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Unread 07-02-2013, 09:44 PM   #616
armyRN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKBender View Post
OK, so I had tried to upload images to my original post (first post ever in this forum) and they did not show up. I belive it was a file size issue, I reduced the size to below 540KB each... hopefully there are trailer pics in this post, if not can someone please fill me in (maybe I need a certain post count first?).
Here you go: Your pictures.

You say you've got less than $500 into your trailer build - that's awesome. Now that you've taken it out on a test run, any changes or additions you want to make to it? I'll bet it was nice having a trailer to haul all your camping gear and leave room in the Jeep for the boys.

jk-trailer.2.jpg   jk-trailer.3.jpg   jk-trailer1.jpg  
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Unread 07-02-2013, 09:47 PM   #617
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The first time I took my trailer out on a road trip/camping trip I did the tarp thing to keep my trailer contents dry. I found it easier to put the tarp inside the trailer like a liner first, then pack our gear, and then bring the tarp up-and-over my gear (sorta like wrapping it) and then strapping it down. Made for way less tarp flapping in the wind, and it just looked neater. And an adjustable drop hitch made it so we could keep the trailer level as shown in the picture.

And these are definitely "before" pictures of my trailer (from the same trip); before the gas cans, wider axle, taller tires, ammo can, 2" receiver tube on the tongue, swapped out suspension, liner, etc. Ya gotta start somewhere, and then take it from there. This was my starting point. It's come a long way since then! One thing I learned on that first trip was these trailers can hold a lot of stuff! The second picture shows the trailer with a good bit of firewood under the tarp. We had to buy firewood on the trip, and I wasn't going to leave any at our campsites and need it the next night!

This was my original thread for my little trailer before I started this one: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f27/l...railer-995421/ I've learned a lot since then.

The black thing strapped to the top of our gear in the trailer are the Jeep door upper halves. They're in some sort of fabric door protective case thing I bought from Quadratec. I think this is it: http://www.quadratec.com/products/91109_1102_07.htm It came in very handy for my soft upper door halves.
olympic-penninsula-trip.jpg   jeep-beach.jpg  
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Unread 07-02-2013, 11:07 PM   #618
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Originally Posted by armyRN View Post
Awesome! Looks like the trailer did exactly as it was designed to do. Now that it has had a shake-down run, any changes you want to make to it?
Funny you ask ArmyRN, the 1st thing I didn't like was the camp chairs we had they seem to trap dirt just to deposit it inside, so I've been planning all week how to build a basket on top that wouldn't interfere with the gas can when the top was open to a table, Here is what I came up with today, this is becoming a upgrade sickness like my Jeep
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Unread 07-02-2013, 11:33 PM   #619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSC View Post
Funny you ask ArmyRN, the 1st thing I didn't like was the camp chairs we had they seem to trap dirt just to deposit it inside, so I've been planning all week how to build a basket on top that wouldn't interfere with the gas can when the top was open to a table, Here is what I came up with today, this is becoming a upgrade sickness like my Jeep
Looking good! Yours is one of the few 4' "black" trailers I've seen on this thread. And yours really did turn out nicely.

Welcome to my world. It's kinda fun though; who-da thought you could spend so much time and energy thinking about little trailers? They become a little project unto themselves. But it's so nice to bring some of the comforts of home (like chairs) with you on camping trips or long road trips.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #620
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSC View Post
Funny you ask ArmyRN, the 1st thing I didn't like was the camp chairs we had they seem to trap dirt just to deposit it inside, so I've been planning all week how to build a basket on top that wouldn't interfere with the gas can when the top was open to a table, Here is what I came up with today, this is becoming a upgrade sickness like my Jeep
BSC, I still think your trailer is my favorite and will use at the guide for building mine. Did you do anything to keep rain/water from getting inside the box?
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Unread 07-03-2013, 10:31 AM   #621
JKBender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyRN View Post
Here you go: Your pictures.

You say you've got less than $500 into your trailer build - that's awesome. Now that you've taken it out on a test run, any changes or additions you want to make to it? I'll bet it was nice having a trailer to haul all your camping gear and leave room in the Jeep for the boys.
Thanks ArmyRN for posting my pics for me, my post count should be up soon!

So the first trailer pic is my "test pack" while I was building the trailer, including the cooler, it was cool to see how much this little trailer could really hold!

