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Unread 08-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #1
Bubblegoose1
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1940-1950s David Bradley camping trailer build

I recently picked-up this trailer to start a camping/expedition trailer build. I was not able to identify the trailer model at first, but it just seemed like a cool, light weight trailer. It only weighs 450 as it sits now.

I was able to find some info on "Ben Hur" and Sears/David Bradley trailers. I think I have one, but there are no ID plates on it. It was titled as a 1968 Homebuilt, but I think it is a 1950s possibly. It appears to be in very good, fairly original condition. I'm loving this little trailer so far.

Here she is:
The Craigslist ad photos


First pics after pick-up


Cool jerry can




Plywood in the bed, with multiple bolts. Why, Why, Why??

Plywood removed. Not too bad. Whew!!


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Unread 08-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #2
Bubblegoose1
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Additional inspection photos
One small area of rust; the rest of the bed is just surface

Treated full bed with rust converter, for now. Then bedline spray, so that I can use the trailer now.

Not original fenders, wheels or tires

Undercarriage needs some help, but appears to be original



Removed spare

Added a recycled 4x6 rubber mat from Lowes; easily pulled out. It is a great fit, without cutting. 22oz black tarp on order as well, to keep things dry.

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Unread 08-22-2011, 12:05 PM   #3
Bubblegoose1
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Short notice camping trip planned, so quickly scored a 6' Sportz III truck tent (for Dodge Dakota ext cab, or similar trucks) off Craigslist for $100. Worked very well. :wings:


First setup in driveway



Double air mattress; perfect fit

Lots of headroom
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Unread 08-22-2011, 12:35 PM   #4
Bubblegoose1
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It's going to be a slow build since I am lacking a garage and shop, but it will get done.

Test fitted a set of 35 BFGs. Will be adding a little more fender clearance once the whole trailer is sandblasted and modifications begin.
New vs. what was on there

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Unread 08-22-2011, 09:24 PM   #5
Burlbook48
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Nice little trailer. Dunno what the ball mount is for on the rear of the tongue?

Gotta say..... I'm LOVING that old school fuel can! Score!!!!
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Unread 08-23-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
BearinNM
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Bump for subscription, as I am in the process of making a trailer build that is very similar to yours into a camping/utility build up. It looks like you are gonna have similar issues that I have had. The first being that your box looks to only be a foot or so high, much lower than the 416 type trailers.

My fenders are bolt on as it look like yours are, and the depth of my box has made mounting for my 33's a little tricky. The tops of my fenders are right at even with the top of my bed. Perhaps you can do a SOA. Mine had that done. I also have a boatload of bolts coming into the bed area from the fenders, tail lights, hooks etc. Not sure if you are going the same route, but I have spent a pretty penny on stainless bolts.

I like your truck tent idea. Mine came with a curved lid that higes at the front, which adds about 18 inches to my inside height when closed (water tight), and when popped up, makes it look like a teardrop trailer. So I created a tent covering from wall tent type canvas for the trialer, and looks like it will work similar to your truck tent.

My trailer is about 81 inches from outside of tire track to outside of tire track, so it is about 3 inches a side wider than my YJ. I am hoping this is not a problem, and it does look like your trialer is also wider than the 416 types. But your tow rig is a little wider. My bed is about 4'6"'s wide and about 6' 6"'s long, so it also looks similar to yours in that regard. Looks like we have the same issue, just the right length, and perhaps a tad wider than the usual Expedition type setup. That and the shallower depth.

And thank you for the rubber mat idea. I am in a small town with no big box home store, but your mat looks like EXACTLY what I need for mine. I have been scratching my head over whether to spray the bed, add wood or something to protect the metal surface. A rubber mat would really help with keeping the tubs from sliding around when off road (I do have tiedowns but I have been on enough really ugly steep roads with tubed and tied gear to know that any help is great). Might also give it a little "cush" for sleeping with just a pad. I have not done the airmattress thing before, but I am not above giving it some thought. Mine will take a cot, so I may just stay that way.

Not sure if you are going full blown "expedition" or plan on keeping it dual purpose, camping and hauling, but I look forward to see what you have planned. I need to keep mine dual setup, with the nod to camping.

Thanks again for the mat idea, looks like a trip to Santa Fe is on my immediate to do list.

Craig
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Unread 08-23-2011, 02:29 PM   #7
Bubblegoose1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burlbook48
Nice little trailer. Dunno what the ball mount is for on the rear of the tongue?

Gotta say..... I'm LOVING that old school fuel can! Score!!!!
Thanks. The ball mount is just a receiver storage spot the previous owner added. He apparently pulled the trailer with 2 different vehicles and ball sizes. (That was kinda funny there. LOL)

Fuel can is pretty cool. Looked them up; don't seem to be that rare or valueable but definitely an old style. I may clean it up and repaint it.
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Unread 08-23-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
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Craig, seems like our trailers are pretty similar. I am planning on keeping mine utility/expedition. I don't have any other rig to haul stuff so the trailer will be good for that. Mine is SOA already. Thinking we will add some steel at the frame mounts to get another inch or two of fender clearance. I don't want to change the fender mounting location; they look correct as is. The low side walls is interesting. My plan is to added frame rack uprights off of the frame rails, leaving the bed and bedrails untouched. My 22oz tarp was just delivered today. I will mess with that when I get home.

