Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

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Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby Danielf » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:49 pm

Hello all, new to the forum and already introduced myself in the newbie section...

I've been lurking on here and notice a lot of build are based off the Ironton 5x8 trailer frame by NT. I too am interested in this as my base as well but have one question I'm confused about. They list two trailers. One in steel and the other in alumn. When I read the features it states for the alumn that it "comes with everything you need to assemble and hit the road". However in the STEEL version the verbage is different. It reads " come with everything you need to assemble and hit the road UP TO 45mph". What's with the "UP TO 45mph" extra verbage on the steel one? Cause I need to be able to build and pull on the freeway to out various camping locations around Az, Nv, Ut etc... is that a mistake or a reason for that?

Thanks
Daniel
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:14 am

Danielf wrote:However in the STEEL version the verbage is different. It reads " come with everything you need to assemble and hit the road UP TO 45mph". What's with the "UP TO 45mph" extra verbage on the steel one?


Welcome! That is strange that the aluminum one DOESN'T have the same wording. Its just a 'cover-yer-ass' statement the lawyers made them put on there. Learn to properly load/balance the trailer (positive tongue weight), and drive with some sense and there will be no problems.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby fotooutdoors » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:21 am

45 mph is all the tires are rated for. I didn't double-check, but I believe it is the same for both. Many here pull their trailers at higher speeds than the tires are rated without any adverse consequences. If and when I build a ttt, I will use wheels (tires, but it is largely dictated by wheel size since a smaller wheel requires higher RPM than a large one at the same speed) that have higher speed rating.
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby Woodbutcher » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:25 am

My NT trailer has over 20K on it with no issues. The same warning is on HF trailer tires. If you are concerned upgrade to a better tire and you should get some piece of mind from that.
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby QueticoBill » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:50 am

There are a lot of posts here about that trailer. Do check dates as the trailer has changed over the years, but still referred to as Ironton or Northern Tools 5 x 8.
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby working on it » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:25 pm

Danielf wrote:Hello all, new to the forum and already introduced myself in the newbie section...

I've been lurking on here and notice a lot of build are based off the Ironton 5x8 trailer frame by NT. I too am interested in this as my base as well but have one question I'm confused about. They list two trailers. One in steel and the other in alumn. When I read the features it states for the alumn that it "comes with everything you need to assemble and hit the road". However in the STEEL version the verbage is different. It reads " come with everything you need to assemble and hit the road UP TO 45mph". What's with the "UP TO 45mph" extra verbage on the steel one? Cause I need to be able to build and pull on the freeway to out various camping locations around Az, Nv, Ut etc... is that a mistake or a reason for that?Thanks
Daniel
Danielf wrote:My name is Daniel and my wife and 4yr old some live in Az. For those that follow instagram we are arizona_overland and travel all over our state exploring and camping whenever we can. When our son was born we were hit with the news of his handicap. So long story short the three of us being comfy in a roof top tent, custom sleeping quarter built n the back of our 4Runner or ground tent wasn't gonna work. So for the last 4 years we've been leaving our son behind as we travel. No longer will I allow this. So I'm building my son his own trailer that will be his own private room with creature comforts while mommy and daddy live the overland life in their tent.
  • Since you are into overlanding, and might encounter rougher travel conditions than the average consumer/user of these trailers, just go ahead and upgrade to larger wheels and tires, to begin with, and maybe an upgraded axle set-up, if you plan overlanding (or off-roading) with it. It'll be easier now, and it'll set the ride height and stance for you to build around.
  • I started my trailer build by converting the original 8" wheels to 14" (it was tiny, but I added a lot of steel tubing to enlarge it to a 4x8 frame), though a friend suggested using 12" wheels (cheaper, always available). I countered with three good reasons: 1) the 12" wheel rotates faster/more revolutions per mile than the 14", heating the bearings and tire more, thus they become more prone to failure, 2) when/if I eventually take it over rougher terrain, the greater diameter and the greater cushion effect of the 14" would certainly help the ride, and 3) I was looking across my parking area, at my wife's business trailer, and the spare and the 4 wheels on it (14" by the way), so 14" came to mind as the right size to start with.
  • To do it over again, I should've chosen 15", for the larger selection of wheels, ST trailer tires, and eventually, all-terrain/mud/LT tires. I used the under-capacity original axle/spring set-up, not dreaming of how heavy my trailer would become (which, now @ 1900 lbs -estimated- would be nearing the max load rating of 12" tires, @1045lbs each), by changing the bearings and hubs to larger ones (the hubs from 4 lug to 5 lugs). I've, since then, upgraded to a 3500 lb axle w/brakes, better for any type of road, than the first axle. Also, as the 12" tires are load-rated @ 80psi, and the 14" @ 50psi (for both the ST and LT tires I've used); you can see which would provide the cushier ride. In soft stuff, like sand, I'm not sure if the 12" tires can be aired down to lower pressures, without having them lose the bead.
  • Whichever way you choose to configure your trailer, good luck, and welcome to the madness!
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby dmdc411 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:56 pm

