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bobdog 05-04-2011 05:52 PM

Micro-trailer build...sort of!
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Well, after much thought and looking in my bank account, I realized I couldn't afford one of those excellent off-road trailers (such as Pikes Peak, etc.). I would love to have one, but at the moment I don't have the funds. So, I still needed a trailer to pull behind the TJ, and I needed to figure out how I was going to get one. I only needed something about 4-5 feet sqr. so I wouldn't have any trouble pulling it down rough roads.

My first thought was to build it from scratch. But, my welding is little bit rusty and rough and I just didn't feel I had the skill (yet) to build one from the ground up. So, the next best thing would be to get one of those small trailers. The ones at the big box stores were a bit high priced for what you could get so they were out. So, I thought I'd go with one of the little "red" trailers from Harbor Freight. I could shore it up with a bit of welding and get my chops back down before the next real build. They were dirt cheap and I had a coupon for even more money off.

So, this small build thread is about me and my construction of a trailer (sort of) starting with a pre-fab, bolt together, off-continent built "little red" trailer.

So here it is from the start after I got it all bolted together:

Edit: Excuse the poor quality of the pics, but they're being taken with my iPod.

bobdog 05-04-2011 06:03 PM

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My next task is to shore up the trailer with some corner welds and on the cross piece as well. The welds were pretty (pretty bad), and so I decided to grind them down. They had to be low anyway as I plan on welding on a steel floor. That in itself will give it more stability, too.

Here's a back corner:

bobdog 05-04-2011 06:09 PM

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Next on the list is to take the tongue that came with the trailer off, and put a 2x3x.120 tube on. This will extend all the way to the back instead of to the cross member. You can see the old tongue here:

When I get the new piece this weekend I'll post more pics.

The final idea is to build a box on the platform I'm making. But I still haven't decided whether to put a lid on it or not. I could put stakes like armyRN did to his micro-trailer, or go further and build the box like on Pike's Peak trailers. I do like the tongue and groove siding. Well, I'll post more as I go along.

98GP 05-04-2011 07:32 PM

I will watch...
Ive been tossing this idea around too.

bobdog 05-04-2011 07:51 PM

Just took the fenders, wheels and tongue off. Going to turn it upside down in order to more easily weld the new tongue on. Going to the metal store to get the part tomorrow. Moving right along.

Also, installed my new Olympic wrecker bumper/hitch with Besrk frame tie-ins. All went well. Even tested it out on a 3500lb. trailer full of wood. No problems. Only dropped the rear-end about an inch.

armyRN 05-04-2011 10:34 PM

There's so much you can do with these little "micro" trailers to make it your own to suit your own needs. It will be fun to watch your progress.

mrcabinet 05-05-2011 12:05 PM

If you want inexpensive, strong and light panels to use for the box, look at insulated garage door panels - the ones that are covered on both sides with the flat skin. They're waterproof and will never rot.

A guy turned me on to those years ago and I swear by them. You'd just need some channel iron to weld on for the corners.

Check out the garage door distributors near you. Quite often they have damaged ones that they practically give away.

bobdog 05-05-2011 12:40 PM

Sounds like a great idea. I'll check into it. Thanks.

bobdog 05-06-2011 04:08 PM

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Today after work I took the 2x3x.120 tube I purchased for the new tongue and set it up top be welded from the top.

And then started to weld the tongue on from the top. I realize that the metal is somewhat weakened from cross welding, but my machine is a small Hobart 135 and so weld penetration and many of them is more important in my mind than the possibility of a weakened beam. Here's one of the welds:

And the entire tongue welded from the top:

Tomorrow I'll flip it and weld the bottom. Can't wait.:thumbsup:

bobdog 05-07-2011 02:47 PM

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Well, today I turned the whole frame over and welded the tongue from the bottom. Then I also got the new 3" wide, 3500 lb. coupler welded on as well.

bobdog 05-07-2011 04:56 PM

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I finished welding the frame this afternoon, including the cross bracing in the front where I'll weld a piece of sheet to it for a platform. On the platform the plan is to mount 2 NATO gas can holders. I also prepped and primed all the bare steel to get ready to do a first coat of paint. I'll rattle can the underneath part just to keep the rust off though it will be covered with a sheet metal floor. I plan to sand the whole trailer and paint it black. I think that is much better for a trailer than HF red. Or maybe OD green? Hmmm...:cheers2:

bobdog 05-08-2011 02:27 PM

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This morning I finished priming and sanding. Blew the whole trailer off with air compressor. Then went and bought paint. Decided to go with black; one to match the Jeep and two with the plans to build a box from wood, I figured the black would look better. This afternoon I painted the trailer black. Put on three coats and now left in my hot garage to dry for the next 24 hours. Next will be the wiring. With the new length of 101" I can't use the old wiring as is. I need to buy some extra wire to splice into what came with the trailer.

Edit: Decided not to splice the wire. I can buy an entirely new set-up for $10 at HF, so I'll do that. Would've cost $13 just for the wire plus heat tubes and so forth.

armyRN 05-08-2011 04:57 PM

Looking sharp!

How long is the trailer tongue from the front edge of the trailer to the forward lip of the coupler?

bobdog 05-08-2011 05:04 PM

I made the tongue 48" and with the coupler added on it totals 53.5". Total length of trailer turns in at 101.5". The pictures make the tongue look pretty long, but in real life it is quite a bit shorter.

GilHonsvick 05-09-2011 06:36 PM

armyrn, Howdy

I'm going to build my micro trailer and would like what you used, and cost.


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