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trailer life

Old 08-25-2002, 02:47 PM
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Default trailer life

It's been a while since I've been able to post, but my computer crashed HARD!! I had to build another...

But, I was just wondering if anyone has any guess as to how long a painted trailer will last? This 1990 Eagle trailer started its life in fresh water for about 6years. Then, it went to brackish for the last 5years. I did have it painted about 4years ago along with new bunks carpet and bearings, but now it seems that there are some places where rust is showing again. Is it possible that there is alot of rust on the inside even though it looks great on the outside?

Is it worth keeping the paint fresh and trailer maintained or would it be better to just invest in a new one Just looking for some opinions. I keep a Formula 292 on it.

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Old 08-25-2002, 03:27 PM
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I had a painted Eagle trailer that lasted about 6 years. It rusted from the inside out to the point where stuctural integrity was severely compromised. A buddy cut it up and was amazed by the corrosion. It didn't look that bad on the outside. Get a galvanized or aluminum trailer. The peace of mind is worth it!!


Last edited by wwbobb; 08-25-2002 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 08-25-2002, 03:54 PM
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I agree with wwbobb, I had a painted trailer that lasted two years in the salt water. The corrosion was absolutely incredible. I was afraid to knock off the rust fearing it was the only thing holding the connections together. (not really...but it was really bad.)

I purchased an Aluminum Slide On from Owen and Son, structuraly it was sound ten years later when I sold the boat/trailer. I did replace all four hubs and the springs after 5 years.

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Old 08-25-2002, 05:36 PM
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A painted steel trailer is only good for fresh water, it will rust from the inside out like the others talked about, don't take a chance on what can happen, invest in another trailer and if you put it in the salt your choices are limited if you want it to last
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Old 08-25-2002, 09:46 PM
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Have you ever checked the suspension bolts and bushings? My guess is that they're cut almost half way through. Take a look. The middle idler bolts should be the worst.
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Old 08-25-2002, 09:48 PM
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Check my thread on "Aluminum trailers"
1989 steel trailer previously used in fresh water with occasional
use in salt water. Now used almost always in salt water.
Its still usable but has me concerned. The main problem is that
the steel tubes have holes in the underside which allows water
in and of course there is no way to flush it good. When I tried to
rewire the lights through the steel tubes I found out just how
rusted the insides of the tubes are. I'm guessing that the
life of a steel trailer in salt water is 5 years. If I were buying
new it would be aluminum or at least galvanized. But galvanized
doesn't look very good after a few years.

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Old 08-25-2002, 10:08 PM
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You are better off going aluminum. The brackish water will get the steel eventually. If it was pure salt, you'd have already given it the last rites. Galvanized doesn't fare a hell of a lot better. As was pointed out, they rust from the inside. It can look ok, the next thing you know you could have a catastrophic failure, such as the toungue breaking away. I just sold a perfectly good galvanize that was under a boat I bought, took that money and added a grand for a brand new aluminum. Under one of my boats is an aluminum Fastload trailer. It is 14 years old, and I have replaced the axle and springs once. Just replaced the fenders (only because they were bent up), recarpeted the bunks, new jackstand and winch, and it looks as good as new.
I for the life of me can't figure out why anyone would buy anything other than aluminum. The only drawback is that some will float. That can be taken care of too. I let mine float, you never have to worry about backing it off the end of the ramp. Just take the boat off, and it will float back up.
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Old 08-26-2002, 03:06 AM
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Check out Myco Trailers. I had one of their painted steel trailers under my last Cigarette and it was dunked in salt water all the time with no problems. They guarantee their steel trailers for 5 years... even in salt water! They use channel steel instead of tubing so there is no rusting "from the inside out" and their paint jobs are extremely durable. Of course, like the boat, we washed and dried the trailer after the salt water dunks and kept a good coat of wax and polish on it.

If you are dead set on a painted trailer, check out Myco.

I also had a Myco under the new Cigarette, but this trailer just got hit on the highway at only 3 months old. It was a painted steel trailer with a drive guard. The trailer was hit from behind and was totaled, but the boat is fine. Myco builds battle wagons for trailers! If you do a lot of highway travel, get one built with a drive guard! It adds a little to the overall length, but without it my new boat would have been a total wreck!

The replacement trailer is an aluminum Myco. I plan to polish it and let it shine. Polishing the aluminum is a lot of work, but it is easy to keep up with when you have enough help and a few electric polishers/buffers going at one time! Make a trade with your labor for ride time next time you run the boat.

It basically is a matter of personal preference between painted and aluminum trailers and how much time you have for upkeep on the trailer. Aluminum is easy to care for, but a trailer painted to match the boat and/or tow rig looks fantastic!

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Old 08-26-2002, 10:07 AM
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You know, I always rinse it off and for most of the time I've owned it, it has been garage kept. When I had it painted last time, the spings and axles were painted flat black. So, they also look to be in very good shape, no visible signs of rust at all.

The rusty spots are around the fender supports and near a couple of the drain holes on 2 or 3 of the crossmember supports.
It looks like it's just bubbling under the paint. I just had it MD state inspected and according to the technician, everything looked fine.

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Old 08-26-2002, 10:22 AM
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Hey Formula1,

I was wondering were you've been. I have a galvanized trailer and I'm not crazy about it. It's not much to look at and it makes all kinds of squeeking noises. How hard is it to sell a used trailer? I wouldn't mind having an aluminum trailer myself.

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