Hope to build a tiny trailer.

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by NevadaBlue, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I hope to build a tiny trailer. Don’t laugh please, this is a low budget project and I’m old and SLOW.

    So far, I found a boat trailer for 50 bucks (and it came with a workable Hobie Cat 16!) and my neighbor just gave me a fiberglass topper. I want this thing to be light enough to pull behind my Kubota RTV, yet capable of road travel too.

    So far, it looks like this. I want it to be tall enough to allow me to sit up on my cot that will be my bed in this. Looks like the size will be 6’ wide by 8’ long and 80” high or so. (80” from the ground of course. The RTV is 80” high)

    7F994B7D-5463-4EAA-AB52-DD7F8E689977.jpeg

    I am visualizing a divider between those slanted rear windows, creating the kitchen area under the lift hatch. I also found a suitable door, that I think may be from a 20 something REO. This will be unique to say the least.

    B1DFDFE8-C55C-46FA-8DD9-FCD2AF0D3E5D.jpeg

    I just got the camper shell this morning so design is very much in flux. At this point, it looks like the door will work in that location. The rear half of the left side window can be moved back (black line on side of shell) and the door opening cut. The top of the door opening can be the top of the existing window opening.

    I think that a 32” tall ‘box’ will be built to set the topper on. The supports for the Hobie Cat pontoons look like they can become the floor supports for the box. I just measured and a 3” spacer will allow the 3/4” plywood floor to set level. I’ll trim the excess from the supports of course.

    C6F95BF7-15D0-4CAE-AE5A-569AE1A0AD1A.jpeg

    Having fun!

    Anyone want a 16’ Hobie Cat? :9:
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  2. Philly-Billy

    Philly-Billy Scout

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    I'll be watching your progress eagerly.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Muskeg_Stomper

    Muskeg_Stomper Tiaga & Tundra Wanderer Supporter

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    Yep, looks like a fun project
     
  4. John from Alberta

    John from Alberta Supporter Supporter

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    Awesome! Can't wait to see how this progresses. Great project @NevadaBlue.
     
  5. fixits

    fixits Noble Savage Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    How about a couple of tarp mounting points above the door on either side. Then "receivers" on the frame, angled about 45 degrees outbound of the door to slide poles into to create a covered entry, outdoor cooking area?

    Sorry if it's unclear..WIP in my head currently.
     
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  6. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Grey Owl Supporter

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    Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!
     
  7. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Interesting, looking forward to seeing how this progresses. I was going to suggest using a truck bed but that would get awful heavy for your Kubota.

    No idea where to sail a Hobie Cat in Nevada except maybe Tahoe. Maybe you can do something creative with the Hobie too though. ;)
     
  8. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

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    Build ya a light weight floor in the footprint of the shell. Configure a wall to support the shell at the desired height. Probably will need to be the height of the door or you need to cut the door. I'd avoid cutting the shell. Mainly to reduce the amount of fabrication and maintain the strength that the shell will provide. I so enjoy watching others use their imagination. Makes me feel more normal. @NevadaBlue
     
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  9. Toytech

    Toytech Scout

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    I like it , and i think the topper is a good place to start , a solid waterproof roof and windows are probably the hardest part of a trailer build . I do wonder though if you manage a nice low weight if its going to be over sprung and bouncy .
     
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  10. Robedsubset

    Robedsubset Scout

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    Looks like a cool project that can be done on the cheap
     
  11. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Thanks everyone. I needed another project. o_O Well, yes I did, if I want to get out more. And, I do.

    Yes, for sure at least two tarp mounts and tarps will be part of this. Since the sailboat is probably not going to happen, those beautiful, colorful sails may become nice awnings.

    E4D89DE0-EE57-4CE2-932B-9282A5B20F73.jpeg

    I’ve already figured out what sections would make good awnings. :) I have been studying this for a while now, but the topper shell just happened today, triggering activity. :9:

    We have some nice lakes here, but I am just not able to manage such a hot rod as the Hobie. It will become ‘something’ possibly. Maybe a little pontoon boat. ;)
     
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  12. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I think I’ll be OK. The cat only weighs 400 pounds or so and this trailer should be just about right for the load I hope to have on it. I really have no idea how to weigh the components, but my guess is that maybe 600 or 700 pounds? We will see.
     
  13. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    I am not laughing
     
  14. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Enjoy yourself and the build young fellar. joe
     
  15. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I was amazed at the condition of this thing. It is old but not beat. A bit of damage, but nothing significant. LOOK at the interior! So clean and solid. I’m excited about this one.

    0892B7C6-94B3-453A-A491-73CB0867EDFE.jpeg


    D60390CA-C7AA-45DC-8CE9-2A2762962125.jpeg

    CDC91DB2-7943-4E5F-9F9D-9FEC0153D77D.jpeg

    Look at all the windows! Counting the door, there will be 3 screened windows for plenty of ventilation. The rear hatch will not be in the ‘living’ section, but will be the roof of the kitchen. I think the section below the hatch will be interior space in the living area, with some storage probably.
    LOTS to think about and enjoy planning. I love doing this kind of stuff. This will actually be big enough to install a propane heater, who knows... winter outings?

