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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all,

Been doing some research and collecting parts for the last 6 months off and on to build an off road trailer to pull behind my Sportsman around the farm/yard as well as to give me something to build this winter in the garage. I am going to explain what all I have and then ask for input on a few things now that I am into the mockup/brainstorming stage in the build.

I bought this little trailer from the local TSC to get me by in the meantime. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/polar-lg7-lawn-and-garden-trailer?cm_mmc=Affiliates-_-Pepperjam-_-Generic-_-Offer&affiliate_id=43737&click_id=2487993406&utm_source=pepperjam&utm_medium=affiliate&clickId=2487993406

I travel quite a bit for work and with my busy travel schedule its taken a while to get enough time at home to start this project.

I picked up a set of 2wd Scrambler 500 spindles/strut mounts and bearing hubs for less than 80 bucks on fleabay so that I can use my stock sportsman wheels and some junk tires for the trailer. I had intentions to modify the trailer I bought to fit 25" tire but abandoned that idea because my kiddos want to tow it behind their rzr and I use it behind the mower as well. Lifting it to fit the 25" tires I have would render it useless behind both of those vehicles.

After a little measuring I realized that 1 5/8" hrew tubing would fit into the scrambler spindle in place of the strut cartridge and still be able to use the pinch bolts that secure the strut into the 'knuckle'. This trailer will be solid suspension like most of the non walking beam trailers which will be fine for my use around the farm/yard.

I needed a way to be able to connect the spindles to a steel frame for the trailer and the steel 1 5/8" tubing will give me means to do so. I mocked up a set of front wheels on the spindles this evening and stuck a couple pieces of tubing in them to get an idea how tall the deck of the trailer would be. Here are a couple of pics during the mock up stage so I could start to visualize the trailer frame/hitch height and start to get an idea of the size.

Mockup from the rear:
1105181755.jpg

1 5/8 tube in the strut housing
1105181755a.jpg

Guestimating trailer axle centerline.
1105181807a.jpg

More to come:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So, after having the little TSC trailer for a while I realized the hitch could use some work so far as mobility off-road. I've had this link saved for quite a while for a cheapish 3 axis trailer coupler. https://tventuring.com/trailerforum/thread-65.html

Parts List
TSCCouplerPartsList.jpg

Pic
TSCCoupler12-2.jpg

Obviously it doesnt need to be built to that extreme but for the $ its not a bad way to go if you have the capability to cut, grind, drill, and weld metal. I swung by TSC today and grabbed a bunch of parts to have on hand during the build.

Pics of the parts:

1105181800a_HDR.jpg

I have a slightly different idea for the X and Y pivot using a small ujoint off of a piece of farm equipment or a steering shaft out of a truck... stay tuned for that development.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Finally to the questions.

Ok, now that I am thinking about this project in real space I have a few questions for you guys:

1. - How far back from the hitch should the centerline of the axle be? I'm inclined to make it be about the same as the wheelbase of my sportsman so the hitch will more or less be the center pivot between my front wheels and trailer axle.

2. - Does the centerline of the trailer axle need to be @ 2/3 the way back on the trailer frame like on a regular car/utility trailer?

3. - For those of you that have off road trailers, what approximate size tub/deck do you have? Im leaning towards a tub style trailer, just because I can pick up a feed trough or snowmachine trailer tub and have an easy way to get the top done. I am completely willing to fabricate a deck and do expanded steel or wood for decking as well. More just asking to find out what you guys find the most useful.

4. - What are you guys thoughts on keeping the spindles from spinning on the tube? I've thought about drilling through the tube/spindle and through bolting with a 5/16" or 3/8" bolt.

