Trailer advice

Discussion in 'N2 Paddock Section' started by warregl, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. warregl

    warregl New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for an inexpensive trailer to cart the bike back and forth to the track. I've been looking at the Lowes utility trailers in the $500 - $700 range and I was wondering if any of you have had any experience using them. I have little use for it outside of trailering the bike so I don't want to drop a small fortune but the tracks I will be riding are all several hundred miles away so it would see some highway miles.

    Any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Buckeye96

    Buckeye96 New Member

    what ever you get make sure the tires are 14" or 15". It makes them easier to find spares, if you have a blow out and it will help reduce the stress on your trailer wheel bearings.
  3. Landshark

    Landshark Control Rider

  4. rk97

    rk97 Member

    I'm loving my Harbor Freight folding 4x8 with 12" wheels. If you wait for the 20% "super coupon" they seem to distribute every 2 weeks, you can get it for $240 or less (plus tax), and it's really not bad quality. If you don't need to fold it, a solid sheet of 3/4" treated decking will increase the rigidity a TON.

    larger wheels would give me some peace of mind towing at higher speeds, but I've still had mine up to 75mph for decent stretches and the hubs have never even felt more than warm to the touch when I stop to check them. I've chalked it up to ambient heat more than friction.

    It probably won't last as long as a Lowes trailer, but at half the price, I don't expect it to... I may even just replace the bearings every year to be safe. Still a lot cheaper.
  5. Gorecki

    Gorecki Member


    I just got done going through a restoration process on the same trailer I picked from Mary (superbikechick) a year ago. It's older (VIN '04) and was sort of tired. But some new wheels (with better rubber), clean up, sure up it didn't turn out half bad. So one with 7 years of service (plus some work) is still in operation.
  6. some guy #2

    some guy #2 Member

    +1 to the Harbor freight trailer. I've had mine for 2 years and quite a few long drives on it.
  7. HondaGalToo

    HondaGalToo Control Rider

    +1 to the larger tires, 14 or 15 inch. They'll run a lot cooler than those little tires. Years ago, I'd picked up a used 6x10 landscape trailer with a drop down gate and 15 inch wheels for around $800. Used it for several seasons before ugrading to an enclosed.
  8. rk97

    rk97 Member

    wonder if i can find 4-lug wheels that are 14"

    I'd have to lose the fenders, but I don't think they do much of anything except cause me to curse when I snag my pants on them in the garage...
  9. dbarufaldi

    dbarufaldi Member

    I agree, in general, with bigger tires, but have this experience: I ran a 3-bike trailer that I extended and added bins to front and rear. I was probably running very close to it's max capacity of 1800lbs. It was a high quality trailer (Loadrite), but had 12" tires. Stock tires never gave me a problem, but did wear out eventually. I made the mistake of buying cheaper replacements, and paid the price - a few blowouts (one took out the fender), and a few delaminations. Immediately went back to a high-quality tire, and never had another problem. Keep in mind that I routinely trailered at 85+mph with that thing, including NY-Road Atlanta-NY in one weekend, NY-Calabogie, Canada-NY in one weekend, and many trips to Beaverun, VIR, etc from NYC. If you buy a quality tire, it should not be a problem. I greased the bearings periodically, adjusted them annually, and they never gave me an ounce of trouble. It was probably 6-7yrs old when I bought it.


    Dan B

    If you can convert to bigger tires, it's probably not a bad thing because it reduces wear, may add stability, etc....but I am of the opinion that 12" wheels and tires, if good quality, are just fine.
  10. Saltman

    Saltman Member

    Harbour freight ftw! I added a PB restraint with mine and I can now have my bike locked and loaded in 2 mins. Total spent on trailer and materials before the restraint set me back only $350. Best bang for buck hauler you can get imo.
  11. HondaGalToo

    HondaGalToo Control Rider

    Haha. I think you might want the fenders? Keeps crap from spraying up on the bike?
  12. TeamBeer

    TeamBeer Member

    I have the HB 4x8 folding trailer and wish I had purchased something with a built in ramp. One word of a ground wire to the rear frame section. If you have a newer vehicle that needs a converter module the poor ground in the rear section can burn up the convert module. Other than those two issues mine has been great. I have had no problems with the bearings at 75+ mph. Make sure you check the lug nuts. I forgot to check mine and almost lost a wheel on my first trip, but that one is on me.

