I remember the first day that I brought my new 6X12 single axle enclosed cargo trailer home. I thought to myself…man this thing is HUGE! I could put all my gear into it and I still had room. It was such a big step up from my flatdeck trailer. The best thing about the Battle Beast is that I can lock it up and secure the contents.
I could not imagine hunting without an enclosed trailer now. When snow goose hunting it is great to have our blinds, decoys, and other equipment in one spot. This week I had @cabotheduckdog asking questions of trailers and asking people what they use. I replied to him that I could not imagine hauling anything larger than the one I have. The 7X14 dual axle trailers are nice but I know I would beat the crap out of it and get it stuck. My single axle has a higher ground clearance and smaller turning radius as well. For what I do and where I hunt a bigger trailer would be a liability not an asset.
If you don’t have experience with enclosed cargo trailers and are looking at getting one I will pass on my experiences to you. Firstly these trailers were NOT designed for off- road use. Guess where I take this trailer of mine? Now we use this trailer for 40-75 hunts a year. I will drive this unit along gravel roads and secondary highways for hundreds of miles. I will take mine through mud and onto fields. It sees snow, salt, mud, and sand on the roads. To sum it up, this trailer sees high use and has abuse inflicted thrown upon it as well.
I purchased a Mirage enclosed 6X12 trailer mainly due to cost. It was a better deal than the other trailers I found at the time. I was able to pick it up for $3100 CAD. After running this trailer for years I think that I have spent that much on parts and maintenance. Here again they were not designed for off-road use. I will go over what I have had to replace or fix.
I have replaced the original jack 2 times now. I have had them seize up and have replaced them at $40 each from Princess Auto . Lyle was driving my truck and towing my trailer in a field once. He took the truck to park it after we setup our decoy spread. He noticed that as he walked back to the spread there was this wierd line in the middle of the tire tracks. Well the trailer popped off the hitch and he dragged the trailer on the jack for 1/4 mile. At least it wasn’t expensive to fix.
This trailer eats tires fast. I may have bent the axle at some time. I need to replace the tires every 1- 1 1/2 years. I have found that it doesn’t make much difference on brand or tread pattern. This trailer has 14″ tires and they are pricier than 15″ tires. I have put on 4 sets of tires at $350 CAD per pair. I am switching to a 15″ set which will be way cheaper.
I have a set of quick lube bearings. This allows easy grease applications and I will annually repack each axles with a tube and a half of premium axle grease removing all the old stuff. I switch colours from RED to BROWN as it helps me determine when all the dirty grease is out. I will change this in the summer when the grease is warmer and runnier. I will put about a 1/4 tube of grease into the bearings before our spring season. I will make sure the dust covers are in good shape.. I run this trailer on a lot of dirt and gravel roads so I religiously keep the axle grease clean.
I have had to replace both of the original shiny aluminum fenders. On a muddy week of hunting I had so much mud on the bottom of the fenders, they both tore off under the weight of that crap mud. I had to leave the trailer at my aunt’s place for a month and get some replacement fenders attached to drive it home. The replacement steel fenders aren’t as pretty as my shiny old aluminium ones but they are NOT going to fall off due to mud.
From the pictures shown you will see lots of dents in this trailer. This thing is an insurance write off due to gold ball sized hail that pounded my house and trailer 4 years back. There was no penetrating blows but it does looks machine gunned! I would like to believe that this provides better aero-dynamics like the dimpling on a golf-ball.
The trailer skins are very thin. With all the gravel roads, salt, and sand on our roads the lower rocker panels of the trailer disintegrated. I could put my finger through the skin of the trailer. I purchased some checker-plating and installed it on the lower rocker panels. I am thinking that I will add this same checker plate to the entire front of the trailer one day. If I could not find a trailer that had this checker-plating already on it, I would install this myself. This is a big deal I believe.
This trailer has an 8-pin connector even though it does not have trailer brakes. I have replaced the trailer connector 4 times. I have used metal ones and the hardened plastic ones as well. The cold seems to do a number on them. Also I have had 2 times where my hunting pals have stepped on the wiring trying to get into the truck bed. I always get nervous seeing people step over the hitch.
I have had to redo a little of the wiring especially the ground connection. That just comes from heavy use.
I was asked about whether I wanted a rear ramp door or barn doors. I choose barn doors because I do not have enough space to open a ramp door and not hit my house. I do not haul quads and stuff. I do have ramps that I can use to load one up if I had to load a quad in this trailer. The only negative that I have found with barn doors is that thee doors can blow around in the prairie winds we get. I do have door fastening hardware installed to stop the the doors from ripping off in the wind. A ramp door would eliminate that issue.
Having a side man door is essential. I store items that I need to access near this side door. I try as well to leave a little space up front in case I need to throw a few last minute items in.
I am sure glad that I own this Battle Beast. It’s not pretty any more but it still gets the job done. I thought about upgrading this trailer a few years back but that new trailer would get beat on in no time. My guess as long as the old beast holds together I will keep dragging it down our country roads seeking waterfowl to hunt.