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Discussion Starter #1
So I was given an old 4x6 steel utility trailer , minus a little surface rust it's actually in pretty good shape(and built pretty stout) but needs a new axle. I will be using this mount a rooftop tent and haul our gear for our cross country travels between Minnesota and Utah and various outdoor activities.

So I want to put some 33" pizza cutters and add leaf springs, this is more of a camping\kayaking\backpacking\roadtrip trailer rather than a true "offroad" trailer.

Can anyone makes suggestions on what axle I should go with?

Here's what I'm currently looking at from NTE

Reliable 2,000-Lb. Capacity Complete Axle Kit — 60in. Hubface, 48in. Spring Center, 5-Bolt Pattern | Axle Kits| Northern Tool + Equipment

Any other thoughts ideas?
 

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Reliable Rubber Torsion Trailer Axle — 2000-Lb. northern tool 199.00
Torsion's don't squeak or rattle. no need for shocks. I've had a Hension torsion for over 40 years and its still going strong and have never had to touch it. Woulda been made for an airstream trailer, but was purchased by my grandfather that worked for Dutch back in the day, the Axle found its life under a homemade trailer from there. I also have one on my Basecamp trailer. If airstream uses them you know they are the real deal.
 

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What trailer is it? Sounds similar to my little 4x6 bradley...
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Reliable Rubber Torsion Trailer Axle — 2000-Lb. northern tool 199.00
Torsion's don't squeak or rattle. no need for shocks. I've had a Hension torsion for over 40 years and its still going strong and have never had to touch it. Woulda been made for an airstream trailer, but was purchased by my grandfather that worked for Dutch back in the day, the Axle found its life under a homemade trailer from there. I also have one on my Basecamp trailer. If airstream uses them you know they are the real deal.

Yea I was wondering about those, I wasn't really sure how they worked but I like the fact that some of them appeared to be "drop style" which would give me more axle clearance, I was just warned by a friend that if I'm driving across country I do NOT want a trailer without "suspension" so I started looking at axles with leaf springs but yea I'm not really a fan of leaf springs in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Trailer pics attached,

I realize this isn't some uber awesome military style off road trailer but it's what I have to work with on our budget and I think I can make it work for us.

A friend of mine who's a welder and amateur fabricator is going to help me with the welding and any required modifications.
 

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Your friend is right, in that you absolutely do not want a trailer without some sort of suspension, be it torsion or leaf. Personally, I prefer leaf sprung axles as I have found that the empty ride is significantly better, and I don't like the disposable nature of the torsions in that they are not user serviceable. I use Dexter axles in my trailers, and I've always had good luck with them. Even with a brand new axle, the first thing I would to is to pull the bearings and make sure they're well greased. Good for peace of mind, and it's always easier to pull them in your driveway versus on the side of the highway.

Most trailers don't have/need shocks, but if one were to find themselves in a position where they were needed, they would be needed with either torsion or spring axles. With a 4x6, I wouldn't even concern yourself with them.
 

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I agree with Bacchus.
I would do spring over torsion for serviceability and availability of parts.
You don't need shocks or anything fancy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I agree with Bacchus.
I would do spring over torsion for serviceability and availability of parts.
You don't need shocks or anything fancy.
The reason I like the Torsion axes is because It gives me more ground clearance with the axle is welded right to the trailer undercarriage instead of hanging down from the leafs, for a couple hundred bucks if it last me 10 years I'll be thrilled.

My real concerns is I want to mount standard 5 lug 16\17 inch rims(and 33in pizza cutters) how do I know what hubs and rims to get?!?!?!?

Sorry for all the dumb questions I'm really out of my element on this one :-(

PS....thanks for the tip on greasing the new Axle my dad gave me the same good advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Here'e kind of what I'm going for roughly



BUT

Our trailer will have removable lids covers probably with hinges , two of them that follow the whole length of the trailer(the long way) so we can keep our gear safe from prying eyes, hands, rain, sun ect.

Probably won't go with diamond plating due to budget but something metal that won't rust would be nice.

Not sure what to build the trailer walls out of yet.....new floor and lids will probably just be sealed\painted plywood.

Also the frame I'm adding that will hold our rooftop tent will be elevated around 2 feet above the top of the trailer(instead of directly on the top of the trailer frame like the pic) so we can still access the interior of the trailer with the tent mounted.

During the summer months we'll just use the same frame for hauling kayak and river tubes for weekend trips, we'll make the whole frame a single piece or modular so we can remove it for hauling large items.
 

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I really have to point out that a spring may break and you are rubbing the tire on the fender or shut down completely. As far as serviceability, well come on.. what is there to service on a torsion? there is nothing to break!! .. as far as the rest its all the same..Do I need to mention Airstream again.. good grease and good bearings not that china **** and you are golden.. and as far as empty goes, there is not a small empty trailer that wont bounce on a good bump anyway. I personally own spring trailers for single and double jet ski trailers so they are small and I have the home built with the Hension Torsion. I would take the torsion any day period. Again nothing to service.. no brackets to wear and get sloppy no bolts getting wear out.

changing the subject to the hubs now...

I have show trailers that travel the county and when I took over shop management they were having wheels fall off and hubs and bearings burn up. Switched all of them over to Timkin bearings and Pennzoil 707L Issues gone... We max out the flatbeds pulling them with duramaxes and no issues at at. It just works. Heres a picture of the best stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I really have to point out that a spring may break and you are rubbing the tire on the fender or shut down completely. As far as serviceability, well come on.. what is there to service on a torsion? there is nothing to break!! .. as far as the rest its all the same..Do I need to mention Airstream again.. good grease and good bearings not that china **** and you are golden.. and as far as empty goes, there is not a small empty trailer that wont bounce on a good bump anyway. I personally own spring trailers for single and double jet ski trailers so they are small and I have the home built with the Hension Torsion. I would take the torsion any day period. Again nothing to service.. no brackets to wear and get sloppy no bolts getting wear out.

changing the subject to the hubs now...

