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while we are talkin trailers... what about smaller ones?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jekbrown, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    peeps who post about trailers seem to always want one that can hold 5 bazillion pounds. Once I have a place to store a trailer... I want to get one that I can use too truck around my off-road tires or maybe a single ATV or Seadoo. Comparitively, a little tiny trailer. I dont have a lot of $... but i should have my welder runnin purdy soon... anyone here build their own trailer? pics? maybe just snag some axles out of an old dead trailer, rebuild 'em and use em under a trailer they made themselves? My offroad tires weigh about 500 pounds... and i cant forsee ever needing this trailer to hold more than 1000 pounds. Any issues/ideas/problems specific to smaller trailers?

    j
     
  2. fauxshox

    fauxshox Registered Member

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    I've built quite a few trailers over the years a 5x8 makes a good size for what you want and is pretty easy to build. If you have any specific questions please ask.
    Richard /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    My buddy and I are building a truck box trailer. We got a half decent long box off of a C30 parts truck. I plan on box tube or maybe channel iron for the frame.

    Rene
     
  4. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    Look for a Dodge Caravan rear axle for a small utility trailer. I have autocad plans for a 6x10 I built a couple years ago using a caravan axle. It worked out very well and cost only about $250 to build including the axle and 3 tires (deck wood I picked up for free). I used rect tubing for the frame and angle iron for the deck structure.
     
  5. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    You can buy a 6x5.5 trailer axle (same wheel pattern as a 6 lug chevy.
    I bought a 5x8 mesh bottom utility trailer for $450 new with spare tire and a 3500lb axle. I converted into a enclosed cargo trailer. I built 24 inch tall walls to set on the main trailer and then used a old camper shell a buddy had as a roof. I then just about flipped it at 70mph and bent the frame about 8 months after I built it. So I built a 5x10 frame out of 2x3 box. I notched the old angle iron frame and dropped the complete original 5x8 onto the new 5x10 frame. The reason I almost flipped it was lack of tounge weight. So the 2 extra feet is on the front and has a tray with a big contico box, room for 3 Jerry cans up there. That fixed the tounge weight issue and it now pulls great. Hardly notice it going down the road. It has about 2000lb cargo capacity. Still can drive my lawn tractor in it and haul it over to my mothers when she needs some help.
    I use this as a little camper as well. The campershell has screen windows. I have made a rack on the top that a 11'x11' canope hooks on one side. I made a frame out of some 2x4 that takes about 5 minutes to install and I grab the twin matress off my kids trundle bed so I can get a decent night sleep. 5.5ft inside so I can almost stand up..Depdog can /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    I'll try to post a picture of it tonight when I get home.
     
  6. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Jason, there's a place off I-84 over here near Gresham that builds and sells them - called Eagle Iron Trailers I think. Let me know if you can't find the number with that name. We bought one 12 years ago, very strong little unit (5x10) and have hauled tons of firewood. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  7. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Here is my redneck camper/cargo trailer. Sun was going down and it was raining so I shot the picture from the front porch. I'll try to get some better shots once the weather is better if you would like.
    Is it bad when you have a 8 inch drop draw bar and a 3 inch suspension lift and the trailer still doesn't sit level? :rofl:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    yeah, i think 5x8 or so would be good. Even if I someday got 44" tires, I could still lay them down in 2 stacks of 2 on a 5x8.... my 39.5s would fit np. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif 5x8 would definitely be easy to store away when I didnt need it too...

    Making the deck for it sounds pretty simple, prolly just weld some rectangular tube together for that, put some crossmembers in there, maybe some angle iron to hold the wood base, and lots of eyelets welded to the frame for tiedowns and all would be good. I don't know jack about trailers though... in general, how do small trailers connect the axle to the bed? I mean does it use leaf springs or is there really no suspension at all? like i said, i dont know jack about em. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif my 85 has the towing package... and I have one of those boxes on the underside of my dash that lights up every time i break as well as the big socket electrical connector thingy (I'm sure thats the technical term) thing by my hitch... are the brakes on trailers activated electrically or are they somehow tied into the tow-rigs brake system? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    damn, Im just a bundle of confusion. lol! pics would help a lot i think...

    j
     
  9. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    sweet pics! ya think when it gets sunny outside you could take a couple of more pics? maybe some that show, a) how the trailer connects to your rig and b) the underside of the trailer so I can see the axles and all that poop. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif i'd appreciate it! /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    j
     
  10. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Yeah I'll get some pictures once it quits raining.
    Here is the deal I found. I was going to build my own trailer from scratch. A 3500lb axle is about $250. Springs about $60. Tires with rims to fit the axle are about $80 each. 3x3 angle iron is $18 for 20ft and I bet there was 6 sticks in it. All that is retail.

