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Trailer - Doing it cheap vs doing it right

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I have no choice but to attempt to do it cheap. :applause:

I have read all (well, at least a bunch of) the trailer threads, and I am attempting to buy or make myself a cheap trailer. It has to be either small or folding, and since folding tends to cost extra, that means it will be small.

I would like for it to be able to carry two dual sports (DRZ400S and XT225) or two sportbikes. I realize this makes things more difficult. I might settle for one sportbike if I have to, since my girlfriend's sportbike is a Ninja 250 that has a 120 rear tire that will fit in a dirt bike rail.

I am considering buying this trailer

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=2948[\url]

How difficult or expensive would it be to get motorcycle rails for it? Do I really need them? Harbor Freight does not appear to sell motorcycle rails, and by the time I bought the rails from sportutilitytrailers.com I could have bought the whole trailer.

Any advice for how to build up a two-bike trailer on a budget?

BTW, I have been watching craigslist all winter, and there is butkus nearby, so I am willing to buy new. Cheap new, though.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Drawback to doing it cheap is you usually have to do it again and end up spending more $$$ in the end for less trailer instead of getting exactly what you wanted in the first place. If you go cheap, get a good deal so you can sell it for what you paid for it, then you can break even, assuming it doesnt need tires...etc. You mentioned craigslist, great place to start.

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What is your upper cap on what you are willing to spend?

Luckily I just had a co-worker offer me a nice 3 year old dedicated 3 rail trailer for $225. So, they are out there. If you know someone who can weld you could probably have a nice new 2-3 rail trailer for about $500.

I have seen some go the cheap trailer route (harbor freight, northern tools) and add decking. The were fine for dirt bikes. I would watch the bearings closely though.

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I dunno. It looks to me like the trailer is not physically large enough. Assuming you ditch the box and put a piece or plywood (or rails) on it, they're gonna stick out the back quite a ways to support your back tire. That's gonna put lift on the front of the trailer, and will not be conducive to good handling.

I sold my utility trailer 6 months ago, and 3 months later, my truck blew the motor... now I'm hating life!!

My best suggestion is to find a basic utility trailer frame, and then build it up from there. Avoid the dinky Tonka-toy wheels if you can.

My trailer had diamond-plate steel fenders so I could stand on them, and the wiring harness was made out of a 25 foot orange extension cord, so the wiring was all insulated.

I bolted a wood deck onto it- 2x8 boards with small gaps for water to run off (like your deck) and then snapped a pop-chock in place when I wanted to trailer a bike. The wood deck extended a foot or so off the back of the trailer frame.

If you buy removeable 2 pop-chocks, get 3 sets of mounting hardware.

Then position one set in the center for hauling a single bike (balanced better that way) and put the other 2 sets far enough apart that 2 bikes will fit comfortably- perhaps staggering the smaller bike back a bit so the bars don't bang into each other.

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Be patient and keep looking for the right deal. It will also give you time to save up a little more money. If you are hauling sport bikes you will need a good trailer. Figure out how much weight you want carry then add about 20% for gear and that should tell you what you need look for.

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If you do get a Harbor Freight trailer, don't get that one. It is too small for motorcycles. They have others in the same price range that are larger, but they don't have the box. Try and go for as big of tires as you can. Those tiny tires don't last long, are prone to failure, and put extra load on the bearings due to the rpms that they run at. Harbor Freight always has sales. If you get one, wait for it to go on sale. As far a bike rails go, you can always slap a sheet of plywood on there and then put some 2x2's or 2x4's to make a slot for the wheel.

Trailers with full size tires are better. Keep an eye on craigslist and you should be able to find one for the same that you would end up paying for a Harbor Freight one.

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http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=90154

that ones on sale for $249. and can hold 1175lbs. its 48"x96". not sure it would do good for sport bikes but it would be good for dirt bikes. it also has 12" tires.

I have one of these and they work. They are foldable but the hinge mechanism is cheep and makes the trailer feel week. I decked the whole thing with plywood and that made a huge difference, but it’s not foldable anymore. My main complaint is the leaf spring packs are way too heavy for the trailer capacity. For the price it’s hard to beat. Another option is to look for an old boat trailer

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I built up the small harbor freight trailer to haul 1 or 2 bikes(3 rails) but I rarely put more than 1 on it. I have hauled a DRZ and a KTM525 without any problems. Get the 12'' wheels and replace the cheep chineese needle bearings if you go this route.

