Trailer Options – Please Help

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    I need suggestions on trailer options and prices, including anyone who may have had theirs custom built.

    The Northern Tool trailer is a No-Go. I ordered their 5×8 trailer April 4th – shipment was on hold 4 weeks for the swivel jack that was on back order. No big deal I had time. Now 2 months later i’ve received the swivel jack and NO trailer. Call to customer support revealed my NT trailer is now out of stock and back ordered until September (it was in stock when i ordered it) – I’ve canceled that order… F*** Northern Tool. Also Harbor Freight trailers have been recalled and removed from the shelf for the foreseeable future.

    Please Help.


    Oh man, that sucks… best laid plans, right?

    FWIW, I teetered back and forth between the NT, HF and CLC option. Ultimately, I bit the bullet and picked up the CLC Trailex trailer. Without a doubt it was expensive, but the piece of mind that came with it made it worth the money to me. Plus I bought it when they were doing a special for a free spare and mounting bracket. So, that was ‘some’ money saved I suppose. 😉 At any rate, they drop ship it straight from Trailex and I think it took about 5-6 days after ordering to get to my doorstep and it took me about an hour or so to assemble it.

    I’ve also seen some that have used a typical boat style trailer similar to this, with good results. EZ Loader, is a popular brand that I’ve always seen around the boat ramp parking lots for small boats. Perhaps you could find a local or regional dealer that might be able to get you close to what you need? I had considered these as options as well during my search too as I didn’t want to spend the money. But as I said above, my primary reason for not taking this option was simply peace of mind.

    Good luck and I’ll be interested to learn what you end up deciding to do.



    I used a PWC trailer, removed the adjustable wooden bunks and welded on some aluminum bunks.


    I went with the CLC/Trailex option, too. It’s my second Trailex, I had one for my schooner. No regrets. It may seem pricey at first, but you really do get what you pay for. The light weight and lack of corrosion worries make using the Teardrop much less worrisome. The missing maintenance is not missed. It also makes it feasible to single-handedly move the camper, even on grass. That can be difficult to do with a heavier steel frame.


    I had a similar issue recently with harbor freight and northern tool. I couldn’t find any information on when the trailers at harbor freight would be sold again. I ended up finding a custom built trailer that a welder was trying to sell because he lost the buyer. I ended paying about the same as a northern tool trailer. I found it on my local craigslist/offerup.

    Originally I was planning on buying a used utility trailer and fixing it up myself. However even the “low priced” ones were much more than I wanted to pay for a heavily used trailer. If I were to look again I would probably look around boat yards for an older boat trailer. It seems like a few people have had success converting those to a suitable trailer and I feel like I see more abandoned boat trailers than any other type. Good luck.



    We had Star City Teardrops build a trailer for us. Tim Miller is a super nice guy who has a business building teardrops to order.

    His basic trailer design is welded aluminum with torsion axles. He put storage compartments under the bed of the trailer. He also put the battery compartment under the trailer between the wheels. We were very interested in picking up some storage space without adding a lot of weight. Also, moving the weight of the battery to a lower position off the galley flat was a desirable feature.

    He is based out of Roanoke, VA. We went and picked ours up but he does have shipping capabilities.


    @PatandRay – If you don’t mind me asking, how much did that Star City trailer cost you? I had planned to build my own storage system on top of a trailer, similar to what I’d seen in the Waterlust build videos, but storage built into the trailer itself sounds great!


    I second the CLC/Trailex option.  Expensive, yes – but worth the lightweight material.  Have towed it for a year now with no complaints.  As someone in a previous post mentioned months ago, be sure to have lock nuts on the u-bolts that hold the axle to the frame.  I’m not sure Trailex addressed that specific issue.


    Thank you all for your input. I pulled the trigger and went with the Trailex one as well. Ordered it Sunday night and had it on my doorstep the following Friday (Trailex +1 / Northern Tool -100) haha.  I still need to mount the TD to the trailer but so far i’m very pleased with it. The trailer is well built and the added bonus of the t-slots allows me to add some custom brackets to mount my water tank.

    One thing to note, I went with the 12″ tires but the ride height may be a tad too high for my wife to easily crawl into. The directions called for installing the axle in an under-slung configuration. Have any of you tried the axle over-slung? I’m thinking this would drop the ride height right to the sweet spot but i’m not sure if the fenders will clear the camper.


    Good choice on the trailer! I also went with the 12″ option after months of shopping around for something cheaper… but this one just works. Perfect size. High quality. Etc… A very real example of getting what you pay for.

    Flip the axel inside the leaf springs. I did and everything fits perfectly. It also brings the teardrop down about 6″ to the correct height. You’ll be so much happier. I contacted the dude at Waterlust about their experience doing this with a much heavier setup and he said they’ve had no problems whatsoever.


    Thanks Dan. The Trailex trailer is certainly an example of you get what you paid for I will go ahead and flip the axle. Just not looking forward to removing and tightening the nuts on the u-bolts again… I think they were a tad long.


    It was pretty easy with the trailer upside down and a helper to do the other end of the axel. It also seems to be made to fit either way. It works great!

    Get one of these socket adapters and use a drill. Soooo much faster:


    Northern Tool has the aluminum 5×8 trailer back in stock for anyone that is interested.


    I’m considering moving my axle from underslung to overslung on my 12″ Trailex as well. Does anyone have any pointers? Or perhaps pictures they’d be willing to share?


    I went with the 12″ wheels and so far i believe it is a must to flip the axle to overslung position. Ground clearance is still good but it is much easier to get into and out of. The galley height is still a bit much and i would assume almost unusable if you don’t flip the axle.

    The axle is easy to flip with no modifications needed. I had everything assembled and the wheels on when i decided to flip it. My process was as follows:

    1) jack up the trailer at the rear

    2) put the spare tire or chalks under the swivel jack

    3)disconnect the 4 u bolts

    4) remove the 2 bolts attaching the back of each leaf spring to the trailer

    5) let the leaf spring hang while you roll the axle & tires backward.

    6) roll axle and tires forward over the leaf spring.

    7) bolt leaf spring back into place while axle hangs from it (you will need another pair of hands for this)

    8) bolt axle back onto the leaf spring with the same u-bolt hardware

    This is the only photo i have of the TD on the trailer, this was AFTER the axle flip. I didn’t even try to mount it prior to flipping the axle.

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