If you are not able to login to the forum, please Contact Us here to let us know. Thanks!

Support FSC and see no ads! - Click Here
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

This is a discussion on Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough? within the Tow/Haul Mode forums, part of the General Discussion category; My dad's got a tandem axle boat trailer he's willing to give me. The cheapest car hauler I've found locally ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,799

    Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?


    Support FSC and see no ads! - Click Here
    My dad's got a tandem axle boat trailer he's willing to give me. The cheapest car hauler I've found locally is $1600 and it needs a deck, tires, and probably brakes. I can get a new trailer for $2300 if I drive a few hours west, $2900 in town. I was quoted $700 to get a deck put on this boat trailer, to include a square section added where the frame narrows in the front. My only concern is what the axles are rated at, all 4 have brakes, and the boat it used to hold had a small block Chevy, so as far as boat trailer are concerned it seems pretty decent. How can I find out what the axles are rated at? That's really the only think keeping me from doing this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Straight pipes are for peckerheads. . .
    '98 K1500 ECSB 5.7, 4L80E, 14BSF, 4.10/G80, 7,200# GVW springs, 8600# GVW calipers/pads, 411/EFI Live, TB mod, UDs, block, crank, 285s, and a lot of stuff on the shelf.

  2. #2
    formerly 99-2door Sinister C3's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Broken Bow, OK
    Age
    34
    Posts
    3,265

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    What kind of axles are under it? Bolt pattern? What kind of car are you going to be hauling?
    Last edited by Sinister C3; 09-07-2009 at 12:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,799

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    I have no idea what kind of axles. That's what I want to find out. It's a 4 bolt hub. I will primarily haul a 2400# fwd Corolla around, but my 3800# Crown Victoria is going to need a lift as well. Don't plan on hauling anything heavier than that. If they're 3000# axles (or whatever the standard is, is it 3500#?) then I should be good assuming this trailer is around 2000# itself with a deck. I don't have the trailer right now, my dad does, what should he be looking for to be able to ID these axles?
    Last edited by speedracer326; 09-07-2009 at 01:54 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Straight pipes are for peckerheads. . .
    '98 K1500 ECSB 5.7, 4L80E, 14BSF, 4.10/G80, 7,200# GVW springs, 8600# GVW calipers/pads, 411/EFI Live, TB mod, UDs, block, crank, 285s, and a lot of stuff on the shelf.

  4. #4
    Honorary Mythbuster neonhomer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Volusia County, FL
    Age
    37
    Posts
    333

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    Probably has a 2000 or 3000 lb axle. Depending on the maker of the axle, there might be a tag on the axle identifying it. A lot of Dexter axles have these, but I seriously doubt it would hold up for too long.

    You would need to upgrade to at least 5 bolt hubs. Then you have to deal with finding tires to support that kind of weight in a single axle application.

    Then you would have to see if the frame would even hold the weight.

    You might be better off selling the boat trailer and putting the money toward a proper car trailer.
    NeonHomer

    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 2WD Ext. Cab 5.3L/4spd
    1994 Dodge Caravan 3.0L/4spd
    2004 Harley-Davidson Road King Police FLHP/I

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,799

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by speedracer326 View Post
    My dad's got a tandem axle boat trailer he's willing to give me.
    AxleS, plural, it has 2. That's one of the main reasons I even considered converting it. What's the weight limit of a 4 lug? If I have to swap axles, it's probably not worth it. It's an old ass trailer too, but the way I see it, if I put a grand or so into this one I'll essentially have a brand new trailer for what I'd pay for a used trailer that would still need a new deck, tires, and brakes.

    Damn, looks like the 4 lug was the answer. 3500# axles only come with 5 or 6 lugs. Is it as simple as sticking different bearings on with 5 lug pattern or are the axle beams simply not strong enough?
    Last edited by speedracer326; 09-07-2009 at 06:42 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Straight pipes are for peckerheads. . .
    '98 K1500 ECSB 5.7, 4L80E, 14BSF, 4.10/G80, 7,200# GVW springs, 8600# GVW calipers/pads, 411/EFI Live, TB mod, UDs, block, crank, 285s, and a lot of stuff on the shelf.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    TN
    Age
    31
    Posts
    7,854

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    If it's 4 lug regardless of tandem or single or tandem axle, it's not heavy enough.
    Quit trying to be cheap. Spend some money and get a trailer heavy enough to pull something.

    When you start talking about pulling trailers safety is a real big thing not to mention insurance. Trailers can be real unsafe.
    Overloading them is just plain stupid.


