Northern Tool 5X8 Aluminium Trailer Mods
July 3, 2017 at 6:43 am #968caveprodParticipant
Not change the axle placement? Good to hear, I have been agonising about how far I might need to move my “cut down” 8 X 5 to 6 x 5 axle forwards. The spare tyre can go on the back and the axle can stay where it is. cheers.July 11, 2017 at 8:11 pm #1038fishcarverParticipant
What is the reason for making the deck on the trailer smaller. Couldn’t that extra space be used to put a nice box or could it be that the doors would hit the fenders?July 12, 2017 at 5:56 am #1039faithie999Participant
I am going to wait until my TD is finished (except for varnishing) and then experiment with positioning on the trailer before I decide on whether to shorten the frame or not. I think the issue will be balance/tongue weight. I will have my battery inside the galley module, which puts its weight well aft of the axle. I’ll see how much weight would need to be on the front of the trailer frame where I would build the box to get the right tongue weight.July 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm #1052frizParticipant
A couple changes to the camping “rig”. Aluminum 5 spoke wheels and a tongue box.July 14, 2017 at 11:29 pm #1053caveprodParticipant
Hi Friz, your rig is looking very smart, and it looks like you have good clearance from the mudguard to the door. Where is your axle placement relative to the back of your trailer base please?
Also something that concerns me as I wait for my CLC kit to arrive, did you have to play with your mudguard placement at all to avoid the camper body as it doesnt look like you had to jack up the body to avoid the mud guards?
I bought a Carlex 8 x 5 trailer (I think they come from Tiawan) and cut it down.August 24, 2019 at 3:25 pm #2718Virginia OverlanderParticipant
Funny i chose that exact trailer. Nice to see how it looks on it when done. You say there is only 56lb on the tongue. Thats about 10% and 10 to 15 is good. Had the same thought on springs. Tell me did you remove the short spring or unwrap the long one. I know the longer the spring the softer the ride. Short ones are stiffer.
One more question… the wheels look nice did you go with a larger wheel tire combo.
August 30, 2019 at 6:12 am #2732faithie999Participant
- This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Virginia Overlander.
I built mine a couple of years ago and followed Friz’s advice to buy the harbor freight trailer. I’ve seen so many small trailers in the breakdown lane with wheels taken off (I assume for bearing replacement) I didn’t want to use the 12″ wheels. I bought a set of 15″ wheels. I bought a set of fenders with enclosed back sides from a local trailer manufacturer. but, no good deed goes unpunished. the 15″ wheels were wide enough that they rubbed on the frame. on the advice of a friend I bought a set of 1 1/4″ wheel spacers. I also bought a set of what Northern Equipment calls “high-speed hubs”, although there is no spec on the speed rating. the wheel spacer of course puts the wheels 1 1/4″away from the bearing, so there might be a slight lateral load on the bearing, but since the trailer is so light I’ve disregarded this as a potential problem. I also use bearing buddies to make sure the bearings are greased. I’ve only put about 1000 miles on the trailer but have never felt the bearings get hot.August 30, 2019 at 11:28 am #2733Virginia OverlanderParticipant
Wheel diameters not the reason for all the failures we see on the road side rather lack of maintenance. With the Northern Tool 5 x 8 the biggest wheel/tire you can fit without changing anything is a 175/80R13. Anything larger you will be moving fenders up and risk rubbing the frameAugust 31, 2019 at 1:52 am #2734western_flyerParticipant
I used the Northern Tool aluminum trailer. I swapped out the OME bias ply tires for radials of the same size (12″). I put one of the OME tires on a new rim for a spare. The bearings seam to be oversize for the loads the teardrop creating, and the 12″ tire more than big enough to handle highway travel and some off road conditions. Nonetheless I purchased two complete replacement bearing sets from NT just to be prepared. It’s a guess on my part but I plan to check and repack the bearings every 10,000 miles initially.
As a customizing note. I didn’t cut the trailer frame down and placed the TD flush with the trailer rear. I did move the axle/spring mounting beam aft to 20 inch from the end of the trailer in order for the doors to clear the fenders. After loading up the tongue box and TD, the tongue load weighed in at about 60 lbs, just about right.September 7, 2019 at 5:19 pm #2743frizParticipant
Update: I’m on my third season of camping with this gem. I have changed out the springs with ones rated at under 1000 lbs. they seem about right. I had to do some modifications to the mount channel to get them to work properly. My fenders were also starting to crack out. I replaced them with some nice curved ones.
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