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Thread: Opinions on Road King trailers?

  1. #1
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    Default Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Hey guys, who knows about Road King boat trailers?

    I have been looking for a trailer for my 15 foot skiff under construction.

    Everything used on Craigslist seems to be in poor condition.

    Trailex, according to the CLC website, is seriously back ordered. The base prices for their trailers doesn't look bad, but there are add-on costs for everything -- winches, tongue jack, etc. Shipping from the factory to my house would be $300-400. Total cost would probably be north of $2K.

    Load Rite is also back ordered, and their smallest trailer is not a good fit for my boat.

    I found this trailer by Road King online:

    https://www.edsmarinesuperstore.com/...ail&id=1576944

    For $1300 out the door they offer a 16 foot galvanized trailer with LED lights, 12" tires, tongue jack, and winch. Payload capacity is 1100 lbs. The suspension is probably too stiff for a 200 lb. boat, but it would not be terribly difficult to take a leaf out of the springs. I'd rather do that modification on a new trailer than on a rusty Craigslist beater.

    Does anybody have experience with this brand?
    "George Washington as a boy
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    I'm not familiar with Road King. The link you provided looks like the trailer has good base on which you could build out a flatbed for a small skiff. I do know that EZ Loader has a pair of small trailers rated for 600lbs and 800lbs, respectively. I have the one rated for 800lbs. It's a decent trailer, no complaints.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Thanks, I will check out the EZ Loaders.
    "George Washington as a boy
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    He could not even lie."

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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    I'll second the recommendation for the small EZ-Loader trailers. I had one and liked it a lot. Replaced it with a Trailex that fit in the shop better but the EZ-Loader was great. They come up on craigslist pretty often, at least out here in the PNW. If your boat is still under construction I'd just wait for something decent to come up there.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Thanks, Chris. I just sent inquiries to several EZ Loader dealers.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
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    He could not even lie."

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Look up Carnai, they used to be Caulkins.
    Too bad Harbor Freight quit selling their boat trailer. I took a leaf out of the spring stack on one and it is a better trailer than I expected.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    I have two Road King Trailers. I bought them both from Eds Marine. One is for my CLC Northeaster Dory and the other is for my power drift boat. No problems with either they seem well built. The Dory is pretty light fir the trailer, but so far so good. I have used it for about 6 years or more,

    The folks a Ed's are nice and the staff is the same as when I bought Seahunt fishing boat and trailer from them back in 2004.
    Skip

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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Thanks, Skip. It's good to hear something positive about Ed's. Some of the online reviews make them sound pretty awful.

    Which Road King trailer do you have, and how much does your dory weigh?
    "George Washington as a boy
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    He could not even lie."

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    For the dory I have a the RKG-14 14 foot. The dory only weighs about 140-150 lbs
    Skip

    ---This post is delivered with righteous passion and with a solemn southern directness --
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    In lieu of removing leaf springs (which I really doubt that anyone actually does, though they claim it's easy to do), you can use pressure treated lumber to build a nice heavy flatbed on the trailer. Together, the boat and trailer will suddenly be much closer to the rated weight of the trailer.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    I got the 800 lb EZ Loader last year for my build. It's a nice solid product, no complaints. It did take 3-4 months from ordering for the dealer to receive it. Hardly cost more than a used unregistered trailer on Craigslist as least in this market -- well worth it to buy new.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Thanks again to everyone for your helpful comments.

    Skip -- The CLC website says the dory is 17 feet long. Do you have 3 feet of boat not supported by the trailer?

    Yeadon -- Now I understand about the flatbed. I thought about ballasting the trailer with lead, but scrap lead retails here for $1 a pound.

    NRS -- I have gone through the hassle of purchasing an unregistered, untitled trailer once. Never again!
    "George Washington as a boy
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    He could not even lie."

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    i moved the bow brace forward about a foot, so i have about 2 feet hang over. Since it is a Swampscott type dory the transom slopes upward so there really isn't that much unsupported. Seems to be fine.
    Skip

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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    A few thoughts on trailer set-up.

    Support the keel as much as you can. Overhang happens. All weight on the keel is preferable. Bunks (though not necessary at all) are only to help hold the boat upright, rather than forcing the planking to bear the weight of the boat. In lieu of bunks you can just tie a short line from each rail down to the flatbed, in essence letting the lines act like struts in tension to keep the boat upright while you're towing the boat.

