Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-Foru

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-Foru

Postby CaleyAnn » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:08 pm

Hi again Everyone, I moved to this sub-forum after I discovered it. It started originally in the General Discussion sub-forum. I figured I had goofed, so here it continues

The Cargo Trailer I am converting is an Interstate Loadrunner 4x6. Yes, it is tiny, but that was all I could afford right now, and all my little "Blue Pony" aka 2001 Honda CRV small engine type, can haul. Probably rated at 1000 pounds towing capacity. The actual inside measurements are, with door closed,

The actual internal dimensions are 71" Long down the sides, and 76.5" down the center; 51" High down sides, and 55.5 inches down center; 44" wide. It only has a rear swinging door. So, it is tiny by most peoples standards, but is large enough for one or two people, if they don't mind lying down in an over sized coffin. :D Dry curb weight is 610 pounds. It has a "V" shaped hitch setup. I had a front crank-up type support jack installed, as well as a read drop down support jack. Apparently the axle is a 2000 pound rating, so minus the 610 pounds for the trailer, leaves 1310 pounds. In reality, since my car is not technically rated to tow a ton of weight, I actually only have 1/2 ton towing capacity, and another 390 pounds to play with, with this conversion. Oh, yes, the tires are Rainier ST 175/80R13 inflated to 65 pounds. Suspension are 3 leaf springs.

Now that I have imparted the technical attributes of the trailer, here goes.

I have decided to start with installing the insulation, and doing the electrical inside. Insulation will be one inch pink foam inserted between the trailer support framework. They are about one inch square, bent into a horseshoe shape to create the sides and the curved ceiling. So, when I can purchase the sheets of foam, things should be fairly straight forward.

As for electrical, I am still researching what I need on the internet, particularly from Amazon. Right now, I was advised to use computer cooling fans, one on each side to move air. What I do not know is if one is an intake, and other an exhaust, or are both exhausts, or both intakes. Another person told me that these can be reversible. Not sure how you go about wiring things up so you can change their direction of rotation.

I also want 12VDC LED lighting, but have had difficulty finding LED lights that are not battery powered. I would like one just under the front of the trailers storage cabinet that will be set on the wall and ceiling. I want the other near the rear.
At the rear, I will be putting in a wall just inside of where the outer door closes. In that wall I want to install some kind of door. I think it will be a very basic wall, just a sheet of plywood that I cut a section out of for the door. That cut away section will be used as the door. So that is why I would like an LED light there. The switch would be on the side wall just inside the inner rear door. Somehow I need to figure out how to wire things so that I can turn the light on from the rear, but also turn it out or on from the front of the trailer where my head will be when lying down.

The switch is this one, or if you see a problem, something like it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2SDWGJ/_e ... P94C&psc=1

I also want about four cigarette lighter type receptacles so I can plug in my little TV/DVD player that runs on 12VDC. I also plan on getting a radio/CD player combo that also runs on 12VDC. All I can think of soing is putting in single sockets on three walls, then if I want to plug more than one thing into it, get fa splitter that contains two to three sockets.

I've been trying to figure out how to keep warm during the winter. My square feet dtotal is about 24. All I could come up with is this: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Ceramic ... ace+heater

Not sure just how I will cool things down during the hot summer here in the high desert of southern California. Suggestions!

All of the above has to run off a solar power system. I've been told to purchase AGM batteries. It was also suggested I purchase this controller: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002MQW3H8/_e ... P94C&psc=0

I still need to figure out what solar panels to get. A suggestion was to get the folding kind. Still not sure what wattage is necessary, as I have not determined the total draw for everything listed above.

I am guessing I also need some kind of internal meter to let me know how much power I am getting. Not sure this is a panel charge controller, or if it is a separate thing. If it is, I would like it where all my switches are, at the front wall of the trailer.

This is as far as I have gotten researching the various pieces of electronics. Since I really do not understand electrical stuff, I will definitely need help on what type of wire I need, and how to hook things all up.

