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Looking at a steel big text trailer or an aluminum trailer. I live in northern maine so in the winter it will get hit with salt and whatever else they put down now . The big tex steel trailer is 1700 plus tax and the mission aluminum is 2222 out the door cash. Money isnt the decider, I just thought I could repaint the steel if it rust, but the aluminum may start looking bad early since I cant preesure wash in winter. Thoughts?
 

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Looking at a steel big text trailer or an aluminum trailer. I live in northern maine so in the winter it will get hit with salt and whatever else they put down now . The big tex steel trailer is 1700 plus tax and the mission aluminum is 2222 out the door cash. Money isnt the decider, I just thought I could repaint the steel if it rust, but the aluminum may start looking bad early since I cant preesure wash in winter. Thoughts?
What will you be towing a trailer with? Saving a few lbs on trailer weight allows for heavier loads if that is a benefit for you by going with aluminum. I have seen some really nasty pontoon boats end up shining like new after a good chemical bath, if the aluminum trailer ends up looking rough I assume it would be easier to clean it rather than painting steel.
 

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What will you be towing a trailer with? Saving a few lbs on trailer weight allows for heavier loads if that is a benefit for you by going with aluminum. I have seen some really nasty pontoon boats end up shining like new after a good chemical bath, if the aluminum trailer ends up looking rough I assume it would be easier to clean it rather than painting steel.
I will be towing my two seater maverick and my 4 seater maverick, also my 1025r during winter months to snow blow and summer I do camp driveways with a box blade
 

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I'd go with the aluminum. Even with the ability to paint steel, it's still a PITA.
 

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I went through your dilemma. I did purchase a 14', 5000#, two axle, steel BigTex. Even though the tongue weight was perfect at 450#, the trailer wasn't long enough and I had to have the backhoe on my 1025R offset to the side. That's what happens when you order a trailer out of state without a test fit of equipment.

I sold the trailer the next year and bought an 18' BigTex, 7200# car hauler. That extra length gives me the wiggle room to get the proper tongue weight with the tractor and whatever else I might have loaded. A 16' trailer might have been sufficient, but I wasn't making the same mistake twice.

I was, at the time, towing with a Tacoma so my tongue weight was more critical than yours with the Tundra. I invested in a tongue scale to make sure I was within spec and it proved to be a good investment as six inches back or forth on the 14' trailer changed the tongue weight by 100#.

Depending on the year of your Tundra and if it has a towing package, it might have a pre-installed brake controller plug under the dash. If so, you can purchase a matching plug for whichever brake controller you decide to go with. I've been pretty happy with a Tekonsha Prodigy P2, I purchased from eTrailer.com. They also had the correct wiring adapter to fit my Tacoma.

In regards to steel or aluminum: Both trailers will have steel axles, springs, brakes, coupler and maybe wheels, which will need attention after the winter. On the steel trailer with a wooden deck, there isn't much else that needs more than routine maintenance. BigTex have a pretty solid paint job and I have no rust so far.
 

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In regards to steel or aluminum: Both trailers will have steel axles, springs, brakes, coupler and maybe wheels, which will need attention after the winter.
We had an aluminum horse trailer for many years. In the end the trailer itself looked great. The steel axles, brakes, coupler and wheels, not so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I went through your dilemma. I did purchase a 14', 5000#, two axle, steel BigTex. Even though the tongue weight was perfect at 450#, the trailer wasn't long enough and I had to have the backhoe on my 1025R offset to the side. That's what happens when you order a trailer out of state without a test fit of equipment.

I sold the trailer the next year and bought an 18' BigTex, 7200# car hauler. That extra length gives me the wiggle room to get the proper tongue weight with the tractor and whatever else I might have loaded. A 16' trailer might have been sufficient, but I wasn't making the same mistake twice.

I was, at the time, towing with a Tacoma so my tongue weight was more critical than yours with the Tundra. I invested in a tongue scale to make sure I was within spec and it proved to be a good investment as six inches back or forth on the 14' trailer changed the tongue weight by 100#.

Depending on the year of your Tundra and if it has a towing package, it might have a pre-installed brake controller plug under the dash. If so, you can purchase a matching plug for whichever brake controller you decide to go with. I've been pretty happy with a Tekonsha Prodigy P2, I purchased from eTrailer.com. They also had the correct wiring adapter to fit my Tacoma.

In regards to steel or aluminum: Both trailers will have steel axles, springs, brakes, coupler and maybe wheels, which will need attention after the winter. On the steel trailer with a wooden deck, there isn't much else that needs more than routine maintenance. BigTex have a pretty solid paint job and I have no rust so far.
Thanks man...I do have a tow package 5.7 trd off rd. Not skilled in tongue weight so I need to do some studying. All I have ever hauled in my side by sides on my 6x12. Really appreciate your info.
 

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Thanks man...I do have a tow package 5.7 trd off rd. Not skilled in tongue weight so I need to do some studying. All I have ever hauled in my side by sides on my 6x12. Really appreciate your info.
That's good! It's very likely you already have the wiring harness and controller plug installed. Mine is a white molex looking plug that was tied up under the left side of the dash between the emergency brake and the side wall. You should be able to determine the exact location of yours by visiting a Tundra or towing forum and as mentioned, eTrailer.com has a fitment walk-through that will help you match your truck to the proper wiring adapter for the brake controller. If you're really lucky, there may be a video of a controller install in your actual vehicle.
 

