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  • Trailers

    I really need a trailer. The largest cargo space any of my vehicles has is either the back of an 88" pickup or my VW golf (usually the golf holds more). Initially I thought I'd buy a military trailer but they're heavy for the amount of weight they carry and too small to haul 4'x8' plywood/sheetrock. I'm thinking I'd be better off with a small 5x6 or 5x8 single axle utility trailer capable of hauling about a ton.

    I mostly need it to haul large tools, engines/transmissions, firewood, wood-chips, mulch, and building/home improvement supplies like 4x4's and sheet stock. I'd like to be able to pull it with both my Defender 90 and one of my series trucks as well (just in case the unimaginable happens and one or more trucks are in need of repair at the same time).

    I have a feeling I'm going to end up building or heavily modifying something to suit my needs. Is anyone using something they recommend? I did a search and re-read the Rover doing Rover things thread, which was enjoyable but I didn't see anything that seemed to be right for me.

    What wisdom can those with more experience impart on me?

    Something like this with a little more weight capacity might work:

    or something smaller like this that I could leave the tailgate off for 4x8 stuff Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    I own a 6 1/2’ x 10’ aluminum Forest River trailer. It has a wooden deck. It’s great for a variety of things. Not too heavy. One guy can turn it around and hook it up alone. I have several other trailers but this is probably the closest in size to what you are describing. I welded a tongue toolbox on. No maintenance with aluminum and lighter to tow.
    Small trailers can get pretty whippey backing up. All small, lightweight trailers bounce and the tires wear irregularly. My two cents!


    • #3
      Check out craigslist and trailer dealers in your area. For utility purposes, something equivalent to a U-Haul trailer should be sufficient. Go by a dealership and see how they're built.
      There are a lot of light duty bargain types. Some won't be adequate for what you want to do. Firewood is quite heavy. Don't expect to stack it very high. Check leafs as you load. When they flatten, you're done.
      Back up using low range. The slower you go the easier it is.
      Always load it heavy enough in front to maintain enough tongue weight.
      I doubt you'll need to build your own.


      • #4
        I have a 5x8 utility trailer I use for gravel and mulch, usually pulled by my Chevy Avalanche. I pull it with my Landy occasionally, usually for building supplies or dump run. The issue is that the trailer handles a lot more weight than what the Landy should pull. You really need to pay attention to not getting carried away. I've hauled over 3,500 lbs in this trailer with the Chevy. I wouldn't want to do that with a 2.25 motor and non powered drum brakes.Click image for larger version

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        1965 Series IIa


        • #5
          I have a home-made 5x8 tilt trailer and it is a perfect size for most uses. The tonque is long enough that backing up is easy.
          The Tractor Supply trailers have one flaw that I'm aware of, they rust very quickly. In 3 years time they look like hell due to a paint thickness that is only a few molecules deep. they start to rust while still in the TS parking lot.
          Your local FB Marketplace or Craigslist might display a older used trailer that can be found for $400 or so. Usually you will need to replace the bearings, tires and wiring but in general they are more solid than newer designs. Try to find a trailer with 12" wheels, as the 8" ones don't hold as much load and wear out the tires faster. Tom


          • #6
            I would buy a 5x9. If you are buying new you should be able to spec out the axle to the weight you are looking for.

            I have a 4x8 utility trailer and it is great until you need 4x8 sheets of ply or drywall. The wood sides make the bed size 3' 10 1/2" x 7' 10 1/2". So a full sheet will not lay down flat.

            I replaced my axle a few years ago, cost about $250 for a 2,500 axle. I live about 45 miles from Elkhart IN, the trailer capital of the world. Your pricing mav very.
            Phone or Drive, Not Both. Stop driving distracted.


            • #7
              I have a 5x8 foot one ton utility trailer (see Rovers doing Rover Things). I use it a lot. Something I'd change is I'd like to lift it about half a foot. It always drags when I drive it around my yard. I should also cover the expanded metal "mesh" flooring with plywood or lumber. I'm on my second set of lights and wires (LED's this time) because some people (me) can't stop hitting the lights on things or stepping on them and breaking them. Weld up some light protectors.
              '73 S3 88"
              '87 110 garden shed


              • #8
                "I live about 45 miles from Elkhart IN, the trailer capital of the world." 64Osby-I'm in Elkhart for work every year or two to meet with RV and trailer mfrs. I'll look you up and buy you a beer. -Josh


                • #9
                  One great advantage of most trailers is the load deck height but the low ground clearance can be an issue. Actually, primarily the departure angle. Also, for safer handling, a lower deck is better. A 6" raise sounds good.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hackneyed1 View Post
                    "I live about 45 miles from Elkhart IN, the trailer capital of the world." 64Osby-I'm in Elkhart for work every year or two to meet with RV and trailer mfrs. I'll look you up and buy you a beer. -Josh
                    Sounds great, lots of nice breweries close by.
                    Phone or Drive, Not Both. Stop driving distracted.