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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody have any experience with Karavan Aluminum Trailers?

I see Trudeaus and Pacific Boatland sell them with some of their boats.

One for my boat weights 930# vs. the 1450# of my Zieman so that's nice weight savings.

Thanks for any info

Brion
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Keta,

Aluminum work hardens and isn't the best material to build a trailer with.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Interesting...how does that affect Aluminum in boats, planes, etc.aren't the same factors at work?

Brion
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Keta,

Eyow!

Can't imagine more vibration and twisting than in an aluminum boat, lots of torque loads, lots of vibes, lots of stress.

I saw a 21' Alumaweld stripped to the frame, used hard as a guide boat for 5 years and no sign of any stress cracks. The frame etc. were in great shape.

What do you think the time frame would be inspecting a heavily used aluminum runabout?

Brion
 
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Depends on the design. No vibration=no cracking.
Lightweight flimsy construction will harden and eventualy crack. See Ed Wing for the way an aluminum boat should be designed and built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Keta,

QUOTE] Depends on the design. No vibration=no cracking.[/quote]

I think the aluminum boat equation is as follows:
Boat+water+HP=vibration.

I don't know of any Aluminum boat that doesn't fit that formula and I've been on all kinds of Aluminum boats from Palmer-Johnson 100+ footers to my 19' North River.

You are worrying me about the small aluminum runabouts. Glad I got the .250" one piece bottom.

Brion
 
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Thicker=better
Work hardening will happen to any aluminin that vibrates or flexes. It's just a matter of hrs use. Thick plate with lots of structure will last much longer. I have seen aluminun sein skifs with cracks due to improper design and/or manufacturing.

You're much better off with a heavily galvanized steel trailer.
 

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JetPace made aluminum trailers for many years to tow its line of heavy 20+ ft. 460 inboard sleds. They are still out there towing away. Once in a while we would hear of a crack, but no more often than with steel. Excellent products. I can't see any reason for avoiding aluminum.

Remember that galvanized only keeps you free of rust until the first rock chip. Aluminum keeps you free of rust forever.
 

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Yeah, that's why all those aluminum boats fall apart after a couple of years .... :tongue:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thumper,

Yeah, that's why all those aluminum boats fall apart after a couple of years.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">That's what has me scratching my head...aluminum is used in all kinds of transporation stuff from rocket ships, boats, cars, planes, trains, navy ships etc. which all involve lots of vibration, stress, freezing, heating etc.

I thought aluminum was used due to its light weight, strength and durability.

Maybe I better get a glass boat vs. a new aluminum trailer for my aluminum boat.

Brion
 

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Brion --- I don't know anything about the Karavan product, but there are no negatives to employing aluminum for trailers.
 

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dont compare apples to rocks there are differant grades of allum.
 
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And all grades of aluminum have some problems. Aluminum isn't the best of materials. Can't beat it for a boat that has the possability of coming into contact with the bottom, but that is about it.

There's a major aluminum boat manufacture (name will be witheld) that's curently using the wrong grade of aluminum and there boats will vaporise when exposed to water (slowly in fresh water but much faster in saltwater, even if zinked).
 

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I upgraded to the aluminum trailer when I bought my North River. The trailer was built by them. So far, so good. Ive only had it 3 years though.

Advantages: wont rust, looks great polished.

Disadvantage: needs polishing to stay looking great.

Im no expert, but it seems aluminum would be better at "absorbing" stress than steel. Steel, being more brittle, seems like it would develop cracks easier, especially if its rusted.

[ 06-06-2003, 08:55 PM: Message edited by: Northriverman ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Northriverman,

Yeah...those NR aluminum trailers are super. I had one (dual axle...the works) for my NR 19' Sportster.

Nobody seems to mfg. anything like the NR trailer.

I looked at the Karavan today. It's utilitarian and I'll probably get it as it saves me 400# and I need to upgrade as my Zieman was underspeced from the dealer, not Zieman's fault.

Brion
 
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Northriverman,
Most steel is not brittle. Steel has a much higher tensile strength than the best aluminum. Some high carbon steels have over 100,000 PSI tensile strength.
 

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Keta is right. Check out all of the old threads on cracking aluminum boats. This isn't a new problem. For most people an aluminum boat will last a lifetime but I would be very careful about buying a retired guide boat.
D.
 
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