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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

With a wife and two kids it is difficult to use the Jeep to get anywhere with all our stuff. We have decided against one of the roof rack systems and have started to look at trailers. We are looking for something small (4X6X4=96ft3) that would give us about the same capacity as the minivan.

U-Haul says on its website that it does not rent to vehicles without a hardtop (meaning Wranglers). We went to one of the places that sell this size trailer and we were not impressed. The tires on this thing are so tiny that I would be afraid to take it down the highways around Chicago. There use to be a company that made off-road trailers but they say they don't anymore. Even if they did, the capacity was only 15ft3.

My latest idea would be to find the back of a pickup truck at our local juckyard and have them cut it up and convert the bed to a trailer. I could then put one of the locking covers or caps on to it and be all set. Still the capacity will be small ~30-40 ft3 but at least it would be fitting to be pulled behind a Wrangler.

Any suggestions and or plans for this type of setup. More importantly what might this cost me.

Thanks.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 11:32 AM
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

I asked about the idea of using a pickup bed and frame to build a utility trailer and was warned that the weight of such a setup made it not practical. I do however see a number of them on the road, and have used one myself.

There must be trailer kits or better trailers available to you. I thought guys mentioned Northern Hydraulic or some similar name.

I ended up building my own trailer out of 2" square tubing and made it with a 5x10 foot box and a 3500 lb capacity axle and car tires and wheels. I am very happy with it and it has hauled plenty.

I didn't have any plans, and just winged it. The axle is offset rear of centre to give it some hitch weight and the deck tilts as the hitch tongue pivots at the axle. The tongue is made of 2" tubing stacked to form a 2x4.

See if you can find a kit or perhaps a used trailer out of your local classifieds. I looked at used trailers, but all I found was scary looking junk. Maybe you will fare better.

You don't want to trailer anything to heavy in a short wheelbase vehicle, esp at highway speeds. And keep in mind there will be laws about the weight of the trailer and the need for electric brakes on the trailer. It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so you need to know the local laws.

Tim
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 11:55 AM
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

farm and fleet has some smal utility trailers . if you need an enclosed trailer im sure you could fab the enclosure on one of these with ply wood and 2x4s and have good results
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 12:07 PM
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

1. My plans are [*]buy two Caravan Rear Axles[*]fab a 2" Box frame (Still working out the dimensions).[*]Angle Iron Upright side frame[*]Mesh Flooring/sides[*]Lights[*]Spare on the side/front[*]Fenders,[*]Tool box over the tongue on the front of the trailer[*]cranking Jack on the tongue
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 12:34 PM
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

I agree with Jeep'n... I bought a utility trailer from Menards (if your outside of WI its the run of the Mill Fleet Farm... Home Depotish type of store..

The utility trailer has never let me down and has exceeded my expectations.

$200 - Trailer (includes wiring harness)
$50 - lumber & hardware.

I say break down and blow the 250 - you'll be happy with it, plus save you a lot of work.



Ignore the idiots in the picture....

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 01:02 PM
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

How 'bout 4x4Trailers.com

Kinda pricey for what you get. I figured a guy could build his own similar to this for about $250 or so. I've drawn some plans to make one similar to this, but without the side walls. I figure I would make mine out of 2x4's and 2x6's so they could be easily removable. Estimate it to be around $150-$200 range.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

I am primarily looking for an enclosed trailer. I could build up walls from one of the flat bed utility type trailers but since Water (Rain) Tight and Raccoon Resistant are the two major concerns I thought metal sides would be better.

The trailers on the 4x4trailer site look great but at a price of $2900 to $4200 and with a capacity of 35ft3, sadly the minivan wins easily.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 02:56 PM
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

Despite their policy of not renting to hard top vehicles I have never had a problem renting a U-Haul. I even rented one and pulled it from Co to Ga when I moved back here. That being said you may not want to try that, but our local U-Haul also from time to time sells their used trailers, maybe check into that? May be worth a try.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 03:25 PM
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

Home Depot sells a very nice metal enclosed trailer with 14" tires. They have them from 5x8 to 6x12 and several sizes in between fron $875.00 to 2700.00.

These are very nice trailers.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 03:48 PM
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Re: Small Cargo Trailer / Pickup Bed???

Good call...I recently notice those also Jim.

While I understand that a family of 4 needs "stuff" when going to the woods, you may want to re-examine the quality(quanity?) of it if you need a friggin mimi-van (100sq/ft [img]images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]) to haul it all! My wife would pack enough junk for a single weekend to snap the rear axles on a semi...*IF* I let her! Now I just say "pack whatever *you* can carry from the vehicle to the campsite in one load".....amazingly, the myriad of hairdryers, 18 changes of clothes, 50 gal. of bottled water, waffle irons, & completely un-needed (hernia creating) devices began to be left at home! [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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