Small aluminum trailer recommendation - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum  

Go Back   Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum > General Tech > Tow Rigs and Trailers
Notices

Reply
 
Share LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-03-2020, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Member # 154867
Location: OK
Posts: 1,299
Small aluminum trailer recommendation

Everyone always told me I'd never want a smaller trailer, but here I am, needing something smaller. The reality is that most trips for me are now in my small class C motorhome, pulling my 22' PJ buggy hauler with only a RZR XP1000. So I've been looking very hard at lighter weight, smaller trailers. I want the ability to sideload my DRZ-400 and carry the RZR, which puts me at 14' as a comfortable minimum length. This would be 2500 lbs of cargo or so. I'm looking at aluminum. The question is how terrible is a single axle trailer? Most in the 14' length are single axles. I've been eyeing an Aluma 8214HS pretty hard on the web--it has a single 5k torsion axle, an extra-long tongue (very important for towing with the wide-ass RV), and of course brakes. Anyone around here have any experience with expensive single-axle trailers? Should a person expect them to buck around like a $750 Lowe's utility trailer, or does the longer tongue and torsion axle make them good to deal with?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2020-Aluma-...IAAOSwPGtcUxcv

Double axle, 14' aluminum trailers seem to be very difficult to find. I found this one that I'd probably pull the trigger on, but it's halfway across the country. It's a widebody, which I wouldn't particularly want for my uses. And don't really understand why there's a widebody trailer without driveover fenders, but that's a separate discussion.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2020-ALUMA-...8AAOSw1qVeLxUr

I'd be open to any recommendations here, but if I had my way, I'd have torsion suspension and an aluminum deck. Oh, and I don't want a 4" lip around the edge--flush sides would be best for side-loading the bike.
Obviously would also need to be a reputable builder.

So, what's the recommendation here? Heavy single axle? Light tandem?
OHV Wildcat is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-03-2020, 07:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
Get Off My Lawn
 
Action Fab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Member # 77386
Location: Little Rock, AR
Posts: 13,200
Blog Entries: 1
Do they make any that rivet together? I have welded so many aluminum horse trailers and trailers that guys in the car world have. Doesn't seem to matter which brand. The high end horse trailers are riveted and bolted with some kind of glue/epoxy on all the joints.
Action Fab is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 02-03-2020, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Member # 154867
Location: OK
Posts: 1,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Action Fab View Post
Do they make any that rivet together? I have welded so many aluminum horse trailers and trailers that guys in the car world have. Doesn't seem to matter which brand. The high end horse trailers are riveted and bolted with some kind of glue/epoxy on all the joints.
Damn, really? The only ones I've found that are bolt-together are weird looking as all hell. But they are made completely of aluminum extrusions, so they're extremely light. I know nothing about them otherwise.

https://www.trailex.com/products/pc/...8045-17p49.htm
OHV Wildcat is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2020, 09:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
YotaAtieToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Member # 25632
Location: Magalia, Jefferson State
Posts: 12,313
How much lighter is it than a cheapo 16' car hauler? I've used a few different versions and currently have one with the angle iron rails. They all feel very light compared to my fil's 20' 10k buggy hauler, I can even lift the tongue easily.

I don't see a huge advantage to an aluminum trailer in this application personally. What's the actual weight difference.

Also, fuck single axle.
YotaAtieToo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-03-2020, 09:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Member # 53528
Location: norcal
Posts: 15,369
fwiw

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-...ler-worth.html

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/tow-...lers-pics.html

Last edited by rockyota83; 02-03-2020 at 09:47 PM.
rockyota83 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-03-2020, 10:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Member # 79509
Location: Mayberry
Posts: 7,285
A 16ft tandem 3500 car hauler would be ~1500 lbs. How light do you need to be?
__________________
Im not happy, until youre not happy.
Black Sheep is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 03:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
Zeus of the Sluice
 
arse_sidewards's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Member # 256962
Location: People's Republic of Taxachusetts
Posts: 3,834
For just 2500lb of SxS or bikes a snowmobile trailer or one of the single axle landscape trailers the big box stores have out front will do what you're asking.
arse_sidewards is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 04:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Member # 154867
Location: OK
Posts: 1,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by YotaAtieToo View Post
How much lighter is it than a cheapo 16' car hauler? I've used a few different versions and currently have one with the angle iron rails. They all feel very light compared to my fil's 20' 10k buggy hauler, I can even lift the tongue easily.

