It officially begins

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It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:15 pm

Ok after patiently watching for a used trailer I found one. Not ideal but for $120 even changes I want to do keep it well below a new one. And it's the only the second one that wasn't a rusted POS for under $500. This one is rather light weight too.

Was obviously home built, has an axle that has the brake plates but maybe 1" clearance between those and trailer frame. 1.75 axle so at least 1500lbs (perfect). Will need new tires.

Im going to extend the tongue 12-18", rear of trailer 12". Not sure which plan I'm going to use to raise the deck from the axle as shackles are obviously welded in.

Design:

Walls I'm thinking of simply overlapping the wheels partially so I have 4ft wide internal space (have to fit me and wife).

Internal height will be about 4.5', enough I can kneel inside without bashing my head constantly. Main space will be 7ft long inside. The extra 12" is not for galley space though. This comes to my design idea I'm working on to solve a problem: 3 yr old and 10 yr old boys.

Not doing the Tear drop shape. Just a box with half the front wall angled back a bit.

At the back there will be a bunk above the foot area wide enough for the 3 yr old, length is that if internal width. Will be accessable from inside the main area or the rear. Privacy barrier will be able to be put up between main and bunk/rear. Aka between us and kids.

The rear hatch is what I'm working on now. And this is the "problem". A lot of sites here you have an option of either trailer/camper or tent. Both cannot be in the same site and we're talking a good amount of space (sometimes 100s of feet) between where campers and tents are. So need to have a space for the 10yr old.

My idea:. Either a split rear hatch or an overlap (when closed) where the top is the external hatch then inside is another deck that folds down. Bottom deck would have a secondary flip out to give him the extra length My 10yr old is too tall already for a secondary simple bunk. But since he's from my previous, we don't get him but maybe 1/3-1/2 the times we camp (every other weekend thing). So the option of not using his space and leaving it closed is why the bunk will be accessible from the inside.

Then make us one of our tents to make 3 sides (one with the door) for him.

Goals:

Loaded weight (try to be able to fit 4 bikes on the trailer and keep it in weight) is 1500lbs.

Built on the best possible compromise of price vs how long it lasts before wood goes to crap. The "foamie" thing I'm having issues with. Sleeping in foam box just bothers me. So thinking if framing, 1/2 external ply using the "mix" (the 50/50 stuff I've been reading up on) for all sealing as much as possible then the glued on canvas that gets painted (PMF I think is what you guys call it). Right paint for that can do awesome things. Framing will be kept as light as possible except doors, leading corners/roof joints and bunk/hatch support.

I'll get into accessories later since none of that besides running electrical (will have solar/deep cycle for self supporting LED lights and usb ports) is going to be messed with for a while. Though an AC unit for when we have shore power (more often than not) is under consideration.

I don't expect this one to last like some of the good ones, but for a few years and to learn from.

Long read, apologies, hoping guys take the time to read it all and any ideas/advise is greatly appreciated.Image

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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:23 pm

A note, won't be camping more than seeing mid/high 40F at night, only be dealing with summer heat/humidity. Just tired of fighting with tents, air mattresses always leak, Midwest summer storms always manage to get water through etc.

And I'll add a couple wild ideas:

First was the idea of vinyl wrap instead of PMF. Ya 3-5yr service life but thought about the carbon fiber look would be sweet.

Other thing is I ran across independent torsion axles (2000lb), not sure how that would work though for this purpose. Won't be travel cross country, nothing more than a few hours and I live in the Midwest, just looked interesting.

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Re: It officially begins

Postby KennethW » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:14 pm

I would go with wheel wells vs building up over and at lest 52" wide to use a full side bed(60" is better Queen). The wheel well at your feet is not that bad. The floor can be extended over the frame without any support if you build a light trailer.
Over 48" inside is over kill(unless you go for a standy). You won't be on your knees much at all and when on your knees you will be sitting on your heals.
Sleeping in a foam box is not bad. The foam is all covered and it is very quiet.
No galley and kids? The galley is one of the best parts of a small trailer. No set up to eat!!
May want to do a drop floor in the galley area . it add a lot of storage.
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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:27 pm

I should have been clear, not up and over the tires, but wheel wells (didn't think that someone might build over the wheels completely).