    One other great thing about a flatbed ... at retrieval it's really nice to just walk out to the end of the flatbed, grab your boat, and walk it back up to the winch.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    One other great thing about a flatbed ... at retrieval it's really nice to just walk out to the end of the flatbed, grab your boat, and walk it back up to the winch.
    I could be the envy of all the other guys at the ramp. Maybe even with dry feet.

    My build is a flat bottom skiff with a plank keel and zero deadrise. A flatbed would work pretty well; I would just have to figure out how to accommodate the rocker. And, I have some pressure treated lumber salvaged from a deck we had to remove.
    "George Washington as a boy
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Well, I took the plunge today and bought a trailer. I had never heard of Road King before, but this one looks pretty nice. All welded construction done by a competent welder. Nice galvanizing job, including galvanized wheels. LED lights with connections covered with heat shrink tubing. Good basic Load Master tires. Extra safety chain on the winch to connect to the boat's bow eye; I think this is a particularly nice touch. This trailer is about 19 ft long, and made to carry a 16 ft jon boat, so it will fit my 15' 4" skiff just fine.

    https://www.edsmarinesuperstore.com/...ail&id=1576944

    The ad shows the price as $1300. There is some kind of odd $1 tax, which I think is a locality tax, so actually $1301 cash out the door, including temporary tags. Ed's was pretty easy to deal with.

    The trip home was a bit over 100 miles, and the trailer behaved well. I was worried that it might bounce around without a load, but it did not. I had to make one stop from 55 mph at a light that changed suddenly. The trailer tracked straight behind my truck with no surprises.
    "George Washington as a boy
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    He could not even lie."

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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    In lieu of removing leaf springs (which I really doubt that anyone actually does, though they claim it's easy to do)...
    See post #6. It saves unnecessary shock loads on the boat too.

    Tuning leaf stacks for ride height and spring rate is not hard.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    See post #6. It saves unnecessary shock loads on the boat too.

    Tuning leaf stacks for ride height and spring rate is not hard.
    Agreed. I've done this too. It makes a nice difference.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    So, two votes in favor of removing a leaf and one against.

    I assume the second leaf from the top would be the one to remove. Modifying the springs would require shorter U-bolts.

    It would also void the warranty, which Yeadon's plan probably would not. As slowly as I am building, that may be a moot point.
    "George Washington as a boy
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    He could not even lie."

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    If there are only two leaves in the stack then you only have the choice of removing the bottom leaf. The top leaf always stays. More leaves then you strive for a combination that yields a bit of sag when the load is placed on the trailer.
    There was a thread awhile back about a boat that was suffering due to trailering and possibly hot weather.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Thanks, Autonomous. These springs have 4 leaves. Yep, the top leaf has to stay, because it's attaching the suspension to the trailer frame.

    No doubt removing the second leaf would give the greatest reduction in stiffness. Since I would be reducing the payload from 1100 lbs to about 250 lbs, that's probably the way to go.

    I could use shims under the nuts and avoid having to replace the U-bolts, although they are inexpensive.
    "George Washington as a boy
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    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    If you feel the urge to experiment you may find removing the bottom leaf has more effect than removing the second leaf. It's not always intuitive.
    Aim for a bit of sag when the load is applied, that way you know the suspension will be able to react to the road. Suggest removing #2 & #4 leaves and see how that reacts.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Thanks, Autonomous. I guess the spring resistance as the load increases might not be a linear function. Maybe the engineers on the forum know a formula for figuring this out?

    The boat is still under construction, so it is not available to put on the trailer. I could simulate a load with 4x4s and concrete block to approximate the weight of the boat.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
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    He could not even lie."

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Tire pressure has a big influence on ride quality and road shock transmission.
    We've had max trailer tire pressure pounded into our heads forever and no question it is better than too low, it also gives a buffer for dolts that don't check the pressure.
    ​​​​​​​On our cars and pickups we don't have the knee jerk max pressure reflex, we go with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. I'd follow that example.
    Find a tire pressure chart for your tires and pay attention. The tire engineers actually know more about tires than your everyday schmuck (me).
    Last edited by Autonomous; 07-29-2021 at 12:19 PM.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    In the days of yore I did some work with truck spring stacks but it was basic with no finesse. Later I bought a 3 1/2" lift kit for a Jeep YJ and it was too high and stiff on the rear axle. I mixed and matched leaves from the stock and aftermarket stack to get the spring rate and ride height I wanted. With two, five leaf stacks there were quite a few available combinations and to add to the fun there was no reason there had to be five leaves in the resulting stack. It was actually kinda fun and rather satisfying.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    I once had a '51 Ford pickup that came to me with mismatched springs on the front axle. IIRC the starboard side had 5 or 6 leaves, and the port side had 8 or 9. For you youngsters who think all trucks have independent front suspension, it looked like this:

