Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build

I am so excited to introduce my next project! A Tilt Trailer for our Snowmobiles! Woo hoo!

My husband and I are by no means amazing sledders. He is a much better rider than I am.  But for us they are necessary winter vehicles to access our cabin here in central British Columbia, Canada. Our utility trailer has been so good to us but can only carry one sled so the other has to ride in the box of the truck. Anyone who’s ever loaded these machines knows that this is a less than ideal arrangement. We NEED a dedicated trailer for our snowmobiles!

Enter Snowmobile Tilt Trailer Build!

Now that the snow has melted it’s the perfect time to take on a trailer build! Amazing summer weather isn’t quite here yet and the memories of struggling in the cold are by no means faded. A new baby means so much of our life has been about making things easier for ourselves. A tilt trailer to move the sleds in winter as well as the rest of the year is a giant step in creating ease in our life. Lets not struggle in the snow or cuss them blocking the driveway in the summer. To me this is priceless. No smashed knuckles. No strained backs. More play.

The Challenge:

With my son only 8 months old and still feeding every 3 hours I fully realize this may be a crazy project! Learning how to keep a new human alive has been the hardest thing I have ever done. The days can drag on and are so incredibly intense and focused on a tiny person that for months and months I have been longing for this part of my old identity back and the relative freedom of using a skill that was so familiar and enjoyable.

To be honest, I am also feeling a bit of fear. A sneaky, terrible fear playing on my self doubt and insecurities of not having worked in 10 months. It whispers “do you even remember how?”

I have to remind myself Welding is a SKILLED trade, which means it takes practice. And tonnes of it! I need something challenging but accomplishable. I also need it NOT baby related! This Snowmobile Tilt Trailer will make our long winters so much more fun! Winter 2018 our son will be old enough to ride into the cabin with us. I want him to experience the amazing part of the world we live in fully and to give my family something that can make that happen easily is so amazing and why I love welding and fabricating so, SO much.

Way back when I was pregnant thinking “what the hell am I going to do with a whole YEAR off?!?” and COMPLETELY underestimating how much time a new baby takes up, I found these plans. I knew right away they were for me.

The Plan:

Drawings from trailerplans.com by Master Plans and Design, Inc. arrived at my door, 3 full pages of drawings 24″ x 36″ (2′ x 3′!) in a cardboard tube for less than I’ve been known to spend on coffee! How awesome is that?

My husband watched for sales at Princess Auto and we picked up axle, wheels, tires, leafs, hangers, hitch, lights, wiring and even reflective tape for under $800. The plans call for a 2000 Lb axle and we decided in the store to upgrade to a 3500 Lb axle. Our on-the-spot math went like this – finished trailer weighs 937 Lbs (without decking) + the big sled weighs 600 Lbs – double that to account for both sleds = 2252 Lbs + fuel (jerry cans) – so we stepped it up.

Even with a cut list included, I poured over the plans to try and find the most economical use of material. That being said I still over ordered. The steel supplier sells complete lengths of steel – if they cut it or not. I chose the 10′ long trailer as no material would need to be longer than 10′ to fit in a 8′ truck box for transport. With most steel in 20′ or 24′ lengths you can see how I wound up with an awful lot of extra material. Lesson learned. Don’t worry, I’ve got more than one idea of what to do with it!

So excited to have steel in the garage!!

This may shock you – I do not have a shop. Just a single garage. I want to show that while a dedicated kitted out shop would be amazing, it is not necessary. Building a trailer in a garage is totally possible and I know a reality for many people.

The Cost:

$14.99 Tilt trailer plans

$1,024.80 steel material

+ $739.01 Princess Auto bill

+ $111.00 3 pieces 3/4″ cull plywood decking

=$1889.80

+ consumables – a box of 1/8″ 7018 rods, 5 zip discs,

+ my time. My point in calculating and disclosing a dollar amount is just to restate that I love the time I get to work on this.

If you HATE HATE HATE welding and fabricating, absolutely go and buy yourself a trailer. I like to have time alone in my own head. The noise of tools helps to quiet the running commentary of my thoughts. I have a feeling most tradesmen experience this. Some women love a long hot bath, and don’t get me wrong, it’s very nice, but for real relaxation and fulfilment I like a challenge.

And, man, did I ever choose a challenge for myself! Not just the welding and material selection, but time managing and documenting the whole thing. Yes, I am a Journeyman Welder. I guarantee the welding and fabricating will be done by me. I don’t like reading other people showing a project and then explaining how their husband or dad did most of it for them, so I promise not to do that. Full disclosure, my husband IS a Journeyman Electrician so although we may collaborate on the mechanical components, he will be wiring the lights on this trailer.

A trailer build is SUCH a great way to develop (refresh) a skill and add enjoyment value to our lives.

Isn’t that what we are all trying to do?

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