Horse ‘n’ Buggy

For Boomershoots past, I’ve packed my Toyota Tacoma pickup to the gills. That’s fine when it’s just me. But this year, I’ve got a passenger — the Packing Rat — and all his gear, as well as a spare shooting bench for Squeaky Wheel, and also I’m responsible for ferrying the two tent canopies for the six RNS shooting positions from RNS Firebase Blue in Tacoma to Boomershoot and back.

What to do? Well, obviously, the solution is to ditch the Tacoma and buy a full-size crew-cab-pickup with an eight-foot longbed and a tall canopy. Much as I so want to do that very thing, I can’t afford that right now.

Ergo, I needed a trailer.

Limitations arose. I’m REALLY short on space in the back yard, and I don’t want the divorce that would ensue from parking an unsightly trailer in the driveway. So I was looking at these folding models (right). Cool, eh? Unfortunately, they’re out of stock and unavailable until after Boomershoot.
After I whined about it to Phil, he did me a great service not only by finding me a suitable replacement at a great price on Ye Olde Tacoma Craigslist, but he also went and picked it up for me.

So here’s my new acquisition. These first two pics are from the Craigslist ad. It’s got the decking and tiedowns installed, as well as mounting brackets for 2×4 sideboards and the sideboards too! It also came with a spare set of wheels and tires and a motorcycle chock that mounts to the forward deck plate. (Heh. Now I have to buy a motorcyle.) Oh, and it folds!

Only drawback is it’s red. I hate the color red on my personal possessions. (My mom and my wife together nicknamed me OC Dave because of this sort of thing.)

Anyway, I like blue, and this trailer’s not blue. We’ll have to do something about that. Not until after Boomershoot, though — I’ve gotta watch my budget. The very next thing I must do is have a tow hitch installed on the Tacoma. Les Schwab, here I come!
Below is my first trailer, safe & sound at RNS Firebase Blue. Thanks again, Phil!

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4 Responses to Horse ‘n’ Buggy

  1. Mike says:

    The color’s easy to fix with a couple rattlecans of Krylon.

  2. Rivrdog says:

    Three suggestions for the $300 trailer, since they are NOT designed for over-the-road hauling.

    1. Scrounge around local junkyards to see if you can find any sort of boat trailer with a bigger wheel/axle set and get it put under the chassis of the trailer. All the components of that wheel/axle combo are FAR too light-duty for what you want to do with it. Make sure the trailer tires are rated for freeway speed, most of the folding-trailer tires aren’t. You SHOULD acquire a spare tire, also.

    2. At the very least, get those boat-trailer grease reservoir hubs for your axle. In such light-duty rolling stock, running highway speeds for hours WILL overheat the wheel bearings, which WILL have to be constantly replenished with grease. If you have permanent-lube bearings, you are out of luck and MUST replace the axle.

    3. Don’t forget to check the laws of states you are traveling through as to licensing. Some states require licensing for ALL trailers, so you would have to have trip permits to tow there. IIRC, you can’t get a trip permit without a vehicle registration (yes, that’s a classic “catch-22″). If you can sneak in under a weight limit, better have an official weight (any truck stop will weigh by the axle for $5 and issue an official weighmaster’s cert).

    I used to have a 13′ aluminum boat and motor which weighed, together with trailer, well under 800# (pulled it with an ’84 Toyota Tercel). It used to have those tiny 10″ wheels on it and the previous owner burned up two axles towing over the road before finally putting an axle under it that took 13” Ford Falcon wheels/tires, and his mechanic said THAT axle might be too light (but it wasn’t).

  3. Rivrdog says:

    Better idea:

    Put that folding trailer back on Craigslist and see if you can borrow a single-axle boat trailer, or EVEN BETTER YET, go to U-Haul and rent an open trailer. Round-trip, they are cheap, probably no more than $100 for the weekend. It WILL be a proper over-the-road freight trailer.

  4. Phil says:

    He’s got the reservoir hubs and the 12in tires are rated for 60mph, RD.

    He has been informed about the need to lube the hubs every 500 miles and will be keeping a grease gun (sadly, not of the GM Headlamp Division kind) handy during the trip.

    The trailer is rated for just under 1200lbs and his cargo will weigh less than half that during the drive to Boomershoot and significantly less than that on the way home to CA.

    I hauled the thing home behind my Jeep, of all things, and my only complaint with it was that I couldn’t see it with my tiny Jeep mirrors. And to be completely honest, the only reason I kept looking back for it was because it towed so smoothly I was worried I may have lost it.

    Having been to multiple U-Haul offices this past decade, I can tell you that their small trailers are no better built and much less better maintained than this little red (for now) cargo pull-et.

    The guy he bought it from included the two spares for it, though the ones currently on there are damn near new so I doubt he’ll need them.

    Lastly, I’m letting him haul my two shooting shelters (actually portable carports), my shooting bench, a couple of my IPSC target stands and even some of my steel plates (if he’d like to use them) on it, that combined, are worth more than twice the cost of the trailer itself.

    I’m not worried.

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