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Trailer build - DIY vs pay to get one built

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Created by Orange Whip A week ago, 6 Jul 2019
Orange Whip
QLD, 598 posts
6 Jul 2019 8:29PM
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It's time I contemplated a trailer to house my gear. I live about three minutes from my local, have a rack in my garage and check the wind online before deciding what gear to throw in my ute for the impending session. Usually I'll throw two board and two sails in but sometimes only one of each, feeling confident of what wind I'll be greeted with on arrival. Occasionally I've had to do the race of shame back home to get suitable gear. A trailer would solve that problem, assuming I can fit all my gear in it. Getting a trailer may also be a way of putting a limit on the amount of gear I acquire, if I adopt the mindset that all my gear has to live in the trailer.

So, I'm not the handiest person on the planet, although I have actually done some basic welding a couple of decades ago. "If you can read you can do anything" I was told once by a really handy individual. I have access to a welder and all the tools I suspect that would be required for a DIY build. Is the the cost saving considerable if you DIY? (I still work 60 hours a week making other people wealthy, so this would be a windless-weekend project)

if I go ahead and DIY I want to put a lot of time into the design to maximise the amount of gear it will hold. I snapped these pics of the design I have in mind. (I snapped these at a rest area on a trip up north, I don't know what Ol' mate had inside it but it is about the size and style of what I have in mind.)

Another question, why are so many of the windsurfing trailers I've seen not extended out width-wise covering the wheels? I would have thought that extra 20cm or so on each side would provide considerable extra space inside.??

DIY or pay someone else to do it?






FormulaNova
NSW, 8891 posts
6 Jul 2019 8:57PM
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I think people don't extend over the wheels as its more work. Its also nicer to see down the sides of the trailer if its narrower.

I don't think something like that trailer is doable by someone with your amount of time. If you don't already have good DIY skills, it might be a lot of work for you too.

Can you get away with an open trailer with a box trailer and just some simple racks?

Orange Whip
QLD, 598 posts
6 Jul 2019 9:35PM
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Yeah, good points. I assume that gear in an enclosed trailer would be protected from the heat that we get here in NQ in summer if it was out in the open?, I.e. Wouldn't have to store covered? But having said that I'm intending to park it in the garage in the space the gear is currently occupying on the rack and surrounds so an open trailer would be feasible. Enclosed trailer offers theft protection though when at the beach etc.

jamesf
NSW, 887 posts
6 Jul 2019 9:41PM
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Really depends on what value you put on your time.

I went the buy option. Gave the design sketches below to the local trailer builder and he built it in about 2 weeks. Inside racks are built with galvanised uni-strut, adjustable up and down, or removable when i have to help a mate move house.

The design was based on an enclosed motorbike trailer, so you might find that helps explain what you want when talking to a builder.

My tip - build it as big as you can. Its like a garage/shed, you always wish it was bigger.


Orange Whip
QLD, 598 posts
6 Jul 2019 9:57PM
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Cheers James, very helpful. Do you need to allow somehow for water to drain out/ through the floor? From gear that's not dry I mean.

kato
VIC, 2496 posts
6 Jul 2019 10:55PM
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Build . Go Cart trailers are over engineered for what we carry. I also build in the mudguards.


This one is for a friend who can't weld

Ian K
NSW, 2865 posts
6 Jul 2019 11:04PM
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Select to expand quote
jamesf said..
Really depends on what value you put on your time.





Well at 3 minutes from the beach, even if you take the wrong two boards half a dozen times a year.... That's 36 minutes pa. What value do you put on sailing time? Or do you stop you've had enough, rather than when the wind quits?

Do nothing. You don't need a trailer.

John340
QLD, 1945 posts
6 Jul 2019 11:58PM
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I had a good trailer, made in the USA, the retailer is based in Burpengary. I now have a van. It is much more practical.

forceten
730 posts
6 Jul 2019 9:59PM
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If your UTE, is not large enough to carry what you need, seems a possible solution , get a vehicle . that will.

Do you travel to other locations than the 3minute away local ?
I don't see any reference to money being an issue. If you elect to go with the trailer, you will need to fit the inside with racks etc. still, the trailer will provide storage at home and you'll be ready to go .

if it appeals to you , I would go for it. Parking may be a problem.

BSN101
WA, 1620 posts
6 Jul 2019 10:10PM
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OW, you could buy an 8 or 9 foot trailer and get a custom cage made then put a tarp over it for the weather protection. This would be a lot cheaper than building especially if you found a second hand trailer. Cages are about $400 and tarp maybe $600. To finish it off make your racking system that hooks into the cage.
Remove tart to help mates move house.

