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stanger_mussle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/12/21 4:35 p.m.

My buddy gave me his 40x48" trailer as payment for babysitting his ND2 Miata. He used it to haul his autocross wheels with the Miata. It's an Ironton brand (Northern Tool):

This little guy

It's basically brand new. He used it maybe twice.

I'm swapping the tongue from a 1 7/8" to 2" as I bought a 2" Euro ball mount. I also found a new Class I hitch for my Forte for $50:


My truck might be going away soon and I figured that since I got the trailer for free, I might as well use it.

The first thing I want to do is swap the tires/wheels for ones with a higher speed rating. It currently has 4.80x12 tires that are rated for only 45mph. I might be able to fit 13" wheels and tires that would increase the rating to 61mph. The highways near my house are all 55-70mph roads and I would like an extra margin of safety.

Outside if the wheel/tire upgrade, what do I do with it? I'd like to put a deck and removable sides on it to turn it into a small utility trailer. Or I could build it up to haul a roof top tent.

I'm open to any suggestions. What would you use it for?

Cooter UberDork
5/12/21 4:41 p.m.

I would move the fenders up and go to a full 14" trailer wheel/tire combo.

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/12/21 4:43 p.m.

Cooter UberDork
5/12/21 4:45 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

Is that supposed to be driven in reverse?

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/12/21 4:51 p.m.

In reply to Cooter :

No it goes forward. 


stanger_mussle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/12/21 4:52 p.m.

In reply to Cooter :

That would be pretty easy to do as the fenders just bolt on. I'm all about stuffing the biggest wheel that will fit to slow the wheel speeds down.

I went from 12" wheels to 15" wheels on my teardrop camper and it made a huge difference in ride and handling.

stanger_mussle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/12/21 4:53 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

I expected nothing less from you lol

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/12/21 7:05 p.m.

In reply to stanger_mussle :

Not a trailer but you get the idea.  If you need lessons I am a professional pole worker.

759NRNG UberDork
5/12/21 7:36 p.m.

Only seen during spring break in Fort Lauderdale?



P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/12/21 7:57 p.m.

Tiny house?

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/12/21 8:41 p.m.

Mount a steam jenny on it and start a mobile steam pressure washing business?

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/12/21 8:46 p.m.

Looks like the perfect start to a Roadkill style Boost Caboose!


Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/12/21 8:52 p.m.

Redneck Trailer on Falkenburg generally has decent prices and most crap in stock when you get to modifying.

dps214 HalfDork
5/12/21 9:54 p.m.

Especially if you're just doing local trips as a utility trailer I'd just get higher speed rated 12" tires rather than re-engineering the whole trailer to fit bigger wheels. The carlisle tires that come on the harbor freight version of the trailer are rated for 87mph or something like that. They're like $35 each, or buy them already mounted on a wheel from HF for $50 each. Everyone that's ever used one of these as an autocross trailer will tell you about the countless thousand miles they put on them with no issue, even the older 8" and 10" wheel versions. Personally about a month ago I did a ~400 mile round trip with mine, running with the cruise set at 72~75 the tires basically didn't even get warm at all. I'm pretty sure the tiny bearings are way more of a limitation than the tires, but even those are probably fine as long as you stay on top of keeping them greased. If you're not loading up super heavy (I imagine it would be difficult to fit 1000lbs on a 4' square trailer without some serious effort) you can run the tires way under-inflated to get it to ride a bit better. If you feel like doing some disassembly, rip the secondary leafs off of the springs, just the main leaf is still too stiff for basically any load you'd put on it.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/13/21 10:18 a.m.

In reply to dps214 :

Not sure about Stanger's intended use, but for me it has nothing to do with the weight capacity of the tires or how good they are, it's about overall diameter.  They have 1" bearings which is already a handicap, but with small diameter tires they spin the bearings at wicked speeds causing exponentially accelerated wear.  The 1" bearings on my small boat need to be checked/repacked every year, and sometimes replaced every other year, and that has 5.80-12s I think.  The 4.80-8s on my nephew's boat trailer are wasted every year.  The tires themselves look brand new, it's the bearings that get wasted.  Contrast that with something like a 28" diameter tire on a car that goes 100k miles before needing bearings.

and increasing tire diameter is pretty easy.  Usually it's just a bolt-on.  Sometimes you have to drill a couple holes lower on the fender so you can mount it an inch higher, but super simple.