Thanks for any and all info.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After consulting with another bud of mine thats heavily into fab/metalwork I have tentatively decided the following:

Distance from hitch pin hole to axle CL 51" (matches WB of my sportsman 800)

Total length of trailer @ 84" from end to end (Places axle CL @ 2/3 way back from hitch)

Trailer deck @ 60" long by 36-42" wide (leaves @ 21" between rear of atv and front of trailer)

Will post up more pics and details if I get into the garage this evening.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Got out in the garage last night and did some grinding and fitup on the hitch. Ordered metal a few minutes ago and should have time to weld the hitch up this evening. Will post pics later this week.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
FINALLY getting back to working on this thing, the steel order got split last week during shipping so it didnt show up until monday this week. Work and family stuff after work has been crazy as well. Gotten a tiny bit done in the last few days... Strut tubing was cut to the correct angle for the tires to be vertical (scrambler spindles have a 15 degree angle) and I also got the cross member cut that will tie the two strut tubes together.

Got home from work a little while ago and quickly mocked up the struts and crossmember and its TALL (28" to the top of the 2x2 square tube). thinking about cutting down the strut tubes 3" to lower the overall deck of the trailer to just above the tops of the tires since its solid suspension and the tires don't move. Thoughts?

Anyway, I'm off for the next 4 days with no plans except to eat some turkey tmx so I hope to get some welding done and at least get the chassis in rolling form and the hitch together but not necessarily completely finish welded.

Here are a few pics of the quick initial mockup, keep in mind there will be numerous gussets and braces welded on to strengthen the entire assembly.

Rough height of crossmember is 28" - eyelevel
1121181644 - Edited.jpg

3/4 view
1121181644a - Edited.jpg

One more view
1121181644b - Edited.jpg
 

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I would defiantly cut the upright tubes down, no reason for the deck to be higher than the tires is there? My trailer is a little harbor freight one, and with the help of adapters, I run an old set of front wheels/tires inside out. The valve stem is now inboard but that's not a big deal, and the stance is almost the same as my 400. Works well, however backing is... interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got a little more work done to this thing over the holiday after a couple of meals and lots of relaxing. Would have gotten it into roller status this evening but I got about halfway through putting the hitch together last night and ran out of wire in the welder. :dunce: The wifey picked me up a new spool of wire this morning while she was out getting groceries so I worked on it for a few hours this afternoon. Here's the progress:

Strut tubes cut down to lower the crossmember height.

xmember height.jpg


xmember is about 1/2-3/4" above the tire

Xmember Tire.jpg


Got the 3 axis hitch finished finish welded, still need to do a little more shaping for the up and down axis clearance.

3 axis hitch.jpg


Setting the approximate wheelbase - Axle centerline is @ 51" from the hitch center

Setting Wheelbase.jpg


Side shot showing the height difference between the hitch and trailer xmember ~7" which will be made up when I build the tongue.

1125181713b.jpg


Thanks to all for following along. :grin
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hung out with the kiddos and nephew today while mama was shopping, got an hour to work on this thing tonight before it was beer:30. I finish welded the tongue to the crossmember and am now deciding how to make up the vertical distance between the tongue and hitch. Here's the only pic I snapped while I was mocking up the hitch/tongue connection. Feel free to comment.

1201182025a.jpg
 

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I think you are on the right track with the Z in the hitch tube. I would plate the sides for the added strength. When I was a kid my dad had a trailer where the hitch tube was lower than the hitch on the truck so he had a Z added to the tongue and the sides plated. We used the hell out of that trailer and never had an issue with the hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input, I definitely will be adding fish plates to the sides of the joints on the tongue/hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got out in the garage for a couple hours this afternoon since it was almost 70 degrees and got this thing in roller status. Leveled the tongue and hitch and measured for the vertical tube, cut it at 15 degrees on either end with my shitty chop saw (It does an excellent job converting electricity into noise and sparks). Pulled the spindles and wheels off, welded everything up and reinstalled the spindles to make a quick lap around the yard and snap some pics.

Sideshot
1202181555~2.jpg

Track width is the same as the sportsman, will be installing a set of rear wheels with 25x10x12s instead of the 25x8x12s that i mocked it up with
1202181555b~2.jpg

And a couple more shots out in the yard.
1202181555c~2.jpg

Trailer chassis ended up being @ 54" from the left/right pivot to the C/L of the axle.
1202181557~2.jpg

Next step will be finishing up a little grinding on the hitch and adding a few gussets both out of tube and plate to the welded joints. Following that I plan to start mocking up the trailer deck out of 1.25 0.125 wall square tube.

