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Discussion Starter #1
I have an old aluminum snowmobile trailer that is no longer in use and was thinking of converting it into a trailer for my 13' foot raft. Has anybody done such a thing? It is about 8 foot wide and the bed is about 6 foot long. My thought was to narrow the bed to the width of the boat. Extend the flat bed to about 10-14 foot long and extend the tongue so you would be able to ad a storage box. I have also thought about building some kind of storage underneath the platform for oars paddles etc. If anyone has any ideas or plans it would be much appreciated.

Eric
 

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Eric,

Leave the trailer how it is, you want the extra 2 feet on the side to walk around the boat and get straps on, and 6' long is enough for the footprint of that pretty DRE boat. Save your time and effort, if anything, put a roller on the back.
 

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How are the corners on those rollers? I used 2 similar but smaller ones and the corners are too pokey. I'd like to find one that is 5-6 feet wide. Anyone know where to find one?

Eventually I'd like to make about 20" of enclosed storage under the roller deck, so everything can fit secured for the off season, and just for extra gear under the rigged boat.
 

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Rather than making the bed longer, try extending the tongue. Make sure you can turn and back without the front of the boat hitting the tow vehicle.
 

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How are the corners on those rollers? I used 2 similar but smaller ones and the corners are too pokey. I'd like to find one that is 5-6 feet wide. Anyone know where to find one?

Eventually I'd like to make about 20" of enclosed storage under the roller deck, so everything can fit secured for the off season, and just for extra gear under the rigged boat.

I looked all over for a 6' wide one. I even emailed FishCraft and asked if they would sell me one (no response). I'll take some shots and email them to you- so far it's worked awesome. I just did a 3 night on the Green and 2 of us were able to haul a big boat + frame and cooler with not much effort.
 

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look around

Seems as though at least half of us that tralier our rafts do so on a snomo trailer. I would bet good money that even if it is an old trailer it has at least a 8 foot bed, as snomobiles aren't 6 feet long. Do as others have said about lengthening the tongue so your raft is centered over the axle, that way it doesn't hit your tow vehicle, and if you put your boat to far back it will be too "tongue light" and not tow well. If it is a tilt type trailer, simple 3x3 square tube steel will do you with 2 holes drilled (one for tilt connection and one where you put the pin to lock out tilt feature) and attachment of the hitch. Rollers are a nice touch! Look around next time at the put-in /take-out and notice that most trailers are of the snomobile variety and get some ideas!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info guys. I have thought about just leaving the way it is and just exting the tongue. But I have to replace the wood on the deck anyways. It is old, rotted and getting week. So since I am that far I though since I have access to all the tools and I dont use it for sleds anymore I might as well make it more raft freindly. I agree that I really dont need to narrow it but it would be nice just makes it easier to pull. I want to make it atleast ten feet long so I can store my oars underneath in some kind of storage. I do want to put a roller on back if anyone knows where to get a 6 foot roller that would be awesome. If not I was thinking about going to the local steel and aluminum shop to see if they can get one or make one for me. Any of you guys that are using a snowmobile trailer have you noticed any wear on the bottom of your raft from the wood. Would you recomend covering it in indoor/outdoor carpet? The reason I ask is that last summer I borrowed a freinds pop up camper and threw the raft on top of that. But I noticed some wear on the urethane on the bottom of my raft. Not a big deal I know but over time I think it could become a factor. Once again thanks for the thoughts!!

Eric
 

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roller...trailer

I built a raft trailer up from a smaller trailer. Big box underneath with a door on the top to load it and access from the back when the raft is on it. I built my own roller across the whole back. I just used some threaded pipe and then slid 1 ft sections of PVC over it. I have rounded 90 deg. corners that are super smooth on the raft and it works really well. I think the pipe I got came in a 6 ft section... The key is to cut the PVC into small sections so that they can spin independently, which allows the raft to correct itself if it is not aligned straight. Actually, I would like to sell the trailer. $500...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Puma can you post some pictures I know someone that might be interested in buying it! Where are you located?
 

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Don't bother to narrow the bed unless you've got lots of extra time and money and you're pulling behind a regular (narrow) car. A roller across the back will be your first thing to do, and maybe a winch up front. Also, you'll want to go around the entire trailer with a file and file down all the places where there's a sharp edge exposed. I already knew this but after watching a buddy put a big patch on his boat at the Westwater ramp, its even more important to me now. The Triton trailers are especially bad with sharp edges...

Something you may want to put on the front of the bed is a sailboat-type rope cleat. This makes loading the boat by yourself a lot easier because you can pull the front up onto the trailer, cinch the bowline in the cleat, and then push the boat the rest of the way onto the bed (rollers are key here).

I've heard that a long, single roller across the back can warp and become useless so you should bear that in mind when you're designing it. I've got 3 rollers and its nice being able to correct the alignment as I put the boat onto the trailer.

As for decking hurting the raft, just make sure there are no nails or screws sticking up. Torx screws were what my trailer came with after you replace the decking you'll probably want to tap new holes and use some loc-tite on the new screws. Consider painting the deck - I use a white enamel and slop on a thick coat every few years.

Just remember that once you start trailering your boat, you'll never want to roll it up again.:D

Good luck!

-Andy
 

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My trailer has a metal roller on the back that is solid, has no sharp edges and works like a champ. It was an option on the trailer but you might be able to buy just the roller from the manufacturer. I bought the trailer from Bonanza Trailers, 750 East Hwy. 402, Loveland, CO 80537 (970) 669-5771 The model that I have is the Sport Trail 7x12 trailer. I dealt with the owner of the company and he gets the trailers custom made by Sport Trail. I think his name is Dave, and he was a great guy to work with. You could contact him to see if the manufacturer will sell just the roller.
 

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Once it was all said and done, it was $1550 and worth every penny. I opted for the larger wheel size which makes it ride smoother and track better. The decking came with one coat of stain on it so I had to seal the wood but other than that, it was ready to go. You can add a winch but as I recall, it adds a few hundred bucks.
 

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Dave Frank-

Here are some shots of the rollers I put on the back of the truck- they don't have any sharp edges and are fat enough to keep and fabric from pinching. Less than $60 for the hardware and wood.


I also put a 1-1/4" PVC rail down the side to keep the edge of the raft from touching metal,keep it from shiting side to side, and to help it slide on the bed....
 
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