Utility trailer. 8' or 12'?

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 08-02-2016 07:33 PM 1133 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1878 posts in 2051 days

08-02-2016 07:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: trailer

I’m on the hunt for a new utility trailer. Have never owned one before. I have a 2001 dodge ram 1500. Been looking at 8” ones while also seeing the 12’ ones for a couple hundred more. Majority of use will be 4×8 MDF or plywood. Occasionally, auction finds and general household use. Those with 8’ cargo trailers, ever wish for 12’? Those with 12’ trailers, ever use all 12”?
Almost feels like a table saw purchase as in in I do not know the ins and outs of trailer use.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

50 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


5134 posts in 1742 days

#1 posted 08-02-2016 07:41 PM

I have neither, mine’s 10’ and the tongue adds about 4’ if I need to haul something thin like a lot of rebar. Weight capacity is another big factor, whatever you think you’ll want to haul, you want to make sure it has springs, axle & tires under it that will support the weight. Some 12’ trailers start to offer tandem axles which can make the ride nicer for you in the truck and the cargo in the trailer, but they’re more expensive, more maintenance and far more difficult to maneuver by hand vs. tow vehicle.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5701 posts in 2835 days

#2 posted 08-02-2016 07:44 PM

I use a 12’ landscaping style trailer with metal sides, and a cage over the tongue. It hauls most everything I need, and longer stock can ride in the ladder rack on the side. Mine is a 5000# single axle trailer. It will haul about 500-600 b.f. of dry hardwood in a load.

It turns remarkably well. I have used 16’ flatbeds and they are a pain.
I think 12’ is the sweet spot for what I do.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4996 posts in 2515 days

#3 posted 08-02-2016 08:25 PM

Mine is also 10’, and there are a few times I wish it was twelve. But even more importantly: mine has the 3500# axle, and there are LOTS of times I wish it was 5000#. No way would I want an 8’.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View teejk02's profile


481 posts in 1147 days

#4 posted 08-02-2016 08:45 PM

I own a 14’ V-nose enclosed that doesn’t get used much because it is a PITA to maneuver (double axle…single would be easier I think). Bought a 10’ open a few months ago. You looking at enclosed or open? Enclosed have the benefits of keeping stuff dry but the price goes up a lot. If you want that then go with the ramp door (I didn’t and regret it). The open trailer works great…new designs will let the ramp gate fold into the trailer bed so length of material is not a problem (other than perhaps you need a red flag if stuff extends more beyond the trailer…used to be 24”...dunno know now).

View splintergroup's profile


2069 posts in 1244 days

#5 posted 08-02-2016 09:05 PM

Mine is 16’x6’
Occasionally I wish I had a 12’ just to be a bit more “handy” with quick trips, etc, but the 16’ really comes in handy with rough sawn lumber runs and dealing with links of steel drill pipe and other standard length steel items.

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3086 days

#6 posted 08-02-2016 09:06 PM

I have an 8’ for a couple decades, and have rarely longed for a larger one. Whenever I need to haul stuff longer than 8’, I pull the sides off and screw down some 12’ 2×10s to the bed, and it works fine for short runs. If I had a larger trailer I would find occasions where the extra capacity came in handy, but I don’t have the space for a longer trailer and it hasn’t been an issue for me in all these years, so I’m happy to just stick with an 8’.

-- PaulMayer,

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


3991 posts in 734 days

#7 posted 08-02-2016 09:55 PM

mine is a 10’ long by 5’ wide …... never wished I had a longer one but definitely a wider one ….... like 6’ X 12’ .......... oh well live and learn …....LMAO

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View jwmalone's profile


769 posts in 724 days

#8 posted 08-02-2016 09:58 PM

For a couple hundred bucks you will kick yourself for buying the 8 footer. Might take awhile but it will happen.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View firefighterontheside's profile


18351 posts in 1878 days

#9 posted 08-02-2016 10:09 PM

I bought a 16’ flat with 2’ dovetail and can haul 8,000 lbs. I realize this is vastly bigger than you’re talking, but I bought such a big one because I wanted to be able to do everything from haul a cabinet to haul a bobcat. I love having this trailer. I have wanted one for 10 years. So, I would say buy bigger than you think you need. If you buy just what you think you need, within 6 months you’ll want it to be bigger. Buy the longer option, but a single axel will be far more maneuverable by hand.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View jkid's profile


38 posts in 1099 days

#10 posted 08-02-2016 11:01 PM

It doesn’t matter every “friend” and relative will want to borrow it or have you haul it !!!! ( Sorry one smart a** in every crowd! )

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2992 days

#11 posted 08-03-2016 12:36 AM

I have a 5×8 and I pull it with my Suzuki SX4 hatchback.
The trailer is larger than my car, but works rather well.
There have been a few times I wanted to haul 16’ lumber and couldn’t.
I did haul 500 board feet of cherry from the saw mill about 8 miles to my house.
That was a challange because most of the boards were 11 ft long.
I let the ramp/tailgate down, loaded the boards hanging out the back, tied them down in the front, then pulled the ramp op to the bottom of the boards. This worked, but just barely because it was putting a negative load on my hitch. Car drove like hell.
Bottom line, wish I had gotten a 10 ft.

View BurlyBob's profile


5543 posts in 2287 days

#12 posted 08-03-2016 01:05 AM

Somebody once said, “Go big, or go home.”

View Holbs's profile


1878 posts in 2051 days

#13 posted 08-03-2016 01:09 AM

thanks guys for the input. My financial situation only allows me to afford a $1500 trailer on the infamous Home Depot CC. Else, I would wait for a local auction or craigslist :)
I took a gander at the HD trailers in person on my way home from work. Here are the two I am considering:
5x10 2250lb payload Tarter Gate trailer


the 6x12 2070lb payload Tarter Gate trailer

I assume uses the same axle just one is a larger flatbed (added weight to the trailer means less for payload).
Upon purchase, HD even does the registration & title & temp tags for $40 or so.
Being in Nevada farmland area, the trailers on craigslist are on par with these price tags. Maybe I’ll flip a coin between the two and see who wins. Oh.. the price difference is $300 from $1197 to $1497.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View Redoak49's profile


3277 posts in 2010 days

#14 posted 08-03-2016 11:20 AM

I bought a 5×8 utility trailer with the ramp years ago. It was one of the best investments I have made. It was great for moving kids to college, taking lawn tractor for service, hauling wood a many other things.

The only issue is that you need a place to park it. The majority of the time the 8 foot length works for me.

View rwe2156's profile


2956 posts in 1502 days

#15 posted 08-03-2016 11:55 AM


16’ even better they have tandem axles.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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