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Discussion Starter #1
I did not want to steal anyone's threads, so I decided to start a new one.

This is my foldable, Harbor Freight trailer. It is 4x8, on 12" wheels. Very light, rolls easily.
It sits at about 18" hence the tall raise of the tongue.


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I used 5-flat along with the standard 4-flat. The 5-flat uses separate signal for turn signals from brake lights. I love this in Bolt (had same thing in 2009 Hyundai Elantra, 2015 and 2016 KIA Forte5 SX, then 2014 Fiat 500e, and now 2019 Bolt).
Since the trailer is all LED, the current load is low enough to be powered directly from the cars harness.
The 4 flat is also connected, in same place (the signal is separated later) and powered extra from the battery.

On the trailer - there are two separate wiring sets - the 5 flat going directly to the lights and the 4-flat that actually goes through "separator" (shown in one of the pictures). Then they merge before the lights, so either 4 or 5 flat will still let the turn signals power up. And also, see below, there are "control lights" so that I can see in the mirror if the lights are operating. To distinguish stop from corner light, I added a resistor. Kill me, I do not recall what size it was :)

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The final part is the storage.
The trailer sits upright. Or actually on its back, or rear. My garage is 14' tall, so I got enough room.
There are 4 pulleys, two on the top for each side connecting to the far front end of the bed, and two on the bottom where the steel line merges both sides and one center line pulls the weight. The pulling force is... the car. I am planning on adding a winch, but I do not really have the time.

Pivot point - two pieces of rounded post (those kind of 4x4) locked in place by a bolt and magnet holds each piece in place.


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Discussion Starter #3
And in the background you can see winter wheels for the Audi and rims for Bolt with spare wheel for the trailer on the very top.
 

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Nice! I have the same trailer, though I don't have a hitch on the Bolt yet. I keep pinching or snapping the wiring when I fold or unfold it for storage.

BTW, one picture looks like there is no safety pin in the hitch coupler lever. I'm guessing you do use that, but just wanted to mention that the safety pin is very important.
 

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Very nice!

Harbor Freight has another trailer very similar that folds in half that they call "folding". It has small castors to move it around the garage when upright, though the castors are garbage and should be replaced by higher quality ones. I repacked the bearings as the instructions recommended because the grease it comes with is to prevent rust, not to be used on the highway.

It took me ages to assemble my trailer, probably 16 hours total. So many bolts. For my sidewalls, I cut them out so they fit into the stake pockets. If you don't do this and simply affix them to the stakes, then it encroaches into the bed of the trailer and then you just barely can't fit 4x8 material with the walls on.

I too wired directly to the light harness using taps since I utilized LEDs, so the power draw was low enough. That said, throw the Harbor freight wire directly into the garbage. They rot out very quickly no matter what environment you're in. Seriously, don't even bother with the junk. I'd use speaker wire I have laying around next time. Consider conduit to help prevent pinches (on the folding unit).

Those lights are awesome. The square plastic LED lights Harbor Freight sells are so fragile. You'll brake them off accidentally walking into them. This setup is ideal as the lights are surrounded by metal. Trust me, better to pay a little extra and only install the lights once instead of 4x.

Oh, and if you get the folding one, figure out a way to latch the 2 halves together. I've dropped a side probably 5 times on accident, and fortunately haven't killed anyone.



 

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I purchased an aluminum 5-foot by 8-foot trailer with removable sides very similar to the OP. Kept breaking my lights so I attached a rear light strip designed for pick-up trucks to the bottom of the rear frame and added two wires so that the trailer would also have backup lights. Mounted the license plate directly to the rear frame and two white LED lights. It works well except the trailer floats when trying to load a small boat onto the trailer.
 

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Thanks for posting this. I've been thinking of getting the same trailer. The only reason I still have my van is to haul stuff, and I occasionally have to transport 6 adults. A trailer solves the hauling, but not the 6 adult situation. Unless someone wants to ride on the trailer. 😁
 

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Discussion Starter #8
BTW, one picture looks like there is no safety pin in the hitch coupler lever. I'm guessing you do use that, but just wanted to mention that the safety pin is very important.
It is there and I use it.
Look closely on the coupler closeup picture. The pin is inserted in the handle.

