Well I finally broke down and purchased a Harbor Freight fold-up trailer, Item #90154. For the last few years, I would rent a U-Haul trailer when I needed to tow a bike. For what I spent on trailer rentals, it would have paid for the HF trailer! Oh well, no more!
I watched the HF site throughout the winter to see if the price would drop but it was pretty stable at $299. I drove up one Sunday to pick it up but my local store didn’t have the model in stock. The clerk gave me a rain check and said that it would arrive in about a week. A week later and with my 20% coupon, I picked up the trailer.
FYI: If you are on time constraints, wait. Internet reviews are great on these trailers but most stated to give 6-8hrs to complete. Give yourself the day to enjoy and make sure you have a friend who is somewhat capable to turn a wrench.
The directions are quite good. Some reports stated that they were hard to follow and wording was confusing. We simply followed the pictures and occasionally read what we were supposed to do. I know… it drives my wife crazy as well!
Friend, aka hired help! Rick on the right, me on the left (borrowed from Kendenton!)
I bribed Rick with Corona’s and pizza so he was more than happy to spend a glorious Sunday afternoon with me in the garage. We lucked out with weather as it was around 60 and sunny.
Before Rick arrived, I did my best to lay out the parts.
About half way through, we laid out the plywood to make sure we were in the right direction.
We took a beer break to let the heater warm up the garage. Make sure that you line up the wood properly, measure twice, cut once! We did it in more than these two steps! Haha
Trailer folded up. Some of the bolt heads lined up and caused the trailer not to close all the way. Close enough. A few extra turns on the bolts brought the sides closer.
Another tip, when you wire the trailer, wire it folded up, standing up. Yeah, I didn’t leave enough slack and had to do a fab job! Also, I recommend to use shrink tubing to connect the wires.
All tucked away. It’s very practical for a small garage like mine.
I drilled an eye bolt into the wall stud to keep the trailer secured.
Below is a breakdown of the costs:
Trailer- $259 including taxes, $240 before NJ needed to get paid.
Wheel Chock- $25. I opted for the permanent chock instead of the removable one simply due to my local shop not having the removable chock in stock. I saved $30 but will have to take out the bolts every time I want to fold it up. Not an issue for me.
5/8” thick plywood- $17. The HF site recommended ¾” plywood but it was rather heavy compared to the 5/8”. Price was a few $ more so that wasn’t a factor. Less weight for me to fold up is a good thing. Get the home improvement store to cut it. Saves you from screwing it up!
Washers, bolts and nuts- $30. This was the cost of the hardware of what we used. Of course I bought extra to add to the toolbox.
Eyebolts- $12. Not the strength of what I was looking for but I used them to keep the trailer secured when closed.
1 7/8” trailer ball- $8. Damn HF! I had a 2” ball already!!!
Safety Chain- $15. The safety chain supplied with the trailer was similar of what you would use to hand a chandelier. I upgraded to a stronger chain and used the supplied chain to keep the trailer closed when packed away.
The only casualty (except for a 12pk of Corona's!) was when my cheap grease gun broke off one of the wheel’s cheap grease fittings.
Total for the trailer build was $365. I did cut costs here and there but I was rather happy with the total price and quality. I still want to add more eye bolts, the grease fitting and a ramp so maybe add another couple of $. Plus, we did have a good time building it up. It was well worth a nice Sunday afternoon.