I have show trailers that travel the county and when I took over shop management they were having wheels fall off and hubs and bearings burn up. Switched all of them over to Timkin bearings and Pennzoil 707L Issues gone... We max out the flatbeds pulling them with duramaxes and no issues at at. It just works. Heres a picture of the best stuff.

Awesome I will certainly be picking up a container of that grease thank you!


Now does anyone know what hubs I should go(or somewhere I can go in that will help me) with so I can mount 16\17in rims and some 33in cooper pizza cutters?

Yea I'll have to cut out the old fenders and relocate up depending on how much lift I get from the new axle.
 

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Well, you know what they say about opinions.

OP, in a single axle format, you can go either way without worrying about a single thing. Go with what makes you happy.

As far as the wheel goes, the hubs have the measurements for the lug spacing. Most 2000 pound axles are going to be 5 on 4.5. Look at Google, there's a ton of results from people asking the same thing, what different vehicles came with 4.5 inch lugs. From there, you can peruse your local junkyard or craigslist, find a compatible wheel set, and you're good to go.

For instance, my small trailer is 5 on 4.75. I special ordered that to match the wheels I had on the S-10 I was driving at the time.

Now, as far as the RTT goes, if it were me, I'd build the rack to where it would raise off the trailer a couple feet for camping and trailer access, and then drop down onto the trailer for travel. This would greatly lower the center of gravity and increase the stability, as well as add security for the items in the trailer. Doing something like this is as simple as tubes at the four corners of the trailer, and four slightly smaller diameter tubes at the four corners of the tent platform, with cotter pins to hold it in the upper and lower positions. Look at some of the expedition trailer builds out there for ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Now, as far as the RTT goes, if it were me, I'd build the rack to where it would raise off the trailer a couple feet for camping and trailer access, and then drop down onto the trailer for travel. This would greatly lower the center of gravity and increase the stability, as well as add security for the items in the trailer. Doing something like this is as simple as tubes at the four corners of the trailer, and four slightly smaller diameter tubes at the four corners of the tent platform, with cotter pins to hold it in the upper and lower positions. Look at some of the expedition trailer builds out there for ideas.

Holy sheep **** this man is a genius, great idea I will 100% be implementing something like that!!!!!
 

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He who carries the most stuff wins. Fact... No opinion here!!! HA!!
If yer gonna build one, build one that you can haul somthin in.
Full sliders.
wide, tall tires.
As much clearance as your tow vehicle.
Torsion axle..
L plates cost the same as a small one.

Just stirring the pot boys!!
 

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Jesus dude, what is your major malfunction?

I own four trailers, and on more than one occasion I have hauled more than 19,000 pounds with my personal truck.

I work for one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, and have engineered and spec'd out disaster recovery trailers in excess of 80,000 pounds. I can assure you that I know more about building a trailer than you think you do, and my *opinion* about preferring sprung axles over torsion axles on my personal trailers is just that, my opinion.

Now quit clogging up this thread with your **** measuring contest.
 

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Here'e kind of what I'm going for roughly



BUT

Our trailer will have removable lids covers probably with hinges , two of them that follow the whole length of the trailer(the long way) so we can keep our gear safe from prying eyes, hands, rain, sun ect.

Probably won't go with diamond plating due to budget but something metal that won't rust would be nice.

Not sure what to build the trailer walls out of yet.....new floor and lids will probably just be sealed\painted plywood.

Also the frame I'm adding that will hold our rooftop tent will be elevated around 2 feet above the top of the trailer(instead of directly on the top of the trailer frame like the pic) so we can still access the interior of the trailer with the tent mounted.

During the summer months we'll just use the same frame for hauling kayak and river tubes for weekend trips, we'll make the whole frame a single piece or modular so we can remove it for hauling large items.
Diamond plating can be surprisingly affordable.

I know you were asking about axles, and you are obviously concerned about problems on the road so be wary of cheap tires and carry a spare.
 

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Jesus dude, what is your major malfunction?

I own four trailers, and on more than one occasion I have hauled more than 19,000 pounds with my personal truck.

I work for one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, and have engineered and spec'd out disaster recovery trailers in excess of 80,000 pounds. I can assure you that I know more about building a trailer than you think you do, and my *opinion* about preferring sprung axles over torsion axles on my personal trailers is just that, my opinion.

Now quit clogging up this thread with your **** measuring contest.
All I have to say is wow! Some peoples children..
 

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Diamond plating can be surprisingly affordable.

I know you were asking about axles, and you are obviously concerned about problems on the road so be wary of cheap tires and carry a spare.
This is true. Keep an eye on craigslist for tool boxes. A buffer and a tube of Flitz polish will make it look brand new.

And definitely yes on the spare.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Diamond plating can be surprisingly affordable.

I know you were asking about axles, and you are obviously concerned about problems on the road so be wary of cheap tires and carry a spare.
Yea I'm on a budget but don't want to cheap out on safety or important stuff like tires............I hope to find a pair of BFG\Cooper 255\80 or 85 used cheap in fairly ok condition and yea I'll have a trusty spare for sure........

I'm on a budget..........but not a top ramen noodle 5 days a week for dinner budget , more like we need to pay the mortgage , dogs vet bills and season ski pass at Snowbird budget :)
 
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