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Discussion Starter #1
After years of hauling everything (including hay and loads to the dump) in an aging 15-pass van, I'm now looking for a trailer to pull stuff including a 14-foot raft. There are at least a couple models out there (PJ and Karavan) that let you remove the side rails and tailgate/ramp so it could be used both as a flatbed rafting trailer and with rails up to haul junk, slash, etc. I think a 12-foot bed would suffice with a bit of overhand in the back. Anyone have experience with this setup? Karavan definitely has mixed reviews, any opinions? Is it possible to add a roller in the back or would that interfere with the tailgate?
 

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Renaissance Redneck
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I noticed some utility trailers at Lowes in Missoula the other day. Cost was about 700 -1200 depending on size. They have about 12-18 inch sides that a flat surface could be attached to pretty easily. I use a little 4x8 trailer just like it but instead of a flat top, I mounted 12' 2x12 pressure treated rails along each side so they hang over the ends and are the right distance apart for my tubes. Nothing under the floor of the boat which hasn't been a problem since coolers and stuff hang from the frame anyway. It allows me to take the boat off and easily access the bed of the trailer for hauling other stuff.
 
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Here's a company that's out of Missoula, seen 2 of their products on the rivers so far, they do nice work, will make anything custom you want, and the price is quite reasonable if you're looking for a dedicated rafting trailer

 

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I did the same concept as LSB described in his post.

Except I used a 5 by 10 utility trailer as a base and used plywood for my wings (braced the plywood).

After taking a look at the M and M Trailer web site, had I known about them, no question in my mind that I would be driving up to Missoula for a trailer. I have my existing trailer set up paid for and modified. I will stay with it.

But, with the modifications I made, the basic utility trailers have worked for me.
 

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I've seen those M&M trailers around, forgot they were in Missoula. They do a good job, and that's a screamin' good price.

I have a 2-axle 6.5' x 16' angle iron frame light car hauler trailer. It's a little light for hauling cars and a little heavy for hauling boats, but does both reasonably well. I put 2x12 bunks on top of the angle frames to carry rafts (floor unsupported) and remove the bunks to haul my dory on the flatbed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If I were a lot younger and taller and not solo I would consider putting a flat top on top of a smaller utility trailer, but getting an inflated raft up that high is out of the question. I'll look into M&M, see if they actually will deliver for free, not driving to Missoula with winter coming! Or just give up and get two trailers, one for junk and one for rafting.
 

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Fishlake,

I am 6 ft tall, other than that, have quite a few health and age issues to deal with loading rafts.

This setup on a utility trailer works for me, might make it easier for you to use.

My first attempt to modify my utility trailer with a set of wings on top of the side rails was ok, but a bit of a pain to load. I would have to manually lift the front of the raft to get the load angle right.

I did a remodel that included replacing the el cheapo small rollers (they will work) with the more expensive but extremely easier to use roller from White Water Worthy. I recommend this roller set up.

I also use a strap in the middle bottom (hooked to the oar towers) of my raft to angle the lift a bit. Some one posted this trick on Mt Buzz a while ago and for me it works well.

I put a winch mount a couple feet higher (on a piece of square tubing) than the front top of the remodeled trailer. This gives me a better load angle for the raft.

For a while I used a battery powered winch which made the loading pretty much easy peasy but for safe keeping I would remove the winch from the post when I left the trailer as selected take outs.

I ended up switching to a manual winch from Bass Pro that makes loading pretty easy (electric winch easier to use but mounting and dismounting was a pain) and so far the manual winch has not been attractive to potential winch removers.

I do agree with you on M and M. If my utility trailer setup was not already paid for, I would be headed to M and M as they in my opinion have a great raft trailer design.
 

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The way I did it the sides can adjust, or be taken completely off so I have a functioning utility trailer when not pulling a boat, I usually lift then to the height of dry box or ammo and then lower it to sit on them. This is a 16, and a 15 foot raft and all the gear for five folks for a week long trip.
60915
 

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My trailer was built by a local welder. He happens to work for a local trailer shop building their retail units and when I balked at the price of the ready built trailers, he made me a good deal if I would wait for him to build the trailer in his home shop. I asked him to make the trailer side rails tall enough for me to put the 5 gallon Jeep water / gas containers plus coolers etc under my cat boat wing units.

I really like the setup Critter 70 shows in the photo. Would definitely copy that if I ever build another boat trailer even if I purchased a M and M unit.
 

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Renaissance Redneck
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Nice looking setup Critter
Lets go run something next summer
I'll include you when the permit crew starts talking
One of our guys lives right near you
 
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