Your On-Line Port'o'Call

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
#574742 - 12/26/20 11:36 AM Cargo Trailer Advice  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Lake Geneva, WI
We are in the market for a small (4x6, 5x8) enclosed cargo trailer for occasional use. I have almost zero experience with such trailers, so thought I would reach out for advice on what to look for.

The primary use will be migrating between our summer home and winter home, so reliability is must (don't want to be stranded far from home). In searching on the internet, I see a huge range in prices, so wondering what the lower priced models don't have that the more expensive models do? Also concerned about ability to back up as years ago I borrowed a small cargo trailer that was impossible to back up w/o jack knifing. Is there a minimum hitch to axle length?

We were going to rent a trailer, but these price out as $600 each way, so a purchase would pay for itself quickly.

Thanks in advance.
.

A Word from Our Sponsors
#574744 - 12/26/20 02:24 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,129
2Suns Offline
Admiral
2Suns  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,129
Peoria,IL
I had a 6’ x 10’ V nose for a while. A few observations-

I wish I had bought a bigger one.

The V nose was supposed to be better for mileage, etc. I suppose it is, but it makes for an awkward area to fit things in. Not sure I’d buy a V nose again.

The read door was a ramp instead out swing out doors. I preferred the ramp door, but I could see it being a problem if you don’t have the space to open it. Mine had a side door as well.

I didn’t shop too much before I bought it. But I would imagine the cost differences are due to the usual suspects- quality of build, etc.

Short trailers are hard to back up. Whenever the distance from the pivot point to the trailer axle is less than the wheelbase of the tow vehicle, it gonna be hard. I routinely pull a short trailer with an extended WB cargo van. The two things I’ve learned is go slow, and small corrections. I’m always backing in off the street and I am constantly saying “slow down, small corrections” to my myself when doing it.


By the time they had diminished from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began to suspect "Hungry.-Gary Larson
#574745 - 12/26/20 02:51 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,035
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,035
Chicago, IL
if you are going to use in winter might want to consider aluminum.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#574747 - 12/26/20 10:41 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,646
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
Retired Boating Bum
Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,646
Pasco, WA
pc


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#574748 - 12/27/20 12:38 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: 2Suns]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Lake Geneva, WI
Originally Posted by 2Suns
I had a 6’ x 10’ V nose for a while. A few observations-

I wish I had bought a bigger one.

The V nose was supposed to be better for mileage, etc. I suppose it is, but it makes for an awkward area to fit things in. Not sure I’d buy a V nose again.

The read door was a ramp instead out swing out doors. I preferred the ramp door, but I could see it being a problem if you don’t have the space to open it. Mine had a side door as well.

I didn’t shop too much before I bought it. But I would imagine the cost differences are due to the usual suspects- quality of build, etc.

Short trailers are hard to back up. Whenever the distance from the pivot point to the trailer axle is less than the wheelbase of the tow vehicle, it gonna be hard. I routinely pull a short trailer with an extended WB cargo van. The two things I’ve learned is go slow, and small corrections. I’m always backing in off the street and I am constantly saying “slow down, small corrections” to my myself when doing it.


Most of the trailers we are finding on the dealer lots are V nose. I was thinking the same thing about the odd shaped interior. I was actually thinking they should but an empty nose on the front of the trailers (similar to what they put on some semi trailers).
It seems like most of the trailers have the ramp door. I have no need for a ramp, and would prefer a swing door, but not a big deal either way. My main concern with the ramp is maintenance/reliability.

As for length, the Admiral wanted a 4x6, but I will not sign up to back up a trailer so short.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

#574749 - 12/27/20 12:40 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: captkevin]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Lake Geneva, WI
Originally Posted by captkevin
if you are going to use in winter might want to consider aluminum.


Good suggestion. I did a search, and there are some enclosed trailers with aluminum frames, but they are not common. I don't have time to order one (needs to use in a few weeks), so will have to go with steel. However, the better brands claim to have a under coating.

