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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my 1999 18 foot Sea Pro is currently on the original trailer, and I've had to put some money into repairs lately. I have had a lot of little things and a couple bigger things that make me not trust it for long trips. Just today I had to have it towed for a hub assembly that just burned up on me. God granted me the favor of having it happen as I was pulling into town and not on the interstate, and no one was hurt and the wheel never actually came off so the boat is fine. But now even if I have the axle replaced entirely, I'm increasingly edgy about taking it on long trips. So, I think it may be time for a new trailer.

What I need is something that is reliable on long trips to Florida, capable of handling long hauls on the interstate, and can stand up to periodic use in saltwater. Obviously the challenge is trying to balance quality with a limited budget. I bought and EZLoader trailer for my jonboat a few years ago, and I have been happy with it but I use it locally and not in salt. They seem like pretty good trailers to me, but I have not experience with buying trailers. The size EZLoader for my center console, as best I can tell, would run me about $1250 or so from what I saw online at the marine dealer, so that's where I am starting budget-wise. I could go a little higher if it were necessary to get good quality for what I need, but I don't have unlimited funding.

Any thoughts, suggestions, or experiences with different brands of trailers that you have had, good or bad, are welcome. Thanks guys!
 

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Red X Angler
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Just curious, if your frame is in good shape why would you be afraid of a new axle? Heck of a lot cheaper than buying a trailer. Gotta keep those bearings greased and checked regularly anyway old or new. I pull, check, clean and repack my hubs every winter, everyone should. New hubs aren't expensive either from places like Agri supply.
 

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Red X Angler
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If you have no rust/corrosion issues with the frame of the trailer. It is fine with an axle and new bearings. Check/clean/re-pack your bearings yearly and you will be fine. Or if your still uneasy or uncomfortable with deciding if there is life still in the old ones you can replace yearly, pack them good and us a pressure bearing cover (Bearing Buddy) and change seals each time you take the hubs off and you will be fine. Lots of tutorials on bearing inspection and geasing, or bring the boat to Hickory next spring and we can fish till midday then go through the bearings. Nothing to it after you have done it!


Darrell
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have bearing buddies on already. This was actually a new hub assembly after it fell apart due to human error a couple months ago. I pump grease into the bearing buddies before I pull out of the driveway every trip, including this one. On the advice from the guy at the auto parts place when I needed to reload it, I put green waterproof grease into the grease gun instead the red grease I have historically used. I did wonder if that mattered, but won't know till I have it checked out tomorrow.

You guys make a good point, other than the wiring the trailer is in good shape. It doesn't have any rust, I rinse and inspect it regularly. I wish I knew why that hub assembly burned up, but I guess I'll see what they find tomorrow.

That all being said, should I replace the trailer, anyone have any thoughts on EZLoader vs. other trailers? I've been toying with the idea of replacing it before this, just interested in people's opinions re: trailers.

Thanks for the input so far, I appreciate the advice.
 

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A new trailer is not going to solve the problem for long. Any boat trailer especially dipped in salt water and used on long road trips is going to experience issues that can be prevented with inspection and maintenance. I use bearing buddies and always inspect tires and bearings before long road trips on my 22' Sea Pro. I also carry a spare bearing as well as a maintained spare tire. I would replace axle or spindles and bearings and expect it to run as good as new. If you've been running on the same bearings since 99' you've been lucky. Trailers and bearings today are very dependable compared to the 12" tires and heavy boats we ran back in the day, then it was expected to lose a bearing or tire with the high RPM's.
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
New tires, both sides had new bearings 3 years ago, but this one was a whole new hub assembly including bearings as of a few months ago after it fell apart due to the pin being left out last time it was replaced. To his credit, my mechanic recognized that the last 'incident' was human error and replaced it at no charge. Now that same new hub assembly burned up and I don't have an explanation, may not ever.

I guess I'm just feeling skittish after seeing the wheel start wobbling and nearly fall off twice in the span of a few months.
 

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I just went through a trailer rebuild myself. I couldn't see buying a new trailer when the one I have was aluminum anyway. I bought an axle, hubs, springs and hardware, some other odds and ends and carpet. I'm in it for about $500. Much cheaper than a new one. The parts came from sturdy built online. I had never used them before but was impressed. I ordered on Thursday and got the parts on Saturday FedEx. Shipping is free over $199. Axles just happened to be $199.22
 

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Red X Angler
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We can do a rewire and led lights as well as doing the hubs/bearings. It adds some peace of mind when you do it yourself. bearing punch to put in the seal, some good waterproof grease, spray degreaser, and stack of shop rags and you good to go.

