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Discussion Starter #1
What does a fully loaded 16' raft weigh? For a week long trip. I realize this depends a lot on what you bring and what kind of raft and frame, but just generally. I ask this b/c the Aluma 7 x 14 trailer I'm looking at comes with a 2200# axle with no option for an upgrade to a 3500# one. The payload rating is around 1400.

Assume a 123 qt cooler, typical dry box, Grover and rocket boxes, stove and propane, food and drink, etc.
 

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You will be fine. Lets assume 150 for the raft, 100 for frame, 100 for cooler and 6 large dry bags at 50 apiece. That's only 650lb, so plenty capacity for a few kayaks and more gear.
 

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I use an Echo 2 place ATV trailer for my 14 ft. Cat. The trailer is 6.5 X 9.5, with a 2000 lb. axle, and 1460 lb. carry capacity. Carries the fully loaded cat with no problem. I've carried my cat and a 16 ft. Raft, with two coolers, 4 dry boxes, 2 frames, and dry bags in this trailer in to Sand Wash for a Deso trip with no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Since I'm new to this game - when shuttling at the start or end, how often do folks stack more than one raft? Or is that pretty uncommon.
 

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We weighed my 14' Sotar raft sitting on the trailer with single night camping gear, a frame, oars, drybox, full cooler, and 2 hardshell kayaks on top of it. With that load, the trailer weighed in at 1100 lbs. The trailer weighs about 550 lbs, so the other half was the raft and gear. I doubt you will overload it with a 3/4 ton payload.
 

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I melted a maravia once when the leaf spring broke and the tire contacted the trailer deck. It was a fully loaded 18' for a solo boat commercial four day though. While you probably don't need a heaver trailer for private use, keep in mind the value of your raft.
 

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It is very easy to overload a 2000lb axle trailer with two long trip boats if your not doing ultra light trips. I have a 5000lb axle under my 8x12 trailer to carry 3 boats for 4day rogue trips and it is just right. If you can find a trailer with a torsion axle it eliminates the leaf springs and all the problems that go with them. Also look for a dexter easy lube axle. These have a factory installed grease zert. When you add grease to the bearing it goes through the bearing to the inner seal and pushes the grease and water, from launching, to the outside. If you use after market bearing buddy's you can blow out you inner seal by adding grease because the pressure is forced in from the cap.

Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Wheel bearing need to be repacked and inspected every year. This will protect your investment and keep you from showing up the the put in 4 hours late with an epic story about being passed by your own tire while driving down the highway at 75m/hr.
 

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Good points for sure- I'll add this one since we've got a trailer thread going...


If you're going to be towing a lot- or great distances.... particularly if arrival at a put-in is time critical (permits and such) it's a good investment to carry a spare hub assembly. Pull the cotter pin and crown nut- slide on the new hub, crown nut and cotter pin, and you're on your way. Cheap insurance and a major time saver when the inevitable happens. Doing your bearings on the side of the road could be a real pain- doing the hub thing is a 15 minute job.
 

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If you're getting a "bespoke" (custom made) trailer, suggest a pair of 2000lb axles.They will spread the load on the trailer frame and divide the jolt from chuckholes, boulders and washboards to put less hammering force on that aluminum trailer frame. The frequency of hammering will be greater, but the force of each jolt will be far less. A-a-and, your net "payload" will be doubled. IMHO, of course.
One of the best trailers I ever had was an extra tall, extra wide stock trailer. Tandem axle, 12' inside. It was easy to fully enclose ... finishing the factory build. It was steel. I had to replace the floor (wood). I let it get away from me far too easily.
 

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I guess I will through my hat in the ring as well. I would agree with Oarboatman that a #2200 axle is a bit light. There are a couple things to consider there, one is the weight of the load and the weight of the trailer. If you figure you trailer weights #600 which I feel is a conservative weight even for an aluminum trailer. That leaves you with #1600 of carrying capacity, with a "safety" factor that is what I would carry one fully loaded raft. If you are going to stack more than one oar frame loaded you will quickly over load that.