    Welll It honestly was cheaper to buy the trailer ready made. My mistake was I bought a tilt trailer. The CG is not right on those sizes. That axle was 3 inches forward of the centerline of the box to make the tilt work. If I had just bought a regular trailer no tilt 5x8 I would have been far better off. So I ended up rebuilding the frame at a cost of $120 and 2 weekends and several evenings of my time.

    It's honestly not worth building your own frame unless you just want too. I bought the original new base trailer for $470 with spare tire. I have a total of about $850 tied up into that. Now I couldn't touch a 5x8 enclosed cargo for under $1400 and that's with a 2k torsen axle. My trailer has a 3500lb straight axle with regular leaf springs. The torsen axles have a rubber mounted swing arms. I don't like them. All those smaller cargo trailers you see with the off camber wheels from being overloaded have the same axle. Just not worth a darn.
     
  11. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    i hear ya, I think if I did my homework I might be able to get it done cheaper than buying one tho. I could get used steel from a yard for the frame and I have my factory front springs from my 85. Instead of wood in the bed I could use some of that beefy steel mesh stuff... who knows, yards with used steel might have some of that layin around too. There have to be other ways to cut corners on cost. If it took me a year or more to piece the thing together that'd be fine... just so long as it was cheap. Another reason I'd like to build atleast part of it myself is I just got my welder and once i learn how to use it I need to practice. Before a safety geek jumps in, NO i'm not gonna do my first ever weld on some vital weight-bearing part of my trailer... I just want to work on things so I get better at it. hopefully make that transition from booger welds to nice professional lookin ones. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    you brought up a good point about the center of gravity though. You're supposed to have the trailer relatively balanced... with a little weight leaning on the hitch-end right? is that to help maintain the hitch-connection or is it done for some other reason?

    I think one thing that will help me keep costs down is that I dont need/want any kind of enclosure on my trailer. No top, or sides or anything. Even the floor on it could be some kind of beefy mesh stuff. I just need a good amount of tiedowns so I can secure stuff and all is good. it can pretty much be a flat-bed otherwise.

    j
     
  12. BigOrange90Jimmy

    BigOrange90Jimmy 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Me and my dad built all of our trailers. Our big one is overkill though. I hope I'll be able to tow it with the K5 with the Toyota on it. I should be able to.

    Anyways, we have two smaller trailers that we use frequently. We can put quite a bit of weight on either of them. We've probably overloaded them several times. In the little one that we use the most, I imagine we spent, at the most, $500. We use used car tires on it and haven't had a problem from it yet.
     
  13. driney

    driney 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    You're supposed to have the trailer relatively balanced... with a little weight leaning on the hitch-end right? is that to help maintain the hitch-connection or is it done for some other reason?


    [/ QUOTE ]
    I think 10% of the trailer weight is supposed to be on the tongue. 1500lb trailer= 150lb tongue weight. The weight on the hitch is to add stability to the tow vehicle. If you ever pull a trailer that is light on the tongue, you'll understand
     
  14. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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  15. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I want an old military trailer or something like this.

    http://www.4x4trailers.com/Expedition%20Trailer.htm

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I've wanted to build a trailer like that for a couple of years. I have no need for such a trailer, I just want to build one. I think it would be a really cool project. If someone wants to foot the bill, I'll get started.

    Be careful about what leaf springs you use. Trailer springs are short for a reason, stability. If you use long springs you definitely need to put dampers on it.
    Look up the trailer building books on Northern Tool's page. They are a great source of info.
     
  16. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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  17. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Hadn't worked it out that far. Mostly did the design concepts and looked at how to make one as inexpensively as possible. I was thinking of one more like the size of those pulled by MB's than one the size of the ebay link. Could change the scale, but then some things don't work out as well.
     
  18. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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  19. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    That's interesting, the only one of those I've ever been around had a tailgate.
     

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