Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

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Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

Postby jwh92020 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:35 pm

Would it be safe to expand a 4 x 8 HF trailer to 7 ft wide? A friend has plans for a hunting cabin on wheels that requires a 7ft wide x 8ft long trailer. The cabin is 6 ft high. It calls for it to be built on a 5 x 8, but he found a deal on a 1960 lb HF 4 x 8.
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Re: Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

Postby Andrew Herrick » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:25 am

There is no more controversial topic in the world of teardrops than the infamous "HF Special" :D

First of all, in all fairness, there is no way to correctly answer your question. There's not enough information. Sure, it would be asinine to cantilever a 3/4-inch piece of plywood over an 18 inch span and expect the floor to hold. But throw in a bunch of welded outriggers and some beefy floor framing, and with a lot of headscratching and luck, I'm sure someone can (and probably has) built a 7-ft wide teardrop on a 4x8 HF trailer.

Whether that's a good idea is a different entirely idea. You'll have poor driving dynamics (no sharp corners!). It'll almost certainly be heavier than what the HF is designed for, which can bend the tongue (seen it happen), blow out the tires or burn out the wheel bearings. It'll look swollen, like the blueberry girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It'll ride like a brick in a wheelbarrow.

Cry once, buy once. Work with a local welder or trailer fabricator to put together a simple ladder-style steel trailer frame and decent suspension with 14- to 15-inch tires. Your friend won't regret it :)
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Re: Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

Postby noseoil » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:50 am

Have to agree with Andrew here. It's not going to be a good solution to the problem. A simple, light frame is easy to get built & it's like cheating on the foundation of your house. Why do all the work on a bad foundation?
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Re: Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

Postby jwh92020 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:32 am

The concerns you guys have addressed are the same ones I've talked to him about. He's not a member here, so I asked the question so he could get some unbiased (I think the idea is nuts) information. He's trying to save a few $ by purchasing a who knows how old trailer that no one knows how it had been maintained. I had a 7 x 10 frame on a 3500 lb axle built for 850 (came painted with lights and a jack). The same guy is willing to build him a 7 x 8 on a 3500 lb axle, painted, lights and a jack for $650. The HF trailer is $250, but for $400, he's getting a whole lot more trailer. I'm still trying to address the idea of a 7 ft wide x 8 ft long x 6 ft tall "cabin" on the trailer. He will basically be dragging a cube down the road. Not sure how it will tow.
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Re: Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

Postby Andrew Herrick » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:26 pm

jwh92020 wrote:The concerns you guys have addressed are the same ones I've talked to him about. He's not a member here, so I asked the question so he could get some unbiased (I think the idea is nuts) information. He's trying to save a few $ by purchasing a who knows how old trailer that no one knows how it had been maintained. I had a 7 x 10 frame on a 3500 lb axle built for 850 (came painted with lights and a jack). The same guy is willing to build him a 7 x 8 on a 3500 lb axle, painted, lights and a jack for $650. The HF trailer is $250, but for $400, he's getting a whole lot more trailer. I'm still trying to address the idea of a 7 ft wide x 8 ft long x 6 ft tall "cabin" on the trailer. He will basically be dragging a cube down the road. Not sure how it will tow.


I'm ashamed to admit it, but one time I got hoodwinked into paying $850 just for a naked trailer frame :x So if someone's offering to build him a decent completed trailer chassis for $650, I'd agree: He's nuts not to take it. I'd even talk to the fabricator and see what an extra $200 could get him.
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Re: Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

Postby jwh92020 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:26 pm

Andrew - He decided to have the 7 x 8 trailer built. Next is convincing him that dragging a 6 ft tall shed with a gable roof is not really aerodynamic. Baby steps... I have a couple of questions about your builds. First - why is the entry door on the driver's side of the 6'8" x 10' Sandbox? Second - What does that trailer cost in a diy interior set up? Thanks
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Re: Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

Postby Andrew Herrick » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:20 pm

The customer preferred driver's side entry door for better accessibility when parked on the road (he travels A LOT). Passenger's side door is better for developed campgrounds, as you probably know, since the services are generally located on the passenger's side.

That model was a Sandbox, which is a Boondock Campers' term for a model left unfinished in the interior for the customer to finish out as he or she sees fit. So if you're asking about the furniture later added by the customer, then I couldn't give you a price estimate. If you're asking about what the interior surface finishes cost (flooring, wall planking, headliner, rafters, etc.), then I could give a more accurate appraisal.
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Re: Expand Harbor Freight Trailer To 7 Feet Wide

Postby jwh92020 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:10 pm

Actually, I was asking what the trailer itself cost. Unfinished interior, just the trailer, the cabin and a subfloor.
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