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  1. #1
    I dream skis
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    The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Guys,

    I thought we should start a trailer thread, with many people buying second skis, and trading up for double trailers, we could discuss the pro's and cons of certain trailers.

    The only places I know that make trailers around san diego are:

    T2K trailers http://www.t2ktrailers.com/jetski_trailers.asp.htm
    FE trailers http://www.fetrailers.com/pwc_trailers.html

    I like RBI's T2K, it's pretty sweet with the spray on coating, and nice big wheels, it does ride a little high, which may require certain suvs/trucks to go further in the water to launch ski's. but no one can argue it is the most solid trailer I have seen around.
    Last edited by danketchpel; 06-25-2007 at 01:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home

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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    I would recommend a minimum of a powder coated steel trailer, if you need further rust protection then galvanized steel or aluminum. Steel trailers are stiffer than the aluminum but heavier. The aluminum trailers hold up to saltwater very well.

    Also pay attention to the other details such as the size of the wheels (12" min, 13" prefered) and does it have bearing buddies or similar? Does it come with a tongue jack, do you want a storage box or gas can holder?

    Is the trailer mostly welded together or mostly bolted, the more welding the better. Also look at the various hardware pieces and wiring quality. You don't what to be working on the trailer when poor quality hardware breaks or the lights stop working. LED lighting is more durable than the old style lights. I plan on upgrading to LED tail/brake lights on my Triton trailer soon.

    I would assess how much the trailer will get used (road mileage per year) and corrosive conditions. Also consider if you may be upgrading to a double trailer in the future and factor that into the decision.

    Trailers tend to somewhat regional so there maybe some very good brands in your area I'm not familiar with.

    Here's some more well known trailer manufacters available in California

    Zieman http://zieman.com/old/

    Trail Rite http://www.trailrite.com/

    Shorelander http://www.shorelandr.com/asp/t_pwc.asp

    Karavan http://www.karavantrailers.com/pwc.cfm

    Triton http://www.tritontrailers.com/pwc_trailers.asp

    Bear http://beartrailersports.com/pwc-trailers.html

    Shadow http://shadowtrailers.com/pwc_trailer.htm

    Extreme http://extremetrailers.com/new/home.html
    Last edited by danketchpel; 06-25-2007 at 01:46 PM.
    2003 F-12 - Riva splash guard, Boarding step
    2003 R-12X - Macsboost #53 + Intercooler, Solas 17/29, Boarding step
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    AWA Member since 2003

  3. #3
    Moderator
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home

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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Here is some info on balancing the trailer

    Normal recommend tongue weight is 7-10% of the total trailer running weight. If you have it too light on the tongue the trailer will start to sway, too much weight on the tongue and you can overload the tongue or possibly your hitch.

    To get close I calculated the running weight of my trailer with skis & gas then placed a bathroom scale under the tongue jack wheel (with a piece of wood to spread the weight) and cranked the wheel down until it supported the trailer. For my setup (est 2,200 -2,300 lbs fully loaded) I was shooting for 200 - 230 lbs of tongue weight. I kept moving the skis back and forth until I got what I wanted.

    Take into consideration that you may tow with the skis near empty of fuel and the same if you have gas cans. The change in fuel load can seriously affect the balance. I tried to average it so with almost no fuel I was at the 7% range and full fuel load around 10%.

    An easy way to move the skis is to use a floor jack with a 3-4ft section of 4 x 4 wood with a piece of carpet in between the wood and the hull (centered for balance). You lift the ski gently so it's just off the bunks, then you can easily move it with the floor jack rolling with only 1 person.
    2003 F-12 - Riva splash guard, Boarding step
    2003 R-12X - Macsboost #53 + Intercooler, Solas 17/29, Boarding step
    SoCal Watercraft Club member
    SoCal Club Website
    SoCal Club News & Info
    AWA Member since 2003

  4. #4
    resident guru jdonalds's Avatar
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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Good idea for a thread FXHO,

    My Zieman came with a simple wheel jack that I have to crank up all the way then remove the wheel for travel. I had a similar wheel on my tent trailer and replaced it with a swing up model which is MUCH easier to use. When I get around to it I'll put a swing up on the boat trailer too. I suggest checking that feature out when you purchase a trailer.

    I also just replaced the stock Zieman tail lamps with an LED set I purchased on eBay for about $30. The stock tail lamps are supposed to be air tight but that also means you can't simply change a bulb because they bulbs are encased in the waterproof jacket; you must replace the whole bulb unit. My right tail lamp wouldn't work because the cheap socket would sometimes not make contact with the bulb and I couldn't fix it without destroying the watertight integrity. The LEDs are waterproof, won't burn out like a regular bulb, and are much brighter. I've heard the LED units have failed for some people though.

    I purchased a power coated steel trailer not knowing I would spend more than half my riding time on the ocean. It is now two years old and even though I spend a lot of time cleaning it rust is slowly winning the game. I'll likely sand blast it and paint it with epoxy paint.

