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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who haven't heard about us... we are Tomahawk Trailers, Inc. located in Milton. We specialize in new aluminum boat trailers. You may have seen our Starline model rolling through the streets.



Long story short, we are asking...



What kind of trailer is your boat sitting on? Hi-Tech, Magictilt, Loadmaster, home-made, etc.???

Is it a single, tandem or triple axle trailer?

What do you like about your trailer?

What irks you about your trailer? Any issues you have faced?



We are simply looking to compare our current design against the likes/dislikes of local boat-trailering individuals like yourself. We are not posting this to bring on the bashing of our competitors products, for there is surely to be plenty of praise for a number of their products. We simply want some honest input on your personal trailer experiences.



Your input is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
billin (2/2/2010)Magic Tilt. I would like to see someone in the trailer industry come up with and offer a trailer with all the common sense stuff already on it. Such as a spare tire and a jack. I understand that this varies by region as to what sholud be considered standard but it is a safe assumption that in a saltwater community people would want or will need and dont know stainless bolts etc. whereas in the great lakes region it aint a big deal. I would like to see someone start offering a salt water series and a fresh water series.


Starting in March, we plan to upgrade our "Standard" package to include the spare tire (with the option to deduct it from the sale price for those who don't want it).



All Tomahawk Trailers come standard with Stainless Steel fasteners; however, we like the idea of presenting "fresh water" pricing for those who want to downsize their cost by utilizing galvanized fasteners and accessories. But then again, we don't want to upset our galvanized trailer-building buddies down the street... thus we typically refer our customers to Eddie English when they are looking for a freshwater trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
snapperfan (2/2/2010)In the last 8 years I have had a 2002 ShoreLand?r aluminum, 1973 Magic Tilt galvanized, and a 1997 Rocket galvanized.



The Rocket is still in good shape. I have been through several sets of springs but that's to be expected in saltwater use.



The Magic Tilt was okay for it's age but the rear cross member was nearly rusted through where the bunk brackets attached.



The 2002 ShoreLand?r aluminum was a total POS. Aluminum frame, galvanized cross members and cadmium plated bolts are NOT a good mix in saltwater. Guaranteed to corrode. All trailer builders need to read up on galvanic corrosion and crevice corrosion. After two years I started replacing the fasteners with SS to keep if from falling apart. The el cheapo tail light sockets were corroded beyond repair after about a dozen dunks in saltwater. The side marker lights did not even last that long.



Why does nearly every trailer manufacturer sell trailers that are not road legal for use in Florida? (i.e. Gross weight over 3000 lb. requires brakes on ALL wheels?)



http://www.flsenate.gov/STATUTES/in...TM&Title=->2009->Ch0316->Section 261#0316.261



(3) BRAKES ON ALL WHEELS.--Every vehicle shall be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels except:



(a) Trailers, semitrailers, or pole trailers of a gross weight not exceeding 3,000 pounds,
provided that:



1. The total weight on and including the wheels of the trailer or trailers shall not exceed 40 percent of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer or trailers; and



2. The combination of vehicles, consisting of the towing vehicle and its total towed load, is capable of complying with the performance requirements of s. 316.262.


Leaf springs are trouble. We install torsion axles on our trailers.



We understand your concern about "legal" trailers. I have tried explaining this before on other areas of this forum, so I will be brief. Basically, what we build--as trailer manufacturers across the board--is what the customer wants. The trailer owner is responsible for adhering to the laws, thus if an individual comes to us and only wants brakes on one set of wheels (say on a tandem axle trailer)... the Owner assumes all responsibility for any deviation to the laws. I can tell you that there are dealers out there, who as a customer, request this deviation to save costs. Further, as you posted above, line item a2 allows that you can technically, by law, tow a boat behind your vehicle on a trailer not having brakes on all wheels and still meet the performance requirements of 316.262. It all comes down to the law (i.e. the government) versus one's pocketbook. And in reality, MANY individuals/dealers opt to save costs and maintenance down the road rather than incorporating the brakes on ALL wheels. Effective 2010, we price all our trailers with brakes on all wheels... from there we take Owner direction as to adds and deducts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
InshoreCommander (2/2/2010)It'd be easier to just bring mine by and have you "fix" all of the problems on my 3 year old trailer.