I don't see a huge advantage to an aluminum trailer in this application personally. What's the actual weight difference.

Also, fuck single axle.
Since I was hoping to side load the bike and not have to muscle it around, Iím looking for one without rails. The proper car haulers with an open deck and no rails seem quite a bit heavieróaround 2k or so. Iím pulling with an rv, so lighter is better, of course. But my current trailer is about 3k, so anything will be lighter than it.

What specifically sucks about single axle? With a long tongue, do they still have more sway than tandem? I really have no experience with them, but it seems like most other peopleís experience is with a 10í jet ski trailer with a 2í tongue and tiny tires, or something like that. So I just donít know how applicable it is. Almost everyone says single axles suck, though, so Iím probably just doing my normal thing by questioning it.
OHV Wildcat is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 04:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
Zeus of the Sluice
 
arse_sidewards's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Member # 256962
Location: People's Republic of Taxachusetts
Posts: 3,834
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHV Wildcat View Post
What specifically sucks about single axle? With a long tongue, do they still have more sway than tandem? I really have no experience with them, but it seems like most other peopleís experience is with a 10í jet ski trailer with a 2í tongue and tiny tires, or something like that. So I just donít know how applicable it is. Almost everyone says single axles suck, though, so Iím probably just doing my normal thing by questioning it.
If my experience pulling boat trailers with one axle chained up (because blowout) is any indication then the long tongue will be fine. Having good weight distribution (height and location relative to trailer axle) is far more important than having and specific number of pounds on the tongue. Multiple axles will reduce sway simply because having to fight tire scrub to turn at all means the trailer wants to go straighter but with a well loaded trailer it's not a big enough effect to matter IMO.

Short little jet ski trailers and pop ups sway all over the place because when you tow them with a pickup the 3+ft of rear overhang combined with the short tongue means that and slight change in the truck's angle changes the angle between the truck and trailer much more than with a longer trailer or shorter rear overhang and that gets them swaying pretty good.
arse_sidewards is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 05:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Member # 154867
Location: OK
Posts: 1,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by arse_sidewards View Post
If my experience pulling boat trailers with one axle chained up (because blowout) is any indication then the long tongue will be fine. Having good weight distribution (height and location relative to trailer axle) is far more important than having and specific number of pounds on the tongue. Multiple axles will reduce sway simply because having to fight tire scrub to turn at all means the trailer wants to go straighter but with a well loaded trailer it's not a big enough effect to matter IMO.

Short little jet ski trailers and pop ups sway all over the place because when you tow them with a pickup the 3+ft of rear overhang combined with the short tongue means that and slight change in the truck's angle changes the angle between the truck and trailer much more than with a longer trailer or shorter rear overhang and that gets them swaying pretty good.
Thanks, that's very helpful.
OHV Wildcat is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 06:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Member # 86724
Posts: 29,999
I know someone with a featherlite that's had it for 15 years.

never had a problem.

pricey though.
__________________
Electricity is really just organized lightning.
87manche is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 07:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
Registered User
 
YotaAtieToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Member # 25632
Location: Magalia, Jefferson State
Posts: 12,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHV Wildcat View Post
Since I was hoping to side load the bike and not have to muscle it around, Iím looking for one without rails. The proper car haulers with an open deck and no rails seem quite a bit heavieróaround 2k or so. Iím pulling with an rv, so lighter is better, of course. But my current trailer is about 3k, so anything will be lighter than it.