Thanks to all for following along.

-j-rod
 

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Looking good
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Couple of pics showing the range of the 3 axis hitch... It wont be a problem to add on a couple of tabs to the roll axis part of the hitch to limit it if it becomes a problem.

hitch test 1.jpg

hitch test 2.jpg
 

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So, after having the little TSC trailer for a while I realized the hitch could use some work so far as mobility off-road. I've had this link saved for quite a while for a cheapish 3 axis trailer coupler. https://tventuring.com/trailerforum/thread-65.html

Parts List
View attachment 113267

Pic
View attachment 113269

Obviously it doesnt need to be built to that extreme but for the $ its not a bad way to go if you have the capability to cut, grind, drill, and weld metal. I swung by TSC today and grabbed a bunch of parts to have on hand during the build.

Pics of the parts:

View attachment 113271

I have a slightly different idea for the X and Y pivot using a small ujoint off of a piece of farm equipment or a steering shaft out of a truck... stay tuned for that development.
Do you have better pictures of your hitch build? Here is the simple one I did. U joints, and a large bolt & nut for the Z axis.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I unfortunately didn't take any pics when I was building the hitch. I ended up not going with the small u-joint idea and building it with the original plan I found. I did however shorten the 1" bolt for the z axis to reduce overall length of the hitch. I did plug weld the sleeve onto the bolt on both side as well as weld the end of the tube to the bolt shank. Here are a few pics I ran out and took, dont hate too much on my grinding.... I never claimed to be a welder... and if you weld and then grind it... you are a grinder... :grin:grin


Side view, still gotta tap for the left right grease fitting and install it.

You can also see that I drilled a different position for the 1.25" receiver to be able to pull the trailer a little closer to the atv
hitch 1.jpg

3/4 view
Hitch 2.jpg

Top view, you can see the quick and dirty v notch for the up down pivot just prior to my test drive. I still have to take it apart and do some aesthetic grinding to a bunch of things before I paint it.
1203181906a.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Got an hour in the garage after work this evening before the fam and I took a farm cruise in my 88 4rnr for cocktails :smile. Welded in the braces between the hitch and trailer crossmember and practiced a few different patterns while I was welding. My new welding gloves came in today to replace the 20+ year old pieces of stiff cowhide that I have been using. Unfortunately I dont weld that often any more, and my muscle memory for stinger movement is garbage, anyhoo, here are a few pics of my quick and dirty weld setup and a shot of my marginal at best welds. They may not be the best looking but I dont think the trailer is falling apart. :grin:grin

Yes, I'm a grinder not a welder. Flap wheel makes everything pretty.
1204181936 - Edited.jpg


uno mas (the spindles and wheels on the back of the sportsman make it look like its been in a hellova wreck... :devil)
1204181805b - Edited.jpg


Metal Glue.
1204181756 - Edited.jpg
 

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I don't weld that much any more either.....the brain remembers how to do it but the muscle memory is weak.....Your welds look fine to me
 

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look like decent mig welds to me. without seeing how much above the surface level the welds are, the prep work, and what you're using it's hard to tell how decent they are. but like you, I'd say that it's unlikely for it to fall apart.

What is the stock size?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
look like decent mig welds to me. without seeing how much above the surface level the welds are, the prep work, and what you're using it's hard to tell how decent they are. but like you, I'd say that it's unlikely for it to fall apart.

What is the stock size?
Im using a Hobart 187 220V single phase welder with C25 shielding gas and 0.030 wire. The material is 2x2 0.125 wall steel. Surface prep was removing the mill scale on all weld surfaces with a flap wheel and beveling the joint a little for the weld to lay in nicely. The welds are just above the surface, definitely not undercut. Anyway, it's good to be doing a little cutting, grinding, and welding in the garage. :grin
 
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