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Old 05-24-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
SpudRacer
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Default Kaufman Trailers (bargain, but buy with caution)

I'm trying not to complain about my brand new Kaufman trailer, but that thing is not built very well. I washed it 2 weeks ago for the first time, getting it ready for PCB, and found a couple things wrong with it:
1. One of the wheel bearing covers has a 1cm x 1cm hole in it from a heavy blow from the outside. I can't tow it this way, or all the grease is going to fly out the hole, and I'll be stuck along the roadside with a frozen wheel bearing.
2. When I got it home from picking it up, I couldn't pull out the "breakaway pin" which sets the electric brakes. I felt like a whimp, but couldn't get it out no matter how hard I pulled. I eventually just drove the jeep away from it, and the pin broke in half. I had Kaufman mail me a new breakaway pin and receptacle. When I pulled the old one out, I discovered it was all melted inside (hence the melted pin wasn't going anywhere). I then checked the voltage at the battery... found only 0.5V (should be 12V). Terrific... I ordered a new battery at my expense even though the whole trailer should be under warranty for a full year because I didn't have time to wait on them to mail me one, and then installed the replacement breakaway receptacle and pin. All seemed well when I hooked up the battery, until I pulled out the breakaway pin, suddenly smoke started pouring out of the receptacle and the wiring to the battery started heating up. Got it disconnected before I lost another battery.

Kaufman seemed to be dragging their feet helping me get these problems resolved. Today I was finally able to get a hold of the warranty man and told him the sole reason for getting this trailer was my upcoming trip to Florida, and if they can't get this brand new (yet broken) trailer fixed in time, they can come pick it up and reimburse me my $3200. Now I have a replacement breakaway box/pin and a new bearing cover coming overnight. Won't help much with the brakes though, I need a wiring diagram and some troubleshooting charts to figure out which part in the electric brakes is bad, or what was miswired so I can fix it before installing the new brakeaway pin.

Will say the trailer looks great, but the wiring is just terrible with too many short cuts. There is no looming over the wires, and the bare wires run through holes drilled in metal with no grommets or protection whatsoever. I started at the back, and have been installing grommets and looming over everything. Also, whenever they had to splice two wires together, they twist them, then install a crimp sleeve. Fine for about a year to get them through the warranty, but expose this to water and salt, and you can kiss most of this wiring goodbye. I've been cutting out all the crimps, and heatshrinking over soldered wires before stuffing them in looms. Should last much longer. Most of the D-rings are already rusted, so I'm cleaning them up, and coating them with a rust encapsulator before top coating them with some Eastwoods "Underhood Black" which is about 80% gloss. Looking much better.

OK, done complaining. (sorry for the whining Jeff) Just want any potential buyers to beware, these are nice looking trailers, and are a real bargin, but when you get it home, go over it from head to toe and improve the wiring before its too late. Basically wanted to get this post in the archives, so anyone down the road looking to buy one who does a search may find it and become a more educated buyer, who knows, maybe I just got a bad one out of the bunch. They ARE helping me to resolve the issues, just not fast enough to suit my pressing time schedule for PCB..
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:28 PM   #2
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Not saying a word, turned that leaf over and I'm OK with hearing both good and bad, regardless how close to home it hits....

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Old 05-24-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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Please don't tell me you own stock in Kaufman trailers?!
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:29 PM   #4
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpudRacer View Post
Please don't tell me you own stock in Kaufman trailers?!


Nope, I just find it safer to be on the fence instead of entagled in it
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:32 PM   #6
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Default Kaufman Is Known For Poor Post-Sale Service

Kaufman Trailers is known for shoddy work, a small 1 year warranty, and poor post-sale service. The same owner owns Appalachian Trailers and Trailer Baron as well.

Buyer should be careful when buying a Kaufman. Their prices may look better but if you are shipping with shared freight expect slow delivery and your savings will be ate up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpudRacer View Post
I'm trying not to complain about my brand new Kaufman trailer, but that thing is not built very well. I washed it 2 weeks ago for the first time, getting it ready for PCB, and found a couple things wrong with it:
1. One of the wheel bearing covers has a 1cm x 1cm hole in it from a heavy blow from the outside. I can't tow it this way, or all the grease is going to fly out the hole, and I'll be stuck along the roadside with a frozen wheel bearing.
2. When I got it home from picking it up, I couldn't pull out the "breakaway pin" which sets the electric brakes. I felt like a whimp, but couldn't get it out no matter how hard I pulled. I eventually just drove the jeep away from it, and the pin broke in half. I had Kaufman mail me a new breakaway pin and receptacle. When I pulled the old one out, I discovered it was all melted inside (hence the melted pin wasn't going anywhere). I then checked the voltage at the battery... found only 0.5V (should be 12V). Terrific... I ordered a new battery at my expense even though the whole trailer should be under warranty for a full year because I didn't have time to wait on them to mail me one, and then installed the replacement breakaway receptacle and pin. All seemed well when I hooked up the battery, until I pulled out the breakaway pin, suddenly smoke started pouring out of the receptacle and the wiring to the battery started heating up. Got it disconnected before I lost another battery.

Kaufman seemed to be dragging their feet helping me get these problems resolved. Today I was finally able to get a hold of the warranty man and told him the sole reason for getting this trailer was my upcoming trip to Florida, and if they can't get this brand new (yet broken) trailer fixed in time, they can come pick it up and reimburse me my $3200. Now I have a replacement breakaway box/pin and a new bearing cover coming overnight. Won't help much with the brakes though, I need a wiring diagram and some troubleshooting charts to figure out which part in the electric brakes is bad, or what was miswired so I can fix it before installing the new brakeaway pin.

Will say the trailer looks great, but the wiring is just terrible with too many short cuts. There is no looming over the wires, and the bare wires run through holes drilled in metal with no grommets or protection whatsoever. I started at the back, and have been installing grommets and looming over everything. Also, whenever they had to splice two wires together, they twist them, then install a crimp sleeve. Fine for about a year to get them through the warranty, but expose this to water and salt, and you can kiss most of this wiring goodbye. I've been cutting out all the crimps, and heatshrinking over soldered wires before stuffing them in looms. Should last much longer. Most of the D-rings are already rusted, so I'm cleaning them up, and coating them with a rust encapsulator before top coating them with some Eastwoods "Underhood Black" which is about 80% gloss. Looking much better.

OK, done complaining. (sorry for the whining Jeff) Just want any potential buyers to beware, these are nice looking trailers, and are a real bargin, but when you get it home, go over it from head to toe and improve the wiring before its too late. Basically wanted to get this post in the archives, so anyone down the road looking to buy one who does a search may find it and become a more educated buyer, who knows, maybe I just got a bad one out of the bunch. They ARE helping me to resolve the issues, just not fast enough to suit my pressing time schedule for PCB..
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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For the record, I DID track down the cause of the breakaway pin melting as when I installed the new breakaway box, new battery, and new pin, the new box/pin melted as well.

The problem was that the brake power wire was pinched under one of the axle U-bolts during assembly of the trailer and the wire was grounding out against the axle tube. Pretty stupid mistake which would have never happened if they ran their wires through wire looming.

I've used the trailer twice in the last 2 weeks, nor problems whatsoever and finally found the sweet spot which gives me minimal additional tongue weight, and no sway unless I make sudden moves with the steering wheel.

In fact, today I was tempted to bring BOTH the truck AND the trailer/Challenger down to PCB this spring... still undecided.
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:28 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing good reference.
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