Tri build - some sort of 5x10

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Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:19 am

I have been a lurker over the years but never found myself in a position to build a TTT. That has now changed and my build is underway. My build will not be innovative or a new idea that will bring this board to a jaw dropping stop. Everything I am planning has essentially originated from one post or another on this forum. Since many of my ideas came from other build logs I decided I better have my own build log in case someone else can gain ideas from my "stealing" of the other ideas. On and on it goes...

My goals for a trailer are unique to some extent but the same as everyone else. My camping style is one of two things. First I frequent state parks more than other camp grounds. This is often driven by the target location that I wish to go hiking at. When I pick a camp spot is is normally somewhere I can go biking, hiking, running, or because it is located near a city I wish to visit.

The second style is the main reason I finally decided to build the trailer. My wife and I are active competitors in Marathons, 1/2 Marathons, 10K, 5K etc. Myself I am an active competitor in triathlons. By competitor I really mean we finish. My goal is always not to finish last! The podium isn't on my radar, completing the event is. I am 100% the poster child for "I run for beer!". The challenge with this is always logistics. When I see an event that is an hour or more from my home I have to decide if I want to get up at 2, 3AM to try and make it. If you have never entered any of these type of events they are almost always similar to a 7:00AM Saturday morning start time. Sometimes Sunday, sometimes 8:00, but always very early on a weekend.

Now working backwards from this we have 7:00AM start time. I need to register by 6:00AM, I need to be on site by 5:30 so that I can poop (yes, this is a real concern-think 1 hour or 2 hours into an endurance event and what do you do...?) I need to be driving and eating by 4:30 if this is one hour away for the drive and see the 5:30 target goal for the eating part. I need to be awake by 4:00 to check the tires on my bike, load up final gear, let my dogs out etc to get on the road on time.

Each year I have a number of events (3 last year) that the night before I wasn't able to get everything ready that I decided to try and target getting on the road in the morning. Logistics just didn't work for me. With an entrance fee for each event from $50-100 it is wasted money to miss the event. I can stay in a hotel the night before but I can't justify that to myself weekend after weekend. I can justify sleeping in a Walmart parking lot the night before and cutting out the drive time. For most events this is closer to 2-4 hours than 1 so it is a huge incentive to remove this piece. For destination cities the camp ground cost is worth the price if I plan to stay the entire weekend.

With that said here are a few design concepts I am incorporating. Every time we go camping now my wife has 1 hard stop rule. The toilets must be clean. To help with this issue I will have an indoor porta-pottie. The porta-pottie will be used for urine only and/or emergencies (no clean toilets). I have no problem using whatever facilities are available so this is strictly for my wife to have comfort of mind that we always have a backup. It will not be in an enclosed space, just stored to be pulled out into the open area of the trailer when needed. No modesty here! 20+ years of marriage works in our favor here.

The second request is that she is tired of waking up in the morning with moisture on everything. After years of tent camping I am onboard with this one. This will be resolved with insulated walls, floor, ceiling, proper ventilation, and climate control. This is pretty standard for the build logs I have seen. Nothing fancy here.

The third build idea here is I will not have a hatch and galley. When I pick locations to camp I always frequent the local restaurants. I am a foodie of sorts and I love to try the local food scene and breweries wherever we go. This is a guilty pleasure that we enjoy. Talking with my wife we have decided that all we need for a food prep is a toaster oven and coffee. A toaster oven gives us enough options for a meal when needed or snacks. Normally breakfast is the only meal I make in camp before I head out for the day of activities. A bagel with almond butter, a banana or apple and coffee is all this needs to be.

When I combine the above 2nd and 3rd items and mention that I also live in Charleston SC I have decided that I very seldom need to have an outdoor galley. If it isn't the heat and humidity that will drive me away from cooking anything outside the bugs will for sure!. My idea now is a small sideboard type table that will mount to the wall of the trailer. This will allow me to move it outside, or inside depending on what my plans are. I can use the toaster oven and coffee maker outside if I wish, or just as easy inside. I think this is the best option for my goals.

