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I figure I would throw my hat in the ring as well. I'm working with Clay over at Quadrax in building a purpose built raft trailer with box storage underneath. We've been working on this for the last couple of months and every detail is being considered in the process. It's basically a 12' with a 3' v nose trailer and is 7'5" wide. It will include an oar box, 5000lb torsion axle, swing away step platforms on either side of the trailer. As well as a bunch of other features we're still working through.

This is being built for a Aire 156R. The oar box below is not the final one as we've changed the design to hold the oars in a more vertical orientation to take up less space side to side as well as height wise.

This is likely the last trailer I will buy and is intended to support everything from a day trip to loading up with 3+ rafts and gear for a big ditch trip. We'll see.
 

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Didn't build the trailer just modified it. It was originally built for and used by an outfitter in Idaho. It came with the expanded metal and large roller.
The winch works well but boats don't slide very well on the expanded metal. Would really like to build some recessed rollers in the deck. But because of the frame I can't. Thinking about using some 1" pillow blocks with thick wall tubing to make some rollers across the deck and add some plastic or painted plywood runners.
The jct box is lexan so hopefully it'll hold up. It contains a breaker in series with two relays, that when the winch is engaged the winch can only draw off the trailer battery and not back feed into the 12v 10 gauge truck wire. The other relay is for the back up light bars , they draw a lot of amps and the wire to the trailer plug isn't big enough.
 

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hooligan, could you do recessed rollers that are only partial-width (outside to just inside each longitudinal brace?)....more work, but would still fit around the longitudinal frame.

Then you could also do stiffer large diameter thinwall tubing.
 

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Discussion Starter #324
I love the electrical junction box, I put one on my trailer and it makes life much easier. I would be worried about the mounting location and the plastic lid. You will get a lot of gravel kicked up driving on dirt road and I think that would take a beating.
I had the same exact thought.

Also, do you plan to resurface the flatbed part? I would be worried about abrasion to the boat.
edit- I wrote this before getting to end of the thread. Rollers sound promising.
 

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hooligan, could you do recessed rollers that are only partial-width (outside to just inside each longitudinal brace?)....more work, but would still fit around the longitudinal frame.

Then you could also do stiffer large diameter thinwall tubing.
Would be a lot of work. The frame is about seven foot wide and then two more braces running lengthwise about 2ft in from the frame. You can kind of see the frame and bracing in one of the pictures. Where the frame is is about where a bigger boat's tubes ride. I could go this route but I'd basically have to cut out all the bracing, remove the expanded metal then install my rollers how I want and reskin with diamond plate.
Bigger roller would work but don't really want the boat weight suspended between two or three big rollers.

The decking is smooth expanded metal not tread plate so no real wear. I used the trailer double stacked to the Main ( think MT4Runner was launching when we rolled in) and a Ladore trip. My cat slides ok on it but my Rogue raft doesn't like it at all. Either going to use some painted plywood or HDPE plastic runners where the tubes slide and leave the middle exposed.
 
RMR, Hyside, NRS, Sawyer, K2 coolers, Whitewater Worthy Trailers, Frames and soft goods
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Would be a lot of work. The frame is about seven foot wide and then two more braces running lengthwise about 2ft in from the frame. You can kind of see the frame and bracing in one of the pictures. Where the frame is is about where a bigger boat's tubes ride. I could go this route but I'd basically have to cut out all the bracing, remove the expanded metal then install my rollers how I want and reskin with diamond plate.
Bigger roller would work but don't really want the boat weight suspended between two or three big rollers.

The decking is smooth expanded metal not tread plate so no real wear. I used the trailer double stacked to the Main ( think MT4Runner was launching when we rolled in) and a Ladore trip. My cat slides ok on it but my Rogue raft doesn't like it at all. Either going to use some painted plywood or HDPE plastic runners where the tubes slide and leave the middle exposed.
We retrofitted a trailer for OTT's "Paddled Pub" boat that had similar construction. We added a piece of 2"x2" square tube to the top of outside frame. The roller brackets were they welded to the top of the that. We put rollers every 3' and it turned the rig into a one person launch and recovery routine. It works the same as....

https://www.facebook.com/whitewaterworthy/videos/387920231782138/
 

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Either going to use some painted plywood or HDPE plastic runners where the tubes slide and leave the middle exposed.
On my cheap-ass snowmobile trailer (at least it has 14" tires) I used three pieces of 2' x 8' vinyl lattice, the trailer is 11' long so I have 8' + 3' on each side where my 16' raft tubes sit.

Pros:
- Cheap
- Slippery, I throw a bucket of water on it launching/retrieving, with roller on the back I can pull the raft+frame (only) off by myself, helps when winching raft back onto trailer

Cons:
- Lots of carriage bolts (at least 24 for my 11' x 8' trailer deck)
- Shrinks over time but bolting it well helps
- Ghetto
 

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Snowmobile trailer roller/winch mod...

Got a 8x10' Snowmobile trailer back in 2008. Back then I simply replaced the decking with Trex boards and basically used the thing until fall of 2018 when I decided to restore the paint and wiring. Other than some warping, the Trex material was fine and I simply re-used it...

