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  1. #11
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    Sep 2008
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    southwestern ohio
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    you could also get the steel powder coated
    This is an automotive discussion forum that has some great infromation

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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Midwest
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    I have been toying with the idea of building a small aluminum utillity trailer for some time. Being retired its just a hobby with me and I like working with aluminum. Fusion King comments are worthy of consideration.
    I do know Triton trailers build small aluminum utility trailers and they bolt on the coupler and axles. I called their tech deptment and they informed me they reenforce the tongue and other stress areas with .250 aluminum plate over the 2x4x.120 6061 T6. They run a third member down the middle and bring the two side portions of the tongue out and angled back into the third member. Look them up, they may give you some ideas, but having said all that, I like the idea of galvanize or powder coat. Most of the boat lifts where I am at are hot dipped galvanized after assembly. They are doing fine. Fusion King knows all about that.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    haslet, TEXAS
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    109

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    i like the idea of galvanizing much more than powder coating. im not sure of the cost diference but i have, and many of my close frinds have had, poor results with powdercoated objects.(such as bumper gards and fences) the powdercoat will chip and cant be sanded back and touched up.

    you could also consider having the entire thing sprayed with a truck bed liner.
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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    3,555

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    Here it would be made out of steel but I wouldn't have a problem with alum in that design. The flex should be occurring across the member and not on the weldments anyway. Most good trailer designs do not really carry the weight on most of the welding anyway, the weight bears on most of the structural members and welds keep it from tearing apart.
    This trailer is designed to carry a sled and not to be tongue loaded with tons of rocks.
    I know what you are saying.
    But using 1/8th inch and TIGGING would not be wise IMO. Tig leaves a huge HAZ compared to mig. I liked the design myself. I am guessing it was going to use a tor-flex type axle?



    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    I have been toying with the idea of building a small aluminum utillity trailer for some time. Being retired its just a hobby with me and I like working with aluminum. Fusion King comments are worthy of consideration.
    I do know Triton trailers build small aluminum utility trailers and they bolt on the coupler and axles. I called their tech deptment and they informed me they reenforce the tongue and other stress areas with .250 aluminum plate over the 2x4x.120 6061 T6. They run a third member down the middle and bring the two side portions of the tongue out and angled back into the third member. Look them up, they may give you some ideas, but having said all that, I like the idea of galvanize or powder coat. Most of the boat lifts where I am at are hot dipped galvanized after assembly. They are doing fine. Fusion King knows all about that.
    I agree you need to reinforce a bunch.
    In my simple way of looking at aluminum compared to steel, it should be twice as thick, and it will weigh half as much, and be half as strong.
    Not a totally true statement as we all know... but a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when making stuff out of it. If you do something along those guidelines when making your aluminum structures and choose the correct alloys, plus weld in the best places, aluminum can prove to be extremely tough and durable. Copy a steel design and sooner or later you will not be strong enuff.
    Steel has a cycle life of about forever at its rated load.
    Aluminum has a much shorter cycle life at it's rating. Just the nature of the beast. Think of all the things that are not made of aluminum, like springs and chains. There may be exceptions but if so they are few.
    Who knows where a trailer would end up doing after 10 years and a couple of owners. Just look at what people on here are doing with them.
    BTW, I don't make any claims as to being an authority, (I have learned plenty on this forum myself) just trying to lay out what I have noticed and maybe help a few folks make a better informed decision.

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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Midwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by FusionKing View Post
    I agree you need to reinforce a bunch.
    In my simple way of looking at aluminum compared to steel, it should be twice as thick, and it will weigh half as much, and be half as strong.
    Not a totally true statement as we all know... but a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when making stuff out of it. If you do something along those guidelines when making your aluminum structures and choose the correct alloys, plus weld in the best places, aluminum can prove to be extremely tough and durable. Copy a steel design and sooner or later you will not be strong enuff.
    Steel has a cycle life of about forever at its rated load.
    Aluminum has a much shorter cycle life at it's rating. Just the nature of the beast. Think of all the things that are not made of aluminum, like springs and chains. There may be exceptions but if so they are few.
    Who knows where a trailer would end up doing after 10 years and a couple of owners. Just look at what people on here are doing with them.
    BTW, I don't make any claims as to being an authority, (I have learned plenty on this forum myself) just trying to lay out what I have noticed and maybe help a few folks make a better informed decision.
    FushionKing: Well said. Practical experience should never be taken lightly and cross feed on this site and others like it are extremely valuable. My first aluminum trailer project will be more like a small cart with a coupler to carry my generator when I need emergency power. We will see where that leads. I also was advised reenforcement and location of welds is especially key with aluminum....understandable. And that stuff is too expensive to waste. I think most of this craze I have was justification to buy a spool gun.

    I certainly understand why swamp donkey wants a trailer, I would not want to load a sled on the back of a truck. Personally, I would consider steel tube. It makes a clean build, plenty strong and it should service him well. My 14ft enclosed is all tube sprayed with a good epoxy primer, quality top coat, then undercoat. In the area he lives a steel tube sled trailer should be marketable if he then opts for an aluminum build. Good feedback!

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