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Trailer Recommendation

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Recommend getting a trailer that can be towed by an F150 style pickup.  That is a problem to expect people to have bigger trucks to tow the trailer and if you don't have one you have a trailer that can't get towed.  It also is a strain on the vehicles.  

Also, we liked having a side door and two doors in the back vs. the single fold down door.  We found a used trailer from a troop in the area that didn't need it anymore.  Got a good deal.  It might be worthwhile checking around to see if any troops have an extra trailer.

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Keep the trailer small.  We have an 80 person troop, camp with 30 - 40 most of the time.

Trailer is (Interior) 7.5' L x 5.0' W x 5.5' H, single axle.  Double doors on the back.

Shelves down one side and then the floor holds the large patrol boxes.  Can hold easily adult gear, the six patrol boxes, 7 tables (they fold), 8 tarps, and assorted random gear.  Trailer can be hauled with SUV's and does not need any special setup.  For summer camp we only haul trunks and it can take 18 - 20 of those.  We bring another trailer for additional trunks

Main thing (as many have said) look at tongue weight, hauling weight, special brakes hook up etc.  Sort of like your basement, the larger the trailer the more stuff you will bring

Don't fall into the trap of a trailer that cannot be hauled with the majority of vehicles the troop may have access to now AND going forward

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2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Your choice is fine and makes sense.  With a 80 person troop, I'd be tempted to have two trailers to support multiple events or allow people with smaller vehicles to help pull the trailer.  I've always thought some months might be nice to split the troop (when we were larger).  Those interested (younger patrols ??) could go to the district camporee and the more adventurous patrols could do a hiking trip or canoe trip.  

You might want to keep your existing trailer to support smaller events or to store less-used gear.  

This is what we did when our troop got to about 80 scouts. A troop in our district of 120 scouts showed us the advantages of using multiple smaller 6X8 trailers. The trailers can be pulled by mini vans if need. We are a back packing troop, so we encourage the patrols to take their own gear, mostly back packs if they can. If they can't their patrol QM contacts the Troop QM to request space in the trailer. The Troop QM is trained and responsible for the trailers, including keys.

We typically only need one trailer to haul gear like troop tents, patrol tubs, shovels and dutch ovens. Mostly gear the patrols don't use on the trail. The real advantage of small multiple trailers is duri ng multiple troop activities. We do a lot of high adventure, so I is nice to having multiple trailers, especially with at least one smaller trailer that minivan can pull.

Barry

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The best recent picture I could quickly find of our troop's trailer.  It's approximately 25 years old and the frame was custom built by a local metal fabricator.   The rest of the trailer is mostly wood, designed and mostly built by our long time committee chair.   It has a "kitchen" side, a "gear" side, and the back area is for general storage.    Was originally painted a light green, with nice scouts graphics, chartered org. info etc.   But after about 20 years that had faded pretty badly so  the wood was sealed with a white wash.   Still haven't gotten around to repainting, for a number of reasons.

20180916_101405.thumb.jpg.b13ff1876876215612e257f13febb22c.jpg

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45 minutes ago, MacBrave said:

The best recent picture I could quickly find of our troop's trailer.  

Wow!!!   That's a beast.  Cool and fun to have, but still a beast.  How well does it do getting pulled ?   

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21 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Wow!!!   That's a beast.  Cool and fun to have, but still a beast.  How well does it do getting pulled ?   

Yep, it is a beast.  If we are camping in areas with other troops around we usually get a couple fellow scouters walking up and saying "Cool! Can we check out your trailer?"  😃

Several years ago, before I joined the troop,  they got it weighed right before leaving for a week long summer camp so it had a lot of personal gear loaded in it.  I believe it tipped the scales at 7k pounds.  

I don't own a vehicle that can pull it,  but 3 of our current adult leaders and a couple parents do.   Most of them say it doesn't pull bad, although gas mileage goes down the tubes if you are driving into a strong headwind (it's not exactly an aerodynamic design 😃) .  You also have to be aware of how the weight is distributed,  a couple years ago while following it down the interstate I saw it get a little "squirrelly' from crosswinds.  Luckily we were close to home and could exit the interstate and take slower surface roads the rest of the way.  We also just replaced the old hydraulic brakes with traditional electric brakes and replaced the axles.   Should be good for another 25 years, although we really do need to repaint it.  :)

 

 

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We had an SM blow his F150 engine pulling our trailer off a mountain then punching it on the interstate. So wear and tear on a vehicle is no joke.