    03 Silverado ECSB, Dmax, Allison, 3.73 G80
    96 Silverado ECSB, 350, 4L60E, 3.73's Powertrax Locker
    05 Cavalier
    74 Corvette Stingray, 350, 4 speed
    49 F-1, flathead 6, 4 speed, 2wd, unknown rear end. Old rust bucket.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,799

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    So are the prices these *******s charge for a car trailer out here. $1600 for a 10 year old trailer with dryrotted rubber, a beat ass deck, and God knows what for brakes. By the time I fix that POS I coulda had a brand new trailer. WTF? If I can stick a different hub on the existing spindle and instantly have a higher axle rating, then why not? If not, then this project really won't be worth it in the end.
    Last edited by speedracer326; 09-07-2009 at 10:22 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Straight pipes are for peckerheads. . .
    '98 K1500 ECSB 5.7, 4L80E, 14BSF, 4.10/G80, 7,200# GVW springs, 8600# GVW calipers/pads, 411/EFI Live, TB mod, UDs, block, crank, 285s, and a lot of stuff on the shelf.

  8. #8
    Honorary Mythbuster neonhomer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Volusia County, FL
    Age
    37
    Posts
    333

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    My bad...I didn't see where it said it was a tandem....

    What was the load rating for the trailer from the factory? What size tires and what load rating are they (how much weight can they carry)? Does it have brakes? How old is the trailer?

    There should be either a plate or decal on the frame giving you the GVWR and GAWR. It looks something like this:

    http://www.g4-graphics.com/images/VIN-Tags/TAG-FOIL.jpg (Large size image, or I would have embedded it)

    You really need to find out what axles are on the trailer. Dexter axles (which are common) will have a metal band around the axle with the ID #. This will tell you what each axle is, its weight rating and specs. (overall width, perch to perch width, and flange to flange width).

    Odds are, being a 4 on 4 hub, the axle is rated between 1000lb - 2200lbs... Dexter does not offer a 4 on 4 in the 2300 - 3500 class.

    Sometimes, you can just put 5 lug hubs on, but not often. The spindles are usually smaller. You're not really dealing with the load capacity of the hub, but of the axle beam itself. The axles are designed for a certain weight, and will have a slight upwards bow to them, so when you load it down, it straightens out, instead of going into a negative camber situation. True, the camber goes positive when unloaded.

    Then you will need brakes. Look to around $350 per axle to convert to electric brakes, staying with the 4 on 4 bolt pattern. If you go with the 5 on 4.5 pattern, it's about $380 per axle. That is assuming you can put a 5 on 4.50 hub on a 4 on 4 axle. You might be able to, as the kits come with the same bearings. You would have to measure your spindle (or know what bearings are in your current hubs) to see if it would work.
    NeonHomer

    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 2WD Ext. Cab 5.3L/4spd
    1994 Dodge Caravan 3.0L/4spd
    2004 Harley-Davidson Road King Police FLHP/I

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    TN
    Age
    31
    Posts
    7,854

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    So a new hub ups the rating for the entire axle even thought the axle itself was not made for that much weight?
    Quit screwing around a buy a new trailer cause apparently a used trailer in your area is not worth it.
    You are better off with over kill, then trying to use a trailer that can't carry the weight, or was never made for what you are trying to do.
    You asked, this is the advise.
    BUY A CAR TRAILER.


    03 Silverado ECSB, Dmax, Allison, 3.73 G80
    96 Silverado ECSB, 350, 4L60E, 3.73's Powertrax Locker
    05 Cavalier
    74 Corvette Stingray, 350, 4 speed
    49 F-1, flathead 6, 4 speed, 2wd, unknown rear end. Old rust bucket.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,799

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    Really what I wanted was a way to ID the axles, which neonhomer did a good job of explaining. It's easy for you to tell me to buy a car trailer, you're not the one who has to come up with the scratch for it. If I weren't moving this winter, I wouldn't even think of it 'till my truck was paid off. Even though I don't like the answer, I know it's the best. But if I can safely make this work, it'll be a good bit cheaper in the end.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Straight pipes are for peckerheads. . .
    '98 K1500 ECSB 5.7, 4L80E, 14BSF, 4.10/G80, 7,200# GVW springs, 8600# GVW calipers/pads, 411/EFI Live, TB mod, UDs, block, crank, 285s, and a lot of stuff on the shelf.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    CORPUS CHRISTI
    Posts
    89

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    why buy a car trailer, U-Haul rents them.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,799

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    Because it would cost me about $1000 to rent a uhaul trailer from SD to CA to CO that's why. ****in crooks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Straight pipes are for peckerheads. . .
    '98 K1500 ECSB 5.7, 4L80E, 14BSF, 4.10/G80, 7,200# GVW springs, 8600# GVW calipers/pads, 411/EFI Live, TB mod, UDs, block, crank, 285s, and a lot of stuff on the shelf.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    302

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    You would have to change the whole axle and springs to get the capacity. Not just the hubs.

