6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:51 pm

Hello everyone,

I've seen a lot of neat ideas for cargo trailer conversions here, trying to read up and learn what to do and what not to do.

Some Back Story:
My grandfather bought a 6x10 for camping, but he only wanted to throw normal camp furniture in it. Eventually he just threw a recliner in it to sleep in there. Eventually he decided to give it to me. I decided to make minor improvements at first: adding a step, RV-style door handle, some LED lights inside and out, throwing in the ole' college mini-fridge, and repairing the floor and installing laminate. But I figure he wont likely want to use it anymore anyway. I used it in the same manner a few times, I had a giant XXL cot with a foam roll, great by yourself but too small with company - and the thing is huge. Not wanting to wander too far off my topic, I decided to make it a camper. At first my girlfriend thought I was nuts - "It looks like a horse trailer", but eventually she found out it was a "thing" doing these conversions (thanks TnTTT :thumbsup: ). After the first test trip she liked it a lot more. Still trying to work on ways to make it look nicer, suggestions here are welcomed!


The First Steps:
I figure we already have the trailer, its purpose was for camping, lets make it a camper. I've done plenty of tent camping in my life, and I'm sure I will plenty more in the future. But the first test run after initial improvements was fantastic. I just pulled into our spot, hopped out, and was ready to relax in 15 minutes. No fussing over coolers or setting up tents. And this was all with my camping gear I had already. So I imagined it could be even better.


First Obstacle - The Bed Situation:
I took measurements of everything and played around with it in Sweet Home 3D - a free designing program. It is very basic but it was a lot easier than trial and error - moving furniture and wasting money on things that might not fit. Calling this trailer 6x10 is being generous since the interior is smaller than 60sqft. My Grand Teton XXL cot is 85" long by 40" wide - roughly 23.6sqft. Put simply this was one of the first things that had to go. I looked around a ton, most people did beds that fold up against the wall or were always there in the way. I started looking at sleeper sofas, many hours spent looking at many sofas mostly online. Running the dimensions against the trailer layout I had made. A normal sleeper sofa with arm rests you would be hell bent on getting one in Full-size that would fit, if it did fit it would barely. The only other option was to go with twin mattresses. No thank you. I kept seeing all of these sleepers having huge arm rests and seeing how the mechanism works for the bed to fold out, I thought we might save space by ditching the arm rests. After wading through futons (No thanks, been there done that - the solid spot in the middle is a deal breaker), and cheap couch-beds that come apart to rest on the floor I finally found it... Eureka! The Ikea Lycksele Lovas. It had memory foam, it was a real sofa, and it was one solid mattress. No firm spots like the futons, no springs to get poked by or get sore spots, no separate cushions to come apart when you are tossing and turning in your sleep, no quadruple digit price!!!
I ran it through the design, there was room to spare on the sides. Folded out it was still shorter than that damned cot by nearly a foot, it was wider but that space was hardly usable anyway. I could swap out the fabric if it gets ruined from camping mess. It was a winner. 5 hours later fighting through traffic to get to Ikea and test it out, we bought it and a few other goodies that I could tell would fit in well.

Plenty more details to fill in at another time.

The latest:
The attached picture shows both what is in there now, and what I am toying with doing. I haven't added windows yet, and I'm not 100% sure on the oven. I would love the sink, with an on-demand pump and LP tankless heater and shower setup outside. I like the idea but for the mean time I will probably just build cabinets with room for it to be added at a later date. I already have the mini fridge in its position, and folding camp cabinets where they are in the picture. The design is with 40" counters but I might do 38, probably not 36 because the fridge is 33 on its feet - 38-40 will allow more storage, less bending to get into it. The chairs are drawn to size, and the table is as well but it is a half-round. They all fold down.



I will add more pictures when I have time. Please let me know what you all think.
-Mark
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby racerrandy » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:10 pm

Cool, I have a 6x10 myself and looks about what I want to do as well.




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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:36 pm

Thanks, it's a fun project for sure. These 6x10s are just a little too short and/or narrow for a decent bathroom inside. I could probably do it but I will just have a setup outside.

When I get home I will post some pictures of what I've done sofar. The plans have the sofa and bed superimposed to show the floor space used by each. The folding table bolts to the wall and the chairs fold up easy.

Should I post links to the items?
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby aggie79 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:13 am

Great design!