I took the pictures sometime in May or so... and took me this long to post them :D
I pulled the trailer out to wash it after I used it a few times on winter. So for the purpose of washing and simply attaching to the car I did NOT use the pin. I am sorry. :D

Yes, I use it each time. I did not get into upgrading it yet, but I eventually will.

Very nice!

Harbor Freight has another trailer very similar that folds in half that they call "folding". It has small castors to move it around the garage when upright, though the castors are garbage and should be replaced by higher quality ones. I repacked the bearings as the instructions recommended because the grease it comes with is to prevent rust, not to be used on the highway.
It is exactly same one.
When I moved into this house over two years ago - I am like, heck, I can pull the trailer all the way up.
Yes, the casters are garbage. I used much larger ones, but then they, at certain angle, would rub on the frame.

Wiring - corroded and was way too short.

The LEDs I put in here are Optronics. Very good quality, a bit expensive, but very BRIGHT.
That was the problem I found with some cheaper ones - stop was barely brighter than parking lights.
Those now are very strong. Pictures do not really present that.


What I hated the most when putting the trailer together was the lack in torque numbers. I was not sure how strong I should pull the nuts.
Grease was replaced with red/pink synthetic bearing grease.
And after they had the wheels recall, the new ones can go over 70 mph on highway.
I never pulled it faster than 80 (empty a few times, using KIA, not Bolt :D). When loaded - depending on the weight - up to 60 mph.
 

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Well done, who needs a truck?! I've heard that the Harbor Freight trailers can be bouncy and weird. How has the towing behavior been for you?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well done, who needs a truck?! I've heard that the Harbor Freight trailers can be bouncy and weird. How has the towing behavior been for you?
Believe me. Some cannot stand the fact that a small car can tow...
One day I was picking up 36 rolls of R-13 insulation (3 packs of 12 rolls). Not too heavy, but bulky. It was back in October 2019 or so.
At the time I had 2014 Fiat 500e.

Guys from Lowes started coming out to take a picture of this **** setup. They could not believe I can put this much on a trailer and pull it with 2-door electric Fiat.
Standard stuff - smiles, jokes, and other crap.


As for behaviour.
No, not really. Not with any car. Except actually Bolt.
From time to time I experience this kind of bouncing/jerking (feels like the trailer pushes then pulls, back and forth). Happens with any load (even empty) and almost any speeds - it is at almost like steady speed, a bit slowing down. Not when accelerating or when braking. It feels fine. Just the transition like point.
I think it has to do with the tongue height and the hitch design. A lever is created and it makes this unique jerkiness.

I just installed a hitch on the Q5, so I will test if the trailer is to blame, or the hitch.

As for the trailer - a bit noisy (the suspension is loud - by design - when pulling empty trailer).
 

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One day I was picking up 36 rolls of R-13 insulation (3 packs of 12 rolls). Not too heavy, but bulky. It was back in October 2019 or so. Guys from Lowes started coming out to take a picture of this **** setup. They could not believe I can put this much on a trailer and pull it with 2-door electric Fiat.
Geez, it's not like you were picking up gyprock. Hauling a trailer full of insulation is like hauling an empty trailer.
 

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PLP, I'm going to piggyback on your thread as I have some questions. I'm going to get the small 1090 lb Harbor Freight trailer as it will fit in my garage easily and is big enough for what I need to haul.

I'm thinking of going with the Draw-tite hitch as I like the additional supports it has.

How much rise did you use for your hitch?

It appears that the lights on the small 1090 lb trailer are incandescent, but I'll either convert to LED or buy LED lights. Especially if this makes it easy to just splice into the existing wiring.

From what I understand, you just tapped directly into the harness wiring and didn't use any type of controller? I have no problem soldering into the existing wiring, I do stuff like this almost every day.

