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post #1 of 22 Old 04-14-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Question Basic utility trailer

Hi all,

Looking for some advice/validation re: selection of a utility trailer - reqs are:
  • Probable max load around 600-700lbs for lawn tractor
  • Subaru Outback (2016+) std (2.5L not 3.6L) as towing vehicle

I'm assuming 5x8 utility as sufficient - those seem to be around 500-600lbs empty weight - and so with the tractor would be 1,300lbs or so, enough to still pull comfortably with Subaru. No long distance towing needed - max 40-50miles on occasion. Trailer also used for rototiller, chipper, brush mower etc. - for rental haul - (all self, nothing commercial here) - and garden plants/trees and dump/waste etc.

Have been looking at the name brands, but given no real heavy usage planned and just lawn tractor etc. at most then the store models e.g. Tractor Supply have been suggested. Basic 5x8 around $800-900. There are 6.5x10 options around, but might be overkill.

If forum had suggestions on one step up re solid purchase option - say to $1,100-1,300 - then would be interested. Or just any feedback on whether TSC trailers are worth it at the price above.

Appreciate the help - thanks, JW
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-14-2019, 08:56 PM
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I would just keep checking Craigslist until you find what you want. People buy trailers and sell them all the time realizing they didn't need them that much.

I have an old motorcycle trailer that pulls really easy; weighs about 600 lb. I like that it's narrow I can take it through a drive-thru at a restaurant.

I found it on Craigslist and traded a Ruger 10/22 and $200 for it.
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-15-2019, 01:05 AM
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I have owned or borrowed several trailers over the years. The first I owned was a 5x10 tilt bed. Hauled a rider, push mower, etc. Pulled really well.
Borrowed a 6x10 with expanded metal ramp/gate. Was noticable at highway speeds because the gate creates a lot of drag. Also the ramp had no spring assist, probably 100+ pounds.
The trailer I used to borrow a lot was a home built 5x10, removable wood tailgate. Just used aluminum ramps with it. Pulled easier than 6x10 with ramp/gate despite being heavier.
Tried to borrow a think 4x8 homeade, but four-wheeler was too wide.
The trailer I have now is a PJ 7x14 with ramp/gate, tandem axle. It's overkill for most hauling I do. Occasionally the extra capacity comes in handy. It only weighs 1250lbs with two 3500lb axles. The only problem I had hauling my father-in-law's CUT/w loader was getting trailer brake controller set.
Putting a brake controller in a car is a PITA, not plug and play. I'm still using a Crown Victoria as a tow vehicle.

Last edited by T.Cruit; 04-15-2019 at 01:17 AM.
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-15-2019, 06:53 AM
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Re: Basic utility trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by jw12866 View Post
Hi all,

Looking for some advice/validation re: selection of a utility trailer - reqs are:
  • Probable max load around 600-700lbs for lawn tractor
  • Subaru Outback (2016+) std (2.5L not 3.6L) as towing vehicle

I'm assuming 5x8 utility as sufficient - those seem to be around 500-600lbs empty weight - and so with the tractor would be 1,300lbs or so, enough to still pull comfortably with Subaru. No long distance towing needed - max 40-50miles on occasion. Trailer also used for rototiller, chipper, brush mower etc. - for rental haul - (all self, nothing commercial here) - and garden plants/trees and dump/waste etc.

Appreciate the help - thanks, JW
The TSC trailer may be fine for your needs but what is the tow capacity of your Subaru, 1500# or so and does it have an oem tow package? Not to be a "Negative Nancy" but I would be very concerned that you are reaching or exceeding the max. tow capacity of your Subaru. You need to account not only for the trailer & load on it but also factor in weight of any occupants and anything else loaded inside the vehicle itself. Before we got a stronger vehicle I pulled a 5x14 single axle trailer loaded with 4 wheelers and also a 18.5' Bayliner boat behind my '87 4 cyl. 4Runner 5 speed and although the loads were below the max. tow capacity of the yota it really struggled on occasions especially going up long hills. Just use caution and good luck.

Last edited by rudedawg; 04-15-2019 at 06:58 AM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-15-2019, 08:15 AM
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Re: Basic utility trailer

Good luck JW. I bought a light weight utility trailer in the middle 80's when I owned a Subaru wagon. The trailer has been with me ever since. It is a 54" x 98" tilt bed. I have used it to transport my tractor, my ATV, move my kids from home to college to apartment multiple times. I bolted motorcycle wheel chocks into it to haul two dual sports around PA with my son. I've overloaded it with river stone, I've hauled trees, brush, shingles, building supplies, firewood. And every spring I haul mulch. My preference is to drive to a local mulch supply, get a yard or two (no question 2 yard is over loaded) drive home, then because my particular trailer is perfectly balanced, I can switch from truck hitch to garden tractor hitch with which I can distribute the mulch around the lawn. I've found the lower bed height of the trailer makes things like moving a chest freezer or refridgerator or washing machine, or whatever much easier than attempting to lift the same appliance into the back of a truck.

