HF Trailers???

General Discussion about almost anything Teardrop or camping related

HF Trailers???

Postby Vedette » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:25 pm

HF trailers?????
There has been much discussion over past years about using HF trailers as platforms for Teardrop Trailers.
I just read this on the "CycleKart Form I belong to.

"Of course he lives in Wisconsin where no title or license is required for a small trailer. Here in Pennsylvania the laws make a $20 HF trailer buyer spend another $250 on inspections by a state licensed mechanic and $125 on a title application. Process can take up to 6 months. The local HF store does not warn about this and has a small sign about its tires not being DOT rated for on-road use."

Apparently HF trailers were taken off of the market last year (as well they should have been??? :roll:) for inferior "Tires"!
Might be a good platform if you plan to use your Teardrop only in your own backyard or as a playhouse for your kids..........but we like to travel with ours! :thinking:
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Brian & Sandi
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby gudmund » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:01 am

in Burlington, Wash. they closed and torn down the Cadillac dealership and replaced it with a new Harbor Freight store with their Grand Opening this last month, and yes - they do have a couple of their trailers sitting there on display for sale. ??????? I know, why was I there? got me one of them $20 coupon specials, the folding "Aluminum" step stool, being you wouldn't sell me that nice BIG yellow plastic/composite one you got sitting in the game room next to the pool table.(this one is just a bit smaller than the one you got but it's working good for the truck washing job I got it for-I'm good 8) )
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:38 am

I've registered a HF trailer in PA, and no it does not take 6 months. You just have to know how to do it in your state, or know who to ask. In PA (and any state that titles a trailer) there are obviously titling and registration fees involved. And PA requires a "special inspection" because its considered a home-built trailer since its assembled at home. Some garages will want to charge $200 because they're greedy, and there are absolutely suckers born every minute who would blindly pay that fee because they haven't done their homework. There is a garage near me that only charges $50. From the time I submitted the paperwork to the time I had the plates was probably 2 weeks.

So, in PA....
Title fee, registration Fees, & notary fees... about $60-80 (no taxes due because they were paid at time of kit purchase)
Special Inspection... $50
Weigh Station fee.... $5

The trailers were pulled to due to tires that were not approved for DOT use, but I believe they've worked with the supplier to fix the issue. The economical HF trailers are not gone yet and will probably be showing back up in stores soon if they haven't already.

And for what its worth, Northern Tool uses the same supplier for their trailer kits.... Changzhou Nanxiashu.

Here's my experience that I've shared here and TearJerkers...

REGISTER AND TITLE YOUR TRAILER IN PENNSYLVANIA

I have obtained much of my information from PennDOT's Specially Constructed Vehicle Fact Sheet, as well as my own experiences. I've visited with multiple notaries and was given the exact same information at each.

1. Buy your trailer kit
KEEP YOUR RECEIPT! Put it with your trailer's Certificate of Origin. You will be need to
submit all receipts, instructions, and paperwork to a notary.

2. Assemble your kit
Be sure that all lights work, and safety chains are present. (You do not need to put a
plywood deck on to get it inspected. If you do put a plywood deck on your trailer, put
that receipt with your Certificate of Origin and trailer receipt. This will need to be submitted to PennDOT.)

3. Take pictures
Take 4 pictures of the assembled trailer. Be sure to show each side of the trailer,
making sure to show that all lights are in place. Also be sure that the safety
chains are clearly visible in a couple of the pictures.

4. Find an Enhanced Vehicle Safety Inspection Station
If this link expires for some reason, you can find the stations list from PennDOT's
Motor Vehicle Services website. While you're at PennDOT's Site, print out form MV-426B.
Fill in as much information on the form as you know. Call the inspection stations in your area
that are certified to inspect trailers less than 10,000GVWR (marked by an X in the "Type 5" column
of the enhanced inspection station list). Be sure to tell them that you have a single axle trailer
assembled from a kit. The first "enhanced station" I called wanted $250 for the inspection.
Seriously?? $250 inspection for a $250 trailer?? Eventually I found a place that would do it for
$50+tax. Do your homework and call every single place near you. Look in neighboring counties if you have to.