We do perform repairs. Or if you are a DIY'er, we have access to parts. Feel free to contact us or come by our shop. We are located in the Avalon Industrial Park off Avalon Blvd in Milton, FL. 1st building on the left.



850-723-0693
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Captain DP (2/2/2010)In the last 3 years I have had an Ameritrial, Starline, and a magictilt.



The ameritrail was probably the worst, I had to replace every light, wire and brakeson it in about a year.



The starline I didn't keep long but the person I sold it to has recently had issues. I'm sure he will chime in soon.



The magictilt has been the best I have only replaced one light, aground connection and they sent me a set of lug nuts b/c the originals rusted (free).



As far as suggestions: I think it would be a great idea to keep all the ground wires run back to the tounge of the trailer so they stay out of the saltwater "Most" of the time.




Thanks for your response. I didn't see the Starline owner chime in, but we welcome the opportunity to discuss any issues they may be up against.



That was kind of MagicTilt to replace your lug nuts, just keep in mind that those nuts cost them less than $1 plus shipping.



We like the suggestion on the ground wires. We plan to see how this change may impact our costs for the extra material and labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
cuzmondo (2/2/2010)hardyboy,



Kudo's to you for seeking input. As with all things, price is usually a consideration, so the more you can do and include, at a good price/quality point will go a long way toward helping sales and keeping up your reputation.



I feel I have to tell you that my last trailer was an Owen's and Sons. By far the best trailer I've ever owned, or seen bar none. It was an aluminum frame, with torsion axles, and Kodiak discs. It was so great and towed so well that I was interested in buying another when I bought the current boat I own. I priced them and found I could buy an equivalently (sp) made, but smaller trailer for my current boat for about $600 more than I paid for the DHM trailer I ended up buying. The DHM I bought is a decent trailer; it's aluminum, torsion axles with Kodiak discs, and so I thought comparable to the Owen's and Sons, for $600 less, but mainly I didn't have to travel to Tampa to get it. If I had it to do over I wouldn't hesitate to drive to Tampa and pay the additional $600. As I mentioned, the DHM is "decent", but they did cut some corners. For example, the fender supports are flimsy, rather than have a crossmember running the complete width and mounting the fender supports to it, they simply clamped on two short pieces of aluminum tubing to the fram and mounted the fenders to that. Not really a structural problem, but a cheap shortcut. Also, I don't believe they did much of anything to align the axles. All four tires wear excessively on just the inside edges. One trip to the Keys and back (barely) and they're shot. My O & S trailer was towed all over Florida before I got it and after and the tires were like new when I sold it. It was perfectly aligned.


We had never heard of DHM. But in looking up there info, and I could be mistaken, but it appears as if they have been bought out.



For those who don't know... Owens and Sons Marine builds "Aluminum Slide-On" trailers (their decal).



Regarding your DHM trailer... the "smaller trailer" is the culprit behind your inside tire wear, not necessarily alignment. Alignment issues typically impact one tire, not all. All in all, the DHM trailer is undersized for your boat. When we calculate what size trailer your boat needs... it comes down to the size of your boat (weight and length), the fuel capacity in pounds of gasoline, the size of your engine(s), and the weight of our trailer.



Thanks for the kudos. We appreciate your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
lobsterman (2/2/2010)I have a loadmaster trailer dual axle and I absolutely, possitively hate the mickey mouse oil fill axle caps. I have had problems with mybearings and seals more times than I can count. I need to replace 2 spindles and hubs right now as we speak, but they won't be that kind for sure.


Agreed. Oil fill axle caps are a nightmare. We utilize Posi-Lube hubs. Yes, they have a rubber grease cap and have to be maintained, but a much better option that oil baths.