Camping me and my wife prefer the "right way" of cooking food, cast iron pan, couple pots, griddle and the cap fire. If we go camping and I mention anything besides grilled food (especially meat) I'm sleeping outside lol.

Don't even own a camp stove.

Plus then the issue of where my oldest is going to sleep. Not with us lol.

I assumed I had to modify trailer frame to go wider. But raising the deck a bit will mean less wheel well inside. But 60 is doable if it doesn't involve making and welding 12" expansion all the way around the frame. Can do it but pain in the ass. Dealing with the shackles and tongue is all I really want to do if possible.

My concern with foam isn't noise and such, but strength/durability. Though if I make a Skelton frame first it may not bother me. Definitely save weight and WAY less water issues.

Other concern with foam is finished look. I have no problems with time and effort to make it look nice but does PMF over foam stay looking nice?

Much of that is "fear of the unknown" TBH. I'm great with wood, ok with metal, trying to built a foam box that will come out looking right...

If there's a decent cost savings to be had then I'll seriously consider it for the weight (and lack of noise).

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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:51 pm

Oh here's some sketching to get an idea (changed things a couple times, this is my "note pad"). Door isn't exactly to size (small in the pic) but I haven't decided what I'm doing there. Was considering a larger door then a screen door behind it so we can maximise air flow inside on nice days.

Image

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Re: It officially begins

Postby KennethW » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:42 pm

a low cost widow with maximize air flow would be the Wiley Window.
viewtopic.php?t=51721&p=953331
If you size it to fit a glass cutting board it can be low cost and be a place to store a extra cutting board.
I made mine to fit two panels. One being the screen panel. If I want I can remove both for a cooler or heater of some kind.
138445
Dog enjoying the radiant heater.
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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:55 am

Interesting idea but don't think it's for me. Any open ports have to have screens to keep bugs (mainly mosquitos) out.

And that's actually really small compared to what Im doing. The door will actually stay open with a "screen door" behind it. Just close the main door at night when were sleeping.

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Re: It officially begins

Postby Nobes » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:04 am

I have two practically new and one brand new 12" HF 5-lug tires. Let's say $100 for all 3. I'm in the DFW area. Let me know if you're interested.
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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:24 pm

Not wanting to change out my hubs, current set up (once I change tires) is more than adequate for the weight. Plus I doubt your anywhere near me (1.5 hours south of Wisconsin boarder in Illinois) Appreciate it though.

Right now trying to source the steel for the trailer mods. Not as easy as one would think, places want to do the work, not sell the steel. Might as well buy a brand new trailer if I'm paying someone to do 2 hrs of cutting and welding on steel that I can do myself easily.

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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:19 pm

Ok now to wait a couple weeks:

Took the trailer to the shop and was started checking over the welder (was stuffed in corner) and my buddy asks me WTF I'm doing. Told him getting everything ready so I know exact what I need.

He stopped me told me to head out over to another town 15 minutes away to a Fab shop that specializes in trailers.

Long story short, guy how builds customer trailers is a friend of my buddy, total job is going to cost same or only a few dollars more for him to do it all vs me just buying the steel. His material cost is <1/2 what my estimate for steel was.....

Also got surface mount LED trailer lights to make my life easy (and be full LED). Trailer will be hauling it's build materials once I get it back so gotta be legal immediately.

See what she looks like end of next week.

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Re: It officially begins

Postby pchast » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:06 pm

It does pay to have friends.... :thumbsup:
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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:21 pm

Ok came to realize a Honda Odyssey sits too damn low to use a standard 2" drop hitch around here. Hit a badly uneven transition at an intersection and the threads of the ball scraped. (No trailer just left the ball on because I don't need the bike rack back on yet).

So just ordered new perches and ubolt/plate kit so I can move the axle under the springs and flip the ball on the hitch. Way cheaper than buying and installing air spring kit or similar when this trailer loaded is going to be half or less than tongue rating for the van. Don't want to mess with the van more than absolutely necessary. I had expected it to have a trans cooler already installed since previous owners towed a small fishing boat with it but nope.



