Northern Tool Trailer Wheel and Axle upgrade

Ask questions about Harbor Freight trailers, or questions about building your own...

Northern Tool Trailer Wheel and Axle upgrade

Postby aspenexcel » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:17 am

Hey there,

I'm new to teardrops and need some hand holding when it comes to wheels and axles. We just purchased a new home made teardrop built on a standard Northern Tool Ironton 5x8 trailer frame. We live in Colorado where the speed limit is 75 mph and would feel more comfortable with wheels that can handler higher speeds at the manufacturer recommended 45 mph. We also find ourselves on dirt roads that are wash-boarded out and have some rocks and holes (we stay away from the 4x4 rated roads). We've searched the site and I'm even more confused now on how we should proceed. I'm hoping those that have actually upgrade their NT trailer can tell me exactly what they did, where they bought it etc... The more info the better.

Option 1: Purchase 14" wheels with a zero offset and spacers. Downside is spacers aren't super cheap, some manufacturers say to not use on a trailer and seem more like a quick fix.

Option 2: Purchase a new axle and 14" wheels. This option would cost a little bit more but might be worth it in the long run???

Fenders: Where did you get them? I'd love something either diamond plated or that baby moon look in black.

Not sure on any of the details on what we'd actually get for either option. We're also not set on 14" wheels. It could be 13" or 15". I'm hoping your experience can help us newbies make this process a bit more painless.

Teardrop Inspector
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Northern Tool Trailer Wheel and Axle upgrade

Postby KennethW » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:57 pm

I used a harbor freight trailer. I have over 10,000 miles on those 45 mph tire most at highway speeds+ Some at 80+ no problems. Unless your teardrop is built like a tank, the tires are very lightly loaded. But a bigger radial tire would give a better ride and maybe a slightly better mpg. But not enough to be worth it. Why not run the tire until they are worn out then think about a change? But if you are going to run a lot of washboard roads bigger lower psi passenger radial tire (tire is lightly loaded)would be better.
Just my thoughts
1000 Club
1000 Club
Posts: 1038
Images: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: Northern Tool Trailer Wheel and Axle upgrade

Postby DrewsBrews » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:14 am

etrailer has a decent selection of parts.

Do the NT trailers come with 4.80 or 5.30 size tires for the 12" wheel? I think there is around 1/2" difference in overall diameter. Not too much diffrence, but there are also 12" radial tires available in larger aspect ratios as well. I've picked up a set of radial 12s for my build. They are pretty overrated, as each individual tire will be able to handle more weight than the whole trailer will end up. I bet they can handle plenty of abuse in that configuration, however the worst I expect the trailer to see is paved roads in rough condition.

The suspension plays an equal part. Look into upgrading to swing shackle (double eye) springs that are rated as close as possible to the max weight you expect the trailer to get loaded up. Often times the stock springs are designed for much more weight than a camper shell loaded with gear. This makes for a lot of pogoing. Also the slipper spring setup makes a lot of noise over bumps as the springs lift off, then slap the frame. It is very annoying to listen to on a rough road.. I can only imagine how bad it would be on washboard. You may be able to find a bolt-on setup, though often the mounts are welded on.
Teardrop Master
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:00 pm
Location: SW Ohio

Return to Trailer and Chassis Secrets

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Sparksalot and 1 guest