And thank you for posting the sofa/bed. You may have found the Holy Grail for cargo trailer conversions. I've been wrestling with the bed issue in my planning for a CT conversion. There's an Ikea only about 1-1/2 hours from me. Next time I'm there, I'll check it out.

Please post lots of pictures of your build!

Take care,
Tom
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:23 am

Thanks Tom! I have a very picky back, this seems more comfortable than my 11" memory foam bed. I saw a 1" gel topper at costco that I might try on top of it to take it to the next level.

Here is the sleeper sofa:
LYCKSELE LÖVÅS $249
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S99149931/
The cover is interchangeable, white is 199 but not very good for camping and the black and white combo is a bit shocking in real life so I chose the quilted gray. You can buy multiple covers if you want - I would if I had a big dog or something, but I started with just the one. It comes off pretty easy, which is what you do anyway to turn it into a bed. Plenty of storage underneath, I am thinking about rigging up two pullout drawers but for the meantime I have stuffed some boxes under it.

The table:
Askholmen $19.99
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80321021/
Real wood, dirt cheap, wall mounted and folding. Can stain it, Ikea even encourages it yearly if it is used outdoors. I saw this on the way out and jumped on it. Means I didn't have to rig something up.

The chairs
TÄRNÖ $15.00
Another display nearby had chairs I liked better than the all-wood ones by the askholmen series. I grabbed them right up from the display and tested it all out. The chairs are small but comfortable and sturdy enough. They fold up easy too. Not sure if I want to hang them on the walls, or IN the walls. Otherwise I might make room under the sofa or front cabinets. I will be insulating, but they are small enough to fit between the studs if I made an access door....


On our first trip before the Ikea additions we stayed at a public campground with small gravel. Doing the floor in vinyl tiles, our first camping trip I had a cheap mat outside but it wasnt enough to stop a few rogue pebbles from coming in. Even the commercial grade flooring was scratched from things being slid around (mainly camp chairs and moving things to setup the cot). It doesn't look too bad now after cleaning, but there are two or three deep enough to leave white. I will probably touch it up later... So I also bought two floor mats, one for outside and one for inside that are a lot more durable. And thus the reason I got those ikea chairs - no more camp furniture coming in and out with crap stuck to their feet. My girlfriend also had a rug from Ikea that had been sitting in the closet for years, so we finally used it in the trailer. I plan on setting up external storage underneath, maybe some capped PVC tubes - the other side using a clean out and plug to keep folding chairs and the like. I think 4" should do it, and I have a hole hawg so I might use two 2x6s to hold them drilling a couple 4" holes side by side (with a gap). I will play around with it some more, probably should have vent holes to keep wet chairs from getting mildew-y/moldy.

I snagged some more pictures.


Another side note, that design shows roughly what a ramp-door would look like, it is the gray area behind the sofa. I have the double barn doors on the back right now. I am tempted in the future to buy an awning, an add-a-room kit, and ramp door. A lot more expensive, but it would add a lot more room. If I do that, it will probably be after I finish the rest of the trailer.
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:50 am

4.jpg
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Obviously she is in charge of decor :FNP .

The design drawing shows my two LP 5# tanks, I think I can squeeze either a 30 or a 40 gallon tank between them and the front.

The main issue is the LP tanks are going to have to be mounted very near the front, the crank handle on the front jack will probably need an extension, it Definitely will if I mount the 40 gallon tank.

I know the 30 would fit, just barely
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... em_1p_0_ti

The extra inch might kill the 40 for me, but I'd rather have the capacity... (13" vs 12"). Like I said, might have to make an extension to raise the handle. I'm thinking square tube or pipe, two holes, and a bolt.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... em_1p_1_ti


I wanted to mount the fresh and gray tanks both underneath the trailer, but I can't find any freshwater potable safe tanks that are around 8" or less in depth. I want to keep everything above the axle height.

For the graywater tank, I am looking at this guy:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 ... UAXO1PCQDE
I will have to drill holes into it to add drains and vents, and figure out how I want to strap it down.
I know it comes down 9" at the maximum height. But it will fit in the very front so I can have a sink drain straight down into it. Using 1 1/2" everywhere as this is the norm for gray water apparently. The capacity is only 17 gallons, but I imagine the showering and drinking of the water will greatly reduce its burden. Somewhere out front I will want to mount one of those on-demand tankless propane water heaters... I see a lot of people using the eccotemp 5 here so I may go with that. I will want to tee off of it, run one line to the faucet and the other for an external shower.