Bearings are hard. Honestly, we can only warrant this component for 30 days, as this is one of the main components of a trailer, in addition to the brakes, that REQUIRE maintenance to continue to work appropriately. For those who don't know... "Grease keeps the trailer bearings lubricated and works as a coolant against heat caused by friction. A rubber-lipped seal helps to hold all the grease in and the dust and water out. Boat trailers pose the most risk on both counts due to the rapid cooling that takes place when their wheels are submerged. The air inside the wheel hub contracts, creating a vacuum. The vacuum can then suck in water and dust from outside. If water makes its way in there with the bearings, it's only a matter of time until corrosion and rust join the fun."



Also from the "How it Works" website...

"If you ever have to open up a wheel hub on a trailer, chances are you're going in to either grease the bearings or replace them because you didn't. The key is to make sure the trailer bearings stay greased on your own terms, so you don't find yourself replacing them on the side of the road at an inopportune time."



We have replacement spindles for those who have removable spindles. And we also carry bearing kits if you need to replace yours before this new season ahead of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Just_Ducky (2/2/2010)I have a magictilt 2 axle and its all I need. No issues and I didn't buy it new.


You knocked on wood, right. ;)



Seriously, there are many proud MagicTilt Owners out there... and then there are plenty who do have issues.



If you ever find yourself in a jam, or if your MagicTilt finally succumbs to the elements... please consider us when you go to purchase your next trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
BIGRIGZ (2/2/2010)I like to have tall guide-ons with the lights mounted up high on the guide-on (makes backing the trailer really easy and especially after the trailer drops off the ramp), good spots to anchor straps on the frame, good spot for a spare tire. maybe there's more things I prefer in a trailer.... I'll think....



an underwater light in the center of the trailer would be pretty cool for night loading.....




We can install lights at the tops of the guides; however, it has been our experience that guides are typically the first item that gets "taken out" / damaged on a trailer. And I know that most of your are careful with your boat and trailer... but there are those out there who tend to tear stuff up more quickly than other. Now say you snap the guide in half... or even just take off the top few inches... visualize what happens to the wiring. Needless to say... repair work can become tedious and daunting, for the Owner or for us. But yes, this is an option. We plan to add this our 'Upgrade' package.



We typically deal with larger boats that don't require anchor straps. But we have recently tapped into building trailers for lightweight, flat-bottom boats and this is something we need to consider on these smaller trailers.



On the spare tire... we mount ours onto the side of the winch stand. There are some companies that mount the spare directly off the i-beam near the winch stand. But so far we haven't received any complaints in regards to the current location. Per the other posters, we have just recently started pricing our trailers with the Spare Tire included.



We like the underwater light in the center for night loading. But again, we see this as an item that may get torn up easily. We are looking into this though, in addition to reflective stickers/markers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
BBob (2/2/2010)performance 6 wheel



Like:



1-) The aluminum frame



Dislike:



1-)Had to replace all six of the spindles because the retaining nuts were not sealed from salt water and rusted off.



2-) Had to replace the "drum brakes" because I was foolish in thinking that the flush connector on the frame would rinse the salt water from the brakes.



Really Like:



1-) The stainless brakes w/ ceramic disk pads that replaced the drum brakes



2-) Like that the new master cylinder will lock and not allow the trailer to roll backwards when the truck is not in reverse.



3-) The LED trailer lights



Would Like:



1-) Wish I had install a dual wheeled jack so that the tongue could be moved a little left or right when needed.



Billy-Bob


Thanks for your detailed response. For those of you that don't know, Performance Trailers is one of a few Florida trailer companies that actually post their pricing directly on their website. (Thus, you can utilize their numbers for comparison shopping on your next trailer purchase. Note: The prices quoted are sans brakes... you can see what brakes cost us for the material and labor.)



ALUMINUM is the way to go here in the good ole South. But if you are a fresh-water only kind of guy, and want to save some dollars, our friend Eddie English on Hwy 90 specializes in galvanized trailers.



As to the spindles, see my post earlier today. They may have actually been sealed at one point, but dunking a hot-of-the-highway wheel into the cool waters of Florida can cause issues for even the best set-up.