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

We had an SM blow his F150 engine pulling our trailer off a mountain then punching it on the interstate. So wear and tear on a vehicle is no joke.

Agreed,  I am personally a fan of camping without trailers (other than our small 130# sailboats).  I find that it helps keep extra crap from coming that isn't needed.  All the scouts load everything into a backpack, a small cooler for the patrol and small dry food bag.  Out entire unit can share a single chuckbox.  I have seen chuckboxes for each patrol for some troops that are monstrous.  A small stove, pot, pan with a few utensils will cook food just fine.  If we are fancy we will bring a couple of dutch ovens.

And for scouts that can't afford a backpack, there are older or ex scouts that loan or give them away if asked, goodwill has them, and even got great deals at REI garage sales for backpacks and tents.  

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23 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

 I have seen chuckboxes for each patrol for some troops that are monstrous. 

Yep, we have three of them.  :)  :

 

IMAG0698.jpg

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Our chuck box is a plastic tote from home depot 🙂  Advantage is light weight and you can hose it out when someone spills oil in it.

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5 hours ago, mashmaster said:

Our chuck box is a plastic tote from home depot 🙂  Advantage is light weight and you can hose it out when someone spills oil in it.

Ours too.  And it can sit in the rain without warping and keeps everything dry inside.  Biggest benefit is the smallest scout can carry it.  

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2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Ours too.  And it can sit in the rain without warping and keeps everything dry inside.  Biggest benefit is the smallest scout can carry it.  

How is it that no matter how tightly the oil lid is, and even if the oil bottle is put into a ziplock(my Troop tried that) the oil always spills!!

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3 hours ago, chief027 said:

How is it that no matter how tightly the oil lid is, and even if the oil bottle is put into a ziplock(my Troop tried that) the oil always spills!!

that and the soap....  I do suggest drilling a few holes on the side so it doesn't become a mold trap as well.

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Our chuck boxes are heavy duty Army style beasts.  We have 4 patrols, including adults.  We've grown a bit and are maxing out our little, old trailer.  We might need a slight upgrade in size.

For us, I want single axle, no brakes, standard vehicle width.  In VA, you don't have to get it inspected if it doesn't have brakes.  While I usually haul it and know how to use a brake controller from towing my 69 Road Runner, no one else does. If the trailer has brakes, unless it's surge brakes like the U Haul rentals, the tow vehicle needs to be wired for a brake controller. That limits who will be able to tow it.

Standard width means if the tow vehicle fits, the trailer will, too. We had 1 camp site where I would not have made it with a wide trailer.

Single axle is easier to maneuver.

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After reading the thread and looking back, a few things come to mind.  First is whether a closed trailer is labeled or just left blank.  I've seen several times full trailers stolen or broken into.  These advertised the unit and chartered org.  Shame on those that stole it, or broke into it.  MacBrave has a blank trailer that wouldn't let out a scout troop uses it... no offense.  I like the blank ones like I like the blank trucks not advertising a hunter owns it.  I am all about secrecy and not advertising what we do or have.  I could see a better way to advertise the unit by having car door magnet signs that go on for outings and off the rest of the time.

The second thought on trailers is how have multiple trailers vs one big one.  I'm inclined to think like gear in a backpack.  Where we use a bag of bags, a couple small trailers create options on how they are used, where they can park or get access, and don't have to haul unnecessary gear.  In the north, we used one small trailer for hauling Klondike derby sleds build from old skis and wood, 4 patrol sleds took up a small 5X8 trailer.

The last thought is about just how much stuff we drag to outings.  The norm of car/truck camping seems to have a giant troop awning with a pile of poles.  I'm more of a minimalist I guess and like the thought of tents, packs, dining fly, and small chuck box.  I try not to shake my head at a 3X4 foot gas griddle and tailgating challenge of camping, as everyone has different camping preferences.  Like hammocks vs tents...that is another post for another time.   

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