Here we have two light-duty trailers, neither of them road-worthy. They need roughly the same amount of work (a lot). Which would you go with?

Both are in pretty bad shape, with little to offer except having solid frames. Both need tires, lights, tongue jacks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the wheel bearings could use re-packing/replacement. Both are single-axle, no brakes of course.


First, we have this early ’70s Apache pop-up trailer. It was gutted due to rodent/bee infestations after years of disuse, with the intention of converting into an open flat cargo trailer. Because of the aluminum walls, the only access is from over the top, or the side where the little half-door was ripped off during the gutting process (the door’s still around, and could probably be reattached with little trouble). The (intact) aluminum cap is still around too, although I’m not sure whether there’s much point in using it in the trailer’s new context.

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The floor is about 6' (over the wheels) x 12' long, surrounded by the pop-up’s tub-like walls. The wheels are itty-bitty 10"ers (20x8.00-10), and there’s a little plaque that claims a load capacity of 1500 lbs. The trailer has been pre-wired to accept new lights.

Oh, and speaking of those tires, that tire size looks to be one heck of an oddball. A quick Google search suggests that it’s only used for things like lawn tractors anymore. What are the chances of finding something suitable for highway speed?

20x8.00-10, 4-lug

Then there’s this little cargo trailer. No brand, no labels, no stated weight rating. It has a serviceable steel-framed box that could maybe use some new paneling (box is just shy of 5' tall). The removable steel-framed rear door (not pictured) doubles as a fold-down ramp.

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The floor measures 4' (between the wheels) x 8' long. Tires are 195/75-14". Wiring for the lights is completely shot, and will have to be re-done. The tongue jack you see here still needs replacement, as it is totally seized up. (Despite an overnight soak in penetrating oil, some back-and-forth hammering resulted in the top of the shaft just twisting right off.)

Oddly, instead of having center dust caps to access the bearings, the axle looks like it might have sealed hub/bearing assemblies, like the spindle-less ones you would find on the rear of a FWD car. Re-packing bearings is usually simple and cheap maintenance, but this... this is a weird thing to see on a trailer.

Free scrap!
195/75-14, 5-lug

After typing this all out, I find myself leaning towards the little one, mostly because of the easy-to-find tire size. But the Apache has more than double the floor area! Decisions, decisions...