Offroad Chassis

Lets captures all those good off road construction ideas here...

Moderator: Sonetpro

Offroad Chassis

Postby davkrat » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:35 am

Hello, this is my second post, I originally posted over on the chassis page without seeing this offroad dedicated forum. I have a '86 Jeep CJ7 and want to build an offroad capable Teardrop. I don't see taking the Tear on trails but definitely will use it on rough roads for hunting and fishing trips. While fishing in Wyoming last month we had to cross several road washouts and streams that I would never have taken a HF trailer across. I want to build a sturdy frame that can also be used as a utility trailer with the cabin removed, I don’t know that I would actually ever do that but it sounds like a good idea. I am concerned with weight and the strength requirements. I don’t want to tow anything to heavy with my Jeep. I was thinking of building a 5’X10’ frame out of 2”X2” .125” tubing with cross members on 24” centers. I was considering replacing the internal cross members with 2” angle. My question is are all those cross members needed? It looks like the difference in weight would only be 26 lbs. The whole frame made out of 2”X2” with a 2”X3” tongue looks like 178 lbs. I don’t know the weight of 3500lbs axle and 31” tires & wheels. I also read somewhere that you don’t want a crossmember over the axle, why is that?
Thanks for any info, this was all I needed one more obsession!
davkrat
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 15
Images: 10
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:15 pm

Re: Offroad Chassis

Postby Endo » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:18 pm

davkrat wrote:....... I don't see taking the Tear on trails but definitely will use it on rough roads for hunting and fishing trips....... I am concerned with weight and the strength requirements. I don’t want to tow anything to heavy with my Jeep. I was thinking of building a 5’X10’ ................. this was all I needed one more obsession!


Jeeps and teardrops........two of my favorite obsessions as well.
A 5x10 frame is large for a Jeep to tow.
It may not be a problem but it is large compared to what I am comfortable towing.
My frame is 5x7, teardrop is 5x8 (extends out over the front of the frame).
You may want to consider building smaller to keep the weight down and still build it strong for your off-road needs.
Image
Brad (aka Endo)
ImageImage Image
In God We Trust
User avatar
Endo
500 Club
 
Posts: 721
Images: 138
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:59 am
Location: Ohio

Postby bc toys » Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:55 pm

IM BUILDING A CT to tow behind my jeep
bc toys
2000 Club
2000 Club
 
Posts: 2218
Images: 42
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: LAS VEGAS NV
Top

Postby davkrat » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:11 pm

I understand taht a 5X10 is a little large. It will most likely be pulled by my Nissan Xterra (wife's car) more than anything else. For hunting and fishing trips with my brother it will be the Jeep. We are both 6'2" and over 250lbs. I know we could not fit in a 4x8 together, a 4.5X9 maybe. Maybe I'll build the 5X10 and then find it too big for the Jeep, no big deal I'll just have to borrow the wife's car!
davkrat
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 15
Images: 10
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:15 pm
Top

Postby Endo » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:05 am

davkrat wrote:We are both 6'2" and over 250lbs. I know we could not fit in a 4x8 together, a 4.5X9 maybe.


I agree a 4x8 is too small.

Our first teardrop was 4x8, it worked out fine for us but we are no way near 6'2" and 250.

The 5 foot wide tear is WAY better! Plenty of room and it still fits behind the TJ.
Brad (aka Endo)
ImageImage Image
In God We Trust
User avatar
Endo
500 Club
 
Posts: 721
Images: 138
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:59 am
Location: Ohio
Top

Postby greekspeedoman » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:00 pm

Mine is a 5'x10' for off road Jeep use. It works well for our needs and style of off roading. You could trim your materials for the chassis back & keep the strength needed & your desired size. I used 2" tube with 1"x2" channel as cross members.
User avatar
greekspeedoman
Donating Member
 
Posts: 307
Images: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:35 am
Location: Spokane, Washington
Top

Postby Prem » Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:20 pm

davkrat,

CT? You could go all aluminum starting with a factory aluminum lawnmower trailer (flatbed). 8)

Very light and plenty strong.

Prem
My goal...

_____________________________________________
...is to live in a trailer.
User avatar
Prem
Gold Donating Member
 
Posts: 3215
Images: 144
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:25 am
Location: State of Jefferson (Oregon side)
Top

Postby ntsqd » Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:57 pm

Tube dimension is stronger than tube wall thickness, so those cross members could be of thinner walled stock to save some weight. I dislike any of the hot rolled sections, but some folks use it with success. I avoid it when practical.

Look at the aluminum option carefully. IME going aluminum doubles plus the cost and doesn't save as much weight as you'd hope because you need so much of it to get the same strength.
thom

Where does that road go?
ntsqd
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:09 pm
Location: So. CA
Top

Postby xccelagator » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:48 pm

davkrat,
I have Xterra also and have towed tandem a camper and boat behind that. I 5x10 teardrop is rather small compared to most trailers. Then again I have towed alot for work and at home.

My future build I decided on 5x10 cabin. I want to be able to tow down fire roads and seasonal trails around here. Pretty much everything in there too AC, heat, and a 2000 watt genny. I have decided that I want to be able to remove the cabin with a wrench and a few wires if needed. The only reason is for future maintenance or mods.

