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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Support trailer build and story...ideas and the why

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Reality Check

North Bend

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Joined: 08/29/2007

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Posted: 05/09/20 01:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We picked up a new trailer last year; our intent is to travel a bit more off the beaten track, stay longer, explore more. Bringing some toys was in the plan too. Kayak’s, bicycles and our bikes. Wanted more storage, more water, more room for food and fuel. We prefer to not stay at parks, so this is the result that we came up with. A few times a year we travel with a very close group, so the larger generator works for powering the ‘camp’ including AC’s. Turns out, it’s awesome for running ours too; it idles at a purr even with AC and microwave running. Much more pleasant that listening to a suitcase rev up. We always have a Honda suitcase on the truck (along with the Onan built in), but the larger gen is just way more pleasant. So, when the trailer goes, so does the extra gen set.

Our biggest blocks to longer stays were water and food. We both like fresh food, and to cook. Packing enough in a fridge is tough for more than 5 or 6 days. And a cooler takes ice. Might as well just carry another refer. Fresh water was the biggest thing, and that was an easy fix. I’m use to fuel, engines and whatnot, so carrying a little extra got added in. Fuel runs the gen sets and the bikes. Extra diesel just because. And extra propane, for the WH, fridge’s and portable fire if the wife so desires.
Tows like a dream, but then, most trailers do. I’ve had enough with small tires. I think we’re down to just a few trailers with 15” rims. This was ordered with 16”, but with smaller axles (6k’s). A to heavy an axle sounds great, but the ride unless loaded sucks for the ‘stuff’. This isn’t an equipment trailer. I was figuring it would run around at about the 8k range, so thought this was a good compromise. More good choices for tires in the 16 range and way less prone to tire damage. Only in my experience though. Limited experience I’m sure compared to some on here as I’ll hear about soon enough, lol.

So, here’s the main part of the build, and of course, it’ll always be a work in progress.

First extra water tank got put in at the start. 100 gallons

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We ended up adding another 30 gallon tank on the passenger side of the trailer. Total, this gives us 193 gallons.

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Next, had to build a cabinet for the extra refer

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Cut holes for the venting; always a good idea to check the measurements..bondo sucks.

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Then plumb the refer

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And run the LP lines to the front

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New tanks; story about those. Not a fan of tank exchange, but the homeless around here are obviously a huge problem and as a group, they’re pigs. On the side of the freeway one morning I passed a mountain of trash and a pile of LP tanks. I was on the wrong side, but phoned an employee coming into town. He pulled over, loaded 7 tanks in his truck, and voila! A quick exchange at the store and I’m good to go.

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Of course, had to build a cabinet for the tanks. Two on the tongue, two in the camper, and 5 extras.

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Made a hanging ‘closet’ for extra clothes with shelf on top. Sits next to the refrigerator near the front.

Just inside the closet is the charger for the battery; battery sits under the refer.

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And of course, a USB charging station. Yes, I know. It’s a piece of plywood with a plug next to it.

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Plywood floors don’t sweep worth a darn. Here’s our $42 solution:

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I don’t get very fancy with trim; things like this are utilitarian to us. Chances are…it’ll get dinged and ugly before the first few months are over, and it did. Usable and easily repairable work well for me.

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Fuel rack, goes over the passenger wheel well. Holds 6 @ 6 gallon cans.

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Wired in more interior lights, and back up lights

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And of course, had to fix the wiring, including getting rid of those stupid RV plugs. All of our stuff is wired the same, no matter what truck or trailer. Peterbilt to Tahoe..

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Front’s done; this trailer came with an extended tongue. I’ve pretty much always just extended them at the shop, so this was a nice little add for me.

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Put an awning on the outside. Front bolted to a stud, but the rear missed. A little 1 1/8” ply for the span and good to go. And no, we did not want anything automatic. To us, these are easier to use, sturdier, anchorable and easier to repair if needed. Wouldn’t touch anything automatic or spring loaded or fancy. I can still pick up a handle and turn the crank.

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And putting the plywood interior back in place

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Built a simple kayak rack; holds two singles and a double. Sometimes I want to fish alone, sometimes I don’t want to paddle…she starting to wonder why I take the rear seat.

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We carry a folding ramp that allows us to get the large gen set out, and the bikes. Sits against the wall on top of the spare tire. And, a small folding staircase, which we use for the trailer some, and, if we aren’t unloading the camper, for easier access. Allows the Mrs. to reach the LP tanks too, when on the truck.

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Laugh as you will, but we started carrying a small table and chairs. We sit out a lot and having options for places to sit is awesome. We carry a couple of extremely comfortable patio chairs and regular camping chairs, but sometimes I want to sit and eat, or read, or play a game while sitting like an adult..and not inside.

