trailers and small tow vehicles - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-16-2015   #1
 
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1964
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trailers and small tow vehicles

Was just looking at the 'trailer porn ' thread, and was wondering if there are folks out there that have come up with ideas / solutions to towing with a small vehicle? Been trying to figure the lightest trailer set up possible. I have a 12 ft (70" wide) Sotar. Was looking at a single place snowmobile trailer as a start... need to keep the whole thing under 750#. Any ideas would be appreciated! Probably aluminum...

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Old 03-16-2015   #2
 
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Cave Creek, Arizona
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We went with a trailer from Harbor Freight folding trailer (can't remember what model it is, but it was $300). We made a floor and a box for it using 2x4's and 2x12's. We can carry (deflated) our 14' raft, frame, oars, 2 IK's, river tube, and all our other river equipment that is needed for the trip using a 2007 Kia Amanti. We were able to tow it with a 2010 Prius as well, but the Amanti has the V6 so we took that. If you just want a flatbed for your raft it will be even easier.

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-16-2015   #3
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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I've had an aluminum tilting Sled Bed trailer for over a decade and was originally hauling it with a '94 2.2L Subaru Legacy wagon. The trailer has been modified so it's as narrow as the car and I've hauled my boat inflated on it all over the place, with significant loads in the car and on the trailer. I barely know the boat's behind the car until going up a big hill, a second inflated boat is a real (wind) drag, however.

You could probably get a single-sled trailer and modify it with some 2x6 to be wide enough for a raft. The tilt feature can't be beat for sliding a rigged & fully loaded boat into the water at the put in.

Just don't let the tail wag the dog and force you into getting a gas guzzler to haul your toys. Gas may be cheap now but it will go back up.

-AH
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Old 03-16-2015   #4
 
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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That's my thinking as well, If I can keep the gas miser, It won't be so bad heading off to Utah/Idaho etc...
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Old 03-16-2015   #5
 
the fort, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dscott58 View Post
That's my thinking as well, If I can keep the gas miser, It won't be so bad heading off to Utah/Idaho etc...
I also have a Harbor Freight special that has worked well for me for probably 7 or 8 years now. It came with the first raft that I bought way back then, and the guys that sold me the raft had probably used the trailer for a few seasons before they gave it to me with the raft.

It has traveled all over central and northern Colorado and southern and central Wyoming. I keep the hubs greased and air in the tires, and she does just fine. I'm thinking of getting a bit heavier duty trailer that will double as a utility trailer to haul heavier stuff; otherwise, I would keep on using it until it fell apart.
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Old 03-16-2015   #6
 
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What are you trying to tow with?

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Old 03-16-2015   #7
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
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I have a 4x8 utility trailer. It is a 3500 pound axel and steel. It is heavy but I can push it around on my own with not much trouble. I was told it was around 400lbs but I have never actually weighed it. I suspect it weighs a lot more then 400. Anyway, I tow it with my raft fully inflated with a Honda CRV. I have only done short trips close to home, I roll and pack the raft for longer trips or trips that go over high mountain passes. I wish I could tow it but I fear that the Honda CRV won't do well trying to pull it over passes. I am sure it would work I just fear long lasting damage to the car that will cost in the long term. On short trips I hardly even know the trailer is there, car drives just fine.

A friend tows a drift boat with a Honda Element and has towed it all over the country, so far no issues for him. My trailer and raft have to be similar in weight or hopefully less.
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Old 03-16-2015   #8
 
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Loveland, Colorado
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Trailer for 12'

This was a harbour freight trialer I used for several years. the 1750# axle was 350, but they ALWAYS have a 20% off coupon around and in the paper.

Worked fine for me
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Old 03-16-2015   #9
 
Andy H.'s Avatar
 
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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If you intend to trailer your boat loaded, make sure you have an axle rated for a lot more than you'll ever expect to carry. I've been really thankful for a 2400 lb axle hauling not just my stuff but others and all their gear back to the put-in over very rough roads.

-AH
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Old 03-16-2015   #10
 
Bismarck, North Dakota
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Been a mechanic for over 20 years, just a few suggestions to consider. Add a transmission cooler, service your trans more often than recommended. Use synthetic fluid whenever you can. New fluid and filter is way cheaper than a new trans. When towing with a light vehicle keep it out of overdrive, especially when climbing grades. If your vehicle will pull the load solidly in overdrive you are ok, if it shifts up and down frequently get out of overdrive. Use synthetic fluid and change it often. Oh yeah use synthetic fluid and change it often. One more thing use synthetic fluid and change it often. If none of this is important to you just come see me when you smoke your trans that probably cost what your raft did. I will gladly trade you your nice higher end raft for a trans.
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