I used a NT 5x8 frame and extended it 18" to 9'6". I just got a couple more pieces of frame cut and welded them. I used the smaller cross members to run inside the side rails for strength. Now I'm dealing with moving the axle forward. From the factory the axle is center at 42" from the back. Now my frame is 114" long so I centered the axle 54" from the back. I'm very happy with the way it worked out. Now I just need to finish the trailer.
That's my plan, for a few reasons:
1.) I priced a custom welded 5x8 frame, and cheapest estimates came in around $1200 - just for a custom frame - no axle, tires, wheels, lights, coupler, etc. JUST A CUSTOM FRAME - STEEL AND LABOR
2.) I can get a Northern Tool kit for less than $500. Add $280 for a Dexter torsion axle, $300 for larger wheels/tires (that I was planning on anyway), and that all still comes in less than the best custom frame estimate.
3.) A custom frame does not come with a certificate of origin, so registration/titling would be a pain in the a$$. Northern Tool is just like HF and gives you a MCO, and the trailer already has a VIN.
4.) Although the NT frame doesn't have some of the features that I had figured into the custom frame, I can still achieve everything that I wanted to - but using different methods. Overall geometry is still the same.
Before anyone asks.... yes, I got multiple estimates on my custom frame design: two places came in at $1200, another at $1400, and one at $2400 (dumba$$es).[/quote]