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Unread 03-20-2010, 07:07 PM   #1
armyRN
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Little Harbor Freight Trailer

I wanted a little trailer to pull behind by Jeep to take camping gear and such to the trailhead. It isn't intended to be an off-road trailer. I had one of the little red Harbor Freight trailers years ago, so I decided to get another one. I ordered this one on-line because I liked it better than the little red ones they sell. It comes with metal flooring instead of having to use plywood like the red ones.

edit: HF doesn't sell this particular model anymore, but you can find this same one elsewhere.

With shipping it came to about $275 (plus I got a $10 Harbor Freight gift card when I ordered it). It took a few hours to put together; everything lined up just fine. I did run a dedicated ground wire from the front of the trailer to the mounting brackets for the tail-lights though just as a precautionary measure. Add another $125 for lumber (1 x 4), hardware, stain and varnish - that took a few days (putting on stain then varnish, letting it dry before the next coat, etc.). Then I installed the wood (if I could have found pressure treated in 1 x 4 I would have used that and saved some time). Then add another $40 for a spare rim/tire (I used my $10 gift card for that or it would have been $50).

So about $450 for the trailer itself as you see it.

Then add $50 for the adjustable hitch and ball (can be used with my other vehicles), and $5 for the wiring harness for the Jeep. And whatever it will cost to get it registered and tagged.

I still need to get some brackets welded to the rear bumper for the safety chains and wire the Jeep up for the trailer. The trailer will stay parked in the garage when not in use.

The clearance under the trailer axle is 9"; it's 10" under my Jeep's Dana 44 (with 285 tires) at its lowest point.

Here are a few pictures:







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Unread 03-20-2010, 08:24 PM   #2
thecheese429
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Nice looking woodwork. I'da just welded on some bedframe metal and called it a day.
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Unread 03-20-2010, 10:48 PM   #3
ClimbStuff
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lol @ little baby shackles on the back
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Unread 03-21-2010, 10:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ClimbStuff View Post
lol @ little baby shackles on the back
Those brackets are Harbor Freight Tow-Bar brackets (I bought an additional pair) plus some 7/16th shackles that I put on just to match my Jeep rear bumper. Obviously I have a pair of these brackets mounted on the front of my Jeep. An inexpensive set up actually.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 01:31 PM   #5
1996BlackXJ
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I'm assuming the wheels are 5x4.5? You could mod the fenders and put some old tires that are the same size as your rig and then you'd have 3 spares!!!

Or just some 30/31s so the trailer isn't dwarfed by the tires.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 02:17 PM   #6
armyRN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996BlackXJ View Post
I'm assuming the wheels are 5x4.5? You could mod the fenders and put some old tires that are the same size as your rig and then you'd have 3 spares!!!

Or just some 30/31s so the trailer isn't dwarfed by the tires.
I wish it was a 5x4.5 rim! Unfortunately, the wheels are four on 4", and they do seem small compared to the Jeep's tires. The tires are 4.8 x 12". They make a 5.3 x 12" trailer tire so I could possibly go a little larger. Maybe when I get back from Iraq and am bored I'll see if I can get a hub assembly that's a 5x4.5 that'll fit the trailer's axle/spindle. It would look nice if I could get some 15x7" black spokes and 235/75 tires to match the Jeep's rims. I can always mount the fenders up higher if i get a taller tire. But this is a starting point. Seems like Northern Tool sells axles and hub assemblies in their catalog.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
Jerry Bransford
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Cool little trailer, I like it. I only suggest you get bigger wheels and tires sooner or later. I ended up accidentally taking my small pop-up trailer with tiny tires on it on a seriously tough trail late one night and bigger tires would have helped and made a big difference. My GPS suggested an alternative route to a big 4x4 event in the desert & it turned out to be a seriously bad-news goat trail I had to use 4Lo on a few times. There was minor damage to my bumper & the rear of the trailer so be wary.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 11:44 AM   #8
kevings
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great looking little trailer. job well done!
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Unread 03-22-2010, 02:04 PM   #9
jclaudii
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It's sad you have to actually pay money to have it registered and tagged and possibly pay personal property taxes on that thing a year....But Very nice trailer indead...

If you had a matching wood top piece to go on you could lock it up when you go to eat some steak!
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Unread 03-22-2010, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jclaudii View Post
It's sad you have to actually pay money to have it registered and tagged and possibly pay personal property taxes on that thing a year....But Very nice trailer indead...

