My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
theres one at a local farm equip auction I am looking at I am thinking of buying; single axle but about 5'X12', high sides and ramp; needs all new wiring and lights as well as new decking; but it has full sized "car" tires on it which will definitely carry more weight than the old renovated popup I have had tehse last dozen years or so; but will shake my mowers etc to death in the process.
but 1 thing has me bothered; it has no springs, the axle is directly welded to the frame; otherwise it is a very nice base for my next trailer...

Plan B is my cousin's dilapidated late 70s 23' tandem travel trailer; which I'd certainly cut down to between 12-14' for my uses; but keep the tandem axles.
Plan C is to not have one, depend mostly on the bed of my pickup for hauling, and borrow a trailer when I need one which is totally possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
690 Posts
borrowing sucks, I'm so glad to have one to hook up and go whenever I feel the need.

axle welded to the frame is no good though, I wouldn't pay more than a hundred or so for that, you need to redo everything from what it sounds. Parts won't be that bad, but you're talking a ton of time, maybe 250 bux in parts, and a good few days of work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
756 Posts
Got a plan D ?

C is out--not a choice. Have been there. But there are far too many advantages to a trailer compared to depending on truck. I went from none to 5 trailers currently.

A is not a good plan either. I have seen (and even pulled one) trailer without springs; seems the idea is to depend on the tires to do more of the work. Not a good idea and lots of work to rebuild/correct on trailer.

choice B seems to be you best option. The tamden axle is certainly an advantage. The type of axle may be good or bad--good if the bolt pattern is a standard pattern and bad if some strange RV only pattern. They could be drop axles which would be nice. What is the load capacity of the axles? If they are lightweight (as in 2000 lb) not so good.

Choice D: Take a few days and scout C/L and the local papers; you might find a bargain. Even a short road trip to pick up a bargain trailer would be a good deal.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,115 Posts
Unless you can buy that auction trailer for way less than scrap iron price I'd pass on it. That sounds like it's been cobbled together and having no springs indicates whoever built it was short on experience. No one builds an over the road trailer without springs more than once IMO.

As has been suggested, look around and find a trailer that fits your needs. You'll be way better off. That tandem axle may or may not be a good deal. Depends on, as has been mentioned, the axles, wheels and, additionally, the suspension. Some trailers come with no provision for greasing the walking beam and other suspension parts. These non-greasable suspensions require taking the spring carrier bolts and walking beams apart to lube them. Usually they come from one way trip trailerhouse axles that have been cut down. These often also have inferior brake systems but, strangely the bearings and hubs are often quite good.

A lot of the older tandem axles I've seen for sale also have odd ball size tires on them. New wheels are required to get them to a commonly found size.

Mike
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
that tandem axle trailer is currently a camper "travel trailer" (as it was originally built/designed) NOT a "mobile home" . and would be mucho work stripping it bare and starting over (but ive done that before)
My exp with these type trailers is that typically they are a 5, a 6, or sometimes an 8 lug hub with a common lug pattern,.
I know about mobile home axles and frames; but as to why people frown on those? I was wondering; as I have a friend that is moving and scrapped out several mobile home axles; .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,115 Posts
Most, and I emphasize "most", mobile home axles are fine. A lot of the parts hung on them are less than desirable. The backing plates, brake hardware, drums and suspension parts are usually what end up lacking the quality needed for long term use. I've used mobile home axles making farm equipment and over the road trailers for years and gotten generally good to excellent service from them.

I know what you mean about salvaging a tandem axle trailer house frame. Lots of stuff to get rid of and then you have to stiffen things up to make a decent trailer. The plus side, as you mentioned, is they usually have easy to match bolt patterns on the wheels and better quality brake and suspension parts. If a person gets really lucky they can find one of the old trailers that has the "I" beam drop center axles rather than one with the tube axles.

After market sources are available to replace the welded walking link with cast iron ones and the dry spring hanger bolts with zerk equipped ones. All of the suspension and brake parts on most of these axles are upgradeable so a person has a lot of options.

I got really lucky on a junk trailer I found at an auction. It had been upgraded with Dexter axles some time prior to being wrecked. $65.00 for the pile of junk because no one had looked under it. Guy that was bidding against me bought the water heater and water pump the next week at my home.

