Thread: Make my own 4 place trailer?
11-23-2009, 01:02 PM #1
Make my own 4 place trailer?
I've been looking for a 4 place trailer ever since I picked up the Jetmate, nothing really has turned up as of yet.
So I've been thinking, what if I buy a dual axle boat trailer, remove the boat gear, and run 2 sets of bunks down it? Towers in front for the forward skis, maybe removable towers for the back skis? Or possibly bunk sliders and just chains for the back 2 (they're very light machines, easy to slide up)
Bunks of 18' length should be sufficient for my skis. So supports at a 14' spread, with 2' overhang each end would be sufficient. Maybe 4x4 runners instead of my 2x4's. The plan is to run the MSX and SLX side by side in front, and the Jetmate and Octane side by side in the back.
The trailer pictured is very close to me, and about 1/3 the price of what I've seen even the cheapest 4 place jetski trailers go for. Haven't seen it yet, this is just a Craigslist photo. Dunno what it has for brakes, but they can be added. Weight won't be an issue for my truck.
Anybody see any flaws in this plan? (Yes, I'm watching the one on eBay but it's already more than I'd like to pay!)
11-23-2009, 02:31 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
- medicine hat, alberta, canada
im in canada and have been thinking about doing the same thing...Im sure it will work just have to build the bunk adaptors?? that's the only thing that scares me...the trailer will have surge or electric brakes so no worries on that...keep my posted on your results...very interesting..
11-23-2009, 02:34 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- Cedar Rapids,Iowa
Used boat trailers come real cheap.Is that trailer Galvinize? If so they are a pain to do any welding on. To me that trailer doesn't look like a good canidate. As it is only got the 2 side rails for support running to the tongue. With the 2 heavy skis in front of the axles,you'd fold it. I would be looking more for one like this. It has more support running to the hitch.
You figure most boats even if inboard have most of the weight over the axles, Some boat trailers have where you can move the axles along the rails for different boats. Look for one that can be beef up easy.
Or just build one from scratch.
11-23-2009, 03:08 PM #4
I think that's a pretty fair plan, but I would suggest a little alterration.
1. Put the heavier skis in the back. These trailers are designed for the majority of the weight to ride on the trailer's axles with very little of the total weight on the tongue.
2. I would just use 2X4's for the bunks. 4X4's are going to be too rigid and heavy. You want the 2X4's to bend a little and conform to the hull a bit.
3. That trailer is the identical design of the EZ Loader I have under my boat. The connection between the rails and the tongue can support quite a bit of weight. However, I think Danno is right to point out that too much might cause some issues. These axles are made to move back and forth on the rails to adjust the tongue weight. I'd think you could make the modifications, put the skis on the trailer (standups in front) and then see where you are. Take the rig to a local truck scale and determine the total weight of the trailer + skis. Next, measure the tongue weight with a bathroom scale. If your scale doesn't read high enough, use this method to bring the weight within the ratings of the scale: http://www.curtmfg.com/index.cfmeven...ntpieceid=1347 Basically, boats have about 7.5% to 10% of the total weight on the tongue. If you're in that range your'e okay, but if not you can move the axles forward to adjust the weight distribution.
4. Brakes will be a biggie on this rig. If it doesn't have them, I've found this web site that has a good price on a complete disc brake kit: http://www.trailerpartsdepot.com/itemdesc.asp?Ic=82101 Definitely go with surge brakes on a submersible trailer. There are brakes suppliers that swear up and down that you can dunk their electric brakes. Dunking a light bulb in a taillight is one thing, but sinking an electromagnet that I rely on to stop me is another issue. I prefer hydraulic surge brakes in this situation.
7. Could you save a little length and put the standups perpendicular on the frame rather than right in line with the big skis? Would they still launch alright? This might help keep the weight concentrated over the trailer axles. I dunno, just throwing out ideas.
6. As Danno stated, galvanized trailers are a pain to weld. The welding process will release nasty zinc fumes and make you sick.....like head in the toilet sick. There are precautions you can take to avoid this. Apparently there are no long term effects, but you will feel like trash if you inhale the fumes.
11-23-2009, 03:22 PM #5
Thanks for the input. Lots to consider on this. Dan, I see how the trailer you show has a 3rd brace down the middle. Something to look for, if I can find a better candidate?
I really need to put the Jetmate and Octane on the back as they are used 9 times out of 10 by themselves, just me and my oldest son. The MSX and SLX only come out when other riders join us, maybe once a week.
I understand about welding galvanized, I'm not doing any welding. If any is required (my plan did involve one more crossbrace midway between tongue and next brace for the forward towers) I will have a local shop do it.
11-23-2009, 03:39 PM #6
Ahh, finally found it! I saw this old thread over on PWCYesterday. Been looking for it for a year!
His trailer is smaller than I'm planning on, but his skis are too. Thought his design turned out really well, just needed to be taken a little further.
11-23-2009, 05:32 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- Cedar Rapids,Iowa
Go with tandem axles, Those skis on there are light compared to the MSX and SLX. The biggest thing is to have enough tongue weight not to get a swing going down the road. It really doesn't matter where the wheels sit as long as the balance is right,so if your running the big skis up front,then try and get the axle as close as possible to the big skis.
11-23-2009, 06:13 PM #8
If I were to do it again. I would not buy a 4 place pwc trailer. I would purchase a aluminium car trailer and make it to haul the skiis and also the car when I am not riding the skiis.
11-24-2009, 12:09 PM #9
Anyone know where to buy the bunk brackets? You know, the bent steel plate that screws into the bunks on top, and has a series of holes to adjust height of the bunks on the trailer frame? I tried my usual supplier, RedTrailers.com but they don't appear to carry anything for bunks...
I've rebunked several trailers, but have always just used the old hardware.
The brackets for mine are going to need to be really long in the middle. I'm hoping I can just buy really long ones so I don't have to do all the cutting, flipping and welding like the guy whose pic's I posted.
11-24-2009, 12:15 PM #10
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