#574750 - 12/27/20 12:56 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Lake Geneva, WI
After visiting a few dealer lots yesterday, and searching the "inter webs", we came to a few conclusions:
1) We don't want a lower priced trailer. I researched a model available at a local Fleet Farm store that would cost about 30% less, but it seems like each an every component is cheap. Reliability is very important, so we are not considering the lower cost options.
2) While there are countless makes of trailers, most of the trailers available appear to be similarly priced with similar features. They seem to use the same components and designs.
3) We decided one important factor for us is to fit under a 7' garage door. This limits us to an inside height of 5'. There are only 2 trailers within a reasonable drive that I have found that will fit under a 7' door. One is 5x8 and one is 5x10, both are from the same dealer and same mfg, and both are single axle. The 5x10 has stabilizer jacks on the back so you can load/unload safely without being attached to the tow vehicle. The stabilizer jacks make the decision easy: 5x10. This is more trailer than we need, but the extra size might come in handy, and might also tow better as well.

The two items that I am not seeing on any of the trailers is interior tie down points. I assume the dealers add these on for a fee? Also, not seeing spare tires. Seems like this (and jack and tools)_is a must have for long hauls.

I will be calling the dealer Monday morning.

#574751 - 12/27/20 01:35 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,035
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,035
Chicago, IL
One i'd look at is the class of the tires. On my Triton enclosed trailer the tires that it came with were barely enough for the weight of the trailer & sled. I upgraded them to the next class up to give me more of a safety cushion & kept originals as spares. If i would have thought of that when i bought it i might have explored upgaded.

I'd make sure it has led lights


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#574752 - 12/27/20 01:52 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: captkevin]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Lake Geneva, WI
Originally Posted by captkevin
One i'd look at is the class of the tires. On my Triton enclosed trailer the tires that it came with were barely enough for the weight of the trailer & sled. I upgraded them to the next class up to give me more of a safety cushion & kept originals as spares. If i would have thought of that when i bought it i might have explored upgaded.

I'd make sure it has led lights



Not sure of the tire ratings, but they are radials. I won’t be towing heavy loads, so should be fine.

Lights are all LED and are well with placed - vertical strips up high on both sides if the rear door, a strip across the top, and lights on top of the fenders. Thus set up seems to be common.



Last edited by Dock Holiday; 12/27/20 01:54 PM.
#574756 - 12/28/20 11:26 AM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,035
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,035
Chicago, IL
Do they have interior lights?


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#574757 - 12/28/20 02:05 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,089
Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,089
Southern California
You might want to verify all critical components are made in the USA-- wheels, bearings, coupler, wiring, etc. How are the wires fastened to the trailer between the front and the rear? It sounds like the rear and side lights are "exciting." Are they standard parts that can be purchased locally wherever you are traveling and replaced with simple tools?

Not sure what you will be pulling the trailer with. Many vehicles have tow ratings that you would think would be OK, But, some are insufficient to pull anything other than a very small lightweight trailer. Even some lightweight trailers, when loaded, exceed the tow ratings of some vehicles.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#574759 - 12/28/20 08:02 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Lake Geneva, WI
Brought this trailer home tonight (5x10, 5" inside height).

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

As far as I could tell, the components are of decent quality and are typical for a middle of the road brand.
She has an interior light that illuminates surprisingly well.
Quality is. much better than the cheap trailers, but there are better brands out there, I just did not have the time to seek them out.

While towing her home with an empty load, she towed well with no bouncy issues like some empty trailers will do. I have a 4x6 flat bed that I load with 200+ lbs of water softener salt when towing empty as the bouncing drives me bonkers. Hopefully she will do well when loaded.

The tow vehicle is a 2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport with a 5K tow rating. I have not towed much with this vehicle yet, but others have posted good experiences online. My previous vehicle, a VW Touareg, was a fantastic tow vehicle.

I had the dealer install a spare tire inside, and I purchased D-ring tracks for the floor and sides, as well as 12 removable D-ring thingies, so securing the cargo should be easy.

Per the car's computer, there is very little hit to the MPG with the empty trailer.

We had the option of getting the same model, except in silver and black. It would have looked great, and matched the tow vehicle, but this added $300 to the cost and I was concerned about the inside getting too hot from the sun.

Thanks for all of the excellent input.

GFC - You can put down the popcorn now.

Last edited by Dock Holiday; 12/28/20 08:30 PM.
#574760 - 12/28/20 08:17 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,646
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
Retired Boating Bum
Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,646
Pasco, WA
Originally Posted by Dock Holiday
GFC - You can put down the popcorn now.


