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Old 04-03-2012, 10:59 AM   #1
A**holes Garage
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Default Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

Unfortunately I live in the city with an ATV and don't have any room to store a trailer, etc. in my "North 40". I decided to explore ways to transport my ATV without having to gut the bed of my truck of cargo boxes to do it. And also have room to store the trailer in the garage.

I read about the Harbor freight 4' x 8' folding trailer on line, and it seemed to get decent reviews. I purchased one and began modifications to fit my ATV transport application.

For those that are interested, I put together a .pdf document that details the mods and issues with this trailer. PM me if you'd like it.

Here are a few of mods;

Widen the loading surface to 48" by installing spacers between the hinges and frame;



Convert the folding bolts to easy knob releases;





D-ring tie downs;



Expanded metal wheel tracks and ramp mounts;



Spare wheel and bracket;


Last edited by A**holes Garage; 12-07-2013 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
JTG
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

Looks good. How well does it fold with the wheel tracks on? Or do you take them off?
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
lonestarky
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

thats fantastic. Paint and craftsmanship look good too. We use a folding harbor freight trailer a lot as well. They're not bad, for what they are.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:27 PM   #4
A**holes Garage
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Looks good. How well does it fold with the wheel tracks on? Or do you take them off?
Yes, it folds perfectly with the wheel tracks on.

I have to remove the ramps because they are single piece ramps and too thick to allow folding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonestarky View Post
thats fantastic. Paint and craftsmanship look good too. We use a folding harbor freight trailer a lot as well. They're not bad, for what they are.
Thanks.

Yes, the folding trailer has to remain lightweight enough to allow for one person folding, yet rigid enough to carry the payload. It's a compromise. I don't plan on going cross country with it, just a few miles to get to some trail heads.

Last edited by A**holes Garage; 04-03-2012 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:36 PM   #5
froggert
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

nice job. don't be surprised if the stock casters break soon. it's happened on a couple of hf trailers i've seen.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
A**holes Garage
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

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nice job. don't be surprised if the stock casters break soon. it's happened on a couple of hf trailers i've seen.
I replaced them with 3" casters and extended the stops 1 1/2".

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Old 04-03-2012, 04:04 PM   #7
tomm2873
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

Keep an eye on the fender brackets. Both of mine cracked
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:12 PM   #8
JimVonBaden
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

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Keep an eye on the fender brackets. Both of mine cracked
Mine are weak as well. A couple of well placed bolts fixed it.

Jim
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:31 PM   #9
Omphaloskeptic
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

Very smart mods nicely done!

Got any pics of the trailer loaded and ready to deploy? Is that trailer sensitive to swaying if the tongue weight isn't sufficient? With all the add-ons and improvements, what do you think your total investment is, if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:42 PM   #10
A**holes Garage
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

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Originally Posted by Omphaloskeptic View Post
Very smart mods nicely done!

Got any pics of the trailer loaded and ready to deploy? Is that trailer sensitive to swaying if the tongue weight isn't sufficient? With all the add-ons and improvements, what do you think your total investment is, if you don't mind me asking?
I haven't taken a trip yet. Just finished it Sunday. I have about $300.00 worth of material, steel, bolts, spare tire, wiring harnesss, etc.

Loaded, not strapped yet;


Last edited by A**holes Garage; 04-03-2012 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:07 PM   #11
diggerrick
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

Nice job!

I cut a 4x8 sheet of plywood in half for the floor, but I didn't have to space my hinges out. I just measured my plywood at 47 7/8" wide after 2 years of weather exposure, and there is easily 1/16" - 1/8" from each edge to the hinges. I like the expanded metal tracks for cleaning. It would also be easy to lay a sheet on top for hauling mulch or topsoil. The D-rings are great addition, but I also like my stake pockets. I may add the D-rings this year. The fender mounting sucks, and will eventually fatigue from all the bouncing. Do you have a picture of your fender reinforcement?
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:35 PM   #12
A**holes Garage
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

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Originally Posted by diggerrick View Post
Nice job!

I cut a 4x8 sheet of plywood in half for the floor, but I didn't have to space my hinges out. I just measured my plywood at 47 7/8" wide after 2 years of weather exposure, and there is easily 1/16" - 1/8" from each edge to the hinges. I like the expanded metal tracks for cleaning. It would also be easy to lay a sheet on top for hauling mulch or topsoil. The D-rings are great addition, but I also like my stake pockets. I may add the D-rings this year. The fender mounting sucks, and will eventually fatigue from all the bouncing. Do you have a picture of your fender reinforcement?


Yes, I could easily lay a sheet across, or I was thinking on making removable expanded metal inserts if I ever needed a full floor.

I can remove the D-rings brackets and put in the stock stake pockets. But, they're made for 2 x 4's and I'm a steel guy, so I'd probably fabricate steel vertical supports that bolt in the same place and do expanded metal sides, if I ever needed too.

No reinforcement on the fenders yet. I did weld the bends.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:29 PM   #13
805gregg
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

Cheaper and better to just build your own, maybe buy one, copy it, but better, then return it unused.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:36 PM   #14
A**holes Garage
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

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Cheaper and better to just build your own, maybe buy one, copy it, but better, then return it unused.
I don't think you can build a folding trailer like this one, this cheaply. If so, it would be too heavy for one man folding, unless you're good with aluminum.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

I replaced my fender brackets with 1/4" thick brackets, now I can stand on the fenders if I need to. I also took two of the cross beams and put them longitudinally inside the side beams. This eliminates the fold-ability, but makes it stronger. I also extended the tongue a couple feet. This makes it much easier to back it up!
I learned these tricks from a forum called "Teardrops and Tiny Travel Trailers".(http://www.tnttt.com/) . They have a whole section on these little trailers, (because a lot of folks use them to build teardrop trailers), along with many months worth of reading about how to build a teardrop and journals by people building them. I plan to build one myself soon.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

Quote:
Originally Posted by cactiki View Post
I replaced my fender brackets with 1/4" thick brackets, now I can stand on the fenders if I need to. I also took two of the cross beams and put them longitudinally inside the side beams. This eliminates the fold-ability, but makes it stronger. I also extended the tongue a couple feet. This makes it much easier to back it up!
I learned these tricks from a forum called "Teardrops and Tiny Travel Trailers".(http://www.tnttt.com/) . They have a whole section on these little trailers, (because a lot of folks use them to build teardrop trailers), along with many months worth of reading about how to build a teardrop and journals by people building them. I plan to build one myself soon.
yeap.. learned a few tricks from them as well on my HF trailer.

fender wobble can be eliminated by adding supports at the very ends that tie into the trailer.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:16 AM   #17
thinkerdan
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

Would you be able to send me a copy of your pdf regarding your trailer mods? I'd like to tackle this same project myself. If so, PM me.

-Thanks
-Dan
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:03 PM   #18
rustyruss22
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

I would also like a .pdf of mods i built one for my Motorcycle but i'm always looking to make it better
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:05 PM   #19
A**holes Garage
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

PM me
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Harbor Freight 4' x 8', Folding Trailer Mods...Finally Done..

I would like the Pdf as well.
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