Research continues. Please advise me where I am making errors on the devices, and place suggestions if you have them Meanwhile, I still need to figure out what the total power consumption is before I can figure out just what size battery and solar system I need. CaleyAnn
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby jondbar628 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:33 pm

CaleyAnn.........I'll comment on a couple of the easier ones.....Concerning the ceramic heater you listed.....There are 3 reviews for it, and all say it is junk. May want to continue your search. As for computer fans for air movement, there are a number of configurations widely used. Does your CT have a roof vent? The easiest and one of the most effective is computer fans mounted low in the walls blowing inward and forcing air up & out through the roof vent. If your CT doesn't have one, a basic roof vent costs less than $30 and weighs about 5lbs......The best places to find 12v led lighting are automotive & trailer suppliers (Autozone, Pep Boys, etc) and places such as Tractor Supply. There are also RV/TD suppliers that handle them. Some are referred to in various places on the forum. Shouldn't be too hard to find on the WWW........Also, don't be too quick to dismiss battery powered led lighting. Many here who are "weekend" campers use them successfully. the batteries last longer than you might expect, and how many hours a night do you actually use them anyway? It saves the hassle of wiring, saves some weight, and lessens the battery drain for the TV/DVD player, radio, etc. you mentioned..............You've got a lot of stuff cooking there when dealing with a 390 lb weight limit .........Then again, the challenges are what makes it fun :? ......smooth roads......jd
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:23 pm

jd, Many thanks. Yes, I kind of thought the ceramic heater wasn't all that great. Since my trailer is so small, I really need a very small one. I just do not do well at Googling, simply because I do not know what I am asking for. I'll keep looking.

The problem with putting a vent in the ceiling is that my 5 year no leak warranty would be void. The service rep said he could put the fan/vent in, and keep the warranty, but when we asked the technician, he said they were not allowed to install vents/ceiling fans in this particular trailer. :( I guess the closest I can get is to install on fan low down like you suggested, and then put a vent on the other wall towards the top. From the way you talk, it sounds like I have the fans pulling air in, and then having the hotter air go out the top vent. From the advice given by another person, it looks like I have to have two fans drawing air from outside, and two vents at the top of each wall in the trailer. That means four six inch holes to make. I don't know how big the exhaust vent should be, but the fans are basically 6 inches in diameter with the fan covers. I put on my wish list louvered vents for the outside of the same size. If I have exhaust holes, I will have to get two more of those outside covers. They have a screen to prevent critters and bugs from getting in.

I will follow your advice and just install two battery powered LED lights. It definitely does save in the wiring, especially that idea about the two switches controlling the entry light. I will have to turn on the entry light, then move forward to turn on the headboard light, then go back to turn off the entry light. A minor hassle.

I'm not sure just how much I will use the entertainment equipment. I tend to read a lot on my Kindle. So I probably won't be drawing that much from the battery. I might listen to music while I read though.

Yes, the weight is a problem. Most of what I am going to purchase will be small and light weight. The entertainment system is small and light, and draws very little power. I think it said less than 3 amps for the TV/DVD, and less than that for the radio/CD. The big drawer of power will be whatever heater I can find. But, with the insulation I will install, maybe the little trailer will heat up quickly, and I can turn it off, or maybe I will get lucky and find one with a thermostat. I think that some of the things I will need will just be packed in the back of my little SUV. I don't think that weight counts towards the tow weight, though I need to ensure it isn't too much

I'm not sure just how much energy I will have each night. The reason for the camper trailer is so I can go gold mining. I want to spend a week per month digging at the claim. I figure I can get about a quarter ounce of gold in a week. I know that isn't a lot, but the main thing for the outing is having the fun of the discovery of the gold. And what I manage to find will add to my stash.

Anyway, all of this will occur over a year or so, a money for the things I need becomes available. That's plenty of time to do research, and pick the brains of the experts. :D CaleyAnn PS: The trailer will be use within a couple of months, but all it will probably have is the rear wall/door assembly I will install, and those LED lights. I will have to rough it CaleyAnn
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:00 am

After a night of mulling over things, I have come to the conclusion that putting in a kind of bench/storage along one side of the trailer would be a waste of time. I will just make the floor where I place my foam mattress to bed down. I will have to figure out where to put some kind of cabinets elsewhere. Since I will be setting up a 10x10 awning, and attaching the matching lean-to type tent to that awning, all I really need to do is Put boxes into the trailer when I go camping, then set up the awning and tent. Then I just move the boxes into the tent. That leaves the trailer clear. All I need to do is install that back wall with the door in it, and possibly a set of cabinets up front just below the ceiling that can hold my clothing and other things I would prefer to use inside. Gotta use the KISS principle.

I also figured out that all I need are three 12VDC outlets, one in each wall. If I need to plug in another device in the same wall, I just use a gang. Again, KISS principle.

Seems that sometimes all it takes is one night chewing on an idea to decide that idea is out of whack. CaleyAnn

EDITED: It is afternoon, and I finally tried my idea for bedding down. It so happens I had forgotten I had a fold up cot. I set it up, and checked how it fitted inside the center part of the trailer. While it did fit, and I was able to close the trailer door, it will not do. That is because I still have to install inside the trailer door, a wall containing a door. What it amounts to is if I wanted to do the cot thing, I would have to find one that is only 75 inches long, and that isn't something I want to spend money on. So I am back to some kind of setup that is hinged, that can fold against the wall, out of the way. Hopefully someone out there has a link to an example of a fold away bed platform. I'd like to see how it is made structurally.
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby jondbar628 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:19 pm

CaleyAnn....You can't go wrong with KISS. Can't go wrong with giving things a second (or third) thought also. That's how it works, and why folks are still "building" their TTTs years after christening them. It's better to improve as needed than to over-build and over-spend from the get-go....There are as many folks here removing things they had previously thought of as "necessary" as those who are adding things they went without earlier. Why put something in you're only going to remove later for efficiency's sake?..............Happy Trails and panning, or are you sifting or hard-rock mining? (forgive me if I screwed up the lingo, not much gold in Fl or OH)..................jd
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby Rainier70 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:06 pm

You might consider putting a teardrop door in your trailer's rear hatch.
http://teardroptrailerparts.com/Windows___Doors.html
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby onehoser » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:17 pm

viewtopic.php?t=68016
have a look at the way i set up my bunk in my 5x8. it's been a while since i've updated my build but i've installed strip led lights with remote controls, solar exterior led motion lights, 12v cig plugs, usb charge ports and computer fans for ventilation. i use a 400amp booster pack for it's versitility and a 40 watt solar panel to keep it charged up.
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:28 pm

Cindy, Oh, thank you! I never would've thought of something so simple and obvious. That's about a two month period of saving money to get one of those doors. Meanwhile I can watch a video on how to install one, if something like that is online.

EDITED: Just checked the layout of everything on my cargo trailer. Based on all entry doors I have seen, they are at least 26 inches wide. That means that nowhere can I put an entry door. The structural steel inside is 20 inches on center on the sides. And the rear cargo door handle blocks any chance of putting in a door in it. I would have to come up with some other kind of handle for the cargo door to accomplish such a modification. So much my my excitement.

EDITED: Another thought on this is to keep the cargo trailer door open, I would add that rear wall inside that cargo door. I could then do what you suggested, though a bit differently, put in a Teardrop camper entry door. The nice thing about the teardrop door is that it has a little window I can open to allow air flow. Another is that it is lockable. I would have to purchase the teardrop door first, then my wall to the thickness needed so that the door would fit properly thickness wise. Anyway, I will just have to keep working on this entry problem. CaleyAnn
Last edited by CaleyAnn on Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:35 pm

onehoser, most everything in this trailer has to fit snug to the walls. Right now I don't even have an idea just how I will go about making the bed that can fold up, and latch onto one wall. I have to figure out what kind of hinges will work, and I also have to figure out how to make the legs fold back also

I think I will do a rough sketch of how I will be putting in all the basic things I want. Since I don't have computer aided drawing stuff, it will have to be done on paper. I will try to post what I come up with. Will also take a couple of photos of the trailer before I start working on it. CaleyAnn
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby racerrandy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:04 am

bed.jpg
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Do you have the ability to build with wood and have tools? The bed and how to hinge it would be easy and I will try to see if I can find an image to show you.

Google "cargo trailer hinged bed" and look at the images that comes up, you will see lots of ideas there.


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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby onehoser » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:35 am

a better shot of the interior
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby racerrandy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:24 pm

Do you need the bed to fold up? You could make a seat that pulls out to a bed and build a folding table on the other wall to eat or do whatever on.





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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:37 pm

Hey Everyone, Wow! A lot of stuff put up since I last visited. Rainy day here in 29 Stumps, California, so not doing anything until things clear up.

The problem I have with my trailer is it isn't all that wide. I finally determine that I could to some kind of platform that is 27"W x 75"L, basically the same size as a cot. I plan on putting a 4 inch, tri-fold memory foam mattress atop it, so hopefully I will not feel the wooden platform. Yes, I will hinge it. Right now I am trying to find fold down legs that lock in both the down and up positions. I also need to find two latches I can install on either end to hold the platform up and out of the way when I am loading for travel. What is the best type of sheet wood that I can use, and just how much bracing underneath do I need to install. I saw on one video that someone used OSB with 2x2's for bracing underneath. That gives me about 17 inches as an aisle for moving in the trailer.

Looks like if I wish a table/counter type thing, I can also make that fold down I am guessing I only need it to be 15 x 30 inches. This trailer is just for me. I doubt I will ever entertain someone inside such a small box. That's what the 10 x 10 foot awning is for, as well as the 10 x 8 foot tent that attaches to the awning

I ordered a few items, which is all I can do this payday. Ordered the two PC fans, the four outdoor louvered/bug proof vents, 3 single cigarette lighter receptacles, and two interior LED lighting units. I got dumb, and forgot to order the interior covers for where the fan units and exhaust holes are. All these covers I am using Marine quality type covers. I am hoping they will keep the rain out.

Next I have to determine just what size wires I need to purchase to carry the load of the electrical stuff that I will be using. It's all going to be 12 VDC, so hopefully I don't need thick wiring.

I did research on how to make round holes in the exterior of the trailer, as well as the plywood on the interior. Seems there are hole saws that can cut into aluminum siding. All I need to do is do a pilot hole, then carefully drill into the aluminum until I cut through, then continue on into the plywood, then stop just before going through. Then go inside and drill the rest out from the other side. Should make nice, clean holes.

From what I can determine, these fans will require a square mounting holes so that I can slip the entire unit into that square hole. I will drill a hole in this block of wood to run the wires through. I then mount the block of wood with fan unit in place to the plywood. The outside vent covers have a little flange that should rest against the fan face, which should create a seal. Then all I have to do is screw on the nice metal interior louvered cover. At least that is how all of this is going to work, I HOPE. Minimal cutting into the trailer structure is important to me.

I still haven't determined how I can run the electrical wires. Those U shaped trailer side and roof frames are in the way. I guess that if the wire isn't too thick, I can drill some holes into those, and run the wires through, without causing any structural problems. I DO NOT intend to fir out the plywood sides. That would cause me to loose interior room. I guess, if push comes to shove, I can run some kind of screw down conduit around the top of the walls to solve this problem.

Right now the majority of the weight is going to be the back wall and teardrop door I will install. The other two heavy items will be the fold down table and bed framework. All the electrical on the inside is probably a pound or so. The last heavy items will be the solar panel batteries which I will mount inside a box on the trailer tongue . That's something I need to figure out how to build, or if something is available commercially, get that, especially if a manufactured item will save weight.

Another thing I was told I needed was a spare tire. The trailer actually has a spare tire mount on the inside of the trailer. I would like to find a place to mount it on the outside. Any suggestions on where the smartest place would be? Just above the wheel guard?

Next month I will buy the plywood and the foam insulation. Once I have those, I can start the conversion. CaleyAnn
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:02 pm

I finally figured out the wire size for wiring up my trailer based on the maximum load of 12.5 amps drawn by a little car heater https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077Q9K7YL/_e ... P94C&psc=1 The size has to be 12 gauge. I will have to put this one one circuit by itself, cigarette lighter #1 socket

My TV will draw only 2.6 amps maximum. This will be on on the second cigarette lighter #2 socket

The two LED lighting units will draw only 1 amp total. These will be on a circuit of their own

I don't foresee using other things once I am inside. I have an old Sony LW/MW/SW/FM radio I had forgotten I had. It runs on batteries, but that is not problem.

Afer calculations, and I am not great at figuring out this stuff, I think I need this battery https://www.amazon.com/NPP-Rechargeable ... +generator

I am wondering if this solar panel kit will charge this battery https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074ZR3RNP/re ... anel%20kit
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:34 pm

I've been getting help in various places on the Forum. One person said, need pictures to help better, so here are three.

One is the inside. I already took one side panel off. All I can say is what a pain that was, as I had to remove all the strips of border the manufacturer put on in order to get the main panel off. The sides have U shaped recesses along the U shape structural brace. This should allow me to just slide the foam insulation in, if I can bend it enough to get it started.

The second is of the side showing both the tongue and door. As you can see, what I thought I remembered as a V shaped tongue, is actually just a very thick single bar, and it is very short. Withe the optional front jack I had installed, there may be difficulty in placing some kind of utility box astride that single tongue.

The third picture is just a frontal view, again of the single tongue. CaleyAnn

EDITED: Sorry for the pictures being in the wrong order. I didn't understand just how to upload them. But I guess they will do.
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