In order to store my trailer I need to remove the sides to place them on a shelf and then stand the trailer up on end against a wall in my garage (I live in a townhouse). As a result I did not tie the sides to each other, and during the test pack I found that the sides were bulging outward and I was concerned that during acceleration and braking conditions this could be really bad over time. So I have added 2" angle brackets on the top in each corner to tie it all together.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 10:39 AM   #622
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I found it easier to put the tarp inside the trailer like a liner first, then pack our gear, and then bring the tarp up-and-over my gear (sorta like wrapping it) and then strapping it down. Made for way less tarp flapping in the wind, and it just looked neater.
I do like the tarp on the inside better, as you can see in my trailer pic above I had tarpped the outside. I did this for 2 reasons (1) The weather was supposed to be dry on my trip so I originally packed without needing a tarp. When I woke up in the morning it had stormed that night and the roads were wet, so I did a tarp over at the last minute to keep the road spray off of everything. And (2) for my trip it was a long drive distance but it was all on country roads so I never got over 50 MPH, so with the spider web bungee system there was no flapping issues. For future trips though I would tarp inside.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 10:56 AM   #623
JKBender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyRN View Post
Here you go: Your pictures.

You say you've got less than $500 into your trailer build - that's awesome. Now that you've taken it out on a test run, any changes or additions you want to make to it? I'll bet it was nice having a trailer to haul all your camping gear and leave room in the Jeep for the boys.
Sorry for the multiple post guys... unfortunately I need to game the post count....

The trailer was awesome for this trip, I would have had to take the minivan if not for the trailer. The trailer fit all gear for 4 people going for a weekend. The only items inside the Jeep were the dry food and my son's chair (chair only because my son was sitting in it watching me pack, but could have fit in the trailer.)

To what I would change:
The trailer tows great, I do not even notice it, but it bounces like crazy on dirt roads. I am thinking of running a little lower psi in the tires on the next trip as I am not running the trailer anywhere near it's weight capacity. I do plan to change the axle out for a beefier one with a 5on5 bolt pattern eventually, at that time I will probably go with YJ springs and shocks and just remove a couple leafs.

The second issue I had was backing up, the tong is just way too short. I plan to get some 2-1/2" x 0.250 wall square tube to make a new tong that is longer in the front and goes all the way to the back. This will also resolve the only issue the boys had, they were the only kids in camp that did not have bikes to ride. Once I have the new tube in place I will get a bike rack for the back that goes into the tube.

I also plan to use the other half of my sheet of plywood to make a top, just did not have time prior to this trip.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 10:58 AM   #624
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Originally Posted by BSC View Post
Funny you ask ArmyRN, the 1st thing I didn't like was the camp chairs we had they seem to trap dirt just to deposit it inside, so I've been planning all week how to build a basket on top that wouldn't interfere with the gas can when the top was open to a table, Here is what I came up with today, this is becoming a upgrade sickness like my Jeep
Nice basket... is this the HF basket conversion that Jscherb does as a tong basket?
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Unread 07-03-2013, 05:03 PM   #625
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BSC, I still think your trailer is my favorite and will use at the guide for building mine. Did you do anything to keep rain/water from getting inside the box?
coops2k thanks for the comment I think it is pretty much rain proof, here was my thought process
1) Tongue and groove joint will aid in keeping the weather out. I applied a marine sealiant as you would apply to a boat to the outside and painted the inside (White so it reflects better at night).
2) I fitted the sides flush with the bottom then along the mating joint I applied RTV but I'm kinda retinking this if water was to get inside it would hold it in it also makes it harder to get dirt out.
3) the top over laps the sides a good 1.5"and I put a weather strip around the edge of the top, after the trailer was togeather I thought of a better idea that I would do next time, Build the sides so the groove of the tongue and groove board is in the top then fill the groove with a rubber gasket.
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Unread 07-03-2013, 05:08 PM   #626
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Nice basket... is this the HF basket conversion that Jscherb does as a tong basket?
It may be the same one from HF i'm not sure, I chose this one because of 2 things when the top is open it will not hit the gas can and weight without the center hitch post it's close to 10lbs
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Unread 07-06-2013, 03:13 AM   #627
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....woh, that was a lot of reading...
Anyway, finally got through the whole thing, all 42 pages.

