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Enclosed Trailer Build, toy hauler, camper, etc.

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Rick G View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 June 2017 at 11:58pm
Of late, I've been thinking about childhood fairy tales, the 3 little pigs, in particular. The big bad wolf proclaimed to the little pig, "I'll huff and puff and blow your house down...". And he did. The big bad wolf lives, among other places, in the foothills of the Collegiate Peaks in colorful Colorado. As Traci Clark noted in her recent article on the Colorado Flat Fender Club's Fall Color Tour in JP magazine, "...and those returning to camp that evening found that some of their tents had been carried off by the BREEZE [emphasis added] to places unknown..."; it got me to thinking. Having gone to the FCT 2 years in a row and experiencing this puff from the big bad wolf firsthand, I decided I needed accommodations that were a little more rigid than denier nylon. I had not yet lost sleeping arrangements to the wolf, but I don't want to, either. Plus the wife would enjoy sleeping on something softer than rocks and hard pack dirt.

So, I began to think about building a pop-up, cabover camper for the pickup. That should fit the bill nicely. Several nights perusing the interweb for ideas yielded lots, but the realization came that that isn't what we needed or would enjoy as much as a camper. More room and ammenities in a camper trailer than a pickup camper, plus I wouldn't have to slide it in and out of the pickup bed when not in use. Problem is, I need to pull a trailer for the jeep. The only logical choice is then the toy hauler. Problem is, they are about $20K, give or take a few $K. But wait, I HAVE a 18' utility trailer now. That's it! I'll convert my utility trailer to a toy hauler/enclosed trailer/camper. I plan on totally enclosing this trailer to an internal height of about 7', with a 30" V-nose front, and a cargo ramp loading door. So this is what I have started.

Here is what I started with




And so I began with the purchase of some square tubing


I then begin cutting and welding up the side walls. I built the frame (or jail as my grandson called it) up side down in the garage and then flipped it over.




And some deconstruction of the existing trailer


Marked locations where the side frame studs will be welded


And voila, the frame is up!




Stay tuned...more to come.
1947 CJ2a #119929    "Gus"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 67charger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2017 at 6:42am
That has me thinking about my trailer, and a Quonset hut style tent.  You could buy or make aluminum half circle pools and mount them to the trailer frame.  Then take the canvas or whatever material you would want and tie it down to eyelets on the trailer to make it rigid and tight.  If you made it high enough, you could drive the jeep up into if it's raining hard while camping.  When you are ready to leave, fold the canvas and put away the poles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oilleaker1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2017 at 6:50am
Rick, I think you will be surprised with new implications. Wind resistance when hauling, and weight of the finished project. I went the pickup camper route, found a great used camper near me, and was soon introduced to both problems. There isn't a perfect solution to this Jeeping and camping thing, but the older you get, the more you like comfort and convenience. I've got my setup pretty well ironed out now, and have paid for it in motel savings. I had to haul the Jeep anyway, so fuel costs are not too much additional expense. SD Truck Springs sells some cool add on helper springs that turned my 3/4 ton into a 1 ton. Air bags all aired up to level the load were like driving a beach ball. The springs were the saving grace for me.  See you soon at upcoming events, Oilly
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2017 at 5:31pm
John, I did consider all those issues when I decided to build this thing, but the upside outweighed them. I am building this trailer with a chiseled V-nose specifically to help with wind resistance and aerodynamics. I'm also going to install a sway bar for good measure. I've calculated the additional weight to be approximately 700lbs. Fuel mileage before when the trailer was loaded averaged 12-13 mpg in the hills. I'm really curious to see what it will be once it's completed.

Here's some more progress. I felt like it was a little too tall with an inside height of 7'3"" so I cut 6" off. That was a pain in the butt after I already had it built and tack welded in place. Ennyhoo, onward I go.





Because I'm putting a 30" V nose on this, I had to extend my tongue. This also gave me excuse to put the bulldog coupler on it. I used the existing tongue to center everything. I used 3"x4"x 1/4" angle to construct the longer tongue, and tied it in to the trailer frame cross member 2' behind the front.




After I got it positioned where I wanted it, I chopped the old tongue and tied into it with the new.



Next added the trailer jack


Next, I built the v nose portion.



