5x8 teardrop for small family

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5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby tfs104 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:36 pm

HI all, Looking to finally get started with my build. I wanted to get something going that is simple so I don't need to spend a ton of time not playing with my 3 year old! So... I decided to buy a Mig welder, learn to weld and weld up my own trailer :shock: I can't do things the easy way. Anyway, took a Mig class, bought some steel tubing and am now just getting around to cutting and welding this guy up. My tear will be a 5x8x4 and I really like the Wyoming Woody style, so might copy that design. Here are some pics of the frame. It's 1.5" x 2" x 1/8" wall thickness. My welds range from bad to decent. I'm planning on adding an additional cross member and some corner braces to make up for the crappy welds. Anyway, I hope to compete this guy in about 12 months time so I can use it for real next summer. Thanks for watching and feel free to give me tough feedback, I can take it!148579148580148581148578148577
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Re: 5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby tfs104 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:08 pm

Got the coupler in the mail this week so cranked up the Hobart 190 all the way and welded this guy on. I went with a bulldog coupler because I had a low speed decoupling incident renting a teardrop last summer with the more common type. My garage is full of tools and stuff so before welding on the tongue I really need to make a 12 x 6 spot for this guy to sit when I'm not working on it.



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Re: 5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby LMarsh » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:44 pm

Looks good, way better than my welds which are also quite crappy. I don't trust my welding or my cheapo HF welder so I used 2" angle and bolted it in addition to welding. If I had to do it again I'd go pretty much the same as you did. Take a class, buy a decent welder, use tubing (probably 2" square, 1/8" wall), and it'd probably be fine. Building my own frame added a ton of time and effort to the build but I got exactly what I wanted along with a torsion axle and nice wheels. Still cheaper than buying a utility trailer too.
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Re: 5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby working on it » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:52 pm

LMarsh wrote:... my welds ... are also quite crappy. I don't trust my welding or my cheapo HF welder so I used 2" angle and bolted it in addition to welding....
  • I helped make my frame (from a junk motorcycle trailer) by welding on 12" in front, and 24" in the rear, and other major mods, using a big Miller 220vac Mig unit. I helped, because I was not a welder, but had been attempting to learn for 10+ years. My friend, an expert, did over 90% of the welds. But, years later, I had to do a major modification to my completed trailer, removing the old (undersized) axle, and replacing it with a heavy-duty 3500 lb axle, springs, hangers, and all. And reinforcing the damaged frame at the same time (spring hanger tore off).
  • That's where our stories meet : " I don't trust my welding or my cheapo HF welder so I used 2" angle and bolted it in addition to welding....". I had to do the welding myself, this time, using a new Northern Industrial 110vac flx-core welder, using it for the first time. I had bought a 220vac stick welder from Northern, to do the job (for which I bought 1/4" angle iron, for the frame beefing and repair), but my garage wiring was only 40amp, so I didn't have time to rewire the service to handle the stick welder (I found out later, that it would've worked anyhow, with new receptacles). I'm sure that the 110v welder isn't capable of as deep a penetrating weld as the 220v welder, but I repeatedly worked on my pieces, beveling, welding, grinding (repeat, repeat), until I was satisfied with it. Then, I took the pieces (30" long angle iron with spring hangers welded to them) to work, where I had our resident welding specialist examine them, and see if he needed to re-do them for me, with the monster Mig he had there. He said that the welds were deep enough, and he said he thought I used the 220v welder, not the 110v. Even with the reassurance, I also bolted the spring hangers to the angle iron, as a safety, in case the welds failed, later. Three years, 2000+ miles, and a near catastrophic pothole incident later, the pieces are still holding together.
  • I've seldom had to use the 110v welder (nor the 220v welder, still wrapped in plastic), but it's never short-cycled on me, and exceeds its' listed duty cycle, making it weld like a larger unit. My neighbor borrowed it to weld on his recently bought trailer (his welder(s) were un-reachable, buried deep in his garage, and expressed his amazement on the capability of the little welder, also. I guess some Chinese junk will work, sometimes. But, I'm waiting for the day when we're finally ready to upgrade our home electrical service, so I can use the big welder, and make a trailer from scratch, like I used to help do, at my friend's shop. Having a success repairing and rebuilding my trailer (against advice), sure gives me the confidence that maybe old dog can learn new tricks!
  • northern welder.jpg
    northern welder.jpg (85.09 KiB) Viewed 829 times
    the 110 vac welder "overachiever"
  • 118144 my first major project, using a small flux-core welder
  • 114872 the unused 220 vac welder
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", semi-offroad, 4x8 TTT, 2065 lbs
  • *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 *more features to come!
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Re: 5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby tfs104 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:21 pm

More work done this weekend after getting my #9 Torflex axle in the mail. Stats are 60" between brackets and 72" between hub measurements, 32 degrees down angle, with camber, reverse brackets, ez-lube and prewired with electric brakes, that last part threw me a curve ball today. I chose the reverse brackets because my frame is only 1.5 inches wide and didn't want the weld on bracket to stick outside of the frame. I added some 1/8 inch 1.5 x 2" angle spaced at 2' to support the floor.

The pre-wired option came into play when I went to weld the axle brackets. I thought I would tack weld them in place with the axle still bolted to the bracket and then remove the axle so I could get good clearance to strip the paint and weld comfortably. Anyhow, since they came pre-wired, the wires pass through BOTH brackets making it a major pain to remove the axle, so, I didn't.

The other difficult part today was lining up the tongue so it was dead on straight. I took multiple measurements to ensure it was centered and not angled to either side. I hope I got it right!
Attachments
image3.JPG
wire passing through both brackets
image3.JPG (103.28 KiB) Viewed 643 times
image2.JPG
good tongue weld
image2.JPG (103.35 KiB) Viewed 643 times
image1.JPG
progress as of today, it's upside down but really started looking like a trailer
image1.JPG (129.9 KiB) Viewed 643 times
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Re: 5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby KCStudly » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:44 pm

Nice looking welds. :thumbsup:
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Re: 5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby tfs104 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:33 pm

I had a fun experience at the CA DMV last Friday. I wanted to get my rolling frame registered so i could use it to pick up materials, take stuff to the dump etc. while I built the teardrop cabin. I waited ~3 hrs before being told that they couldn't assign me a VIN because the trailer wasn't finished. The guy told me to bring it back when it is in it's completed state. I told him it's just a utility trailer and he explained (sort of) that it needed to have a floor installed. he kept asking me, "what is it, a flatbed? a utility trailer?" I told him utility trailer so maybe that invoked a picture in his head of something with rails and a wooden floor. This story would be a lot better if I had a picture to share I'm realizing. So I left with temporary permit to use the trailer through the month of July. This may actually force me to go shopping for plywood, so maybe it's a blessing in disguise.
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Re: 5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby Socal Tom » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:07 pm

Yes, they have to assign a “type” and a rolling frame that doesn’t fit a type . For all he knew you were building and RV that has a higher rate.


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Re: 5x8 teardrop for small family

Postby tony.latham » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:59 pm

...and feel free to give me tough feedback...


Super looking welds... but isn't your axle on the wrong side of your chassis? :lol: :lol: :lol:

I find it easier to build the cabin on a dolly and load it on the chassis when it's nearly done. Much easier to work around.

Image

Image

You might toy with the idea. I've done it both ways.

:thumbsup:

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