6. Find a certified weigh station
These are typically found at concrete plants, quarries, etc. Go get your trailer weighed. This shouldn't
cost more than $5. For your $5, they will give you a piece of paper that says your trailer weighs XXX lbs.

7. Get your inspection
Take your trailer to the enhanced inspection station. Also take your 4 pictures, your insurance card
for your tow vehicle, your MV-426B, and your certified weight slip. The inspector will complete the MV-426B,
and give everything back to you. My inspector even signed the backs of the 4 pictures, as if to certify
that they were indeed pictures of the trailer he was inspecting.

8. Go to a notary
TAKE EVERYTHING WITH YOU: Trailer assembly manual, receipts, Certificate of Origin, the 4 pictures,
and your weight slip. They may or may not ask for the assembly manual... better safe than sorry.
For registration and notary fees, you can expect to pay $60-$80 total. This type of registration CAN NOT
be done over the counter at PennDOT's headquarters in Harrisburg. You must do this through a notary.

8. Wait for your tags
Each notary I contacted told me that it takes 4-6 weeks to receive your plates. PennDOT told me the
exact same thing. I received my license plate in a little over a week. My results may not be typical.


NOTE: Some inspection stations may insist on filling out the MV-426B and
taking their own pictures. Verify their procedure before you go through the hassle.
Zach

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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby les45 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:06 am

Nothing wrong with HF or NT trailers as long as you use them according to how they were intended. They are not meant to be rugged offroad rigs, the tires do need to be replaced, and you don't want to overload them. My first build was on an NT 5X8 and I did upgrade the tires. I put a lot of miles on mine, much of it on the interstates, with no problems at all camping all over the Southeast. I have an old HF 4X8 folding utility trailer that has moved furniture, bricks, trash, and everything else under the sun for me for over 20 years and again no problems. New (Kenda) tires every few years, repack the bearings occasionally, and freshen up the paint every now and then (the red ones did tend to turn pink) and the old trailer is still going strong. Numerous other posts here on the Forum with similar experiences.
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby kinto » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:49 pm

I bought a 5x8 Northern Tool. After probably about 10,000 miles it still has the original tires that came with it. I was concerned about them when I first bought it but did some research of all the codes/serials on the sidewall & they are 'Hi-Speed' rated at 65mph max. In fact, the spare I bought from a local RV supplier is the *exact* same tire that came with the kit. Maybe I just got lucky though, not sure(?)
( !!! ALWAYS KEEP YOUR TIRES INFLATED TO CORRECT PSI OF COURSE !!! )

Regarding titles, license plates, rules, etc. My state (MO) is super laid back. Brought my certificate of origin & sales receipt to the DMV. It was $26 to walk out of there with my new plate & a 3 year sticker. 3 years later I got a renewal notice in the mail saying I now had the option to get a permanent sticker for $56, so I did that. Meaning, I NEVER have to get another sticker for my plate. EVER. (I couldn't believe it either...) To top that, it's never had any kind of inspection, because for any trailer less than 15 foot in this state you can, to quote a MO Troop C (highway patrol) officer, "Build whatever the hell you want on that thing!"

kent
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby Sparksalot » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:22 pm

kinto wrote:I bought a 5x8 Northern Tool. After probably about 10,000 miles it still has the original tires that came with it. I was concerned about them when I first bought it but did some research of all the codes/serials on the sidewall & they are 'Hi-Speed' rated at 65mph max. In fact, the spare I bought from a local RV supplier is the *exact* same tire that came with the kit. Maybe I just got lucky though, not sure(?)
( !!! ALWAYS KEEP YOUR TIRES INFLATED TO CORRECT PSI OF COURSE !!! )

