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DOJOLOACH2

Replace trailer or sell boat and upgrade?

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DOJOLOACH2

I've got a 97 echelon lx, almost 1000 hrs and a 2001 single axle trailer.

I've had to do several rust repairs and brake repairs and this thing is showing its age a bit. Now the wheel wells and foot platforms running along the sides are rusted at the welds to the main fishbones. I bought a welder and grinder and have been doing repairs myself, which is also scary because I'm not certified, good so far though.

A lot of people have told me I will need to replace the trailer soon and I believe it will be in the next few years, gives me anxiety lol. I do believe the majority of the frame is ok right now though.

If a new trailer costs me 5,000, that's almost half the price I paid for the boat a year and half ago! Would I be better off upgrading to a newer boat with a newer trailer than spending that 5k? I do like the boat, it is my first boat and not once failed me, but I wouldn't mind upping the boat budget to 40k for a used wakesetter. Having said that I wouldn't be able to make that upgrade for 5 years I bet, because I would need a bigger tow vehicle.

Anyone here been in my position?

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granddaddy55

just keep working on the trailer and enjoy your current boat you probably like a lot

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06malibu

Either fix the trailer and sell the boat or fix the trailer and keep it. 

You're not going to get your money back but it will probably help you sell it down later down the road, and give you less headaches. 

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Eagleboy99

POst some pics of the trailer.  It might not be that bad.  There are low cost alternatives (i.e. trailers from Canada where you get 33% due to currency  exchange alone).

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DOJOLOACH2
1 hour ago, Eagleboy99 said:

POst some pics of the trailer.  It might not be that bad.  There are low cost alternatives (i.e. trailers from Canada where you get 33% due to currency  exchange alone).

Here are some pics. As you can see I plan to cut down the wheel wells and side plates So I can attack the rusted weld spots before they turn into something as bad as the rear guide pole. I've already designed some fish plates to weld on the back so structure will be good

6239506461.jpg

6239506311.jpg

6239505971.jpg

IMG_57251.jpg

IMG_57261.jpg

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MarkN

Looks mint to me! Keep it!

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Eagleboy99

Does not look that bad to me.  Unless the mains are totally rotted, it should be possible to fix this up and get years more out of it.  BICBW

 

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barefootpaul

I think that trailer is plenty fine. Fix the guide post, but the rest looks really good. My trailers have always been worst at the cross members under the boat. yours looks great there.

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wilster

doesn't look that bad.  give it a good pressure wash and go to town with some rustoleum paint to stop the rust.

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oldjeep

You can replace a trailer for a lot less than 5K if you are not concerned about how fancy it is.  All the major MFG sell generic inboard trailers that would work fine for an echelon.

Shorelandr SLIB33TB would be one example

 

I'd say that trailer looks pretty bad if it is rusted through at the guide post welds.  Get under the trailer with a screwdriver and poke at the bottom of the cross members, those are going to be the worst spot for rot.

 

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Michigan boarder

Using that as a template, I wonder how hard it would be to have someone build one and simply swap over the axle and other bolt on stuff.  You'd have to put the boat on stands and deliver your empty trailer to them, but I'm guessing less than $1,500 including materials would get the job done.

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oldjeep
11 minutes ago, Michigan boarder said:

Using that as a template, I wonder how hard it would be to have someone build one and simply swap over the axle and other bolt on stuff.  You'd have to put the boat on stands and deliver your empty trailer to them, but I'm guessing less than $1,500 including materials would get the job done.

Maybe - the issue with custom building is that you are going to spend a ton of time jigging up something like a boat trailer if you want it to wind up straight.  Utility trailers are simple because they are flat/square.

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Eagleboy99
22 minutes ago, Michigan boarder said:

Using that as a template, I wonder how hard it would be to have someone build one and simply swap over the axle and other bolt on stuff.  You'd have to put the boat on stands and deliver your empty trailer to them, but I'm guessing less than $1,500 including materials would get the job done.