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I've got a harbor freight trailer. I can haul 2, bikes on it. It's tricky getting them tied down safely because I have no angle on the front straps. I need to do what TXsandman did and make a wider beam in front with some hooks on it. 2 sportbikes might give you some trouble.

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I am thinking of buying a trailer from harbor freight and have done a little research on them. In the instruction manual it says not to exceed a maximum speed of 45 mph. I need to be able to do freeway speeds and have no worries of the trailer failing, can you do at least 60mph.

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I am thinking of buying a trailer from harbor freight and have done a little research on them. In the instruction manual it says not to exceed a maximum speed of 45 mph. I need to be able to do freeway speeds and have no worries of the trailer failing, can you do at least 60mph.

Take a look at any U-Haul rental trailer out there, they all state to never exceed 45 mph, also.

That speed rating is for the hubs with stock (tiny) tires-if you upgrade to larger tires, your speed rating goes up, since your bearings will be turning a lower number of RPM's at the same speed.

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I am thinking of buying a trailer from harbor freight and have done a little research on them. In the instruction manual it says not to exceed a maximum speed of 45 mph. I need to be able to do freeway speeds and have no worries of the trailer failing, can you do at least 60mph.

The bearings would be the only thing that would be affected by high speed. I'm sure they are not the best quality but I have yet to have a problem, just keep some fresh grese in there and be sure you have some tounge weight and you will be fine.

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You guys are scaring me. I too am looking for a trailer since I sold the truck and now will need to pull with my new SUV. I am looking at the standard 5x8 or 6x10 these are all with standard tires and 3500# axels. Expect to pay around a $1000 for one off Craigs list. I have a 3 rail trailer that can haul 2 sport bikes easy and 3 dirt bikes it was built on a boat trailer frame, its all professionly built, not sure who makes it. I am selling it for about $450. The reason I say you are scaring me is remember you got about $5k per bike on that $250 cheesy trailer, what you gonna do when your bike tips over at 55 mph,:applause: I doubt your insurance company is going to cover it. Do it right! Drive up to Oregon I will sell you a sweet trailer for $400.

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I built up the small harbor freight trailer to haul 1 or 2 bikes(3 rails) but I rarely put more than 1 on it. I have hauled a DRZ and a KTM525 without any problems. Get the 12'' wheels and replace the cheep chineese needle bearings if you go this route.

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Wouldnt it have been just as cheap to get some channel folded up and screwed or bolted on, would be alot more secure.

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can anybody comment on how hard it is to put that Harbor Freight trailer together? about how long will assembly take on that thing?

also how is the durability of that trailer over time?

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I just purchased one of those Harbor Frieght trailers this weekend, I got the 4x8 trailer with the 12' tires, not to bad for the price. It took me about 4 hrs. to assemble, now I just need to purchase the wood. I'll take some pics tomarrow and post em!

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does the trailer feel very cheap and are the bearings terrible? I am just concerned about putting two $8K bikes on that thing... pictures would be great, and also let me know how you plan on finishing the top with wood and also how you are making rails for the dirtbike wheels..

I just purchased one of those Harbor Frieght trailers this weekend, I got the 4x8 trailer with the 12' tires, not to bad for the price. It took me about 4 hrs. to assemble, now I just need to purchase the wood. I'll take some pics tomarrow and post em!

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does the trailer feel very cheap and are the bearings terrible? I am just concerned about putting two $8K bikes on that thing... pictures would be great, and also let me know how you plan on finishing the top with wood and also how you are making rails for the dirtbike wheels..

I was really surprised at the quality of parts, for $250. I thought it would be really cheap, but it was'nt. the bearings are cheap, but I plan on finding some high speed ones to replace them with. the hubs ,axle and leaf springs are all well made. I dont have any decking on it right now, just bare frame rails, and its pretty stought, it will defenently be stronger after I the decking installed. I feel sucure about having my bikes on it, my nieghbor took a look at it, and he is now buying one for himself, so he can haul his bikes. worth the money. I plan on using 2x6 's for decking so I can widen it out to a 5'x8' trailer the Ill be able to fit a third bike.:applause::lol:

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