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to buy or build a trailer?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

has anyone had better luck building their own trailer for their smoker build rather than just buying a used one? I don't know if the extra time is worth it or would save $ on the materials i suppose, but by the time it's licensed and inspected and titled etc. and you spend your labor on it were you happier in the end or should i just buy a new/ used trailer and get it over with? i'm looking for a 6x12 or so, which i already have one but i need it for other things.

post #2 of 7

As far as Missouri goes, so long as it is under 16' (and I believe that is tongue to tail) all you have to do is take to any inspection station like you would take your car or truck to. Where I go, they said about all they look for is an identification number of sorts to make sure it isnt a stolen trailer. And so long as the lights work and you have brakes if it has two axles that you are good to go.


My welding skills are decent, but I am not so sure that I would build one from scratch. I tend to overbuild in critical areas and doing that may take enough extra time to make it not worth while. 


If I could weld everything from both sides and in the flat position I would not hesitate one bit to have it on the road. That takes alot of extra time vs a skilled welder welding it up out of position. 


You may watch craigs list and see if one pops up for a decent price. Right now steel is high.

post #3 of 7

There are benefits to both options.  If you have time, then wait to find that cheap trailer to build off of.  With time you will be able to find a used trailer to your liking and pick it up a lot cheaper then building one, especially that size.  But, by building one yourself, you can make it to fit that need exactly.  When I started my build, I based my design off whatever trailer I could find.  Now that I am almost done, I wish the trailer was different.  But I know that I would have spent a lot more money building it my way then I spent on that used one.  Being on an extreme budget, I know I made the right choice in my case.

post #4 of 7

I have been looking for a used trailer but havent found anything that sits my fancy. I will likely build one. If you just want a trailer bet you would be fine with a found one.

post #5 of 7

I just went through this process on my build. I found a trailer that had a dropped axle, leaf springs and shocks. I think it was from an old Ford truck. Anyway, I figured that this would be a good start and if I had to make any changes at least I had some parts to begin with. As it turned out, when I set the tank and firebox on the trailer and set them off to one side of the trailer, the trailer leaned on one side. I ask a question here on this forum about springs and got a couple of responses but didn't get my question answered so I contacted a company that makes leaf springs and had a set made that would level the trailer and still give it a smooth ride. When all is said and done I think I still saved money by going this route. Hope this helps you.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

well i found a trailer! a buddy of mine has a 5x8 trailer with a somewhere around a 2000 -2500 Lb axle on it. i picked her up for $200.00

comes with a title and all! so i will post pics when i pick it up.

post #7 of 7

You got a good deal!


I done both.  I prefer to build.  Saying that don’t rule out looking for a good used one for the axle and tires.  Those new get costly.  I also used the small one from harbor freight, but want go that route again.  


Good luck and show us the pictures.



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