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1510-Carson Trailer Upfit

Increasing Utility and Reliability

Oct 15, 2015
Photographers: Jason Gonderman
Utility trailers come in all shapes and sizes and are used on every job site in America. They transport equipment, supplies, and anything else that can’t travel the roads under its own power. They are even used by many to haul recreational vehicles on the weekends. However, as we recently learned, when you take a new utility trailer home from the dealer’s lot, it is often missing a lot of what makes it functional. Sure, it has tires, axles, and a deck, but there’s more that’s needed to make it a truly well-rounded tool.
Taking a long weekend, we tackled a few of the basics. We added storage by way of a toolbox mounted to the tongue, utility with a winch and lighting, and reliability with tires and wheels. These few simple modifications exponentially increased the usefulness of our utility trailer, and we would recommend them to every trailer owner.
Photo 2/16   |   As luck would have it, we got a flat the first time out with the trailer. A large screw slipped right between the treads of the factory-provided bias-ply tires and left us with no choice but to plug it.
Photo 3/16   |   As luck would have it, we got a flat the first time out with the trailer. A large screw slipped right between the treads of the factory-provided bias-ply tires and left us with no choice but to plug it.
Photo 4/16   |   Switching from the bias tire to a radial didn’t mean giving up any load rating, as the Mickey Thompson Baja STZs are a load range E with a weight rating of 3,042 pounds each. While this is less than that of the factory tires, it’s still greater than the rating of the trailer by a safe margin.
Photo 5/16   |   An aggressive tread pattern with multi-angle lugs helps to improve both traction and self-cleaning. The tread is designed with clearing stones and other debris in mind, which is important when towing a trailer to either the job site or out for recreation.
Photo 6/16   |   With the rolling stock sorted out, we turned our attention to storage. Most utility trailers lack any sort of meaningful storage. Our goal was to have a place to store our straps, tie downs, hitches, and other needed accessories on the trailer so that they are always on board when needed. We turned to Auto Anything and settled on a black diamond-plate Delta Pro tongue box after scouring the immense stock on the website.
Photo 7/16   |   007 Delta Storage Box Inside Bolt To Tongue
Photo 8/16   |   We secured the box to the tongue with six 3/8-inch Grade 8 bolts and mechanical locking nuts. It might be overkill, but this way we can rest assured our bolts will never come loose and the box will stay in place for many years to come.
Photo 9/16   |   Also secured inside the Delta Pro tongue box is an Odyssey Extreme Series battery. Intending to power an electric recovery winch and auxiliary lighting, we opted for the PC1500 in a group 34/78. This gives us 850 cold cranking amps and the flexibility to attach wires to the side terminals and top posts. We also picked up a battery mount made specifically for this battery by Odyssey. The sturdy aluminum mount ensures our battery stays in place, and it looks pretty cool, too!
Photo 10/16   |   With everything mounted we were able to load the box with the essentials we use every time the trailer is out. Having secured, waterproof storage will ensure we never have to hunt for a hitch or strap again.
Photo 11/16   |   Since not every truck or piece of equipment we haul can climb onto the trailer under its own power, we decided it would be prudent to add an electric recovery winch. We settled on using a Warn VR-8000S. Warn has an undisputed reputation for quality when it comes to recovery winches, and the price point of the company’s VR series hit right where we wanted to be. The 8,000-pound unit is sufficient enough for anything we would be hauling. We opted for synthetic rope over steel wire for both weight savings and safety.
Photo 12/16   |   To securely mount the Warn winch meant we needed to create a steel subframe to tie its mount into the trailer chassis. For this task, we pulled out our ever-trusty Miller 211 MIG welder.
Photo 13/16   |   A pair of chassis tabs and some steel tubing connects the Warn mounting plate to the trailer chassis. After the mounts were welded into place, we hit them with a thick coating of black spray paint to protect against rust.
Photo 14/16   |   With the winch installation complete, we wrapped the VR-8000S in a neoprene cover from Warn. This will protect the winch and rope from the sun’s harmful UV rays and keep them looking good and working well for years to come. This is one accessory that is not optional.
Photo 15/16   |   Anchor points are also usually pretty sparse on utility trailers, allowing for flexibility in adding mounting locations specific to what you’re hauling. However, they’re another thing that needs to be added. We once again pulled out our Miller 211 MIG welder and this time burned in a pair of D-ring shackles. This will enable us to directly secure our Mac’s straps instead of looping an axle strap through the stake pocket.
Photo 16/16   |   In a perfect world, we’d always have plenty of sunlight available when loading and unloading. But as anyone who has hauled anything can tell you, this isn’t always the case. For this reason, we added a pair of ProComp Explorer LED lights to the rear of the trailer. Nestled in neatly next to the taillights, these 20-watt floodlights provide an enormous amount of illumination right where we need it and make loading in the dark a breeze.
Parts List
Battery
Odyssey Extreme Series
Part #: 34/78-PC1500
Battery Mount
Odyssey
Part #: HK-PC1500
LED Lights
ProComp
Part #: EXP76406P
Tires
Mickey Thompson Baja STZ
LT245/75R16, Load Range E
Part #: 50640
Tongue Box
Delta Pro Aluminum
Part #: 416002
Wheels
Mickey Thompson Classic III
16x7, 8x6.5 lug pattern
Part #: 2367482
Winch
Warn
Part #: VR8000-S
Winch Cover
Warn
Part# 91414
Winch Mount
Warn
Part #: 13942

Sources

Auto Anything
San Diego, CA 92123
800-874-8888
www.autoanything.com
Discount Tire
888-544-9235
http://www.discounttire.com
Warn Industries
Clackamas, OR 97015
800-543-9276
www.warn.com
Odyssey Batteries
Reading, PA 19605
8005383627
http://www.odysseybattery.com
Pro Comp USA
Compton, CA 90220
800-776-0767
http://www.procompusa.com
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels
Stow, OH 44224
330-928-9092
www.mickeythompsontires.com

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