6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:21 am

Yep, 10 footer. Wish it was 12 so I could have done a 10ft awning, maybe a tiny bathroom inside. Like you said, those rounded corners screw it all up. That and I would have blocked the lights, but I don't care about them as much... In the future I may slap a 10 here somehow and throw the 8 on the opposite side. Nothing like some shade on the 100+ days... When I am boon docking in eastern oregon there aren't many trees in most of the areas, and if there are any they are scraggly little ones.

Oh well, I am exploring other options...

Mounted the four 5k lbs stabilizer jacks to the trailer, got them for 90$ on ebay shipped. I think I added a link above.

I found a water tank I like, its only 6" deep but it holds 39 gallons. Theoretically enough for three people for two weeks. Fully filled thats about 400lbs more weight, but I don't have to fill it up - half filled would be under 200lbs. i will have to cut one of the c-channel joists and add another, box it all together to reinforce it. Probably use 3/4 plywood as a shield/shelf under it, boxed together with some steel. I have a rubber mat I could use to insulate when it gets to freezing, not sure if I should invest in a heating pad just in case? I do like to go fishing up in the mountains, last time I went up there, there was still ice on the lake.

I am thinking about mounting it off center, since the batteries are on one side -- the tank would span 2/3rd of the width of the trailer so it would balance out well.... Only issue I could forsee is if I added another pair of batteries on the other side. But the likelyhood of that is slim to none unless I add hvac. Even then, I could just slap another pair of panels on the roof and call it even - would only need to run it during the day, and it doesn't take much to cool <360 cubic feet of space as long as people keep the door shut.



I have a huge to do list I gotta try and power out before August 4th (taking trailer out camping) , and if I can pull off my solar panel rack I think you guys might like it. I want to be able to point it at the sun and angle it perpendicular for the most efficiency.
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby fourbtgait » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:38 pm

Nice looking set up, nice work going into it.
Do you camp John Day country and/or the Steens?
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:19 am

Haven't made it quite down to the Steens, but I often go past Christmas Valley. That is one of my goals soon.

Trying to figure out my trailer weight and balance... I need to get tongue weight down a lot. I'm sure the batteries and solar panels will pull some tongue off, but using the calculator I found, I will probably need to move the axle forward almost a foot too (about 10", which is doable). This is all assuming I put the fresh water tank at the very back of the trailer, empty weight. Loaded weight would still be good then. I want to get closer to 200lb tongue weight, right now its probably 400!. The scale topped 360 with something counter balancing.

calculator: http://www.engineersedge.com/calculator ... alance.htm


I just went out and took a peek. Should be able to move the axle forward 10" without issue, other than maybe the fender. The axle is 4 ft from the back on a 10 ft trailer, with a total length of 13'3". I always hear loading them you want tongue heavy, but this one already is....


All of this is assuming 250lbs in the front of the trailer two 20 propane tanks ~90lbs, 40lb aluminum truck box (plus chair weight), my mini fridge, sink, etc. And guessing that the tongue is about 165lbs, and axle around 110 - these numbers are 15% and 10% of the total 1100 lbs of the trailer. Might be off a bit, but I am not sure what to go off of otherwise. Moving the axle 10" takes off around 120 lbs from the tongue weight,and with the four jacks I can lift the trailer off the ground. I will see if I can get some spring hangers locally, weld them up at the right measures, pop the fenders off and roll it all forward and see. I can leave the old hangers that way...
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby fourbtgait » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:38 am

Interesting that the link you provided is the same one on this site. That really sucks having to move the axle and fenders. I have been tongue weight concious setting mine up but even with the calculator it comes down to variables. What if for travel you carry the propane tanks inside towards the rear?
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:09 pm

The axle is so far back that the leverage makes it take a lot more weight... But I might be able to work with that.

100lbs takes off around 40 lbs from the tongue, I'm guessing the tongue is at least 380 lbs right now, if not more.
Moving the axle 10 inches takes off 100 lbs.

I guess I could always take 200 pounds of weights in the back if I didn't want to move the axle, also that is not counting the 90lbs of a bbq strapped to the back. Guess we will see, but at least I have options.


Ordered my water tank, looked under the trailer and I should be able to fit it between the joists with a little work. I can't put it all the way back like I wanted, but it will still be behind the axle. Not sure if it will arrive by the time I want to head out on my trip, we will see. I think it is 43-44 gallons, 24x63x7 or so. Fully loaded that tank would weigh about 400lbs but I dont HAVE to fill it, it is nice to have the option to though!
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby dancam » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:20 pm

Yes, but if you move the propane from the front to the back you are first taking its weight off the tongue, then adding it to the back.
Do you have a bathroom scale that goes to 3 or 400 pounds that you can put under the jack?
Whats your tow vehicle? If it can handle 400 pounds tongue weight thats fine. 10-15% weight on the tongue is minimum, more is better or at least fine.