And as you probably learned, drum brakes are a no-no in the boating world. We utilize Kodiak disc brakes and have only experienced a small percentage of issues. Flush connectors are somewhat useless in our opinion. You could rinse your brakes all day, but brakes technically require a rinsing AND lubricating series of events to best maintain them. Brakes, plus the tiniest remnant of salt, with inadequate lubrication is trouble in the making. Just imagine how one piece of salt or sand feels under your fingernail... it bothers you until you dislodge it... and it you jammed it far enough in there... you still feel the stinging hours after has been rinsed free (in theory, that's the rust setting in ;).



Stainless steel brakes is the way to go ideally... but these come with a hefty price tag $$$$. We have had very few customers willing to take this upgrade. But as other posters have noted... sometimes it is better to pay a little more upfront that to deal with the dollars and headaches down the road.



We utilize LED lights, and only LED lights, on our trailers. Great product. We haven't had any issues thus far (knocking on wood).
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
fisheye48 (2/9/2010)would like for a company to anwser their phone or return pm's called and pm'ed hardyboy aka tomahawk trailers....nothing...having the same issue again on a less than year old trailer...starting to get very aggervated...need some anwsers or service some kind of quick!


Sorry for any inconvenience. I had been planning to respond to all posts over the weekend, including PM's. Technically... I probably need a secretary to keep up with all my calls, emails, PM's etc. Regardless... life sometimes gets in the way. The wife is 6 months pregnant and has been fighting a sinus infection... thus I have been taking on a lot at the house. You should have a call from me by day's end. Thank you for your understanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
MGuns (2/2/2010)<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I have a tandem axle Magic tilt and the lug nuts have rusted and become extremely difficult to take off. The brakes rusted completely shut in spite of rinsing after every use and I had to take them off. The hubs are rusting badly. I?ve had this trailer for approximately 4 years.
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Sorry for the delayed response. But we want to respond to everyone as you each have different trailer experiences.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">MagicTilt does have a large presence in NWF.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Lug nuts can be a bear. Once or twice a year, when you've got the wheel off to service the brakes, replace any nuts that are rusty. Take a wire brush and knock of any corrosion from the studs and/or squirt them with anti-seize lubricant (replace studs if need be). A cheap maintenance effort that will save you from ever being stuck roadside and in need of a blowtorch to get your flat tire off.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">I think we can all agree that brakes on boat trailers result in headaches down the road... it's just a matter of when (see thread on rinsing trailers in off topic). For those who are wondering... to upgrade to stainless steel brakes on a Tomahawk would be an add of $550 per axle.<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">Hubs are going to rust; the nature of the beast. You can clean them up and paint them with cool seal (aluminum roof coating) to give them a little more life. Hubs just don't come in salt-water friendly material.

Need a new 5 lug hub? $35/ea ...6 lug hub? $45/ea ....Bearing Kit? $18/ea We can install or DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
SaltAddict (2/2/2010)I have a magictilt. Removed the drum brakes after one year. Moved the tail lights to the top of the guide posts. Side lights were useless after a year. Switched to a two wheel front jack. I know it would increase cost, but anything that can be aluminum or stainless would be better than galvenized. Shelling out the extra $ in the beginning is better than the $ and headache later. And I agree with uping what is considered standard.
On the side lights... whenever you have an outage 1st check the fuses on your vehicle. Or there is the handy little gadget that plugs into your trailer connection on your vehicle and lights up to let you know if all is well or not.(Also keep in mind that bulbs do blow out.)A lot of the time,salt has gotten between the wire and the metal... youcan clean up the connection with a wire brush.Tomahawk uses LED Submersible Lights on all of our trailers. We honestly don'tever have too many callsfrom our clients having issues with their lights. We have LED brake light kits at our shop for $35. LED side lights at $12/ea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
X-Shark (2/2/2010)When I first talked to Brad @ Hi Tech many years ago I had a full legal pad spelled out as to what I wanted in a trailer.

He was the only one that said...."That's the way we build them."

Since that time he and I have become good friends. I've sold a bunch of his trailers for him.

I have also bought parts from him to add forward Keel bunks on trailers that were not equipped that way. Those customers Love them now, due to the trailer being setup correctly for the boat and making it easy to load and unload.

The only thing that NO trailer manufacture does is do a good wiring job to make it last. The use of Scotchlocks is abundant in the trailer business.

