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Trailer tips

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Calclips, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Calclips

    Calclips 1/2 ton status

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    Could some of y'all who have made your own trailers give me some tips? I acquired a free camper this weekend that I plan on ripping all of body off of and turning into a trailer for my truck. Its already got brakes, ligts, and dual axles... should work great, just need to put a deck on it.
     
  2. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Sure. I've made a trailer from scratch, and made a rework trailer out of something else. My advice would be to sell what you have and start from scratch. You'll basically rebuild it anyway, since a camper trailer is probably light duty tubing and nowhere near heavy duty enough to haul a vehicle on. What does that thing have for axles? What kind of hitch? What sort of crossmembers? Hopefully I'm reading you right when you say you want a trailer for your truck. If you're talking carhauler, forget about it and buy the real deal or make it from scratch. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  3. Calclips

    Calclips 1/2 ton status

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    I don't think its all that light duty, its one of the big 5th wheel style campers, I figured that it would have a fairly sturdy frame on it. Plus with all the aluminum I'm gonna get off of it and all the steel I have laying around the house I should be okay. What should I look for to make sure its strong enough? I'm a trailer newbie...

    And yes... it is for the truck, which is a K20
     
  4. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    how wide is it and what are the ratings on the axles?
     
  5. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    Unfortunatly the 5th wheel trailers use the body for strength and dont have a great frame for a car hauler. You can add an outer rail and replace all the crossmembers before putting a new deck on it. It would be easier to build a trailer from scratch most of the time. But you could make this one work for little money if you have alot of scrap steel laying around.

    I would run 5" channel as the outer rails with 3" channel crossmembers. Then use 2x lumber as your decking. Flatbed plans
     
  6. BIGJ

    BIGJ 1/2 ton status Author

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    I made my trailer from scratch, with the help of some trailer plans. Laketex is right on this one, you will probably waste more time and money trying to make the camper trailer work in the long run. If you really want to build one, do it yourself with the right parts/materials. Here's a pic of what I built...

    [​IMG]

    BIGJ
     
  7. Calclips

    Calclips 1/2 ton status

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    Well crap.... oh well. I'll check the rating on the axles, and probably steal the brakes and lighting then. I'll assess the situation a little more this weekend. I should be able to steal the hitch and all of that from the front too... right?

    And BigJ... what did you end up spending on making that yourself. If the camper axles wont do it I think I can get a set of free axles from a modular home my stepdad is putting up...
     
  8. GORRILLA

    GORRILLA 1/2 ton status

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    Better check your local laws, using modular or mobile home axle's has been made illegal in alot of states. Plus I am pretty sure you will have to narrow them.
    My .02
    Gorrilla
     
  9. BIGJ

    BIGJ 1/2 ton status Author

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    I ended up spending almost $2000 on the whole thing. A basic car hauler around here starts at $1800 with 3500lb axles and brakes on one axle. Mine has 7000lb axles with brakes on both. I didn't skimp on much, so I could have saved money on the lights, fenders and axles if I wanted.

    The axles were the biggest expense other than the steel. I got ripped on the steel, but that's what I get for living in a small town. You can get a bulldog coupler for less than $50 if the trailer doesn't have a heavy duty one or if it's not rated for what you need. Just make sure the axles on the camper are rated for at least 3500lbs a piece, and check the local laws in your area about the brake requirements for the axles.
     
  10. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Bingo.

    Listen to Jeff...He's wise in the ways of trailer building. I probably had $2000 into mine as well. I'll try to scan a pic tonite and post it.
     

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