Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

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Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby KyKamper » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:30 am

Hey folks good morning! I woke up this morning and had this idea in my mind. A couple months ago I picked up a 1999 18ft camper for $400. It has really bad water damage in the front end. I had grand plans to restore it but my buggy projects take priority. I want a small camper area about 6ft long and 8ft wide by 5 ft tall. Or Bob the camper and build it to a standing full height and have a 6x8 floor area and a 3.5ft rear facing loft for a sleeping area the the buggy will sit on the trailer with the front tires under the loft area. This trailer has a 17 ft long bed area the wheelbase on either one of my buggies is 98- 100 inches so I'm pretty stuck on the 6 ft x 8ft floor area. Does anyone have any ideas? Or alternative design ideas. I quickly drew some of the ideas I have and am including pics of my trailer, buggies and tow vehicle to help with suggestions.
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby KCStudly » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:11 pm

:twisted: I'm thinking this project would be perfect for a foamie, especially if you plan on leaving the buggy deck open.

Best advice, read a lot (all of) the construction tips & techniques and as many build journal threads as you can stand. There is just so much useful information and lessons learned here.

I don't check it very often, but the Cargo Trailer (CT) Conversion section might be of some use to you, as well.

Welcome to the forums and good luck with your project. Looks like a lot of fun!
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby Socal Tom » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:26 am

I think it's a good idea. I had a similar design in mind a few years back. I'll disagree with KCStudly though. I think you will need something stronger than foam. You could include a wall under the loft that folds up to all more room to stand. How many people would you plan on sleeping? Will you cook inside or out?
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby KCStudly » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:08 pm

Gentleman's disagreement. Perhaps I should have suggested a foamie hybrid with wood in critical locations; such as spars and a thin ply layer in the floor of the loft.

The foamie concept basically boils down to minimizing unnecessary wood (and therefore weight and potential for rot) and the use of painted canvas skin as a unitizing structural element that is easier and cheaper to apply, less prone to leakage, and requires no trim to speak of. There are lots of variations including epoxy/fiberglass, and thin ply inner skins. Some people even cover their plywood builds with canvas... not a true foamie, but there are many lessons to be learned by looking at the forum.

Composite structures (the sum of the parts) are not weak, so don't discount them. 8)
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby Socal Tom » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:21 pm

KCStudly wrote:Gentleman's disagreement. Perhaps I should have suggested a foamie hybrid with wood in critical locations; such as spars and a thin ply layer in the floor of the loft.

The foamie concept basically boils down to minimizing unnecessary wood (and therefore weight and potential for rot) and the use of painted canvas skin as a unitizing structural element that is easier and cheaper to apply, less prone to leakage, and requires no trim to speak of. There are lots of variations including epoxy/fiberglass, and thin ply inner skins. Some people even cover their plywood builds with canvas... not a true foamie, but there are many lessons to be learned by looking at the forum.

Composite structures (the sum of the parts) are not weak, so don't discount them. 8)

I'm not discounting the structural strength at all. I'm concerned with impact and vibration. A hybrid might work. I'll admit that when you say "foamy" I think "wood free", or "nearly wood free". My assumption is that there will be impacts between the buggy and the Loft area, so the structure should be built to tolerate a few bumps. I've also been down the roads to sandy areas many times ( 25 years of playing in the Imperial sand dunes). There are bushes to dodge, and rather bumpy sections that need to be taken with some speed to avoid being stuck in the soft sand. I'm not confident that foam could would fare well under those conditions.

Overall though I like the concept. You might also consider provisions for creating an enclosed area in the "parking" area so you could enclose it with canvas after you arrived. That way if the wind comes up you have a large protected space for entertaining, but you still have hard walls to sleep in.
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby Socal Tom » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:21 pm

OK, a few more ideas,
A lot depends on what you could salvage from the trailer. I would put the dinette from the trailer on one side of the camper space, under the seat I would hide a porta potty that you could pull out and use. The other side of the space would house a rolling "cart"/slideout with the stove, oven sink and a water tank/pump and something to catch/store the waste water. When traveling, the slide out would push into the cabin, when parked, you pull it out and you have an outdoor kitchen. The "loft are would be split so that part of it was counter space ( when opened up). You could also place the frig/freezer from the trailer in this area so that it opened up to the outside when you were parked. If you add this to the enclosed softwall space I proposed before you would have a wind protected space to cook.
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby KCStudly » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:07 pm

Yeah, I forget sometimes that my hybrid idea of foamie construction isn't as pure as some other forms. I guess I straddle that fence.