Added a little POR 15 to keep everything from rusting as I move to the next phase.
1947 CJ2a #119929    "Gus"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1947-cj2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2017 at 5:36pm
For a second I felt like I was looking in a mirror.
Nice looking ride.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1947-cj2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2017 at 5:38pm
Any idea about make the roof curve or pitched so it would be easier to make it watertight?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 64CJ5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2017 at 6:24pm
Rick,  You do good work.  Being retired sure gives a guy the time to make things.  It looks like retirement suites you. 
Looking forward to watching your progress.

Tom
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berettajeep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 June 2017 at 8:26pm
You are doing great work! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 1:30am
I'm making the roof flat with no pitch to speak of. I am making it out of one continuous roll of sheet aluminum with no seams or joints. I'm going to bend all the edges over the sides about 1 1/2" and screw it in from the sides. That way there won't be any penetrations on the actual roof, except for the two roof vents. What I thought about doing to give it a little pitch after I get it installed is to wedge a wood runner down the centerline between the roof frame and the sheet metal, but I don't know until I get to that point.

Thanks for all the compliments. I do enjoy building stuff, and it helps to have the time to do it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unkamonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 5:49am
Everybody I know that has a flat roof on their camper, trailer has found that they tend to sag after a while and water will collect in the low spots to hunt for a way inside. The wood runner should help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m38mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 9:17am
Rick, unkamonkey is right.  Unless you park on a tilt you will collect water and snow on a flat roof.  I have a 24 foot car hauler that I'm converting into a toy hauler.  the roof supports are curved to provide a curved roof for drainage.  Not much.  about 2-3 inches from center to side difference in height.  You could cut some notches in some angle iron to weld to your roof supports that would give you a rounded top shape for your aluminum sheet.  My car hauler also has a 1/4 inch thick sheet of plywood down the center of my roof from front to back end. 

I didn't notice any doors on the side framing.  Will you include a side door?  I recommend putting a gutter over the door so you don't have to walk through a waterfall when it rains.  I did on mine.  I also added a two propane tank holder on my tongue.  that powers up the heater and a light inside, as well as warms the water for the shower. 

I like what you're doing.  Please keep the photos coming.  What features are you thinking of adding to the inside?   
M38Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oilleaker1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 9:38am
You also will get a ton of dust up through your wooden plank floor. A thin rubber sheet maybe? John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m38mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 11:00am
For the floor, I'd recommend putting spacers between your 2x6 planks (like a nail), then screw 1/2" or thicker exterior grade plywood down on top of the planks.  The spacers help with drying out the planks and the plywood will seal the inside of the trailer against dust.  I'd recommend painting the plywood with a good deck paint, or better yet, with an epoxy paint like the kind used on concrete floors.  I used an epoxy paint on my trailer floor and it makes cleaning up oil and gas spills very easy. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark W. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 12:28pm
Don't know what you are planning on using for exterior sheeting. But if you have a Dirt track anywhere near you then most likely you will have someone that carries Aluminum sheeting in .050 prepainted that the round de round cars use to build bodies. Cheapest Aluminum sheeting I have found is through the local guy here. Going to use his aluminum when I build my hard top for the 2A
Chug A Lug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 1:53pm
Mike and monkey, I'm hoping the wood wedge (about 1"X1" or so) down the ridge will give me just enough gradient on the roof that it will shed water. It should also help with the flop from the wind as I go down the road. That's what those strips of 1/4" plywood are for in store bought trailers, or so I'm told. We only get 24" of snow and 20" of rain in these parts each year, so if it will withstand those two days, it should be good. Roof and side frame are all on 16" centers so I'm hoping I won't get too much sag, but we'll see.

If you google images for enclosed cargo trailers, you get 5,920,000 results, and I viewed every one of them, many of them twice just for ideas. Mike, your shower trailer at last year's FCT also served as inspiration for this project.

I have a side door framed in and it will definitely have the rain gutter across it. I'm also going to rig up some sort of tarp awning as well, but that's down the road from here. Here's the side door opening, not yet completely framed.


