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I’m just getting into raft ownership and I have the grand idea of buying a raft trailer that can also be used occasionally for mulch, soil, or furniture. Is this a crazy idea or do multi purpose trailers exist? It doesn’t need to be perfect but if I’m going to spend the money I would like options.

While we are on the subject, what is your favorite style of trailer and why?
 

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Welcome to the world of raft ownership. I was in this position about 10 years ago and now I own 3 trailers to take care of various tasks. There are a lot of factors that go into this like; raft size, tow vehicle, raft storage, gear storage, and if you decide to haul your boat inflated. I am fortunate enough to be able to store my raft inflated on "it's" trailer in the garage. I built this trailer from an old camping trailer and it worked fine until I had to buy a new truck. The tailgate of the new truck will not clear the winch stand and so I have to unhook the trailer to open the tailgate to unload the coolers, dry boxes and other gear in the bed of the truck. This is a real hassle on a slanted boat ramp. To solve this, I bought another trailer with a longer tongue so the tailgate clears the winch stand. It also has side rails tall enough that will allow me to store gear under an inflated boat leaving my truck bed open for camping. I still need to make some modifications to this trailer like; rollers and cross beams to support an inflated raft. I like the ability to store all the big gear under the raft. I did not have this option with my other trailer. Since I bought all these trailers used and did my own modifications, I would say I have around $3,200 invested in trailers. Good luck. A raft trailer sure makes launching and de-rigging a lot easier.
 

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You can have a trailer that is a compromise for everything or perfect for 1-2 things.

I have an inexpensive angle-iron framed 2-axle car hauler trailer.
Paid $750 for it 10 years ago. 6.5' x 16' on the deck. I probably wouldn't originally have purchased this trailer, but it was a price I couldn't pass up.
61755

It's not perfect, but has has been a great "compromise for everything" trailer. I've hauled 4x4's, dead cars, firewood, up to 5 rafts, my dory, landscaping, 2 furniture moves, sheet metal, lumber, rebar, and 55 gallon drums of glycol.

I re-decked it 2 years ago with full 2" rough-sawn doug fir decking. The bunks on the sides are for my raft.
61756

Even though I'm now building a dedicated dory trailer, am still going to build a double-decker module for it so I can haul 2 dories or a dory + a raft.
 

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Seems everyone wants the perfect trailer, I've seen many different sizes and shapes over my 40 years of boating, and for me, I have dedicated trailers for my Dories, Rafts and Snout, it's just easier at the end of the day to park the boat on the trailer, cover it, and forget it till the next time you want to use it, hitch and go. A trailer negates all the rigging and de-rigging if it's dedicated use. As I get older, I appreciate the simplicity of things. When I want to go boating, I just back the boat into the garage, load what I need for that trip, and off we go. SO, all in all, it's what works for you. Most boaters in my area use something very similar to what MT4runner is using, it's simple, versitile and if you want for just the right deal, downright cheap. If you're looking for new, this company


has some very nice products, and can build you whatever you want if their "off the lot" models aren't just what you're looking for, and given the way steel prices have shot up over the past 6 months, they are downright cheap.
 

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Even though I'm now building a dedicated dory trailer, am still going to build a double-decker module for it so I can haul 2 dories or a dory + a raft.
I'd be interested in seeing your design for a double decker. Everything I've thought up wouldn't really hold the weight of a loaded Dory up that high, AND last for very long on some of the dirt roads we're forced to use.
 

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Planning on vertical receiver tubing in 4 corners with probably 2x4 box tubing cross braces, gusseted to the 2x2 verticals.
And probably some kind of strap diagonals from the front rack to the rear rack.

Height is a big constraint. High enough to clear the transom on the bottom boat and allow minimal hatch opening, but low enough the stress isn't too crazy.
 

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One of the problems I see with this could be width as well. And weight.. Am supposing you're looking at 2x2 with .125 wall thickness? What about the narrowness of the trailer at the bow? How are you planning on overcoming that with your vertical supports ? The width of the trailer at the rear would have to be wide enough to accomodate the wodest part of the boat, on my trailer, the oarlocks are as wide as the outside of the rim and tire, which is 90 inches, as opposed to the 60 inch bed width...
 

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2x2-1/8 or 2x2-3/16"

It's going to be a tight squeeze and the rack may have to be installed over the Great Falls.
I'm 80" outside the gunnels and very close to that inside where the supports will be (deck is nominally 6.5' but closer to 79")

Oh, and the double decker is for the black car hauler and mostly for long trips--Main Salmon, Colorado, Grand if I should need to involve 2 dories on a LONG shuttle.
Not the new-to-me white motorboat trailer that will be converted to dory hauler. If it ever sees 2 dories, the top one will be a baby boat sitting on the deck of the mother ship. I wouldn't want to trust a single axle to that kind of elevated load anyway.

Dory trailer may get a side bunk conversion should I want to use it as a raft trailer, but it more likely will be Great Falls' home 99% of the time.
 

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Welded stake pockets to the side with pinch bolts, can adjust the height, or pull the side rails completely off, put the tail gate back on, fully functioning utility trailer.
61779
 

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2x2-1/8 or 2x2-3/16"

It's going to be a tight squeeze and the rack may have to be installed over the Great Falls.
I'm 80" outside the gunnels and very close to that inside where the supports will be (deck is nominally 6.5' but closer to 79")

Oh, and the double decker is for the black car hauler and mostly for long trips--Main Salmon, Colorado, Grand if I should need to involve 2 dories on a LONG shuttle.
Not the new-to-me white motorboat trailer that will be converted to dory hauler. If it ever sees 2 dories, the top one will be a baby boat sitting on the deck of the mother ship. I wouldn't want to trust a single axle to that kind of elevated load anyway.

Dory trailer may get a side bunk conversion should I want to use it as a raft trailer, but it more likely will be Great Falls' home 99% of the time.
Ok, ,that makes more sense then. 3/16 wall thickness is going to make it a heavy SOB. THinking it'd be a 4 person job to put on and take off with .125 wall... My dory trailer for Bears Ears has a mount on the back for a hitch, not that I'd need to use it, but apparently the fishing guides in ID tow 2 trailers, have you thought of that scenerio? Might be easier to pull off.
 

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Things are getting complicated up there^. Get an affordable flat bed and put some post sleeves on it/build some rails. I comfortably haul the 16' and just moved too much shit 275 mi. back to the good side of CO with such a trailer Beverly Hillbillies style(took many trips in the blizzards, next time I'll get the U-haul... But compost and dump runs are easy).
61853
 

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I'll add that the trailer is a 10' deck and I have a cat. MT 4Runner's trailer is golden for multipurpose in my opinion, if you can find one in decent time or have a decent budget.
 

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I’m just getting into raft ownership and I have the grand idea of buying a raft trailer that can also be used occasionally for mulch, soil, or furniture. Is this a crazy idea or do multi purpose trailers exist? It doesn’t need to be perfect but if I’m going to spend the money I would like options.

While we are on the subject, what is your favorite style of trailer and why?
61866
 

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That's the trailer I'm looking at. Will probably do this same setup. Very nice!!
If you are in Colorado check out true value trailers, in Florence near Pueblo they have them way cheaper then any place I found in the state, around $1800.
 
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