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Here's my latest project - converted boat trailer to raft trailer. Trailer is a 1980 Calkins that came with a boat I bought for the motor, gave the boat a way... I have about $250 into parts so far and need 3 sheets of ply, safety chains, a new winch strap and 4 eyebolts for tie downs -proly another $80 to $100. Deck is a heavy duty gate used at a buddy's buffalo ranch - it weighs about 150lbs, bought it for $50.

Started on it saturday, didn't work on it sunday and got it rough wired and painted yesterday. Should be done tonight or tomorrow. I'm selling it to some friends so it won't be mine but I thought I'd thow it out there as an option for folks looking to convert boat trailers.

trailer.jpg
 

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My good friend gave me his old trailer , approx. 5'x7'. We built it up to a 8'x10' to haul my 16' raft. 1st time using it was yesterday. It's not perfect as the wheels are too far forward now so I loaded all the weight in front if the wheels. The boat was less than a foot from the car. I used Andy H.'s idea for a roller with a PVC sleeve on a galvanized pipe. Total cost I have in it is $218.00 so I'm pretty happy because I was the one at the boat ramp unrolling and rigging or unrigging and rolling. ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1404779035.007115.jpg ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1404779051.153063.jpg ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1404779093.551363.jpg ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1404779116.674016.jpg


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Here's my 1963 Colman 6 person pop-up camper that I converted in a boat/utility trailer. The pic is from this weekend at the Savage River in Western Maryland.



After the teardown, I had hundreds of pounds of clean aluminum (mostly from the roof), and a decent amount of copper from the gas lines. After a little prep (removing rivets and chalking), I sold the scrap for about $210. I bought new tires from sams for $59 a piece, and about $20 for the deck sealant.
 

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2nd trailer rebuild in progress. The original version is under my Sotar in post #101 and it is also the main subject of post #2.

This rebuild is for my use and is based on a very well built 5'x8' tilt deck utility trailer. It did not have any sides originally (hence the 2x6 wood sides visible in the previous posts). So first step was to build permanent sides: t-2.jpg
I used cuttoffs of the 1.5" tubing (discussed below) for the verticals on the sides in step 1 and only needed to buy 25' of 2" angle and 1" flat strap to finish the sides.

Second step was to modify an old gate from a buffalo ranch. It's made of 1.5" square tubing, 1/8" thick 10" on center. So I cut out half of the bars to use as cross members. The whole gate weighed about 150 lbs and I used almost all of the parts to finish the deck.
T-1jpg.jpg

3rd step is to weld tabs on the crossmembers, drill holes and bolt them to the angle that makes the top rail of the sides walls. The top deck then gets welded to the cross members from the top, then removed and welded from the bottom.

4th - tie downs. I made tie downs out of 1/2" cold rolled steel, bent into a 4" flat "u" with 1" legs. Welded them under the main deck. You can see them in the pic above if you open it in another window.

While this was all going on, I wire wheeled the old steel and drilled drain holes in each piece of tubing so they won't fill with water and freeze.

All of the lights will be mounted in or on the 1.5" tubing and wiring will run inside so I ordered lights and drilled out holes to mount lights and run wiring.

Last night I painted most of it with a coat of primer and hope to get a coat or two of the final paint tonight. The lights showed up yesterday and I picked up my parts for the roller so depending on what happens today I might get one of those finished up tonight.

Still to do: Build roller, finish painting, run wiring and install lights, deck (3/4" ply wood between the longitudinal supports of the top deck), weld on spare tire rack. I may extend the tongue but I want to get the boat on the trailer and see where it balances before I'm sure whether or not it needs it. I'm hoping to get this all done by the weekend so weather permitting we can ski one day and float the other...
 

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Tandem axles with dials were added not seen under the deck. Waiting on my air over hydrolic valves to finish running air lines. Hahaha

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself
 

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What did you coat the deck with? I'm decking mine tonight and had pretty much decided on Messmers UV Plus...
 

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What did you coat the deck with? I'm decking mine tonight and had pretty much decided on Messmers UV Plus...
I did 2 coats top and bottom and sides of Olympic deck sealer. It works on my deck why not the trailer deck. Screwed it down and still putting coats on every 2 days until I pick up my new rubber.

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself
 

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so I thought most of those sealers only took one coat - first coat seals the wood, anything else puddles up on top. Is it building up a finish? or/and is that why several days between coats?
 

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so I thought most of those sealers only took one coat - first coat seals the wood, anything else puddles up on top. Is it building up a finish? or/and is that why several days between coats?
Correct got to let it dry good to put another coat on my other boat trailer is mostly wood landscape timbers, a little bit of osb, and 2x6 planks. It's probably got 20 some coats of that stuff on. I haven't tried it yet but I'm thinking it might be bullet proof.

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself
 

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The wood decks are getting a little weathered, but otherwise solid. Later in the spring, I'm going cut 4'x8' Vinyl Lattice into 2'x8' strips and countersink them I ontop of the wood deck under where the side tubes sit and slide.

Some of the local outfitters have Vinyl Lattice on their trailers and I've observed that their rafts slide off easier. I believe the plastic like lattice and 50% less surface contact of the grid-like material, equal 50% less contact friction.

It also seams like sand and dibris settles down between the square lattice holes and not rubbing on the material.

I'll update how well it worked after the season.
 

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Yeah, I bet that has brakes. :roll:
Yes it does. Its my 20' 14k lb car hauler with a drop in frame for the 18'er. Sucks to load though. Its tall and you need help. I can load it alone if I strip it down to just rubber. I'm going to mod my 16' hauler so I can winch it up loaded.
 

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That's commonly refereed to as massive trailer OVERKILL, but hey - we do with what we have right!

oh and the brakes comment was really related to another trailer thread where we were debating the strengths and weaknesses of brakes on raft trailers. Excessively dry humor to myself I guess.
 

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That's commonly refereed to as massive trailer OVERKILL, but hey - we do with what we have right!

oh and the brakes comment was really related to another trailer thread where we were debating the strengths and weaknesses of brakes on raft trailers. Excessively dry humor to myself I guess.
Dude.....I ain't riding with you unless you put brakes on your trailer!!!:rolleyes: :mrgreen:
 
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