One issue I ran into using the NT landscape trailer. My side walls extend down over the frame. Went to put 13" wheels on, didn't have enough clearance. For my use the 12" are fine. But I will upgrade to 5.20-12 soon enough. It's done fine with the 4.80s too.

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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby Danielf » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:15 pm

working on it wrote:
Danielf wrote:Hello all, new to the forum and already introduced myself in the newbie section...

I've been lurking on here and notice a lot of build are based off the Ironton 5x8 trailer frame by NT. I too am interested in this as my base as well but have one question I'm confused about. They list two trailers. One in steel and the other in alumn. When I read the features it states for the alumn that it "comes with everything you need to assemble and hit the road". However in the STEEL version the verbage is different. It reads " come with everything you need to assemble and hit the road UP TO 45mph". What's with the "UP TO 45mph" extra verbage on the steel one? Cause I need to be able to build and pull on the freeway to out various camping locations around Az, Nv, Ut etc... is that a mistake or a reason for that?Thanks
Daniel
Danielf wrote:My name is Daniel and my wife and 4yr old some live in Az. For those that follow instagram we are arizona_overland and travel all over our state exploring and camping whenever we can. When our son was born we were hit with the news of his handicap. So long story short the three of us being comfy in a roof top tent, custom sleeping quarter built n the back of our 4Runner or ground tent wasn't gonna work. So for the last 4 years we've been leaving our son behind as we travel. No longer will I allow this. So I'm building my son his own trailer that will be his own private room with creature comforts while mommy and daddy live the overland life in their tent.
  • Since you are into overlanding, and might encounter rougher travel conditions than the average consumer/user of these trailers, just go ahead and upgrade to larger wheels and tires, to begin with, and maybe an upgraded axle set-up, if you plan overlanding (or off-roading) with it. It'll be easier now, and it'll set the ride height and stance for you to build around.
  • I started my trailer build by converting the original 8" wheels to 14" (it was tiny, but I added a lot of steel tubing to enlarge it to a 4x8 frame), though a friend suggested using 12" wheels (cheaper, always available). I countered with three good reasons: 1) the 12" wheel rotates faster/more revolutions per mile than the 14", heating the bearings and tire more, thus they become more prone to failure, 2) when/if I eventually take it over rougher terrain, the greater diameter and the greater cushion effect of the 14" would certainly help the ride, and 3) I was looking across my parking area, at my wife's business trailer, and the spare and the 4 wheels on it (14" by the way), so 14" came to mind as the right size to start with.
  • To do it over again, I should've chosen 15", for the larger selection of wheels, ST trailer tires, and eventually, all-terrain/mud/LT tires. I used the under-capacity original axle/spring set-up, not dreaming of how heavy my trailer would become (which, now @ 1900 lbs -estimated- would be nearing the max load rating of 12" tires, @1045lbs each), by changing the bearings and hubs to larger ones (the hubs from 4 lug to 5 lugs). I've, since then, upgraded to a 3500 lb axle w/brakes, better for any type of road, than the first axle. Also, as the 12" tires are load-rated @ 80psi, and the 14" @ 50psi (for both the ST and LT tires I've used); you can see which would provide the cushier ride. In soft stuff, like sand, I'm not sure if the 12" tires can be aired down to lower pressures, without having them lose the bead.
  • Whichever way you choose to configure your trailer, good luck, and welcome to the madness!


