Ultimate Raft Trailer Build - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-26-2017   #1
 
jspoon14's Avatar
 
Denver, Colorado
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Ultimate Raft Trailer Build

I am starting to plan and design a new raft trailer and I am looking for some input. What is on your wish list for a trailer?

Here is what I am thinking, I want a trailer that I can get my whole rig in broken down for long distance travel and then be about to transport the boat when i get there and localt on top. I want to keep it as low as possible to facilitate easy loading but have enough room to get dry boxes and coolers in. I am thinking i want to make it out of aluminum for weight and also don't have to worry about painting it. I want it to be secure but also vented in some way to allow moisture out but also keep road debris and dirt out. I also want to have doors in it so I can access gear when the boat in rigged and on top and also have plywood panels for the top deck be removable to load and unload easily. Kind of goes with out saying but it would have roller and winch to get a rigged boat loaded.

What king of crazy thing would you want, a grill and propane system for tailgating, a built in blower and hose to inflate/deflate boat, a tent for camping at the put in, a TV and stereo....

Not sure if this wish list is reaching for the starts but that is what I have been that I want in a trailer and i am serious to see what other ideas are out there.

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Old 04-26-2017   #2
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Sandpoint, Idaho
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I just ordered a trailer from Sawtooth trailers dot com that sounds very much like your wish list. Like you, I have been saving up and dreaming up my "dream trailer" for several years now. The one I'm getting has many of the features you mention, which I stole from other people's builds. However, these trailers are built of steel frame/top, with aluminum diamond plate sides.

Features I am having built:

*12'x5' box. Wood bottom. 24" diamond plate sides (had to go with the 24" sides so the coolers/dry boxes would fit through the front doors)
*Front of the wheel side access door on both sides - lockable.
*15" wheels, 3,500 lb torision axle. Bomber load range D tires.
*spare tire mounted in front of box near adjustable and removable winch
*LED lights
*front triangle tray for any possibles box you might want in front.
*rear roller that goes over top deck, attached to rear tailgate.
*lockable rear tailgate.

I have a 156D Aire that will go on top.

I noted that you wanted a completely covered top deck. They offer that as an option for not much more. Mine is a mesh top over a frame. The frame will fold over from each side and be 12'x7'. This frame is also removable.

I am going to post pics when the build is done, sometime in May. I will use it on a trip to the Smith in MT and on the Middle Fork of the Salmon, so it will see many miles. Even have a cast and blast planned for it where we will stack two 16' boats on it.

Hope this feedback helps. The powdercoat minimizes rust problems associated with steel frames.

Cheers and hope you find an awesome build somewhere!

Pat in Sandpoint, Idaho
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Old 04-26-2017   #3
 
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Boulder, Colorado
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I have a home modified version of this trailer.

It started as a sport trail motorcycle hauler, used for $500.

I decked the base with 2x.

I welded posts on to the sides for 32" tall sidewalls. Sidewalls have 2x10 top rail. It is blunt V nose, maybe 11' to the center and either side of 8' along the sides.

It is a little tall for loading the raft, but allows more storage underneath. The lifetime table on edge actually drove the height.

Two carpet covered boards run as cross bars, but can be removed for versatility.

I run them about 5 feet apart, way to the back. The bow is supported by the V nose, albeit 2" lower than the cross bars.

An Aire 156 rests up there pretty nicely, as long as it isnt too soft. The side rails would support it without any crossbars, If I really wanted to, but it's a little wide, so it could slip into the box if I didn't put the bars on.

A hinged tail gate made of 3/4 plywood is just long/strong enough to ramp in light stuff like a bike or a dolly.

I should add a roller on the top edge of it, but haven't.

The decking has gaps to drain and allow road grime up in it. Contemplated topping with vinyl, but it would get trashed when I use it for construction debris and tools occasionally.

The 32" side walls make for a tall deck, which means you need friends to help load it. No roller, no winch. If its just the raft and frame the three of us can get it up there, but you feel it when you're done.

Two peak holes in the angled front walls allow the sled skis to poke through and still close the tail gate.

The carpeted 2x's work to hold 6+ kayaks with the stackers on, and another six fit underneath with room for gear.

Been meaning to add some side access towards the front to get at stuff when the raft is on it.

Two full oar rigs and all the gear can fit under the rails, rolled up for longer trips.

It could use a few upgrades, but for what I have in it, it's pretty dialed in.

Cant seem to find a picture...
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Old 04-26-2017   #4
 
NE, Oregon
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White interior and exterior LED rope lights wired to a switch
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Old 04-26-2017   #5
 
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Belgrade, Montana
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I put back up lights on my latest trailer, really nice for late night takeouts or arriving at camp late

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Old 04-27-2017   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkhaven View Post
I put back up lights on my latest trailer, really nice for late night takeouts or arriving at camp late

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I will fully admit that electrical wiring is not my strong suit. Were you able to do this with the flat 4 pin wiring connection? Or did you have to go to the bigger 6 sided connector?
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Old 04-27-2017   #7
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Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesimapirate View Post
I will fully admit that electrical wiring is not my strong suit. Were you able to do this with the flat 4 pin wiring connection? Or did you have to go to the bigger 6 sided connector?
you need a 7 way RV plug. and hopefully your vehicle is wired for it too.. (most full size SUV's and pickups are equipped) - same goes for brakes.
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Old 04-27-2017   #8
 
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aluminum?
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Old 04-27-2017   #9
 
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Belgrade, Montana
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What philfry said...

RV plug, I've switched all my wiring to those plugs for simplicity sakes. My Wife's 2010 Tacoma needed a relay put in place (factory left it out for some reason - seems to be a Taco thing) but the backup lights have worked on all my mid 2000's and newer full sized trucks with no modifcations.

You could probably do it with a 6 prong but it wouldn't be a standard configuration and the RV plugs are so common these days it just seems to be the easiest option.
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Old 04-27-2017   #10
 
Sawpit, Colorado
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13" or 15" tires

Anyone have any advice on tire size? Am I going to regret getting 13" tires on my aluminum trailer? I would be psyched to find a trailer with 15" tires and some storage space below. I will be running both day and multi-day trips. Thanks!
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