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Another Harbor Freight Trailer Thread

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So I had a kid and it didn't take long to figure out my Ranger wasn't going to cut it for our needs anymore. We knew that going in, but reality set in after a week and I bought this lesbaru...

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A moth later I sold the Ranger and was stuck taking the big truck if I went riding. Time to invest in a cheap trailer and a hitch for the car. I had a HF trailer before and it served me fine. This time I went for the 12 inch wheels, though. After finally getting through checkout and home, I had this pile of parts in my garage around noon.

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Partially assembled and ready for wheels

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I greased up the bearings and got ready to install the hub. Found this little gem; weld splatter on the seal surface of the spindle. I knocked it down with my dremel. There were a couple spots, actually. Something to look out for.

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I added my side extensions, ran the wiring, and finished for Saturday.

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Edited by ubu

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I picked up a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood. I had Home Depot cut it in half because I need it to fold. It doesn't fold nice and flat because of the thickness, but it's close enough.

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Now I had to lay out my plans for "wheel chocks". Remember I need it to fold, so mounting chocks and removing them would add more time to a job that is not that fun to begin with. My plan was to cut out sections of the wood where the wheel would drop in. I decided to cut the length between the front 2 crossmembers. The outside slots need to be in far enough so the wheel clears the tongue when it drops in. I went with 16 inches from center, which should cause me to lean the bikes outward 3-5 degress when hauling 2 big bikes. Have yet to prove it out.

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Test fit of one of my big bike wheels

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Moment of truth, will the mini wheel of my stepson's 100 fit?

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Okay. Proceed.

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Loaded and ready for the maiden voyage last Sunday.

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Trailer pulled well. Bike was stable enough. Pretty much what I thought. The right hand tail/brake/turn light isn't working. It worked when I installed the wiring, but not Sunday. It has power and the bulb is intact. Maybe I damaged something when I dropped the rear half (twice already) Got to remember to tie those off BEFORE standing it up. Anyway, a light is about $10. I might get a set of LEDs, though.

Edited by ubu

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Those lights are grounded through the frame. try running a self tapping screw through the light bracket and frame that "paint" is a horrible conductor.

 

Had the same problem with a HF trailer that i pull behind my Goldwing.

 

 

 

Mike

Edited by mike000198

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Wheel wells are a great idea, just too long, lets the wheels drop too deep. About half to two-thirds length would have been better and still very secure. You can always make small holes bigger, hard to go the other direction. Five-eights would be plenty strong, fold much better and lighter. Last suggestion is about three cans of a good clear paint like Krylon or Rustoleum on all the metal to help prevent rust, at least in wet climes. The original paint could use some help. I always paint the plywood on mine before final installation, three coats.

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Those lights are grounded through the frame. try running a self tapping screw through the light bracket and frame that "paint" is a horrible conductor.

 

Had the same problem with a HF trailer that i pull behind my Goldwing.

 

 

 

Mike

Yes, I will try that first. Or grind a little off where the bolts go through.

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Wheel wells are a great idea, just too long, lets the wheels drop too deep. About half to two-thirds length would have been better and still very secure. You can always make small holes bigger, hard to go the other direction. Five-eights would be plenty strong, fold much better and lighter. Last suggestion is about three cans of a good clear paint like Krylon or Rustoleum on all the metal to help prevent rust, at least in wet climes. The original paint could use some help. I always paint the plywood on mine before final installation, three coats.

Determining the length of that cut took me a few nights of thought. I wanted to go a little shorter, but also wanted support for the plywood. I thought about running a 2x4 crossmember to take up the space, but in the end it was going to be more of a pain than it was worth. In the end, I just test fit the wheels between the crossmembers, and went with it. Good enough. The bike drops right in and stays there; still easy enough to get out.

 

I wanted to paint the wood, but ran out of time before the weekend. Ended up putting some water seal on. I don't like it. Still get marks from tires and footwear. I have some gray Rustoleum I think I might use to paint it. I think the water seal works as a prep; the instructions say to let dry 3 days before applying oil based paints. I'll need to get started tonight if I want to use it this weekend, though. 

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Instead of cutting holes in that nice new plywood, I would've put a rail across the front of the trailer. About 8" to 10" tall would be sufficient.But, all in all that's a great little setup. :thumbsup:

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Instead of cutting holes in that nice new plywood, I would've put a rail across the front of the trailer. About 8" to 10" tall would be sufficient.But, all in all that's a great little setup. :thumbsup:

I need it to fold...

