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420,

Good call on replacing the tires. You just see too many people broke down with a busted tire that looks 100 years old, or their axle has rotted/warn through.

Might I suggest looking at replacing the axle (and possibly the springs too) with something a little heavier duty? One because who knows how many miles it's got on it already. And two because that current setup looks VERY light duty.

If you do replace the springs, might I also suggest shifting them back maybe 6-12 inches. Your tongue weight will be a little heavier, but it should cut down on the "waggle" most trailers evenly balanced get when the weight is ever shifted more towards the back. (IE - a heavy cooler chunked in the back b/c your buddies didn't know any better) Which in turn should mean you can travel at a little faster speeds safely, and maybe have your boat sit back a little and not risk rubbing on that free wench.... oops I mean winch.

If you buy new, etrailer.com has lots of the essentials.
Right on the tire thing. Any tire over ten years old can easily separate when they get warm. They may look good withgreat tread, but they are just waiting to fail.
 

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I mean sure, we would all love a flat top aluminum trailer.........but for some of us, it's a "rebuild what you can for cheap and get on the water type of situation". Thank you for the input. I have a place close to me called "Vital Parts" here in Denver, and their pricing seems reasonable. If anyone knows, or uses a trailer place they trust here in Denver, please let me know. Thanks!
 

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Here is my home made raft trailer. It's 3/4" treated plywood that I primed and urethane coated... It's slippery. We built a metal frame under the plywood but I don't think it's really needed. Run bolts through the top rail of the trailer. I have to use a 16" extender on my hitch to keep the raft from hitting the truck and the raft sits kind of high but it works.
 

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I would be hesitant to use trex. It has very little grab to it. So in other words. Your screws will hold it down but once that trailer gets bouncing down the road with out your raft those boards will pop off the screws. Trex has designed a special screw to solve this problem but that is for static decks not decks racing down dirt roads. Just a thought. By the way you boat looks pretty sweet, good work.


Jim
 

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SemBob,

Thanks for the words. People must think I am idiot or something. I wouldn't use it, if I knew it wouldn't work. No need to screw it down when you can cut it just a tad long, and hammer it down for a really snug fit. They actually make a certain type of screw to go thru metal, into wood (which I know Trex isn't really wood) but it will work out. Plus, the Trex being a little bit heavier will keep the weight low, and dispersed. Besides, it is a "Utility Trailer" and not just a raft specific trailer.
 

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Wow that was pretty mean spirited. People offer you advice and you say "I'm really smart and you guys are dummies". I take it back, you should keep the old tires on the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Relax people. Some folks (myself included) like to give advice whether you want it or not. Keep in mind you aren't the only one reading. If the knowledge provided for you helps others that weren't aware, then it's not wasted.
 

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Relax people. Some folks (myself included) like to give advice whether you want it or not. Keep in mind you aren't the only one reading. If the knowledge provided for you helps others that weren't aware, then it's not wasted.
Amen, we all need to remember that!

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Definitely go with the trex. No issues on mine after a lot of years. Just put a strip of metal across the ends and bolt it down if you are worried about screws holding.
 

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Here is my home made raft trailer. It's 3/4" treated plywood that I primed and urethane coated... It's slippery. We built a metal frame under the plywood but I don't think it's really needed. Run bolts through the top rail of the trailer. I have to use a 16" extender on my hitch to keep the raft from hitting the truck and the raft sits kind of high but it works.
What's the width & length of your deck? What size raft? I want to do something similar, but make it removable when I want to use the trailer with the sides on. I was wondering if the span was too wide to hold up without a structure/frame underneath? I thinking of running 1 X 10 boards across a 7 ft. width. Maybe 5 boards total that I can attach & remove as needed. Just enough to give me a little extra width on my trailer & get the tubes up over the wheels.
 

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Quick question folks. I have an 18' X 8' Sotar raft. Locally, I have a choice between same manufacturer aluminum trailers that I'm considering. One is a discounted 12' X 8 1/2' aluminum tilt snow machine trailer - and one would be a custom order 14' X 7' trailer specific raft with an added tall winch and one roller in back. Both would need better submergible tail-lights eventually I'm sure.

