Summer is here and school is out which means it is time for some of the greatest Scouting adventures of the year. When it comes to transporting gear for our Scouting outings it can be cumbersome unless your pack, troop, or crew is lucky enough to have a trailer. If you have wanted a trailer, but have never gotten around to purchasing one due to budget concerns or storage space, this article is just for you. I will show you how you can build a trailer for $500 or less.

Haul-Master Super Duty Folding Trailer: Harbor Freight makes a great trailer that can be used for your unit to haul your gear to your next adventure. This trailer is the perfect trailer for anyone on a budget. I have been looking into these trailers for years and I’ve been pleased with the results as I’ve hauled various loads with this trailer. While it is a little smaller than some I have used in the past, I’ve really liked it for its convenient design, ease of use and affordability. Here are the pros and cons I have discovered with this trailer.

Assembling the Trailer
Trailer in folded position

Pros:

  • Low cost! The trailer retails for $450, but you can often get coupons that list the trailer for $350.
  • Trailer folds up for compact storage, unlike other trailers that hog storage at your home or garage.
  • Casters on bottom (when folded), so it rolls nicely on a hard surface.
  • It is a versatile 4’x8’ flatbed that can have sides added to it if desired.
  • Lightweight and can be moved easily by hand and towed effortlessly by a vehicle.
  • LED lights are super bright (even in daylight) and the wiring was simple to complete.
  • Weight capacity is 1,720 pounds.

Cons:

  • Assembly can be challenging at times and instruction manual can be tedious to read. I built this trailer alone and I would not recommend doing that. I imagine with multiple people working on this project together it would make things go more smoothly.
  • Slight preparation is required prior to use. When the trailer is stored in the folded position you have to add six bolts to the frame prior to towing it.
  • Since the frame is bolted together it is not a flat surface on the top. When you add the plywood on top, depending on preference, you may want to make some adjustments to the wood so it lays flush with the frame.
Completed trailer

Closing thoughts: I am a fan of this Harbor Freight trailer. I love that I can wheel it into the corner of the garage when it is not in use and it doesn’t take a ton of space. While there are some cons to this trailer, I don’t think they outweigh the pros. Just in case you want to see a breakdown of the cost, here is how you can squeeze it into your budget. I purchased some of these items on sale or with coupons.

$350 Trailer (sale price)

$40 Spare Tire

$25 Trailer Jack

$35 Plywood ¾ inch

$40 Hardware for securing plywood to trailer. If you choose to add sides it will increase cost slightly.

Grand total $490

Here are some youtube clips that can assist you with this project and help you get an idea about these trailers:

Unfolding trailer and making it ready for the road

Folding up trailer for storage

Trailer Assembly

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Andrew Olsen
covers gear for outdoor adventures and projects around the house and other interesting things. He worked professionally for the BSA for 10 years in Colorado, Nebraska, Alaska, and Utah and currently works for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is a DIY guy and loves to take on new challenges. He and his wife live in Utah and have two amazing kids.

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