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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5

    Question Aluminum Utility Trailer

    I am about to start on a utility trailer made from aluminum and am looking for opinions on whether im on the the right track or not. The trailer will be 16' long and 6'10" wide. Im going to use 2x5x1/8" tubing for the main frame and the tongue which will be wrapped under the frame. The x members will be 3" channel 3/16". I was planning on spacing the x members every 16" oc. Its just going to be a general purpose trailer hauling anything from zero turn mowers to utv to possibly even light vehicles. Does this sound like im on the right track?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,911

    Cool

    Yes no and maybe. I would use heavier tube for the side rails just my thought. And what are you going to weld it with?...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  3. #3

    Default

    I would consider going alittle heavier on the tubing just incase.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cave Creek Az
    Posts
    1,008

    Default

    From the vantage point of having seen and repaired a TON of broken aluminum junk on trucks and trailers I would strongly advise you to use steel instead of aluminum. You can cycle steel Waaaay more times than you can cycle aluminum. If you are insistent on making the error of using aluminum for a utility trailer, then pony up the cash and get some bigger heavier tubing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I realize that steel would be the stronger option but I have just always wanted to build one from aluminum. I also forgot to mention that I would be using 2x2x1/8" tubing for the top railing so that should add some extra strength. I will be welding the project with the spool gun on the 212 or dare I say a Lincoln power mig 350 with a push pull gun.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    16919 Pole Rd. Brethren, MI 49619
    Posts
    4,395

    Default

    I would be looking at a commercial built one to copy at the minimum.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,911

    Cool

    I still would use thicker tubing where the cross members weld in. I fixed a steel trailer this summer that was built similar to what you are describing that the 1/8" wall tube didn't hold up and caused all kinds of problems. One the spring hangers pushed thru the tube and a few cross members pulled chunks of tube out. The guy was a landscaper and i am sure the trailer was beat on a daily basis. I have some alum horse trailer pics someplace that pretty much fell apart on the frame. One it was a totally bad design and two they didn't use enough aluminum...Bob
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  8. #8

    Default

    I agree with the comments about wall thickness. Those 2 by 5 tubes will be nice and stiff and can support a lot of weight, but the joint design and welding will be critical to avoid ripping the thin wall out.

    I think a deck over design would work better using that tubing than a ladder frame. That would reduce shear forces making a wall failure less likely. You would still need to have some careful thought about how the suspension attaches though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks MO
    Posts
    3,583

    Default

    OMG....not another guy wanting to make an aluminum WELDED trailer thread.
    This design could even be marginal in steel with a trailer that big.
    1/8th" is a joke. An anyone who knows aluminum would know that.
    It will start out just great and everyone would think it was just fine.
    And then over time it will simply crack to pieces. Everywhere you weld there will be no more temper. The more bracing you weld in the more crack prone it becomes.
    If you are gonna use aluminum, you have to DOUBLE thicknesses over steel. And BOLT all structural members. 6" I beam would be a much better choice.
    A design for steel isn't taking aluminum into consideration.
    Just because you always wanted to do something doesn't justify crap. How many welded aluminum airplanes do you see?
    This is why the laws need to be much stricter when it comes to trailers IMO.

    www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Williams Lake, British Columbia
    Posts
    722

    Default

    You can get one already made for under $5000.
    If you insist in building it I would you heavy 6" channel for main frame.

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