Lastly I have decided on using a ClimateRite unit for HVAC needs. I had decided on a window AC for a long long time and I was looking at various ways to complete the heating side of the equation for morning in the NC mountains in the fall/winter. After thinking it through for long enough I decided the ClimateRite was the best option. The down side was the cost the upside was the easy of acquisition, and installation. I have decided on a few items the cost exceeds the cost of my time and I am ok with that.

Opening comments out of the way now, here is the build. I decided on a 5x10 because I wanted a queen bed. I also wanted to open up the space some to allow for the extra space needed for ideas described above. I also wanted it to be a little larger to guard against needed a 2nd one too soon after completion. When I was debating how to solve the trailer (the frame part) of this build I decided I wanted trailer brake and a anti-sway bar. I spent a number of years working in a position that I pulled a trailer all day every day. I have towed for 1000s of miles. My wife has towed 0. If I ever want to be able to have her tow any miles I want to lower any changes of death wobbles and make it as safe as possible. The anti-sway bar goes a long way towards this. My tow vehicle is a smaller truck. I don't see that I will every move up to a 1/2 ton sized towing vehicle so the trailer brakes are a must to remove any chance of the trailer pushing the vehicle past a stopping point.

I debated the best way to meet this requirement. I thought about starting with a Northern Tool trailer but I would end up wanting to extend the tongue and replace the axle and wheels and I would have $ tied up in items I planned to sell. I decided to build my own trailer. I sourced a 3000lb axle with brakes, drums, springs, that would be shipped via freight to my house for a great price. This was on eBay. I was going to order the axle and after it arrived I would go buy the steel and start welding up the trailer. When I went to buy the axle I noticed that it was being sold by a trailer manufacturer. Before I hit the buy-it-now I sent them a message and told them what I wanted. They replied with a price for a 5x10 trailer no lights, floor, gate, etc. They called it a skeleton and said they build them all the time for BBQ trailer sellers. I weighed my time of building the trailer vs. ordering one done already and decided to place the order. 6 weeks later I drove the 2 hours to pick it up and bring it home.

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I used lights that I screwed to a piece of scrap wood and zip ties for the lighting to get home. They will be installed into the wall later. Once I got the trailer home I noticed that the axle was installed at 70/30 instead of 60/40. I will need to take this into consideration when building. I am debating a number of options now. My original plan was to install a pair of 12v batteries onto the tongue and place the ClimateRite into the truck bed during transport. I am installing a receiver hitch on the back of the trailer. The plan was to run my Yakima bike rack on the receiver hitch. It weighs 51lbs. I would also run around 20-40lbs of bikes depending on the situation. I now think I might install a rear cargo rack in the receiver and move the batteries to the rear of the trailer and also mount my ClimateRite onto that. This would bring some weight rear of the axle and help with the 70/30 placement. Doing this I would not use the Yakima hitch rack for my bikes. Instead I would mount a pair of roof top carriers to the tongue. This would be about 10lbs and the 20-40lbs of bike. I think this is a good solution as it will allow me to permanently mount the ClimateRite so that I don't need to huk it around every time I camp. I can also use a cable to permanently lock it to the trailer. I am also considering moving the mattress from fore to aft as well. A 6" queen size foam mattress is a decent amount of weight and running it towards the rear of the camper vice front would change the weight distribution as well. I do want to hear everyones thoughts on this so let me have them!

I started assembling the floor. I am going with 1/4" plywood, 1/2" skeleton middle with 1/2" foam insulation and a 5mm top. The top is glued and stapled the bottom is glued and brad nailed. This is a thin panel build and now that it is completed I can feel the softness in it but I am ok with that. This isn't the final floor, just the beginning. After the walls are up I will be gluing hickory flooring to this floor. I picked up a odd lot of Hickory engineered hardwood flooring from Lumber Liquidators and gluing this down to my trailer floor will give me all the strength I need. I did make sure that the flooring I purchased had a plywood backing on it and not an MDF backing so it will work perfectly.

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I used strips of the scrap 5mm pieces to fill the gap between the angle iron cross pieces welded under the side pieces.

