Aaron K limitedslip.net

Folding Utility Trailer

After borrowing my friend Josh's trailer one too many times, I decided I had enough need to buy my own. This is mostly for hauling stuff to the dump, picking up supplies at Home Depot, or moving stuff.

The only problem was that there isn't enough storage space around here to put a 4' x 8' trailer. After finding out about folding trailers, and doing a lot of research, I found and bought a decent model. All the folding trailers are lightweight - only intended to haul around a thousand pounds. No big problem there, as the tow rating on the Subaru is only 2700 lbs, with a 200 lb tongue limit.

In my research I found one of the best light duty folding trailer, made by Long Chih in Taiwan. The particular model is the 749TC, bought at Sport Utility Trailers [Update: apparently link/company no long works, see comments below for alternate vendor]. There are similar style trailers available at Harbor Freight and Northern Tool, but this one was particularly interesting because:

  • It was an over sized 4' x 8'. Actual bed dimensions were 4' 2" x 8' 2". This extra 2 inches was enough extra room to be able to put sides on the trailer and still get full sized sheets of plywood or drywall on it. Other trailers were exactly 4' x 8'. Once you put sides on them, you no longer have a full size bed.
  • This trailer has the highest weight rating I could find at 1800 GVW. With a fully assembled trailer probably weighing around 400lbs or so, that should allow me to haul about 1400 lbs.
  • It has larger 5.3 12" wheels instead of 8" wheels, and they are 5 bolt hubs.

My modifications:

  • I've welded all the main parts of the frame. The two parts of the folding bed and the tongue. Not strictly necessary, but it feels a lot more solid now that I've done that.
  • Soldered all the wiring together, and ran new ground wiring. The lights depended on a ground connection throughout the frame, which didn't work too well due to all the powered coating.
  • Installed a retractable tongue stand. There was one available by the same company that sold the trailer, but it was $63 + shipping. I found a nearly identical one that bolted right to the tongue for only $26.
  • Welded on stake pockets to accept 2x4 stakes and 3/4" plywood sides.
Utility Trailer
It came in 7 boxes, I'm sure the FedEx delivery guy liked unloading them.
It came in 7 boxes, I'm sure the FedEx delivery guy liked unloading them.
One of the two main bed pieces. Assembled, painted removed, and ready to be welded.
One of the two main bed pieces. Assembled, painted removed, and ready to be welded.
Corner detail. The slots in the frame are for stake pockets, but they'll be covered up and I'll weld on full size ones instead.
Corner detail. The slots in the frame are for stake pockets, but they'll be covered up and I'll weld on full size ones instead.
The main hinges. These will remain bolted on for now - no welding.
The main hinges. These will remain bolted on for now - no welding.
Testing the folding before any welding.
Testing the folding before any welding.
I bolted the axle on and continued with the assembly until I was sure everything was in the right place before welding.
I bolted the axle on and continued with the assembly until I was sure everything was in the right place before welding.
Detail of the 5 bolt hubs, 3 leaf springs, and axle.
Detail of the 5 bolt hubs, 3 leaf springs, and axle.
I decided to leave the lower bolts in. The upper ones may be removed for clearing the decking and/or sides.
I decided to leave the lower bolts in. The upper ones may be removed for clearing the decking and/or sides.
The frame assembled and welded. No wiring or lights yet.
The frame assembled and welded. No wiring or lights yet.
Had to grind off the black powder coating in order to weld. These joints will be repainted. You can also see the casters it sits upright on when folded.
Had to grind off the black powder coating in order to weld. These joints will be repainted. You can also see the casters it sits upright on when folded.
Got it wired and checked everything, then went and picked up lumber to build the bed and sides with.
Got it wired and checked everything, then went and picked up lumber to build the bed and sides with.
   


Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Hello AARON,
    Can you tell me where you bought your trailer and the price. I went to the link that you provided however, there was no price and no way to order it. Thank
    AG

  2. It does seem that company is out of business. The trailer is a Long Chih brand, and it seems to be distributed by this company now: http://www.armorrex.com/product/product_detail.jsp?cateID=2&sonCateID=0&proID=116&subSonId=0


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