Not worth it when you can get this:  https://www.excalibur-trailers.ca/vehicles/2021/excalibur/2800lb-single-axle-ski-boat-trailer/brampton/on/42839223/?sale_class=new   About $2100 USD and it is fully galvanized. One and done.

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DOJOLOACH2
1 hour ago, barefootpaul said:

I think that trailer is plenty fine. Fix the guide post, but the rest looks really good. My trailers have always been worst at the cross members under the boat. yours looks great there.

Good to hear guys. And actually two crossmembers were rotted out, one was so bad it did nothing structurally. I grinded rust off one and cut out the other, here are some before and after pics. This was my very first weld I've completed.

20200809_140001.jpg

20200809_111744.jpg

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DOJOLOACH2
53 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Maybe - the issue with custom building is that you are going to spend a ton of time jigging up something like a boat trailer if you want it to wind up straight.  Utility trailers are simple because they are flat/square.

Hardest part would be the long wishbones, I've seen videos of methods to get that curve on the long pieces, but material I was quoted around 800$ alone

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oldjeep
7 minutes ago, DOJOLOACH2 said:

Hardest part would be the long wishbones, I've seen videos of methods to get that curve on the long pieces, but material I was quoted around 800$ alone

Those are optional.  If home building you would just put in straight parallel pieces at the rear of the trailer and then another set of straight pieces to form the A at the front.  Same way you build the rails on a utility trailer with an A type drawbar

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Michigan boarder

I'm going to say you need a new trailer.  Given what you've replaced and what is still left to fix, I just wouldn't trust any of that metal.

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kylesullens

With the age of your boat, you are in a pickle.  Buying a new trailer is the right answer, but is not a good fiscal choice given the age of your boat.

DIY repairs is the most economical approach, but be sure you know what you are doing.  If one of your joint welds fails while going down the highway, you are in big trouble.

Every hour and dollar you put into that trailer are resources that will have no return.  You are not increasing the resale value of the boat.

My advice would be to clean up the trailer as best you can and sell the boat.  

What is your current tow vehicle?   There are several threads on here about people towing these boats with tiny SUVs and compact pickups. 

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DOJOLOACH2

Seems like I'm stressing too much on it, seeing everyone's opinions on it. 

I've got a 2000 grand cherokee with 4.0 and tow package. Tow limit is 5k pounds

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Eagleboy99
5 hours ago, kylesullens said:

Buying a new trailer is the right answer, but is not a good fiscal choice given the age of your boat.

Pretty tough sale if the trailer is trashed.  Buy a budget trailer like the one I linked.

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Bozboat

Replace trailer and keep the boat 

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justgary

I just bought a new trailer last fall after several patch jobs on the old one.  You are not wasting money; you are adding value to your rig.  

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DOJOLOACH2

Well as I continue to push on to patch the trailer up I see some mild surface rust on the inside. Obviously this was expected and it isn't bad.

Wanted to share a product I found on eastwood car restoration site. Something that i would definitely do to a new steel trailer as well.

It's called internal frame coating aerosol and comes with a 2 ft hose and spray nozzle. 60 bucks for 3 cans and it is designed to inhibit current rust and protect it from spreading. 

I'll report back how it works but from what I see on a few other boat trailer fabrication forums the stuff is awesome and lasts a few years

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Bozboat
5 hours ago, DOJOLOACH2 said:

Well as I continue to push on to patch the trailer up I see some mild surface rust on the inside. Obviously this was expected and it isn't bad.

Wanted to share a product I found on eastwood car restoration site. Something that i would definitely do to a new steel trailer as well.

It's called internal frame coating aerosol and comes with a 2 ft hose and spray nozzle. 60 bucks for 3 cans and it is designed to inhibit current rust and protect it from spreading. 

I'll report back how it works but from what I see on a few other boat trailer fabrication forums the stuff is awesome and lasts a few years

Link?

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