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I test fit the floor on the trailer this morning and it was a bit too wide after construction. I will hit the sides with a quick bit of belt sanding and it will drop right into place. My next step is to cover the bottom in epoxy. I am hoping to get the epoxy down and covered with paint before the end of this week. I want to get this step completed before the outside temp drops below 60 and I miss my epoxy cure time window. More to come.
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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby John61CT » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:28 pm

Sweet post!

redbicycle wrote: it was being sold by a trailer manufacturer. Before I hit the buy-it-now I sent them a message and told them what I wanted. They replied with a price for a 5x10 trailer no lights, floor, gate, etc. They called it a skeleton and said they build them all the time for BBQ trailer sellers. I weighed my time of building the trailer vs. ordering one done already and decided to place the order. 6 weeks later I drove the 2 hours to pick it up and bring it home.


Link please?

> I want to get this step completed before the outside temp drops below 60

So jealous
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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:00 pm

John61CT wrote:Sweet post!
Link please?


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-3500-3-5K-BR ... nav=SEARCH



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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:34 pm

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Floor finished in expoy followed by paint.


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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby John61CT » Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:59 pm

redbicycle wrote:
John61CT wrote:Sweet post!
Link please?


https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-3500-3-5K-BR ... nav=SEARCH


Sorry do you mean that eBay seller is the custom trailer manufacturer you used?

That was what I'm after, the fab, engineering & weldin labor, not parts.
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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:13 am

John61CT wrote:
Sorry do you mean that eBay seller is the custom trailer manufacturer you used?

That was what I'm after, the fab, engineering & weldin labor, not parts.



Yes that is correct. That is the eBay link. Here is the website: http://downtoearthtrailers.com/
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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby John61CT » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:39 am

Ah cool, thanks, yes heard of them
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Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:28 pm

It looks like it is going to rain most of the weekend. My plan was to run Saturday morning followed by buying lumber and build on Sunday. Because of the rain I went home after work and installed some temp. Lights and made a lumber run.

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As it sits here I have 265lbs of tongue weight. Not much of any of the load is behind the axle but even with that I believe my best option is the batteries and climateright should mount rearward instead of on the tongue. I'm also thinking the bikes will go on the truck with one of those double over under receiver extenders. Hmm I don't think that will work with my anti sway bar. Maybe on the roof toward the rear?

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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:11 am

I had a idea last night and the bike issue is solved. I took my hitch carrier apart. It isn't mounted yet but here is the idea. Move the bikes into the truck bed. I thought about doing something like this on the camper but I didn't want mount my carrier to the trailer without an option for bike transport without the trailer. This solves that problem.

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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby Greg M » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:12 am

Or put the bikes above the truck bed like so, and keep your storage space.
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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:04 pm

Greg M wrote:Or put the bikes above the truck bed like so, and keep your storage space.
ImageImage


I like this idea. I think it will be version 2.0. I can mount the carriers in the bed in an hour or so. Building a cap will take more time. But worth it for sure I think.


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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby Greg M » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:53 pm

I can post a few build pics if you like.
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Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:27 pm

Greg M wrote:I can post a few build pics if you like.


I took a break from the trailer to work on this tonneau cover. It is a great solution for my bike transporting.
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They are ready for epoxy but I may not do that today. A garage cleaning is overdo.

I have also finished the interior framing for the side walls. I have a unique idea on going to do next for attaching the walls.

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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby redbicycle » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:01 am

The tonneau covers are laid up with 6oz cloth.

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I also created this piece from. 2x4x12. It will run down the entire side. The exterior and core walls will mount on top. The interior wall will mount dropped 2 1/4". This allows me to build without needing to lose any height from the 4' plywood. I also gain 1" from the bottom of the 2x4. In the end I will have an increase of 3" interior height. It isn't much but I think it will be worthwhile. This piece also allows me to address the angle iron of the trailer. I will fill the gap between the wood and metal with sealent.

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I also finished cutting the core of the second wall. I glued the exterior pieces on and finally installed 4 stabilizers.

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Last edited by redbicycle on Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tri build - some sort of 5x10

Postby Greg M » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:54 pm

Looking good.
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