Lightweight Tent Trailer

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Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby ScottE » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:54 am

I needed to downsize my vehicle and my tow rating came down with it. I wanted a light, comfortable platform for my wife and me to camp in while traveling. My design criterion were that it had to weigh less than 1,100 lbs (my Subaru Forester’s tow rating is 1,500 lbs and I want to keep a safety margin), my design needed to have room for 2 comfy beds, plenty of storage, easy to set up, and room for a porta-potty with beds deployed. After viewing available options on the web, I settled on a hybrid trailer of my own design, that wouldn’t break the bank. I already had a 5’ X 10’ utility trailer and planned my project around that base.
I designed the camping modifications so they can be removed easily to retain the utility trailer function (many people like to use my utility trailer, I’m sure you can relate.) This approach creates a stable, roomy platform for a tent that adds interior height and equipment storage while on the road.
The folding “wings” that extend out from the top of the trailer are constructed with 1” square tubing and ½” plywood panels. These are hinged and supported on their outer edges with EMT poles, mounted to the trailer base with knob screws. The tent floor was cut and heavy duty tarp material was used to form the fitted floor liner. The tarp and tent materials were joined with Velcro that was hand stitched all around. The resulting interior is large enough to walk around in and there’s room for a dining table, chairs, and a porta potty.
Estimated weight (loaded w/camping gear) is ~1,000 lbs.
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Last edited by ScottE on Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby S. Heisley » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:22 pm

Scott, you've done a clever job! :thumbsup:
However, I doubt it weighs anywhere near 1,000 lbs unless you went overboard on the deck and camp equipment. What's the tongue weight?

Ways to weigh your trailer: http://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-dete ... eight.aspx
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Re: Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby ScottE » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:15 pm

Yeah, I figure it weighs ~850#s loaded as the base trailer weighs ~650#s. Image
I'm adding some modifications since our maiden campout and will update soon
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Re: Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby Spotman » Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:37 pm

Scott, looks good, I once did that with a boat trailer and an 8x12 tent. Worked out great back in the late 70's! Got the plans from Mother Earth News magazine back then, still have them. :?





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Re: Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby ScottE » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:30 pm

Awesome, Bob... I'm a follower of Mother Earth News since they began and I've seen more cool stuff and ideas through the years. That was a magazine that actually had relevant content between the pages and not just mindless advertisements (up until about 1985, or so...). I bet this whole forum would love to see a scan of those original plans!

Thanks,
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Re: Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby Spotman » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:02 pm

Will work on it Scott, it sure did go too commercial in the late 80's. :?




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Re: Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby Spotman » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:25 pm

These are the plans from Mother Earth News from July/Aug 1982 from which I built mine. More photos of me in my album.

128551

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Re: Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby ScottE » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:47 pm

Thanks for posting these pics Bob, this looks great!! Maybe this design was buried in my subconscious since then......

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Re: Lightweight Tent Trailer

Postby Greg Barrick » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:18 am

Hi there,
This is one of the campers I am thinking about. The other is a folding sheep herder camper (check out "rockin 7 sheep camper" ).
I have an old camper frame or two out back. We have a 6-1/2 x 12 teardrop I built, but I can't quite stand up in it. (mama can) Plus my old 250K mile truck is getting old and mama's SUV has weight restrictions. we're older and don't go so far any more, but still enjoy weekend camping fairly local to home. Just need something light, roomy, comfortable and fun. Oh, and cheap & easy to build and modify.
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