Unconventional Offroad Trailer Build

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Unconventional Offroad Trailer Build

Postby OkanaganOverland » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:47 am

Hi All,

I am starting this thread to show off my trailer which I built about 4 years ago. I have documented this a little better on my blog which can be found at https://www.okanaganoverland.com/p/overland-trailer-build.html. I did however speed through the build and therefore didn't document it as well as I should have, nor did I do much of a detailed right up as I went. Truthfully too, I wasn't all that confident with my approach either and I didn't want a lot of evidence online if I either didn't finish the build, or it flopped miserably. Thankfully neither of those things happened!

My main criteria was I wanted a low maintenance trailer that looked proportional behind my mild to moderately modified Jeep Wrangler, more capable than most commercially available trailers, warmer and quieter than a tent.

Here is one of the most recent pictures of it in tow.
IMG_7643.jpg
IMG_7643.jpg (93.57 KiB) Viewed 294 times


Basically the trailer started life as a utility trailer which my dad build in 1983. I know this because our last name and 83 was welded inside the frame. Originally built as a fairly heavy duty utility trailer the frame was all 3 inch steel channel. This gives the trailer the vast amount of its weight. It was sitting out on my parents property for years, so when I asked if I could have it they happily gave to to me for free.

I meant for this build to be 'quick and dirty' using lots of used and salvaged parts but ended up buying lots new and blowing my budget. In hindsight I am very happy that I did, however I am torn that I didn't invest more (both time and money) getting the trailer base just how I would have wanted it. This could have included rebuilding the frame from scratch.

Now if I did build from scratch I strongly feel I would have ended up with a more conventional teardrop, as I basically let the trailer speak to me about how the build took shape. All in all I am extremely happy with it and have no remorse.

Trailer Stats:

Build time: 4 months to get 'usable' I still consider it a work in progress
Cost: While I have all the receipts for the initial build I have never added it up, I suspect in the $4000 range (original budget was $1500)
Weight: about 1500lbs loaded
Suspension: Leaf sprung 3500lb axle (will be adding brakes when the same axle with brakes comes on sale next)
Materials: Heavy steel trailer frame, 1" steel tubing skeleton, styrofoam insulation, aluminum sheeting adhered with 3m VHB tape, interior is a vinyl on one side rv luan plywood, and floors are plywood, rv aluminum exterior trim.
Tow Vehicle: 2007 then 2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, with 4:56 gears

Unique features (clickbait to get you to check out the blog ;)):
- Single entry door
- Bed at back of trailer which you climb in from the foot of the bed
- Loads of storage
- Sunken floor

Since completion I have towed it well over 10 thousand kilometres, and camped in it over 100 nights. The first winter I did have some minor leaking (virtually undetectable) from the roof around the vent, as well as the front corner by the door. I believe both were ultimately caused by the butyl tape being drawn up by the self tapping screws. Once corrected I have had zero issues and it is stored outdoors, uncovered, year round. Many commercially available trailers would fair worse.

Here is a picture in full camp setup mode.
IMG_20180623_140820.jpg
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I like that despite a single entry door you can still get in and climb into bed without disturbing a partner, I also like that with the sunken floor you can change while 'standing' (hunched over at 6'2"). The sunken floor is also great for the dogs bed or buddy heater (wouldn't suggest both at the same time!).

I didn't put in a kitchen due to trying to keep it simple, and while I think that aspect of a traditional teardrop is cool, I don't really find myself missing it. In lieu of sinks we make due with plastic wash tubs that easily allow us a wash and rinse water and stow easily under the bed when we are on the move. The Jeep itself has our 12v fridge which I like as it allows us leverage it for daytrips, and camping trips on trails too rough to take the trailer. Plus I must admit, I like the idea of being distanced from food or food smells for wildlife reasons. However in saying that we still do stash the stove in the cubby accessible from the outside. Folding tables stashed in either the Jeep or trailer become our food prep areas when not at camp sites with picnic tables.

I think I will leave my writeup there for now. I am very happy to answer any questions, or accept comments or criticism. I do want to eventually build another trailer, so love hearing ideas or considerations! Thanks!

IMG_20180524_204946_047.jpg
IMG_20180524_204946_047.jpg (44.86 KiB) Viewed 294 times
www.okanaganoverland.com
Instagram: OkanaganOverland
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OkanaganOverland
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Re: Unconventional Offroad Trailer Build

Postby Louisd75 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:24 pm

OkanaganOverland wrote:
IMG_20180524_204946_047.jpg



Welcome! I spy a Northwest Overland Rally sticker and a BC Rally sticker. Are you in the BC area?
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Re: Unconventional Offroad Trailer Build

Postby OkanaganOverland » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:09 pm

Yup, live near Kelowna BC.

Are you planning on making it to any of the rallies this year?
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Re: Unconventional Offroad Trailer Build

Postby jnelson » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:51 pm

Looks great! I recently added the ARB awning room to my camper too. Well worth the money.

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