    I just remembered that I have two 20 pound aluminum propane tanks. One will be plenty of course.
     
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  16. Toytech

    Toytech Scout

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    If you built the base and walls like a stick built trailer (siding , studs , siding ) and stuck any type of insulation in the voids and lined the topper with something like ensolite the need to heat it would be way reduced (cooler in the summer too ) catalytic propane heaters kinda suck in a small space because the produce so much moisture .
     
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  17. fixits

    fixits Noble Savage Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Metal stud pony walls, aluminum siding, 2x2 interior framing, roof vent....gonna be better and cheaper than what you can buy. Spray foam is your friend!
     
  18. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I’m going to look at 2x3 lumber the next trip to Home Depot. I have seen it there and I know that plywood and glue can build airplanes. :D I may be going with that for the walls.
     
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  19. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Roughian #10 Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sub'ed will be watching anxiously!
     
  20. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Bushmaster

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    A camper shell on a trailer. You are on the verge of geneous.
     
  21. dial1911

    dial1911 Supporter Supporter

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    I can tell you for sure that there are a lot of mobile homes out there built with 2x2 wall studs.

    I would also say that the small lumber at home depot/lowes is the most crooked pile of crap you will see anywhere- pick through it and find straight boards, or at least boards with straight sections. I'd almost buy 2x6 or 2x8 and rip them down to size.

    Looks like a heck of a project- but a lot of fun too!

    And note to self- you can get cheap sail boats in the desert :)
     
  22. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I should put skate boards on the Hobie Cat and head down the road. :D
     
  23. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    The reason I am looking at 2x3 lumber for the walls is that it will give more support to the ledge on the shell. It will also give me storage pockets in the lower walls, if I decide not to insulate.
    Lots of ideas floating around about the interior. The main thing is that I want to use my cot and be able to use it as a ‘couch’. A drop down table would be nice, as well as some cabinets for necessary bushcraft stuff. Maybe a ‘tool wall’ somewhere too. :)
     
  24. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    Looks good, those are everywhere here although commonly on a truck bed that has also been removed from the host. 2x3 plenty strong I used it to build a stand up camper. I put thin plywood inside and out and rigid foam insulation in between.
     
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  25. bosque bob

    bosque bob Guide

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    Looks like a good start to a great project. Watching.
     
  26. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    This gives me hope of being able to easily have more time away from the house. If I just store my gear in the trailer, I can hook on and go, stopping at a nice spot and just enjoying being out. Hopefully more overnights with less effort. My get up and go has got up and went.
     
  27. Oldguy59

    Oldguy59 Roughian #5 Supporter

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    I’m thinking if you build a box with plywood on both sides using 2x2 with ridged insulation to the hight to fit the door you have while leaving the inside clean for modular furnishings. Bed, stove, storage,..just have to keep an eye on trailer capacity.
     
  28. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    The RTV is rated to pull a 1300 pound trailer. I would really like to keep it a LOT lighter than that.
     
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  29. Jonah L. Archer

    Jonah L. Archer ~Roughian #21~ ~ MOA #62 ~ Supporter Bushclass II

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    Pssssssst.....

    *whispers* "excuse me sir. You're Red Green is showing....."

    hqdefault.jpg

    ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  30. JeffG

    JeffG Guide

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    My dad was an experienced sailor. He had a Hobie. He got caught up on a sudden squall of the Bay of Green Bay. Long story short, he wound up 18 miles down wind in way too short of time, the little beast got away from him, and he had the ride of his life. Bruised but alive, he sold it, and went with motors. Be careful with Hobies, they can be witches.
     
  31. NoBrakesRacing

    NoBrakesRacing Scout

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    If you want to go a different way in construction method you could look at foamie trailers.
    http://tnttt.com/viewforum.php?f=55

    Basically a sandwich of construction foam covered in fabric, with titebond glue for layering and house primer/ paint outside/ inside. Seem to be durable, lightweight and cheap, plus well insulated.

    Gathering information is of course a bit of a rabbit hole.

    Good luck with it.
     
  32. Toytech

    Toytech Scout

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    Probably not going to be a problem , my 13 foot fiberglass Boler with a full frame fridge,furnace,cooktop,deepcell,propane,and spare tire is probably around the 1400lbs mark for comparison .
     
  33. Beach Hiker

    Beach Hiker LNR LB 42 Supporter

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    I can't wait to see what marvelous structure will result!
     
  34. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    But it’s not cute. Isn’t that the whole point of a tiny trailer? There are sacrifices, but it’s so damned cute you feel virtuous and accept them?
     
