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amphicar770

Used Haulmark vs Older Used Featherlite

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Hi all,

Have been looking at several used enclosed car haulers and am down to deciding between 2.

The first is a 2002 26' Haulmark.

The second is a 1995 24' Featherlite.

The Featherlite is obviously 7 years older and is about $1,500 more. However, I do have an Open Featherlite and know that the quality of these is top notch. Still, a 20 year old trailer of any make is still 20 years old. At what point have these things reached end of life?

Thanks,

Mike

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Either one will need an entire new harness, lights, brakes/backing plates/drums, rims and tires......ect. I would try to find a newer trailer if possible.

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Either one will need an entire new harness, lights, brakes/backing plates/drums, rims and tires......ect. I would try to find a newer trailer if possible.

Thanks for the reply.

The Featherlite does have new wheels and tires just this year.

Is the other stuff all that difficult / costly? A few years ago I bought an enclosed trailer that did not have brakes. It's been a while but I seem to recall that the brake kit was inexpensive and easy to install. Likewise, I would think a trailer wiring harness is a fairly simple affair to fabricate?? Labor would be done by myself so it is only the cost of parts.

Thanks again.

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Buying a Featherlite is kind of like buying a car without body rust. You can always repair/replace around the framework and you still have a high quality trailer that will last many years and hold its value. The Haulmark is a well built trailer but the FL is in a different league primarily due to material differences in its construction. For 7 years difference I'd probably lean towards the FL assuming it was well maintained. Even more so if the trailer will be kept outside. 20 years old for a well maintained FL is not a concern but just like a car if it was abused during that time, stay away.

Having said that the advice is good to try stretch the budget and buy newer, especially if this is something you plan to have for many years. If I had to put money and time into restoring a trailer I wouldn't consider it on anything but a FL but that's just me

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)

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I own two enclosed trailers, one an all-steel Tow-Eze with steel diamond plate floor, and the other an all-aluminum Forest River with aluminum floor. Both are well-built. I also once owned a Haulmark - they are reasonably built to-a-price in my opinion -- not a bad trailer by any stretch, but they did not seem to be the same level of quality as some of the more expensive brands.

I would take the Featherlite.

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Just remember if you bend a FL it's junk. So don't over load it. Also, accident damage can be difficult to get repairs done correctly.

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Thanks all for the input, it confirmed some of what I was thinking and provided some additional considerations.

I went ahead and purchased the Featherlite. In terms of the body it is in very nice condition, just a bit of road rash. White interior is a bit grungy but no damage. Tires and wheels are new, I figure I will do the brakes and bearings for good measure, inspect the wiring thoroughly, and probably go with LED lights.

I paid $5k and it is local to me. I have to think I could easily get my money back in the future if I decide to sell it and get something newer.

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amphicar770,

If you should later decide that you don't want the FL, I'll give you your money back.

Is the FL a "V-Nose" ? and does it have a driver side access door?

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amphicar770,

If you should later decide that you don't want the FL, I'll give you your money back.

Is the FL a "V-Nose" ? and does it have a driver side access door?

Haha, thanks. I'll keep that in mind.

24 foot. Not a v-nose Besides the ramp door, there is a door on the front right but no driver side door.

post-62982-143143077152_thumb.jpeg

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This is a little off subject but something that I learned recently. I'm going next week to pick up my new trailer, a new Haulmark and I'm picking it up at the factory. Featherlite, Haulmark, Sooner, Wells Cargo, Exiss and others are all built by the same people, Unervisal Trailers.

I just found that interesting.

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Featherlite, Haulmark, Sooner, Wells Cargo, Exiss and others are all built by the same people, Unervisal Trailers.

I just found that interesting.

There has definitely been a big consolidation in the industry. Clearly moving to a model of single suppliers with various brands of differing quality at varying price points.

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amphicar,

Your avatar does not say where you are. A "no-no" per Lamar, our dear leader, but if you are within shooting distance of Douglas Ga., there are 8 different trailer plants within a days drive.

Ask me how I know..............been there and toured them all.

About the missing escape door, they are a fun little project that almost anybody with a 4" grinder and a Harbor Freight MIG can build and install. Ask me how I know......See below.post-70733-143143087979_thumb.jpg

Mike in Colorado

post-70733-143143087952_thumb.jpg

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Hi all,

i picked up the featherlite today, towed it about 75 miles smooth and easy.

For $5k I am very pleased. A few scuffs and battle scars but overall in very nice condition. Even though it is 20 years old, the build quality really shows. For the money I think it is a far better choice than some of the newer stuff that is seemingly stapled together.

thanks

mike

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Glad you like it - I thought it was the better choice

Good luck with it

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post-99427-0-13233200-1450155644_thumb.jpost-99427-0-76109300-1450155726_thumb.jpost-99427-0-65065300-1450155750_thumb.j

 

Due to the terrible conditions the roads are in that I drive every day ....

 

I expect you will see more aluminum trailers in the shop like I see them by the side of the road .....

 

Nothing beats a full perimeter steel tube frame trailer in taking a daily beating on what I traverse year round ...

 

 

 

Jim

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

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We used to use an aluminum open trailer. Eventually the back of the trailer sagged and barely cleared the ground and the spring hangers started to  twist themselves off the frame. Aluminum is great for a trailer used occasionally but for hard use I would still prefer the strength of steel.

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Actually, it turns out that what I bought was an Econolite which is made by Featherlite but has a steel frame underneath and aluminum (including floor) everywhere else.   (yup, should have done my homework and research to recognize the difference up front).

 

No matter, it turned out to be a really nice trailer and, based on the comments here, probably offers the best of both worlds balancing strength and weight.  Rotting wood will never be an issue.

 

I did replace all of the bearings and brake assemblies, rewired the harness plug, new breakaway battery, updated some lighting to LED, etc.  It already had new wheels and tires.  It should be good to go for many more years.  I almost wound up selling it due to some financial setbacks and I am pretty sure I would have gotten back what I have into it.  Fortunately, things turned the corner and I was able to keep it.

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Actually, it turns out that what I bought was an Econolite which is made by Featherlite but has a steel frame underneath and aluminum (including floor) everywhere else.   (yup, should have done my homework and research to recognize the difference up front).

 

No matter, it turned out to be a really nice trailer and, based on the comments here, probably offers the best of both worlds balancing strength and weight.  Rotting wood will never be an issue.

 

I did replace all of the bearings and brake assemblies, rewired the harness plug, new breakaway battery, updated some lighting to LED, etc.  It already had new wheels and tires.  It should be good to go for many more years.  I almost wound up selling it due to some financial setbacks and I am pretty sure I would have gotten back what I have into it.  Fortunately, things turned the corner and I was able to keep it.

 

With the steel frame and aluminum body can you let us know what the manufacturer did to protect against electrolysis where the two metals meet?

 

I have heard that the steel/aluminum interface on the new aluminum Ford F150 was critical.

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