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Thread: Converting an old single axle boat trailer into a utility trailer worth it?

  1. #1
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    Converting an old single axle boat trailer into a utility trailer worth it?

    How worthwhile is it to convert an old trailer for a 16 foot boat into a utility trailer? I have an old one that my dad is letting me have and I want to convert it into a utility trailer. It needs new wiring and lighting as well as new wheel bearings. I have a few extra pieces of steel that I have purposely put aside for this project (was initially gonna scrap those pieces with the rest of the steel I currently have), so that's a start. Also, and I ask this for guys here who have done this before, how much (lbs.) were you able to safely carry in your home-made utility trailer from an old boat trailer?



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    I'd say itd be worthwhile depending on axle weight bearing rating and the load range of tires as well. If its a 14" or 15" tire itd be game on, if their 12" tires I'd scrap the idea, no phun intended .
    Last edited by taterjuice; 07-28-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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    I think an old boat trailer could be a handy little device, especially with its tilting capability(easy to dump maybe?) Some of the older ones even have galvanized steel frames. You can pull them bearings out, wash them good in gas, then inspect them closely for pits or burrs. New wheel seals shouldn't be a biggie, they've got numbers on em(if you need help repacking them with new grease just let me know, it isn't difficult at all). If worse comes to worse, Tractor Supply has complete axles for 60-80 $ which will accommodate larger wheels. I even got a custom 3000 lb axle made about 6 years ago, from a local trailer manufacturer, for $150, it even had new leaf springs already attached (i'm yet to find a use for those 3k# springs tho ; )
    Last edited by Bear; 07-27-2012 at 11:51 PM.

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    I have an older boat trailer that has springs and fitted with ford 15" rims. I'm going to use wood to shim up the middle to make it level across it, then build a deck on it with plywood. Probably just go with short sides.
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    Happy to see others are doing this. I have a 21' boat trailer I am considering doing the same thing with.

    Oh, mine is a double axle with the larger tires.
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    Burly I'd say game on that tandem axle boat trailer conversion

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    For a few hundred in material id give it a go. If it doesn't work out; worst case scenario you break even. 1 or 2 loads will pay for itself. If all else fails scrap the trailer frame if it doesn't work.

    I built sides on a 16ft car hauler. Only cost around $250 for plywood, studs , paint and angle brackets. First load of steel paid above and beyond my cost.

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    lights aren't that difficult either, you can either take em from another junk trailer, get em at a yard sale or flea market, or buy a cheap kit

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    Ive seen them in and out of the yards here major problem is the axle is too far back.. move it forwards. also most people here just screw the deck boards down to the frame and let it keep the dished profile.. kinda holds the load in

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    Be mindful of tongue weight and how that effects the dynamics of the trailer. You do NOT want the tail wagging the dog.

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    Good call Pete, rather have it tongue heavy than back heavy

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    Im aware that you need the tongue heavy but when the axle is all the way in the back it puts a lot of stress on other parts of the trailer most weight on boats is in the back..


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