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Old 03-27-2019, 11:31 AM   #1
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Enclosed trailer, aluminum vs steel???

with my current set up,.. triple axel steel 22' box trailer.... try'ng to figure out how much weight you save going to aluminum frame vs steel... some claim huge weight savings,,,.. I personally don't think so..I think it's only about 300 lbs..I spent the day yesterday looking at trailers...and talking to sells people and couldn't get one straight answer......."how much does this trailer weigh ?" about 3200 lbs... , every one I asked...said the same thing....
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:35 AM   #2
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Curb weight should be an easy thing to find online from the manufacturers. They have to know that number in order to get the load capacity. You just can't be happy, huh??? LOL
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:59 AM   #3
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We just bought a 4.5 x 8 aluminum trailer... it weighs about 350 pounds.

A steel version of it would be almost double the weight.

And this is for a pretty dang small trailer!

You also never have to worry about rust... or scraping and re-painting them!
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
Curb weight should be an easy thing to find online from the manufacturers. They have to know that number in order to get the load capacity. You just can't be happy, huh??? LOL
you would think so, and another question they never have an answer to,how long is the floor space with the door closed???...yeah I can read that the add says it's a 20'r...but can you put a piece of 20' rebar on the floor??? or a 20' 2x6''?? not sure was the answers I got....whether I asked on a 20'r or 24'r they said the same thing,... they weight about 3200lbs. how could that be....seems like they would have to have a weight sticker like a RV...how do you know what will fit...

I wanna haul 2 Polaris RZR 1000 , 2 seater's... wall to wall I need 19'11''..so 19'9'' won't work...



my current trailer is 22', with closets in front...there is 20' on the floor.... I had it custom built with 3 5200lb axels...so that's 15,600lb axel rated...but had it rated at 9,900lbs so no special dr. lic. needed...


but here's where I'm at now...my 29m is gccr at 23k...loaded, I'm over the weight...so I started taking stuff out...I weighted the fold down bed/sofa's... only 60lbs each..spare weighed 50lbs, bb/q 100 lbs with propane tank..

I'm trying to figure what the extra axel is adding.. I know it's 100lbs just for the 2 tires...and guessing 200lbs for the springs and axel.... maybe less..



as it is right now, the two rzr's are about 3000 lbs. wet.....coach (29m) weighed 16,530..plus 3000lbs, =19,530lbs ..that leaves 3470 lbs for trailer and supplies..we carry 4 fuel cans...about 170 lbs..leaves only 3300 lbs...so.. if the trailer was half the weight by going aluminum...that would be huge...but so far not able to prove that...and I'm thinking you only save about 300 lbs and double the cost..
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
We just bought a 4.5 x 8 aluminum trailer... it weighs about 350 pounds.

A steel version of it would be almost double the weight.

And this is for a pretty dang small trailer!

You also never have to worry about rust... or scraping and re-painting them!


LOL... there it is again... the mysterious about weight measurement

I'm about 6' tall, but with an actual measuring devise..5' 9''... I weigh about 200 lbs... but on a scale...only 180lbs..so I'm about 3'' short...That's what She said.....
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by vegasruv24.1 View Post
LOL... there it is again... the mysterious about weight measurement

I'm about 6' tall, but with an actual measuring devise..5' 9''... I weigh about 200 lbs... but on a scale...only 180lbs..so I'm about 3'' short...That's what She said.....

You know her also??
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Old 03-27-2019, 12:57 PM   #7
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If you are talking all aluminum versus side and top, big difference in weight

Aluminum frames cost quite a bit more

My 12 foot cargo is all aluminum and I use a 2k tag so no annual fee
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:14 PM   #8
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They DO cost quite a bit more...
I could have bought a steel trailer for about $800: the Aluma was $1850!

But it did come with torsion axles, bearing buddies, and a roller tongue jack up front..
To me: it was worth the extra money.
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:33 PM   #9
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An all aluminum trailer this size (less steel axles and suspension) would be significantly lighter but would cost a lot. De-rating the axles is good but if you ever got in accident, an "ambulance chasing lawyer" would string you up by your nads. Featherlite would be a good manufacturer to contact. They wrote the book on aluminum car haulers and can custom build anything.
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:38 PM   #10
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Yup! Featherlite builds really nice trailers.
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Old 03-27-2019, 01:49 PM   #11
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So far, heres what I'm coming up with...there is about a 300lb weight difference between aluminum and steel enclosed trailers..both built the same...
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:31 PM   #12
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I have had both steel and aluminum trailers. Iíll never own another steel trailer.

Besides it being lighter, it holds up infinitely better to corrosion.

