front wheel for trailer

mixmkr

Active Member
Thread starter #1
Where can I get one of these cheap?? Need to turn my trailer into a "tri-trailer", as some launching areas will require unhooking the trailer. A "beach dolly" wont cut it, because of too steep an incline to the water. I'm talking about 25 ft max...say from a parking lot edge to the water's edge...which is either VERY loose gravel (my tow vehicle would get stuck for sure)...or just plain mud.
When I unhook the trailer, should be easy to roll down hill. Then a sturdy tow strap or rope attached to the trailer to pull it up hill about 25 ft would be all I need.

This item is $120 plus shipping. Too much. I'm also thinking about replacing my tongue jack with a larger wheel off to the side, but fear bending the tongue jack when towing up hill, should I hit a snag.

sbo-spretire-whub-3.jpg

Open to any other solutions. Remember a beach dolly will be too difficult to pull out of the water and up the slopes in areas I'd like to launch.
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#5
You don't want a unhooked trailer rolling down a hill because you're
not going to be able to control it's descent. You will not be able to hold
it back physically even on a shallow incline. Best bet is a tongue extension
or electric cable winch. The third wheel can be made from a swing-away
spare wheel carrier but it's not that cheap. Easy way is to enlist the help of
a second person to carry the boat to the water, that is if your Sunfish is about
125 lbs. Seems like the Sunfish I get vary widely in weight. Seems to have
something to do with how much expanding foam they used. Check out
vids of people launching private submarines. Because they draft a huge amount
of water they use a extremely long tongue extension. I don't think you can do
it better than they do.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
Thread starter #6
I am able to roll my trailer down my 10 degree descent in my back yard parking lot. Grass or gravel will be even easier. But most descents to the lake edges aren't going to be that steep....just small gravel beaches etc.

I also sail solo a lot at new locations so a 2nd person isn't an option especially when retiurning.

Tongue extensions are too short as well

Appreciate the ideas but a 3rd wheel is really what I'm looking for. I just don't have a welder to weld a spindle/hub to a mounting plate.

Maybe just have to open the wallet....before the glass daggerboard and rudder blade. Dang!
 
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L&VW

Well-Known Member
#8
A machine shop will charge about $25 to weld your spindle.
Check Craigslist for welders: there could be one located in your neighborhood nearby who might "charge beers".

I took up welding, and found it easier than soldering: 'sold one of my (two) Lincoln "buzz-boxes" for $85. :( (What I paid for it :rolleyes:). Make up for your welding inexperience with lots of welding rods! ;)

Welding is fun! :) Oxy-acetylene welding not-so-much. :oops:

"...Tongue extensions are too short as well...Appreciate the ideas but a 3rd wheel is really what I'm looking for. I just don't have a welder to weld a spindle/hub to a mounting plate...Maybe just have to open the wallet....before the glass daggerboard and rudder blade. Dang!
If your tow vehicle is FWD, consider a hitch mounted to the front bumper. (If your tow vehicle has a bumper!)

If your trailer's tongue cross-section is rectangular, you can go to a recycle yard and find an extension that might even be too long! (First check that no indispensable bolts cross the tongue's interior). A replacement hitch is $12, and can be welded or bolted on.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#9
Trailer Spare Tire Carrier and Dolly Bracket by Dutton-Lainson Dutton-Lainson Trailer Cargo Control DL22144
This is the ticket too...only $45. But I fear too light duty over gravel. Pushing on hard level surface by hand, probably ok
I think you have found the solution by yourself. :cool: The shaft appears strong enough: if a part bends, reinforce it.

Attach it so the wheel is as low as possible. (Invert it?) This way, as the tow strap relieves the weight on the wheel, it helps to lift and straighten the trailer's path.

