its 12.5'. by about 5.7 ft so it overhangs just a bit front and back but width is perfect. my 14ft tributary overhangs a bit on all sides but nothing major.
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Old 02-21-2019   #5
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by readrr65 View Post
I have a similar setup, but I covered the plywood deck of my raft trailer with imitation wood plank sheet vinyl. It's waterproof, easy on the raft, easy to clean and looks nice. My trailer has metal fenders over the tires, but the flex-seal sounds like a great idea!
Im interested to see how it holds! I forgot to mention I put a piece of sheet metal about 12"x30" on the underside of the decking above the tires for added protection. i thought about going the vinyl route but I had a hard time finding sections that would cover the entire trailer in one swoop.
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Old 02-21-2019   #6
Never enough free time
 
Red Lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 267
I'd add in some more tie down points along the side. If you don't have access to a welder you could bolt them on. You might find that the corner stake pockets aren't ideal for a raft.

Nice work, it looks like it will be a solid trailer for years to come!
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Old 02-21-2019   #7
 
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 18
I think it looks great! I like my astroturf on my trailer. Very slick and durable. So far. Cheers!
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Old 02-21-2019   #8
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaLaz View Post
I'd add in some more tie down points along the side. If you don't have access to a welder you could bolt them on. You might find that the corner stake pockets aren't ideal for a raft.

Nice work, it looks like it will be a solid trailer for years to come!
Definitely! first thing I've noticed since Ive finished. I was thinking about running some sort of d-ring every 2ft of so, no such thing as too many tie down points! I will probably have to seek out some sort of fab shop near by as I don't weld myself.
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Old 02-22-2019   #9
 
Billings, Montana
Paddling Since: 2017
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 14
Looks nice! Now only if we could get some warm weather!
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Old 02-22-2019   #10
 
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salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,102
Bolt on Heavy duty D rings rated to 5,000lbs may be the ticket.
https://www.amazon.com/WorldPac-Heav...t+on+d+&sr=8-7

Sent from my SM-G920V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
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