Mike
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
what are you referring to as "walking link"?

and; I had another unexpected "Plan d" option come up; its only a single axle and it's a little "big" (as in "long") but as opposed to the POS I just got rid of, it's quite a bit stronger. I was just given a travel trailer frame and axle; it has brakes and a heavy jack and ball coupling; and "car siaed" 15" tires and wheels; I haven't yet pulled the hubcaps to see the bolt pattern;
it has the perimeter frame smaller than the width of the axle with gussets extending outward to a couple inches past the outside of the tire;
I mean my old one that I'd built and re-built from the popup trailer wasn't "bad" but it was under rated for my recent trailer needs; a rider and a few push mowers; fine--but beyond that, the springs sagged to a point of the back of the tire scraping the frame;
though if I went back to original-to-that-frame 4.80-12s instead of the 5.30's that I installed over 10 years ago I'd have the clearance there I need; but the 4.80s are rated to a lower max capacity.


I just needed something with larger tires mostly and a lil stronger frame to start off with. and for free even if I wind up scrapping it (I won't) I cant lose;

I plan to "box in" around the edges of the gussets so I can put a sidewall up; probably 16-18" high, like my last one; though I may leave it as a "flatbed" and put stake pockets in for "those times"; I need it unloaded so I can really inspect it and see exactly what is there; it is loaded quite alot with used lumber and I pulled it from the farm it was stored at to the guy whose giving it to me's house' so it could be unloaded; it did pull nice. the "donor" (guy I got it from) is a long time friend that is moving 2 hours away and don't have room where he is headed....
my last one was 6'X10'; this one is like 16' long; the length wasnt the problem with my last trailer. it was the axle, springs and such were too "light"; could have just been worn out; I'm thinking of cutting this new frame down top ~12' long. the axle needs to come forward a bit especially if I cut it down.

On another note I have another guy I know that is in the process of creating a train wreck; he had a 5X8 but is extending it to 15' long; I saw the progress today and yikes; that trailer isnt meant to be a 15 footer..... he should add a 2nd axle at a minimum for how he is modding it. I never expanded the dimensions of my old trailer. (and it was still under-suspended for what I had been using it for) and have found it easier to cut one down vs extending one.

I only hope that titling a "home made" trailer is still as easy as it used to be when I did my last one. I've heard rumors that they have toughened things.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Update; I got it here in my garage; spent time last week cutting the axle perches from the frame so I could move the axle forward; I cut the (only thing flimsy about it) triangular gussets from the frame (blue wrench made quick work of it) and I cut it down from 16' long to 13' long; the bed will be 77"X 11'6"; with an 18" long dovetail; I cut wedges from the bottom of the 2X4 tube frame and pushed the remaining tail down 3-1/2" and rewelded the tube together and then put stiffener plates inside and outside each frame rail; I spent today fabbing up the frame extenssions (out 12" each side,from the main frame) as the frame is 54" outside of tube to outside of tube; I will have a rail 12" high around 3 sides (with a flip down gate on the back) and the top rail itself will be made of 2X2 "Unistrut"; the extension is 2X3 tube with 2X2 tube as the "upright" and rail supports; I will put the old 4X4 camper bumper back on it as a place to mount my tail lights (I liked the flush mount/sunken in ones so well on my last trailer that I will use a set of those on this one; nothing to catch a shin on or "target" to back into)
I will also hinge my gate off of this bumper; just gotta throw away the old camper holding tank evacuation hose that's still within the bumper....
I moved the axle forward centered it at 80" from the front face bar (orig it was at 102")

as for rims; they are old '60s Chevy truck 6-lug; I need to find a spare; (none of my Mopar ones fit)
I bought my fenders from Farm&Fleet last weekend; all they had were round style; I was looking for the more squared off "Jeep style"; those fenders so far are all the actual money I have spent so far on this thing.
 

·
Just passing through
Joined
·
8,419 Posts
AXLES - Can mobile home axles be reused?
The Dexter MH (mobile home) type axle is designed for limited usage in the delivery of manufactured homes and has a one-time limit use. The axle has steel forged spindles that are not precision ground. The brake assembly is welded onto the beam and not intended to be field replaced. Additionally, the bearing package is smaller than the more expensive service type axle. Most MH axles are also equipped with a single leaf spring suspension for very heavy loads. We do not have components that would convert MH axles to serviceable assemblies.

http://www.dexteraxle.com/faq_s

If you are ever inspected by a DOT officer...they will put your trailer out of service...:(
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top