Follow by Email

StatCounter

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Obsolete trailer



Last fall I hurriedly converted an old utility trailer into a boat trailer for my 12 foot Ooze Goose. The box was stripped off the frame and some rails were added for the boat to sit on. The wheel bearings were replaced and a hasty fix done on the lights. The trailer hadn't been on the road since 2006. One more year unregistered and it would have disappeared from the state registration system, which would have been a pain.

It survived thousands of miles of hard travel. Once, due to a missing pin in the trailer hitch, it exited the highway at 65 mph all by itself. While in Florida a car clipped it, scuffing the paint but doing $2800 damage to the car. It also survived a flat tire in Louisiana.

On the way back one of the springs broke in Massachusetts. Fortunately, I was able to drive it home.

During the first attempt to fix it we discovered no replacement springs were available in my area. It spent the summer at my friend's house, waiting for new springs. After an extensive on-line search suitable springs were found from Northern Tool for a reasonable price. I had the springs, but life got busy for everyone in the summer.

So finally our schedules meshed and another attempt was made on the repair job. While it was apart my buddy did some welding to reinforce a few weak spots on the frame. We were not able to buy all the spring mounting hardware off the shelf as the design is obsolete. For $13 I was able to get some parts fabricated at a local shop and my buddy was able to build the rest.

In the end the whole repair job ran about $80 in parts. Some people wonder why I'd bother fixing an old trailer rather than buy a new one. Have you priced new trailers lately? The old trailer isn't fancy, but it does what I need it to do.


By the way, I originally bought the trailer used for $50. It spent many years hauling firewood before being converted to haul my boat.

-Sixbears

9 comments:

  1. It's hard to argue with success, they say.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not a bad deal at all. I see those "cheapie" trailers "on sale" for $299 all the time.
    With the price of steel last I checked, you couldn't build one hardly any cheaper unless you had an axle already.
    On top of that, from what I see, you could cut down a sheet of plywood and with a couple of screws, use that one to haul something else in a pinch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be very easy to modify this trailer to fit any number of hauling needs.

      Delete
  3. Maybe it is an optical illusion, but those wheels look too small to carry any weight at highway speeds. But I must be wrong, you hauled that big boat to Florida, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was the 12 foot boat, just a bit over 300 pounds. New bearings were put in before the trip and kept well greased.

      Delete
  4. Phil: where do you see trailers for $299? I was dreaming about a teardrop camper and the lowest I found was Northern Tool at $529 (for 5x8, but they claim it is only rated for 45MPH) Then I saw TSC had one on sale for $599 (5x10, but bigger wheels).

    Dizzy-Dick: there is a small wheel that I commonly see on snowmobile trailers. While it seemed too small, I frequently see them running down highways with two sleds on them. (Michigan)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Justjohn, I couldn't find $299 trailers either.

      Good eye about the wheels. The trailer started life as a snowmobile hauler. It's been hauled over 10,000 highway miles with only one flat tire and it never burned a wheel bearing. Can't complain. Those little tires are cheap too!

      Delete
  5. Does your trailer require a yearly issued license tag ? I bought one of those Harbor Freight kits years ago, but discovered too late that the yearly tag price ($70 back then) meant you purchased a trailer every 3 - 4 years - ridiculous ! We were going to use it to haul my wife's motorcycle in case it ever died in the hinterlands, (it never has) so the project was shelved. Still have it - now goes for $350 I believe. Back then with coupon, cost was just over $200 plus tax.

    ReplyDelete