But the last time I talked to Brad the subject came up again. He said not a problem to solder and shrink tube the whole system. But it's a extra cost, but it is available.



X-Shark, thanks for all your posts; you seem to have a good handle on boat and trailer repair.

For the record, we have a similar 'Standard Package' to that of Hi-Tech. And inour opinion, of course, we build an equal or better product than that of our competitors down Hwy 98.

All of our trailers are equipped with forward keel bunks (of course unless the client doesn't need them based on their boat type or doesn't want them). Our boat trailers are built custom toeach boat; although we can supply "adjustable" bunks, we build a majorityof our forward keel bunks with holes drilled to match the needs of the boat. Less holes equates to astronger structure.

We shrink tube all fittings at the back of the trailer; however, we do utilize 'scotchlocks' at the side of the trailer. Here you have one wire connecting perpendicularly to the middle of another wire. Yes, you could solder/shrink this location... but it would just plain look bad (our opinion of course).But yes, do-able at an added cost of time and material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
snapperfan (2/5/2010)
hardyboy (2/5/2010)
We typically deal with larger boats that don't require anchor straps.
That will get your customer a ticket in the Keys.
I think we may be talking about two different things. There isstrap with each winch on every trailer that is the "anchor" point. I was referencing the additional anchor straps on the frame for smaller boats that may lift off their trailer when going over serious bumps in the road, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Killin' Time (2/3/2010)I'm with Bobby. WIRING. I am not nor do I want to be an electrical engineer. My trailer is an 06' and I would rather chew my own leg off than deal with another light out. Every time I move the boat I spend time redoing something. I know I should redo the whole thing, but it would be nice to not buy a 3,000 dollar trailer and have to fix it. Soon as I hook to it, another wire gone to corrosion, and of course with kids ready to go, another quick fix. Feel free to use my trailer as a prototype to any solution you have.

And again a sincere thanks for caring about the customers.
As the wiring comments seem to be up there next to the brakes drama... we will be brainstorming some ideas and attempting some of your suggestions to see if we can find a better way (we'll let you know when we are ready forthe 1stguinea pig). See our post from earlier this evening on the steps to run through on your next light outage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
fishin' fool (2/3/2010)I have an 08magic tilt aluminum trailer. I have had a few minor problems with the brakes and I am experiencing an intermediate ground issue-but may be related to the truck wiring. (I haven't really tried to track it down yet) Only stating here so you can keep these things in mind to make yours better.

I would have loved to see an option for a fixed wash down system (such as http://www.trailerspa.biz/).And, I am sure that it is an option, but a longer tongue (or whatever it would be called) would have been nice too.


Fishin' Fool - See our post earlier this evening as to checking your electrical/lighting problems. We do have one of those handy gadgets that I referenced that plugs into your connection on your vehicle and lights up to show youif your problem is within your vehicle or if it is the trailer(feel free to come see us).

We will have to look more into the trailerspa website (wasn't too impressed at first, for I was expecting more picture of their system on their site).

The size of the tongue is an important component and comes in many different sizes. We install the proper tongue for your boat trailering needs based on your boat's specifications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
X-Shark (2/4/2010)
We like the suggestion on the ground wires. We plan to see how this change may impact our costs for the extra material and labor.
While on the subject of wiring.

Why can't ya just put a 7pin round male plug on the trailer with brakes?

All my trailers have 7 pin round plugs weither they have brakes or not.

Heres the deal. Trucks come standard with a 7pin round female connector.

So why put a 4 pin flat or a 5 pin flat and then have to go buy a stupid adapter?

It's something else to keep up with and another place to loose a connection.

Just does not make any sense......unless you think that $4 savings [4pin flat to 7pin cost] makes sense for the aggravation. :(



Last one for the evening... and then hopefully I can wrap up all responses over the next day or two... and then allow this topic to slowly disappear into the PFF post archives. We do truly appreciate all of your comments, thoughts, and suggestions.

Not everyone has a big truck with a7 pin round female connector. But, we hope to provide all of our customers with a trailer that is suited to their needs... including the proper connector needed.
 
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