  35. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Just a quick tip Ken. If you have a table saw, you may be better off buying 2x6's and ripping them in half. I have found that 2x3 lumber is not of a very high quality. The more premium lumber goes into actual structural framing like 2x6 and 2x4 and such. Anything smaller is usually of a lesser grade, and I think cost wise, a 2x6 is less than 2- 2x3's.

    My son built an 8x12' tool trailer on an old camper frame from 2x6's ripped in half. He glued and screwed plywood on the exterior and the thing is solid like a tank. I keep telling him he should just turn it into a tiny home/camper and go live in the woods. :)

    I have seen a lot of things made from old toppers like that. We had one that we put on stacked cement blocks and it was the goat shack for a couple of years.
     
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  36. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    hey Pard, i see you've jump'd ship ;-)

    look @ the WRC stack of 2x3's

    my local HD allows me to pick thru it as long as i re-stack my mess

    i try to pick up several straight grained 8' WRC 2x3's when i have a few extra shekels in my pocket

    you're gaining weight just thinking about cabinets and tool walls

    starting out @ 20#/ea the tire/wheel combination

    then the axe n hubs

    and the steel frame

    then the 3/4" deck

    and the topper

    and plywood sidewalls w/ 2x3 studlettes

    and sew on and sew on...

    me thinks your eyes are maybe bigger than your stomach

    a 4x8x6 cube can hold a LOT of stuff even when part of it has a cot in it

    just think of the folks who haul their kit in a pack on their backs and how much a foolishly packed pack can weigh :-O

    CUIDADO AMIGO !
     
  37. wvridgerunner

    wvridgerunner BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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  38. Jonah L. Archer

    Jonah L. Archer ~Roughian #21~ ~ MOA #62 ~ Supporter Bushclass II

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    I used to work in an RV manufacturing facility. 2x3's are only used for floor framing. 2x2's make up the walls and ceiling on most trailers unless they have metal frames. Using too much wood will make that thing heavy fast...
     
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  39. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Yep. I’m working on ideas for the lower side walls. Need something wide at the top to support the shell and yet not too heavy. I think I may have an idea to that will work using 2x2s and some metal brackets.
     
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  40. gohammergo

    gohammergo I like sharp things.... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have every faith in you that you will figure out a cool way to achieve your goal. :)
     
  41. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I figure the camper shell weighs about 200 pounds or so. That means my lower side walls need to be strong.
    I did remember that I just brought home a stack of really nice 1x4 cedar from a previous project. Those may become ‘stud walls’, with 1/4” plywood glued and screwed on as a skin.

    I also looked up material weights and did some guessing. I think I can get this under 1000 pounds with some care.
     
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  42. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Supporter Supporter

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    Steel corner posts with a canvas wrap, maybe?
     
  43. hillst1

    hillst1 Supporter Supporter

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    Possibly use a lifting system similar to one on a pop up camper?

    or this....
     
  44. Roq

    Roq Tracker

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  45. bigfelipe

    bigfelipe Tracker

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    Look into metal studs and track. 1 5/8" wide 20ga studs and track, with closed cell foamboard glued in between. Wrap both sides with Luan (glued and screwed) and you have an inexpensive SIPs panel that is surprisingly sturdy, light weight, and has a decent R value even with the thermal bridging. No special tools required and easily connected to any type of building materials...

    Personally, I would scrap the truck cap and build the whole thing from metal studs. You can salvage the little windows and lay them out in the exterior layer of the wall in any orientation you desire. Just a thought.

    I used the same studs/track for all the interior walls and framing in my tiny house.
     
  46. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Bushmaster

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    Box girders are light and strong. An idea just popped into my mind. LW steel framing as mentioned above pop riveted to aluminium sheet [ perhaps with silicon glue?] as framing; sandwiched with the foam panels
    Interested as my beloved won't come traveling without a proper bed and even with a stand at the end she will not/cannot use a camp stretcher. Camp kitchen on a swing out under the canopy door?
    I'd not worry about adding in the extra door, I'd just slide/wriggle in the back if it was tall enough and I am probably stiffer than you are. I would investigate an extra layer with an airgap above the roof tho if you want it to be as cool as possible in the sun, what LandRover used to call the Saharan roof, an inch clearance is plenty
     
  47. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Nice idea, thanks. Pic saved.

    Also, @Moondog55 , the Sahara roof is an excellent idea. Thanks again! I’ve always thought one of those would be perfect for the desert out here.
     
  48. NoBrakesRacing

    NoBrakesRacing Scout

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    I've never worked with metal studs but found a quick guide for those interested.
    https://www.familyhandyman.com/carpentry/using-steel-studs/
     
  49. GingerBeardMan

    GingerBeardMan Tracker

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    This looks awesome!

    I'm gonna be making a separate thread about this but if you get a chance to read this book, it may give you some ideas!
     

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  50. fixits

    fixits Noble Savage Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Utah
    If you take some aluminum angle (think garage door track hangars) you can bolt them perpendicular to the trailer deck at the corners to support the shell weight.

    You then have stud wall attachment points and you can use lightweight materials to skin it.
     

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