My trailers wires were strung underneath the trailer and were either run thru
small pieces of 1 x 1 square steel tubing or thru holes punched in the frame
with a blow torch. The lack of grommets at these rub points meant it was
only a matter of time before a short was going to occur. As luck
would have it the lights on the trailer didn't work when I bought it and the
trailer reseller had convinced the previous owner it was a problem with their
tow rig. Two seconds of inspection turned up a lump of melted wires at the
trailer plug. From there I traced the problem to a poorly installed light which
had crushed it's power wire between the light body and trailer frame causing a
At this point it seemed easier just to re-wire my whole trailer rather than
try to deal with the lump of molten wires. I ended up running the wires down the
inverted angle iron that ran from the front to the back of the trailer. This
routing was easier to reach than the original path and had no rub points to
chaff the wires. To secure the wires (instead of leaving them hanging like the
original install) I drilled and tapped the frame for tie wrap holders (the
little white things in the pictures).
Odds and Ends
This particular trailer did not come with any tie down points so I installed
some D-rings front and back. To aid in backing up at night I also mounted
a driving light at the rear of the trailer which is powered on when I put the
tow rig in reverse (used one of the existing lines on my 7 pin plug).
The fenders were pretty flimsy until I fabricated these corner steps for each
side, front and rear. My previous 12 foot trailer had these on it when I
bought it and I just figured they were standard as it makes the fender much more
rigid. You couldn't step on the fender before without it deflecting
I mounted an old storage box I had lying around to the front of the trailer.
I plan on making a gas can rack which will sit on the tongue which is the reason
the box does not sit on the tongue.
Remember when I mentioned poorly designed? Why in the world do you need
a nearly foot long piece of 5 x 5 x .25 thick steel angle to hold a taillight
on? Also note the broken lenses on the left side of the light. This one
broke when I walked too close to the trailer and bumped it with my leg.
The previous two had been broken when I brushed them with a tire while trying to
squeeze by my trailer.
Another area of excess weight is the ramp holders which stick out needlessly
from the trailer.
With the goal of cleaning up the clutter on the trailer and eliminating some
weight I got out the plasma cutter & angle grinders and got to work. First the
ramp holders were trimmed flush with the trailer. Next I cut off the stake
pocket behind the rear light (most likely the reason for the light having to be
so far out boarded). Once the stake pocket was gone I trimmed the light
I replaced the existing lights with some smaller units that tucked in better
under the mounting bracket. The originals had a side marker which I would either
tag with my leg or buggy as I walked/drove by. This new light is fully
protected under the mount so accidental contact will hit steel instead of
The new cleaned up ramp holder. I usually don't even carry my ramps as
this trailer is much lower than my previous trailer.
I also went and removed the 4 stake pockets on the front of the trailer, 2
near each corner. I have no use for adding sides to the trailer as the
open center limits it's dual purpose utility. The stake pockets also made
lousy tie down points due to their positions at the extreme ends of the trailer
and the fact that the any strap attached to them was always stressed over an
edge. I ended up drilling some 2" holes at various intervals for light duty tie
Here's the metal removed in this first round of optimizations, 26.5lbs of
material I don't have to haul around anymore. My goal is to eventually eliminate
100lbs. Stay tuned.