Moving an Old Repurposed Trailer When You’re Flat Broke

Moving An Old Repurposed Trailer When You're Flat Broke - This Country Home

This past weekend we moved our new storage shed to our property. It was originally an old cargo trailer that was repurposed into a shed. It had been sitting vacant on a relatives place and needed to be cleared off the property. We knew it was going to take a little work, but since we can’t afford to drop $5000 on a new shed, we figured this would be a great substitute. Before I tell you how we moved this repurposed trailer though, let me add a little disclaimer. I do not recommend this being your go to way when moving an old trailer.

If you’re moving your trailer any great distance, I definitely recommend shelling out the money and buying the proper parts. To do this the right way, you would need to buy 4 new tires with wheels that matched the axles. We did NOT do this the right way, but we made use of what we had on hand and made it work. We were also moving this trailer only a very short distance on county roads.  With that being said, I’m gonna tell you how we moved our old repurposed trailer.

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Moving An Old Repurposed Trailer When You're Flat Broke - This Country Home

How to Move an Old Repurposed Trailer When You’re Flat Broke

Our biggest obstacle with moving this trailer was the lack of usable tires. Luckily there were 4 tires with wheels on the property that had 4 holes (same as the axles) They also appeared to be a very close fit both for the tire and the wheel itself. Dan aired them up and even though they did slowly leak, they held air well enough that we decided we could get them 3 miles to our house. And it was good news when we took a closer look at the trailer and one of the two remaining tires was holding air. We’d only need 3 replacement tires!

Dan lifting the left side of the trailer with a handyman. Always be very careful when using one of these they are prone to slipping at the worst possible moment.

We took a floor jack and a handyman (handymans are scary, so be careful if you’re gonna use one!) and very carefully raised the side that needed two tires. Dan put the tire up to the axle and . . . #@*& rats! It didn’t quite fit. So we stepped back and regrouped. The problem was, we only had one day to move this thing and didn’t have the time or funds to find exact wheels. (Again, I’m gonna reiterate, I don’t recommend trying this unless you’re in dire straits!) So we measured the hole and found that we were less than 1/4 inch off. Dan made the decision to trim the wheels to fit the axle. We had full use of the shop and were able to find a die cutter that could grind the holes to the correct size. Once Dan ground the wheel hole and all 4 bolt holes I was able to line the wheel up to the trailer and tighten all 4 bolt holes down. We did this for both tires on the left side. We then decided to move the trailer forward about 20 feet to more even ground and finish up.

Moving An Old Repurposed Trailer When You're Flat Broke - This Country Home
See those wheels? They’re gonna be a problem before we’re done

Frozen in Our Tracks

Dan hopped on the tractor, fired it up and . . . the darn trailer wheels wouldn’t turn! We knew they weren’t frozen, because the axle had turned freely prior to the wheels being tightened down. We lifted the other side to see if we would have the same problem with the remaining wheel. I set it on the axle, got the bolts lined up, tightened it down and . . . it froze too. So I started feeling around on the back, and while it didn’t look like it should be touching there was a spot where it was rubbing up against the inner fender well.

Moving An Old Repurposed Trailer When You're Flat Broke - This Country Home
See the tracks in the dirt? The wheels on the left side were completely frozen
Moving An Old Repurposed Trailer When You're Flat Broke - This Country Home
Dan tightening down the wheels after I’d flipped them

After quickly tossing around some ideas, cause it was getting late & we were tired but way to stubborn to give up; we decided to try putting the wheels on backwards. This would mean that airing up the tires one last time would be a pain but hopefully the wheels wouldn’t rub. While Dan was using the portable air tank to air up all the tires, I loosened bolts and flipped tires around. As a side note, I can’t tell you how many times our portable air tank has come in handy.  If you live in a rural area or any where for that matter, I really recommend purchasing one just to have on hand!  This one is very similar to ours (affiliate link).  On the left side, I threaded the bolts and Dan quickly tightened them down. Yet once again Dan started up the tractor and this time all tires rolled free and clear! We pulled around to the shop, aired up the tires one last time (one leaked faster than we anticipated!) and headed for home!

Homeward Bound

Moving An Old Repurposed Trailer When You're Flat Broke - This Country Home

We only had about 3 miles to go all of which were on dirt or country roads. By the time we got to the end of our relative’s driveway the tire on the right side was almost flat. Luckily though the original tire was holding air like a champ and we made it all the way home with no issues. Dan already had a spot cleared and was able to right in. We’d decided to use a tractor to pull it in and set it because we have a lot of sagebrush and really didn’t want to rip off a bumper on 1 of our trucks. This last part was a piece of cake and we had the whole thing set in less than 10 minutes.

Moving An Old Repurposed Trailer When You're Flat Broke - This Country Home
Our new-to-us shed in its final resting place!

So to conclude our sketchy adventure, yes you can move an old repurposed trailer with used tires that don’t match quite right and don’t hold air. I wouldn’t really recommend it though, especially if you have the funds to buy new tires or heck, a brand new shed.

What sketchy, questionable things have you done recently?


What sketchy, questionable things have you done recently?!

Moving An Old Repurposed Trailer When You're Flat Broke - This Country Home


6 Replies to “Moving an Old Repurposed Trailer When You’re Flat Broke”

  1. You guys are very resourceful! Great story!

  2. Great article and photos!! I wish more people were resourceful as you !

    1. Why thank you! I do too, hopefully our sketchy adventures will inspire resourcefulness in folks 😁. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. Love your story! I would also suggest to keep a can of fix- a- flat on hand . It saved me when I had the horse trailer 20 miles down a forest service road with no spare and no cell service!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I agree fix a flat always comes in handy, especially when you’re in the middle of no where!

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