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Joined: Jul 2007
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So I'm looking at buying/building a new trailer and the company that I've looked into with the most customization will build them out of Aluminum or Steel.

https://www.stealthtrailer.com/rvs/nomad/

The aluminum trailers give nearly 900 lbs of extra load capacity, but my concern is will AL survive as well off road as steel. I know AL generally has better flex, but it doesn't bend... and will crack instead. What say ya'll? Steel or Aluminum for an trailer that will be taken off road?

If ya know of another trailer manufacturer that you could recommend for building a customizable toy hauler LMK, as I'm still researching options at this point.

Thanks


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I don't think you want a toyhauler with an aluminum frame. Maybe they can be built strong enough to withstand the rigors of camping and hauling, but steel seems to be the better choice. I have had several toyhaulers and really like the Jayco Octane.

If you pursue a custom made toyhauler, I can't imagine what that would cost to build. I like the front bedroom model and an onboard generator can be nice, but not necessary. Whenever in doubt, opt for larger and more room over saving space, none of the trailers are what you would consider small, and once you use them, will appreciate all the room you can get...



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There's no way I'd ever choose aluminum over steel for a off road trailer frame. Yea, the weight savings is nice, but I've seen way too many cracked frames to feel comfortable with one. When I needed a trailer for 2 ATV's. I searched all over before finding one with steel frame, but I never worried about having to leave it on the side of the road with a broken frame and the axle folded underneath.


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Bend, don't break?!

Is the extra load capacity due to lighter Al frame material?

I don't know anything about those trailers but some trailer and boat designs seem to have started in someone's garage. A guy with a welder can make a trailer frame or boat but that doesn't mean that stress analysis or endurance/reliability testing has been done, nor use cases defined. Maybe a bigger issue with boat hulls that take a beating on waves though.

I would be less concerned with material than the design, analysis, and testing behind it. I've seen industrial steel frames fail miserably.

I'd ask a lot of questions about the analysis, testing, frame racking, and suspension if I were shopping.

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Originally Posted by 4th_point
Bend, don't break?!

Is the extra load capacity due to lighter Al frame material?

I don't know anything about those trailers but some trailer and boat designs seem to have started in someone's garage. A guy with a welder can make a trailer frame or boat but that doesn't mean that stress analysis or endurance/reliability testing has been done, nor use cases defined. Maybe a bigger issue with boat hulls that take a beating on waves though.

I would be less concerned with material than the design, analysis, and testing behind it. I've seen industrial steel frames fail miserably.

I'd ask a lot of questions about the analysis, testing, frame racking, and suspension if I were shopping.

Well said…

I’ve been looking at these trailers. Now quite the same but similar

https://www.coloradotrailersinc.com...wZfEzWyDU1UOjBjTe4VPRn_SfhRoCXa0QAvD_BwE

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Oh Jeezus Keerist, Wabash and many others have been pounding 48,000# aluminum step decks and drop decks down the Interstate right alongside you for thirty years. Over half of the livestock in the country is hauled in aluminum trailers, which are routinely running overloads because the weight cops give them a lot of latitude on gvw's. Tort lawyers and insurance companies would have put a stop to aluminum heavy hauling if it was an issue.


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Originally Posted by flintlocke
Oh Jeezus Keerist, Wabash and many others have been pounding 48,000# aluminum step decks and drop decks down the Interstate right alongside you for thirty years. Over half of the livestock in the country is hauled in aluminum trailers, which are routinely running overloads because the weight cops give them a lot of latitude on gvw's. Tort lawyers and insurance companies would have put a stop to aluminum heavy hauling if it was an issue.

I agree.

As for any new steel trailer... Look at the construction very carefully.

Most old trailers were heavy "C" channel... very clear on what you were getting there. Real steel.

BUT the past couple of years many manufactures have gone to box steel (think cheap ass metal building 14 or 12 gauge tube). No Thanks.


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I think dune sport will make a custom toy hauler to your specs.
We have a 2009 23 ft. Wife loves it. We do not have a front bed, but rather a rear queen bed that hoists up. Fits both quads. I prefer to turn our bikes sideways over the axles and still be able to use the kitchen/bath during transport.

Riding buddy is now considering one. I keep suggesting atc which are on the premium side.
I will see what he decides.

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Originally Posted by flintlocke
Oh Jeezus Keerist, Wabash and many others have been pounding 48,000# aluminum step decks and drop decks down the Interstate right alongside you for thirty years. Over half of the livestock in the country is hauled in aluminum trailers, which are routinely running overloads because the weight cops give them a lot of latitude on gvw's. Tort lawyers and insurance companies would have put a stop to aluminum heavy hauling if it was an issue.

Down the highway vs. off road. Big difference there. Probably a lot more flex for the toyhauler. I suppose if you used same material for a giant stock trailer to make a 25' rec trailer
you wouldn't have any concerns.


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