Author Topic: Trailer Buying Tips  (Read 6022 times)

S0VERE1GN

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Trailer Buying Tips
« on: May 08, 2014, 06:24:48 AM »
Morning Folks.

My wife and I neew to buy appliances for our new house. and we've found some great ones on Craigslist, one from a family member on one side of New England, and one on the other.

As Such, we want to buy a Trailer. I've had no luck with purchasing a small utility trailer on craigslist for the past 3 months, so does anyone have any tips on buying one retail? where to get one cheap?

The wife doesn't want to trust Harbor Freight's trailers. I suppose that's fair.

Rural

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 06:46:02 AM »
I'd rent unless you have significant need for a trailer aside from these appliances. UHaul rents trailers.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 06:47:00 AM »
Never bought one myself, but around my city there are quite a few places that make their own locally. That's probably the cheapest option. Typically they are square steel stock with wooden stake sides and planking.

No idea what's a fair market price, though. Haven't shopped for one in a long time.

Rural

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 06:49:32 AM »
Also, check the laws in your state. We have to pay registration and tags for ours. Also property tax.


I can't give you much idea of a fair market price, either, though. We've had ours over a decade, and it sounds like it's larger than what you're looking for anyway.

wtjbatman

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 06:59:43 AM »
I think you can rent one from Uhaul for $20. I imagine you could do that many times if you had to before it equals the cost of buying a trailer.

Unless you want it for more than just moving appliances once.

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 07:50:31 AM »
My wife also has a motorcycle that she loves, and its nice to be able to trailer it instead of calling a tow guy or a friend. I also do a lot of construction work etc. so I'm planning on buying one, but I hate spending money (I mean, who doesnt)

there's a local shop that has good prices, so I'll go there.

Milspecstache

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 10:41:40 AM »
When we lived in Boston I bought one for a great price on craigslist.  Of course, then I needed to change the bearings, new tires and rims, paint it, etc.  The $800 trailer cost me $300 to make it interstate-ready.  Also, I really recommend a single axle as you will save money running toll roads.

As a baseline I would look at the ones at Lowe's first.

Exflyboy

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 11:01:40 AM »
Morning Folks.

My wife and I neew to buy appliances for our new house. and we've found some great ones on Craigslist, one from a family member on one side of New England, and one on the other.

As Such, we want to buy a Trailer. I've had no luck with purchasing a small utility trailer on craigslist for the past 3 months, so does anyone have any tips on buying one retail? where to get one cheap?

The wife doesn't want to trust Harbor Freight's trailers. I suppose that's fair.

No its not fair at all.. Complete uninformed nonsense more like!!!!

I bought a self assemble HF trailer a few years ago.. 8*4 ft with the 12" wheels. Its rated for 1000 lbs or thereabouts and I tow it with my Dodge Neon. I have loaded it to 1200lbs (by accident, collecting rock and it was weighed in and out of the rock place). While as a professional engineer I could never condone such activity it shows the trailer is perfectly capable.

I would point out that we bought the trailer before we doubled the size of our house.. Next to the tractor it was probably the most useful tool we have!

Nothing wrong with those trailers... Thats a fair (and qualified opinion).. Oh they are also DOT approved..

Frank
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 11:25:13 AM by frankh »

S0VERE1GN

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 12:35:25 PM »
Morning Folks.

My wife and I neew to buy appliances for our new house. and we've found some great ones on Craigslist, one from a family member on one side of New England, and one on the other.

As Such, we want to buy a Trailer. I've had no luck with purchasing a small utility trailer on craigslist for the past 3 months, so does anyone have any tips on buying one retail? where to get one cheap?

The wife doesn't want to trust Harbor Freight's trailers. I suppose that's fair.

No its not fair at all.. Complete uninformed nonsense more like!!!!

I bought a self assemble HF trailer a few years ago.. 8*4 ft with the 12" wheels. Its rated for 1000 lbs or thereabouts and I tow it with my Dodge Neon. I have loaded it to 1200lbs (by accident, collecting rock and it was weighed in and out of the rock place). While as a professional engineer I could never condone such activity it shows the trailer is perfectly capable.

I would point out that we bought the trailer before we doubled the size of our house.. Next to the tractor it was probably the most useful tool we have!