  14. #14
    1981 Chevy 4x4 Owner
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Loudonville, Ohio
    Age
    22
    Posts
    233

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    honestly i'd think it depends on the GVW. dont haul more than what the title states that it can... and i converted a 16 foot single axle boat trailer over to a flatbed. 12 foot deck with toolbox, sides, and winch. slid the axle forward. added 5 crossmembers. we haul our midsize kubota B1550 with it and it handles fine. i can get a pic later.
    Last edited by Griff4x4; 09-08-2009 at 05:28 PM.
    1986 K20: 350 (bored .30)/700R4/208/D44/14bff
    http://www.fullsizechevy.com/forums/...o-project.html

  15. #15
    FSCs Author Laureate Zodiac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Wanderer
    Age
    33
    Posts
    2,027

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    Dammit...

    I just sold a 24' SSL trailer rated at 10,000LBS. Brand new deck, rubber, and brakes. 2006. For a grand.

    Anyways, yeah you're going to have to get new axles under it. Go to the junkyard, see if they have anything. And I'm talking trailer axles, don't go and put pickup truck axles under it, they weren't meant for that.

    Also, on the boat trailer, you'll have to move the axles forward. Most boat trailers have the axles closer to the rear, because that's where most of the weight is.

    And with it being a four lug pattern, they are probably rated at 2,000LBS each, minus the weight of the trailer, and it's probably good for around 3,000 to 3,500LBS.

  16. #16
    Honorary Mythbuster neonhomer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Volusia County, FL
    Age
    37
    Posts
    333

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    Last time I checked, and this was a few years ago. A 5000lb Dexter Torflex axle w/ brakes was around $600. IIRC, this was circa 2000 or `01.

    So a pair of axles is going to run you $1000. The first thing you need to do is ID the axle or find out the info on the trailer.

    Just because it is a boat trailer, doesn't mean it doesn't have heavy axles. I picked up a trailer for my brother in law in Tampa and brought it to Daytona Beach. It was a tandem axle trailer, but the GVWR was up there... I want to say 4-5k.

    That info label should tell you all. The axle tag will ID the axles. If there is no tag, look for a # stamped into the axle tube somewhere.
    NeonHomer

    2004 Chevy Silverado 1500 2WD Ext. Cab 5.3L/4spd
    1994 Dodge Caravan 3.0L/4spd
    2004 Harley-Davidson Road King Police FLHP/I

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Age
    52
    Posts
    3

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    I bought a new flatbed car hauler in Sikeston, MO with a treated deck and brakes on both Dexter brand axles new for $1,650 just a few months ago. Not happy with the paint but have hauled my Jeep 6k miles on it now, pretty good price.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Age
    52
    Posts
    3

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    I have never seen a boat trailer that had anything but surge brakes unless it was built after 2006. I have towed a lot of boats and would not want to tow a car trailer with surge brakes more than across town.

  19. #19
    Registered User smokinsilverado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Age
    37
    Posts
    1,766

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    Even if you could convert the trailer I am pretty sure that it wouldnt be legal. The trailer is designed for a boat and licensed as a boat trailer, if you were to get pulled over or cross a state line with a port of entry and the cops run the plates on the trailer it's going to come up as a boat trailer and it's hauling a car. Your going to have a lot of explaining. Boat trailers are designed for boats and flatbed trailers are designed for hauling cars. The towing characteristics of a boat trailer and car hauler are completely different and if your traveling cross country make sure you have the right set-up for it. Being cheap isn't worth killing someone because you had an improper setup

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Age
    32
    Posts
    1,799

    Re: Want to convert boat trailer to car hauler, are the axles heavy enough?

    Yeah, it does have surge brakes. I slowly figured that out as he described it to me. He didn't mention there being specific registrations for trailers, he said in MI a trailer's a trailer as far as the Secretary of State is concerned, unless we missed something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Quyonmob View Post
    Straight pipes are for peckerheads. . .
    '98 K1500 ECSB 5.7, 4L80E, 14BSF, 4.10/G80, 7,200# GVW springs, 8600# GVW calipers/pads, 411/EFI Live, TB mod, UDs, block, crank, 285s, and a lot of stuff on the shelf.

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •