Boat Trailer Mod

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Boat Trailer Mod

Postby VTSteve » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:49 pm

Hi everyone. I am Steve from Vermont and now that I am retired the better half has given the nod to go ahead and start building a Teardrop to drive cross country with next year. I am just getting started on building and have this old boat trailer that I've had sitting around for years.
I plan on modifying this old boat trailer for my build. I am not exactly sure which TD design I will use but this trailer is pretty light weight so I will likely try to really keep the weight down. Probably some hybrid combination of foam, plywood and epoxy.
The main frame is 2 x 2 x 3/16 angle and the trailer is rated for only 1600 lbs. with a 2000 lb coupling on the tongue. Still trying to figure the actual weight of the trailer so I will know what I can put on it. My guess is the trailer can't weigh more than 600 lbs. All the stickers and such on it are long gone. I currently don't have a way to tow it yet or I'd just drive it over to the transfer station and weigh it but its not quite road worthy yet. .
Will I be able to use it for a 5x8 lightweight TD? I plan on beefing up the side frame pieces by replacing the piece of angle that the springs attach to with a longer piece so I can move the wheels back some and strengthen the rear part of the frame. It currently has a doubled up piece of 2 x 2 by 1/4 that the spring hangers are welded to. They are a little rusty so I'm thinking I'll add a new piece and replace the springs and axle and buy all new hubs and wheels.
Also the tilting feature on this trailer is not needed so I wonder if I should just weld it all solid and shorten the 2x2 tongue tube that the coupling is attached to.

Does this all seem like it will work or am I better off starting completely fresh with a new trailer. I'd rather use it if I can and save the money. This thing seems as good as those Harbor Freight trailers with a little work though it is only angle iron and not channel. My thought is to build up a 2 by wood frame on top of the 4 ft wide chassis so a 5 ft wide torsion box type floor will sit on top and clear the fenders. What are your thoughts?
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VTSteve
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Re: Boat Trailer Mod

Postby pchast » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:28 pm

I would not shorten anything until I'd at least laid a floor on the trailer.
Then I could lay out a tongue box, turning arc, and enough extension to
make control easier.
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Re: Boat Trailer Mod

Postby VTSteve » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:55 pm

Good point. I was not even considering the tongue box in the length. Thanks
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Re: Boat Trailer Mod

Postby greygoos » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:15 am

It would be surprising to me if that trailer weighed 600 pounds.
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Re: Boat Trailer Mod

Postby VTSteve » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:50 pm

I'd have to agree, more like 350, which means the weight rating is probably OK for a 5x8 assuming I beef up the rear part of the trailer ( I think). Anyway, guess I will start stripping off the boaty stuff and start hitting it with a wire brush. I wish it was 5 ft wide but I think I can work around that.
Looked at some new 5x8 utility trailers at HD tonight. Kinda tempting. $849. I think I will build so I can slide it off the old trailer and eventually upgrade to the HD one. Guess I will work with what I have for now though.
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Re: Boat Trailer Mod

Postby pchast » Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:54 pm

Most of our constructions are ''self supporting". The
sides, with good connections, hold up the base. There
are designs that have much less of a trailer too........
:D
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Re: Boat Trailer Mod

Postby Billinthedesert » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:58 pm

Good luck. I gave up on this idea, not being terribly handy.
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