This thread will document the build of my camping trailer. I have finally collected enough material to get started, but still have a couple key items to pick up to get this off the ground.
The use will be general weekend camping. I am not expecting to take it on any long offroad treks....not to say that I wouldn't like to, but I just don't have that kinda time right now. It will be towed behind one of two vehicles. I should note that I plan to casually image it after the Outlander Sherpa
series of trailers. I like their design in that the RTT is functional independent of the storage boxes. I also like the segregated storage compartments; everything has its own place.
Outlander no longer makes trailers for the general public, but their trailers are still out there being run and imitated all the time. The owner would build the trailer to the customer's wants and needs. This is an example of a well rounded system they built that I will be taking some cues from.
One tow vehicle is my 2001 Jeep Wrangler TJ. It is being built more along the lines of a rock crawler vs an expedition rig; ie, no Gobi rack or over the top rear bumper with extra baskets, etc. I also have a full-time back seat for my 6 year old son. End of the story there is....no room for camping stuff.
The other vehicle and truly better tow-rig, is my 2012 Ford F-250 FX4. A trailer this size will barely be felt being pulled with this big diesel.
With the truck, I don't see any reason that we would tow this with my wife's Tahoe.
Which vehicle we use will depend on the agenda, destination, and my passengers. If there is no wheeling involved, my wife is going, and just a dedicated camping trip, we'll likely take the truck. If there is offroading and camping involved and the destination is not too far, my wife probably won't be interested, so we might take the Jeep. If there is offroading, a long distance to travel, and/or my wife is coming, we might just throw the Jeep and trailer on a gooseneck and haul both with the truck
I think you get the point....I have options.
I am still finalizing the general dimensions, but I have been moving forward with material purchases since that needs to be done regardless.
The main frame will be made with 2.5", 1/8" wall square tubing. The tongue will be 2.5" square, 1/4" wall. The upper frame will be made with 2" 1/8" wall. That will be plenty strong to support a RTT should I ever get one.
In my first shopping trip, I grabbed a tongue jack and a wheel to swap in place of the flat foot. I could not find the right combo of the round weld-on jack mount, and wheel. It was either weld-on mount with flat base, or bolt-on with wheel. Oh well....I'll make my own arrangement.
I grabbed the main wiring harnesses for the trailer. I also got safety chains and the 2" ball coupler. I also picked up the main harness with 7-pin plug so that I can add electric brakes at some point.
In the next trip, I picked up the steel. I went with the 1/8" wall 2.5" for the main frame and 1/4" wall for the tongue.
24' of the 1/8" tube (2 x 12') and 12' of the 1/4" tube. It's a start....might need some more of the 1/8", but I am going to try to make it work. I don't really want to buy another 12' stick for a foot or two.
In my third parts trip, I hit up Northern Tool. They have a lot to offer in the way of trailer parts and the prices are pretty reasonable from what I can tell.
I grabbed the 3500# axle. I was surprised to find that they had one in stock that was the 60" width that I was looking for.....yea for not having to cut it down.
Got the hub kits for the axle. I do count on running brakes, but I am going to save that expense until I get a little more into this.
I picked up these fenders. I like them, but if they don't look right, I will make my own.
The last item I grabbed was a leaf spring kit. I considered going with some YJ springs, but for simplicity's sake I think this is the better route for me. I plan to add some shocks to the setup. I hope it will be a satisfactory ride. Worst case is I can swap the spring setup at a later time if this is awful.
I am planning on sticking with a 31" tire for the trailer. I run a 35" tire on the Jeep and the truck is about to get outfitted with a 3" lift and 35s. I think 35s would look cool, but I don't see the need...at least not right now.
I plan to run the same Black Rock 909 that I have on the Jeep. I am not sure what I am going to do for the tire....thinking about the Goodyear Authority from Wal-Mart (of all places). It looks like the Duratrac, and is made the same way, but a less expensive tire. It's a trailer...it doesn't really need MT/Rs does it? haha
I won't have a RTT for a while because I haven't even started to research them. I am not a small dude, and honestly, I have reservations about the abilities of some of the tents I see out there to support my weight (for the area not directly over the 2" steel frame). For the meantime, I look forward to having the trailer to store everything and something to expand on as we 'grow as campers.'
I would like to run an on-board water system, it will have a secure spot for a propane tank for a grille, and secure gas/diesel can storage. Otherwise, the usual camp-type stuff storage