As for the floor, I will be placing either 3/4" or 1/2" OSB/plywood down directly on top of the 2x6's. There is, and always has been plenty of gap between them over the years. I've also Thompson water sealed them. If I go with the 1/2" flooring, I will eventually put some type of nice petroleum friendly overlay (rubber dimpled mat maybe) down for looks and utility. If not, it will probably get the epoxy paint treatment. I will insulate ceiling and sides and then place the osb or plywood on ceiling and walls as well (after I run wire). After that, I'm going to paint the inside walls and ceiling white or off white to brighten and expand the 117 sq ft living area, you know, for the feng shui.

I plan on having a full size bed in the back, maybe stored overhead that will come down into position on side rails. My next door neighbor has a really, really fancy toy hauler (see background in some of the pictures above) that I'm getting ideas from as well. Will have some type of cooking and eating facilities that will have to be foldable because there isn't enough side space to build in place. That, I imagine, will be an ongoing improvement/modification to the trailer over the years of use (much like jeep projects )

Mark, I already have the sheeting (and actually most of it installed), and I did look at the race car aluminum siding. They had several colors and was the second cheapest route for the siding, but I didn't use that stuff for a couple of reasons. I did a lot of research on colors and solar reflectivity coefficients, because I wanted either a beautiful blue to match my Jeep (of course), or a nice silver to match my Silverado. The blue has a terrible solar reflectivity value, while the silver has a slightly better one. As a side note, the red has a better value than the blue (which is what the wife would have preferred). What really kept me from getting sheets from that local supplier was the fact that the sheets were exactly 48" wide. I had already welded my studs on 16" centers and this would have left me no overlap of the sheets. I had decided to go this route and if you notice closely in some of the pics the lower studs in some areas don't line up with the upper framing. This is because I was going to place additional framing studs to accommodate the 48" sheets, just because I like the colored ones better than the plain white ones.

In the end, I opted not to use these sheets because of that very fact (too much additional work) and also because the painted ones were more expensive than the plain white ones. These sheets were only 0.040" as well. What I ended up buying was 14 sheets of 0.050" 49"x110" from my buddy that runs the local Utility Trailer Sales shop (the 18 wheeler trailer) here and he gave me a heck of a good price on them. They come in any color you want as long as its bright white. I'm also getting that continuous aluminum roll from him for the roof. I originally was going to use this continuous roll for the sides as well, but its raw aluminum and I was going to have to paint it. I talked to the automotive paint supplier here and found out that the primer and paint was going to run in excess of $350, which was way more than the painted sheets were going to run, so I nixed that idea.

I'll get some more pics up shortly.

1947 CJ2a #119929    "Gus"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark W. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 2:03pm
OK next offering look into Kirker Paint through Auto body Tool Mart about every three weeks they offer free shipping. Kirker is the manufacturer of the House brand both Eastwood and Summit Racing sells. They been making auto paint for the fleet and truck market for like 100 years. Set color no custom. They offer a bunch of colors though.

Good web site on line.

Good luck looking good so far
Chug A Lug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce W Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 June 2017 at 3:31pm
Rick, Looking good! I used the kitchen appliances from a scrapped-out camper in my trailer. The sink, water tank, stove with oven, icebox and a little bit of storage fit nicely in the front 2 feet of the trailer, leaving enough room for the jeep, and my trailer is only 14 feet long (tongue not included). My bed folds up against the LH side wall and, again, leaves enough room for the jeep even tho the trailer is only 7 feet wide.  BW
Happy Trails! Good-bye, Good Luck, and May the Good Lord Take a Likin' to You!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m38mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 June 2017 at 9:24am
Bruce has a great example of compact custom cabinets in his trailer.  And his Jeep is definitely a snug fit with all the other stuff he has inside.   Currently mine is set up to sleep and shower inside, but to cook outside under an awning. 

Between OSB and plywood, I'd recommend exterior plywood.  Costs a little more but lasts so much longer.  It's also stronger when holding screws and stuff mounted on the inside walls. 

I'm impressed with your work, and your welding.  This is going to be a great trailer.  Will you be able to store stuff inside the V-nose when you get done?   Have you thought about solar panels to keep your battery charged up for your lights?   What are your thoughts on windows?  I'm putting windows in my trailer so Nancy can see out, and to let some natural light in. 

Keep those photos coming........

M38Mike
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