If I just want tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals, is a 4 wire connector sufficient, or will I need more to get turn signals enabled? It looks like the trailer has tail and side marker lights, and turn/stop lights. I don't know how accurate the wiring diagram in the manual is, but I've attached it below.
trailer wiring.jpg
 

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Anybody know where I can get a wiring schematic of my 2017 Bolt?

Right here:


Credit to the user posting it.
I also worked based off his work. I verified it on my own and the work is correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
How much rise did you use for your hitch?
Mine is a 5" rise for the total of about 17-18" for the trailer.

It appears that the lights on the small 1090 lb trailer are incandescent, but I'll either convert to LED or buy LED lights. Especially if this makes it easy to just splice into the existing wiring.
All of them have the cheap incandescent lighting system...
I got Optronics 1 Pair Trailer RED LED Stop Turn Tail Light 6" Oval Surface Mount 10 LED

Quite expensive, but very good results. I tried several different styles and the two biggest problems were always overall brightness and difference between parking and stop lights.

From what I understand, you just tapped directly into the harness wiring and didn't use any type of controller? I have no problem soldering into the existing wiring, I do stuff like this almost every day.

If I just want tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals, is a 4 wire connector sufficient, or will I need more to get turn signals enabled? It looks like the trailer has tail and side marker lights, and turn/stop lights. I don't know how accurate the wiring diagram in the manual is, but I've attached it below.
Well, yeas and no.
I tapped directly to the car wiring as shown in the post quoted above. Very good source.
Very shitty access to turn signal wires, unless you are ready to remove half of the rear.
I soldered my wires around the harness. No splicing... they always tend to go bad after a while.
Then, all the separate wires turn into 5-wire setup with a parallel system going to the 4-flat with a controller.
Basically - you must connect turn signals, stop, and parking separately. Just the way the car is. Then, all those 4 wires (plus ground, hence 5) I split - one set goes at 5-flat, the other goes to the controller that produces 4-flat.

My trailer is ready for both: 4 and 5 flat. Mine 5-flat is a specific one, so this is only for me.
The 4-flat is for any other car that would tow my trailer. However, I used the 118158 converter to split 4-flat into... 5-flat anyway.
So, any car that has 4-flat would still produce separate turn signal from brake light on my trailer.

The only exception is HAZARD turn signals. When those are activated (through the 4-flat converter) stop lights will blink instead. I can live with that.


You cannot use any incandescent on the trailer if you are tapping straight to the car wiring. Cars computer monitors current and LED will fly just under to be fine, but any tungsten will trigger light warning.

And get extra cable... as the clips they provide are shitty.
 
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I soldered my wires around the harness. No splicing... they always tend to go bad after a while.
Just to clarify, did you strip a section of insulation then solder to the bare wire? That's what I'm envisioning you did.

I plan on using a 4 flat. Brake, tail, and turn should be fine for the little trailer I'm using. It will be for runs to the hardware store or to occasionally haul a pinball machine. Nothing too far or too heavy. Edit: The lights it came with are LED! :D

I have my hitch ordered and I picked up the trailer today. I just need to figure out the lighting, and of course install everything and put it together.

Thanks for the help!
 

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Just to clarify, did you strip a section of insulation then solder to the bare wire? That's what I'm envisioning you did.
Correct. Using a blade, gently cut ALONG the wire and then carefully remove about 5 mm section of the insulation. Of course, any wires close to each other were staggered.
Solder looped wire with twisted ends (not sure how to explain - loop around and then twist on the end). If possible - used shrink to insulate. Some wires could be removed from the source to help put the shrink...

Edit: The lights it came with are LED! :D
That is awesome. It saves a lot of work and money.
I think I spent on the lights and related about 150 or so. Wiring (two sets) converter, LEDs, corner LEDs, reflective rings, and so on and on.
 
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Correct. Using a blade, gently cut ALONG the wire and then carefully remove about 5 mm section of the insulation.
That's what I've done in the past and what I was going to do. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. Thanks.

Since it came with LEDs, and I'm going to store it inside, I'm going to use what came with the trailer. I think it will hold up fine for how I'm going to use it. If it was going to be sitting outside all the time I might want to beef up things a little more.
 
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