YES! Hello thank you. Yes seeing how I don't know much about trailers I'm glad you mentioned that. I already have a list of upgrades I plan. My plan was take the trailer after I assemble it and have it also welded together and add extra gussets and braces for extra strength. Then It says the set up is 5x4.5 so I plan on getting some cheap 15" Steelies and adding a 31-33" tire to match the rig. As far as pulling it with us on our travels I would not risk taking it on anything other then a remote forest road or something if that nature. I want to include my son and not let his handicap keep him at home but not risk getting stuck damaged or broke down. I'll leave those trips for solo run. So not knowing anything, would this trailer base not withstand a dirt road if I added shocks and better larger tires where I can airdown?
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby QueticoBill » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:23 am

I think the frame will do fine. You've got some planning if upsizing wheels and tires to get them to clear the frame and side walls.
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby Woodbutcher » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:58 am

With zero offset wheels, I used 1" wheel spacers to make my 15" rims fit. No troubles in 15K miles.
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby Danielf » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:47 am

Woodbutcher wrote:With zero offset wheels, I used 1" wheel spacers to make my 15" rims fit. No troubles in 15K miles.


Yes I was going to do that as well. My truck runs a 1.25" spacer and I beat that off-road with no issues.

My other question was about the right height. Are there ways to lift the trailers by an inch or two? Like an old school lift blocks for the springs or can the shackle or hanger be upgraded or extended? I looked on northern tool site and didn't see a "lift" option so was just curious.
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby QueticoBill » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:55 pm

Danielf wrote:
Woodbutcher wrote:With zero offset wheels, I used 1" wheel spacers to make my 15" rims fit. No troubles in 15K miles.


Yes I was going to do that as well. My truck runs a 1.25" spacer and I beat that off-road with no issues.

My other question was about the right height. Are there ways to lift the trailers by an inch or two? Like an old school lift blocks for the springs or can the shackle or hanger be upgraded or extended? I looked on northern tool site and didn't see a "lift" option so was just curious.


Curiously, most people actually lower the Ironton trailer - from overslung to underslung. Based on the parts all over my shop, I see no reason you couldn't raise it with a couple of pieces of steel tube between frame and spring hangers. Depending on budget, you might want to replace the axle and work from that. I have not researched or paid attention to many posts here about replacing axles but I think a torsion axle can have a start angle that would raise your frame relative to the ground.

I'm a big "adapter" of gear and technology for one purpose to another. At some point, you may want to reconsider the Ironton as the best starting place, especially if in addition to higher and bigger wheels, you want it longer and or wider. Just saying watch for the scope creep being so significant that another approach is more suitable and no more expensive. (Can you tell I spend my life it seems at times helping people reconcile their Dom Perignon taste with a Budweiser budget?)
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:19 am

If you're looking to lift the NT 5x8, your best option is to sell your current axle and springs on craigslist for $150. Do some research on Dexter Torsion axles. They are made to order (purchased mine through Redneck Trailer Supply, but they are available elsewhere) and they can be bolted directly to the frame rails (some drilling required, but no welding). Check out this thread....

http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=58078

.... which will lead you to my the first post about upgrading the axle to a Dexter Torflex #9 in my build log. (Scroll through for more info.)

viewtopic.php?p=1065563#p1065563

Upgrading the axle can solve the clearance concerns and the axles can also be ordered with various "start angles" to either raise or lower the trailer frame. It just takes some research and planning.

Another torsion manufacturer is Flexride. I chose Dexter because they have a dealer/manufacturer about 45 minutes from me. I'm definitely happy with it. Provides a much smoother ride compared to leaf springs. Will probably be ordered another Dexter for my newest project.
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby aggie79 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:50 am

The increase in wheel and tire size should increase the ride height 3-4". Are you wanting to go taller than that?
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Re: Another Northorn Tool Frame Base

Postby KCStudly » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:04 pm

.
This is what I was thinking^. With the big tires you may already be where you want it.

Early in my planning I thought I was going to have to go spring over with 31's on YJ leaf springs, but found that if I went much higher than spring under the galley counter would be too high. You can only raise the floor so high and lower the counter so low before the cooler won't fit underneath the counter, or you could do a split level galley, but I wanted full width counter. Also, the side door sills would no longer be at a comfortable height to sit down in if the floor is too high; didn't want to have to bring a step stool for the wife.

I forget my exact numbers at the moment but consider your desired galley counter height, subtract the counter thickness, the face frame depth, height of your cooler, allowance for sliding tray and clearance to face frame, floor thickness and frame height, and that should give you an idea for maximum ground clearance to under side of frame. Space gets used up fast.
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