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Okay I have been working on upgrading my trailer recently. I decided, since the original trailer from Lowe fit like garbage I would replace it, ( it was hard to even put the boat on unless you got out and winched it the rest of the way).  The factory "custom" trailer was used on multiple boats and I bet none fit it well. I now fish tidal waters so it was best to just start over.  After much research and a few conversations with the boat monkey ( yes there is one of those too) I settled in on a brand new Load Rite trailer.  It is one of their galvanized "Elite" series models.  It's weight rating is higher than the original, and comes from Load Rite with a torsion axle, led lights and radial tires on galvanized wheels. From there I got real busy with add ons.  I do not care to have a "fancy looking" trailer, but rather one that makes getting on and off easy.  To begin with, I added boat buckles and a custom set of brackets were built to mount them with.  I wanted to mount every accessory with either an existing bolt and bolt hole or U bolts. That guarantees we did not hurt the original factory galvanized coating, so we did not promote rust. Next we added a pair of 5 foot long sideboards, two 40 inch lighted guide posts, a heavier duty Fulton F2 winch, and a very heavy duty Knott trailer jack with a 8 or 10 inch dolly wheel. They cut the tongue an added a Fulton swing away kit.  Lastly, we added a locking mount and spare tire with a black tire cover. 

 

Before any of this was added they loaded the boat onto the trailer, determined the proper location and checked the tongue weight.  This is really important.

Both the Lowe boat trailer and the new LR trailer measured the same distance from the coupler to the single axle. It is the Load Rite dealers responsibility to adjust the entire trailer to properly fit the customer's boat.  It turned out the tongue weight ws about 400 pounds as it was sitting. They had to move the single axle forward almost 8 inches to get the correct 7% of total weight. The correct number is about 130 pounds.  So that is how badly the original factory trailer was set up! Very sad. Once the proper location was set, then all the other details fell in line.  I now have a trailer that fits like a glove. This is really important for both safety and ease of operation. I load and unload at ramps that have pretty serious current and wind at times. The conditions are all dependant on wind direction and tidal movements.  By the way, having the rear guide poles helps several ways. First, they help line up the boat initially.  Next,there are two sets of very bright LED light inside the top caps. The rear set are red and the forward set are yellow.  You can easily see the lights from quite a distance.  Night time or low light lane changes on the highway will be easier since you can clearly see where the end of your trailer is.  Also, backing down a steep ramp will be easier in the dark since the lights are a few inches higher than the top cowling on the motor. 

If you were thinking of doing some spring trailer mods, I hope this gives you some ideas on how to improve your trailering experience.

If you were not planning on any upgrades, take a few minutes and give your entire trailer a good look over.  For safety sake, inspect your safety chains, boat tie downs, your winch and winch strap or cable. Are all the lights working? Tighten or check the torque on all the bolts on the entire trailer, including the axle bolts and spring bolts. When did you last inspect, clean and repack your bearings?  A day spent now, before fishing season, may save your fishing day or even someone's life.  Many times I have seen a trailer frame rust and crack and the owner never new it till it broke completely. 

Let's all start the new year off safely.

 

Next it is on to a new trolling motor. That darn monkey agan! :D    Here are some pics. Enjoy the boat porn.

 

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Well done, looks good. Is there enough clearance under the fenders for the wheels to travel? Just looks a little tight in the pictures. 

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Yes there is more room than it looks. The fenders have a side edge that comes down about an inch or so. There is actually about 1 1/2  inches clearance over the top of the tires. I am not sure how much actual travel the wheels have since the torsion axle works so different then a spring axle. It runs so much smoother, it almost feels like it has shocks.  This is my first trailer with a torsion axle and I am impressed.

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Looks great, believe you got everything covered, now that trolling motor !!!! ;)

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Yea I am going to sell my 70 pound Maxxum and have a new saltwater series Riptide Terrova 80 put on. I am also going to get my friend to fabricate a metal step up box  added to access the front deck.  Probably going to install a box liner and a water tight hatch from Tempress.  The boat may be a 2010, but I am going to make closer to the new rigs.  Lastly I may swap out one depth finder. I'm thinking of selling off a HB 788, moving , my Lowrance Elite 7 up front and installing a HB Helix 10 Mega SI.  I would go 9 but they use the same size housing for both a 9 and 10 so I would not save any space. 

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Looks like you spent a lot of time and effort getting this right - very cool.

 

One question: the cover fo your spare...I'd be concerned water would get in there and encourage mold/mildew?

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It is open underneath and has side venting to aid is air circulation.  I thought about that too.  Check out one of CE Smiths videos.

 

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