Should I use a Harbor Freight frame for my Home-Built Camping Trailer project?

There is a new thread on Tventuring to discuss using Harbor Freights Haul-Master #94564 1720 lb. capacity super duty 4’ x 8’ frames as a base for DIY Compact Camping trailers.

From my experience they work well for lightweight DIY camping trailers that will see pavement and occasional well maintained off-pavement towing with little to no modifications.  They are also suitable for light-medium duty off-pavement towing with various levels of modification.

From a strength of materials perspective; the frames are fine for lightweight home-built camping trailers.  They are engineered for a 1980 lb GVWR (loaded weight).  The compact sized DIY trailers most folks are building normally have a loaded weight of 800-1200 lbs, some a little more, some a little less.  Also adding a trailer tub or box on the frame adds rigidity and strength.  The stresses of off-pavement towing do require making some modifications to maintain appropriate strength.

The majority of DIY Compact Camping Trailers built on HF frames will have a deck footprint smaller than 4’x8’. Generally they are shortened to at least 6’ and in some case also narrowed.  Making these modifications to a Harbor Freight frame only requires basic DIY skills.

Harbor freight frame for home built compact camping trailer
For additional information review the Tventuring post:  “Should I use a Harbor Freight frame for my trailer project?” 


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