Utility Trailers for Alaska?
Moving the family to Anchorage in the Spring from Washington State.
Was looking at enclosed utility trailers down here to use during the move, and afterward.
Planning to carry "stuff" northbound, then to carry toys (ATV's, sno-machines, etc) around AK,
and camp inside on occassion.
Salesman recommended a "snomobile trailer": higher (axles/wheels under), full-width box (8.5ft)?
Showed me a couple of 27 footers by Haulmark and Wells Cargo, both with insulation.
Said WC was more $$$ but better because it had an aluminum frame
(no rust & lighter weight = more useful load)
Any other recommendations?
Is an aluminum frame better than steel up there where it gets really cold?
Thanx and Merry Christmas, Dave.
Two years ago I purchased an Interstate enclosed snowmobile trailer 28 ft. I loaded it up with 14,000 lbs of equipment and furnishing for the new place in Alaska. I towed it to Soldotna with my 3/4 ton Suburban with a 454 gas engine. Everything went great, no flat tires, and it made it in great shape, now I use it to haul wood and store my 16 ft boat in in the winter. It has a steel frame, and extra heavy axles, I recommend you get the over weight axles, It is rated for 11,500 lb, I only overloaded it a little. It tows very easily, has an electric front jack, has the ramp in the back and on the V front, it also has a side man door, and 2 small doors for fueling snow machines. It has two vents, interior lighting and and exterior light. I got it with insulated walls, and the black and white checkerboard floor. It can haul a car if needed. I hauled the half logs for the outside of my cabin, they were 65 miles away. The roof seems to hold the snow very well, it has never caved in, I leave it parked on a slight angle so the snow can fall off as soon as it warms up, the body is black so it heats up with a little sunshine. The Sub and trailer left Oregon at 5:00 on Friday evening and was in Soldotna at 7;00pm on the next Monday. Just 2 hours over 3 days of driving. Even stopped at Bird Creek and caught a couple Coho's on the way in. I hope this helps. You can go to Interstate cargo trailers on the net for more info.
I do not own an enclosed trailer, but I am looking to buy one in the future. I have snowmachines, a Ranger 6X6, and would camp out of mine too. IMO you're on the right track with 27 ft 8.5 wide. Regardless of length I would not go any less than 8.5 wide. Axles depends on what you think you might haul. 7K lbs GVWR is pretty good, but a trailer with the 5K lb + axles (10K + GVWR) would be even better. The other thing to consider is that if you ever go from 4-wheelers to a Ranger or other sideXside, most are over 72" in height and alot of enclosed trailers will advertise interior height of 74-78" but the square opening to get into the rear of the trailer will only be 6ft. I believe you can order enclosed trailers from Haulmark and they will add additional height to the ceiling or look for models that have a beaver tail, where the floor angles down. I am looking for a used enclosed trailer and few people have anythign that matches this description.
One thing to remember is that 8.5 feet wide is the maximum you can legally tow without an "Oversize" permit. Many people think that the DOT rules only apply to commercial vehicles. They also apply to non-commercial. You don't need the fitness certificate or Class A/B licenses towing non-commercial, but most of the rest applies. Just an FYI.
Thanx for the replies!
The salesman told me about the door height issue, I'll order it an extra 6" taller, so the SxS's will fit.
I'll also order 5K axles for the extra capacity, they don't cost that much more.
I've also towed large boats for a few years now, so I know all about the 8'6" width limit for towing.
But, what about the aluminum frame issue?
My duramax diesel truck won't care about the extra weight of a steel frame and with 5K axles,
I'll have enough capacity.
But, is there a problem with aluminum up there in the cold climate?
Or are there vehicle corrosion issues up in AK, due to salted roads, etc?
They use sand up here, not salt, on the roads. Therefore, corrosion comes more from sand or gravel (from gravel roads) getting kicked up, wearing the paint off the underside of a steel trailer.
There are plenty of aluminum trailers up here, so they perform fine in the cold. Some feel that steel is stronger and easier to repair, but aluminum is definitely lighter.
If there is an option, opt for larger diameter tires, as they reduce the wear on trailer hub bearings.
You may want to opt to have the trailer insulated. Most RVs don't have adequate plumbing heating/insulation to permit winter use (not to mention that they don't work as well in the snow as a 4WD truck). Therefore, many people camp in their snowmobile trailers when sledding, and even have windows, skylights, and propane powered heaters in them.
What kind of SxS do you have? What kind of ground clearance does it have? The reason I ask is that many of the trails up here are rutted and have rocks, so many people opt for lift kits or larger tires to gain more ground clearance. So, to be safe, make sure you have a few inches of addition door clearance over your roll cage. Also, on the topic of SxS, additional lights are pretty useless up here--it doesn't get dark in the summer when you can drive the ATV, and there's usually too much snow on the ground in the winter to allow you to ride the ATV when it does get dark!
I've yet to meet a person who wishes he had a SMALLER trailer!