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Custom Trailer - How should i build one?

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willys54wagon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote willys54wagon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 2:16pm
  
Here is a guy building a trailer that I found interesting.
One jeep on the road, two are close and the rest are dreams.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote willys54wagon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 3:14pm
One jeep on the road, two are close and the rest are dreams.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bkreutz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 3:22pm
I think the original idea was to build a trailer to put the Jeep on, not tow behind the Jeep. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote willys54wagon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 3:39pm
One jeep on the road, two are close and the rest are dreams.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote willys54wagon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 4:10pm
I think the original idea was to build a trailer to put the Jeep on, not tow behind the Jeep. Wink
------------------
Yes, I understand, that is my goal also, but I the sites presented some other ideas and questions that may be useful in that endeavor.  One talked about adapting front spindles for a trailer.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote willys54wagon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 5:10pm

I know there are tips, tricks and traps in building a trailer, like everything else.  Some of you may know all this stuff and be more intuitive than I am.  Just tying to document my research here for when I finally get around to building one.  In looking at torsion axles, you can buy the ends and weld to your own frame or buy the complete torsion axles to your specified width.  They may add some toe in and camber to those axles, which may be more important with wider and heavier loads?  and especially tandem torsion axles?

The following is the only info I have found regarding toe in and camber:
 
 
"Trailer axles can normally only be aligned by phisicaly bending the axle. The average guy can't do it. When I worked in the trailer buisness, we either used chains and hydraulic jacks axles on the trailer or a HD press if off tyhe trailer. Measurements were taken at either the hub face or the wheel face. 1/8 - 1/4 tow in and camber is needed. IE: the measurement is 1/8" - 1/4" less on the hitch side as opposed to the rear side, and the same from the top of the hub measurement to the bottom hub measurement. We aligned hundreds of axles this way, when I worked for a trailer manufactor. I'm not familar with Ron technique but it sound like he setting it at 0 tow and camber. This will get you close I guess. Most people buy a new axle beam, measure yours from spring center to spring center and hub face to hub face and note your bolt pattern."
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote willys54wagon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 5:55pm

A few more points to consider that I hope to remember when I finally do this:

1) It looks like torsion axles would let you put the axles closer together than springs?  Important if you are building a short tandem trailer  like 10 or 12 ft?   If you buy the spring kits for axles you might be ok, if trying to use some old willys springs like I have around I think they would be too far apart.   Might be why some short tandem trailers have the 13 inch tires?  but the goal is to be able to use wheels to match the jeep?
 
2) The off road trailer site talked about the longer the springs the better.   And that the trailer springs should be at least as long as the towing vehicle.  might be a good rule of thumb?  Maybe not applicable to tandem trailer.
 
3) Torsion axle ratings.  If you have a 3,000 lb load with tandem axles, you would assume you could buy two 2,000 lb axles and be better than ok.  But the review indicates that because of the way the load is carried the total load may be carried on one set of axles at times and you should buy two 3,000 lb axles.   A good question, don't know where the practical and theory intersect.
 
4) torsion axles are great for smooth roads but springs might be better for rough roads?
 
5) Torsion axles might let you build a lower trailer?
 
6) as I mention before, at one site the heavier 3500 lb torsion axles let me get the 5x5.5 bolt pattern.  lighter ratings were 5x4.5.
 
7) If trying to salvage some front spindles laying around, I think I would cut the pumpkin out of a rear wagon or pickup axles and then adjust to the width I needed.  You still have to modify the spindle just a little bit on the lathe and it will bolt right up.  At least for me makes it a little easier than the way it was done at the one site.
 
A question, does a rear axle on a jeep have toe in and camber?  probably of no practical significance on a willys jeep designed to go 45 mph.
 
8) I find myself starting this design just to carry the cj.  With 6x16 ndt you have a nice narrow short  trailer.  Then you think but what if I have some radials or bigger tires. so might as well make it a little wider, and then I think if I add another few inches, it would carry a willys wagon.......................
 
Maybe the secret is sit down with a beer until the idea goes away.............
One jeep on the road, two are close and the rest are dreams.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote willys54wagon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 6:09pm
From the off road trailer site, that might be helpful if you are going to build a trailer:
 
"Note that I have the front spring mount much lower than the rear which is not normally done on trailers but is always done on all other vehicles. Ideally the front spring eye should be at the same height as the centre line of the axle. This gives the least rear steer possible as the suspension moves. People that have driven behind my trailer have commented on just how well it tracks and like no other they have seen. None of this swaying left to right each time you run through a dip in he road etc. "
One jeep on the road, two are close and the rest are dreams.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnnybravo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 8:54pm
I was going through a similar dilemma not long ago and was blessed to find the attached in a junk yard.  I have since rebuilt and it pulls like dream and I love the hydraulic brakes.  Also, it dumps and adapts to multiple tasks very well.  Twelve feet inside.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Randy Snyder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 11:03pm
Here's my project from four years ago.  It started out as a race car hauler that was never finished.  Before that it was an RV trailer.  It has 3500 lbs axles and 5" boxed frame.  I  bought off ebay close to home for $400 bucks.  I custom made the ramps, rear end, cross members,  front stop rail  and the decking.  New load D trailer tires, paint and wiring encased in conduit.  Has electric brakes on all four wheels and has back-up lights.  Total material in the project was $1200.  I did have to relocate the axles back 24" to set-up for proper weight distribution for hauling my Jeep (heavy load).  I believe deck is 16'.    I made the fenders to be able to be walked on and removeable, if needed.  Tows great....just have to make sure lug nuts are tight.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harveynailbanger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan. 2011 at 11:15pm
randy do you have a torsion spring assist on those ramps or do you just " muscle " them up and down?
nice looking rig, only thing that i see that i personally might add would be brackets to the hinge end of ramps so that when deployed they would have some support under trailer to take the load off of the hitch and tow vehicle.
rick