Both trailers have the same undercarriage, axle, wheels, etc. The snow machine trailer has about a 3 inch "raised edge" on the sides which the raft trailer does not. The most significant difference construction wise is that the raft trailer is 7 feet wide as opposed to 8 1/2 feet wide. The raft trailer would need to be ordered and shipped and costs about $800 more. I will only have this trailer a couple years. Locally, there is a market for both snow machine and raft trailers.

I'm a raft trailer novice and would appreciate any feedback. Many thanks.
 

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One of my boats is 8' wide and I had it on a narrow trailer for a while. It works but it was a major pita when I took the raft out in a spot with no eddy. It was hard to keep the boat square to the trailer and it kept wanting to slough off the down stream corner. I bought an 8' wide trailer and it made it much easier. I think I would save the money and go for the wider one.


Jim
 

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What's the width & length of your deck? What size raft? I want to do something similar, but make it removable when I want to use the trailer with the sides on. I was wondering if the span was too wide to hold up without a structure/frame underneath? I thinking of running 1 X 10 boards across a 7 ft. width. Maybe 5 boards total that I can attach & remove as needed. Just enough to give me a little extra width on my trailer & get the tubes up over the wheels.
My raft is 6'6" by 14' and the deck I made is 7' by 10'6"'ish (cant remember exactly) trailer is a 5'x8'. I made it wider on the side so I could stand on it when it's on the trailer. We welded a frame out of scrap but after using if for a season I don't know if it's really needed and adds a degree of difficulty when installing the deck to the trailer. I am going to try without the metal frame or maybe switch to 2"x6" for support if needed. The primer and urethane I used on the treated plywood is holding up great and it's super slippery. We tie the boat down to the trailer not the deck. With the full size wheels on the trailer it tows pretty nice for long trips.

I use this trailer for other things and I only want to register/own one trailer so the idea was to make it removable. I did not extend the trailer so I have to use a 16" hitch extender to get the boat back away from the truck and it you jack knife the trailer it will hit the truck so you have to be careful when turning around. It's working good enough that I am not looking for a raft specific trailer... Although it would be nice.
 

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My raft is 6'6" by 14' and the deck I made is 7' by 10'6"'ish (cant remember exactly) trailer is a 5'x8'. I made it wider on the side so I could stand on it when it's on the trailer. We welded a frame out of scrap but after using if for a season I don't know if it's really needed and adds a degree of difficulty when installing the deck to the trailer. I am going to try without the metal frame or maybe switch to 2"x6" for support if needed. The primer and urethane I used on the treated plywood is holding up great and it's super slippery. We tie the boat down to the trailer not the deck. With the full size wheels on the trailer it tows pretty nice for long trips.

I use this trailer for other things and I only want to register/own one trailer so the idea was to make it removable. I did not extend the trailer so I have to use a 16" hitch extender to get the boat back away from the truck and it you jack knife the trailer it will hit the truck so you have to be careful when turning around. It's working good enough that I am not looking for a raft specific trailer... Although it would be nice.
Thanks for the info. My trailer is 9.5 X 6.5. I think I'm going to go with 2X6 or 2X8 supports at 90 inches long. That will give me a few extra inches on each side. I carried my 14 ft. cataraft on this trailer for years without a top deck. It sat just right on the side rails, but I never liked that it was in contact with the inboard wheel fenders. We had the fenders modified a bit to get rid of the pointy edges, but it's not perfect. Now with a raft & a raft floor, I'd rather have better support. We shall see how this works out? I hope I don't have issues with tongue length. I never did with the cat.
 

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Here's what I threw together . Had an old trailer that a friend gave me. The wheel wells were to close to fit my raft. Welded a frame up put on a deck. But now I've got storage. Still working on it. But it will move a raft!

Deck Trailer Wood Table Furniture



Asphalt Transport Vehicle Trailer Automotive exterior



Vehicle Wood Roof Trailer Commercial vehicle
 

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Table Wood Wood stain Furniture Flooring Vehicle Water transportation Inflatable boat Boat Transport 2011 boat trailer converted to flat bed! A piece of art, 94 carriage bolts holding down red oak marine grade plywood! Folding tongue so it slides into the garage. This is raft porn at its finest!!


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