Ideas for surf fishing rig

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Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby Billy C. » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:27 pm

Hi everyone I'm new to this forum but not to building things or rvs. I want to build a off-road camper to use for many different uses, but the primary use would be for surf fishing on the gulf coast. The info that I've got from this site and other locations is a great help. But I'm really seeking more info as to what to build. I've got three choices of what I could build, and about a dozen or more of how. First how I intend to use it. For the most part I will use it to go on camping trips around the US. And then to use it for surf fishing. And I intend to pull it with a jeep for the most part. So it has to be fairly light and strong. And that brings me to the materials to build it from. I am retired from the pipeline industry where I worked as a heavy equipment mechanic for 40 years, and have my own fabrication shop. So the materials I make it from can be chosen for light weight and strength. I'm leaning towards a steel frame with epoxy laminated thin plywood with good insulation, and a door skin wood interior. I am very interested in making a four bar suspension with air bags and good shocks. I'm thinking that a box type trailer about 5x10 and five high with a outdoor galley at the rear would be about the right size. I am also going to have solar and a small gen. (Honda Eu 2000) I'm even thinking of a small wind turbine. And lots of battery as I also want to have a ac unit, like the dog house type but a window shaker would work too. As I want the ability to go way off grid for a week or so at a time so I know a large water supply will be needed too. If you guys have any ideas for me or suggestions I will appreciate it thanks Bill C.
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby lrrowe » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:08 pm

Hi fellow surf fisherman. I go on the East Coast around Cape Hatteras. There I cannot camp on the beach so I will use local or Federal campgrounds as my base. But if I were to design a surf buggy camper, I would go for high floatation wheels and tires. Not so much for traction but to keep the tires out of rut issues, especially when I might have to back it up. Ground clearance is important also. If you have surf driving experience you will understand why. Good luck.

Boy how great it would be to have all the surf fishing equipment right on the rig as opposed to being in the TV bed.
Bob

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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby KCStudly » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:43 am

I would think that externally accessible storage and an external shower/hand wand would be key. You won't want to be tracking sand and salt into the camper (at least try to avoid it as much as possible).

Externally accessible, but secure rod and tackle storage, a place for folding chairs and a bucket, your rod holders, sun shade, and a dedicated wing table for cleaning fish (unless you would prefer to keep that operation further away, then a small portable folding table and/or large cutting board might be preferred). I know some guys can clean a large fish pretty much right on the spot with little more than a fillet knife, but I'm not that good at it and prefer a clean flat surface to work on.

Shoe storage near or just inside of the the door with a mat that attracts, or a container that collects sand. It would be nice to have the spray wand hose both near the fish cleaning station and also near the entry door for washing sand off feet before entering.

If fires are allowed on the beach you probably will need to haul your own fire wood, or settle for one of those propane pits. Dedicated storage capacity for either of those would be something you want to plan from the beginning.

The 4-link suspension really shouldn't be needed since all trailers rotate about the hitch with only 2 tires and 3 points of contact, having independent and/or articulated suspension isn't the same as on a car or truck with 4 points of contact. Sure, the Timbren style or trailing link style of air bag suspension can afford more ground clearance under the middle of the camper, but is the extra complication really worth it? How much ground clearance do you have under your Jeep's axles? You can achieve the same thing (more actually) by running the same wheel and tire combo on a straight leaf spring or rubber torsion axle. What is important, with the short wheelbase on 2 door jeeps and if you plan to run up and down dunes (steep approaches, crests and drop offs) is to get an articulating hitch; either a simple pintle hook and lunette ring (some say are clunky, but easy to hitch), or one of the universal joint style swivel hitches (quiet but can be more difficult to align when hitching). The typical ball and socket style hitch that I measured only had about 22-23 deg up and down articulation.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck and have fun. :thumbsup:
KC
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby Esteban » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:56 pm

Steve - SLO, CA
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby Billy C. » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:56 pm