I am currently destroying my enclosed trailer to have it reskinned and extended (600mm) to be the home for my kit.

olskool
QLD, 1407 posts
7 Jul 2019 1:35AM
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Orange Whip said..
Getting a trailer may also be a way of putting a limit on the amount of gear I acquire, if I adopt the mindset that all my gear has to live in the trailer.



OW, HAHAHA!! 'LIMIT' Thats funny as. Every PWA style trailer ive seen actually has WAY more gear than what is humanly possible to use. Even for a year long session!!
If heat is an issue build from cold room panel over a basic frame. You could start with an 8x5 caged box trailer n extend out over wheel arches n over draw bar A frame. Store a myriad of sails,masts n booms in the side areas. Adjustable unistrut racks clip into cage.
Leave yourself somewhere for a quick snooze. Getting sent to the doghouse now is an attractive option.
WINDSURF HEAVEN.

forceten
730 posts
6 Jul 2019 11:38PM
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Select to expand quote
BSN101 said..
OW, you could buy an 8 or 9 foot trailer and get a custom cage made then put a tarp over it for the weather protection. This would be a lot cheaper than building especially if you found a second hand trailer. Cages are about $400 and tarp maybe $600. To finish it off make your racking system that hooks into the cage.
Remove tart to help mates move house.

I am currently destroying my enclosed trailer to have it reskinned and extended (600mm) to be the home for my kit.



I'm missing something, what tarp would cost $600?

Orange Whip
QLD, 598 posts
7 Jul 2019 8:46AM
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Ian K said..

jamesf said..
Really depends on what value you put on your time.






Well at 3 minutes from the beach, even if you take the wrong two boards half a dozen times a year.... That's 36 minutes pa. What value do you put on sailing time? Or do you stop you've had enough, rather than when the wind quits?

Do nothing. You don't need a trailer.


Yep that's a minor issue as well as forgetting to take an accessory, or breaking something and a spare is at home, or the double handling into the ute, out of the ute..... all minor.
It appeals though to rock up at the beach with everything in tow.

Orange Whip
QLD, 598 posts
7 Jul 2019 8:49AM
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Select to expand quote
forceten said..

BSN101 said..
OW, you could buy an 8 or 9 foot trailer and get a custom cage made then put a tarp over it for the weather protection. This would be a lot cheaper than building especially if you found a second hand trailer. Cages are about $400 and tarp maybe $600. To finish it off make your racking system that hooks into the cage.
Remove tart to help mates move house.

I am currently destroying my enclosed trailer to have it reskinned and extended (600mm) to be the home for my kit.




I'm missing something, what tarp would cost $600?


I'd believe that. I know the owner of this trailer paid $1,700 locally for this cover. We do have the '4740' tax here though during mining booms




forceten
730 posts
7 Jul 2019 8:14AM
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Why tarp then, why not plywood ?

Mark _australia
WA, 19257 posts
7 Jul 2019 8:34AM
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^^^ as he said removable = multipurpose

I vote for build yourself, its easy and there wouldn't be $500 materials in it. You pay $3K for someone else to do it.

However, I do like olskool's suggestion and never heard it before. Fridge panel over a cage would be so easy, move the racks around any way you want to configure it.

Jacko51
SA, 169 posts
7 Jul 2019 12:13PM
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What is your budget? Buy second hand ? Gumtree is your friend Here's a couple
www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/caboolture/trailers/go-kart-trailer-enclosed-and-freshly-painted/1209776050
www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/yandina-creek/trailers/enclosed-box-trailer-8x6x5/1222734624
Recently built enclosed removable top for my 7x4 box trailer. Cost more than $500 in materials. Used composite panels.
Will try and up load some photo's.

FormulaNova
NSW, 8891 posts
7 Jul 2019 1:01PM
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You guys are lucky. Here in NSW, anything weighing over 250kgs needs a yearly inspection and a lot more cost for rego. I tried it and its a pain.

Some have taken the clever approach of making the windsurfing bit part of the load, but otherwise you are stuck with inspections and extra cost. I think I will take this approach fo my next one.

That said, I very much doubt anyone checks whether the enclosed box on wheels is moe than the 6x4 the papework says it is.

BSN101
WA, 1620 posts
7 Jul 2019 1:30PM
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Select to expand quote
forceten said..

BSN101 said..
OW, you could buy an 8 or 9 foot trailer and get a custom cage made then put a tarp over it for the weather protection. This would be a lot cheaper than building especially if you found a second hand trailer. Cages are about $400 and tarp maybe $600. To finish it off make your racking system that hooks into the cage.
Remove tart to help mates move house.

