The $40 Allstate-ish Trailer Story
or skip ahead to the Technical rebuild
Our collection of trailers includes some uncommon and albeit rare single wheel trailers, but what we have needed was a work horse. An industrial trailer that was easy to hook up and could handle what ever we through at it. Something, that if it got dented, bruised, battered chipped or whatever, we wouldn't loose any sleep over it. The shop trailer. Reliable, sturdy, maybe not the most attractive, but won't let you down. So we needed a Shop Trailer to hook up when we need a little more space for hauling stuff. This is the story and build up of my $40 Allstate trailer. Here is how it started.
These were the first pictures I took upon investigating her new score.

The Story

So it's 4 pm Monday afternoon, and I'm at work when I get a frantic phone call from my then wife. She was returning home from a doctor's appointment (she was having back surgery at the end of the week). She started telling me about her drive home, but the tone of her voice, and the speed she was talking, started to make me nervous. I could feel my blood pressure rise as I thought something was wrong, seriously wrong...Then she said it. As it rolled off her lips, everything slowed down as if the conversation had been put in slow motion...


What do I do?" My concern for her, quickly became blurred as the realization of what she had just said began to set in. Slowly the color began returning to my face, the synapses began firing again and I started the questions.

"What trailer?"
"Where trailer?"
"Where are you?"
She gave me a brief breakdown of the events, but had to go as she was already at the ATM pulling out money to close the deal. Half an hour or so later, I got the call that I needed to pick up the trailer from the in-laws house after work. What just happened in the last half hour, while I was still trapped at at work. She just bought a single wheel trailer and my part of the deal was to pick it up and bring it home? WOW!

After work, with my mind still racing, I headed over to the in-laws, backed up our truck to theirs, and rolled the trailer into the bed of ours and headed home. She proceeded to fill in the blanks with the her story. She was trying to get on the freeway and was cut off, forcing her to either go up a ways and turn around or just take back roads home. She was pretty upset about being cut off and worried about her pending surgery, so she decided to head home on the back roads. It wasn't a bad drive, didn't add that much to the trip, and she thought it might clear her head a little, but she just wanted to be home. She was coming down the little two lane highway into town, when she passed a Suzuki Samari parked on the side of the road towing a Single wheel trailer. As she passed, the driver had just hung a For Sale sign on the trailer. She turned around at the next cross street, and as she pulled up, the driver of the trailer was still writing on the sign. She jumped out of her car and was approaching the driver. He had already written a $ a 4 and 0, and she was expecting him to continue writing the last zero onto the price before he turned around, but he turned around early. Unsure, she asked:
"How much do you want for the trailer?"
He replied "40 bucks."
Although she tried to play it cool, it wasn't happening, she ripped open her purse, and wallet and only found $25.

While she was pushing the money in the guys hands and telling him that she wanted it for what he was asking,

"Are you sure you don't want to talk to your husband?" followed

by "I don't know why anybody would even want this little thing."
Without batting an eyelash, and with a quick "I'll be right back!!!" she jumped back into her Tahoe, headed down to the Circle K, and she called me in a panic ... I JUST BOUGHT A SINGLE WHEEL TRAILER!!!...
As she filled me in, on her way to the ATM, I wanted to try and walk her through securing the trailer and closing the deal. She explained that before she left for Circle K, she already had the guys disconnect the trailer from the Samuri and hide it behind some bushes. She had her dad, and his truck on the way to pick up the trailer and had to get off the phone with me so she could run in and pull money out of the ATM.

After she hung up, I realized, she didn't need my help, and had this deal all polished up and gift wrapped.
A half hour or so later, I got the call that the trailer was all loaded up and safe in the back of her Dad's truck. I had our truck with me at work and was "instructed" to go over to the in laws when I got off and pick up "Her" new trailer. As soon as I pulled in the driveway, she was out there to see her new Prize and to fill me in on any of the little details ... And to gloat about her $40 score.

That's how it all started, adding a $40 trailer to our stable.

The Rebuild

The front, left, right and bottom where made out of foam board, which provided very little structure to the trailer, so those got removed. Next, we knocked out some of the metal clean up and removed a lot of brackets and metal that didn't fit into my plan.

There were some cool features that I did keep, like the wheel assembly lock that keeps the wheel assembly from spinning when you are moving the trailer by hand. I also kept the sleeves for the drop down wheels in the back. The front ones had to be moved to a more useable location.

Next the wheel assembly was up for repair. If you look close, there is rebar welded to the backside of the forks and the pivot shaft has metal shims welded in. In a nut shell, this wheel assembly is in BAAAADDD shape, and won't see the road again, but that's Ok as I already have a plan for it. That's another project for another time. Even the 2 part steel wheel was bent. As luck would have it, a few years ago, I bought an Allstate wheel assembly from an auto swap meet that was in great shape. Here is the replacement wheel assembly.

Rebuilding and Allstate Wheel Assembly

The tools needed for this rebuild are the following. Hammer, large crescent wrench, wire brush, lubricant (Liquid Wrench), Large flat head screw driver, and while it isn't necessary, an Impact Wrench comes in very handy
Below I tore apart the new wheel assembly. The Tear down of a wheel assembly is pretty simple. Originally the axle was a square head bolt with a square head nut. If it's been replaced with an axle and 2 nuts and has a cotter pin in each. Either way remove the cotter pin(s) from the axle. The square nut will require 2 large crescent wrenches. The axle will more than likely have to be taped with a hammer to get it out, allowing the wheel to be removed.