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Old 01-20-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
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abiline , Texas
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Can a trailer be too light?

I was thinking of getting the 4x8 bolt together harbor freight trailer kit. Everyone has been telling me to put down a 3/4" plywood floor. My plans are to build a 4x8 enclosed aluminum (5052) trailer that can be pulled by a small car/suv. Not wanting to lose too much of my carrying capacity (1720 lbs max per this trailers specs), I've gone to the georgia-pacific website, and they show the 4x8 plywood as weighing 67 lbs.

That got me thinking, can a sheet of 4x8 aluminum be used for the floor? Perhaps a thicker gauge, 3/16" or better?

Unloaded, can a trailer weigh too little? HF lists the trailer as weighing 162 lbs shipped. Add another 60 lbs for the aluminum, and a few more lbs for wooden frame, bolts, etc. Is a solid cross wind going to toss my unloaded trailer over and I'll be dragging it down the road on its side?

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Old 01-21-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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You've a couple of questions going. Wood is a great floor as it is cheap, non-skid, absorbent (good & bad), and very easily repaired. It can have blocks nailed down to secure items from shifting. I don't think a few pounds of weight is worth losing on an otherwise cheap trailer for the advantages of wooden floors.

Weight is not a problem for the TV, per se, it is the lack of brakes in a sub-2500-lb trailer. I'd upsize to a trailer with brakes as the combination, done well, can stop faster than the car alone. Same for upgrading to tandem axles and shock absorbers. Both make for easier life, IMO. In other words, I'd investigate from a wider perspective a little longer.

Yes, winds will push your trailer around . . unless you load it correctly and keep 12-15% of the total weight on the tongue. Trailer loading diagrams (height and relation to axle forward) are your friend.

Have a look at the U-Haul website, inside and out. And then go to the biggest dealer in your area and look over their trailers.

How much the empty trailer weighs is not nearly as important as handling and braking qualities. And cargo securement.


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Old 01-21-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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A light empty trailer will bounce around quite a bit on bumps.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:47 PM   #4
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I'd go for the heavier floor - you'll be glad you did. If you can get 12" wheels - go for it. 8" wheels really don't like running fast.

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Old 01-22-2012, 10:00 AM   #5
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