Thanks for the suggestions I do appreciate them. And it helps. I want to use the four bar and air bags because I already have all of it. Same with the high floatation tires. My thoughts on that is most trailer springs are very stiff and they transmitt a lot of energy into the body of the trailer. And I thought that air springs would work better on a light trailer. Think about how much the the axle moves on a washboard road. In my career I have rigged up and used hard 9 service trucks all but the last one were leaf sprung trucks. The last one is air ride, on the hi way the air ride rides like a car. Off road it still rides good. But the thing that has so much appeal to me is how well it holds up. On my other trucks I would do leaf springs on the back on the average of every one and a half years I would be doing springs and that's with shocks. My current truck has right at 739,000 miles and a good part of that is off road. I have changed the air bags and shocks on the back once. So in my mind air ride has a lot going for it. And most everything else on the back of the truck has lasted longer. I just think that trailer springs would have a tendency to beat a trailer to death over time. By getting rid of the paint shaker ride I would be able to build the whole trailer lighter. And I really want to keep it light as I can. I intend to build the frame from mild steel square tube. And I really am leaning towards building the body out of 1/4" marine ply and epoxy cloth construction. Most small wooden boats are built this way and can be very strong. I might even use marine foam and epoxy using vacuum infusion. That has a lot of advantages in that it's possible to use this method and after the infusion you have a very strong finished wall or base or roof with insulation already built in. A lot of boats are built this way and end up being very strong. So I have a lot to think about. And really appreciate the help and suggestions I've already got on this forum thanks Billy
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby KCStudly » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:33 pm

Hmm, thin marine ply envelope? Foam insulation? Epoxy and glass armor? Check, check and check. I have all of that in my build. :lol:

I decided to go for Jeep YJ rear leaf springs with RV shocks and bump stops. The YJ springs are much longer and more subtle than typical short trailer leaf springs, but are still rated in the middle 1700 lb range. This should be right in the ideal range for my 1200 lb over the road target. My thought is that it is the easiest system to perform field repairs on in limp back to society mode.

The only thing I would do differently (at this point, anyway) is to have used longer shock absorbers; the short RV style ones I used are not the best match for the travel I have in my springs and the relatively straight angle I have them set at.

Do you plan to triangulate the 4-link, or are you going to run a panhard bar?
KC
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby Billy C. » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:03 am

KC I started to read through your build thread. It will take a while as you well know lol. But what I have in mind is much like what you have built. But I thought about taking it one step farther I will build a very strong trailer frame and build the cabin from dyvinicell foam with a ply skin on the outside and use door skins on the inside. Then bag the whole assembly and vacuum infuse it with silver tip marine epoxy. This builds a very strong structure that is amazingly light. By building a trailer this way with a heavy steel frame and a light upper it should help with the top heavyness that a lot of high off road trailers have. The system I describe here is used for building cabins on a lot of boat these days. And by using dyvinicell cousin aquaplas III the boat building world is building transoms for off shouts powerboats. So it is a very strong way to build thanks Billy
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby captainj101 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:22 am

A possible substitute to Silvertip might be MarinEpoxy at about 2/3rds the price. They also supply marine plywood. As far as shipping, do not know where on the Gulf Coast you are from, they are located in Florida. http://boatbuildercentral.com/proddetail.php?prod=E_Kit

I'm looking to do something to go beach busting in the near future so will be watching.

Good luck with the build!
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby Billy C. » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:31 am

CaptainJ. I know exactly who boatbuilder central is that's where the idea comes from. And I'm in north central oklahoma I just haven't had a chance yet to fill out my profile. If you know about boatbuilder central and bateau. Then you would know just how strong this type of construction is. I'm still working on my design and trying to learn sketch up. And busy as all get out with my business right now. So it might be a bit before I get really started. And thanks for your comments Billy
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby captainj101 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:52 pm

Billy C. I know exactly what you are talking about! Since you are in Oklahoma, you might want to check out DFW for the Marine Ply. There are several places that I ran across last year when looking for ply, unless you just want to take a trip to FL.

By Chance, are you by Perry? Have family up that way.
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Re: Ideas for surf fishing rig

Postby Billy C. » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:29 am

I haven't been on here in a while it's amazing just how busy a retired person can get. I have settled on a design, the rockhopper is what appeals to me. I did a search for plans and cannot find a set of plans it just takes me to mikes build. Are there plans for it. I would like to make a few changes to it most notability raising the trailer just a bit so I can put larger tires under it. I want tires that match my jeep 31x10.50X15s I have been gathering parts and pieces for a while. Because I will be looking to use it in the summer months in ok, tx, and la. I will also use it for trips to the mountains. I was thinking of getting a honda eu generator for them times it gets hot out and I can't plug into shore power. This design has all the things I'm looking for, small size, ease of towing, ability to do light off road. And a small standby area. Any info you could provide such as dimensions and such would be welcome. Thanks Billy
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