I will post updates as I go.

Fred
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Unread 08-23-2011, 10:15 PM   #9
BearinNM
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Fred,

I looked long and hard at my spring mounts, and decided due to only having c-channel frame rails, I did not want to try and lower the mounts any lower. Hence my fender tops sit right at the top of my side walls. I don't think it looks too funny, better than a busted shakle mount on the trail somewhere. I will be taking mine out over labor day for it's maiden voyage, and I pray I have fender clearance. My springs are pretty tight, so my testing here at home seems OK.

I am lucky that mine came with a lid, so at least the 1 foot sidewalls do not present problems with coolers or plastic tubs. I have about 32 inches of "headroom" with the lid down for gear. It sure seems like 18 to 20 inches of inside vertical room would be about enough for a flat top. I too am thinking that a good heavy duty tarp might be enough if I do not raise my sidewalls, and remove my lid. I am at 600 pounds dry, and I am pretty sure my lid is at 150 of that.

Craig
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Unread 08-24-2011, 01:45 PM   #10
Bubblegoose1
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Do you have a build thread for your trailer? Would like to see it.

Mine weighs 450 lb, as it sits empty. One of the main factors why I grabbed it. It is very heavy duty but lighter than most trailers out there.
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Unread 08-24-2011, 10:43 PM   #11
BearinNM
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Fred,

No build thread as I would not say it is much of a build. Pretty much just upgrading and repairing to make it trail worthy. Well the tent sides are sort of along the build lines, but I still would be laughed off the Expedition web site. I could try and post some pic's, but I was hoping to steal ideas from you I have no intentions on going the 1000 to 3000 dollar or more RTT route, when I have a perfectly useable trailer bed to sleep in. My lid looks like heck, but it is a decent thought out design, just kinda heavy. I had not even thought about the truck bed type tents like you have. That might be an interesting option if I decide to ditch the lid.

I will know more after the labor Day weekend, as I will finally have a chance to run it up some ugly roads, with my stock geared YJ on 33's. Might be interesting....

Craig
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Unread 08-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #12
Bubblegoose1
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Look forward to seeing it. Hope all goes well on your trip. Take some good pics.

I will be taking some better shots of mine on the 35s on Saturday. A loose wheel stud stopped install on the passenger side. Buddy is going to tack weld them all for me.

The new black tarp arrived; will get pics of that as well. 6x8 may be too big, but for the cost it is worth having anyway. Already ordered a 5x7 instead.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 11:09 PM   #13
BearinNM
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Fred,

My 5 x 4.5 hubs arrived this evening, and I picked up the wheels to match my Jeep, so I spent the evening with wheels and hubs. It has been so bloodly long since I have dealt with conventional bearings, getting things torqued just right is a little stressful for me. But the new wheels are on, and I have just the tiniest bit of play in the bearings, just as I have read, watched and have been told. Not too tight, just right, I hope......It is hard to guage 0.001 to 0.020 of play on a 33" tire.

And being a died in the wool elk hunting gypsy, no such thing as too many tarps especially good quality canvas ones. If you get around to posting your tarp tie down, be and sure to post some good pictures so dwebs like me can see how to properly tie a canvas tarp down. Huh, I have never seen black canvas tarps.

I will try and get some pic's of my tent adaptation next weekend. We have had a bit of rain around here, so any "field" shots may be real field conditions, not driveway pic's. Translated to mean mud on the tires, as Brad Paisley might suggest. By the way, my family is from the Seattle area, and I am a graduate of U of W. I am very familiar with "East of lake, WA".

Craig
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Unread 08-29-2011, 01:38 PM   #14
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Over the weekend:
1) checked the bearings and repacked them, for now. Will be replacing axle and hubs this Winter.
2) tack welded a loose wheel stud
3) installed both 35s
4) installed 6x8 22oz black tarp. Ordered a 5x7; 6x8 is a little too big for the tub, but worth having for larger loads.
5) adjusted hitch height; may lower an inch or two. Would like the trailer to sit just above level, so when the Jeep is loaded everything is level.





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Unread 08-30-2011, 07:53 AM   #15
BearinNM
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Lookin' much better. So, is the amount of clearance above your tires enough with a load? It actually looks like your tires are set completely inside your fender wells, and there may be more room than is obvious?

And thanks for the additional pictures. I can see clearly now the truss that is set up on your tongue. It looks to be a support element, that might also double as a skid. When I set my new tongue up, I went extra heavy on the tube size, but did not go back as far as you to catch more cross support. Seeing your truss setup has given me some ideas for possibly beefing up my tongue/bed/load forces.

Thanks,

Craig
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