    F1 axle.jpg

    I was ignorant about the lubrication needs of this type of suspension, so the kingpins seized. The truck became mighty hard to steer. The old kingpins would not come out with application of a propane torch and my biggest hammer. I pulled off the wheels and brake drums, and took the entire axle to a machine shop to have new kingpins pressed in. Of course this was the perfect opportunity to remove the extra leaves from that port side spring.

    That was a great truck. It was so simple you could fix it with a rock. Unfortunately I had to let it go when I moved and was too broke to afford a new battery. Wish I had it back!

    End of digression.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Autonomous View Post
    Tire pressure has a big influence on ride quality and road shock transmission.
    We've had max trailer tire pressure pounded into our heads forever and no question it is better than too low, it also gives a buffer for dolts that don't check the pressure.
    ​​​​​​​On our cars and pickups we don't have the knee jerk max pressure reflex, we go with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. I'd follow that example.
    Find a tire pressure chart for your tires and pay attention. The tire engineers actually know more about tires than your everyday schmuck (me).
    Agree with much of this.

    Tire pressures are spec'd according to maximum weight of the load they're designed to carry. Lower loading may permit lower tire pressures to a significant degree.

    I upgraded the 8" 4.80 bias-ply wheels & tires supplied with a Trailex-220S (one leaf each side) to 12" 145-12 radials this summer. Original tire pressures on trailer's manufacturer label was 20 lbs. for tires labeled for 60 lbs max. An engineer from the company that manufactures the upgrade radials told me I could safely start with 25 lbs in their tires, tires labeled for 65 lbs max., in that my plans would have be putting no more than perhaps 250 pounds on each tire. When inflated to 65 lb max. those tires are rated for 1,600 lbs.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    As far as I can tell, the tire manufacturer recommends max inflation pressure, no exceptions. No doubt this is a CYA recommendation. I doubt a 10 psi reduction with a light load would cause problems.

    Guys, I found pictures of Yeadon's flatbed setup in an old post:

    flatbed_Yeadon_03.jpg

    Adding a flatbed and additional ballast seems like a good way to go at first. It would not be difficult to add several hundred pounds of additional weight. Altering the springs has potential for warranty and insurance issues. So I think I will try the flatbed first, then make a decision about other alterations once I see how that works out.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sp_clark View Post
    Agree with much of this.

    Tire pressures are spec'd according to maximum weight of the load they're designed to carry. Lower loading may permit lower tire pressures to a significant degree.

    I upgraded the 8" 4.80 bias-ply wheels & tires supplied with a Trailex-220S (one leaf each side) to 12" 145-12 radials this summer. Original tire pressures on trailer's manufacturer label was 20 lbs. for tires labeled for 60 lbs max. An engineer from the company that manufactures the upgrade radials told me I could safely start with 25 lbs in their tires, tires labeled for 65 lbs max., in that my plans would have be putting no more than perhaps 250 pounds on each tire. When inflated to 65 lb max. those tires are rated for 1,600 lbs.
    My Harbor Freight boat trailer got it's fenders raised and the 12" tire augmentation too. I didn't know (or actually look) 12" radials were available.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    The 57th Edition Chapman Piloting has an inflation chart for small bias ply tires.
    If you are having trouble finding a chart I can quote what Chapman has for your size and ply rating.
    Last edited by Autonomous; 07-30-2021 at 12:26 PM.
    ​​♦ During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
    ♦ The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it
    ♦ If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
    ♦ George Orwell

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Thanks, the table is on page 131 of my 59th edition.
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Opinions on Road King trailers?

    Here is the table from Chapman. Not the clearest image, but somebody may find it helpful.

    chapman tire pressures_02.jpeg.jpg

    I have a quantity of these simulated stone blocks, 50 or 60 of them, left over from a building project. The photo shows a block next to a paint can for scale. They are roughly 3" thick x 8" long, 6" wide on the big end and 4-3/4" on the narrow end. They weigh 7 or 8 lbs each. They're just sitting around in the poison ivy right now, and could become trailer ballast in the future.

    block and bucket resized.jpg
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

    -- Mark Twain

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