Edited by Harveynailbanger - 27 Jan. 2011 at 11:18pm
if the grass is greener on the other side, try waterin your grass.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Randy Snyder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan. 2011 at 12:31am
Rick,
No spring assists on the ramps.  They aren't too bad.  I've lifted heavier ramps.  I tried to keep the weight down as much as I could.  When I bought the trailer, the decking was loose, no cross members, and a pile of odds-n-ends of angle & steel tubing.   The guy used it to trailer his derby car a few miles down the road....everything loose!!
 
I did add heavy duty hitch jacks on the rear corners to do what you said, take the load off of the hitch and vehicle.  They have a welded on fitting that allows the jack to be removed (via pin) and stored away.  When deployed, nothing moves when loading / unloading the Jeep. 
 
Randy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan. 2011 at 9:51am
Nice rig, Randy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m38mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan. 2011 at 10:21am
Nice rig Randy, I like the idea of the backup lights behind the trailer.  It's always dark back there, and my wife never seems to shine the flashlight in the right places.  Wacko LOL  I'm thinking I may add a pair of tungue jacks to the back corners to help support the tail as I load vehicles on my car hauler.  I could get the kind that pivot out of the way so they would not affect my clearance at all, but be there for when I load or unload.  What a good idea!! Thumbs Up
 
Willys54Wagon,
I think you have some great thoughts there to apply toward your build.   On your thought about having a beer until the idea goes away, have a pad and pencil with you so that you can jot down what your objective for the trailer is, and when you get that absolutely brilliant idea about a super trailer mod to help you out, you don't loose it in the beer suds later that evening! Shocked Cry LOL
(That's what happens to some of my most brilliant ideas!)


Edited by m38mike - 28 Jan. 2011 at 10:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan. 2011 at 12:47pm
I used these fold down telescoping jacks on my camper.  May be a little light for a car hauler but there may be heavier ones out there.

http://compare.ebay.com/like/150443534121?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&rvr_id=204543834427&crlp=1_263602_309572&UA=WXF%3F&GUID=ade9cdb41290a0266380f8b0ffcf3b5c&itemid=150443534121&ff4=263602_309572

Or, one of these removable jacks at each rear corner would stabilize trailer when loading/unloading.  They slide over a welded pipe stub and be swung up out of the way or, pull the pin and store them.




Edited by ralf - 28 Jan. 2011 at 12:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote F Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan. 2011 at 2:18pm
I would think long and hard about going to at least a 16 foot bed, especially if you are going for tandem axles.   With the 16 you can tow other things, 16 foor cattle gates, 18 foot carport trusses, a jeep with a jeep trailer, and even most cars and smaller pickups.   With a 12 foot you can tow a jeep and lawn tractors. There won't be a lot of weight difference and  you also have more loading options to balance the load with a longer deck.
 
Tandem axles tow nicer and don't depend so much on the truck hauling the trailer for support. It is a lot smoother tow with a 16 foot tandem than a 12  or 10 foot single. If you have a 3/4 or 1 ton it is not so much of an issue, but I use 1/2 ton trucks to tow with.
 
(If anyone near Texas needs a single axle jeep trailer I have two I may be selling.PM me for details,one is 5 x 10 and very light, the other is 6 x 12  and heavier.)
 
Building from scratch is the spendy way to have a trailer, axles will take a big bite of the budget especially if you buy brakes which you should.  My current trailer cost $750 used, plus I added $500 in new brake assemblies. But I just hauled 2000 miles with no worries at all.
 
ALso go for LED lighting or at least Sealed beam lights if you can, and heavier wire than what those walmart kits use. It is nice to have lights you don't have to worry about.
If you haven't checked out the tech FAQ section, go to:
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for a lot of great stuff you need to know!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dennisanvil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan. 2011 at 2:19pm
randy
nice trailer. it look a little over kill. my trailer is 12 ft. the jeep sit right nice on there, it is well balance nicely, and pull down the road very nice.
dennis
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote garage gnome Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan. 2011 at 6:02pm
Originally posted by willys54wagon willys54wagon wrote:

  
Here is a guy building a trailer that I found interesting.

haha, that's mine! Smile Still working on it. It's not for towing my jeep on, but rather for towing stuff with the jeep.
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