Nothing wrong with those trailers... Thats a fair (and qualified opinion).. Oh they are also DOT approved..

Frank

noted! will pass along info.

in other news: we found a friend who will lend us a trailer. cha ching!

Exflyboy

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 03:27:58 PM »
even better..:)

Like most things owning your own (with the matching hitch and light connector on your car) is nice, as long as you have the space outside.

Its amazing how useful they can be.. I often hook up the trailer whereas before I used to trash the interior of our cars by carrying stuff that really should be on a trailer.

The 8ft trailer is nice and with the tougue will acomodate 10ft lengths of something without overhangin the back.. I have carried 16ft pieces of lumber without it looking too ridiculous.. longer pieces go on the gas guzzling truck..:(

Frank

Stachesquatch

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 09:33:18 AM »
I second the HF 4' X 8' folding trailer. It was recently in sale for $299 and my friend Google found a 25% off coupon to make it even cheaper. It does require installation and decking - 1/2" plywood (painted) should suffice as I'm trying to keep the weight down to tow behind my Elantra.  There are hundreds of positive reviews and several videos and tutorials online about how to put it together. Make sure you clean and re-grease the wheel bearings before using, and protect the wiring especially at the pivot point. Also run ground wires, don't try to go to the frame at each light.  At the most basic level this can be an extremely inexpensive setup, with justifiable additional costs such as repainting will make it last longer, but I'm going to wait a year before repainting.

The value for me will be that I won't buy a truck and can still 'jump' on opportunities like salvaged building materials, the local university annual graduation move out (free furniture left on the curb for the taking), getting supplies for my garden and volunteering to bring supplies to the local community garden. For very occasional use renting would make more sense but for our intended use this trailer will nurture a few more millimeters of Stache. For the very rare cases when I need more payload I will borrow/rent a truck.

Exflyboy

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2014, 03:19:19 PM »
Exactly,

I have also towed this trailer at 70mph (12" wheels).. Perfectly stable.

Frank

Milspecstache

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2014, 04:56:24 PM »
Also run ground wires, don't try to go to the frame at each light. 

Doing this alone made a huge difference in how often I had to troubleshoot wiring issues.  Bad grounds are very hard to diagnose!

m8547

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2014, 10:08:54 PM »
Has anyone built a trailer from scratch? I want a small one (4x8), but I want it to have brakes. I also want to use good quality parts - tires (critical for safety), frame, lights (LED), etc., and Harbor Freight is not exactly known for quality. By the time I take a HF trailer and modify it the way I think I want it, I would only be using the frame and the springs.

I want to keep the trailer light since my car is only rated to tow up to 1000lbs. I'm not sure why no one puts brakes on trailers this small? It seems like it would help when towing with a small car. I guess most people don't tow with small cars and you can't even feel a small trailer behind a big truck. I would mostly use the trailer in the mountains in Colorado, so brakes are more important than if I was hauling stuff around town. There are long steep grades of course, but it can also snow any month of the year, trucks often go 35 when the speed limit for cars is 65, and hills, turns, and rapidly changing weather can make for poor visibility that makes it hard to anticipate stopping. I'll probably always have a few people in the car when towing, and as far as I can tell the car can handle a 1000lb trailer and 750lbs of people and cargo in the car at the same time, so that's a lot of extra weight. I need to see if I can find an official GCWR number to be sure, but I'd easily be within the GVWR and GAWR.

A frame made of 8020 extrusion would be cool, but I imagine it's expensive. I could probably build it out of steel without welding, using bolts instead. I would build it up as a small camper that I would also use for cargo.

Greg

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2014, 11:01:03 AM »
I want to keep the trailer light since my car is only rated to tow up to 1000lbs. I'm not sure why no one puts brakes on trailers this small? It seems like it would help when towing with a small car.

Most cars can tow loads this small without the need for added brakes.  Larger loads can require brakes, but usually that's way beyond the limit of your vehicle.  It's a matter of balancing safety, capacity and complexity.  Trailer brakes introduce another level of complexity that a lot of people don't want or need to attend to.

As long as you're within the load limit for your vehicle, a trailer is not very different than just loading up the vehicle to a higher level.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Trailer Buying Tips
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2014, 12:14:49 PM »
Plus, installing a brake controller in a standard car would be fun.