Expanding a trailer frame. Thoughts?

Design & Construction of anything that's not a teardrop e.g. Grasshoppers or Sunspots

Expanding a trailer frame. Thoughts?

Postby s&jhildred » Thu May 25, 2017 8:28 pm

Hello all!
Looking for a little input. My husband and I have bought a frame that we thought would work perfectly based on measurements in the ad. Once we got the trailer home and started sketching up our design, we noticed that the trailer was a bit smaller than we realized. So I've been trying to figure out the best way to expand the frame and came across this picture online. We would basically be doing the same thing on the sides of the frame, building a 10" storage space, and then the sleeping platform on top. We wouldn't expand the tongue, but would expand the back 12".
Any ideas, thoughts, or input?

http://tinyhousetalk.com/wp-content/upl ... railer.jpg
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Re: Expanding a trailer frame. Thoughts?

Postby working on it » Thu May 25, 2017 9:26 pm

  • I faced a similar situation, when I started my trailer build, but even more of a problem than you do. If you're starting with a frame in good condition, then adding to that structure is not a bad thing to do. I did my "additions" in two ways. First, my original frame was a total wreck, and too small for even a 4x8, which I wanted. I told a friend of my plans to bolt-on metal extensions to the existing structure, in order to expand the length (I left the width as-is). I only asked if he could weld on a new heavy-duty tongue beam (3"x3"x.1875" tube), and I could bend flat steel bar stock, to expand the rest. I had done the same type of work, making brackets and such, for myself and friends, for years (since, at the time, I didn't weld). Once I took the trailer to his shop, I agreed that WE should weld all of it, together.
  • adding structural pieces to frame.png
    welded on frame extensions designated by blue lines or stars
    adding structural pieces to frame.png (484.78 KiB) Viewed 823 times
  • We did all of the exterior structure at his shop, before I brought it home to my garage, to finish it off with all the interior, wiring, A/C, and decor. I also added a sliding tongue box support structure, made from scrap treated lumber, sorta like shown in your photo, so I know that extra wood pieces can be successfully added to frames, by bolting on. Others have done similar, but usually underneath, but the floor plate, and the monocque box structure of the cabin, will hold the side pieces firmly in place.
  • mini-camper-trailer.jpg
    your proposed wooden frame extensions
    mini-camper-trailer.jpg (76.95 KiB) Viewed 823 times
  • 113793 wood bolted to perforated steel outriggers
  • 113815 squaring up the wood prior to bolting it on
  • 114026 adding the slide mechanism to completed wood base
  • 114353 sliding tongue box completed
2013 HHRv a "squareback/squaredrop" 4x8 TTT,
semi-offroad?, at barely under 2000 lbs travel weight
  • 3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube axle, w/brakes
  • 27x8.5-14LT all-terrain tires (x 3)
  • LED lighting, triple fans. Pioneer stereo
  • A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator
  • Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill
  • zinc/stainless steel front racks
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Re: Expanding a trailer frame. Thoughts?

Postby 5150red » Sat May 27, 2017 10:44 am

I also made my HF frame larger. What you have to be cautious of is weight. Instead of creating a new 2x4 frame like in your pic, I took 2x4's and used them as just beams out to the side. The weight on the outside edge of your camper is minimal. I also extended my trailer by almost 2' (1' 10" if I remember right). And that, what you need to be careful of is the balance of your trailer in regards to your axle position. The rule of thumb is 60% front 40% rear. There is a calculator to help with this figure on tnttt.com.
Good luck.


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