Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

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Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby hsfchris » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:00 pm

Hey everyone. My wife and I have begun planning on a Benroy. I'm looking at purchasing a 5x8 trailer from Northern Tool and we're leaning towards the aluminum model to save a few pounds. We have the Kuffel Creek plans and are looking at basing our camper largely off of these.

Things that are important to us:

+ Doors on both sides
+ Windows - a window in each door and another one in between each door and the galley
+ Aluminum sheeting on outside for durability
+ Light colored wood on the inside - my wife was excited about the light colored birch we've seen in some pictures
+ Cabinets - for storage... Why we're leaning towards the Benroy vs the Cubby Teardrop
+ Air flow - screens in the windows, a nice vent up top (looking at the MaxxFan Deluxe with a manual lift) and a couple small vent ports to keep us breathing if we forget to open stuff up)
+ Lightweight - towing with our well maintained 2004 CR-V. We did upgrade the hitch, planning on putting a transmission cooler in just for a safety margin
+ Battery - a decent deep cell battery/Marine battery for lights and device charging
+ Basic lighting - dome light, reading lights, galley work light, porch light
+ No welding - I am fairly confident I can do everything so long as it doesn't include welding
+ A place to put our mountain bikes, maybe a rack on top or in front

Things we aren't planning on:

+ Plumbing, water tank, gray water, or toilet
+ Microwave, fridge, freezer, stove, ice box (we'll stick with our large cooler and a plethora of backpacking gear)

My wife and I love the outdoors. We have a pair of 12 foot kayaks that go with is wherever we go as well as a pair of mountain bikes that we try to bring along as well. We enjoy backpacking and camping and would be excited to use the Benroy as a basecamp for our adventures.

What do you think? Any tips or pointers? After I order the trailer I'll start a build thread and look forward to your feedback!

~Chris

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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby mary and bob » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:13 pm

We restored a vintage teardrop, have carried kayaks on top of the car. Taking bikes too can create a problem as where to carry them. In retrospect when I replaced the trailer tongue I should have made it a little longer to accommodate a bike rack. I can barely squeeze two bikes on the tongue as it is and turning radius is affected. I don't care for the hitch extenders that allow mounting a bike rack as they reduce the capacity of the vehicle hitch. Locating the trailer axle correctly to get an acceptable tongue weight that meets your tow vehicle specs and hitch capacity is important. Keep in mind that tongue weight, plus cargo in the vehicle and weight of the kayaks has to fall within the load capacity of your vehicle. Check your owners manual for load and towing ratings.
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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby hsfchris » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:05 pm

I also saw on here a picture of someone putting a receiver at the back-end of their teardrop and then put a hitch-mounted bike rack on that. That's one of the many joys of designing your own I think is you get to try to figure out how to get it done. I'm pretty nervous about the bikes over a hitch extender due to how it could impact the turning radius... I can only imagine someone backing it up and turning into the bike tires or something.

:thinking:
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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby tony.latham » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:25 pm

hsfchris wrote:I also saw on here a picture of someone putting a receiver at the back-end of their teardrop and then put a hitch-mounted bike rack on that. That's one of the many joys of designing your own I think is you get to try to figure out how to get it done. I'm pretty nervous about the bikes over a hitch extender due to how it could impact the turning radius... I can only imagine someone backing it up and turning into the bike tires or something.

:thinking:


I've got a hitch on the back of our 'drop. You can see our Swing-Away rack here:

Image

Without the ability to swing the rack out of the way, the bikes would have been a huge pain in the butt on that trip.

However.... I'm not convinced it's the way to go for a bike rack. That's a lot of weight back there and the bikes seem to bob and weave. (It's no problem with the turning radius BTW.)

I'm currently considering teardrop build #4. If I do, it'll probably have a bike rack above the tongue box. The rack would be modified to slip into a vertical hitch receiver (that would be just forward of the box). Something like a modified Thule DoubleTrack.

Tony
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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby mary and bob » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:12 am

Weight hanging off the rear can affect tongue weight and result in sway. One of my rear mounted racks actually bent with two bikes on it because of the trailer bouncing on rough roads. Most receiver racks are not rated for use on the rear of a trailer. Now I tow with a full size pickup so the bikes go in the truck. That's when I tow either one of our fiberglass campers. If towing our teardrop with our Honda CRV, the bikes go on the tongue of the trailer. I know they are there so adjust my turning radius to prevent any damage. Another downside of a rear mounted rack is you may not be able to see the bikes while driving. A relative had his rack break right off the trailer and resulted in him unknowingly dragging the bikes down the road until another driver got him to stop. We saw the same thing happen on another travel trailer that we were following and I got the driver to stop. He had no idea his rack had broke and that he was dragging his bikes down the road.
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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby Socal Tom » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:08 pm

In a 8 ft long trailer any window between the door and the galley will need to be very small if you have cabinets in the back. For good air flow mount the door windows low in the door.


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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:52 am

Welcome from South Central PA! Sounds like you've done your research and have a pretty good plan figured out! Be sure to check out the Liberty Bell, New Jersey, and New York State Chapter Tearjerkers! They usually have some pretty nice camping schedules (http://tearjerkers.net/new_forum/Calendar.html). Always good to get to a gathering and see a bunch of teardrop campers in person to get some more good ideas.

Good luck with the build, and hope to see you around a campfire sometime! :thumbsup:
Zach

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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby hsfchris » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:00 am

absolutsnwbrdr wrote:Welcome from South Central PA! Sounds like you've done your research and have a pretty good plan figured out! Be sure to check out the Liberty Bell, New Jersey, and New York State Chapter Tearjerkers! They usually have some pretty nice camping schedules (http://tearjerkers.net/new_forum/Calendar.html). Always good to get to a gathering and see a bunch of teardrop campers in person to get some more good ideas.

Good luck with the build, and hope to see you around a campfire sometime!
Just got my trailer in, a 5x10 Carry-on. I'm taking my time on this build so updates likely will be slow coming.

Trying to figure out my source for windows; looking for a non-tinted start gazer as well as a couple of sliders for the sides.Image

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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby willrothfuss » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:13 pm

Hi, NEPA! NEPA here as well! Just joined yesterday and I see I am the third from this area to recently join. Must be a trend.

I'm just south of Stroudsburg- just got the teardrop bug and looking to build or buy, but probably not until next year. If you do start building, I'd be happy to come and lend a hand if you have a task that needs two and see how you are progressing. I like the vintage Benroy look myself.

Is that the aluminum trailer from NT in the photo or something else?

Happy trails, Will
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Hello from Northeast Pennsylvania!

Postby hsfchris » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:07 am

Welcome! Pretty excited to get working on it. I'm learning as I go, but will try to take you up on your offer to help. I'm in the Mt Pocono area.

When you go to start I found a good source for the 1/8 to 1/4 inch birch plywood at Saylorsburg Lumber. There ordered it for their next shipment from a regular provider, so no additional shipping charges and a quick turn around. The wood's arriving Monday but I still have to do a bit of cutting in the frame.

It's the 5x10 carry-on trailer (https://www.carry-ontrailer.com/utility ... /5x10gw2k/).

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