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upgrading GVWR of utility trailer?

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by fixmy59bug, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. fixmy59bug

    fixmy59bug Registered Member

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    I recently bought one of those harbor freight 4x8 folding utility trailers for $150. It works for what I need it to for now. But when I have it loaded, I know it has to be near the 1450 limit on the VIN tag. My dad also got one of the traielrs for free, but He only needed it for the tires. So here's what I am planning on doing. Please tell me if it is safe to do and if you have any modifications, please advise me. Thanks.

    The single axle / spring that is on there would be moved back 1/2 of the length of the wheel (moved back about 6 - 8 inches or so) and welding in the complete axle/spring/shackle setup from dads trailer just in front of the current axle. Basically converting it to a dual axle. The reason I want to do this is because I want to fully enclose the trailer into a steel box trailer. My dad pointed out that the weakest point on the trailer is where the tongue meets the frame of the trailer. I agree, so what I am thinking about doing is making the box go all the way up to the tongue. Basically if you looked at the trailer from a top view it would look like an A frame house (or barn, you know the type of houses that kids draw). That will put some much needed support on the tongue as well as increasing the interior volume. Since there would now be 2 axles, that should increase the GVWR of the trailer. Anyone have any pro's or con's on doing this? Anything I should watch out for?

    And finally, Since I am converting it from single axle to dual, enclosing it and effectively making it a higher GVWR, do I need to let the DMV or CHP knoww hat I have done so there are no discrepancies on the paperwork? Thanks alot.
     
  2. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Not to be negative, but i doubt ANYONE on this board will support you on this. The frame isn't up to the task, even if you make it dual axle. And a dual axle trailer, with 2 wimpy HF axles, thats only 8ft long will be practically worthless. If you are willing to invest this much time, find a cheap or free truck, and make a longbed truck trailer. Even a 1/2 ton truck frame/axle setup woudl be WAY stronger and WAY safer than what you plan to do, and it would almost be less work.

    Keep a lookout on craigslist for a cheap/free rolling truck chasis, and start with that.
     
  3. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I'm gonna have to agree. The steel of those units is real light. To make a dual axle utility trailer you could reuse those axles and suspension, but everything else would need to be remade with stronger parts. Such as the entire frame, tongue, coupler, stronger chains, and don't forget, any trailer with a GVWR over 2K lbs. should have it's own braking system. Not sure about CA, but here in NY it's the law.
    Your cheapest route would be to get a nice single axle 3500lb. unit for approx. $800 from a trailer shop. It'll be way safer and cheaper in the long run.
     
  4. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    If you want a durable and easy to build trailer, take the back end of a 3/4 ton pickup and make a pickup box trailer... Throw a canopy on the bed and it'll be enclosed too.

    [​IMG]

    These things are so simple and look great pulled behind another matching body truck ;) Mine even doubled as a boat during the flood last fall.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2007
  5. BulldogK5

    BulldogK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    kennyw: I like the water fording capabilities of that trailer. Keeps things high and dry.:rolleyes:

    As for the trailer you will be time, headache and money ahead by selling the trailer you have and finding a good trailer built for the task. Check with the local Co-Op and see what they have. I picked up a 16' tandem rated at 7000# for $800 last year. They had some 5'x8' w/3500# axle for about $550 I think.
     
  6. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    We only had 2' of water in the back yard. :doah:
     

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