Can't find a trailer!
August 25, 2018 at 8:13 pm #2059teardropkevinParticipant
So I’m super excited to build this unique and special teardrop. I’m engaged and a tentative date for our wedding is next September 2019. My fiance and I have talked about camping and we both love the idea of doing it in a teardrop. I assured her that I felt I had the skills and enough knowledge to build one and that the project will be done after the wedding.
She currently lives in Canada – not far from where I live – and I find myself with a lot of extra time on my hands. I had a brilliant idea LOL of building the teardrop and giving it to her/us on our wedding day. She will be completely shocked and surprised and very happy.
So my first challenge was finding a place to build it because where I live has no garage or any space whatsoever. I live out of town a bit and I was able to find a neighbor to allow me to rent some space during the build. We settled on $100 a month which I felt was reasonable. It is secure and I will have a key and of course it has power and is completely enclosed. It’s on farm property and the best way to describe this space is it is one very large and tall garage.
Now my hunt for a trailer to build it on. I feel I have exhausted all options but I’m still coming up short. The Trailex that CLC offers is definitely out of the question. (Almost $1700 before shipping? Are you kidding me? Yeah I know you get what you pay for but yikes!)
I’ve also checked the usual online sites like Craigslist, Offer Up & Letgo with no results.
Northern Tool’s 5 x 8 is $750….still a lot. I really like the HF trailer for $350 and I know that they are back in stock now but what’s preventing me from pulling the trigger on this one is that it’s 4′ wide. I don’t know why I’m having such a problem figuring out how to make adjustments on the tear so it can fit the 4′ wide trailer.
I really wish I could find a used 5′ one locally and I guess I will keep on searching until I’m ready to really start. If there are any other thoughts on trailers they would be appreciated.
I guess I really don’t have much of a question here as I’m just venting my trailer finding frustrations haha.August 26, 2018 at 10:33 am #2061PopeyeTheTrailerManParticipant
Keep in mind that getting what you pay for in this case involves transporting your camper at freeway speeds. If just one little component fails, you could lose all your investment (materials and labor) in the camper, all the stuff inside the camper, have damage to your car and possibly damage, injure or kill others on the road with you. So don’t get caught up in false economies. That HF trailer has absolutely nothing likeable about it other than the price, which will keep going up and up if you count in the required annual maintenance to keep it from being a road hazard.
All that said, do you live near a boating community? You can almost always find an ancient boat for sale cheap (or even free for hauling off) that includes the trailer. Trash the boat and rebuild the trailer into something for your camper. There’ll be lots of hacksaw work and drilling, but nothing really too difficult. Even re-packing the bearings is more messy than complicated. Just remember, don’t weld galvanized.
Good luckAugust 26, 2018 at 11:00 am #2062kennaramaParticipant
I agree with Popeye about false economies. None of the cheapo Harbor Freight and North Tools trailers were rated for highway speeds when I was looking a year ago. While plenty of people online said that the companies were only covering their keisters against lawsuits, I was unwilling to take that gamble. For me, one of the main goals for building the teardrop was having something easy and safe to tow long distances.
I am lucky enough to live near boating communities, so I went with a boat trailer rebuild, but even that was not cheap. I thought $200 for an aluminum 30-year-old Trailex trailer off of Criagslist was a steal, but then I had to replace all of the bolts, the axle (admittedly I went overboard with a fancy axle-less system), the lights, fabricate mounting brackets, and so on. In the end, I was happy with the results (check out my pics on the completed trailer thread), but it was not cheap. If I had to do it again, I would do a bit more research on the other teardrop forums (this one has a limited scope) and I would look for someone skilled in metalwork to fabricate the frame for me.
On a side note, our stories have some overlap. I got engaged last summer during a particularly rainy and cold camping trip. We both ended up terribly sick for most of the rest of the summer. There was no way we were giving up camping, but we were done with wet tent and sleeping bags, so I bought the kit. I did not have a garage, and I could not find one to rent like you so I bought Harbor Freight’s 10 by 12 portable garage tent and told my neighbors that it would only be up for four months or so. Unfortunately, that was a gross underestimation of time and it took me nine months to complete the job. Your plan of completing it in secret is nice, but it will be many many hours of work and I don’t think that I could keep it a secret for that long.
However, I finished it and drove it up to Maine this summer to get married at the spot of our engagement.August 26, 2018 at 5:53 pm #2067teardropkevinParticipant
- I appreciate your thoughts about the trailer and it is definitely something to chew on. I used the same Harbor Freight trailer to construct my hot dog cart and did not have any issues at all. I kept it at lower speeds while on the freeway. Again I’m not saying that you all don’t make valid points. But there have been thousands of these trailers sold for this very purpose and I think the success rate speaks for itself. And while you get what you pay for there is a significant difference between $400 and $1, 700.
Anyway I think I might have a lead on a used trailer and I’m just trying to get the guy to write back to me so we’ll see what happens with that.
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