Question: I need a small trailer for hauling my motorcycles, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and garden tractors. Are Harbor Freight trailers any good? The price looks good. What about the quality?
I debated about buying a HF 4×8 trailer for almost a year. When I came across a used 1720 lb HF trailer for cheap, I bought it.
Harbor Freight Trailer Heavy Duty vs Super Duty
The HF 1195 lb capacity 48 inch x 96 inch heavy duty folding trailer cost around $350, and the HF 1720 lb capacity 48 inch x 96 inch super heavy duty folding trailer cost around $450.
The 1195 has 4.8×12 wheels, weighs 253 lbs, and accepts a 1-7/8 inch ball hitch. This Haulmaster trailer has 4 lug tires. The 1790 has 5.3×12 wheels, weighs 330 lbs, and accepts a 2 inch ball hitch. This Haulmaster trailer has 5 lug tires.
Speed is restricted to 55 mph with the 1720 lb capacity trailer wheels. I have read forums where people talk about driving at interstate speeds such as 65 or 70 mph. However, I would not do it. The Harbor Freight trailer tire has a sticker on it that says “WARNING: MAXIMUM HIGHWAY SPEED = 55 MPH.”
HF trailer assembly, price
The price is inexpensive. I have read anecdotal notes about people using a Harbor Freight trailer coupon in 2021 to lower the cost.
Why is the price so low compared to other trailers? Assembly is required.
The HF trailer reminded me of an IKEA product. The trailer comes in a box unassembled.
You need to put together every nut and bolt on this unit.
It takes a lot of time to complete the assembly instructions. Time is money.
If you are willing to spend the time to put this trailer together, you may save money on the trailer.
There may be additional costs during the build out. For example, you will want a plywood deck and d-rings, which costs extra if you don’t have decking on hand. My state requires expensive title, registration, and plate fees. Some states may require an inspection, which could cost money. You may need tools like a torque wrench, grease gun, etc.
Once all the costs are tallied, it may be cheaper and easier to buy a landscaping trailer like this:
It depends on your state, supplies, and trailer price.
For me, it was cheaper to buy a used Harbor Freight 4×8 trailer that sat in a garage most of its life. It did require new wheels and tires and a few upgrades like a tongue jack.
Haul Master trailer issues
Although my HF trailer is older, the bearings are a weird size.
It is good to repack the bearings from the factory and repack them frequently. Also, buy extra bearings and keep them on hand. Bearings and tires are replacement parts you want.
The trailer’s paint fades to pink if left outside.
The Harbor Freight trailer fenders suck. They wobble a bit even when they are properly bolted onto the Haul Master trailer.
When I had a tire blow-out, the fender and its mounting bracket got mangled. I replaced the tire and removed the fender. The fender mount required straightening once I got back home.
I did not like the folding capabilities. The folding tongue uses a hitch pin to connect to the trailer and tongue. I replaced the hitch pin with a solid bolt and nut. My trailer deck is one sheet of plywood, which was not cut to allow folding.
Does this improve rigidity? I am not sure. I feel better about the upgrades, though.
Harbor Freight trailer camper plans
I intended to use the trailer to haul my dirt bike, motorcycle, and lawn mower. At one time, I considered turning the trailer into a tiny camper.
There are plenty tiny camper plans for this trailer on the Internet. A lot of folks use it for teardrop trailers. Some make many modifications to it. Examples include axle flips, axle upgrades, and adding 15 inch wheels.
My thoughts on the HF utility trailer
I like the Haul Master trailer for toting around my Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It is so much better than putting a bike in the back of a truck.
The trailer does well after a few modifications, which were mentioned above.
The trailer does good with weight on it. I have loaded it down with two motorcycles — around 1200 lbs — and pulled the bikes on an 800 mile road trip with no issues.
Without weight, the HF trailer is squirrelly on the highway and would not go long distance with it (think cross country road trip).
Also, I use the unit as a utility trailer around the house. I connect it to my garden tractor and haul brush and mulch around the yard with it.
Would I buy a used one again? Yes.
I hope this helps with the question: Are Harbor Freight trailers any good?