When loading the trailer i put all the heavy stuff above the axle or as close to it as possible. Even If you have 10-15% tongue weight like you should but all the heavy stuff is at the back and front of the trailer and the tv is not heavy in comparison your trailer can become a see-saw over bumps and pick the tv's rear axle off the ground. You dont want you water tank at the very back i dont think.
Its also more likely to scrape back there. Departure angle i think thats called.

Also dont make it so that if the water tank is empty the tongue is too heavy and if its full the tongue is too light...
I prefer it just behind the axle myself.
I also had to move the axle ahead on my trailer.

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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:06 pm

Good points, thank you!

My truck can handle it just fine, but i dont always want to use it to tow with either.

I agree with your input on the water tank, it should be close enough to the rear axle to have little effect on ground cleaeance or weight distribution. The axle tube should sit lower than the tank.

With the batteries and solar, and barbeque mounted on the back i may not need much more rear weight to get to my goal of 200lbs. I will crunch the numbers again and report back. Thanks for the input guys.

Another thought, if i ever get or build my ramp door that is additional weight that could help.
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby fourbtgait » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:39 pm

Though mine is not complete, it is far enough along to take out this weekend comfortably. Ive kept track of materials weight, from the foam, 2x2's, ply, battery, spare, etc and have a good solid guess on total weight. I then weighed tongue trying for 12%. Since I didnt have the ice chest full, I brought up weights from the basement. Even moving the spare back 3' inside changed my tongue weight a surprising amount. Unless you go into that calculator and add/change cells like some have, its a crap shoot I think.
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:22 pm

I have a bathroom scale, using my new jacks I can easily play with the front to try and get weights where I need them to be - I undo the back-side jacks partially (just a little, not fully in case it ever wanted to tip back), leave the front two jacks on the ground and then use the front main on the scale and crank it down until the other two jacks lift off.

Last time I tried that the 340lb scale went full circle and some change without liftoff, with 250lbs of ballast near the rear. BUT I didn't have the batteries or roof rack and solar, barbecue, etc on the back end. I also have my spare which I can throw on the back somewhere.


Tempted to install a hitch tube and cargo rack or building a step/rack, then I could have put the propane tanks in the back easily... Throw some bikes on, so on. We'll see, I will throw the batteries in tomorrow and try to finish the roof rack - then when its "fully" loaded in its current design I can see how much ballast it would take.


Just stained the ceiling - got some pine planks, putting some sound mitigation sheets on the roof and then rockwool, installing 4 can light LEDs into the pine. Going to use a single self tapper on each pine plank per rib so there is some give if things get twisty.
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby McDave » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:49 pm

There is a method for weighing the tongue with a normal bathroom scale. It may not be exact, but very close. Basically you want to split the weight of the tongue and then double the reading on the scale. So you need to build a simple two legged support with a horizontal member to rest the tongue on. You need to know hitch height, in my case 16in. The first leg, 4x4, should be cut to 14 3/8" so that when the horizontal 2x4 (1 5/8 x 3 3/4) is added to the top, the total=16in. Make sense? OK The second leg needs to be cut to 16" minus the height of the scale, minus the 1 5/8 horizontal member. So, 2" ex. for the scale, 1 5/8 for the horiz, (16" - 3 5/8 = 12 3/8). The length of the horizontal is not critical, but the tongue must be placed in the exact center. So if you use a 48" horiz. 2x4, you want the center of the hitch socket on the center of the horizontal, at 24". When you lower the tongue (raise the jack) SLOWLY, the weight will be transferred to the scale and the other leg evenly. Take that scale reading and multiply x 2. This is your tongue weight.
Ta Da!
:D

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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Mark959 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:57 am

Thanks McDave, I heard of something along those lines. I will try to fab that up since I am over the scale weight...

Have you used your awning in the rain/snow yet? I'm wondering how bad the gap on mine might be for letting crap through, I might make a shield if its bad enough. Looks like yours is similar to mine in that regard
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby McDave » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:07 am

I wish we would have had some rain, sadly though, none. I've had it on there since May. Not one drop. The gap doesn't really phase me much. I started off with it mounted about 3in higher, I was worried about the side door clearing the arm and the tarp when the angle was steepest to block the early or late sun. Once it was up I saw how much clearance I had and brought it down some, could still lower it some but it's working well. For me, blocking the sun was original intent. It would be nice if it could keep the porch dry and the Harley out of the rain, but these things are a process. You live, You learn. Adapt and overcome. If you modify yours, let me know. All in all, I love this thing and the price makes it hard to pass up. I could replace it 5=6 times for the price of a RV unit, but with the cover I think it will last a long time.

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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Ol' D » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:06 pm

Mark959,
Hi, here is a link that shows a method of using a bathroom scale that I think is close to what McDave just explained.

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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby Ol' D » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:07 pm

sorry the I forgot to add the link, http://www.hildstrom.com/projects/tongu ... index.html .
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Re: 6x10 Oregon Cargo Camper Conversion

Postby McDave » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:18 pm

Nice! Slightly different on the math, but I wouldn't expect to see tongue weights of 1000lbs. Still, that looks good.
Thanks Dan.

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