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 > Homemade camper dolly - with pics

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Eric&Lisa

Scappoose, OR

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Posted: 11/07/06 09:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I made the comment on another thread about having recently built a camper dolly. Several people PM'd me looking for pictures. So I grabbed the camera, lifted the camper off the dolly and took some pictures.

This cost me about $100 in materials - lumber, bolts, etc. I got the casters for free as they were scavenged off a damaged job-site metal construction box. They are rated to 1200lbs/ea. Assembly took a Saturday afternoon, a skill saw, and a drill.

Enjoy!
-Eric








Eric & Lisa - Oregon
'97 Silverado K2500, New HT383 motor!, Airbags, anti-sway bar
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Eric&Lisa

Scappoose, OR

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Posted: 11/07/06 09:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Footnote I forgot to mention...

I am able to roll the camper around on the dolly. Looking at the 2nd picture, you can see the blue styrofoam insulation of the garage door in the left part of the frame. It is necessary to back the camper into the shop, place it on the dolly, turn it around, and slide it into the next space (which does not have a door). This allows me to back a car in under the cabover. Moving the camper requires a shove to get started and then a gentle push to move around.

Thanks,
-Eric

BradW

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Posted: 11/07/06 09:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Added to this thread.

What type of wheels did you use?

Brad

BradW

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Posted: 11/07/06 09:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator



Caster Wheel

Thanks,
Brad

18seeds

Denver

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Posted: 11/07/06 09:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I build one also and haven't really gotten it to work well. I have a single garage that is standard height. I have to unload outside, lower onto the dolly and roll it in. Sounds simple but there is a small lip to enter the garage and it is hard to puch it in. I have tried larger wheels but that hasn't really worked well. Also since it's a tight squeeze there is little room for error.


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Eric&Lisa

Scappoose, OR

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Posted: 11/07/06 09:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BradW wrote:

What type of wheels did you use?


It is tough to see in the pictures. The best way to describe them are polyurethane coated steel. The centers are steel with a thin poly coating on them. At contact point, the poly is a bit thicker - about 3/16". The shafts and pivots both have zerk fittings so I was able to grease the bearings. I did not measure them, but I believe they are 5" (maybe 6") wheels.

They look just like the wheel shown here:
http://www.nationalcaster.com/series50_page1.htm

Thanks,
-Eric

tom_kat

way upstate new york/lake george area

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Posted: 11/07/06 10:48am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nice job,you braced it up very well,that should hold a lot of weight with out any problems.


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F350OilBurner

Central MA

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Posted: 11/07/06 10:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The frame looks strong. How are the caster wheels attached to the bottom of the frame? Are they just screwed in to the underside? My concern would be catching a wheel on something (pebble, irregular spot in the floor, etc.) and tearing one off. It doesn't appear you were able to use through bolted lag bolts or anything like that with the 4x4 corner posts.

Also, any issues with having four swivel wheels? I've heard it makes it difficult to maneuver. It seems two fixed and two swivel (like a shopping cart) was concluded to be the most maneuverable.

I'm not criticizing your design as I think it's very resourceful and well constructed. Just curious about these two things...


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BCSierra

Victoria BC

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Posted: 11/07/06 11:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

18seeds wrote:

I build one also and haven't really gotten it to work well. I have a single garage that is standard height. I have to unload outside, lower onto the dolly and roll it in. Sounds simple but there is a small lip to enter the garage and it is hard to puch it in. I have tried larger wheels but that hasn't really worked well. Also since it's a tight squeeze there is little room for error.


A couple of suggestions that may or may not apply.

Can you use semi or fully pneumatic tires? These will absorb a lot more of a bump without the "hit".

Can you use some mortar and build a small ramp for the lip?


2001 GMC Sierra 2500 SLE Short Box 4 door Extra Cab
6.0 Vortec, 4L80E Auto Trans, 3.73 rear. 4X4. Timbrens, Rancho 9000's. Hidden Hitch front and Happijac rear tie downs. 1985 Frontier Camper.
Member/Editor of Victoria Motorcycle Club and ASHRAE


Eric&Lisa

Scappoose, OR

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Posted: 11/07/06 11:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

F350OilBurner wrote:

...How are the caster wheels attached to the bottom of the frame? Are they just screwed in to the underside? ...Also, any issues with having four swivel wheels?


I used 5" lag screws to attach the caster wheels to the frame. I was concerned about them as well because I could not bolt them through to a nut & washer. Actually these screws go into the 2x6's on the frame and only one goes into the 4x4 post. Turns out my concern was unwarranted as there have not been any problems - not even a creak when I first lowered the camper on to the dolly.

I had to have four swivels. I would not have been able to spin the camper within its space if a pair was fixed. Yes, like anything with four swivels, it is difficult to roll straight. But I only need to roll the camper straight for about 12 feet - and that is moving it sideways. Otherwise I would have to manuever the camper into the space like I was parallel parking a car.

A couple times I did get in a situation where I was pushing against a wheel which was parallel to my desired direction of travel (the wheel had not swiveled). I was able to reach down and swivel the caster by hand. It occured to me that I may occasionally not be able to swivel the caster. Then I realized, duh, just lower the jacks a bit to take the weight off. I never had to do that though. It is nice to carry a load which is so easy to remove (as I did last night for the pictures).

Thanks,
-Eric

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