Little trailer wheels - Richard Hall
I need a small trailer - 5x3 or thereabouts. There seem to be plenty to choose from, but all the cheap ones have tiny little wheels fitted with what look like wheelbarrow tyres. The tyres aren't even flat across the treaded area, but rounded just like a wheelbarrow.

Anyone had any bad (or good) experiences with these rather nasty looking devices? I'm planning to use the trailer when I go on holiday - a 300 mile trip - and can't help wondering whether the tyres will be worn out before I get there....

Richard Hall
Little trailer wheels - Cambridge
I have used this sort of trailer for many years.
Never had any tyre trouble. But I only do short journeys.

One tip I have learnt. They bounce! This can be quite dramatic if you go too fast. So be very careful.
Put as much weight as you can into it, and as low as possible. I would even consider a few paving slabs in the bottom.
Little trailer wheels - paul swindon
Whatever you do, carry a spare wheel with fully pumped up tyre. I had to drive from Le Mans to Cherbourg with a torn tyre and bulging out inner tube a few years back and it finally blew up boarding the ferry. Had to get the AA out a 03:00 in Portsmouth to fix it and it took over 3 hours.
Little trailer wheels - M.M

A practical chap like you will soon be running V8 engines all over in this little trailer, you should avoid the small rim ones.

They are fine for the odd few miles to the tip but the wheels are ill suited to hundreds of miles.

Hit an unexpected bump at cruising speed and the car is dragging the trailer across an obstacle it is virtually running into rather than over.

You know how hard it is to push a loaded barrow up one brick.

If you look in the Freeads there are loads of well made older trailers based on 13" wheels (I never go smaller) for very little money.

I sold a perfect one for you last year for £80, based on a cut down caravan chassis with standard 13" wheels. Very strong and very stable.

Little trailer wheels - Clanger
A couple of years ago I inherited my dad's Brenderup trailer. It is now 19 years old and still on the original tyres. And yes it does bounce but I feel it's more to do with the mad rubber-in-compression suspension than the tyres.

In 1990 it made a journey fully laden with desks and office screens at an illegal 70+ mph from Mansfield to Spennymoor without ill effects. It only gets used for odd jobs and a 5 mile round trip to the tip nowadays.

I would suggest repacking the wheel bearings on any second-hand trailer and carry some of that tyre sealant goo because those tiny tyres have got to be hard to find.

As far as a 300 mile trip goes, I would take mine any distance notwithstanding MM's apparent prejudice against small wheels.


H (Darcy rebranded).

Little trailer wheels - Mark (RLBS)
I'd have to go with MM on this. I used to use trailers a lot for hauling windsurf equipment around europe.

The small wheeled ones were a nightmare of instability - and used to get quite a few punctures. Going over even a small bump was likely to throw stuff out.

Better to get something with common sized wheels/tyres. My eventual one had mini wheels. Made maintenance pretty easy.
Little trailer wheels - Richard Hall
Thanks everyone who replied. I nipped out to the local Indespension showroom and they had a special offer on self-assembly trailers. So I bought one, tiny little wheels and all, since I need to move some light but bulky items this weekend, and haven't got time to look around for something better in the classifieds.

MM - take your point about the trailer's unsuitability for heavy loads. I am designing a much better trailer for serious work, but it will take time to get all the materials together. Should have it done before the start of my holidays, at which point I'll probably sell the little trailer. It should have paid for itself by then.

Meanwhile I wonder whether the stud spacing matches any car wheels? I'm sure my new trailer would look better with a nice set of 17 inch alloys and low profile tyres....

Richard Hall
Little trailer wheels - Mark (RLBS)
In which case make sure that when you load it up you guard against stuff going upwards after a bump, not just sideways from a corner or down from gravity.