BUT, this is a poor time of year to buy this sort of "marine/trailer" thing. :(

Put it on a "watch" list at eBay and Amazon, and watch for sales—or a "price-drop". :cool:
 

Webfoot1

Active Member
#10
Here's you solution, don't put the wheels on the trailer, put them on the back of the Sunfish.
Build a wheeled bracket that slips on to the back of the Sunfish so you can grab the bow handle and
wheel it to the water. Easy on/ easy off the trailer. Fun welding angle iron or maybe better,
welding conduit bent with a pipe bender. PVC wheeled bracket? As cheap as PVC pipe is its
worth a try. Biggest cost is the flotation wheels unless you can steal them off something
else. Anyway you stack it, this would be a whole lot easier than pushing around a three
wheel trailer. Now that I mention it, I could find this handy for my own use.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
Thread starter #11
I've thought a lot about a boat dolly. The issue MAY be doing the reverse...going up a slight incline in heavy, loose gravel, getting back to my trailer
(see my original post)

I could just build one and try and try another plan if it becomes an issue.

Thx for continued suggestions
 

mixmkr

Active Member
Thread starter #13
Its not the fear of sinking wheels. Whereas I can manipulate going downhill...I can't pull it uphill, especially with sand, gravel, mud, etc.
Hence a 25+ rope tied to my "tri"-trailer attached to my tow vehicle.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#14

leob1

New Member
#16
replace your tongue jack with one from Harbor Freight
I would also question unhitching your trailer at a boat ramp, with the trailer able to go downhill. I hope you have a solid plan to control and recover it.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#17
Google "Bush hog tail wheel". If I can find one I'll make an attachment to the trailer
Why not dispense with that third wheel altogether?

A towing strap hook jammed into a spare $8 towing ball--inserted temporarily into the hitch, downhill--should lift the trailer tongue sufficiently to tow it up.

.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
Thread starter #18
L&VW... I think you gave me an idea, which I kinda had been tossing around too. I think maybe just ditching the 3rd wheel might work. I slid my sunfish back about 3 ft on my trailer (it has long, carpeted bunks), effectively giving me about 10 lbs of tongue weight...or just enough to keep the trailer from flipping backwards (with negative tongue weight). This for the most part, I think will just take any extra stress of my tongue jack, which does have a plastic, 4" wheel. The trailer moves MUCH easier thru the gravel in my driveway, much like a boat dolly. I'll try this at the lake and see what happens, but thinking this may be the answer. Your suggestion to not use the 3rd wheel kinda got me thinking. I think the tongue jack in the down position will help from keeping the trailer coupler from burying itself, but then the tongue jack will just "skip" over the ground as I'm pulling the trailer out of the lake, and my chances of bending or damaging the tongue jack should be greatly reduced. The boat easily slides on my carpeted bunks out of the water....back to the proper position for road towing, so this may be the answer.

I suspect with some experimenting, I can do like you say as well and just count on the tow rope to lift the trailer tongue too.

I'm tired of looking for hubs and such without having to weld something. I'll try this today or over the weekend. Wish me luck!
 

mixmkr

Active Member
Thread starter #19
replace your tongue jack with one from Harbor Freight
I would also question unhitching your trailer at a boat ramp, with the trailer able to go downhill. I hope you have a solid plan to control and recover it.
Thanks...I've got a decent tongue jack, probably as good as those from Harbor Freight. Sometimes the wheel can get "cocked" and I didn't want to bend the jack accidently. BTW, I'm not going down a paved boat ramp doing this...just grassy or sandy/gravel beaches, where my van would get stuck.... but solid enough for the boat trailer. Lots of areas good for launching with these shorelines, but the parking lot or road is 25 feet away and didn't want to risk backing over these "non-ramp" areas.
Yeah...concrete ramp...decent pitch...things would get exciting!
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#20
I'm tired of looking for hubs and such without having to weld something. I'll try this today or over the weekend. Wish me luck!
Early biplanes had lightweight curved "tail skids"--some of which could be steered from the cockpit!

Tiger5.jpg
Consider fitting a similar curved piece of material to act like spring, and attach it to the tongue. Metal, wood, or fiberglass, it'd be better if it didn't steer. (But could be made to steer by connecting the forward-most portion to the tow rope).

Among my shelves of "stuff", I'd saved the bottom rockers of an unusable rocking chair. There must be some way to afix it (or them) to a trailer tongue.

Good luck!

.
 
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