Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by sosopix, Oct 10, 2016.
We just modified a golf caddy for a dolly and bought a tiny boat trailer for transport.
I think you best bet is a single rail trailer like a Tee Nee. It's about as
light as your going to get and still have it hold together going down the
road. If you're pulling anything behind a vehicle it needs to be road
worthy for safety. Too many accidents with people constructing ad
hock trailer solutions. You should be able to pick something up on
Craigslist about $150. As for corrosion, I've gone the Rustoleum route
and it seems to work. You can hit it with a new coat of rattle can paint
one a year for about $7.00. Had a Harbor Freight trailer and while it
works fine it is really too heavy to wheel around like a dolly.
A four-minute tow (at 5-MPH) sounds like a perfect use for a modified "trailer-dolly". Northern Tool was selling them for $49 last summer.
Remove the ball, lengthen the tongue, add a hitch and wood bunks/slings—and you're off!
Flashing lights might attract unwanted attention, whereas a small red flag would meet regulations in the other 49 states. Tell law enforcement that the switchback makes a full-length trailer inadvisable.
The above trailer-dolly already has a short wheelbase—a plus. If you keep the tongue short—and your turn wide—the switchback could be eliminated as a problem. If needed, an extended ball mount will help make that turn:
Trailer dollies are available out of China for just $30 each, but you have to buy 300 of 'em!
Sound advice, thanks. I have been watching Craigslist for affordable trailers, however, I suspect the wife will not be enamored with the idea of a trailer taking up our sole garage space, and there's no real place to stash the trailer outside without creating a neighborhood eyesore. For this reason I like the idea of a lightweight dolly with added hitch. Will add a specific watch on Craigslist for a Tee-Nee though.
I have been considering the modified trailer dolly as per the thread you cite. I had read on the NT site that those, (cheap?), pneumatic tires have a tendency to go flat and one might want to upgrade to the run-flat version of the dolly. As the cost and build labor time increases on such an approach, I start looking back at adding a tongue to a purpose built dolly, especially considering I can disassemble or hang such a lightweight unit easily.
These are pretty reasonable, not sure as to quality though:
Sunfish/Laser Aluminum Dolly | eBay
Or the Jotag at Intensity is at a decent price point:
Jotag Dolly for the Laser® or Sunfish®
The Dynamic looks to be better quality than either of the above, might make sense to just pony up for it, but I'm then spending more on transpo than the boat itself... (We don't count upfit parts, do we? )
Great insights. (And astute observation as to the "other" 49. Cali legislature is crafting lots more onerous legislation to trickle down, coming soon to your state!)
Not looking forward to my first attempt at that switchback with a trailer in tow, (I'm a towing neophyte), but your advice is helpful. (I assume you mean "narrow" wheelbase above?)
Group buy!!! Three each?
In the meantime, city living...
My camper is built on a HF trailer and its been hauled at least 5,000 miles on all types of roads. Once a year I crawl under it and prime and paint a couple of surface rust spots and it is kept in my yard which is 1.3 miles from the Gulf Of Mexico. The only Con is that the red paint fades after a year but an hour with a paint brush and it looks new again.I give the sucker 5 stars.
Nice testament to the quality of the HF trailer and it's basic corrosion resistance. I suspect partial submersion in salt-water a couple times a week might prove a tougher challenge however... Given a bit of diligence with fresh-water rinsing and some annual prime/paint maintenance one would likely be rewarded with years of service it sounds like.
Salt water will do a job on any steel trailer no matter where it is made. That is why we see more and more trailers made out of aluminium and other materials.Modern hubs have eliminated the need for bearing buddies. For my fish I took a jet ski trailer and with about $100 worth of parts and advice from the trailer shop got a perfect fit on my 68. Steel body but with new axile, hubs and wheels. Here in Florida second hand trailers are easy to find but you will probably have to replace hubs,wheels and bearing sor risk a break down.
Yes, the tires are cheap, but replacing pneumatic tires cheaply every few years might be preferable to heat buildup with the foam-filled tires.
The "narrow wheelbase" refers to the effective distance between your car's rear axle and the dolly's axle. (Shorter is better). The dolly has a narrow track—which is mostly a good thing for navigating a switchback.
The dolly's tongue is present, but likely too short for a Sunfish. Bolting on the shortest possible length of (removable?) pipe would allow upright storage at home. An auto muffler shop can supply the pipe and might help with drilling for new bolts or pins.
Several years ago, I bought a replacement 2" coupler for about $12. It, too, can be bolted-on. Having an auto dolly, a flat-tow hitch, and other trailers, I "standardized" on a 2-inch ball, even though it was overkill for the smaller trailers—but at scant increase in cost.
Heh. Here in the SF Bay Area, much is 2-3X or more what it should cost. Hence, it seems the prices on the new dollies as seen on Amazon and eBay seem reasonable. I see countless rust-piles on Craigslist selling as trailers for circa $1K. Silly. (On my way to the Tampa Bay Area Xmas Sunday at 6A for a few days. Wonder if I can fit a trailer in the overhead bin on the return trip?)
Thanks for the insights and clarifications. Still weighing all these options...
Sorry for all the mess! I haven't used it in a couple months and it was buried in the depths of my garage.
No worries. Thanks for the photos. Helpful to see your design.
1) It's been suggested in states that salt the roads in winter, that a mix of automatic transmission fluid and kerosene—sprayed from a simple spray-bottle annually—will give superior rust resistance. The 50/50 mix allows "creep" to get into welds and seams. Marvel Mystery Oil is the same fluid with a minty odor.
2) Just stumbled on a dolly alternative:
For firm surfaces, foldable/removable, $89.
Boat Launching Wheels for Dinghy/Canoe/etc.
Like the rust resistance formula. Training wheels are an interesting premise, but perhaps not an advisable option for even short range towing.
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