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Wood painted and reinstalled.

Now both lights don't work. On the car, that is. They work fine on the truck. Looks like I have a ground issue in the brand new car wiring, or the fuse blew in the Curt box...

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Looks good to me. I prolly would of used washers on the bolts tho. How you like the crosstrek? MPG? Do you use a ramp to load bike onto trlr?

The Crosstrek is nice. I haven't had a new car in 8 years, so not much to compare it too. Main reason I bought it is that my wife wanted a Subaru. But she hasn't really driven it yet :devil: 

 

It's a car and takes some getting used to coming from a pickup. No gauges except rpm and speedo, everything else is a light The factory stereo sucks! I replaced the head unit and speakers before I even made it to the DMV for registration. Overall, it looks good, has AWD, gets good mileage, and has 4 doors and  a back seat for the kid. The cargo area hold all my gear, too; almost more convenient than my Ranger.

 

I've only got about 2k miles on the it. There's a break in period of 1000 miles where throttle needs to be varied. I read some forum reports of oil consumption, so break in had me nervous. I drove it moderately hard, acceleration and egine braking, not exceeding 4K rpm. Still got around 30 mpg.

 

Ramp isn't a necessity. I used a ramp last weekend just for convenience. Mine to load/unload at home, and my buddy's at the staging area. I'll probably be leaving the ramp at home unless a buddy with a fat ass 4T wants to carpool.

 

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Still got around 30 mpg.

 

 I'll probably be leaving the ramp at home unless a buddy with a fat ass 4T wants to carpool.

 

That's good. We had a Mazda MPV for ten years to haul the family and gear. Damn thing never got better than 20MPG. 2.5L 170HP V6 from a Ford Contour. :foul: Kids are older now so we just got a civic to replace it four years ago. Luckily still have my truck to haul everybody and gear if necessary (rare). It gets 17MPG.

 

Your buddy would hafta be a pretty manly dude to carpool somewhere in a Subaru. :D

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I need it to fold...

Understood. Buuuut you could still fold it with a rail if it's done right. I guess it's just me, but cutting holes in a perfectly fine trailer.....idk. Different strokes I guess. That should work well for you.

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So lights: I re-attached the ground point in the car with a bolt instead of the tiny screw that came with the kit. Still nothing. Turns out the ground path from front to rear was disrupted because I'm removing 2 bolts to fold the thing and they were just snug. I took some paint of underneath the hinges so it will have a better path through the frame, and made sure those other 2 bolts were tight.

 

I also checked over the trailer again because there is a pinch point where it folds. I had loom there and wires were still intact, but I didn't like it. I bought a male and female flat 4 connectors and spliced them in so I can disconnect before folding. A little more work before/after use, but it eliminates potential shredded wires in that area. 

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So lights: I re-attached the ground point in the car with a bolt instead of the tiny screw that came with the kit. Still nothing. Turns out the ground path from front to rear was disrupted because I'm removing 2 bolts to fold the thing and they were just snug. I took some paint of underneath the hinges so it will have a better path through the frame, and made sure those other 2 bolts were tight.

I also checked over the trailer again because there is a pinch point where it folds. I had loom there and wires were still intact, but I didn't like it. I bought a male and female flat 4 connectors and spliced them in so I can disconnect before folding. A little more work before/after use, but it eliminates potential shredded wires in that area.

We learned a long time ago that it's easier to splice in a ground wire when dealing with folding beds or drop tongues. Fortunately my brother is amazing with a soldering iron.

I have an HF trailer myself, what's the deal with the 55mph warning on the wheels? Is that an actual limitation in the wheel/tire, or Chinese for "no drag racing"?

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We learned a long time ago that it's easier to splice in a ground wire when dealing with folding beds or drop tongues. Fortunately my brother is amazing with a soldering iron.

I have an HF trailer myself, what's the deal with the 55mph warning on the wheels? Is that an actual limitation in the wheel/tire, or Chinese for "no drag racing"?

 

Lawyer thing for people who don't take care of their bearings.

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Can you get 3 handle bars across?  I had to offset the bikes on my small trailer... front one forward.

No because I didn't offset the center. I have no plans for more than 2 bikes on this trailer. Even with 2 bikes, I will have to lean them out 3-5 degrees. I could possibly get a 3rd one on backwards if I absolutely have to, but not in my plans. If I have 3 bikes, I'll probably just take the truck. It was built back in the day before 8 foot beds went extinct.

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