Stripped the paint and put on two coats of Rustoleum "Rusty metal primer" and 2 coats of Rustoleum glossy Black...

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After that, decided I wanted a roller/winch system and came up with a "Bastard design" from various Buzz posts. I ordered the roller end plugs from Clackacraft and got some 5/8" "gate hinge" hardware for the roller uprights. The original bore of the Clackacraft plugs didn't match the upright OD so I drilled the plugs oversize for Bronze bushings...

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Purchased a 10' length of 2" galvanized water pipe and cut it to length. Pressed in the End plugs.

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Obtained a Winch from a online trailer parts supplier...worked like a charm!

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LR
 

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Thanks Pirate!

I thought about running the roller all the way across the trailer and attach to holes in the upright flange of the trailer itself but the ends of the flange were bent such that I would need a really big hammer or a torch to get them straight again...I think this was easier...Note that I had to do a bit of honing of both the upright OD and bushing ID to get a nice smooth roll...

LR
 

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Sneak Preview-- Custom Build

Hey everyone, I thought I'd share a couple of pics of the custom trailer build-out I'm working on with Josh Spoon. I've been through a couple of trailers searching for just the right set up for my family's needs. We want a trailer that can haul a motorcycle for shuttle, carry a bunch of gear for big trips, carry a double stack (or more), easy solo loading, and super durable. I started with a 16' tandem with low rails, not because I really wanted a tandem but the price was right. I removed the shitty lights/ housings and the front rail. I added the moto chock and a new bulkhead to the low rail and new, waterproof, low profile lights. Now for the tubes. I am adding a roller system platform that will be about 20" off the deck. I think this will be amazing-- like the first time you saw that video of the boat sliding off that trailer with the built-in full-length rollers. The height will accommodate my tallest gear (Drybox, etc) but still not be too tall for loading. I chose the rollers from Northern Tool (Ironton) again. I had very good luck with those on my last trailer. The platforms will be fully removable and gusseted for stability. Finally, I will add strap hook system all the way around, enclose the gear area with access areas, tailgate, and a winch, of course. I'll post pics when it finished. We are about 15 hours into the project.

Let me know if you want to contact Josh for help with your trailer. I have learned a ton and I am building a sweet trailer. Win win!
 

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I like how you recessed the rollers between the side rails.

The upper angles on that trailer aren't just for keeping your gear on the deck--they give the trailer a lot of stiffness. Removing the sides and moving the front back may make your trailer try to bend at the new front bulkhead--especially if the hitch a-frame terminates there underneath. You might want to extend the channels of the hitch A-frame back one frame past the new front bulkhead.
 

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I like how you recessed the rollers between the side rails.

The upper angles on that trailer aren't just for keeping your gear on the deck--they give the trailer a lot of stiffness. Removing the sides and moving the front back may make your trailer try to bend at the new front bulkhead--especially if the hitch a-frame terminates there underneath. You might want to extend the channels of the hitch A-frame back one frame past the new front bulkhead.
That is a great point, did not think of it. We will reinforce accordingly!
 

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I have a similar 2-axle light car hauler trailer. Had considered removing the upper rails myself, but also got advice not to.

I use 2x12 bunks at the upper rails and a single roller at the upper back (and can also drop the roller down to deck height for my dory). Not sure if I ever put my drybox/cooler under the raft, definitely in front of it, but have hauled a lot of bikes, ammo cans, kayaks, etc. under the raft.

The higher bunks are slightly harder to load solo, but if you have a winch, you'll be a-OK. With waterproof lights, you can sink that trailer right until the tires are at the water's edge, roller will be near the water, and loading will be super easy.

Even if you didn't want a tandem, I think you'll appreciate its stability for long highway trips or if you stack 3-4 boats. Plus, tandems generally have larger tires that run cooler. Only thing I don't like about mine is that it's tongue-heavy enough that I can't lift the tongue and drop it onto the ball. It's also harder to pivot 4 tires by hand. I have to back carefully and use the jack. I can lift it by hand if I have a family member sit/stand on the back so their weight lifts the front. Still, I'd rather have the benefits of a tandem and that's a minor tradeoff.

Looking forward to more pics of your build.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Really helpful. I'm sure Josh Spoon has a genius way to solve any bending issues up front. More pics to come.
 

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Question for you, how are you attaching the new platforms to the trailer?
Thanks
We'll post pics soon of the upright build. I have almost 4' between the platforms so we are permanently attaching them. I'll still be able to get quads, etc. in there...if we ever decided to buy one. Stay tuned.

MT4Runner-- Thanks again for the suggestions. We are going to reinforce in front of the new bulkhead. Any other clever ideas for gear access or control? I woke up thinking, "Man, If I have all the gear loaded up under the boat and then I back it into the water, what the best way to keep it from sliding down into the water?" Of course, I could use straps but I was trying to think around the problem. I know, I know, I should have better dreams.

TIA
 

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Question for you all...I bought a used trailer with wood deck. The wood was pretty hammered, so I sanded it down and refinished it. However, at times, the boat seems to almost stick to the trailer when it’s time to get it in the water. Is that because of the sealant (not even sure what I used) or is that normal? I’d like to have the boat slide on/off easier. Do most people put down carpet or is there another way?
 
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