If you ever intend to pull it through roads covered with salt treated roads in the winter, donít even consider the steel trailers. If the trailer will be in southern states all itís life, it will hold up better but still not as well as the aluminum.
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Old 03-27-2019, 11:57 PM   #13
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So, (years ago) when deciding between 2 otherwise identical trailers from the same manufacture. I picked the aluminum because it was not quite half the weight (long story). The price was however a bit more than double.

Many years later, it still looked much like the day I got it and it sold in just a few days for roughly double the asking price of other similar used steel listings. Certainly YMMV
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:36 AM   #14
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I have had both steel and aluminum trailers. Iíll never own another steel trailer.

Besides it being lighter, it holds up infinitely better to corrosion.

If you ever intend to pull it through roads covered with salt treated roads in the winter, donít even consider the steel trailers. If the trailer will be in southern states all itís life, it will hold up better but still not as well as the aluminum.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:06 AM   #15
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So, (years ago) when deciding between 2 otherwise identical trailers from the same manufacture. I picked the aluminum because it was not quite half the weight (long story). The price was however a bit more than double.

Many years later, it still looked much like the day I got it and it sold in just a few days for roughly double the asking price of other similar used steel listings. Certainly YMMV
I keep hearing 1/2 the weight... but no where can I buy a 20' enclosed that weighs1500, or 1600 or 1700 not even 2400... but I can buy a 20' that weighs 3000 lbs, and some claim 2800lbs... my 22'r weighs 4500
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by vegasruv24.1 View Post
I keep hearing 1/2 the weight... but no where can I buy a 20' enclosed that weighs1500, or 1600 or 1700 not even 2400... but I can buy a 20' that weighs 3000 lbs, and some claim 2800lbs... my 22'r weighs 4500
My guess is that you're looking at cargo's on steel frames with aluminum skin box only. Think roughly 60% for aluminum frame and box.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:48 PM   #17
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FWIW... this got me a little curious...
Seems aluminum build practices from around the 80's and now are quite different! Guess there were a lot of issues in those early offerings that have changed the alloys used today in frames etc... now the weight delta is much less. Like maybe only up to 10-20% and that's really not much (matches what you report seeing).
The basic summary in my few minutes of reading various tidbits was that I'd probably buy steel today unless there was some other factor of great importance to me. The only thing I can think of is corrosion but they both corrode in their own ways and environment reactions so that would be low on my care list relative to the fact I don't usually keep things longer than a decade.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:24 PM   #18
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Aluminum saves weight but I have seen a few stress failures among people I race with.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TyCreek View Post
FWIW... this got me a little curious...
Seems aluminum build practices from around the 80's and now are quite different! Guess there were a lot of issues in those early offerings that have changed the alloys used today in frames etc... now the weight delta is much less. Like maybe only up to 10-20% and that's really not much (matches what you report seeing).
The basic summary in my few minutes of reading various tidbits was that I'd probably buy steel today unless there was some other factor of great importance to me. The only thing I can think of is corrosion but they both corrode in their own ways and environment reactions so that would be low on my care list relative to the fact I don't usually keep things longer than a decade.
I live in the dry desert, I have a 10 year plus 24'r that still looks new... steel frame and cage. aluminun skin...no cracks on the welds, full frame paint, so underside still looks like new...but like said, we don't use it in the salt roads,



Quote:
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Aluminum saves weight but I have seen a few stress failures among people I race with.
same here... I also see problems with the steel to the aluminum on the tongue...

with every thing unloaded from my 22'r triple axel... weight is 4500 lbs...so going to an all aluminum 20'trailer the weight savings would be about 1700lbs , if the trailer weighs 2800lbs.... but a steel frame 20'r weighs about 3000. to 3200lbs... so weight savings of about 1500 to 1300 lbs...


so with my coach weight of 16,600, loaded.. leaves 6400 tow capacity .trailer weight of 2800lbs leaves 3600lbs cargo...I know people that go 3-4000 lbs over GCCR, all over the country... for years with out a problem
, Ö.but my quest is to put my set up on a diet... and get under weight... if I can..I also own a couple open car haulers , a 20'r and a 12'r, the 12'r I had custom made with 5200 lb axels, brakes on both axels to haul a jeep..and the 20'r , hauls the 2 rzr's with ease...I have big garages in both my havasu and vegas homes..so they get stored inside the garage..(the RZR's)
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:57 PM   #20
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So, I'm not sure if this is true, but what I'm guessing is the difference in weight between my trailer,4500lbs.. is this... the added 2' and the extra axel with brakes is adding 1000 lbs to the trailer unloaded weight????


every trailer sales place I have called has said that the trailer weight is about.... none are actually weighed... there is no weight cert with the trailer...and what I have been told is that they weigh a couple when they are built....and then that's what they say they weigh...people are known to fudge a little when it comes to weight...
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