I am currently destroying my enclosed trailer to have it reskinned and extended (600mm) to be the home for my kit.




I'm missing something, what tarp would cost $600?


Just a guess, seen them on Gumtree for about that so just a guess

Tony Wills
NSW, 241 posts
7 Jul 2019 6:01PM
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jamesf said..
Really depends on what value you put on your time.

I went the buy option. Gave the design sketches below to the local trailer builder and he built it in about 2 weeks. Inside racks are built with galvanised uni-strut, adjustable up and down, or removable when i have to help a mate move house.

The design was based on an enclosed motorbike trailer, so you might find that helps explain what you want when talking to a builder.

My tip - build it as big as you can. Its like a garage/shed, you always wish it was bigger.



100% with James F on this one. I picked up a six month old motorbike trailer that I have fitted out with PVC pipe racking. Since this photo was taken, I've modified the racking and can now fit 5 boards and all my rigs, wetsuits etc. Big thing is that within five minutes its a trailer that I can use for general purpose stuff. If (and when) I decide to get rid of it, it's a motorbike trailer that will be arguably easier to sell than a custom windsurfer trailer. Yeah the ramp is a bit of a pain but I'm pretty used to it now...


Tony Wills
NSW, 241 posts
7 Jul 2019 6:05PM
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Select to expand quote
FormulaNova said..
You guys are lucky. Here in NSW, anything weighing over 250kgs needs a yearly inspection and a lot more cost for rego. I tried it and its a pain.

Some have taken the clever approach of making the windsurfing bit part of the load, but otherwise you are stuck with inspections and extra cost. I think I will take this approach fo my next one.

That said, I very much doubt anyone checks whether the enclosed box on wheels is moe than the 6x4 the papework says it is.


Dale my motorbike trailer is 340kg tare (750 gross) weight and does not need an annual inspection. I think if it had a brake system it would but I'm glad that I don't have to worry about that hassle.

peterowensbabs
NSW, 164 posts
7 Jul 2019 6:25PM
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Select to expand quote
Tony Wills said..

jamesf said..
Really depends on what value you put on your time.

I went the buy option. Gave the design sketches below to the local trailer builder and he built it in about 2 weeks. Inside racks are built with galvanised uni-strut, adjustable up and down, or removable when i have to help a mate move house.

The design was based on an enclosed motorbike trailer, so you might find that helps explain what you want when talking to a builder.

My tip - build it as big as you can. Its like a garage/shed, you always wish it was bigger.




100% with James F on this one. I picked up a six month old motorbike trailer that I have fitted out with PVC pipe racking. Since this photo was taken, I've modified the racking and can now fit 5 boards and all my rigs, wetsuits etc. Big thing is that within five minutes its a trailer that I can use for general purpose stuff. If (and when) I decide to get rid of it, it's a motorbike trailer that will be arguably easier to sell than a custom windsurfer trailer. Yeah the ramp is a bit of a pain but I'm pretty used to it now...



Awesome looking trailer, if the ramp is a drama I'm sure it would not be hard to turn it into a bifold rear gate?

Tardy
3024 posts
7 Jul 2019 5:10PM
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I'd be lost without my trailer ...how else can you hide the new gear from the wife

i don't wash anything ..gear that is ...so have had to paint the frame a few times and keep the surface rust out .

i scream home from work, hook the trailer on to go sailing ..knowing everything is in there ready to go ..its cool

I say get one ..and yep thats a bloody nice trailer ...


peterowensbabs
NSW, 164 posts
7 Jul 2019 7:14PM
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Orange Whip said..
It's time I contemplated a trailer to house my gear. I live about three minutes from my local, have a rack in my garage and check the wind online before deciding what gear to throw in my ute for the impending session. Usually I'll throw two board and two sails in but sometimes only one of each, feeling confident of what wind I'll be greeted with on arrival. Occasionally I've had to do the race of shame back home to get suitable gear. A trailer would solve that problem, assuming I can fit all my gear in it. Getting a trailer may also be a way of putting a limit on the amount of gear I acquire, if I adopt the mindset that all my gear has to live in the trailer.

So, I'm not the handiest person on the planet, although I have actually done some basic welding a couple of decades ago. "If you can read you can do anything" I was told once by a really handy individual. I have access to a welder and all the tools I suspect that would be required for a DIY build. Is the the cost saving considerable if you DIY? (I still work 60 hours a week making other people wealthy, so this would be a windless-weekend project)

if I go ahead and DIY I want to put a lot of time into the design to maximise the amount of gear it will hold. I snapped these pics of the design I have in mind. (I snapped these at a rest area on a trip up north, I don't know what Ol' mate had inside it but it is about the size and style of what I have in mind.)

