The Backroads trailer #I was used a lot on logging roads,some said 4WD only. In the end it was lifted 6 3/4" with second frame, with a #3500 axel with electric brakes added. I used the longest travel #1800 leaf springs I could find on each side. For the depature angles I had seen,13" wheels and radial tires were enough,as it had a box under 8'.I also carried two spares.After that I never had a flat.Those mods were only as needed.
The vast majority of my camping is done off pavement in my modifed 4x4 Astro van. Now I've got to make room for two young daughters, I'm thinking pup for the times the family goes with me, rather than getting a larger van.
I'm having pretty good luck running the Natl Forest trail roads with my 2008 Starcraft 14RT OFF-ROAD setup.
This might be alittle to long and too heavy to get in and out a few places I have put it through but have made it back so far...
Really didnt beef-up anything on suspensions etc... Stock trailer right out of the box... I did do alot of beefing-up on battery banks being re-charged daily using 2KW Honda generator to be successful camping out for a many days at a time.
It will go anywhere my 4WD truck will go I reckon...
Hopefully going to camp here for week this fall up on the VA/WVA state line in the George Washington Natl Forest mtn area near a place called FlagPole Knob...
My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me Roy and Carolyn
RETIRED DOAF/DON/DOD/CONTR RADIO TECH (42yrs)
K9PHT (Since 1957) 146.52M
2010 F150, 5.4,3:73 Gears,SCab
2008 Starcraft 14RT EU2000i GEN
2005 Flagstaff 8528RESS HOME SETUP ONLY
I went super dooper cheap, and admittedly incorrect on my 8 foot box Coleman. Since mine has no brakes, I simply pulled the axle out, flipped it over, and slid it back in under the springs. This puts the manufactured camber in upside down, but so far I have had no problems with it. Some day I might actually buy some spring perches to weld onto the axle tube and do it correctly.
Anyway it works fine for me on desert roads. I just take it really slow so I don't shake it all apart.
1996 Suburban 4x4. 350, 4.10 3/4 ton
2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH
1986 Coleman Columbia Popup.
Sorry about no photos,I'm of the age that my skill set doesn't really include computers.
Roy's came with a real frame.
The frame was made of 2"x3"x.125" tubing ,with a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2 "x 1/4" cut in half length wise renforcing the spring area,so it wasn't heavy,two people carried it easily. It sat under the the orginal perimeter frame.That is,after I straightened the door side.
I don't know who was first coming out with the US beefed-up trailer frames but the Starcraft RT series of off-road trailers sure are neat things to own. I think part of my frame that is under the front deck is like 8-inches frames. Was looking at the new RT series the other day and I guess the 12RT is the only one now still available in this series. Australia is the place to get boss made off-road frames now.
the only gripe I have had with my 14RT version was the placement of the shocks for the axle. They appear to be small shocks to start off with and the mounting angle is almost 45-degree. I always thought I would re-do that but never did... I get brave sometimes and cross a rocky stream with it back off the trails haha... Back in my Arizona days we would sure do silly things like take a brand new Jeep and run down the Salt River with them... The rivers out there only have water in them when it rains in the mountains so all of the rivers got used as roadways alot. Then you get caught in it when the floods starts heading for Mexico...
I never used my front deck for ATVs but it really gets used to pack the supplies into the back woods. I can carry some serious supplies with the big deck and bed of the truck. My weapon of choice back in the day was my good ole Wrangler Jeep pulling a beefed-up 5x8 trailer loaded down with all the off-road camping supplies.
I came across this photo from Google Images a month or so ago and it looks almost just like what I used to pull all over the north Arizona high country - even painted up the same color haha... My Jeep was alittle older as this was back in the early 70s when I was doing it... Sure brought back some good off-road memories back in the day... My trailer had the same idea using a metal mesh lift up cover with the 4-inch rails to tie things too.
I think shocks are very important,all the Aussie trailers have them,and the top of the line camping trailers even go so far as to have long travel indepentent suspension. My youngest son built an off-road camping trailer using Aussie ideas,I got shown lot's internet pictures of trailers. On our tent trailer,I had to replace the springs couple of times,the first light duty factory ones,the second ones,long #1800s,the spring shop thought might they have been faulty. Looking back on it, I think it may have been the lack of shocks. I always was told ,springs break on the rebound up. I know I never changed shocks on 1/2 ton Dodge,'76 was said to be a poor year for Dodge springs, but I did change some of leafs.
I purchased an '04 Starcraft 11 R/T. It was factory designed for rough (they like to say OFF) road travel (at least the frame and suspension was.) It came with a 3500 lb dexter axle underslung on the springs, dexter shock kit installed, 15" wheels with mud rover LT tires, and a frame built to give generous ground clearance. I used it on desert tracks on BLM land in Nevada at least a couple trips/year for the 7 seasons we had it without any problem. Actually I had one, the break-away switch was mounted on the underside of the A-frame and I pulled the key out when it drug on a deep wash across the road. The TV went through fine and then the PUP came to a stop. Moved it to the side and never had that problem again.
I have since moved to an 18' travel trailer with tandem axles & have flipped them, added shocks, and made the stabalizer jacks removable and can navigate the same roads, only slower.
Jim & JoAnne
2007 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
2004 Starcraft 11RT (Replaced by)
2011 Eclipse Milan 18CK Travel Trailer
fairfax jim - I too had a similar problem on the first off-the-road trip I made with my 2008 Starcraft 14RT.
I was a pretty good ways back in the woods and had to drive thru some brush to get to this cleared out area under a tree where we wanted to setup by a stream. As luck would have I drug off some 12VDC cables under the trailer.
This was a disastrous trip from the start haha..Only one battery and no way to re-charge it and on this trip a couple of 12VDC appliances wasn't working either since I pulled some 12VDC wiring out under the trailer....
When we got back from this trip I decided to start beefing up all things I needed to do to make camping off thepower grid successful starting with the old the ELIXIR converter/charger. I changed it out for a smart-mode PD9260C unit and rewired the whole underneath 12VDC cable scheme. Everything that went thru the floor under a cabinet went into a plastic PVC junction box which was connected to all of the other thru the floor junction boxes using pvc 3/4-conduit. Everything is sealed from the weather, bugs and shrubs...
Got everything fixed up for a four each GP24 battery setup and now can recharge the batteries everyday now using my 2KW Honda generator.
We are very successful now camping off the power grid...