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Bought a trailer... Hope this wasn't a mistake...


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I bought this trailer to transport my mobility scooter... been shopping & burning fuel (misleading ads... hating the lieing SOBs! Did they think I wouldn't see the rust?) So this one was cheap, $200... because the seller honestly stated it needed work. It has a drop in plank at the rear, no ramp, tilt trailer.

When I arrived, he had his compressor out but couldn't get one tire to hold air... dry rotted anyway... so I bought 2 New tire/wheel assemblies at Harbor Freight $105 & he put them on. Trailer lights were there but not working... I high-tailed it. Near an hour drive, highway through major urban area... tried to use the truck signals & leave enough room & did not make the aquaintance of any fine LEOs.

I did not think to take the set of spare trailer lights I made up to move a covered wagon some years ago... (the wagon's fitted trailer had been hidden in a pasture & I knew better than bother with the lights at the last minute... why did I not remember?) I'll rewire the trailer with plastic conduit while the deck is off.

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Most of the rotted deck was still there when I arrived home. Rotted plywood over the rotted & termite eaten planks... I optomistically stopped at Home Depot & bought new PT planks. I have some green cuperinol & I'll give the decking some additional treatment before installing.

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The trailer after...

I brushed & scraped the rotted wood out of the channels. There is some scaling that was hidden by the wood... everything exposed is good. I'm thinking the sides add a lot of strength to the trailer. I'm thinking the hidden areas might be a good place to learn about POR15. The exposed areas probably just use paint.

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The decking minutes later...

Notice my little plastic stool, a place to sit... My legs were pretty done, so I cleaned up my tools for the day.

I'll have to grind the welds off the strap that hold the planks down... I wonder if I should have it welded back or bolt it down? The latest PT is not as good as before & I'm concerned that the holes might be a place for rot to start... but bolted through with carriage bolts would make servicing much easier for me.

Well, here's todays picts.

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I'm noticing that the springs have only 2 leafs. I'm looking up 2 leaf springs & finding that they're rated for 750-1000 pounds. Do you think this is enough? Springs would be easy to change out with the deck off... don't have to crawl under. I know that's enough for what I'm planning to carry... but yas never know what'll end up on it.

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  • 1 year later...

I finally got back on this project. Here's the progress to date. I had treated the inside of the rusted angle iron frame with POR15. I used up the POR15 sample package & decided to go with regular paint on the exposed surfaces. I drilled & tapped for the retaining bolts for the cushion clamps holding the plastic tubing I used to protect the wiring. My bigger landscaper's type trailer has the wiring in conduit above the deck... this tilt trailer is best wired underneath as originally done. I've replaced all the lights are new LEDs, new wiring, new 7 way RV plug to match my truck.

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I replaced the hitch & tilt pins & attached the pins with SS lanyards. It's hooked up to the truck testing lights before the new deck goes on. Current PT lumber is not treated all the way through (except 4x4s & 4x6s) so after trimming to length, I'll retreat all the cut ends. The new paint does not look this bad... it's dirt splash from the recent rain.

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No, I didn't. I might have to service them someday. The 2 wires in the 3/8" water tubing slid in easy a few inches... I had to use a snake & soap suds to get them through the longer runs. I soldered & used shrink tubing on all the connections. You'll notice I reversed the bracket & mounted the trailer plate above the light. No the Lic Plate light is on the bottom & doesn't hit the plate... but this plate is dang sure not being ripped off on an obstruction. The bigger landscaper's trailer had the plate under, tore it nearly off on the first use. Bolted it to the tailgate (no Lic Plate light on this one either) & it's not going anywhere. It's common practice around here. I've never been stopped or questioned on it. My SIL welded new tie downs on the bigger trailer for me & we discussed the Lic Plate light (he borrows the trailer occasionally) & my opinion is that a light mounted to the ramp would not survive the first time someone drops it hard... as I always do. (It's hard to manage with only one good hand.) This tilt trailer is not going to have a tailgate.

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Before you go with bigger leaf springs, be sure you arent going to over weight the axle. I sold trailer parts for a few years at the company here... http://sixrobblees.com/. I learned a lot about the running gear for trailers and the margins can get quite close. If the axle is only rated for 2000#, then the hubs are considered maxed out at 2300# per axle and the bearings start breaking down or over heating at that point. Just a thought, wouldnt want you to loose a hub going down the road.

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Thanks for the thoughts. I'm not going to heavy load this trailer. The tires I bought were of necessity a size bigger... and still are skinny tires on 5 bolt wheels. I decided to stay with the original 2 little leaf springs. There's no way to know what the axle rating really is. I am going to add Bearing Buddy type grease hubs just to keep the lubrication going. My mobility scooter is only 345#. A riding mower not much more. This is an old trailer... there are indications that mine will be the third deck on it (from the screw holes). My plan is one of a small light convenient trailer, when that is all that is needed. If I have heavy loads, I have the 16 x 8 landscaper's trailer... a beach in heavy city traffic. After that, the rear half of the toyhauler... enough room to load a small car in the gutted rear space.

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  • 1 month later...

I didn't get the deck boards screwed down... the last step... It's snowing & wife decided she might have to plow with ATV. So she moved the trailer. You know the new LED lights... with the soldered wires & shrink tube sealed wires... rammed into a rock & broke. I might be able to finish some things (takes twice as long working with one good hand) if my efforts were not sabotaged. *&^%$#!

I bought the lights as a kit. IIT make off Amazon. Not finding single lights listed. Oh, well. Not going to match. I'm not going to try to work out in the cold. disgusted

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I know I didn't get back to screw down the deck boards... it's a really struggle to accomplish anything (I'm typing with one hand, must do about everything one hand... ) I'm unhappy about this. I really wanted to have something nice for a change. Trying to do this keeping the costs down is not easy.

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