Thoughts on THIS trailer

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    I know I’m opening a can of worms here by talking about Harbor Freight trailers but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

    After exchanging a couple of emails with Matt from CLC, I realized that one could even use the 40″ x 48″ HF trailer to mount the trailer kit on using the bunkers.

    So my question is this….would there be much difference mounting the completed trailer on a 4′ x 8′ Harbor Freight trailer or putting it on the 40″ x 48″ inch trailer? Since bunkers would have to be used anyway, would there be any difference? My biggest concern is stability while driving and the like.

    If possible I would really appreciate it if there were not any responses talking about how crappy these trailers are, you get what you pay for, etc.  I understand how many of you feel.  I’m really just trying to get an opinion on if the larger size trailer has any advantages over the smaller size trailer? (Aside from having to fabricate a new tongue on the smaller trailer)

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by teardropkevin.

    If I remember correctly, CLC prototyped the camper on that specific trailer, right? And of course, they included the bunks as part of the kit for the purpose of fitting on narrower trailers. So surely it’s been tested?

    Personally, I had considered going this route at the beginning. But I decided against it as my biggest concern was stability and highway travel. I don’t think the camper alone would be too much for it, but I put the roof rack system on mine with the intention of throwing a kayak or two up there, or other ‘stuff’. Not a lot of weight, but it would shift the center of gravity enough to make me uneasy.

    Another thing to consider is how much higher the camper might be sitting as a result of using the bunks on a trailer with 12″ tires (If I remember correctly, that’s what the HF trailer uses?). Would it potentially put the galley at an uncomfortable/inconvenient height for you? Also, would it make it more difficult to get in and out of the camper? FWIW, I’m 6’1″ and I’m using the CLC trailer with 12″ tires. I wish it sat a little lower for these reasons. I can’t imagine that you can mount the axle overslung with that trailer and still maintain clearances on the shell? This is a preference thing of course, but it could also contribute to the overall stability and usability of the camper, IMO.

    I think that all trailers that are not the CLC official one will need SOME form of modification, whether it is extending the tongue, moving the axle or even shortening. So, if you’re willing to take that on, then I wouldn’t let it be factor. But my opinion is that I think you’d probably be better served with a trailer that is a bit wider, but that’s just my opinion based off my needs and concerns.  And FWIW, @friz used the Northern Tool 5×8 and made some mods to it and has had some great results. While I know it is a bit more expensive than the HF trailer, something like it in either construction (aluminum or steel) might be worth considering.

    Hope this helps. 🙂


    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Thank you abrightwell…great stuff!  You’ve given me a lot of food for thought. Thank you!</p>


    I second what abrightwell said, Having a narrower trailer with the wheels under the camper will raise the height significantly. You would be looking at a galley height of 42″ with 12″ wheels. A typical kitchen counter height is 36″. A narrower wheel base would also raise the center of gravity and be less stable (not unsafe, just not as stable as a 5′ wide).

    If you haven’t already, take a look at the finished campers here  It looks like almost half use 4′ wide trailers and many of those with smaller wheels. Just something to consider.

    I ended up with the CLC Trailex trailer myself after numerous issues sourcing either a HF or NorthernTool trailer. However if you want a wider trailer with a lower price point then i’d recommend the Ironton 5ft. x 8ft.


    <p style=”text-align: right;”>Thanks Adam!  When I was looking at those pictures I saw a forum member named RTCALL and their trailer…. I can’t be positive but it looks like they put theirs on the super small trailer that I’m talking about. I  wonder how they faired with stability, galley height, etc.  That’s great to know what the height of the galley will be. I’m going to go home today after work and feel it out..</p>


    I found that the 5×8 NT with 1 inch hockey puck spacers has put both the door height and galley height good for me and my wife. I am 5,10 and my wife is 5,4. The door height is at the edge of what is tolerable for her. The door height is critical because you spend quite a bit of time there putting on shoes etc. Galley not as important for me. I find myself cooking on a side table most of the time. We do use it for preparing sandwiches on the road. Most of the campsites I have used have fire rings. Fire trumps galley stove for cooking everytime.


    I have planted my camper on the smaller trailer right now and finishing it out…last coats of varnish and starting to work on the hardware.

    I’ll be watching these posts.

    One thing to consider, and if anyone has any ideas, is wear to install the rear trailer lights, since the camper overhangs the trailer, the camper is the most sturdy structure in the rear.  But I don’t want to put MORE holes in  my camper, it’s pierced enough (added an inlet hole for electricity.)

    I’m thinking of adding some rear aluminum arms in the back to attach the rear lights.

    Any thoughts?


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