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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
Maverickxeo
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Easiest and Cheapest way to 'beef up' a trailer?

I picked up a very basic trailer yesterday for free that I want to modify a bit.

Here are the pics from the guy I got it from:





It tows REALLY easily; I didnt feel it at all towing it home on the highway; but I want to strengthen it a bit. I figure I want to replace the tires/axle/springs with ones good for 3500lbs (I figure thats the most Id want to tow) but Im not sure what to do with the base of it. Any ideas on what to do to strengthen the base? I was thinking about having some more cross braces welded underneath, and using expanded metal to reinforce it. Is there a better way?

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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:09 PM   #2
Unlimitedlou
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Dang, that is a loaded question. It looks like the floor is sheet metal. To carry 3500lbs, you need a lot of braces (at least 1" angle). A lot more fab would be required also.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:15 PM   #3
Maverickxeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimitedlou View Post
Dang, that is a loaded question. It looks like the floor is sheet metal. To carry 3500lbs, you need a lot of braces (at least 1" angle). A lot more fab would be required also.
Im not sure if it is sheet metal; its not very strong though. I mean, I can jump on it and its not bending; but it does deflect a bit. It seems to have a few lengths of 1" square tubing running width-wise though. Im just wondering if pulling the floor off and going with some expanded metal; with more bracing, and then replacing the floor would work well.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
Unlimitedlou
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It depends on what you are starting with. What is the main frame made of. Is it bolted or welded? What kind of metal is it? How thick is it? There are a thousand of variables. Your main frame will decide on what you can add to it.
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Unread 04-16-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
Maverickxeo
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The frame is completely welded; the floor is bolted on though.

The bed itself is (as you said) sheet metal; and is about 1/16 thick.
The frame is 1/8 thick; and the 5 cross beams are the same thickness square tubing, but are 1 1/2 X 2. The trailer bed dimensions are 68 wide x 96 long.

I am NOT sure what type of metal the trailer is though; all I could get for information is size and thickness.
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Unread 04-17-2013, 07:58 AM   #6
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It looks like he went to home depot and bought some metal roofing/siding for the floor. Looking at the rest of it, looks like a 1k trailer. Building it o a 3.5k would be hard to justify the costs to me. Frame/springs/axle/tires/floor, pretty much rebuild the whole thing. And adding brakes etc.


It was a lightweight snowmobile trailer?
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Unread 04-18-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
Unlimitedlou
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That is what I am thinking
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Unread 04-18-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
Maverickxeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy View Post
It looks like he went to home depot and bought some metal roofing/siding for the floor. Looking at the rest of it, looks like a 1k trailer. Building it o a 3.5k would be hard to justify the costs to me. Frame/springs/axle/tires/floor, pretty much rebuild the whole thing. And adding brakes etc.


It was a lightweight snowmobile trailer?
The thing is, I can get new axles/tires/suspension for under $700. I got the trailer for free; and even something like an old, rusty, half ton box trailer goes for around $1000 here. From what I gather, the frame itself SHOULD BE good for 3.5K based on what other people have built (that Ive seen online). The last part Id need to look into is the floor itself. That is where I am stuck on what to do. I know Ill be replacing it; but not sure with what.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 12:06 AM   #9
Indy
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What are you actually going to use it for? Id have to see the actual framing to really even guess if it would be good for a small car to sit on it, hit the interstate, and not expect things to go badly. Personally if i had doubts, id rethink spending the 700. Figuring 700 for the fail +2000 on the win = a 700 loss coupled with a lot of frustration. More than once ive tried to make something what it couldnt be and now usually just bypass the failure.

Expecting to replace pretty much everything, the only $ savings vs building from scratch is whatever the steel in the frame would cost.

If the framing is stouter than it looks from here, decking can be pretty easy. A couple layers of 3/4" plywood will hold a whole lot of weight.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 12:16 AM   #10
Maverickxeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy View Post
What are you actually going to use it for? Id have to see the actual framing to really even guess if it would be good for a small car to sit on it, hit the interstate, and not expect things to go badly. Personally if i had doubts, id rethink spending the 700. Figuring 700 for the fail +2000 on the win = a 700 loss coupled with a lot of frustration. More than once ive tried to make something what it couldnt be and now usually just bypass the failure.

Expecting to replace pretty much everything, the only $ savings vs building from scratch is whatever the steel in the frame would cost.

If the framing is stouter than it looks from here, decking can be pretty easy. A couple layers of 3/4" plywood will hold a whole lot of weight.
The frame is quite stout; as I mentioned; from looking at what people have used elsewhere; its pretty much right in line with where it needs to be for a 3.5k trailer.

As for what I will use it for... well, Im not sure. Being that I own a TJ, I just want to be able to haul stuff if I need to. I doubt Id ever really 'need' a 3.5k trailer; but I just want the option (and I like to overbuild stuff too).
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Unread 04-22-2013, 05:50 PM   #11
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I can understand the 'because I want to' itch. My last trailer started as a hilo camper, after a bunch of steel/welding/decking/ I had a 16' trailer that you could park a couple semi's on. I never came close to putting enough weight on it to be a concern. It started with a pair of 3500 axles on it so it was a good starting platform.

I think I about broke even when I sold it, now I wish I had kept it.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:26 AM   #12
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Here is what I did. Spring over, wider axle and bigger tires (same size and bolt pattern as my TJ). My trailer was already up to task, so it didn't take much for me. I will do a pintle hitch in the future.

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