No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby SilverStreaker » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:27 pm

Well, we finally got to camp in the trailer Friday and Saturday night. I guess the third time is a charm seeing that I had to cancel 2 prior camping reservations due to family issues. I've had it parked at my in-laws for the last couple of weeks, so we just camped there "off grid". Here's 2 pics of our setup. My boys are on cots towards the back and my wife and I have a queen sized insta-bed raised air mattress.

Image

Image

I ran the generator during the day while I continued to work on the trailer and used battery power at night. The temps dropped down into the low 60's last night and it got that cold in the trailer due to lack of insulation in all the walls.

The plan is to get a wall mounted, folding bunk bed which the boys will sleep on and we'll still use the air mattress. I'm also looking at "garage" cabinets to mount on the left front wall so we can have some permanent storage.

For now, I have 2 batteries up front and just picked up a plastic tool box that I'll use for the batteries which is large enough to hold 6. I'm not sure yet if I want to leave it there or place it at the rear. That's the next big decision to be made.
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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby SilverStreaker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:20 pm

McDave wrote:I don't suppose there were any type directions provided with that screen, no of course not. So it is like a Chinese puzzle. I hate those. So all I can think of is to make carefully placed cuts to accommodate the cables, plus you may need to make one to get past the pulley on each side. Now the question becomes how to keep the screen from unravelling where the cuts were made. I know there is a product for mending screen, Iron on I believe. That gave me an idea for the cable relief. If you made a vertical cut just long enough from the top so the cable could travel freely through it's range, you could then iron on or sew a boarder or hem like the one at the top of the screen to keep the cut edges from unravelling and also would keep bugs out. So the cut would have a right hem, and a left hem that butt up next to each other but allow the cable to move between. I hope that made sense. I don't know what to call that material, webbing maybe? Anyways, that's the best I can think of.
Good Luck!

https://www.amazon.com/Window-Screen-Re ... B00SKJT81U

McDave


hankaye wrote:SilverStreaker, Howdy;

If you have an electric soldering gun/iron, then you can use that to "cut" the fabric
and prevent it from wanting to continue separating. Smells nasty so make sure you have
good ventilation. You can use some Velcro to hem the edges so that you can open
and close it to reduce the ariel attacks.

hank


beachguy005 wrote:One other idea to consider is to mount the screen on the ceiling forward of the cable lift instead aft of it. You'll hardly lose any space.


Thanks for all the ideas! After camping this weekend, I've decided to hold off on modifying the screen. I like the idea of cutting and hemming the edge to accommodate the cables but it was pretty cheap on Amazon and as the saying goes, you get what you pay for, so I'm not sure how long it's gonna hold up. It's not a regular screen material, it's more of a fabric and I think it will snag or rip pretty easily. I did add more velcro to the top edges and have it pulled tight around the cable in the corners and when i close the door I just undo those areas.
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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby sodatrain » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:14 pm

looks great! Looking forward to watching the build!
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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby SilverStreaker » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:26 am

duncanshannon wrote:looks great! Looking forward to watching the build!

Thanks! It's been a lot of fun. I've got a ton of projects to do. So between budget and free time, this will be years in the making. The nice thing is, we can use it right now and there's no complaints from anyone (wife, kids, dog lol).
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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby SilverStreaker » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:36 am

I picked up some cabinets from HD this weekend and mounted them up.
Image

Image

I'll be getting at least 2 more of the small ones to go along the wall so the kids have their own places to stow things.

We also test hung one of our hammocks. The one in the picture is too long so I ordered an 8' long hammock which should be perfect. I also ordered some E Track and O Ring attachments that I"ll use to hold up 2 hammocks across the back for my boys. The E Tracks are 5' long so that way it will spread the weight load out across the wall.
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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby SilverStreaker » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:37 pm

First official campout is underway and I couldn't be more delighted. The camp grounds are only about 20 minutes away but Friday afternoon traffic was horrible so it took closer to 30 minutes. The trailer pulled great. I need to distribute the weight a little better which I'll play with tomorrow's ride home.

A funny note though. I had read here on the forum that nearly all campgrounds have 110 hookups but it's wise to get a 30 amp to 15 amp adapter just in case. Well I had it on my list but just never added to my order and low and behold this campground only has a 30 amp hookup. Luckily, there's a Walmart just around the corner and they had the right adapter. So the moral of this story for any newcomer's like myself. When you read about something that's good to have, just in case, you better go ahead and get it.

Image

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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby McDave » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:24 am

Very nice!
Wow, I thought we were having some nice weather, that looks fantastic. And only a 30 min ride to a campground with power, you can't beat that. So much better than another Sat. night plugged into to the idiot box.
I have an assortment of those adapters but have never actually camped at a site with power or water. So far only boondocking, although at Sturgis there are thousands and thousands of boondockers so it's not like being out in the boonies solo. More like Woodstock style boondocking. There is a lot of BLM land in Montana and most ranchers have no problem with you spending night or two if you are respectful. They will come and check your plates and see if you are OK but if you have rural plates they usually just give you the wave. I'd guess they would come check you out if you have city plates or out of state or looked like you didn't belong. Wyoming and the Dakotas are like that too.
Enjoy your first weekend trip. Your partner looks pretty happy about the whole thing as well.

