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I need to put together a raft trailer. I haven't seen anything off the shelf that I particularly like the look of (or the price of), but I figure it should be fairly easy to customize a utility trailer. What I'm trying to end up with is a little extra storage under the boat deck, but not wind up with something too high. I saw a rig like this on the way back from Westwater last fall and should have snapped a photo. Anyone got suggestions for how to put something together? What length utility trailer to buy? How to engineer the deck? How to mount a winch? Or just some photos of your sweet rig would be helpful :rolleyes: Thanks for any ideas. Cheers, Nick
 

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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=42709the guys that owned my raft before me bought one of these trailers, put a floor and 8" walls on it, and then put a deck on top of those walls. they put a door on the back. the raft sits on the deck. oars, blades, pfd's, boat bag, etc., go in the space between the deck and trailer frame. it's pretty handy. i thought i'd modify it to make the walls about 20" so that i could haul the cooler, drybox, etc., under the raft to keep the truck bed free. not gonna do that.

the trailer isn't super heavy duty, but that's not its intended purpose. it's light, is super easy to back up to the ramp, and serves its intended purpose well.
 

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I've been pretty happy with the design of my trailer so far, I think the only thing I would add to it is a set of rollers and a winch although I think I might never use them. My trailer is built from a Snomobile/utility trailer with a tilt deck. the deck was removed and a 8'x6'x17" box was built in it's place, the 10'x8' deck was then replaced with hinges on the right side and gas struts to assist in lifting it and holding it open. there's a box on the tongue that supports the boat in front and adds some tongue weight. the deck may seem short at 10' but there's enough kick in the raft and the floor is fully supported. The trailer will still tilt to help loading a boat from the rear if I ever install a winch/roller set up.
 

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Don't have any pics of mine......but I took a couple old side-mount truck boxes (1.5' wide, 6' long, 12" deep) and mounted them to the side rails of my 6'x12' utility. Works GREAT. The side boxes are nice for small stuff (paddles, small ammo's, etc....), the raft rides about 2.5'-3' above the trailer floor so I have plenty of room underneath for coolers/boxes, anything.

I bet you could fine some old side-mount truck boxes at a junk yard, throw some cheap carpet on top of em, and mount them to just about any trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tomrefried, Is that a 16' raft in the pic?

Anyone, for a 16' raft, what's the recommended deck size?


Some great ideas here. Thanks a lot y'all.
 

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I'm also in the process of putting together a trailer. I was going to take a utility trailer and have side rail sleeves welded on that rails could be pinned into but could be taken off when not in use (like in a couple of the pictures). At the moment funds are short so I'm going to use wood across the rails to tie down my raft.
 

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Im getting one like this. It will be around $1600 total. Im also planning on hauling the raft rigged up too.
 

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I have a 16' dual axle trailer with a wood floor. when I use it for rafting I have four wood boxes I attach to the trailer floor. two boxes are longer 7' two are shorter 4' all are 24" high and 24" wide. the lids on the boxes are wood. the boxes have no floor they use the trailer floor. all is 1/2 inch plywood with 2x4 inside framing. the boxes go on each corner of the trailer. the longer ones in the rear have rollers. coolers and dryboxes fit between the boxes and are accessable after the inflated raft(s) are loaded on top of the boxes. all lose gear easily goes into the boxes for transport. when the trip is over, the boxes unbolt from the trailer. if you want further detail let me know. Mike
 

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I bought a 4x8 utility trailer and put a dance floor on top of it. Just used two sheets of plywood and a bunch of 2x4's, then glued some astro turf on top and put some eye bolts in for tie downs. The astro turf is slick so loading boats isn't that bad. Eventually i'd like to enclose the bottom for storage. The trailer was $750 and maybe have another $100 in supplies. I really like the hinged platform idea though.
 

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Or just some photos of your sweet rig would be helpful :rolleyes: Thanks for any ideas. Cheers, Nick
I built my trailer from an older tandem boat trailer. I like the trailer because the tandem axles are set back which allows it to pull and back easily. I welded on a frame and decked it. Trying to keep everything low to the ground for easy loading. It also has rails to set an inflated cat or raft. The back of the rails have rollers. There is also a large area on the front in the "A" frame that has a metal grate. This area works great to throw all the loose stuff while loading/unloading. This picture isn't the greatest, but it gives some idea. I could try to get pictures soon, but all is muddy after this last weekend.
 