What specifically sucks about single axle? With a long tongue, do they still have more sway than tandem? I really have no experience with them, but it seems like most other peopleís experience is with a 10í jet ski trailer with a 2í tongue and tiny tires, or something like that. So I just donít know how applicable it is. Almost everyone says single axles suck, though, so Iím probably just doing my normal thing by questioning it.
You can either build a deck on top of the rails for the quad, then store stuff underneath. Or chop the rail off and turn it into a ramp on one side. The 2nd one I've actually done, and it worked out great.

Like someone said, a 16' cheap caul hauler can't be much more than 1500 lbs. Is the cost really worth saving a few hundred lbs?

I don't like single axles because they Bob more on bumps, can handle or sway more, but mostly because 1 tire or bearing failure and your screwed.
YotaAtieToo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 07:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Member # 154867
Location: OK
Posts: 1,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by YotaAtieToo View Post
You can either build a deck on top of the rails for the quad, then store stuff underneath. Or chop the rail off and turn it into a ramp on one side. The 2nd one I've actually done, and it worked out great.

Like someone said, a 16' cheap caul hauler can't be much more than 1500 lbs. Is the cost really worth saving a few hundred lbs?

I don't like single axles because they Bob more on bumps, can handle or sway more, but mostly because 1 tire or bearing failure and your screwed.
As usual, I'm sure I'm overthinking this. But I don't want to cut an existing top rail--they're typically designed as a frame member.

I don't really know if the weight savings is worth it, because we're talking about a near doubling of cost to save ~400 lbs or so. There's also the advantage of not having wood to deal with, so that's something, but it's hard to justify the expense for that, too. And there's the torsion axles, which I've never had, but people love.

To be clear, though, I'm comparing car hauler to car hauler--steel looks like on paper that it weighs about 1600#, the aluminum claims 1275# for a tandem, and 1150# for a single 5k axle.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. And maybe I should do exactly what you suggest--buy the cheap one, cut it up to work, and see what happens. Tons of people do it that way, but I manage to get bitten by stuff that most get away with.
OHV Wildcat is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 09:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
Registered User
 
YotaAtieToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Member # 25632
Location: Magalia, Jefferson State
Posts: 12,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHV Wildcat View Post
As usual, I'm sure I'm overthinking this. But I don't want to cut an existing top rail--they're typically designed as a frame member.

I don't really know if the weight savings is worth it, because we're talking about a near doubling of cost to save ~400 lbs or so. There's also the advantage of not having wood to deal with, so that's something, but it's hard to justify the expense for that, too. And there's the torsion axles, which I've never had, but people love.

To be clear, though, I'm comparing car hauler to car hauler--steel looks like on paper that it weighs about 1600#, the aluminum claims 1275# for a tandem, and 1150# for a single 5k axle.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. And maybe I should do exactly what you suggest--buy the cheap one, cut it up to work, and see what happens. Tons of people do it that way, but I manage to get bitten by stuff that most get away with.
I get what you are saying about the top rail being structural, it usually is. But if all you ever carry is 2500 lbs, you are 1/3 of its capacity. Also, the way we did it was the ramp folded up, then in half and became the rail. I'm pretty confident it was just as strong as before.

Thinking about it now, I actually like the deck better. Would obviously (damn shootout announcer ) be very light if only for a quad. Plus it could be made into a handy storage area for your ramps, gas cans, tools, gear whatever.
YotaAtieToo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 09:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
Registered User
 
YotaAtieToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Member # 25632
Location: Magalia, Jefferson State
Posts: 12,313
Looks like 14x7 can be found in single or double axle

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tr...056163678.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tr...055776905.html

As far as torsion axles. My buddy who runs a local fab/trailer place says they suck. They ride a little better, but they have to be almost perfectly level, and need to be fixed way more often. I've also heard that they suck when they are loaded below their capacity since they buck the tongue way more. I know there are a lot of people who love them though. I've towed identical tilt trailers with both and couldn't really tell a difference personally.
YotaAtieToo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 10:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Member # 79509
Location: Mayberry
Posts: 7,285
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHV Wildcat View Post
As usual, I'm sure I'm overthinking this. But I don't want to cut an existing top rail--they're typically designed as a frame member.

