And for my next obsession....

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And for my next obsession....

Postby SkyNerd » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:53 pm

hey gang!

My name Jesse, I remember days with my dad as a kid in his '77 Popup VW van with the 14' capri sail boat in tow as we headed to the lake nearly every other weekend. My parents were divorced when I was 5. My dad had the 3 of us boys every other weekend and as soon as the weather got warm enough we were at the lake camping all summer long. It was years later he told me it was about all he could do to keep us entertained and his house clean hahaha.

I've been camping as long as I can remember. Now I'm the proud parent of 2 girls and a crazy little boy, he's the youngest and just turned 2 in June. I think they love the outdoors as much as I did as a kid and I want to give them the same great family memories that they can hold on to and maybe one day share with their kids.


Recently we took a road trip. It was supposed to be a long drive and a weekend in a trailer at flitefest (an RC flying event I and been longing to go to for a few years). My wife looked up the location and noticed we were only 4.5 hours from Niagara Falls. I was then informed that we could not drive all that way and not go there. Seeing as that was too far to trek in a day from the Dallas area of Texas, I started planing a road/camping trip and looking for stops. When I picked up the hybrid trailer from her cousin and towed it home I wasn't happy with the weight behind the truck or the 9 miles per gallon I was getting. We returned it the next day and decided to tent camp. I visited a buddy in Kansas city for our first stop, then a couple nights in Warren dunes state park Michigan, then off to Niagara falls to the "Branches of Niagara" campground (5 stars by the way, the facility is amazing) from there to ohio for 3 nights on a farm (with 100+ more tents and campers for flitefest). The whole trip was a blast, my little kiddos did great even on the long stretch of road between stops. My only regret was not spending an extra day at the campsites to be able to play and hike and explore more.

I drove a Ford F150 loaded to the tonneau cover and then added one of those aluminum cargo racks that go in the hitch and added a 3'x2'x2' ish cargo box and filled that up as well. we were able to carry all our gear, packing and unpacking was a game of tetris every time and the order things had to go in and out wasn't ideal either. During the trip every time we passed one of those RV sale lots I'd say to my wife, "we should go there and take a look, and those little tiny campers I wanna check those out too." well, we never stopped and I eventually turned to google.


So here I am folks, I refuse to pay the absurd prices for a name brand or pre manufactured tiny trailer. (some as much as $35K!!! and though I can get a comfy light weight 20 footish trailer with all the necessities that will sleep 6 for $10K I don't want to pull it at 9mpg either.

I know I've already gone on long enough, but this is pretty easy to visualize and I've already seen a similar build that took the forward portion of the teardrop and extended it out to accommodate two bunk beds for some kiddos, almost perfect. I want to do the same but more than just a 10' teardrop trailer, I want to "knock out" the forward wall of only the top bunk and extend it out to sleep two kiddos in the top bunk and one in the bottom bunk. to help with the visualization, the area in front that most people put a storage box, propane and/or batteries, would have a section of the bunk extending over it.

My concerns are several...

is this gonna be too close to my truck to make turns? (can I extend the neck of the trailer to accommodate? or should I just build on a 12 trailer frame, i've already gone from the traditional 8' to 10' can I go to 12' (or should I) and still maintain that fuel efficient design?

I'm less worried about the cosmetics and more about it being large enough to be functional but yet light enough to try and preserve as many of the 22mpg's I got with my truck loaded with camp gear. I've read stories of some of these 4 or 5 by 8' designs not hardly doing but 1-2mpg lower on some larger tow vehicles. I'm using a 2015 F150 with the 5.0 v8 in it. It towed that 5000 lb hybrid at 9mpg, it tows my 3000 lb boat at 12-13, and it hauled all my camp gear at 22mpg. I'm very worried that I will pour my blood sweat and tears (not to mention time and money) in to trailer that's not gonna get me 18-20 mpg.

about the trailer. it seems the best option is to build one or have one built to spec, most of the 5.5'x 10' trailers I looked at came in around 1000lbs, but once you chop the rails, remove the back gate, and take out the preinstalled wood floor, where does that put me? Has anyone built a 10' or 12' teardrop and still come in under 1000lbs (and what's your dark magic secret!?).

I've read LOTS and LOTS of info, but what I haven't found is that if I stretch a tear drop design to 12 feet (10' trailer with 2 extra feet of top bunk), will the added weight of the materials and trailer required be enough to ruin the efficiency of the design? I went in to this thinking I was gonna build a trailer I could pull around the country at 20mpg, the more I think about it the more unrealistic i'm afraid that is.

I have already seen many beautiful builds on this site. I hope that I get to add mine to the list

thanks in advance for any and all advice.

- Jes

Oh and if I'm just plain crazy I won't get offended if you tell me so. :FNP
SkyNerd
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Re: And for my next obsession....

Postby Wolfgang92025 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:15 pm

Welcome to the fun Jesse,
A trailer like you are talking about can be built.
In general terms, length of the body on fuel economy does not matter as much as height and width.
For the lighted possible trailer check out the foamy section.
I think the big thread and Pink foamy would be a good place to start.
Just a warning, the big threat has a lot of development in it and will take a while to read and absorb.

And remember, we love :pictures:
Wolfgang

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Wolfgang92025
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Re: And for my next obsession....

Postby Wolfgang92025 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:17 pm

Welcome to the fun Jesse,
A trailer like you are talking about can be built.
In general terms, length of the body on fuel economy does not matter as much as height and width.
For the lighted possible trailer check out the foamy section.
I think the big thread and Big Pink foamy would be a good place to start.
Just a warning, the big threat has a lot of development in it and will take a while to read and absorb.

And remember, we love :pictures:
Wolfgang

Image
User avatar
Wolfgang92025
Lifetime member
 
Posts: 819
Images: 469
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:16 pm
Location: Salt Lake City area, Utah
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