Big stuff can be done with a rope, little stuff is best covered with a sheet and then the rope over the top of the sheet - just like wrapping presents, really.
Little trailer wheels - bazza
For long distance work or carrying heavy loads, the larger wheels are much better. I swapped a 5x3 with 8 inch wheels for a similar size but with 13inch car wheels on it. It's much more stable at speed, and less prone to weaving,particularly noticeable on Autoroutes where it will sit on the back rock steady up to 90 mph ot more if required. The 8 inch wheels used to get very warm at speed with a load on too - too warm to touch!
Little trailer wheels - Mondaywoe
I used to have a good strong trailer - car wheels, heavy welded chassis, marine ply body etc. It was great on the road, but took up lots of garage space and was heavy to maneouvre by hand. So I sold it and bought a small (3' by 4') one. It's handy for storage etc (stands on its end) BUT on the car, it's a disaster! I can't see it from the driver's seat, so reversing is a nightmare. I usually get out - detach it - turn the car and re-hitch! It also bounces quite a lot when empty. I only use it very occasionally (trips to tip etc) so it's no big deal, but I miss my old one.

Always buy a trailer you can see from the seat!!

Little trailer wheels - PB
I used to have the small (6x4?) trailer with the little wheels. I did a 400 mile round trip every month no problem at all, just carry a spare (v. cheap but I never needed mine) and pack some more grease in the bearings every so often. If it's the blue metal one my other tip would be to paint it again NOW before it goes rusty! And avoid lane 3 on the motorway of course.
Little trailer wheels - M.M
Hawkeye indeed Mr that the new leather clad, hog riding, biker handle?

Anyway if your trailer has 8" wheels you were lucky to have any desks left.

Still when towing it behind the people carrier I bet you never see it.... and it hardly touches the ground.

Serious point that larger diameter wheels make a huge difference to ride quality on shorter undulations.

So if it has to be... then yes I'm sizeist.

Little trailer wheels - Clanger
Well, other folk change their handles, don't they?

Hogs aren't for raw beginners like wot I am. No leathers; they're not waterproof.

No I can't see the trailer behind the people carrier which is why I've fitted a mirror inside the front sunroof; points down at the trailer nicely, also useful for giving evil paternal glare at misbehaving offspring. This mod. has been copied, I note, in the new C8. Tricky reverses at the tip with the trailer always mean opening the rear hatch.
H (Darcy rebranded).

Little trailer wheels - martint123
I had a home made trailer - two angle iron bed frames joined by bits of a third and a pair of Bond mini wheels. When the only tyres for these were forklift things, I got a local workshop to cut down and weld the Bond wheels into mini wheels and after tweaking the mudguards, it's still running after 25 years. (although little brother neglects and overloads it constantly)

Little trailer wheels, big journeys - Clanger
Well the eldest has found a house and wants me to take her bed and a couple of spare sofas down to Nottingham. I will be using the 5'6" x 4' trailer with 8" wheels. The bed will fold up inside the car and the sofas will go on the trailer. 200+ mile round trip.

MM are you going to put money on the trip being completed successfully or should I get the local engineering shop to weld on some tractor wheels?


Little trailer wheels, big journeys - Flat in Fifth
Personally not quite as sizeist as MM but I wouldn't go smaller than Mini wheels. Mini as in Issigonis as opposed to the current one.

1000's of miles towing a twin axle car trailer fitted with indespension and a Laser combi-trailer also with indespension both on Mini wheels. Only problem was a new tyre blebbed, if that is an acceptable technical term.

You must have the correctly rated suspension units or else they do bounce unless fully loaded.

Strong recommendation to carry a spare wheel plus, if monster mileage envisaged, a spare hub fully set up with bearings and all greased up and wrapped in a plastic bag.
Little trailer wheels, big journeys - Clanger
Piece of cake.

Only scary thing was that all nearside wheel nuts were finger-tight when I came to torque them up before setting off.



Little trailer wheels - John S

Check the Indespension shop for when you build your new trailer. You'll be able to get the suspension units to take various car hubs and so wheels and tyres. Find what they supply and then get the wheels first - leaves you more options when you're at the scrappy. I've a home built 5 x 4 trailer (welded angle plus marine ply) using Indespension units and using Vauxhall Viva front hubs and 12 inch rims and tyres (that shows how old it is!). Amazingly these were left lying around on a dumped Viva - kept the cost down. It tows beautifully. I always cringe to see these trailers with the tiny wheels - I'm much happier with the car hubs and wheels. They are rated for far greater loads than the 'purpose made' trailer units.


john S

Value my car