Branches and scrub scrapping the sides is a valid concern, as are rocks thrown up by the TV (maybe even a little more so than with more traditional build styles). Nothing stopping a builder from adding aluminum skin or diamond plate in critical areas; in fact, I intend to put rock guards on the front corners of my build. Canvas over plywood has been proven to work well in back country use (ref. Desert Moose).

From the OP I envisioned the loft only extending over the front portion of the buggy, about to but short of the windshield; and that the buggy would be securely strapped down to the trailer when underway. Naturally there would need to be sufficient clearance between loft and buggy so that they never contact, as with any other type of construction.

Although not mandatory, an easy way to help support the loft would be to have columns under each of the rear corners straddling the cowl of the buggy, provided they don't hinder getting in/out of it. Again, I pictured the loft being forward of the buggy windshield.

If it were me and the lengths of the loft and bonnet on the buggy were compatible, I would try to build the loft cantilevered, leaving the columns out. That would be cool and could certainly be done successfully. Makes me wish I had a buggy. It would be a fun project to design and build!

I guess it is all a moot point if a fully enclosed toy hauler is intended.
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby KCStudly » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:14 pm

Another thought, depending on how much standing room is desired in front of the loft (if the idea of a slide out galley seems too complex) there might at least be room for an externally accessible storage locker behind the front area under the loft. Perfect for folding chairs, ez-up awning, camp stove, dirty trail gear, water jugs, etc.
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby KCStudly » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:24 pm

KyKamper, maybe you could take a pic of your sketches and post them up for us to get a better idea?
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My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby KyKamper » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:54 pm

Thank you folks for the input!! Ill make some better sketches my current ones look as if a 5 year old did them. As far as the terrain Ill be towing too it is a lil rough, not bad but i believe i need more structure then a Foamie. My idea is to frame it up with 2x's like it originally was from the factory with the siding and all. Ill only be sleeping 2 at most 3 at any given time. the idea of being able to stand helps when going to hill climbs here in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, or Alabama. IM a Retired Marine and My body isnt what it used to be so being able to stretch out and move the old bones is at a premium. Mostly it will be used to crash in on weekend hill climbs and rides. especially if the beverages flow! Rolling backwards on a hill beats a body up.
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heres the tow Pig im collecting tubing to build the buggy rack for the bed. it will slid in and out as I need the trucks bed.
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Heres how Im gonna haul my hill Climb buggy when towing my Tiny toy hauler. I have a 99 ford f250 4x4 Crew Cab Longbed as a tow vehicle.
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby KyKamper » Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:22 pm

I will be cooking outside of the camper area and ill be using the AC/heater and the fridge in this. The full height idea is similar to this setup but with a loft area to the rear cargo/buggy area. basically the same side wall design as a truck bed camper turned backwards when the buggy is loaded the front of my pink buggy will sit under the loft area. Camper will have some of the windows and the full door on the side. Basically im bobbing the camper so I can roll a buggy upon the rear of the trailer and have an area to relax and recover from my daily bumps and bruises. I do like the idea of having a set up where i can cover the rear area to get in the shade or have my buggy covered while parked.
I know this isnt a teardrop or tiny trailer but this is the best place ive found that has forum members that seem to want to help and give ideas! i do have plans to build a small tear edition of this so i can just have a lil sleep area and have ramps going up the back of it for my single seat hill buggy.
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Re: Ideas? Buggy hauler trailer with weekender up front.

Postby rowerwet » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:12 pm

most of the reason the old camper had 2x construction was because the materials used are heavier, the walls had to be stronger to support the heavy skins and fixtures. you could easily make a foamie with SIPS walls stronger and lighter than that cheaply built trailer. The other reason they used 2x's in the build was to make it easy to hit the studs with the cheap staples used to tack the thing together.
with one or two inch foam and a skin of 1/8" ply laminated inside and out you would have very tough walls. 1/4" ply skins would be just about bulletproof. either wall would be easy to cool, easy to heat, and just about soundproof.
you would be amazed how strong foam skinned with fabric is, I built a boat out of just foam skinned with bed sheet cotton. after making sure it would float and hold together, I took it out and ran over rocks and trees in the water, abusing it on purpose. the fabric did not tear or cut, the foam ended up with shallow grooves in the worst of it. We know the grooves would be removed with a steam iron and a bit of time. any punctures could be repaired with great stuff crack sealer and a fabric patch.
laminated ply and foam walls skinned with painted canvas would be tough as nails, super light, and strong enough to party on the roof. save the wood for reinforcing the door frames and roof spars.
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