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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:18 pm 
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I purchased and built-out the HF folding utility trailer for haulng my PA (http://www.harborfreight.com/1195-lb-ca ... 90154.html). Seems to be working pretty well so far. But, being the cautious sort, I want to have a spare tire with me. The trailer has a "spare tire bar" across the front near the hitch, potentially making it possible to horizontally mount a spare tire there. But I can find no instructions or accessory kit that would permit one to actually do that. HF does sell a bolt-on vertical spare tire bracket, but that defeats the folding capability of this trailer and I intend to fold it up when not in use during winter. So before I start fabricating from scratch, has anybody else done this yet? I know many of the PA guys use this trailer - did you mount a spare tire? How?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:36 pm 
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I mounted mine on the bar near the hitch. I think I bought the bracket at HF when I bought the traininer and spare tire. This is a square U bolt. I'll try to take a Pic tomorrow.


Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:38 am 
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Great post! Any photos would be greatly appreciated.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:53 am 
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Location: Amelia Island, FL
If mounting the spare tire will interfer with winter storage, why not just remove the spare tire from the trailer during storage? If you get a flat during storage, I'm sure you can find the spare :D


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:39 am 
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islandspeed2001 wrote:
If mounting the spare tire will interfer with winter storage, why not just remove the spare tire from the trailer during storage? If you get a flat during storage, I'm sure you can find the spare :D
Having not seen my garage, Islandspeed, your assumptions about finding the spare give me more credit than I deserve! No, actually the HF spare tire bracket itself sticks up vertically from the frame, and even with the tire removed, this would impede storing the folded trailer against a garage wall. I am hoping to store the tire horizontally, which would not add any depth to the against-the-wall storage footprint


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Sorry. I forgot to take a pic. Now it's at my vacation home and I won't be back their again for a few weeks.

The spare tire mounting bar on my trailer is a cross bar on the hitch triangle, sort of like the cross bar on an "A". When I bought the trailer and spare tire at HF, I picked up a square U bolt with lug nuts. This bolts from underneath the spare tire mounting bar and threads through two of the lug holes in the rim of the spare tire.

Yes, I think it it would have to be removed for folding/storage because it would make the folded trailer too "tippy" and likely to fall over. But this should only take a minute.

I've heard the folded HF trailers are prone to tipping even without the spare attached to the hitch frame and should be secured to a wall for safety.

Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Here's a pic of my trailer showing the crossbar on the hitch "A" frame, but I hd not yet mounted the spare in this pic. Try to imagine the spare sitting centered on the cross bar bolted from beneath with the square U bolt.

Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Bob- Thanks for your advice. I had emailed HF Tech Support about this last week, and received the following reply today... "Harbor Freight does not currently offer the hardware to mount a spare tire onto the spare tire bar. You do simply need a u-bolt and properly sized nuts to mount the unit correctly to the trailer. This can either be custom made from a local machinist or might be able to be found at your local auto parts store or hardware store." I would have thought that you need something solid mounted to the bar and filling the gap between the spare tire bar and underside o the wheel rim itself in order to keep it from shifting on a sudden stop or bump, but sounds like that is not necessary. Guess I'll start looking for this at an auto supply place, as HF no longer carries them. Did you have to drill any holes through the spare tire bar to accommodate the square U-bolt, or did the bolts just straddle it?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:24 am 
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The U bolt simply straddles the bar. No holes drilled. The bolt is about 3" wide at opening. No need to fill any "gaps" because the rubber of the tire is actually the part of the spare contacting the mounting bar. Stays in place nicely. Funny they don't sell something now. I feel certain I saw it next to the spare tires at the HF store at the time I picked up the trailer. The one I got is pretty heavy and has tapered lug nuts so that it holds the rim securely. Similar bolts at a hardware store are unlikely to have lug nuts

Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:29 am 
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I used to own this trailer years ago but do not have it anymore. Much of this discussion is about the lack of ability to store the folded trailer with the spare mounted. I may be confused on this issue but if you use this trailer as it is shown in the photo above you need to remove all of the carpeted wood and wood supports (above the plywood deck assuming the plywood has been split where the rear portion of the deck folds) as well as the side rails in order to fold this trailer for storage in a vertical position. By the time you do all that hassle you might as well just stick the spare in the trunk of your vehicle and forget about the difficulty mounting the spare on the trailer. Folding the trailer is not that difficult when it is empty but adding the spare and bracket and tongue jack is more weight you have added to the trailer when you physically lift the trailer from horizontal to vertical so it can be rolled on the caster wheels. This makes folding the "easy to store" trailer not so easy to store. It still is an inexpensive way to buy a trailer to haul a kayak or canoe but you have essentially lost the "easy to store" part of this. This is my observation having owned one of these trailers but if you think otherwise I would like to hear it.
NOTE: I used to use a foot long section of #8 gauge electrical wire to hole the side rails in place. I drilled a hole through the wood stake where the bolt goes through, stuck the wire through the hole after it was in the stake pocket, and bent the wire over 90 degrees on each side to keep the stake in place rather than install nuts and bolts everytime I wanted to unfold the trailer for use or fold it again for storage.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Lunker:

Good points. Thanks for sharing.

So far, I have not folded my trailer in 2 years, so keeping the spare in place on the trailer works best for me. I initially carried it in the back of my SUV, but it get cumbersome and takes up room the back of the car. The tire also smells a bit - especially when it was new - and it stunk up my SUV.

If I do fold and store the trailer, I would do so seasonally, so removing the tire once in the winter to allow folding and re-attaching in the spring is no big deal. Likewise, the bunks lift right out of the trailer in seconds. I do not bolt them in because they end up getting help in place by the weight of the PA and the strapping the PA to the trailer frame.

I like your tip on using eletrical wiring to secure the stakes. I built stake sides for the trailer to use as a utility trailer and this would be useful for securing them. Now, I just sink a 1.25" deck screw in each post to make sure they stay in place.

Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:41 pm 
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BTW:
There are a number of interesting clips on YouTube re: these HF trailers. Intersting to see what people have done with them.

Here's a clip on a method for folding the trailer that I thought was pretty good. Haven't tried it yet, but it uses the back deck as a counter balance to reduce the amount of effort needed to raise the front of the trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DolNU41LhRQ

Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Bob, if you are not folding the trailer often then I agree with you about how handy that trailer is. I forgot about the smell of the tires until you said that. I had mine over 15 years ago and it looks like they have not changed at all. I wish I still had it because I could use it for many other things. That is a great video about folding the trailer. I was much younger then so it was not an issue but if I had one now I would do what that guy did in the video. I am still capable of putting my PA 12 on roof racks with the help of a Yakima Boat Loader and I enjoy not having a trailer to worry about.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Lunker - Like Bob, my PVC rails are easily lifted off in about 1 minute, and since I have no plywood floor, my trailer can be quickly folded. I did purchase a square U-Bolt like Bob suggests, which should facilitate horizontal mounting. If I strap the folded trailer to the garage wall, I may even be able to store it in a folded vertical position with the spare still in place. Actually, I discovered that the square U-bolt is harder to find than anticipated. They come in various lengths and widths, and since my trailer is at my cottage I had to work off measurments of the floor model at the local HF store, and then made 2 trips to a local trailer supply shop before I got one that fits both the spare and the mounting bar. Most of these simple U-bolts cost around $11, while for about a buck more you can get a heavy duty bracket made of welded 2x2 steel box tubing, with plates and all mounting hardware from HF, but only for vertical mounting! No winning.


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