5.jpg
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I will eventually need to get some batteries, I know to power my fridge it takes (rounding up) 900 watts a day, so I will want around 400Ah capacity to run it two days to 50% discharge (plus some LED lights). The only thing I can find locally are the L16 batteries... Still researching my options. I'd love AGM batteries so I could stuff them under the trailer, but as it is now I might just go conventional and mount them to the sides of the trailer. I have a generator I might just use in the meantime. Eventually I would want to add some solar panels to extend that out, 200-400W should be enough to keep it powered indefinitely from spring till fall. In my part of Oregon, we get an estimate of 1.6hrs of sun according to the insular solar programs (this is in the worst weather). But I wont be camping in the dead of winter too often either. I loved having this fridge camping, it sure beats dealing with coolers and ice!




Has anyone here had experience with the RV ovens? The surburban and atwood models look the same, I've heard mixed reviews. I would like a full oven, but I know I can just get stove tops too. Very conflicted on this issue. Counter space, I plan on having a cutting board to cover the sink and either set the oven low enough to put removable counter above the stove top, or get the stove top covers to use it as more work space. Something along the lines of these:
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-43554-Univ ... tove+cover
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby doris s. » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:14 pm

I've been thinking a lot about the cargo trailer. I just bought a recumbent trike bicycle and need to transport and would like to put it the trailer instead of my truck. So I was looking at a 6x10.

I would insulate it and add a fantastic fan and lighting. So a battery would be needed. I don't like AC when camping.

If I get a cargo trailer it would have the ramp back door. I would place my double bed in the front corner (Build frame with storage under and it would convert to a table. I would install a sliding inner side door (because no room to swing door with bed) with screening so I could keep it open at night for air flow. I would place the kitchen near the ramp door. I would make an inner wall with a lockable door and window so the back ramp can be used as a "porch" while camping. Not sure if I will install any other windows. I don't like to think I am compromising the stability of the walls by cutting into them.

I'm not into fancy so a 2 gallon water container above a sink and a five gallon grey water tank under sink works great (I have that in my teardrop and love it). A space for a cooler and small counter top cook stove (in kitchen) and porta potty (stored under bed) too. I would build the cabinets from scratch and use cloth on the fronts instead of doors to save on weight. I think this layout will allow me to hang my bike on a wall or from the ceiling while in travel. We'll see if I can make it work.

Good luck with your projects.

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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:31 pm

Ikea had a couple beds that transform from a twin to a double too.
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby McDave » Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:05 am

Hey Mark,
Great start! About the oven, Do you really use the oven at home for anything besides pizza or a roast? Cakes & pies, maybe.
Unless you are camping during Winter you will have to get rid of all that heat. Might wantto think about propaine BBQs and "Dutch ovens" and microwaves. If you can have a campfire, then weenie on a stick or my favorite, " The hobo Pack", meat/potato/veggies wrapped in foil then into the fire. Of coarse a nice Hydraulic Sandwich is never wrong.

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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:11 pm

Thanks McDave,

You made some good points, food for thought. Sometimes I go camping opening season for fishing in the mountains, when the lake is just thawing out. But it is rare lately. There is a coleman box that you stick on the fire or stove top to make an oven, not sure how good it is since I never really looked into it.

Might just opt for a stovetop, I can build the cabinet with the design to add an oven later if i REALLY decide I want it.



Any opinions on my water storage? I can fit up to 50 gallons the the tongue of the trailer, but that would be roughly 420 lbs, plus my two 20 pound propane tanks.... I will eventually have at least 200lbs of batteries behind the axle to help but it wont compare due to leverage. Is that too much tongue weight? I'm towing it with an F-250, it didn't even shrug at the trailer as it was now. I will have to crawl under and see what my hitch is rated for, at least class 3 for sure. Guess I should just see what it is rated for, I wanted a tank that was low profile and wide so I could hide it under the frame near the axle but they cost a lot more.



Windows should be here by Wednesday.... Then I might insulate and wire up some lighting at the same time. Or I might just rock it as is.

