Trailer Modifications for Full-time Vardo Build

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Trailer Modifications for Full-time Vardo Build

Postby kriellian » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:47 pm

Hi Folks – long time guest (reading posts) and have now decided to proceed.

My original plan was to build the Glen-L Bayou truck camper (have the plans, windows, door, stove top, etc) but decided to stay with a trailer (currently have a 30’ Fleetwood and a Silverado 2500HD).

First step was to decide on the type of build – which will be a “modern” Vardo for full–timing. The final design will be a composite of designs presented here (Little Gypsy, the Yahoo User Groups Vardo, Bobhenrys’ Barn) and other websites (Paleotools’ Gypsy Wagon, Paleopunks’ Vardo).

First of what I’m sure will be many issues has to do with the trailer. The design specs for my build are for a “ledge” Vardo with an overall width of 7 ft by 12 ft length, on a modified 5 x 8, 2K axle GVWR Red Trailer. The trailer will have 13” tires and be fitted with a 36-inch tongue extension.

So, TNTT Frame Stretching Gurus, does this sound safe/make sense to do:

1. Stretch the 5x 8 folding Red Trailer to 5x10 by placing the two center cross bars into the side rails (keeping the axle about 40 in. from the rear), as described here in a couple of posts;

2. Build the floor/box frame similar to that of Little Gypsy (minus the foot-well and with the entryway at the rear) but lengthening it 2 ft forward, cantilevering over the front end by 2 ft as in Bobhenrys’ Barn build.

3. The floor will be built “sandwich” style with 1/2 ext ply/1.5 x 1.5 framing/1/2 ext ply; stub wall, ledge and walls also sandwich style, 3/8 inch ply exterior/1.5 x1.5 framing/ ¼ interior. All voids filled with either pink or blue “Styrofoam” (can’t off hand remember which one).

4. Not sure on roof design yet: flat, slight bow (as in Bayou specs) or barn. If I go barn, I may go 2x4 framing throughout (or stay with 1.5 x1.5 in the walls and 1 x 4 rafters?; 1.5 x 2.5 studs with ½ ply trusses and 1x4 purling?)....not sure on this but at this stage it’s the foundation I designing, the roof can be designed as time goes on..

I’ve looked online at Harbor Freight and physically looked at other trailers locally (HD, Lowes) and from a cost comparison it seems the best bang for the buck is the Red Trailer...if the modifications as I’ve proposed make sense.

What do you think??

Thanks

Dennis
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Re: Trailer Modifications for Full-time Vardo Build

Postby Mary C » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:39 pm

Sorry no one has seen this but to be Honest I haven't because I havent really been on as much as I used too. depending on a lot of other things like if building on a trailer how much your tv can pull, and perhaps using foam it can lighten your trailer and using Foam and 1bys, I would suggest you visit the foamie section to get an understanding of just how we work with foam. You may be able to incooperate some of our techniques. good luck and maybe a note in the build section of your intentions will generate more comments.

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Re: Trailer Modifications for Full-time Vardo Build

Postby daveesl77 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:15 pm

I have the HF 1720# 4x8 trailer and it works for my 5x10. We will use it alot, but not full time. If I were to do a full time rig, then you might want to consider either having one built or look for a used aluminum boat trailer. Reason for the full build is you can get what you want and the price probably won't be killer. A used boat trailer can handle the weight and is structurally sound.

You already know you tow vehicle can handle it, so no problem there.

Good luck and I think you have a great idea!

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Re: Trailer Modifications for Full-time Vardo Build

Postby bobhenry » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:17 am

LIKE MARY C I would like to apologize for missing your initial post. Some times they just get past us !

I am sorry that I think what you are trying to do is a bit ambitious for the little red trailer. One of our Hoosier group just purchased a very nice little serro Scottie Sportsman trailer for $150.00. In the past I have purchased a 7 x 16 for a cool $100.00 so the bargains are out there. I truly think you will save yourself a ton of work and possible heartbreak if you were able to start with a frame from one of these style trailers. If you see one setting unloved just stop and ask you will be amazed the bargains you may find.

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here is one I found for a buddy for $50.00
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Re: Trailer Modifications for Full-time Vardo Build

Postby daveesl77 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:42 pm

Bob is dead right on this. My neighbor has a 19' Palomino hybrid (where the beds fold out, but it is a hard side everywhere else) that might be 10-15 years old. The interior is trashed due to years of neglect, major leakage and squirrels, BUT all the expensive stuff looks fine. Roof air, big 3 way fridge, furnace, full kitchen, bathroom, etc. The frame and double axle are probably fine as are the windows and doors. I offered him $100 for it, he said he would like to get $500. My wife told me she'd kill me if I bought it. So yes, there are some real bargains out there.

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Re: Trailer Modifications for Full-time Vardo Build

Postby bobhenry » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:17 am

daveesl77 wrote:Bob is dead right on this. My neighbor has a 19' Palomino hybrid (where the beds fold out, but it is a hard side everywhere else) that might be 10-15 years old. The interior is trashed due to years of neglect, major leakage and squirrels, BUT all the expensive stuff looks fine. Roof air, big 3 way fridge, furnace, full kitchen, bathroom, etc. The frame and double axle are probably fine as are the windows and doors. I offered him $100 for it, he said he would like to get $500. My wife told me she'd kill me if I bought it. So yes, there are some real bargains out there.

dave


And you know what Dave.....If his wife overheard the conversation in about 6 weeks he will come over to accept your offer. :laughter:
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Re: Trailer Modifications for Full-time Vardo Build

Postby kriellian » Mon May 11, 2015 10:54 am

Hi Folks -
Sorry to take so long to reply but life has a way of throwing us curves when we least expect it.
I've purchased a Tarter 6x12 landscape trailer (1850lb payload, close to 2K once ramp is removed) and will combine Dave's Little Gypsy and the Yahoo User's Group Vardo layout posted in ttnt with PaleoPunk's and PaleoTool's vardo's as found at Instructables dot com. Major modification will be canterleavering the queen or full bed 1.5ft truck-camper style over the tongue to pick up room for a small bathroom.
Wall construction is planned for 2x2 framing with foam insulation, 3/8" 4x8 T-111 exterior, 1/4" red oak interior paneling. Construction is scheduled to begin in Sept with having it weather tight by early December with the interior completed June of 2016.
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