    John
    My life went through a major change 17 years ago. I have peace that I never thought I'd have now that I know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

    2004 Honda Aquatrax F-12 (350 hours), Solas 9/18 Impeller.
    AWA Member since Sept 2006
    1992 SeaDoo XP
    1993 Kawasaki 750 SS Xi
    2006 Yamaha SX210 twin jet boat

  5. #5
    I dream skis Governator's Avatar
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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jdonalds
    Good idea for a thread FXHO,
    I purchased a power coated steel trailer not knowing I would spend more than half my riding time on the ocean. It is now two years old and even though I spend a lot of time cleaning it rust is slowly winning the game. I'll likely sand blast it and paint it with epoxy paint.

    John
    You may want to consider this, I had mine done and it holds up great. No chipping at all.
    Rbi
    http://www.herculiner.com/product_info.html

    '04 Yamaha FX 140
    '04 Honda R-12
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    Member of http://www.socalwatercraftclub.com/

  6. #6
    PWCToday Guru hdshrnk's Avatar
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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Great thread FXHO......

    I went with the galvanized FE single trailer. I'd have liked a storage box on the tounge, but with the singles, not much of an option base.

    When I upgrade to ski #2, I'll likely go back for their ouble ski galvanized. It's got a box and is just as easy to pull.

    As for balancing the trailer, I got lucky when I adjusted it for the first time and have no sway either loaded (gas and "stuff") or not. The FE's have a nice hitch setup and are very easy to maintain. 12" wheele with wheel buddies and covers.

    I'm with John when it comes to the tail-lights. The stock ones with the FE trailers are the same self-enclosed type that require a total replacement rather than changing the bulb. I'm up for a change and will likely opt for the LED's as well. Overton's has a ton to chose from.

    Aloha

    Chris
    He who dies with the most toys.....can't ride them anymore. Have fun and be safe!!!
    ------------------------------------------------
    2006 Honda F-12
    2005 Acura MDX - Yes it can tow!!!!
    Proud AWA Member since 2007
    Proud SoCal Watercraft Club Member
    http://socalwatercraftclub.com

  7. #7
    Moderator
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home

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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jdonalds
    My Zieman came with a simple wheel jack that I have to crank up all the way then remove the wheel for travel. I had a similar wheel on my tent trailer and replaced it with a swing up model which is MUCH easier to use.
    I've used both as my old single Zieman had the upright jack and my current Triton has the swing up style. I also installed a swing up tongue jack on my motorcycle trailer.

    The swing up ones are much easier to use but I've found one major problem. Depending on your trailer, they get dunked in the water when you launch and I'm on my 3rd one now. The salt water gets in the threaded rod and starts to rust up. While they have a grease fitting at the top it doesn't really coat the rod very well. My current solution is to completely soak the interior in oil to coat the threaded rod and nut plus going bezerk with the grease. So far it's working. I have have talked to a bunch of other boaters and my friend Gary has scanned the fishing boards (lots of salt water guys) and everybody says "expect to change the jack once a year". It seems nobody has made a truly good jack from stainless steel and with a bronze nut.

    I've had both the galvanized and powder coated ones and I think the galvanized are better.

    I have not had any problems with the jack on my MC trailer.
    Last edited by danketchpel; 06-26-2007 at 04:25 PM.
    2003 F-12 - Riva splash guard, Boarding step
    2003 R-12X - Macsboost #53 + Intercooler, Solas 17/29, Boarding step
    SoCal Watercraft Club member
    SoCal Club Website
    SoCal Club News & Info
    AWA Member since 2003

  8. #8
    Top Dog baba booey's Avatar
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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jdonalds
    The LEDs are waterproof, won't burn out like a regular bulb, and are much brighter. I've heard the LED units have failed for some people though.
    I had my LED's on for two rides and they were not water tight and went bad after the second launch (brand purchased at Autozone).

    P.S. I have a single place FE Trailer. I like it. Galvanized is the way to go
    !

  9. #9
    I dream skis Governator's Avatar
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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Baba Booey
    Quote Originally Posted by jdonalds
    The LEDs are waterproof, won't burn out like a regular bulb, and are much brighter. I've heard the LED units have failed for some people though.
    I had my LED's on for two rides and they were not water tight and went bad after the second launch (brand purchased at Autozone).

    P.S. I have a single place FE Trailer. I like it. Galvanized is the way to go
    !
    Same one here, went out after one week. Found out I had a small crack in the housing and that let the water in. The replacement worked fine since then.
    Rbi

    '04 Yamaha FX 140
    '04 Honda R-12
    AWA Member

    Member of http://www.socalwatercraftclub.com/

  10. #10
    PWCToday Guru hdshrnk's Avatar
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    Re: The (socal) Trailer Thread

    Dan, I started dumping a ton of WD-40 into the grease hole on my swing-up wheel in the FE trailer and, thus far, it also seems to be doing the trick.

    I began noticing that the wheel would not turn as I attempted to push the trailer around. Since sing the WD-40, the wheel turns well and I've hadno problems. We'll see as the hours stack up though.

    Chris
    Last edited by hdshrnk; 06-27-2007 at 04:17 AM.
    He who dies with the most toys.....can't ride them anymore. Have fun and be safe!!!
    ------------------------------------------------
    2006 Honda F-12
    2005 Acura MDX - Yes it can tow!!!!
    Proud AWA Member since 2007
    Proud SoCal Watercraft Club Member
    http://socalwatercraftclub.com

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