Otherwise, I added a door hook to keep it open in the wind and a handle inside to help pull the door shut.
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby hankaye » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:51 pm

Mark959, Howdy;

You should be able to find the weights for towing, and the other configurations
for your F-250 in the owner's manual. If you don't have that handy
piece of reading material handy, Just type in your year and F-250 weight limits and
allow Google to walk you down the garden path. I prefer the Owner's manual myself.
Be sure to look at the description so you get the correct configuration ie. Crew Cab,
Super Cab, bed length, wheelbase the kinda important things.
20 pound propane tanks are nicknamed that due to they Hold 20 lbs. of propane when
full so with the weight of the tank would be near to 45 or 50 lbs. It should be stamped
into the collar of the tanks. They are all different, just like humans ... no 2 exactly the same.

hank
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby flboy » Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:52 am

Mark959 wrote:
Any opinions on my water storage? I can fit up to 50 gallons the the tongue of the trailer, but that would be roughly 420 lbs, plus my two 20 pound propane tanks.... I will eventually have at least 200lbs of batteries behind the axle to help but it wont compare due to leverage. Is that too much tongue weight? I'm towing it with an F-250, it didn't even shrug at the trailer as it was now. I will have to crawl under and see what my hitch is rated for, at least class 3 for sure. Guess I should just see what it is rated for, I wanted a tank that was low profile and wide so I could hide it under the frame near the axle but they cost a lot more.


That is a lot of weight right on the tongue of the trailer and that doesn't account for any weight of the trailer and the build. Is there any way to move the water back over the axles of trailer. I struggled with that also and eventually settled on 2- 30 gallon tanks. One will go on each side and be enclosed in a way to partially be under cabinets with the parts sticking out making a good seat. I did have to put a fill on each side. Both tanks will feed the input of the pump so I am thinking they will draw down at the same rate and level off.

In any case... I don't think I'd add it all to the tongue. That is just my opinion..
Don (Flboy)

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viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Rainier70 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:59 am

One thing that you should take into consideration is that your 20 lb tanks weigh close to 35 or 40 lbs each.

There is a tare weight stamp somewhere on the rim of your tanks. It is what the tanks weigh empty. I think the tare weight is around 17 or 18 lbs empty then you add the weight of your propane....
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:52 pm

One of three windows came today, and I got some doors to make my own cabinets for 9$ with hardware

I will keep looking for a tank that is no more than 8 inches in depth, if I find that for a reasonable price I can put it anywhere under the frame.

An off the wall thought is I could cut the spring perches and move the axle forward, doing so would take some tongue weight off. In theory it shouldn't be that difficult, but it is a helluva lot more work than I'd like to do.

As far as I can tell I have a 4.10 rear ratio, so I should be able to tow a 5,000 lb trailer. But ford was conservative at this time, if I had a 5.13 ratio it would be doubled
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:03 pm

Got one window in. Started with the door because I figure if I screw it up horribly it would be the easiest to fix/replace.

Used my jig saw with a metal blade, cut through easy. Didn't tape off the area to be cut, nor did I tape the foot so theres some scratching on the paint. I knew better... At least I wanted to paint it anyway. I was able to cut through the siding and the plywood wall, but the trim ring was wider than the window so I had to go back with my router and clearance it more.

There was one square tube running up the door for support, so I cut it with my sawzall, I'm sure the jig would of done it eventually but this was quicker. I bought some new square tubing and basically welded it in like a window frame, tied in both remaining pieces of that old square, added horizontal supports and then verticals to tie it all together and give the window something to squeeze. Did this all with the plywood attached, used some dollar clamps from the hardware store to hold it while I spot welded. The siding and plywood squared everything up nicely. Had a fire extinguisher on hand just in case, wasn't needed. Did accidentally get too close to the siding on one spot, punched a pencil sized hole through after I cut the slag away. Already filled the hole up. OOPS.

Since the windows are sized for 2" walls I used 1" whitewood (more like 5/8 after its finished) and made a box around the hole I just cut, then cut the new wood to match the hole. Had to take away more material to get the damned trim ring to fit inside, the window fit great the first time with room to spare but that ring didn't. Still tempted to take the wood out again and run it through the table saw to plane it thinner, there is at least 1/8" - 3/16 between the ring and window, I just wanted to make sure. Otherwise I have black silicone to fill the gap nicely... Still not 100% in love with the look of the framing, but it will suffice for now. The door is thinner than the walls, I believe the door was 1 1/2, while the walls are 1 3/4.

After that, threw some #8 screws in to test it out and its looking good, so I will be going back to use the tape, then probably clear silicone around the outside edge of the window to make sure it doesnt leak.


Opened the trailer up a ton just adding that tiny window. Can't wait to have the other two in, but I certainly have reservations on doing them. Anyone have guesstimates on what people might charge to install them? I enjoy doing it myself but I also want it to look great, a lot of pressure doing two more.
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