I was recently in the market for a small trailer and was pondering the Harbor Freight 1720lb 4x8 heavy duty trailer. However, the local HF store was out of stock, so I looked elsewhere. Folks on this site have recommended Carry-On trailers so I visited their website, liked the specs and bought a 5x8 at Lowes.
When I got home I realized the Lowes model was different then what I was looking at on the Carry-On website. Apparently, Lowes (locally at least) is carrying a scaled back version the model the Tractor Supply Store carries.
The differences I noticed included:
- 12" versus 13" wheels plus bigger fenders
- 9" sides versus 11" sides
- 38" gate versus a 49" gate
- TSC model is 150# heavier
- Both models are the same price - $699.00 as of 4/15/12
So, I returned the trailer to Lowes and bought one at TSC. I liked the TSC model much better. However, it was immediately obvious that I was still going to need to do some upgrades including:
- I put the wiring into looming so It wasn't hanging loose
- Since the trailer was already rusting and I knew I was going to cover the mesh with wood, I applied rust treatment, rubberized undercoating and two coats of fresh paint on the lower frame and mesh decking.
- The tongue bar was very loose and rattling like crazy so, I added a 3rd bolt and tightened all three.
- Added a Reese swing away trailer jack
- Added a 5/4" treated wood deck
Putting on the wood deck was pretty straight forward. I attached treated 2x4's across the width of the trailer. Since they just need to be held in place for the deck boards, I only used 3 bolts for each piece and attached them to the angle iron on the frame.
The tongue bar is in the way of securing the last board, which is the small center one. For this board I used a self tapping screw in this area.
Overall the deck looks really good.
Since this is a mass produced trailer, I won't assume is was assembled correctly and will check and repack the bearings with marine grade wheel bearing grease.
I did notice one problem that became really easy to see once the contrast of the boards was there - the deck is a bit warped. As you can see in the below picture, the left side of the deck droops a bit. It is much easier to see in person.
So far, I've only loaded a few hundred pounds on this but I have to say this is definitely the loudest trailer I have ever pulled!
This thing rattles like crazy no matter how small the bumps in the road are!
I've tried everything I know how to do to quiet this thing down: I added a third bolt to the tongue bar and tightened all three down, I even bought an Anti-Rattle Hitch pin. I'm hoping once I get a greater load on this and the springs break in a bit, it quiets down. If not it will be on the market because the noise is intolerable.
If anyone knows how to quiet this down - please let me know!
Other than that I think the value is good for what it is and with proper care should last a long time.