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Bicycles are hanging in the front of the trailer. We built shelves along both sides of the interior too. There is a picnic/bug screen standalone and a ‘room’ that attaches to the awning. Keeps the chill and bugs down. It’s a bit of a pain as opposed to nothing, so not planning on using it but for long stays in the same place. Spare parts, transfer pump for the fresh water, and macerator and line for the black tanks. Allows us options. I have a separate blk water tank that we can carry if we need. Easier to pee outside and minimize our storage though.

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Switching trucks next couple of weeks. Finally got around to working on the replacement rig. Just too busy last year to get it knocked out. We had planned on spending most of the spring camping and traveling, but some work landed in our lap and just slammed the schedule..which worked out ok with the shut down. Don’t get me going on how stupid that has become. What a complete farce. Anyhow, looking forward to some extra time in the next months.

* This post was edited 05/09/20 03:49pm by Reality Check *


'16 F550 CC, 4x4 with Link Ultraride air suspension, '18 AF 1150. Just so we can play with our snowmobiles, dirt bikes and fishing boat. And new 20' tag along...kayaks, bikes, mc's and extra water and food!!


Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Joined: 06/18/2015

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Posted: 05/09/20 01:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice work, although skeptic side tells me that would you get paid minimum wages for the job - you'd be driving new top end SuperDuty.
I own similar size cargo trailer. Bought it for moving to another state 3 years ago, but then having big yard, Home Depot shed cost about $4000, while I paid $3200 for the trailer.
For ice, consider 1 of those "wedding rings" maker.
I bought it for my conversion like 15 years ago and now use it at home for patio parties. It will run on inverter for few hr, but sure nice addition to big generator.





Lwiddis

Near DVNP, California

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Joined: 08/12/2016

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Good Sam RV Club Member

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Posted: 05/09/20 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well done report, workmanship and photos. What is the trailer’s minimum ground clearance? Departure angle?


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AMP Lithium battery. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


jimh425

Western MT

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Joined: 06/11/2006

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Posted: 05/09/20 02:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks nice. Congrats for being done!


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Toyo M655 225/19.5 Gs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Joined: 11/27/2005

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Posted: 05/09/20 03:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That’s awesome work Dave.

I love projects like that.

I need this, I want that, I gotta have something else.

Pick through my junk pile and use up some of the valuable cr@p that I’ve been saving forever, scrounge a few things, buy what you have to.

It would have ended up looking very much the same if I built it.

I thought I was the only one that hated the “standard” 7-way RV plug. I prefer the seven round-pin Pollak plug you used as well.

Good job!

[emoticon][emoticon]

cptqueeg

Idaho

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Joined: 04/11/2020

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Posted: 05/09/20 06:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome!

I love the "garage" built w stacked shipping containers too.

NRALIFR

Truck Camping Out West

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Joined: 11/27/2005

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Posted: 05/09/20 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I noticed that too! I showed the boss that and told her “This guy reminds me of me!” That’s exactly what I’d do if I had a bunch of those sitting around, and the equipment that could lift and stack them.

That’s thinking outside the (Conex) box. [emoticon]

[emoticon][emoticon]

Reality Check

North Bend

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Joined: 08/29/2007

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Posted: 05/09/20 08:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

I noticed that too! I showed the boss that and told her “This guy reminds me of me!” That’s exactly what I’d do if I had a bunch of those sitting around, and the equipment that could lift and stack them.

That’s thinking outside the (Conex) box. [emoticon]

[emoticon][emoticon]


lol, it's the result of limitations and a local building official. This is commercial property, and just like dozens of others near here, we were going to put up a simple carport cover. Let's say he said no, despite allowing them in other places. History probably had something to do with it. I said no problem...just be careful what you wish for. We're zoned heavy industrial, and I can stack conex's all the way to the sky and on the fence line. Ended up working well, as we use the uppers also for storage, mostly med duty equipment (engine driven equipment).

The 'roof' is shrink wrap. Dry as a bone.

No; I do not want to look at a yard of conex boxes and construction equipment from my house. Ugh.

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Joined: 09/08/2003

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Posted: 05/09/20 10:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reality Check wrote:


New tanks; story about those. Not a fan of tank exchange, but the homeless around here are obviously a huge problem and as a group, they’re pigs. On the side of the freeway one morning I passed a mountain of trash and a pile of LP tanks.


Here's a cheap propane tank lock I came up with.

The ultimate would be to weld the nut on the all-thread at the bottom.

* This post was edited 05/09/20 10:28pm by deltabravo *


2009 Silverado 3500HD Dually, D/A, CCLB 4x4 (bought new 8/30/09)
2018 Arctic Fox 992 with an Onan 2500i "quiet" model generator

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Joined: 09/08/2003

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Posted: 05/09/20 10:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I love a good trailer build thread!

I spy a DRZ in there too. Where do you like to ride?

I'm in Spokane and do a lot of riding around Lake Wenatchee.

I have a 2002 DRZ that I've owned since 2006.

* This post was edited 05/09/20 10:37pm by deltabravo *

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