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Have Dog - Will Travel
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5,597 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My long suffering 4'x8' 1500 lbs GVWR trailer is just not big enough. But, is as big as I can squeeze into my shed along with everything else. So, I've listed it on CL hoping to sell it as a useful tool for someone else. Here in PA a trailer with a title is worth perhaps an extra 30-40% than one without a title. Fingers crossed. At the same time I've been looking at larger single axle, brake-less, and less than 3000 lbs GVWR (to avoid annual inspections and additional insurance). And, I'm leaning toward an aluminum trailer for two key reasons:

  1. It will be significantly lighter, and easier on the pull
  2. I will have to store this new piece of equipment outside. At least till I might build a lean-to to at least cover it
The aluminum utility trailers I've looked at weigh in between 400-600 lbs. Most have a ramp tailgate, the nicer option is a bi-fold that doesn't pull like a sail back there. All I've looked at have rubber mounted torsion suspension.

So, any comments and experience with aluminum trailers, torsion suspension, leaving a trailer outside?

Out with the old:



In with the new????



Advice please
 

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Super Moderator
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That aluminum trailer looks nice! I'd probably want something I could secure some plywood to for loads that can scratch and cut though. I haul too much rough edge stuff to get one that's too pretty!
 

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Professional Homeowner
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7,061 Posts
It's nice the frame has pockets in case you want to add sides later, too. That trailer sure is pretty. Is there any kind of non-skid surface on the deck?

I know you want to avoid inspections and extra insurance, but if if it were me, I'd go with a model with electric brakes (requiring a control inside the vehicle), or at least hydraulic brakes.

Towing with a Tacoma (or other midsize pickup), right? What's its towing capacity? You're in PA, so you've got to have some pretty decent sized hills. That alone would make me want brakes. But then again it's flat ground for the most part within 50 miles everywhere around me.

I towed my 16' landscape trailer for a year or two without brakes (light loads). When I finally got around to fixing the brakes, WHOA! Major difference! Stops SOOOOOOOOO much better! And that's with brakes on only one axle, as this trailer was designed. Then I upsized my truck from a chevy 1500 to a diesel Ford Super Duty. That thing would stop the fully loaded trailer in a non-emergency situation, pretty quickly, just using the transmission braking on the truck.
 

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Red Plaid is Timeless
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931 Posts
I have an older Aluma 2990# gross weight trailer that I'm happy with. It has a 3500# torsion axle that works well. No brakes, yet, but it has a commonly found Dexter axle that is easily retrofitted with electric brakes for a couple of hundred dollars. It was real easy to move around manually until I added the sides which added about 200# (getting lighter as the treated wood dries). That model in your picture is similar to mine and has a nicely reinforced tongue.

The aluminum floor extrusion on mine is installed in a side to side orientation. There is a ridge textured surface and it is not slippery at all. The side to side orientation is a nuisance to sweep out. The front to back on the Aluma in the picture would make that easier. I reinforced the tailgate for loading my 400 with loader and weights coming in at about 2000#. Not sure that I had to but did it because it seemed a little light duty. The folding gate would be nice but I would look at it closely for loading strength. When running empty, my gate folds down inside flat to the floor.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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5,597 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, all very good points, and all I'd like to think I would have considered myself. But, great to have them reinforced.

Thanks @grandpajay trailers look very similar. It seems to me that no company makes the same thing long before some adjustments. None of the ones I've looked at have 4 pockets on each side. Did you have to add some of them?

I'm fortunate enough to be headed for some hiking in the Wyoming/Idaho high country, so I probably won't make a decision in the next week. More time for additional comments to factor into my decision process.
 

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Aluma makes good looking stuff, but I am afraid the deck might be slick, but mostly the wide extrusions on the ramp will catch a lot of wind, making a folding ramp a must. I’ve been using my friend’s 6’ x 10’ USA brand aluminum trailer with wood over aluminum sides. The 10’ works great for all but hauling the X738 with my Cyclone Rake attached. Then the wheels of the Cyclone Rake are mid way up the ramp. The ramp has side to side tubes which are heavy duty enough to handle my X738 w/deck or his Kubota BX2380 w/deck. The trailer can be pushed around by hand easily and hooks up easily. His is not a folding ramp, but the tubes don’t catch much wind and it pulls very well, steady.

I have pulled the ramp up with ratchet straps to level to carry the Cyclone Rake, but I would prefer a bigger 14’ trailer and have been looking as well for quite a while. I was also looking at a 72” zero turn which meant I would need at least a 6 1/2’ wide trailer or something without sides like you have shown. I stopped and looked at an aluminum car hauler last week which would be more than heavy enough, but I couldn’t lift the tongue so I would have to have the backup camera to hook up. It also only had a jack with flat plate bottom. The jack on my friend’s has a wheel which makes it work well.