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Re: It officially begins

Postby mtbikernate » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:53 pm

Tigris99 wrote:Long story short, guy how builds customer trailers is a friend of my buddy, total job is going to cost same or only a few dollars more for him to do it all vs me just buying the steel. His material cost is <1/2 what my estimate for steel was.....

Also got surface mount LED trailer lights to make my life easy (and be full LED). Trailer will be hauling it's build materials once I get it back so gotta be legal immediately.


Now that's a pretty sweet deal right there.

For your oldest, I'd recommend a small rooftop tent, honestly. Something just big enough for two, so that when your youngest gets too big for the interior bunk, you can move him up there, too. Now that you're getting a nice custom built trailer, it'll be something worth keeping around. Maybe you'll rebuild the upper part, but the rooftop tent would be worth keeping around for another build, or possibly reselling later if you move a different direction with your trailer (you'll get a very nice resale out of it if it's still in good shape).

I get what you're saying regarding cooking with fire, but also keep this in mind: if you ever head west for a camping trip, you're likely to run into fire restrictions. On my trip to AZ last month, a number of places specifically prohibited campfires year-round. The place I ended up had fire rings, but I'm sure they have seasonal restrictions on their use when fire danger is high. With as weird as the midwestern winter was this year, I wouldn't be surprised if we actually see fire restrictions at some point late this summer, at least.

I would be looking for at least some storage in the trailer for supplies. I don't have a full galley inside my trailer, but I do have storage space so I have a camp stove. It's AT LEAST useful for making coffee in the morning. I can have a pot of coffee done before a campfire is ready to start using. And mine is versatile enough that I can grill on it if I do encounter fire restrictions where I can't at least cook hotdogs over a campfire. If you build some storage into your trailer, you'll have space to get your cast iron out of the van. Sure, you've got lots of room in the van, but it's super nice to get as much "stuff" out of the tow vehicle as possible. On my trip to AZ, the only stuff in my tow vehicle was my cooler and my bike helmets, packs, shoes, etc. And eventually the cooler will be going into the trailer, too. I just need a new one with dimensions that fit under the shelf in my "galley".

This pic is from my friend's home-built "Gypsy Wagon". Pretty much built like a shed that's permanently attached to the trailer. Queen bed inside with a small kitchen and a ton of cabinets for storing cookware. He loves cooking (former caterer), so he's got all the cast iron and everything in there. But he also has a small gas stove.
gypsywagon.jpg
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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:09 pm

Not feeling roof top tent. That adds to set up time.

Actually, decision has been made, he gets to sleep in the back of the van if we can't have a tent and trailer on the same site.

I am considering something in the way of storage or galley. Trick is making it work, headed towards a flip down. Toddler only needs so much space, leaves me with some unused area.

So thinking a narrow flip down that folds down out the back on one side (no sketches yet or anything, just brainstorming ATM) that has a simple camp stove or similar mounted to it and maybe a small sink/counter space. We'll see.

Right now just itching to get my trailer back. I'll have a whole $400 in it, just need new tires.

But when this build will begin now hinges on my work van not having blown a head gasket. Prayers are that it's just the thermostat.

I'm still beating myself up on whether full wood or foamy hybrid. 2" foam sides with 1" framing and plywood roof or just go all thinner ply. 1/4-3/8 outer skin, 1" framing, Luan or similar inner skin

PS, thanks for the heads up on burn bans out west. Never had that problem here that I'm aware at camp grounds, all have fire rings. But used to burn bans for open fires. We already had one this year for about 2 weeks.

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Re: It officially begins

Postby Tigris99 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:17 pm

Got to see progress on the trailer today because I had to drop off the new perches and ubolts/plates for moving the axle under the springs.

Coming along nicely. Full 8ft length now and deck is 5 ft wide (minus tire area).

Should be done in a few more days. Like that he went with 1/8th wall 2" square tubing for everything.

Since the trailer is coming up about 4", some in floor storage may be doable as well now. Maybe a couple small water tanks (at least one for fresh water) will be doable now too. I'm picky about water since I spent beyond age 10 on a farm. Nothing like natural ground water. Town water tastes like a swimming pool as does any campground drinking water. Just swing out to parents place when we head out and fill up lol.

Otherwise it's inline filter set up.



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