JrXtJ, I think the upgrade kits for the HF trailers are a bit of overkill. As you said, when you add the cost of the trailer, the cost of the upgrade kit, you're pretty much at the cost of a fully welded, higher capacity trailer.
Nice trailer, DogHouse. It's a good size but I wanted something I could carry 4x8 sheets of plywood with at at 6 ft that'd be having a bit too much for my comfort hanging off the end. Still, looks like it fits everything you want to carry!
My understanding is that there's a combination of factors that relate to trailer speed ratings:
The larger the tire the more heat it can absorb (to a certain extend) which helps keep the tire cooler while it rolls. Also, the larger the tire/wheel, the greater the circumference and the slower it actually turns to cover the same road distance in a given time period.
Regarding the HF trailers, the 8" wheels/tires are rated for a 45 mph max speed and the 12" wheels/tires are rated for a 55 mph max speed.
Can you exede these ratings? Probably but there are safety factors which relate to those ratings. Any speed beyond that is probably going to be pushing your luck on safe operation of the trailer.
Another issue is the quality and design of the hub itself. The hub is the mechanical device that actuall has metal-on-metal moving parts. . . the wheel simply bolts to one side of the hub.
Again, with smaller wheels the hub is having to rotate faster for a given road speed compared to larger wheel.
However, it's not simply a matter of bolting on larger wheels to a hub as the hub needs to be design to take the increase weight and leverage of the wheel/tire.
Likewise, hubs (like chassis, tires, and wheels) are designed to take certain loads for their rated capacities and while there are saftey factors invovled it's not a good idea to exede these rated limits.
The hubs and wheels are carried by the axle and so the axle needs to be designed to carry the necessary loads. With the HF folding trailers the max rated load cap is 1450 lb. And looking at the axle I believe it. It's basically a VERY heavy guage bent, open u-chanel. Despite the heavy gauge of steel, the open u-chanel design is much weaker than if a roude, larger diameter tube or square tube would have been used.
I'm sure its fine for the HF trailer weight rating but not much beyond that.
And of course, all of these things bolt to the trailer's chassis. Based on my observations of the kit it the HF trailer steels seems fine for it's intended load rating. But it's a reasonabl light guage of steel and I wouldn't put too much weight in the trailer.
If you really want to have a higher capacity trailer, DON"T get the HF folding trailer. it's a light duty utility trailer and that's it. You can haul a some junk, modest loads of lumber, crap to haul to the dump, yard waste, some motor bikes (if they can fit) ATVs and stuff like that. But it's not meant for heavy duty stuff.
If you want a HD trailer, HF sells a stronger, non-folding trailer for around $400 (basically same as the folding trailer but it does not fold).
Or, you can shell out around $700 and get a pre-assembled, fully welded, 2000 lb. GVRW trailer from lowes. They'll have a 1650 lb. payload, built-in loading ramp with good latches and are pre-wired and ready to haul with 12-13" wheels.
The only reason I'm going to the efford to weld my chassis is for the peace of mind it'll give me. I just didn't want to rely on a fully bolt-together chassis. I'm also going to be fabricating my own hinges since I don't like the HF single-shear design. But apart from that not much else will be altered and I fully figure on only carrying the recommended load capacity and sticking to the speed ratings. My primary reasons for going with the HF design are:
- It was cheap ($240)
- It had sufficient cargo capacity (note, not abundant, "sufficient")
- It folds up for reasonably compact storage
- And it was cheap, did I mention that?