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I got an 8x10 tilt snowmobile trailer for free a couple months ago. My brother brought me some leftover 2x6x12's from his decking business- this last weekend I cut them to extend over the hitch to a point in the front; braced the front with leftover 2x6 underneath to distribute the weight so the tilt still works, applied astroturf from another buddy and some eye bolts to the deck.

The astroturf is really slick and I could sleep on it now if I wanted to. I'll take a picture in a couple days and attach it. The trailer is still wide enough to add a couple boxes to either side of my 14' Hyside if I wanted to. It's also still light enough to pick up and move with the boat. I also want to add a roller and maybe a winch, but that can wait.

All for about $40 from home depot and a little help from my friends...

I recently saw two other trailers exactly like mine on Craigslist for free or cheap.
 

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Here are some photos of my trailer I am still building, the frame with the rollers comes off the 12' ATV trailer so I have dual usage, it works wonderful and has saved alot of back aches, I have quite a bit of time into it but have been trying different things over the years and this is by far the best.[/ATTACH]
 

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Just about finished with the build on my new trailer. Just need to get the wiring sorted. Took most of the design from the cascade outfitters trailer, just wanted double axles.
 

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the guys that owned my raft before me bought one of these trailers, put a floor and 8" walls on it, and then put a deck on top of those walls. they put a door on the back. the raft sits on the deck. oars, blades, pfd's, boat bag, etc., go in the space between the deck and trailer frame. it's pretty handy. I thought i'd modify it to make the walls about 20" so that i could haul the cooler, drybox, etc., under the raft to keep the truck bed free. not gonna do that.

the trailer isn't super heavy duty, but that's not its intended purpose. it's light, is super easy to back up to the ramp, and serves its intended purpose well.
I have the same trailer, and it works great for rafting. I built 2 piece carpeted deck that sits on top of 2X4's (to get it over the wheel wells), and it all comes apart so I can fold it up and store it in the garage.

I haven't built it up any higher yet, but had every intention to when I bought it. When I get my final cooler and dry box (so I know exact dimensions) I will probably do that. Since I already have a deck, all I really need to do is build some side rails to box in the original trailer bed.

The thing I really like about these trailers is their flexibility. Since I live in the Denver area, I don't have acerage or anything where I can just store the trailer, so I like the fact it folds and can be stored in relatively little space in the garage. I can also use side rails or not, put my carpeted deck on for the raft or not, use it without rails to just haul other stuff (besides a raft) if I want, etc.
 

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Here's my cheap trailer. (I posted these photos in another trailer thread somewhere...)

Bought this old junker for $200, welded it where needed for $30, put some new decking on it and carpeted it, new light kit, new tongue...3 rollers on the back and loading is easy. I was going to put a winch on but two people can pull it up even when it's steep. Fully loaded for a big trip and I might need a winch, or an extra hand.

The deck is about 11.5' long, 7' wide for my 14' long, 7' wide boat, so the boat extends about 2' off the back and front of the deck. The trailer extends another 6' to the tongue.

No storage on it but I don't see why there couldn't be a storage area under it. I do like the boat low so I can see in my rear view mirror. I have the small tires so it's not as off-road worthy either, but if I go slow I can make it over most stuff fine. Trailer is light too, so I can back it in by hand to my back yard where I store it.

One thing when you put decking on is to use 'T-bolts' like in the photos - not much chance of them coming up and tearing your boat like with a regular screw...

Here are some photos.
 

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the guys that owned my raft before me bought one of these trailers, put a floor and 8" walls on it, and then put a deck on top of those walls.
Wow, how did I miss this thread back in the day? We have a pop up camper trailer, and I've been looking for a fold up shuttle trailer so we can take the camper and not sacrifice a shuttle trailer. That looks perfect, light, and cheap. Thanks for bringing it back BoilerMaker!
 
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