If you had a matching wood top piece to go on you could lock it up when you go to eat some steak!

This would also keep the girl from getting out and possibly biting someone
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Unread 03-23-2010, 04:14 PM   #11
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Well done. I've been looking at this trailer for a while now. I'm going to order it today. I like the fact it has 12" wheels, way better than most 48" trailers with puny 8" ones. I'm planning to mount a truck tool box or rubbermaid tub to mine to have dry storage on the front half and leave it open in the back. Maybe add some wood rails like you did as well.

Can you do me a favor and please measure the distance from the ground to the bottom inside of the ball coupler when the trailer is level? I want to go pick up my drop hitch mount while I'm waiting for it to arrive.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 08:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leolufse View Post
Well done. I've been looking at this trailer for a while now. I'm going to order it today. I like the fact it has 12" wheels, way better than most 48" trailers with puny 8" ones. I'm planning to mount a truck tool box or rubbermaid tub to mine to have dry storage on the front half and leave it open in the back. Maybe add some wood rails like you did as well.

Can you do me a favor and please measure the distance from the ground to the bottom inside of the ball coupler when the trailer is level? I want to go pick up my drop hitch mount while I'm waiting for it to arrive.
I put the front of the trailer on a jack-stand and got it level front-rear and measured at the bottom edge of the ball coupler for you. It is 14.5 inches.

I bought a Reese Adjustable Utility Ball Mount (product # 70313) at the local parts store for about $39.00 and that's what is used in the pictures. With this ball mount at its lowest setting the rear of the trailer is slightly lower than the front, but when I get some larger tires it should level it out.

Good luck!
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Unread 03-24-2010, 10:34 AM   #13
leolufse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyRN View Post
I put the front of the trailer on a jack-stand and got it level front-rear and measured at the bottom edge of the ball coupler for you. It is 14.5 inches.

I bought a Reese Adjustable Utility Ball Mount (product # 70313) at the local parts store for about $39.00 and that's what is used in the pictures. With this ball mount at its lowest setting the rear of the trailer is slightly lower than the front, but when I get some larger tires it should level it out.

Good luck!
Thats awesome thanks.
Please let me know if you find hubs/axles that will work. I'm looking to get some matching ravine wheels on craigslist right now.
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Unread 03-24-2010, 06:11 PM   #14
armyRN
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I'm leaving for Iraq next week for six months. Finding some 5-lug hubs/axles will be a project for when I get back. Harbor freight sells trailers (like their folding ones) that might take a 5 lug wheel. If you could get the specs off both axles you would be able to tell if their 5 lug hub would work on the 4 lug little trailer axle.

My back bumper is a Genuine Steel bumper with a 2" receiver. Nothing special - looks nice though. I just wanted something to replace the factory rear and match the front and a little thicker steel. It is held on by eight bolts that go through eight holes that are tapped into the 3/16" (or 1/4"?) plate welded to the back of the bumper. And two torx bolt at the bottom of the frame - and that's it. Not the strongest set up, especially if you're going to use the hitch as a jerk point or using it for towing. So I figured I'd better reinforce it.

The first thing I did when I got the bumper and put in the eight bolts was to get the four bolts that are on the outer edge that I can actually get to (two on each side) was to get these four a little longer. Then I put a locking nut on the end and snugged it down so the bumper and Jeep crossmember were sandwiched between the bolt head and the nut. You can see it in the picture below.



Next after getting the trailer I figured I better get one of those frame/bumper braces. I googled, and decided Rokmen made the best looking one. All their stuff looks nice and finished, and beautiful welds. So I ordered and installed the braces. Easy project.



Then I went to my local welding shop and had them weld on two tabs on either side of the 2" receiver for the trailer safety chains, and to add a little bit of bracing as well (sorry not the best picture).



Now I feel like I can safely tow my trailer, and if I have to give someone a tug with a tow strap, I won't be pulling the rear bumper out of the thin rear crossmember, or just stripping the threads out of the bumper plates.

I hope this helps someone.

Last edited by armyRN; 03-24-2010 at 06:25 PM..
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Unread 04-19-2011, 11:43 PM   #15
dwar
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The trailer turned out awesome. Love the color on your Jeep too!!
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