Darrell
 

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We can do a rewire and led lights as well as doing the hubs/bearings. It adds some peace of mind when you do it yourself. bearing punch to put in the seal, some good waterproof grease, spray degreaser, and stack of shop rags and you good to go.

Darrell
In this post, Darryl quickly demonstrates the difference between someone who is good at building/ repairing things (him) and someone who is a complete stooge (me).

Saying that it gives you peace of mind to do it yourself is probably true for him.... For me, it's "oh crap, I hope that I didn't break it worse, I better get that to someone who knows what he's doing quickly". Or about as far from peace of mind as it's possible to get.
 

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Red X Angler
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you can buy a complete axle assembly with hubs bearings etc, and even paying a shop to do the install you save a ton over buying a new trailer. The install is basically removing and reattaching 4 U bolts, if you do springs too that's 4-8 additional bolts depending on whether you do new hangers or not.. All of which will be easier to do with air tools. Agri supply, Etrailer.com, Tractor supply, etc just have to measure yours. Call some trailer shops and price them doing the whole job vs a trailer.
 

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Anyone can do this repair if you have the ability to turn a ratchet one way and the other. If the trailer was in salt quite a bit power tools will help break it down. I have a craftsman cordless impact. They're not expensive . If you are doing hubs and an axle do the springs. You'll only be adding about 60$ to the project.
 

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I have an EZ Loader trailer and have had alot of issues with it. Mine is a tandem axle with torsion suspension. I have replaced 3 torsion axles since 2008. I now have an issue with it eating up tires and one trailing arm that seems to work its way loose even when torqued to their specs. All the rivets that hold the diamond plate steps in place have worked loose and it rattles like crazy going down the road.
 

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I have an EZ Loader trailer and have had alot of issues with it. Mine is a tandem axle with torsion suspension. I have replaced 3 torsion axles since 2008. I now have an issue with it eating up tires and one trailing arm that seems to work its way loose even when torqued to their specs. All the rivets that hold the diamond plate steps in place have worked loose and it rattles like crazy going down the road.
Believe it or not tandem axle trailers need to be "aligned" and have a tire rotation regiment as well. A lot of guys don't know about shimming the axles and what not after axle install.

Sam, I am pretty handy with tools and could help with any repairs you want to make. I've grown up around automotive shops my whole life.
 

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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I appreciate all the advice and input. The guy at the shop where I take my vehicles showed me the spindle, after they got it apart. It had seized up from heat, he said it didn't look there was any grease in it. I'm not knowledgeable about these things, but he said maybe a seal had broken and the grease I was pumping in wasn't making where it needed to go (my translation), or something along those lines.

Anyway, it's a matter of cutting the existing spindle off, and having a new one welded back on by a trailer repair place, or replacing the axle. If I don't go for a new trailer, I'll just have him replace the entire axle. I'm leaning toward the latter option, after considering everything you guys are saying. The axle is pretty much the functional heart of the trailer and if it's new it's new, whether via a new trailer or just new axle. One obviously less expensive at a time when less expensive is an important consideration for us.

Thanks for the input, Neil. I'm sure you use yours far more than I use the one under my jon boat, so the feedback is valuable.
 

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Red X Angler
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yes the axle is really the only moving part and, other than a frame breaking, that can make you immobile or put you in real danger. A new axle is basically as good as a "new" trailer as long as all else is functional.
 
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Believe it or not tandem axle trailers need to be "aligned" and have a tire rotation regiment as well. A lot of guys don't know about shimming the axles and what not after axle install.

Sam, I am pretty handy with tools and could help with any repairs you want to make. I've grown up around automotive shops my whole life.

I dont know that there is any way to shim mine. The axles bolt to a flange on the bottom of of trailer frame with 2 large bolts on each side, no room for adjustment. On the ends of the axle are splined shafts that the trailing arms slide onto, again, not really any room for adjustment.
 

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Red X Angler
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Putting grease in the bearing buddies fills the voids in the hub so that water can't come in by the seal, but in my opinion the only way to get good grease in the bearings is to pack them by hand or with a packing tool.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BBwu2c1rLA from 3:15 to 5:00 minutes on the video.

Do this once a year when you check/change the bearings, change the seal on the inside of the hub, and the trailer will treat you fine.

You can get an LED boat trailer wiring kit for around $50 or less, I would toss the clamp on splices and solder the connection and tape well with 3M Super 33 + electrical tape or heat shrink tubing.

Darrell
 
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