914Driver MegaDork
5/13/21 10:36 a.m.

 Before doing much, talk to Tom Suddard about reinforcing the tongue.

 =~ (

Apexcarver UltimaDork
5/13/21 11:02 a.m.

slefain PowerDork
5/13/21 11:06 a.m.
P3PPY said:

Tiny house?

"He's a freelance holistic Miata massager, she recycles outdated race helmets into salad bowls. They need space for their pet Komodo dragon, while not sacrificing privacy for their three kids. Their budget is $2.91 but they are willing to stretch up to $17,000,005.24 for their dream home...."

stanger_mussle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/13/21 4:49 p.m.

I think I'm going to use it like a small utility trailer. Hauling bags of mulch, stones, pavers, whatever is too big or dirty to haul in the Kia's trunk, etc.

Priority #1 will be installing larger wheels and tires to slow down the wheel speed on the highway.

Going from 4.80x12 tires to ST205/75D14 tires will reduce the revolutions per mile by 28%. Plus larger tires will require less air pressure which will reduce the bouncing. I will have to swap some 5 lug hubs on to be able to fit 14" or larger wheels. The fenders are attached by only 2 bolts to the frame. I could fabricate simple brackets to raise the fenders, attach the fenders to the sides, or buy larger fenders to fit the larger tires.

Priority #2 will be to fabricate a deck and sides to actually be able to haul stuff. I'd like to make the sides removable for more utility and to be able to lean the trailer up against the garage wall for storage. 

I wouldn't feel very comfortable loading 1090lbs (the rated capacity) on the trailer as it's pretty light duty. Maybe 500-600lbs would be my absolute max weight.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/13/21 6:04 p.m.
P3PPY said:

Tiny OUThouse?

Fixed it for you. 

triumph7 Reader
5/13/21 9:10 p.m.

I had the HF version for a while... bought a couple of the real heavy plastic tubs with hinged lids, they fit down in the trailer and carried all our camping gear to the Indy F1 races.  Sorry, I don't have any pictures.

stanger_mussle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/21/21 6:07 p.m.

So today I worked on upgrading a few things. I installed the correct 2" ball, 2.5" channel tongue. I had to drill another hole in the towbar as the new tongue had wider spacing for the bolt holes. I did a quick test fit with the ball mount installed in the car:

The towbar is slightly angled above level with no weight on the trailer:

That should be ok, I hope.

Next, I started researching 5 lug hubs so I can fit larger wheels and tires to slow the wheel speed down while on the highway. I was pretty sure the spindles are 1" since this trailer is only rated for 1090lbs but I pulled a hub off just to be sure:

Would this be considered a 1" spindle? Northern Tool states that the official ID of the bearings are 0.98". The back of the spindle where the grease seal rides measures 1.178"

Northern Tool states that the spindle length is 3.3125" (3 5/16") not including the threads but I measured 3.5" from the grease seal flange to the threads and 4.125" for the entire length not including the threads:

Can I use these hubs? I'm a little confused on the dimensions of the spindles on my trailer. Those hubs specify an ID of the grease seal of 1.25" vs the 1.178" I measured. Will a 0.072" difference cause grease to leak out? I want to make sure I order the correct hubs.

Appleseed MegaDork
5/22/21 12:36 a.m.

Nothing better for hauling dead motorcycles home. You like dead motorcycles don't you?

WillG80 GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/22/21 8:26 a.m.

When I was in college I hauled my dirt bike to the track on one of those. Couldn't even tell my Passat was towing something. I had some C channel that the bike fit in, slightly offset to one side on the trailer. On the other side was a truck bed toolbox that I kept my gear in. It was a great little trailer. 

I also used it to transport a C10 cab once. Looked like a truck was following my Passat. 

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/22/21 8:48 a.m.
stanger_mussle said:

Priority #2 will be to fabricate a deck and sides to actually be able to haul stuff. I'd like to make the sides removable for more utility and to be able to lean the trailer up against the garage wall for storage. 


I did this exact thing - put on removable sides and was large enough so I could go get a yard of mulch for my gardens.  Assemble, disassemble, stand it against the wall with straps..........I got tired of it and the mulch places will now only sell you 3 yards minimum or 5 delivered.  Once I got a yard of dirt and it was interesting due the weight.  Sold it.  

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