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Thread: ATV trailer axle question

  1. #1
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    ATV trailer axle question

    Alright guys so my father in law has a trailer that he uses to haul wood and other chores, but it has been getting holes in the flooring from the wood being thrown in due to it being made out of very thin aluminum sheet metal. The axle is just a straight 5/8 round stock with 2 tires being held on by cotter pins and is bent in the center.

    I told him that I could probably make something that would be a lot stronger than anything he would find at Tractor Supply or Lowe's, and I have came up with a design of 1.5 x 1.5 x 11ga square tube for the frame, and 1.5 x 1.5 x 1/8 angle for the cross members and the sides, and just using 2x6 lumber for the floor and sides. Not sure if that is the best way to do it, but it was my first thought. It was going to be 4'x5' but I was considering making it 4'x4'.

    The price of metal where I am from (central WV):

    1.5x1.5x1/8 20' angle: $16.97 ($.85/ft)
    1.5x1.5x11ga 24' square tube: $48 ($2/ft)

    Using these prices and my design the total cost for everything is about $175 and still lacking axles and tires. My question is what would be a good choice for axles and tires that would be relatively cheap? Was hoping to keep the entire overall cost for this build under $400, but from everything I have found it is going to cost more around $500 so I am just trying to cut costs in any way, which brings me to my other question, is 11 gauge too small for the main frame? Or, would 14 gauge work just as good and be a little cheaper?

    Thanks in advance for any help, I am completely clueless to building trailers, this will be my first one

  2. #2
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    Re: ATV trailer axle question

    You don't mention the size or type of tires that are already on the trailer. I made a trailer for a similar purpose and use a set of rear tires off an old riding mower. They are big and can support a lot of weight. You can get the tires from Home Depot or Lowes of course or any old riding mower collecting dust in some ones yard. If you put three mounts for the axle, one in the center and of course the others near the outside of the trailer, the 5/8" should be plenty strong enough.
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  3. #3
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    Re: ATV trailer axle question

    Have you looked at any of the trailers currently on the market for ATV's? You'd be better off mirroring and modifying one of those to fit your needs than spitballing it from scratch.

    You also haven't mentioned weight requirements/limitations, terrain requirements, Materials you plan to move, whether or not you want it to tilt or dump, etc. all of these have effect on the final design of the trailer.
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  4. #4
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    Re: ATV trailer axle question

    I've made and sold a bunch of these. Not sure what your dimensions need to be, but this is a 100gal Rubbermaid stock tank. They take a serious amount of abuse. In Alaska the tubs sell for around $130, I'm sure they are much cheaper in your neck of the woods. Trailer shops can usually get a "trailer kit" that includes tires/wheels, hubs, spindles, bearings, and a coupler. All you need to do is build a simple frame and bolt the tub down. A 50 gal. tank is the same outside dimension, just 1/2 the height and makes a really good lid if you want a covered load as well.

    For the trailer, use 2x2x1/4 for the axle and then thin wall 2x2 for the tongue and other support structure under the tub.

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  5. #5
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    Re: ATV trailer axle question

    Look on surpluscenter.com You can buy axle stubs for like $10 each.. and hubs for approx $50 a pair. They have a couple bolt patterns.I bought the 4 on 4".. I made a yard cart last year and used some old golf cart wheels and tires.

  6. #6
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    Re: ATV trailer axle question

    You could start with something like this:

    http://m.harborfreight.com/870-lb-ca...res-42708.html

    Use 20% coupon and get it for $160ish... then build the upper portion yourself. Just an idea... good luck!
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  7. #7
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    ATV trailer axle question

    I found a set of used atv wheels, tires, and spindles on eBay that was being parted out. I just cut what I needed to off the spindle and welded them to 1.5" tubing for my axle. Didn't pay much for them and I have the same lug pattern as my atv so my spares will also work on my trailer.

  8. #8
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    Re: ATV trailer axle question

    I'd go with plywood vs 2x's myself due to weight. KD 2x6 8' weigh about 16 lbs each, an 10' one about 20 lbs. If you go PT, an 8' one will weigh 26 lbs, a 10' 32 lbs. Compare that to a sheet of 3/4" BC ext plywood at about 70 lbs. By going with 3/4" ply on the floor, you'd cut your weight by almost half.
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