Another Trailer ?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by ZigZag, May 14, 2010.

  1. looking for a utility trailer. I have some home repairs to do so I'm looking through craigs list for a utility trailer and would like to find something that will pull double duty as a raft trailer when my home repairs are finished. The big question I have is what size trailer for a 13-14ft 3 man raft. So far it looks like something with 15inch wheels and some type of leaf spring shock, On a flatbed would be ideal. But what about size. Is a 5ft by 10ft flat bed big enough for a 14ft raft? Any suggestions or leads would be great.
     
  2. Whoa there feller? So many Q's. Let's take this one @ a time, Ok?
    As far as the utility part of the trailer is concerned, what exactly will you be hauling on it?
    How much weight do you "EXPECT" to haul on it @ any one time, etc?

    Anyway, it's fairly easy to upgrade a smaller trailer to haul a 14' raft or pontoon, with some used bed rail angle iron, and/or a section of square pipe to lengthen/strengthen your trailer floor/tongue. If your raft/pontoon has any real weight to it, (ie: 2,000-3,000 lbs.), then this where you'll want to spend some actual time doing your homework. (Because, in the long run this is what you want, right?) Fit the trailer to your needs, and yes, you should buy one with 15" tires, as it will sit behind your tow vehicle as if it were designed for it.
     
  3. I have a 10.5' skykomish sunrise.
    it is about 60" wide and I have it on a 4x8' flatbed trailer from harbor freight

    I was going to use the side rail mounts to build a small set of rails for the toon to sit on, but ended up with 1/2" plywood covered with some indoor/outdoor carpet (cheaper then astroturf and was quite a bit softer), it is made for pools and is UV protected.
    the toon rests on the fenders a bit, but they are covered in carpet and its not bad.

    I think a 5'x10' should be plenty big enough
     
  4. I have done a ton of research on trailers and have even considered marketing them specific to rafts and pontoon boats. But most folks don't want to spend another $1200 for a good quality boat trailer that can double as a utility trailer.

    A 5X10 should be plenty adequate for a raft trailer, unless the raft is particularly wide. A flatbed with stake pockets that you can add side rails will suffice nicely. Take them off when heading to the water...put them on when heading to the dump. I suggest getting the lights built into the frame unless you like replacing them all the time. Tilts are nice for loading and unloading larger boats but don't ride as nice because the axle needs to be centered. You can counter this by putting more weight up front. Get at least a 2,000 lb axle...if you plan on doing a lot of heavy hauling, a 3,500 lb would be better, and get larger wheels, (15 inch). Don't get one with a tongue too short as it makes it more "squirrelly" backing up and doesn't allow you to mount a spare tire up front which helps add tongue weight.

    I happen to like putting rails on the trailer so that the boat sits up off the main deck. This creates room underneath to put oars, camping gear, coolers, etc. underneath but this option pretty much requires a good roller with bearings to help load larger boats because it sits up higher. In this case, the tilt option is really nice.

    Lots of things to consider but then again lots of guys use the cheaper Harbor Freight trailers and they work...for a while. I just happen to want a better quality, more thought-out trailer for my boat.
     
  5. Hey BDD,
    Would you happen to have any photos of your trailer with the rails?
    I'm certainly intrigued about the extra storage capacity.
    I've driven just about anything/everything with wheels or tracks throughout the past forty years, up to & including Michigan Trains, (upwards of 160,000 lbs. of freight, generally steel coils), and even an occasional centipede trailer (generally 6, or more axles from front to rear, and as close as they can space them), but it's been a number of years since I've been behind the wheel of a big rig. I can fabricate almost everything I need, but would appreciate any tips/info you could throw my way.
    My solution for a short trailer tongue was to remove the hitch, extend it to whatever length I needed, add one more foot just for PM, then remount the hitch with new stainless steel bolts with a hardness of eight on the hargrove index, then burr the threads over with a ballpeen hammer. On some instances, I'd drill thru the nut & bolt, then pin it with a nail that I froze to shrink it's size, cut off the excess after it had expanded back to it's original size diameter.
     
  6. FWIW I Had a fishcraft raft trailer and It was a piece of crap. The problem with using a utility trailer isThe trailer is too long and it sits to low to the ground and it always bottoms out which in turn damages your lights.
    Also the bunks that the raft sat on were to high making it dificult to get the raft on the trailer by yourself. I would reccomend you bite the bulet and buy a trailer like this one with stake pockets on it.
    http://www.kiperts.com/detailcargo.asp?ID=19160


    they are made in troutdale http://www.trailerinfo.com/versamax.jsp
     
  7. Here is the first one we did. I already mentioned the changes I would do (longer tongue, build the lights into the frame etc.).
     
  8. Check out Fry's Welding in Auburn. The guy is a trailer artist and will be retiring. I am going to have him build a trailer that can take my drift boat, or one of my inflatables. So what if it costs more than a POS - I will have it until I die.
     

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