I don't really know if the weight savings is worth it, because we're talking about a near doubling of cost to save ~400 lbs or so. There's also the advantage of not having wood to deal with, so that's something, but it's hard to justify the expense for that, too. And there's the torsion axles, which I've never had, but people love.

To be clear, though, I'm comparing car hauler to car hauler--steel looks like on paper that it weighs about 1600#, the aluminum claims 1275# for a tandem, and 1150# for a single 5k axle.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts. And maybe I should do exactly what you suggest--buy the cheap one, cut it up to work, and see what happens. Tons of people do it that way, but I manage to get bitten by stuff that most get away with.
If it has a wrap around tongue, it doesnt need a rail. You dont need c channel for what you're doing. My 18x83 angle iron trailer weighs right at 2k lbs with 205/90D15s 10plys on steelies. As you can see. I added a lot more support. Weight wise, I dont know it's back there behind my trucks.



__________________
Im not happy, until youre not happy.

Last edited by Black Sheep; 02-04-2020 at 10:34 AM.
Black Sheep is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 10:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Member # 154867
Location: OK
Posts: 1,299
Quote:
Originally Posted by YotaAtieToo View Post
Looks like 14x7 can be found in single or double axle

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tr...056163678.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tr...055776905.html

As far as torsion axles. My buddy who runs a local fab/trailer place says they suck. They ride a little better, but they have to be almost perfectly level, and need to be fixed way more often. I've also heard that they suck when they are loaded below their capacity since they buck the tongue way more. I know there are a lot of people who love them though. I've towed identical tilt trailers with both and couldn't really tell a difference personally.
Maybe I should have clarified something. The Suzuki DRZ that I'm sideloading isn't a quad, it's an enduro motorcycle. I agree that for a quad, the lightweight rack and under-storage would be a great idea. The bike makes that much less attractive--I want the lowest loading height I can get for it. So I'd either have to cut the rail and do the ramp, or buy a trailer that didn't have the rail. So, for a tandem steel, I'd probably be looking at something like this, and probably at $3500--https://www.diamondc.com/trailers/automobile/gtf/

Single axle steel would be something like this, and be around $3k--http://www.diamondc.com/trailers/sin...e-utility/uvt/

That builder lets you put a long tongue on it, which is a key point for me.

For aluminum, it would probably be two different Aluma models. Both of those would be around the $5k mark. So yeah, it takes some money to realize some weight savings and torsion axles--I don't know if it's worth it or not. I had heard everyone sing the praises of torsions, including my rancher brother, who abuses the heck out of stuff. My dad would like to see me in whatever can be financed for 72 months, though, so there's that.

It sounds like people are mostly saying to avoid the single heavier axle, which probably does make sense. I'd enjoy how much easier it would be to shove around with a quad, though, and would love to get away from the feeling of it trying to tear itself apart while backing into my drive, like tandems seem to try to do. Oh, and that Big Tex Utility you showed--it apparently weighs ~1700 lbs. So with my cargo, I'd be at 70% of rated load. This is what surprised me about my 22' trailer. It doesn't take much cargo to put some strain on a heavy trailer.

Edited to fix my broken link and to add "heavy trailer on light axles"

Last edited by OHV Wildcat; 02-04-2020 at 10:39 AM.
OHV Wildcat is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 10:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Member # 3007
Location: Cedar Rapids, Ia
Posts: 24,643
FWIW I loved my torsion axles on my 2 bike Kendon motorcycle trailer. I used it for my utility trailer as well. My previous utility trailer on leafs bounced all over the place.

I think you are overthinking it for what you are pulling it with and what you are pulling. You are talking about spending an lot of money to shave 500# or so.
Bones is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 01:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
Registered User
 
YotaAtieToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Member # 25632
Location: Magalia, Jefferson State
Posts: 12,313
Didn't even think about it being a bike.

