Trailer Wheel Size

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  • #42706
    Sheldon Potter
    Participant

    Hi – I’m looking at getting one of the Harbor Freight line of 48″ X 96″ foldable utility trailers soon to haul new kart behind my Honda Accord, and am wondering about a couple technical details related to which wheel size I should consider (8″ vs. 12″):

    (Link to their site’s catalog for the 8″ version: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=42709. I expect to buy locally, if possible, however.)

    1. I understand maximum road speed is the big factor here? I”m far enough away from both IMI and The Track I’d have to access them via I-25, etc. so obviously don’t want to be stuck going 40 MPH. What’s realistic maximums on these?

    2. Never hauled a trailer before, so learning about that along w/ everything else. 🙂 Given the vehicle intended for hauling, would one size be better than another vs. keeping the trailer more or less parallel to the ground while hauling? I don’t know how important that is, but seems I’ve read something about it.

    Any other factors re. wheel size I should be aware of?

    Thanks for any input, as always.

    Sheldon Potter

    #61332
    Jeff Field
    Participant

    Get the 12″. The bearings are actually pretty good, but the 12″ will be much preferred over the 8″.

    We stack 2 karts and stands and other stuff on our 12″ and cruise 75mph with no worries. Regular bearing inspection and re-grease will keep it all happy.

    Note: Ours stays in the garage. Not out in the weather.

    My WRX probably has the hitch at a similar height as your Honda. The ball holder is just a basic one and the trailer sits level. You won’t have a problem with that, there are so many ball holders available.

    #61333
    Sheldon Potter
    Participant

    @jibco wrote:

    Get the 12″. The bearings are actually pretty good, but the 12″ will be much preferred over the 8″.

    We stack 2 karts and stands and other stuff on our 12″ and cruise 75mph with no worries. Regular bearing inspection and re-grease will keep it all happy. …

    My WRX probably has the hitch at a similar height as your Honda. The ball holder is just a basic one and the trailer sits level. You won’t have a problem with that, there are so many ball holders available.

    Jeff – Thanks for the info!

    Duh, I also just realized, aren’t most karts wider, at least at the back, than the 48″ width of this line of trailer?

    If so, any problems w/ this? Will rear wheels hang completely over or what? What about limiting the use of side rails as a result? Maybe I should consider a wider model?

    Thanks.

    Sheldon Potter

    #61334
    Jeff Field
    Participant

    (55-48)/2 = 3.5″ of rear tire hanging off each side. It’s not a problem at all. I don’t have side rails. Only a little wood around the front to contain things like crate of spares, fuel jug, and streeter. The front fits between the fenders easy, and the rear end is at the back of the trailer where there are no obstacles. I use the front for items mentioned above. Later last year, we fabbed a rack from steel tubing to double deck and carry 2 machines. Total trailer investment is still <$300.

    I can try to post a few pics later. Last June, I was worried about many of the same things you are. Don’t worry about it. This is awesome bang for buck transportation. Maybe consider a nice cover for rainy trips home in the afternoon.

    #61336
    Garrick Mitchell
    Participant

    I have that trailer with 12-inch wheels. The tires are marked 55 mph max, and I stick to that to reduce wear and tear on the Mazda6. It means I get to TTAC in 20 minutes instead of 15. It’s funny watching traffic on I-25 slow down to eyeball the kart. The bigger tires are preferred from a load-capacity standpoint (not that a kart will tax that trailer at all), plus they spin at lower RPM at a given road speed. I’m operating nowhere near the limit of performance of the Mazda or the trailer… I’ll leave the envelope-pushing for the track.

    Note that the fenders on the 12-inch model stick up above the trailer floor, so you’ll either need to dispose of the fenders or build up rails for the kart to sit on. Raising the kart is better from a load-securement standpoint anyway, since your hold-down straps wouldn’t be as parallel to the trailer floor. [EDIT: Now I see the replies just above mine. My side pods run into the trailer’s fenders, but then again my ‘pods are ancient “bread boxes,” and I’m not carrying additional cargo on the front of the trailer, so I need to move the kart further forward to get the weight balance right. YMMV.]

    As for the hitch, there’s a wide range of bars with different drops available. Just get the one that puts the trailer floor at the desired angle. If I remember, I’ll measure the hitch height on my trailer tonight. Then you just need to measure the height of your hitch receiver (the square hole that the bar slides into), then account for the height of the ball and there you go.

    In the end, since I carry nothing but the kart on the trailer (everything else rides in the station wagon), I probably could’ve gotten away with the smaller Harbor Freight trailer. However, my wife (the woodworker) can haul full sheets of plywood more easily with the bigger one. Maybe someday I’ll build a locking box for the kart to sit on that would carry some gear.

