Well, the trailer finally got an upgrade on the leaf springs. I’ve been thinking for a while now that I should do it but I’ve been busy with a lot of other things. A couple weeks ago the driver side leaf finally gave out. I noticed that the wheel well was resting on the wheel, when I crawled under it was easy to see. I took a picture of how straight the leaf on the passenger side was, it’s hard to make out in the picture but the leaf is actually resting on the shackle mount. Like I said I’ve been meaning to upgrade, just hadn’t gotten to it.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that when I bought the trailer, the salesman at Tractor Supply told me the trailer had a 3,500lb capacity because it had a 3,500lb axle. At the time I didn’t believe him because I could see the the tires weren’t rated that high, they are rated for 1,100lbs each for a total of 2,200lbs. At the time I didn’t really care and one of the first things I did was swap the tires for something more heavy duty. I thought it was just the tires and sheerly the leaves would be matched to the axle. Up until recently I never really loaded it down so I never tested the suspension. As I hit the road once again, with all of my worldly possessions, I finally loaded the trailer down. Now I’m still under 3,500lbs but the original leaves are only rated for 1,000lbs each for a total of 2,000lbs. This really isn’t that big of a deal and the entire replacement only cost me about $75 in parts and took me 2 hours to swap. It is a little baffling to me that the manufacturer would put a beefier axle without matching the leaves, anything to save a buck I guess. Well, at least I now finally have a 3,500 capacity.
When I was shopping for new leaves, I almost jumped up to 5 leaf, 6,000lb springs but I couldn’t find U bolts that would fit my axle, I didn’t look that hard. I drive down dirt roads a lot so I thought why not go bigger and they will just last longer, besides they were only $10 more for the set. I ultimately decided not to and just got the 4 leaf, 3,500lb springs and I was able to reuse my existing hardware. These are definitely an improvement on the old springs. They actually hold their arc and the trailer sits a little higher which means I’ll have to lift the raft higher to load it but it also means that it is less likely to bottom out.
When I bought this trailer, I knew I was going to have to modify it and beef it up a little. When I priced out building a trailer from scratch, it was going to cost more than buying one of these and going through all of these little things. I am approaching the breakeven point but I have had a functional trailer at all times over the last 7 years that I’ve had this trailer and I’ve been able to spread the cost out over that time. I don’t regret the way I went about it as I’m coming close to the end of the modifications, for now.