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Thanks man...I do have a tow package 5.7 trd off rd. Not skilled in tongue weight so I need to do some studying. All I have ever hauled in my side by sides on my 6x12. Really appreciate your info.
If you have the tow package then all the wiring is already in place. When I setup my Tundra to tow my camper all I needed to add was the brake controller and a $12 cable that adapted the brake controller to a plug that is located under the dash in the center right near the 12v cigarette lighter outlets. The biggest problem I had was finding a decent place to mount the controller. You can hook the whole thing up in under 10 minutes.
 

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With an aluminum trailer, you have to be very cognizant of the actual build of the trailer itself and understanding ANYWHERE that dissimilar metals may come into contact with each other. I've see tons of issues with various aluminum trailers that corroded themselves to an early grave because dissimilar metals were not properly isolated from each other. And, in addition to the higher purchase cost, there's a much higher repair cost if something corrodes and needs to be replaced.

Personally, I would go with a steel trailer and have it "undercoated" with Line-X or similar.
 

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If you have the tow package then all the wiring is already in place. When I setup my Tundra to tow my camper all I needed to add was the brake controller and a $12 cable that adapted the brake controller to a plug that is located under the dash in the center right near the 12v cigarette lighter outlets. The biggest problem I had was finding a decent place to mount the controller. You can hook the whole thing up in under 10 minutes.
This was one of the things that prompted me to buy my new '09 F-150 - the first year or their integrated factory brake controller. I had the good Prodigy(?) controller in my previous truck which worked well - but no comparison to the factory integrated one I have now. Not only seamless smooth operatiom, but the trailer brakes become part of the trucks braking system as far as the computer including the sway control.
 

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This was one of the things that prompted me to buy my new '09 F-150 - the first year or their integrated factory brake controller. I had the good Prodigy(?) controller in my previous truck which worked well - but no comparison to the factory integrated one I have now. Not only seamless smooth operatiom, but the trailer brakes become part of the trucks braking system as far as the computer including the sway control.
Had a Prodigy P3 in my '11 Tundra and it worked great. With the tow package, install was super simple although finding a place to mount it wasn't easy.
 

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Can't speak for trailers but I will say that I have driven a dually 1 ton Chevy for 35 years and after making 3 steel beds and dealing with rust and paint on steel I made an aluminum bed about 300,000 miles ago. It oxidizes in a year or two and has looked the same ever since. You do have to isolate dissimilar metals as mentioned above as well as some pt wood and aluminum but i would do it again in a heartbeat and personally I like the look.
 

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Looking at a steel big text trailer or an aluminum trailer. I live in northern maine so in the winter it will get hit with salt and whatever else they put down now . The big tex steel trailer is 1700 plus tax and the mission aluminum is 2222 out the door cash. Money isnt the decider, I just thought I could repaint the steel if it rust, but the aluminum may start looking bad early since I cant preesure wash in winter. Thoughts?
How much of a weight difference is there between the trailers. Aluminum should give you more payload capacity.
 

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How much of a weight difference is there between the trailers. Aluminum should give you more payload capacity.
I know (back when) with horse trailers, you didn't see a weight savings until you got into the MUCH larger trailers. Our two place aluminum trailer was actually heavier than a comparable steel trailer.
 

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As someone who builds aluminum trailers 5 days a week, I feel like I should jump in with one other point: workmanship. Not to sound pompous, but aluminum is a difficult material to work with. Done properly, an aluminum trailer will be just as strong, if not stronger than a comparable steel one. However, one that it poorly welded is junk. Welds that look skinny and lumpy are cold and weak because they did not fully penetrate into the base material. If you see lots of welds that look like this, walk away and get a steel trailer instead.

Also, aluminum does in fact rust. That's what the white/gray chalky stuff is; aluminum-oxide. Unlike steel, once the surface of a piece of aluminum is covered in oxide and shielded by it from the atmosphere, the 'rusting' process stops. Power washing or acid washing makes it look shiney for a while, but it also scrubs off the protective layer of rust and exposes the bare metal underneath. Sorry, I used to be a professor. :mocking:


If it was me, I'd get a steel trailer. I also tend to mildly abuse my trailers and I have a 3/4ton diesel to tow them with. :nunu:
 

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I feel that Gizmo and Evergreen make great points here, too.

And, in line with Evergreen's comments, you have to give consideration to what it will take to "mod" a trailer. One of the most common things I see folks do with trailers is add D-rings for tie-downs because the manufacturers almost never put stake pockets or rings where you actually need them. On an aluminum trailer, you have a much smaller pool of resources that you can go to to get mods done that involve welding, and you have to be very wary of the quality of their workmanship.

Adding rings to a steel trailer is a commodity type of job. There are guys all over the place that can do a great job adding rings. Maybe you even have the tools and skills to do it yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Drinking beer at smith power sports in fort yesterday and he told me he would sell me his big tex trailer he had used 3 times in 2 years. Trailer was always kept inside and he also mounted a tool box on the front, has the spare tire and tire mount. Also has all the tire downs needed and a bottle jack for a flat. Hqs pull out side ramps which I like cause I think that mesh would have bent probably with my tractor. Anyway 2300 takes it. Trailer was 3100 new. THOUGHTS?
 

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Take it. That's a helluva deal!
 
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