Regarding titles, license plates, rules, etc. My state (MO) is super laid back. Brought my certificate of origin & sales receipt to the DMV. It was $26 to walk out of there with my new plate & a 3 year sticker. 3 years later I got a renewal notice in the mail saying I now had the option to get a permanent sticker for $56, so I did that. Meaning, I NEVER have to get another sticker for my plate. EVER. (I couldn't believe it either...) To top that, it's never had any kind of inspection, because for any trailer less than 15 foot in this state you can, to quote a MO Troop C (highway patrol) officer, "Build whatever the hell you want on that thing!"

kent


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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby shootr » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:19 pm

I believe the recall was just for a couple certain brand/sizes of tires. I got a letter as I had purchased new ones during the time frame - but mine weren't the ones recalled :beer: !
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby Vedette » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:58 pm

I bought a 5x8 Northern Tool. After probably about 10,000 miles it still has the original tires that came with it. I was concerned about them when I first bought it but did some research of all the codes/serials on the sidewall & they are 'Hi-Speed' rated at 65mph max. In fact, the spare I bought from a local RV supplier is the *exact* same tire that came with the kit. Maybe I just got lucky though, not sure(?)
( !!! ALWAYS KEEP YOUR TIRES INFLATED TO CORRECT PSI OF COURSE !!! )

Regarding titles, license plates, rules, etc. My state (MO) is super laid back. Brought my certificate of origin & sales receipt to the DMV. It was $26 to walk out of there with my new plate & a 3 year sticker. 3 years later I got a renewal notice in the mail saying I now had the option to get a permanent sticker for $56, so I did that. Meaning, I NEVER have to get another sticker for my plate. EVER. (I couldn't believe it either...) To top that, it's never had any kind of inspection, because for any trailer less than 15 foot in this state you can, to quote a MO Troop C (highway patrol) officer, "Build whatever the hell you want on that thing!"

kent

I Love it!
We too have very few restrictions, with no inspection required for trailers under 2500 lbs here in B.C.!
Unfortunately I could never have a trailer with tires only rate to "65 MPH max" as Miss Piggy has never left the driveway for a trip that did not see her cresting the 100 MPH mark........how do you guys pass a row of trucks???? :thinking:
Good Roads
Brian
PS
Miss Piggy loves to play on the open roads of America! :R
Last edited by Vedette on Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby kinto » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:53 pm

Ha! We don’t..

On one of our ~4000 mile roundtrips we actually counted the number of times we passed anybody.. It was 13

On the upside we never have to worry about cops! :lol:

[EDIT] (That said, if I ever build another one it will be better axle, full size tires, etc...)
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby GPW » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:41 am

Kinto , the only time we ever pass anybody , they’re broken down on the roadside … :lol: True !!! We actually dare to drive the Speed Limits … Haven't had a moving violation since 1967 … :thumbsup:
There’s no place like Foam !
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby Vedette » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:15 pm

Man, I have been stopped in every state!
Only ticketed once tough and it was my own fault, as I new they were going to be there, but got talking to Sandi and just forgot?? :oops:
Guess I hate following anyone (always like to lead) :thinking:
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby tomhawk » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:27 pm

It looks like Iowa hasn't figured out they can make money from titling trailers. Their website says a title for trailers under 2000 lb is not required. They don't inspect it beyond confirming the weight. They want to know the color as well. No receipts needed for materials used. Registration is $20 (I presume each year).

That said, I went to the local farmer's market last summer. A vendor there had an obviously home built trailer he had fashioned partly from an old truck. I asked him what he did about getting plates for it. He said he didn't have plates and had no plans to get them. I had a lawyer friend tell me once that in Iowa there are rules for some folks unless you are a farmer. Then there are other rules.

If I am misunderstanding the rules for regular folks in Iowa, I would appreciate any guidance.
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Re: HF Trailers???

Postby gregp136 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:21 pm

We built our Teardrop on the foldable 4 x 8 trailer from HF. And yes, in here in Wisconsin you do not have to register it, but suggest you do if you are going out of state. We did. Took 10 minutes. Since building it we took it, with original tires, twice to the east coast, once to Florida, once to Utah and then to California, and all around to the adjoining States. They lasted well beyond 10,000, but they were looking worn. Last year I changed the axle and put on tires from a Toyota, and with new fenders, it looks great.

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