    It you want a metal trailer check Tractor Supply.
  13. Gorecki

    Gorecki Member

    It's been a while but I was looking to do the same thing and if I recall correctly I did fine one the stud pattern would fit but the problem became wheel width wouldn't fit without rubbing the trailer. Otherwise you'll need to completely replace the axle shaft and wheel hubs for more options. Think it ended up looking to cost more than it would be to replace the whole thing.

    Higher ply tires help some of that. The wheels I have now seem to stand noticably taller than the ones replaced. The HF provided are 3 ply, I replaced with 6 ply.
  14. tomwilliford

    tomwilliford Member

    If you want inexpensive, a 4x8 open trailer is doable. I bought my first open trailer at Tractor Supply for $250ish... 4x8 open trailer, laid 3/4" piece of outdoor plywood on it and secured it with weather resistant bolts and I never had a problem with it... just be sure to strap your bike down absurdly well with quality straps. It's not comforting to think the only thing holding your baby down is a $8 cheap-o strap. It towed pretty easy behind a V6 Altima as well.

    Later I bought a used 6x12 enclosed for $1500 and feel 100% better towing my bike in an enclosed space. It was well worth the money for the peace of mind, but that seems out of your (and my initial) price range right now. But then I had to buy a bigger truck. And an air conditioner. And now I want a bigger trailer. Which means bigger truck... and the cycle continues.

    (get it, cycle? get it? *rimshot*) :doh:
  15. I am embarking on a project to turn a pop-up camper (completly rotten inside) into a bike mover. It is coming my way free of charge. Hard to beat that price, just gotta put some serious demo hours into it to clear the popup off the frame.
  16. cbryan

    cbryan New Member

    Bought this trailer for $800 bucks. One year old Aluma. Dont know the specs off the top of my head, but it works great. Installed a STS strapless transport stand and it is set up right. I will eventually get an enclosed though.
  17. BigBird

    BigBird Member

    We have the Lowe's trailer in 5x8 and its been pretty good. We added a wood floor and installed pit bull trailer restraints and its been very good with two bikes, 2 ez ups on it, and stands. Goes well on the road, and my only complaint is that it seems to flex a little.

    I picked it up for $499+taxes last year.

    i believe this is the one

    i just travel with 2 spare tires which were less than $100 for a peace of mind.
  18. noobinacan

    noobinacan Member

    HF 4x8
    w/ wood deck

    works pretty well holds two bikes, stands and gas, carpets....and soon will try to fit in a pit bike on there. HA!

    and setup for it discussed plenty of times on this forum.
  19. warregl

    warregl New Member

    Thanks everyone. While I would love to spring for an enclosed trailer unless I happen to get lucky and find a bargain I will have to go with an open trailer. The HF looks like the best buy but sadly it is back ordered with no firm date on availability so it looks like the Lowes 5x8 (or maybe the Tractor Supply 4x7 if my beast will fit on it) will be the answer.

    Once again I appreciate how this group is willing to help out the new folds with basic questions (quite a few forums enjoy making sport of the noobs too much to be helpful). Many thanks!
  20. Otto Man

    Otto Man John Control Rider

    I have pics at home I can upload later, but I have a Tractor Supply 5x8 wood deck trailer with the mesh ramp, and 13" wheels. It's friggin' a fantastic bike trailer. Can fit 2 sport bikes with ease, and the ramp is long enough that the belly doesn't come close to dragging when riding the bike up or down the ramp. Very solid, and with the 13" wheels, it won't dance on the highway. I've done multiple 80mph+ road trips with it, over 600 miles at a clip with zero problems. It was ~$800, but you get what you pay for. I'm not saying the HF isn't a great trailer, but when compared side by side, the HF unit just looks...flimsy. Since I bought it, I've paid more attention to trailers in general. I've seen many of the HF style trailers bouncing all over the place on the highway. Mine tracks straight as an arrow, loaded or unloaded.

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