My friend’s 6’ x 10’ was just big enough when he and I picked up my X738, 54” blower/quick hitch attached, blade, 10P cart, and deck, but the spreader and spare tire had to go in the back of the Yukon. It was a load, but trailered well on the three hour leisurely trip trip back home. I tend to stay off the freeways with a load.

Trying to find a used trailer has had me looking for a long time, but with a friend who lets me barrow it whenever in trade for help with things at his house, it works for now. I just am mindful of not ruining a friendship. I would never want that to be possible. The lowest cost trailers I have found were factory direct from Georgia if you happen that direction. Good luck trailer hunting.
 

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Professional Homeowner
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I never understood why people stay off highways with a load. Generally the higway is more direct, much less start and stop, often smoother, pretty straight, everyone is pretty much heading the same direction, less odds of being pulled out in front of, etc. Just do 55/60 like one would on back roads, and don't make any sudden movements. As long as the load is secured and you're not overloaded or have sketchy equipment, it's probably safer.
 

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I don’t care for driving 55 or 60 on a highway with 70 or 75 mph posted speed limits. With people doing 80-85, if they aren’t paying attention, they too will be in the trailer which defeats the purpose of trying to get a nice piece of equipment home safely that I have searched for months to find and to find a second one will likely be close to never, especially if the trip is 4-5 hrs. :tango_face_surprise
 

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Premium Member
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I never understood why people stay off highways with a load. Generally the higway is more direct, much less start and stop, often smoother, pretty straight, everyone is pretty much heading the same direction, less odds of being pulled out in front of, etc. Just do 55/60 like one would on back roads, and don't make any sudden movements. As long as the load is secured and you're not overloaded or have sketchy equipment, it's probably safer.
Why become a road hazard if you don't need to be? Your actions are also not very considerate to those traveling around you. I have a truck that's road speed is in the 60 to 65 MPH range and very seldom see HWY use with a minimum speed limit. A safe speed is that of those around you not what you want to make it. And everyone stress safety on this site to some time ridicules levels. Lets be safe out there.
 

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I have a 14' aluminum trailer with 2 removable ramps that attach on the sides when not in use. Very little drag.
The trailer is rated for 5000lbs GVW, and weighs in at 800lbs, giving be 4200lbs of cargo capacity.
it has electric brakes, LED lights etc. Fortunately in Ontario, there is no regular inspection etc required.

mine has a torflex axle which is amazing:
1. lower trailer deck height (no leaf springs)
2. proportional soft suspension (took 500lbs to move my old leaf-sprung trailer the first 1/8" of suspension travel). Torflex starts to move with 20lbs on it... but gets proportionally more stiff the more weight you add.
3. fully independent suspension
4. most important: inherent damping (behaves like it has shock absorbers) - so when I go flying on a pot-hole dirt road, the trailer does not bounce around at all.

Had a steel trailer before that lasted 1 year before it rusted to crap (cheap steel grade, no metal prep prior to application of cheap paint)
I repainted in once... sold it 1 year later (it was 2 yrs old) - had enough with the prospect of perpetual maintenance.

My aluminum trailer has a wooden deck.... that one in your picture looks like a suicide-deck. especially when it gets wet. Do they not have an anti-slip surface on there?
 
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Jere, I would definitely go with a wooden deck. Rain and snow and little bit of oil leaking and its suicide. Check out this place in Carlisle, Pa. Looks like they a nice selection of aluminum trailers with wooden decks or if you want aluminum deck they have that too. They have most major brands like Sure-Trac and Lamar. Here's a 6 x 10 for $2,195. They can build it however you want it. The wiring can be in a trough so its not subject to weather or animals.

https://www.bestchoicetrailers.com/2020-qsa-6x10-simplicity-aluminum-utility-trailer-2990-gvw-IPuh|yYb.html
 

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I was shocked by how much air my "expanded " aluminum ramp caught air, it pulls better when a tractor is loaded.
 

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I went with Hillsboro over Aluma just because I liked some of the features better (better fender bracing, no clearance lights on top of the fenders, rear light box, better spare tire mount, etc. As for the ramp gate, it would have cost $250 more plus an 8% price increase to get the bifold gate as this was an in stock model over ordering the next model year. For me, what I might loose in mileage is minor to the extra cost. I usually have the Gator or a tractor loaded which would negate the difference anyway. My gate will fold flat for long distance empty travel. I made treated wood slat sides for it, since painted gray.
 

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I went with Hillsboro over Aluma just because I liked some of the features better (better fender bracing, no clearance lights on top of the fenders, rear light box, better spare tire mount, etc. As for the ramp gate, it would have cost $250 more plus an 8% price increase to get the bifold gate as this was an in stock model over ordering the next model year. For me, what I might loose in mileage is minor to the extra cost. I usually have the Gator or a tractor loaded which would negate the difference anyway. My gate will fold flat for long distance empty travel. I made treated wood slat sides for it, since painted gray.
That's a nice looking trailer.
 
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