First of all thanks ArmyRN for starting this thread, and everyone else for that matter for sharing your ideas, and experiences.
I ended up buying the 1090 lb. red trailer using the 4th of July coupon.
Put it together without much issue, except for a few cuts thanks to tight spaces. Ordered some lumber that I'll be picking up Sunday, 3/4" plywood for the floor, tongue and groove boards, some water proofer, and stain; just to get a base since we're going camping Monday.
I'll use the 500 mile trip to see how it does.
When I come back, my to-do:
http://kmtparts.com/6000lb-torflex-a...-4-drop-4.html
54" hub face, I think if I go too much wider, it'll compromise the integrity of the axle, though I don't think I'll ever load 3500 lb. of anything in the trailer
38.5" spring centers
Probably removing the smallest leaf in the spring pack
When I do replace the axle, I'm probably going to take the trailer apart, scuff it, and bed line it.
Really like the idea of extending the tongue http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f27/m...-sort-1209834/
I'm thinking taller walls, piano hinge lid, and attachments for a battery, lights, folding table, and odd mounts for my hi-lift, and other such tools, and containers.
I really like the look on pentaflex's trailer, but I'll probably stick to the more civilized 205 75r15 tires for a while found some great deals as low as $80 for a wheel tire combo, and I'll mount my spare on the lid, or front of the trailer
For now I'm just using the stock tongue, and a 6" drop hitch to keep it semi level, since I'm at a 3.5" lift and 315 75r16 tires, down the road, I really like this coupler idea

I'm feeling a little scattered right now after reading all 42 pages of the thread, so I think it's best if I just get the basics going, and worry about the rest later.
I was second guessing myself when deciding which trailer to get, the one I got, or the bigger 1720 lb. guy, but considering I would have ended up cutting it, I'm pretty happy with the micro trailer especially considering I got it for $178 out the door with the coupon, as ridiculous as it looks behind my Jeep now, I just need to add some gear to give it some Jeep cred.

Just a couple questions for now, with the 3500 lb. axle, would there be any benefit of a larger hub bolt pattern beside preference? I don't think I'll ever use the tires I have on the Jeep, on the trailer, and I would think there is greater availability of wheels (5 on 4.5), and consequently tires.
Can I get away with the 2000 lb. axle. I think I read on one of the axle builder sites, that it's not recommended to go over a 16" overhang, but I doubt I'll ever have any more than 500 lb. in the trailer, or should I just play it safe with the extra $10 and get the 3500 lb. one?

And lastly, since it's such a lightweight trailer, and rarely loaded to the axle's limits, would I benefit in getting the axle cambered?

Thank you all in advance, and thanks again for all your posts, they've been extremely helpful
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Unread 07-06-2013, 03:49 AM   #628
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42 pages... wow. We're looking forward to watching your trailer build progress.

To answer your questions Phoenix07013:

1. ... with the 3500 lb. axle, would there be any benefit of a larger hub bolt pattern beside preference?

No; actually you've got a larger selection of trailer rims in the 5 on 4.5" pattern.

2. Can I get away with the 2000 lb. axle?

Yes, you should be fine. It should be way more than adequate. When ordering your axle, make sure the hubs are designed for a 15" rim and tire (sometimes they will state the size they're rated for, but if not, ask).

3. Should I just play it safe with the extra $10 and get the 3500 lb. one?

Overkill here won't hurt you, and I doubt the weight difference is anywhere near significant. I'm pretty sure the 2000lb axle and the 3500lb axle have different diameters, so make sure you get the correct size U-bolts and spring plates to mount your axle. A larger diameter axle will give you a slight increase in trailer height when mounted below the springs; and a slight decrease in trailer height when mounted above the springs COMPARED TO A SMALLER DIAMETER AXLE (like the factory axle). Whatever axle you get, make sure you order a spare matching set of bearings and a hub. It's cheap insurance when you're far away from home. Mine are stored in an ammo can attached to the trailer.

4. Would I benefit in getting the axle cambered?

No. You'll never have enough weight in your trailer to get the axle to straighten/flatten out. You'll be runnng on the outside half of your tire treads all the time if you do.

When you get into phase II of your trailer project, I think you would benefit from swapping your factory slipper springs out for some 26 - 28" springs like I did earlier in this thread (mine are 26"). It will give you at least an inch or more of lift (even going from the stock spring-over to a spring-under). It's also a bolt-on affair. A longer trailer tongue and a better suspension will go a long way to making it ride smoother and decrease the bouncing. Here's a picture below of my swapped out suspension (before I painted the brackets black).

Posts that deal with the suspension swap include #'s 341, 348, 369, 372, 388, 403, & 416.
trailer-springs.1.jpg  
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Unread 07-06-2013, 05:49 AM   #629
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Someone else building a little red Harbor Freight 4' trailer - check it out:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f27/a...build-1545447/
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Unread 07-06-2013, 08:06 AM   #630
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My primary concern with that trailer is the fact that it's not an A frame trailer. Have you had any issues with torquing the trailer tongue? Any easy fixes to make this into an A frame trailer?
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