OH not yet. I want to hear what you think of how she tows with a load.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#574765 - 12/29/20 01:53 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,035
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 8,035
Chicago, IL
Nice looking trailer. Should be very handy to have around.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#574766 - 12/29/20 11:39 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,197
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,197
Highland, Michigan
Just upgraded from a 6x12 to a 7x16. It's amazing how much more space those few feet give you!

I built a shelf for the v-nose. Some interesting carpentry work to figure it out, but makes the space much more usable.

I had to order spare tire and mount separate for both trailers, not a standard inclusion.

I also had to install tie downs on both of them. I got several sets of light duty D-rings for this. You can find the steel ribs from the screws on the inside - self tapping screws make for quick and easy install.

Oops - now that I read more I see you got all that take care of already. Enjoy!


Last edited by casualboater; 12/29/20 11:41 PM.

1989 Larson DC 190
2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1
#574785 - 01/01/21 05:24 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Lake Geneva, WI
Installed the "e-track" tie-downs today. Not too difficult once you get the hang of it. Wondering if it makes sense to install D-Rings on the cross members in the ceiling?

[Linked Image]

#574786 - 01/03/21 12:24 AM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,197
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,197
Highland, Michigan
Personally, I wouldn't want to put too much stress/weight on the ceiling. We have several trailers in our school distict (band - gotta move instruments) and one of the trailers had a damaged roof from snow load. It was newer, they got it re-roofed with closer spacing on the 'rafters' and has been fine since, but it makes me nervous.

E-track is good, almost infinite options for tie downs.


1989 Larson DC 190
2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1
#574787 - 01/03/21 09:56 AM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Dock Holiday Offline
Admiral
Dock Holiday  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,989
Lake Geneva, WI
I was thinking about straps to the ceiling cross braces to steady taller items, but that probably doesn't make sense. I can use bungie cords if I need to steady something.

Funny, when I started to install the e-tracks, the first thing I did was to grab my trusty level. I quickly realized that a level is just about worthless inside of a trailer. funny

#574794 - 01/05/21 01:40 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,197
casualboater Offline
Admiral
casualboater  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,197
Highland, Michigan
I'm with you, I started to layout mounting lines for my shelf in the V, and thought level, and then quickly went to measuring everything off the deck. I also realized level's no so important in the trailer as it'll all be strapped down anyway.


1989 Larson DC 190
2017 GMC Acadia SLT-1
#574805 - 01/08/21 12:44 PM Re: Cargo Trailer Advice [Re: Dock Holiday]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,602
On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,602
PA and Smith Mountain Lake
We have that brand and size of trailer at work that is used for construction industry. I've used the trailer personally to move furniture from PA to VA and it towed nicely. Thankfully I have about 3 different trailers at my disposal from work that I could use in a pinch. I have an open 5x8 aluminum trailer for my motorcycle that I though about enclosing.


2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
2008 Honda Goldwing Trike
2006 Regal 2400
2004 Dodge Ram 2500
2003 Ford F-150
2002 Harley Davidson Roadking Classic



Moderated by  Admin 

Sponsors
New Topics
Advice for buying the first boat
by Justaddwater. 01/04/21 01:28 AM
Sad News - Dawn Wells (aka Marry Anne) Has Passed At 82
by Dock Holiday. 12/30/20 05:19 PM
Bucket List.....
by Justified Too. 12/30/20 03:49 AM
Alpha One Trim Limiter ?
by Rinoki21. 12/29/20 01:41 PM
Cargo Trailer Advice
by Dock Holiday. 12/26/20 11:36 AM
12 Ft crossing Long Island Sound ?
by zolth96. 12/24/20 02:57 AM
Merry Christmas everyone
by GoFirstClass. 12/23/20 08:03 PM
An interesting website
by MarkHB. 12/17/20 09:55 AM
Swinging Boat
by MarkHB. 12/16/20 09:25 AM
Who's Online Now
1 registered members (Ndiehm), 75 guests, and 5 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Blurubi, Justaddwater, zolth96, Kifero, Daniel33
5542 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums23
Topics37,437
Posts566,119
Members5,542
Most Online252
Aug 5th, 2017
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0