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Handy Hauler: Carson Trailer

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on October 1, 2010
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There are times when you simply need more cargo capacity than the bed of a fullsize pickup can offer. For example, at the weeklong 2010 King of the Hammers event our staff packed many more desert survival amenities than anyone anticipated. What can we say? We're comfort-spoiled. With coolers, firewood, and toolboxes occupying nearly every inch of bed space in our Ram 3500 loaner truck, we wondered how the Husqvarna side-by-side we borrowed as a photography support rig was going to get out to The Hammers with us. At least that's what we thought until we inquired about a new utility trailer from Carson Trailer. Carson has been manufacturing trailers for more than 20 years, and thanks to an extensive dealer network in the western U.S., their products are readily available whenever and wherever the need arises.

The Carson utility trailer was well suited to handle our needs for hauling our Husky side-by-side to Johnson Valley. The rear ramp door made the loading and unloading process a breeze.

We tested Carson's latest utility offering, a 6.5x12-foot, single-axle trailer that is set up perfectly for side-by-sides and other small powersports equipment. We were impressed with what you get for the price. The unit we tested featured an all-steel ladder-style frame with a sturdy and light-weight wood plank deck, which made it super easy to maneuver or hitch up by hand. We love the full-width ramp gate constructed of a 1x2-inch boxed rectangular steel frame structure supported by three internal braces for added strength. The expanded steel ramp surface decreases wind drag while stowed and increases traction for use. For wet conditions like the ones we encountered at KOH, this made the whole loading process a point-and-shoot affair. The 12-inch high-angle iron side rails ensured that our Husky side-by-side would remain on-board if any of our tie-downs were to slip off along the way. This gave us great confidence while negotiating the bumpy dirt access road to Johnson Valley. We like the fact that every Carson trailer can be custom-ordered with a whole assortment of user-friendly options including 16 different colors. Overall, Carson utility trailers are the perfect solution to those who desire a hard-working utility trailer at an exceptional value.

Our test trailer came with rectangular side marker lights to aid with driver confidence during night driving scenarios. We're told that a LED upgrade is optional.

Manufacturer: Carson Trailer
Classification: Standard Utility with Ramp Gate
Price as tested: $1,255
Cargo deck dimensions (ft): 6.5 x 12
GVWR (lb): 2,990
Axle type: Spring idler axle (3,500 lb)
Tires: 15-in 4-ply
Wheels: 15-in steel
Coupler: 2-in A-frame
Tongue jack capacity (lb): 2,000
Finish: Industrial-grade water-based paint

Available Options
If you need more beef, more capability, or more options than what you see here, Carson can build you a single-axle trailer like ours with any or all of the following items:

  • 5 x 3-in angle frame
  • 3- or 4-ft raised sides
  • 5,200-lb axles
  • 25/16-in ball coupler
  • 10-in electric or hydraulic brakes
  • 2-in square tube top rail
  • Ramps (4-ft) and/or ramp storage
  • Tailgate (3- or 4-ft)
  • Barn-door gates
  • Tie-down pockets
  • 14-ga steel sheet deck
  • 1/8-in diamond-plate deck
  • 1,000-lb-rated fold-up jack
  • Spare tire & wheel and/or spare mount
  • Dropped axle
  • Winch mount
  • Jet-ski box
  • Tie-down hooks
  • Chrome wheels
  • Pintle eye
  • Wraparound tongue
  • Diamond-plate fender brackets

The value of a simple latching mechanism is usually underappreciated. When you experience problems while on the road, simpler is often better. The style of latch Carson uses is as basic as they come, yet it provides an idiot-proof method for securing the expanded steel ramp gate. We like the fact that despite its simplicity, you can still lock the gate shut with a regular padlock.


Carson Trailer
Gardena, CA 90248

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