    Just my $0.02,

    #61337
    Uber Wagon
    Participant

    Definitely go with the 12″ wheels, they will generate less heat on the highway and roll nicer over bumpy roads in town. As mentioned earlier, I never had issues with HF wheel bearings as long as you repack them with real grease to start, and keep an eye on things.
    On my old trailer (smaller harbor freight frame with 12″ wheels) I build some side platforms to raise the kart over the fenders. I happened to give myself just enough room to put a folding kart stand underneath which made me pretty proud of myself. See my picture attached….

    #61338
    Sheldon Potter
    Participant

    Thanks guys! You know, when you’ve never set up for something like this before every detail is like “ok, well, how does this piece work?”. I’m sure it will all fall into place a step at a time as I move forward.

    Yes, Jeff, if you can, it would help to see a pic or two of how you’re set up w/ this trailer.

    I’ve actually got the first piece of equipment, finally – a Bell helmet – and dying to get *all these pesky things on the list to get and configure out of the way so I can start taking advantage of some of the spring weather on – track ASAP.

    Sheldon

    #61335
    Joe Rosse
    Participant

    We started with a trailer that was somewhat longer than the HF trailer and came with 8″ wheels. It held up fine with a season of trips to CRE (~200 miles round trip) at about 65 mph. So they will work, but I agree with everyone else that the 12″ wheels make more sense.

    #61339
    Terry Von Tilius
    Participant

    Sheldon,

    I have a HF trailer that has the 8″ wheels.. I drove it on I-25 65 MPH all last season. It did fine, no surprises.
    By the way… It’s for sale. ($200). I bought a full sized truck over the winter to pull the wife and kid’s horses. So I no longer need the trailer. My Toyota pulled it just fine.

    #61340
    Sheldon Potter
    Participant

    @TerryVT wrote:

    Sheldon,

    I have a HF trailer that has the 8″ wheels.. I drove it on I-25 65 MPH all last season. It did fine, no surprises.
    By the way… It’s for sale. ($200). I bought a full sized truck over the winter to pull the wife and kid’s horses. So I no longer need the trailer. My Toyota pulled it just fine.

    I’ll let you know about the trailer.

    Re. the new truck – so, since I’m new here (as well as long divorced, plus never owned any horses), I want to be sure I understand – you pull the wife and horses along behind the truck? I’m confused. Wouldn’t that tend to tick off the horses?

    Oh, I’m sorry, it’s Friday…

    🙂

    Sheldon

    #61341
    Terry Von Tilius
    Participant

    I will be sure that my wife does not see that. 😯 I had a feeling that someone would make a comment like that. Since I did not word that very well.
    I think you may have already seen this trailer. If you are the Sheldon I met in October at the Fun Race at The Track. I pitted next to Craig Neff. (the guy with the RV and the shifter kart).

    Any way let me know.

    #61342
    Sheldon Potter
    Participant

    @TerryVT wrote:

    I will be sure that my wife does not see that. 😯 I had a feeling that someone would make a comment like that. Since I did not word that very well.

    No, you worded it just fine. You’re just dealing here with a fairly off the wall middle aged guy who sometimes just can’t resist an irreverent/borderline disrespectful remark. I thought about not saying anything, but the picture of some guy driving along w/ his wife and a couple of horses tethered behind the truck – one way to interpret that – was too much to resist. One of these days that kind of thing is going to get me into real trouble…

    No disrespect to the wife, or the horses, meant, of course. 🙂

    I think you may have already seen this trailer. If you are the Sheldon I met in October at the Fun Race at The Track. I pitted next to Craig Neff. (the guy with the RV and the shifter kart).

    Any way let me know.

    Oh! Are you the guy w/ the dangerous red (I think it was red) methane powered 4 stroke number? I recall Craig, insisting that I try out his Honda powered shifter. That was a blast, even though I’d never been in one, hopefully I didn’t screw up his transmission too bad. Surprising how easy it was to get ‘er loose coming off w/ all that torque in lower gears.

    Like I wasn’t hooked on karting already, he kept saying “Hey, the first ride’s free…”. Really nice guy; don’t seem to see many posts here from Craig.

    Anyway, thanks for the info. Hope to get this stuff squared away and out on the track slogging around in the back behind all you guys soon. Watching the Sebring 12 Hour along w/ first F1 race this year really puts the bug in my butt to get moving. 🙂

    Sheldon

    #61343
    Terry Von Tilius
    Participant

    Yes, that we me with red Kart. Although it’s powered by Methenol, not methane. THAT would be interesting. Good luck getting started. With some “seat time” you will be up and running in no time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone in the karting community is willing to help, I’ve found.
    If you want to se the trailer, just send me an e-mail.

    Terry

    #61344
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Sheldon,

    I see you are in the market for a harbor freight trailer. I have one that I am wanting to sell that is in near new condition. It has only been to the track three times. It has less than 250 miles on it. This may save you some money and some time in putting it together. If you are interested, please call me at 720-870-7163.

    Dave

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