Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Harbor Freight Trailer Build

The Toy-Hauler... Harbor Freight's Folding 4x8 Utility Trailer.

Sunken wheel chock for the motorcycle, folds away for towing other goodies.

Painted the 23/32 Plywood Deck with Valspar's Non-Skid Porch Paint.   
Pre-Mixed with silica for a non-skid surface.

Disclaimer: It's pretty much been ages since I've posted on here.   Mostly because work situations have changed, the house really is pretty much physically complete, and my money is at it's end.    So, with little lack of 'play-time' funds I've been laying low and paying the mortgage.

This July 4th, we decided that we were going to do a motorcycle tour of the Northern part of Michigan and I was pretty much dead set on trailering my bike up to our starting point so I could carry all the extra gear-- and my girlfriend (Amanda) as well.   We're all packed with tents and airbeds -- which will come up in a chase vehicle - and this trailer was the project that really needed finishing before we left on the trip.

Based on my quick searches, this was one of the few cost effective alternatives as a motorcycle trailer.   The run down is as follows:
  • 265 for the Harbor Freight Folding Utility Trailer (4x8 size, 12" Wheels).
  • 23 for the 23/32 Plywood
  • 22 for the Valspar Non-Skid Paint
  • 10 for a mis-mixed can of Dutch Boy Exterior Latex Paint in 'poop-brown' color off the clearance rack
  • 15 for various hardware
  • 38 for the hide-a-way motorcycle chock
  • Way too many hours of my life reading the poorly written chinese instruction manual.
  • Oh, and don't forget Secretary of States piece of the pie:  75.00 for a trailer plate.
Total Cost: 450.00 (approx).

All-in-all the assembly experience was about what I expected.   Every time I thought I had finished the trailer, I'd test the folding mechanism, or check the bed, and something else would need adjusting.   If I spent my whole weekend working on it, I could probably have assembled it -- sans paint.   In reality, the project ended up eating up 4 weeks of my life (working on and  off).  While I consider myself quite mechanically capable,  being lazy and putting off painting, or problems with alignment of the folding beds fasteners, or something else would always keep me from just finishing the project.   In retrospect, the 250 dollar trailer (while admittedly still quite cheap) would not be my first choice of trailering solutions.

So, this weekend I'll be pulling it for the first time with my new motorcycle perched on back.  Here's hoping the wheels don't fall off.


  1. I just bought this trailer and will be building it as a multi-purpose trailer as well. I was wondering where you purchased the hide-away chock?

  2. The trailer looks great and I am sure it will be fantastic to use.

    Enclosed Cargo Trailers