building a camper on a car trailer - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-28-2014, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
aircruiser
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building a camper on a car trailer

I have a 22ft tandem axle car trailer I haul my jeep with and normally we pitch a tent on the trailer and sleep in that on air mattresses but that is getting old. Plus in the summer it just plain sucks when its 90 degrees out at night and vice versa in spring and fall when the low is 20. My buddy is building a shack for himself on his trailer but not wiring it or anything. I am thinking of going one step further and building a shack to but kind of like a tear drop trailer that will fit me and my girlfriend comfortably.

That's going to be the tricky part because we like our own space when we sleep. I don't need much more than a place to put my head since we always got bathrooms and showers where we stay and we cook outside so I don't need a grill or anything. Long story short, has anyone here done something similar? I was looking to just get a pop up and put it on but they are like 1500lbs. I tow my jeep with an 01 Dakota with a 4.7 v8 with some mods and I will have an equalizer hitch soon to help with tongue weight. The tow rating on my truck is around 7,000lbs and last i remember the jeep and trailer are around 5000.

What I'd really like to know is what to use for materials (walls/frame/door) and the best design for aerodynamics and light weight along with strength. The trailer is stored outside so I need something strong that can support the weight of snow on it.

Thanks for any help


1996 XJ on 36" TSLs, 4", locked F/R, stretched
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post #2 of 26 Old 01-28-2014, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Here is the trailer in question and current camping setup



And with the jeep on the trailer you can see why I need to extend it


1996 XJ on 36" TSLs, 4", locked F/R, stretched
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post #3 of 26 Old 01-28-2014, 07:46 PM
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Weld up a rack that sits above the hood of the jeep. Then put a Roof Top Tent on the rack. You can then still drive it up on the trailer and the front part under the rack.

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post #4 of 26 Old 01-29-2014, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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I'm Ok with tenting on the deck of the trailer its the tent part that sucks. I want something hard sided to sleep in or if it rains be completely dry. I put the tent on the trailer now because we stay dry now where as on the ground water would get in. But it still gets damp in the tent when it rains. I use to be into tenting and would make fun of people for *****ing out and staying in a camper, but now I realize how nice it is having one after my parents brought there's when we went on a wheeling trip with them last year

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post #5 of 26 Old 01-29-2014, 05:11 PM
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People take small pop up camper bodies and throw em on the front of trailers like yours. Like so

http://www.cybershanks.com/?p=42
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post #6 of 26 Old 01-30-2014, 04:25 AM
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Not sure if your trailer would be long enough. By the looks of the last photo, there does not look like much room to build something rigid unless it sat up higher than the rig.

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post #7 of 26 Old 01-30-2014, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowillie
Not sure if your trailer would be long enough. By the looks of the last photo, there does not look like much room to build something rigid unless it sat up higher than the rig.
with a rack up higher and something rigid on top, it would really kill aerodynamics and not to mention put a ton of stress on whatever he builds up there at highway speed. He says he needs to extend the trailer so he needs to start there by adjusting the position of the axles for weight distribution for the added length. He's going to need to extend it upwards of 4-6 feet to build anything of significance and at that point he would be better off selling his trailer and buying one that's long enough. He also says he's got a 22' trailer, I thought he meant that's how long the deck is in which case he would have 17'-18' for the jeep and 4-5' to build something and possibly extend only 1-2' which wouldn't be as badbut it seems more likely that's the total length of the trailer including the tongue.
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post #8 of 26 Old 01-30-2014, 01:05 PM
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I deffinately was not recommending to put a ridgid structure up that high. I would do a RTT on a platform above the hood. Would be level with the roof of the jeep while in tow. And could keep that trailer with littl mods.

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post #9 of 26 Old 01-30-2014, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowillie
I deffinately was not recommending to put a ridgid structure up that high. I would do a RTT on a platform above the hood. Would be level with the roof of the jeep while in tow. And could keep that trailer with littl mods.
Interesting. While Iove the idea of a roof top tent is there really much of a difference between a RTT and just pitching a tent on the deck of the trailer like he's been doing? He also said he wanted something rigid for heating/cooling purposes so that kind of rules out a RTT. Whoever came up with a RTT is very clever though
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post #10 of 26 Old 01-30-2014, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry yeah its 22' from tongue to tail. Deck is 16' I believe. I had thoughts about selling the trailer and getting a bigger one put this one pulls so nice its perfect for my Dakota. With adding 4ft i shouldn't have to move the axles seeing as the weight will still be in front of the axles with the weight of the camper and the nose of the jeep should be sitting right about where the front axle is. I will try to include a pic of my buddys setup if I can figure out how to do it on my phone

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post #11 of 26 Old 01-30-2014, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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That's my friends setup and I think if I extend my deck I should be right where I need to be

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post #12 of 26 Old 01-31-2014, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aircruiser
Sorry yeah its 22' from tongue to tail. Deck is 16' I believe. I had thoughts about selling the trailer and getting a bigger one put this one pulls so nice its perfect for my Dakota. With adding 4ft i shouldn't have to move the axles seeing as the weight will still be in front of the axles with the weight of the camper and the nose of the jeep should be sitting right about where the front axle is. I will try to include a pic of my buddys setup if I can figure out how to do it on my phone
With a double axle trailer like yours, you want the center spring hangar located with 60% of deck in front and 40% behind for optimum weight distribution.

Your trailer deck is 16', and your jeep is ~14-15'. A typical pop up box is about 7' wide. Assuming you can get one short enough in length to fit sideways across your trailer, you would need an additional 5-6' to fit the 7' wide camper box and 15' of jeep

In my opinion, if you like the way the trailer pulls right now, and you add 5-6', it will totally change the handling anyway. So in the end you'll have a hack job of a trailer, with misplaced axles that would probably cost almost as much to build as it would to sell and buy a bigger trailer.
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post #13 of 26 Old 01-31-2014, 08:14 AM
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There are going to be pros and cons to every idea. He may have to give in order to get. And then just choose a solution that will fit his needs, as well as a budget. I like the RTT, so that is why I suggested it. Plus, it would just look badass set up at the events.
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-31-2014, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mowillie
There are going to be pros and cons to every idea. He may have to give in order to get. And then just choose a solution that will fit his needs, as well as a budget. I like the RTT, so that is why I suggested it. Plus, it would just look badass set up at the events.
I totally agree with you! I love them. Real cool look. Price tag kind of sucks though.
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-31-2014, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by NotSoMelloYello View Post
Price tag kind of sucks though.
Agreed.

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