Get a 12' with an extended tongue and make a little spot for right in front of the rails.

I always hated the rails on these type of trailers, until some homosexual man sold me a 16' 7k for a good price. Has a flip down ramp (which I always hated as well) and the typical angle iron rail. After having it a year, it's been so damn handy. It's big enough to fit a 4runner or similar. Fits my 4 seat sxs perfectly, and has moved all kinds of things, having the ramp and rails has been so damn handy. I can barely feel it behind my old F350 or the Wife's newer F150.
YotaAtieToo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 02:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Member # 53528
Location: norcal
Posts: 15,369
Quote:
Originally Posted by OHV Wildcat View Post
I don't want to cut an existing top rail--they're typically designed as a frame member.
you shouldnt, they are definitely part of the structural integrity of the trailer, ive seen what happens long term when you cut the rails, it turns into a flexy POS that eventually starts cracking at the welds and the one time you need to load it to capacity it will bend.

my single axle fold down rear ramp utility trailer is super handy for small stuff like UTV's dirt bikes 4wheelers etc when i dont want to use my 18' buggy hauler

the ramp is also super handy for loading shit thats too heavy to pick up when you dont have access to a crane/hoist/fork lift as you can just crab walk it up the ramp.
rockyota83 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 02:29 PM   #21 (permalink)
Registered User
 
YotaAtieToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Member # 25632
Location: Magalia, Jefferson State
Posts: 12,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyota83 View Post
you shouldnt, they are definitely part of the structural integrity of the trailer, ive seen what happens long term when you cut the rails, it turns into a flexy POS that eventually starts cracking at the welds and the one time you need to load it to capacity it will bend.


I'd normally agree, but a small spot up near the front where the tongue is doubling the frame anyway probably would be fine, especially if you have it pin up it will probably be basically the same if done correctly. Especially if only ever carrying a rzr and dirt bike.


my single axle fold down rear ramp utility trailer is super handy for small stuff like UTV's dirt bikes 4wheelers etc when i dont want to use my 18' buggy hauler

the ramp is also super handy for loading shit thats too heavy to pick up when you dont have access to a crane/hoist/fork lift as you can just crab walk it up the ramp.
Yep, all this, I've moved axles, a band saw, house hold stuff. Pretty handy.
YotaAtieToo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 02:48 PM   #22 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Member # 53528
Location: norcal
Posts: 15,369
if you cut the rail and design it to fold back up and latch back on tying the rail back together yea that would be ok imo, other than that i would advise not cutting top rails
rockyota83 is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 02:50 PM   #23 (permalink)
Registered User
 
YotaAtieToo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Member # 25632
Location: Magalia, Jefferson State
Posts: 12,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyota83 View Post
if you cut the rail and design it to fold back up and latch back on tying the rail back together yea that would be ok imo, other than that i would advise not cutting top rails
That's how the one we did years ago was. We only messed with 1 side, and it was all the way in the front where the channel for the tongue is.

Last edited by YotaAtieToo; 02-04-2020 at 02:54 PM.
YotaAtieToo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-04-2020, 02:58 PM   #24 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Member # 4387
Location: In your head
Posts: 12,185
I use a ALCOM LLC Cargo pro utility to haul my sxs, it has a ramp rear door. That trailer is super handy, it's very lite and easy to move around. I overloaded it a bunch and roached a hub on the stock 2200 axle , stuffed a 3500 under it. It was around $2300 new.
Norm is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-05-2020, 03:38 AM   #25 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Member # 619745
Location: saginaw MI
Posts: 501
We went from towing a 5500lb 22ft fiberglass boat on a tandem axle trailer to pulling a 2500lb aluminum boat on a single axle trailer, and the single axle is significantly worse to pull.

It shoves the truck around more, sways more and just generally tows like shit

Sent from my SM-J337V using Tapatalk
friskydingo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

** A VERIFICATION EMAIL IS SENT TO THIS ADDRESS TO COMPLETE REGISTRATION!! **

Email Address:
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.