I am going to use 2x2x1/8"wall for the main frame. Tongue TBD! the 2x2x1/8" is plenty strong and have two avid offroad friends that have used this material on rocksliders. Plus 2x2 is easy to source.

I thought about using alum. I can and have welded alum at work, but if there is a failure on a trip your will have to source a weldor that can do that. In my neck of the woods that could be difficult finding a weldor with the equipment, but almost everyone has the equipment to weld steel.

Justamy2cents,
Dan
xccelagator
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Northwoods Of Wisconsin
Top

Offroad Frame design consideration

Postby Dave Nathanson » Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:44 am

Hi, I've got a few OffRoad TD stories to tell and I have broken a few times so far; my tongue, frame & leaf spring. All far, far from pavement and limped home hundreds of miles. But I have been very lucky because by good fortune, my TD frame has a cross member directly above the axle. As it turns out, this is very important so that you can jam some lumber between the axle & the frame, lash it all up and get home... even minus a leaf spring, or spring hanger.

So remember to always plan your trailer frame to have a cross member directly above the axle, so you've got repair options should you ever need them as I did twice.

I will also say that the 2x2 x 1/8" square tubing is ok, even if a bit on the thin side, except as a tongue, and except where the spring hangers are attached. That is too much force in those areas, and it needs to be reinforced there. We added a length of 1/4" angle iron welded along the frame underside for both spring hangers to be attached to. Hasn't torn out since.

At least a leaf spring is repairable, a lot more so than a torsion axle.

Funny, I don't think of myself as being hard on a trailer, but we have broken some important parts, and the trailer grows stronger with each repair. ;) The key thing is to be prepared so that breakdowns don't become emergencies. We always have extra food water, tools, etc.

How to fix a Broken Leaf Spring in Baja - view from the frontImage

Saline Valley - (near Death Valley) The frame tore where the spring hanger was welded to the frame. Too much force there. Needed reinforcement. Jammed some wood in there, strapped it all up and limped home 230 miles. td.roughwheelers.com/SalineFeb2008/index.html
Image


Strapping up broken spring hanger in Saline Valley - view from rear. can't see spring from rear because it broke off and is missing. Image

Broken Leaf Spring! Luckily spring broke at the back. Front still holding. Jammed some wood between the frame and axle, strapped it all together. Also strapped axle to the front to prevent rearward movement. Drove another 20-something miles of rugged roads, then 400 miles of pavement home. td.roughwheelers.com/Baja08/index19.html
Image


Story of Broken Tongue in Baja Image

Update: 7/16/2015 fix picture links.
Last edited by Dave Nathanson on Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Dave Nathanson
Donating Member
 
Posts: 164
Images: 18
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:47 pm
Location: Gardena, CA
Top

Vacation

Postby Prem » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:50 am

Wow. I just spent an hour looking at all your photos. I felt like I was back in Baja again. It was a mini-vacation on the screen. You rock!

Thanks
:thumbsup: :applause: :D

Prem
My goal...

_____________________________________________
...is to live in a trailer.
User avatar
Prem
Gold Donating Member
 
Posts: 3215
Images: 144
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:25 am
Location: State of Jefferson (Oregon side)
Top

Postby deepmud » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:38 pm

make the tongue 1/4 hitch steel so it won't be a weak point.

Image

this trailer is 5x8'6'', and has gone from Alaska down the Alcan to D.C. and back, then I abused it for about 10 years. This weekend it went down the Denali Highway - and the frost heaves on the Richardson were worse than the Denali (125 unpaved) was.

No breakage since I built it in 1993 (it's still on the original massively cracked used tires), and it's been overloaded (over 2k of flooring), under water, off-road (REALLY off-road) and up to 90mph fully loaded.


Image

The frame is a fairly beefy piece of 8"x2" 3/16 C-channel. The hitch is 1/4, the square tube added to make it 5x8 is all 1/8 wall.

Part of the success is the soft-riding suspension. If your trailer rides smoother than your tow rig, you won't beat up your trailer. Beware if high unsprung weight, and too-tough leaves with little to no travel.

With the top screwed on, I can still pick up the back off the ground. Less than 500 total weight, I'm sure it would tow behind a Jeep.
deepmud
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:23 pm
Location: Alaska
Top

Postby Prem » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:39 am

Awesome! :thumbsup:

Thanks for posting that!

Got any more photos of it?


Prem
My goal...

_____________________________________________
...is to live in a trailer.
User avatar
Prem
Gold Donating Member
 
Posts: 3215
Images: 144
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:25 am
Location: State of Jefferson (Oregon side)
Top

Postby deepmud » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:51 am

deepmud
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:23 pm
Location: Alaska
Top

Postby Prem » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:21 am

:thumbsup:

Prem
My goal...

_____________________________________________
...is to live in a trailer.
User avatar
Prem
Gold Donating Member
 
Posts: 3215
Images: 144
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:25 am
Location: State of Jefferson (Oregon side)
Top

Next

Return to Offroad Construction Secrets

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests