Goat Build, Newbie

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Goat Build, Newbie

Postby jeffheb » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:05 pm

Hi everyone!

Been reading lots on here lately and finally think I have enough research to start building. Below are my drawings for a 7'x14" single axle trailer! Planning on getting the 5000 lbs leaf spring axle and extra 6-12" of height to make head room over 7'. Thinking of going The Trailer Showroom route the factory is 10 miles away, or Interstate is also close.

Please any advice! Any areas where I am not being realistic please call me out on!

About us, family of three. Two hikers, climbers, paddle boarding, biking, fun havers, and One super mellow, fun having 6 month old. Two Blue heelers... (don't ask why we have 2). We don't have any heavy toys to put in the trailer (Road bikes, a mountain bike, trail running shoes, some climbing gear, and inflatable paddle boards). We would get a Sprinter Van, but I like/want/have to be able to detach from the camp site and go. Sprinter Vans taking up THREE parking spots at trailheads are annoying. We have a Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 as a tow rig, so not super worried about weight. We want to drag it to trailheads or near to camp out and hike, forest service roads, or climb for a few days at time. Throw a yearly trip to a national park in there. Then I plan to insulate the crap out of it and use it as our ski hotel in the winter! Grew up towing snow machines so towing in snow is not the end of the world to me.

Questions:
Is the floor plan realistic/livable or are we packing too much in?
Weight wise not overloading trailer? (mostly wood 2x4 or 1x1 structure inside)
If you have IKEA cabinets in your trailer how are they holding up with the vibration?


158051158052158053158054
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Re: Goat Build, Newbie

Postby kirkupnorth » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:39 pm

Welcome, Jeffheb!

Looks like some nice plans. Is that queen bed going to be murphy style, or raised?

I have to admit, what really caught my eye in your post was two blue heelers. Yikes! We had a blue heeler for 19-1/2 years, and she had a spring in her step right up to the end. Smartest dog ever born! We got her when she was 10 weeks old, and she was completely housetrained in about six minutes. First day, we took her out to the backyard, she pottied, we made a big fuss with praising her, and that was it!! No lie. For her first three years she was really a handful, but she turned out to be "one of the great ones". They are AMAZING dogs!

Have fun with the build -- we had a blast doing ours last year. Be prepared to be flexible and make adjustments as needed.

Post lots of pictures, and enjoy! 8)
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Re: Goat Build, Newbie

Postby jeffheb » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:00 pm

Thank you Kirkupnorth!

The bed is raised on a platform, thinking of having a friend weld the platform or using hard wood...
Definitely planning on being flexible, it is anyones best guess what will get built till I actually lay hands on a trailer! The bathroom is currently the biggest debate.

They are truly special dogs! Our male was like that, we put zero effort in house breaking him. At 1.5 yrs old he is a holy terror though! We run a lot, I run with him, then my wife runs with him! Our female is 5 yrs and she might be the best dog ever.

Thank you! :D
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Re: Goat Build, Newbie

Postby Iconfabul8 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:00 am

I have actually put a lot of thought into an all weather build. I live in a cold climate and would love to be able to shower In the winter and not have to flush the toilet with antifreeze. Some Motorhomes are built much like this, you might learn a few tricks from studying them. If I build again I would put a couple inches of insulation over the whole floor and sheet over it. I think Irrowe did this and he even had his door raised from the factory to make room for the insulation height. I would build the trailer with insulated access doors in the side for the sewer valves, water filler, and anything else I wanted to access from outside that I want to keep warm. The water and holding tanks would set on the floor and the bathroom would be elevated enough to drain into them. So a high ceiling would be needed. Everything would be much more accessible and everything would stay nice and toasty. The other thing this would do is give more head room to put bunk beds or storage up high in the living area. Anyhow, That's how I would do it. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
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Re: Goat Build, Newbie

Postby NO David! » Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:19 am

Welcome to the madness!

Nice looking plans you have there. Since your goals sound very similar to mine, I'll offer up one of my older replies that should cover my primary thoughts.
NO David! wrote:Where to begin?

-Buy a trailer at least 2' longer than you think you need.
-I bought tandem axles only for the better ride over bumps vs single axle
-Don't discount the value of windows, it makes all the difference in camping in a coffin vs. the back porch, (light and ventilation).
-I used a 5,000 BTU window unit for A/C, with a proper insulated trailer, it works wonders
-Only get a V-nose for space considerations, reports of almost no advantage in fuel mileage are rampant.
-Fantastic vent fan or equal in place of one of your two rooftop vents, (you did spec two right?)
-Modular design for floor space? consider vertical E-Track.
-Go ahead and order a factory installed 36" wide RV style door, this is so worth it!
-Use blue tape and layout your plans on a garage floor or driveway etc. in the footprint of your trailer.
-Take a trip or two before finalizing your build, you'll be amazed at what won't work or will.
-4 stab jacks from the factory
-Single RV step from the factory
-I chose standard leaf spring for greater ground clearance, (very handy on forest service roads)

Here's my favorites that may suit your use targets if you haven't already seen them:
Gonefishin 6x12 Window placement, simple solar, awesome decor, goes everywhere, does everything, simply.
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=33924

WA 7x12 single axle, this one sold a while back, but I borrowed lots from his build, what's not to like?
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=40504

Gadgetman 7x14 tandem, this one is more than I could do, but it really works.
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=45992

Last, here's my humble offering, designed to camp, haul toys, and convert back to a full trailer if needed.
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=48345

Edit to add window A/C discussions:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=49438
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50223

I've just about stopped putting stuff in the tow vehicle, I just load the trailer based on the upcoming trip, hookup and go.

I still find it hard to wade through all of the posts to find builds related to my (or the newcomer's) interest, so that's why you hear from my list.


So after 6 years, we don't think we'd change anything on our setup. The modular basic design and the E-track makes it so we can change it to suit our needs in pretty short order. With the kids grown, we enjoy the space, have room for company from time to time, along with our two knuckle-headed dogs.

Edit: The tandems don't "turn" as easy when backing, and I didn't need the extra weigh capacity, but, I still prefer them for ride, can keep going if there is a flat, change the tire by simply driving one axle up on a block, trailer isn't so "tippy", and tandem seems to handle variety of trailer loading inside better in terms of balance. As far as backing, since the tandems don't turn quite as sharply, I think it makes backing easier, which I've had to do in some tight spots, off pavement a time or two.

Ok, so these guys are in Canada, but they tagged one of my older posts, they saw the kayaks and mountain bikes in my trailer picture. Anyhow, they look like they build a quality custom trailer, all aluminum, and I get the idea they are very interested in the cargo conversion market. They certainly should know how to prep it for winter, eh? :) https://twitter.com/CanadianTrailer
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Re: Goat Build, Newbie

Postby Rainier70 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:09 am

Nice well thought out plans! :applause:

I really like how you plan on stacking the queen bed over the foot area of the small one. Good use of space.

For me, I like having a bathroom/shower area. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want, or you can double use the space with something like a roll out closet etc.

One thing to consider is an exit window or rig your rear doors to open from the inside.
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Re: Goat Build, Newbie

Postby jeffheb » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:24 pm

Thanks everyone for the tips!

Iconfab
Iconfabul8"[quote="Iconfabul8 wrote: ...If I build again I would put a couple inches of insulation over the whole floor and sheet over it. I think Irrowe did this and he even had his door raised from the factory to make room for the insulation height. I would build the trailer with insulated access doors in the side for the sewer valves, water filler, and anything else I wanted to access from outside that I want to keep warm. The water and holding tanks would set on the floor and the bathroom would be elevated enough to drain into them. So a high ceiling would be needed. Everything would be much more accessible and everything would stay nice and toasty...


Thank you for the tips! I have been debating floor insulation a lot, one layer vs 2. Have seen it built into the sub floor and then below the floor on the outside of the trailer in my research. Any thoughts about foam board insulation below the floor/under trailer or spray foam out there? I want to know how it holds up?

NO David! wrote:
-Buy a trailer at least 2' longer than you think you need.


Hehe I will have a 8.5' x 20' land yacht! Be finished building it in 3 years. If only. We have been debating size a lot... The 14' is a touch big or perfect for us at the moment, the V nose would add 3 ft of length and be big for us. But, I really want simplicity, SA would be nice if I have to turn around on a trail. Could find a flat spot and unhook and turn the truck and then turn the trailer by hand to get out of a less than desirable situation...

Thank you for the rest of the list, super useful! Haven't fully thought out half of it. We are going to tape it out in the parents barn next week. Planning three 30"w x 15"H windows from factory and maybe one 30"x30" too.

Rainier70 wrote:Nice well thought out plans! :applause:

I really like how you plan on stacking the queen bed over the foot area of the small one. Good use of space.


Thank you! :D Grew up on sailboats and we lived for 1-3 months every summer on the boat (pops would drive back and forth to work) and I robbed some of my space saving ideas for sleeping from sailboats interiors. Everything is odd shaped and pieced together like a 3D tetris game!
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Re: Goat Build, Newbie

Postby jeffheb » Thu May 02, 2019 1:50 pm

Update,

Spent a few evenings researching. Need the V nose (it adds 3 feet to the box length from the manufacturer I have been talking to). And found this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVHKal4aQ4s

I like that the door is on the nose! Seems like a better use of that odd shaped area. Does anyone else have a door in their V-nose? How functional is it?
So, that got me all excited and I drew up a couple plans. Weight distribution wise does anyone think I can get away with bathroom, kitchen, grey water tank on same side with only beds on the other, maybe water tank and batteries to help balance?

Thanks everyone!158081158081
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Re: Goat Build, Newbie

Postby hankaye » Thu May 02, 2019 6:26 pm

jeffheb, Howdy;

One thing that jumped out at me was the location of you Bathroom. You've got is centered (front to back),
which would put your black/gray tank right about where the axle is and it may be weight neutral (front to
back), but will make installation a bear. You'll want to locate the dump valve & 'T" handle in front of the
wheel/tire assembly as well to protect it from road debris thrown from the tire.
Nothing wrong with the BR where you have it just a thing or 2 to consider before you place items in there.
Were it me I'd place the black/Gray tank in the slot just in front of the axle.

Looking forward to following your build.

hank
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