I now have a Tacoma, and have no problem with my trailer loads, but my son drives his Outback, and has borrowed my trailer often. Primarily for moving himself and friends, for hauling Dual Sport, or a small flotila of kayaks on a camping trip. You should be very happy, and in a couple years you will find yourself wondering how you managed home ownership without one.
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-15-2019, 08:16 AM
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Re: Basic utility trailer

Hi I have a tractor supply trailer, 5x8 mesh floor we added wood to deck. Its been a great tractor. I added led lighting as the stock lights were too dim for my tastes. All we haul are lawn/garden tractors and it does fine.
As Rudedog says Id be concerned with towing with the car. I set my Ford Fusion up to tow but rating is low like yours. I only towed a couple times and results were not great. Rear tongue weight was pushing rear end down even with tractor almost touching gate. Something to think about.


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post #7 of 22 Old 04-15-2019, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericjr16 View Post
Hi I have a tractor supply trailer, 5x8 mesh floor we added wood to deck. It’s been a great tractor. I added led lighting as the stock lights were too dim for my tastes. All we haul are lawn/garden tractors and it does fine.
As Rudedog says I’d be concerned with towing with the car. I set my Ford Fusion up to tow but rating is low like yours. I only towed a couple times and results were not great. Rear tongue weight was pushing rear end down even with tractor almost touching gate. Something to think about.


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I agree with most of what has been posted. If I wasn't considering the purchase of a SCUT; a 5x10 or 12 would be the perfect size trailer for my needs. Something to consider is adding a transmission cooler to your Subaru. Automatic transmissions are happy as long as they don't get too hot. I have no idea what weight that vehicle can handle. My crown Victoria has rear air ride and will automatically level depending on load. It also has 3.55 track lock differential. My biggest concern for you is overheating the transmission. My parents burned up a tranny pulling a pop up camper when I was growing up. The trans shop added an additional trans cooler along with replacement transmission.
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-15-2019, 11:53 AM
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This was on a Dodge Caravan, unsure of year.
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post #9 of 22 Old 04-15-2019, 11:58 AM
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This was on a Dodge Caravan, unsure of year.
Think they also added a trans cooler to Chevy conversion van they used after the minivan was traded.
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-15-2019, 03:36 PM
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Re: Basic utility trailer

Dodge Caravan automatics usually burn up just driving around with the van empty!..at least the overdrive ones,worst years were around 1997-2003 for early transmission failures..


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post #11 of 22 Old 04-16-2019, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Basic utility trailer

Thanks for the responses everyone!

It sounds like the largest issue with a 5'x8' utility and hauling lawn tractor with 2016 Outback is the tongue weight. With the tractor loaded you'd still have >50% of the weight over the front of the trailer axle, and not hard to have >200lbs at the tongue (200lbs I think is recommended max for the 2016 Outback). So it's risky - but for short distances (30-40miles driven slowly) likely okay?

From a towing capacity standpoint it seems okay - 2,700lbs capacity as listed, and so trailer plus lawn tractor around 1,200-1,300 - and then as long as car only with couple people in it we're well below the limit.
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post #12 of 22 Old 04-16-2019, 12:17 PM
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Re: Basic utility trailer

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Originally Posted by jw12866 View Post
Thanks for the responses everyone!

It sounds like the largest issue with a 5'x8' utility and hauling lawn tractor with 2016 Outback is the tongue weight. With the tractor loaded you'd still have >50% of the weight over the front of the trailer axle, and not hard to have >200lbs at the tongue (200lbs I think is recommended max for the 2016 Outback). So it's risky - but for short distances (30-40miles driven slowly) likely okay?

From a towing capacity standpoint it seems okay - 2,700lbs capacity as listed, and so trailer plus lawn tractor around 1,200-1,300 - and then as long as car only with couple people in it we're well below the limit.
Not very likely. All the weight of your tractor behind the axle, will counter balance the weight in front of the axle. My utility trailer is so close to perfectly balanced, that I lift the tongue loaded with well over 1500 lbs on the axle and shift it from truck to tractor. The weight on the tongue can in my case be negligible. I typically use a hand shovel after the scoop of mulch is dumped on my trailer to push a little extra weight forward to keep the tongue from rattling on the hitch. I want a little extra weight there, like up to 50 lbs just for stabilization.

This is me making that switch with a yard of mulch in the trailer. I do the reverse with firewood in the winter - pull a trailer load out of the woods and onto the driveway, then switch the trailer from tractor to truck for deliver.


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Last edited by Jere39; 04-16-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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post #13 of 22 Old 04-16-2019, 10:20 PM
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Re: Basic utility trailer

1200 to1300 that's one heavy lawn tractor. Very few lawn tractors weigh over 700 lbs. My 4x9.5 trailer may weigh 500 lbs at most and will handle a 1100 lb load with ease. Its all about trailer balance. But why would you want to pull such a heavy trailer behind a Subaru?
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post #14 of 22 Old 04-17-2019, 11:06 AM
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Re: Basic utility trailer

The Harbor Freight trailers would be a good match for the Subaru. I have assembled 4 of them. the oldest one is over 15 years old and still going strong. Light and easy to move around.....have hauled 1000 lbs+ with no issue.
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post #15 of 22 Old 04-18-2019, 03:47 PM
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I made a trailer from a pop up camper frame and it works great with my 03 escape. I’ve had 3 riders on it sideways and haven’t had any problems. I do have a dodge dually if things get to heavy but I like the maneuverability of the escape.
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