Another question, why are so many of the windsurfing trailers I've seen not extended out width-wise covering the wheels? I would have thought that extra 20cm or so on each side would provide considerable extra space inside.??

DIY or pay someone else to do it?








We all have opinions and you asked for peoples so here gos. If you have plenty of time and money and are ready to make lots of mistakes go right ahead and DIY, however welding is not easy. It's easy to stick mettle together, Its always said that if you can use a hot glue gun you can stick mettle together. BUT proper welds that have good penetration and will last, won't crack due to fatigue take practice and skill. A home 240V welder will never replace a heavy duty three phase welder for consistency and penetration. That said, your own design, the ability to change adapt or evolve as you go is priceless. If you sub out to a contractor every tweak will cost and you're never sure that it is as you would like underneath the skin. I make stuff for a living do lots of welding have a workshop all the required equipment and the time and I would never in a million years start a project like this! Too much time money and grief! I use a 6x4 gal box trailer with all my gear shoved in it and hanging out the arse end and it works just fine ...however (there it gos again!) i did recently loose a boom bag with two Neil Pryde X9 carbon booms in it a while ago (gurrrr....) and can never be sure if they fell off or were nicked or whatever. However (yet again!) there is no feeling in the world better than running your hand over something you have designed fabricated and created yourself. Ultimately your call follow your heart and gut!

kato
VIC, 2496 posts
7 Jul 2019 7:34PM
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Rubbish ^^^^^^ Still using a single phase welder with a one year warranty built in 1961. Picks in profile of my last build. The trailer has now completed 10k of road trips

Mark _australia
WA, 19257 posts
7 Jul 2019 5:37PM
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^^ I disagree somewhat Peter.

A 20x20 or 25x25 SHS frame with just tack welds would be sufficient- its carrying bugger-all load and then the sheeting applied with sikaflex adds so much strength its amazing.
You make it sound impossible unless you have tradie tools...... not at all. A decent arc or gasless MiG and practice will be fine. If you can stand on it, its fine.
When its $25 for 6m of steel and you can get old signs for free then a sheetie to bend it....... easy.



Looking at the other posts - strewth some of you must have some coin.

EDIT- looks like Kato can also weld just fine with a basic unit.

Imax1
VIC, 2062 posts
7 Jul 2019 7:43PM
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Select to expand quote
peterowensbabs said..

Tony Wills said..


jamesf said..
Really depends on what value you put on your time.

I went the buy option. Gave the design sketches below to the local trailer builder and he built it in about 2 weeks. Inside racks are built with galvanised uni-strut, adjustable up and down, or removable when i have to help a mate move house.

The design was based on an enclosed motorbike trailer, so you might find that helps explain what you want when talking to a builder.

My tip - build it as big as you can. Its like a garage/shed, you always wish it was bigger.





100% with James F on this one. I picked up a six month old motorbike trailer that I have fitted out with PVC pipe racking. Since this photo was taken, I've modified the racking and can now fit 5 boards and all my rigs, wetsuits etc. Big thing is that within five minutes its a trailer that I can use for general purpose stuff. If (and when) I decide to get rid of it, it's a motorbike trailer that will be arguably easier to sell than a custom windsurfer trailer. Yeah the ramp is a bit of a pain but I'm pretty used to it now...



Awesome looking trailer, if the ramp is a drama I'm sure it would not be hard to turn it into a bifold rear gate?


Or a swing gate, or for even better resale , a two option, option.

Imax1
VIC, 2062 posts
7 Jul 2019 7:55PM
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Mark _australia said..

^^ I disagree somewhat Peter.

A 20x20 or 25x25 SHS frame with just tack welds would be sufficient- its carrying bugger-all load and then the sheeting applied with sikaflex adds so much strength its amazing.
You make it sound impossible unless you have tradie tools...... not at all. A decent arc or gasless MiG and practice will be fine. If you can stand on it, its fine.
When its $25 for 6m of steel and you can get old signs for free then a sheetie to bend it....... easy.



Looking at the other posts - strewth some of you must have some coin.




I totally agree , for us engineering tech heads .
However most people can't weld and don't even know what it takes .
For most people a $4,000 perfect condition second hand , lockable roadworthy go cart trailer is probably the best option.