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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby SilverStreaker » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:08 pm

Thanks McDave.

We had a great weekend. In that picture is my youngest of two boys and he loves camping. He's in boy scouts so anything outdoors is great for him.

My wife and I slept on our air mattress but my boys tried out the hammocks on the first night. One of the hammocks was way too long but my oldest son insisted on sleeping in it anyways. Well about mid night, he was complaining of being uncomfortable so we quickly setup his cot and got him back to bed. Around 5 am my youngest started complaining about his hammock and ended up in our bed. The new hammock has about 6 to 8 inches of rope on each end and I think if I can shorten that up than it will work perfect. I have them hanging in E Tracks and when I move one end over about 2 feet or so, in the track, it really flattens the hammock out. So I'm hoping by shortening the ropes we'll be able to use them.

Image

One downside I noted to using the E Tracks is they are mounted at the same height as my future windows would be... This may not be an issue if we can't make the hammocks works.

Here's a pic of the second night with my boys getting along for two seconds :applause: and they have their cots setup for the night.

Image
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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby sodatrain » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:16 pm

Love how you are already using it! Are you designing the inside as you go or do you have a plan?
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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby SilverStreaker » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:37 pm

duncanshannon wrote:Love how you are already using it! Are you designing the inside as you go or do you have a plan?


Thanks! I started working on a design but it just wasn't coming together. So, I decide to just start using it and adapt it as the usage dictates. For example, we have two tandem kayaks and originally I planned on hanging them on the wall which will work great while towing the CT but not so much when we're ready to sleep. Some camping spots it would be fine to throw the kayaks outside over night but not everywhere. Now I'm looking to get ladder racks for roof and the kayaks will ride up there. I can also run a cable around the racks and through the scupper holes to lock them up.

Another thing we wanted to take with us is all 4 of our bikes and the best solution I came up with was using a bike rack which I could screw down to the deck while in transit and than set it outside and lock the bikes up during the night. I also have a heavy canvas tarp which covers them up perfectly.

I originally had the rack set towards the front of the trailer as shown in the picture but after our first real outing I decide to move it all the way to the back for better weight distribution.

Image

I still use a few straps to secure the bikes but nothing like what would have been needed without the rack.
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No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby BigDave_185 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:00 am

With as short as the bikes are. You could turn the rack system to one side or the other 90 degrees and put the bikes facing one of the side walls. When the bikes are not in the stands the rack would still be out of your way, You could also do some motorcycle type of system that mounts to the wall only.

Similar to this and could be pretty easy to fab similar out of 2x4 and some blocks. Low profile, permanent, maybe mount to Emmett -track on the wall?

http://ccrsport.com/bed-buddy-motorcycl ... l-size-60/


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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby mradair59 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:43 pm

SilverStreaker wrote:
duncanshannon wrote:Love how you are already using it! Are you designing the inside as you go or do you have a plan?


Thanks! I started working on a design but it just wasn't coming together. So, I decide to just start using it and adapt it as the usage dictates. For example, we have two tandem kayaks and originally I planned on hanging them on the wall which will work great while towing the CT but not so much when we're ready to sleep. Some camping spots it would be fine to throw the kayaks outside over night but not everywhere. Now I'm looking to get ladder racks for roof and the kayaks will ride up there. I can also run a cable around the racks and through the scupper holes to lock them up.

Another thing we wanted to take with us is all 4 of our bikes and the best solution I came up with was using a bike rack which I could screw down to the deck while in transit and than set it outside and lock the bikes up during the night. I also have a heavy canvas tarp which covers them up perfectly.

I originally had the rack set towards the front of the trailer as shown in the picture but after our first real outing I decide to move it all the way to the back for better weight distribution.

Image

I still use a few straps to secure the bikes but nothing like what would have been needed without the rack.

[b][/b]


SilverStreaker, did you find some ladder racks for you trailer? If so, what kind?
I have been looking, but dang they are expensive.
Thanks
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Re: No more tents - 8.5x18 Conversion Thread

Postby SilverStreaker » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:39 pm

mradair59 wrote:SilverStreaker, did you find some ladder racks for you trailer? If so, what kind?
I have been looking, but dang they are expensive.
Thanks

Yes I did find a set on Amazon. They are aluminum and fit up to 8.5' wide which is what I need. I haven't purchased them yet but they are at the top of my list (right behind the solar panels, a/c installation, windows, axle flip kit, upgrade tires to goodyear endurance commercial tires, 12 volt fridge, an awning and so on :shock: lol). Here's the link to the ladder rack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N459IBU
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