The other factor you have to consider is the roads that this trailer will travel. These are not highway miles! If you are running Lodore for example and are driving in from the Front Range of Colorado, it is 120 mile from Craig to Dutch John and nothing but dirt roads. Raft trailers take punishment like no other trailer I have every used or owned and I have spent my career in construction. I like to have a hefty safety factor when it comes to raft trailers. Take that from someone who has been passed by their trailer tire in the highway.

I have built a few raft trailer and I like them burly, I use a #3500 Dexter axle with a full size steel belted radial tires and I do my maintenance religiously. I agree with Osseous, I carry a trailer repair kit in my truck with a spare hub, grease and all the tools I need (including an extra jack) to repair a trailer in the middle of now where. I have a full size spare as well. I am going to take the advice of a buddy of mine who carries two spares and buy a second one.

I always stress out when I am pulling a trailer no mater what and like to eliminate as many issues as I can. I have had enough problem with trailer not to want to go there again so I recommended spending the extra time and money not to make the mistakes that I have. It sucks trying to get AAA to tow a trailer 300 mile back to Denver before you ever get on the river!
 
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It is very easy to overload a 2000lb axle trailer with two long trip boats if your not doing ultra light trips. I have a 5000lb axle under my 8x12 trailer to carry 3 boats for 4day rogue trips and it is just right. If you can find a trailer with a torsion axle it eliminates the leaf springs and all the problems that go with them. Also look for a dexter easy lube axle. These have a factory installed grease zert. When you add grease to the bearing it goes through the bearing to the inner seal and pushes the grease and water, from launching, to the outside. If you use after market bearing buddy's you can blow out you inner seal by adding grease because the pressure is forced in from the cap.

Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Wheel bearing need to be repacked and inspected every year. This will protect your investment and keep you from showing up the the put in 4 hours late with an epic story about being passed by your own tire while driving down the highway at 75m/hr.
IMHO a 5,000lb axle is overkill---or at least 5,000# springs are overkill on a raft trailer. They'll be so stiff they'll never actually absorb any shock.
But 5,000# axles are very well built--solid spindles, bigger hubs. and if you drive a Toyota or Nissan, they're 6 on 5.5" lug spacing so you can probably use your vehicle spare on the trailer.

Very good advice on annual maintenance.


If you're getting a "bespoke" (custom made) trailer, suggest a pair of 2000lb axles.They will spread the load on the trailer frame and divide the jolt from chuckholes, boulders and washboards to put less hammering force on that aluminum trailer frame. The frequency of hammering will be greater, but the force of each jolt will be far less. A-a-and, your net "payload" will be doubled. IMHO, of course.
One of the best trailers I ever had was an extra tall, extra wide stock trailer. Tandem axle, 12' inside. It was easy to fully enclose ... finishing the factory build. It was steel. I had to replace the floor (wood). I let it get away from me far too easily.
Or even a pair of 3,500lb axles--torsion are better. Again, use appropriate springs for your load, not your axles.


So...anyone ever add shock absorbers to their trailer to control the bounce? less necessary for torsion axles, but seems like they'd be useful on sprung trailers
 

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One consideration in double-stacking boats: at least when I've double-stacked, the top boat is usually a fair bit less-loaded than the bottom boat. We'll usually pull coolers and maybe dryboxes so that it's a lighter lift, so it's not real common that we'll have two fully-loaded overnight boats in a stack.
 

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I agree with those that think it's a bit light.

I have had a boat trailer scale at or near 3500lbs with a mostly rigged 18' (frame boxes coolers gear etc) and 15' frame etc no boxes, on top. Or a stack of 3 boats with the bottom one mostly rigged.
 

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One thing that can easily be overlooked is paying attention to your suspension on the trailer. When you have a deck over tires trailer loading a trailer heavy can result in the leaf springs collapsing under weight and leaving just a few inches between the tire and deck of trailer. Then you are driving down the "well maintained" interstate or dirt road and as soon as you hit a bump you end up with tire rubbing and a subsequent blow out. In essence just check your trailer before driving off always and during gas stops.
 
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