Tony Wills
NSW, 241 posts
7 Jul 2019 8:16PM
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Select to expand quote
Imax1 said..

Mark _australia said..

^^ I disagree somewhat Peter.

A 20x20 or 25x25 SHS frame with just tack welds would be sufficient- its carrying bugger-all load and then the sheeting applied with sikaflex adds so much strength its amazing.
You make it sound impossible unless you have tradie tools...... not at all. A decent arc or gasless MiG and practice will be fine. If you can stand on it, its fine.
When its $25 for 6m of steel and you can get old signs for free then a sheetie to bend it....... easy.



Looking at the other posts - strewth some of you must have some coin.





I totally agree , for us engineering tech heads .
However most people can't weld and don't even know what it takes .
For most people a $4,000 perfect condition second hand , lockable roadworthy go cart trailer is probably the best option.


Yup $3.5K got me a registered 6 month old trailer. No regrets whatsoever.

FormulaNova
NSW, 8891 posts
7 Jul 2019 9:14PM
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Tony Wills said..

FormulaNova said..
You guys are lucky. Here in NSW, anything weighing over 250kgs needs a yearly inspection and a lot more cost for rego. I tried it and its a pain.

Some have taken the clever approach of making the windsurfing bit part of the load, but otherwise you are stuck with inspections and extra cost. I think I will take this approach fo my next one.

That said, I very much doubt anyone checks whether the enclosed box on wheels is moe than the 6x4 the papework says it is.



Dale my motorbike trailer is 340kg tare (750 gross) weight and does not need an annual inspection. I think if it had a brake system it would but I'm glad that I don't have to worry about that hassle.


Hi Tony, are you paying more than $67 a year for the rego? I built a trailer and had it registered from scratch and it was 270kgs. I thought it was 250 and over, but it now appears to be 255 and over where it kicks in. I was paying the base rego cost, plus a motor vehicle weight tax, and I thought it required yearly inspections. In fact, I am sure it did, as I would have kept registering it even if it cost more, but the yearly inspection was a pain.

It is $118 a year extra once that trailer goes over 254kgs... but good news, camper trailers are now cheaper at only $71 extra per year! Still more than any other state by the sounds of it.

If your trailer doesn't need an annual inspection, and the tare weight is 340kgs, its probably good to not talk to the RMS They do make mistakes. I once registered a car from interstate and the weight in the system was entered as something lower, and as a result, the rego each year was cheaper. Up until then I thought they would have automated that sort of info, but apparently not!

peterowensbabs
NSW, 164 posts
7 Jul 2019 9:15PM
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Select to expand quote
kato said..
Rubbish ^^^^^^ Still using a single phase welder with a one year warranty built in 1961. Picks in profile of my last build. The trailer has now completed 10k of road trips



Select to expand quote
Mark _australia said..

^^ I disagree somewhat Peter.

A 20x20 or 25x25 SHS frame with just tack welds would be sufficient- its carrying bugger-all load and then the sheeting applied with sikaflex adds so much strength its amazing.
You make it sound impossible unless you have tradie tools...... not at all. A decent arc or gasless MiG and practice will be fine. If you can stand on it, its fine.
When its $25 for 6m of steel and you can get old signs for free then a sheetie to bend it....... easy.



Looking at the other posts - strewth some of you must have some coin.

EDIT- looks like Kato can also weld just fine with a basic unit.



Whilst Im not really up for a tennis game of comments with all due respect Mark I know Sydney is expensive but $500 will get you nowhere near the materials cost. Just some head numbers straight away 2xrims & Tyres cheapest I know of is $75 ea sunrisa 2x hubs $110 2 x springs $49 ea 2x stub axels $108 a pair and I could keep going lights cables hitch sheeting ali angle hinges ply flooring etc etc . And then you have to get it blue slipped having taken it over the weigh bridge and RMS for compliance plate (no way a tack weld will satisfy the bastards here in NSW) yawn yawn. His reference is no old angle iron and old sign box trailer its a bit of fancy coach work, a high bar. Koto's 60's welder Im guessing would be a hefty transformer stick job and undoubtably would pack a punch but a modern home brand 110 watt single phase mig
(pulling way less after being sucked through an extension lead) will never put out a weld strong enough to penetrate 3mm RHS. However (that word again!) as I said time money and mistakes and you get a beauty all of your own making. It's a bit like are you better making your own board or buying one? I don't know you but it sounds like you make fine boards, Ive made a few they were dogs, but I was proud as ****!!! Just my two cents! Im out!



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"Trailer build - DIY vs pay to get one built" started by Orange Whip