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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got to thinking a trailer for bad times might not be a bad idea. Many folks have utility trailers but few folks have trailers for bigger items and I ran up on something I think will fill the bill rather nicely that others might want to copy.

The local power company sells old poles for $15 and I could haul perhaps four at a time with this.

I was at a flea market and this guy had a camper trailer frame (only) for sale at a good price. He said he took a cable and pulled the entire upper body off it and burned it so he could use the trailer frame. The rectangle section of the frame is 21' feet long and with hitch is about 25' long.

I have had to reinforce the frame so when I deck it out that it will support much more than originally fabricated thusly I have used light angle and small rod to add frame support for the floor but I have run up on a snag.

This is a old trailer (pre 1980) and has dual 3500 lb Dexter axles with E brakes. There was no spare tire with trailer. If anyone has access to any of these old wheels please PM me. These are 14" but I understand they were made in 13 and 15" sizes and millions were made. Hopefully someone will know of a camper graveyard where I might could get one or two spares.



 

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If this is useful for you, I´ve been toying with the idea of getting a solution for my problem: no way of upgrading my almost brand new car (2007) to a truck the same quality. Solution: a custom made hardtop trailer, with extendable roof. The top will slide over the lower part when riding, therefore less wind resistance. My main issue is weight, as my car is not big; so I will just have four bunker-type beds, a freezer with an additional cooler, microwave, dishwasher, and removable cabinets, a separated space for my motorcycle and this space will be used as well when static for a portable toilet and shower, after removing the bike. EVerything packed in something about 5 meters long, 2,10 meters wide and 1,40 m high with the top down, 2.30 m high extended. This would be parked in my garage and pre-loaded even with the bike. I´m thinking in designing even a trailer for hauling 3 passengers with the bike in a safe manner, given the need. Modifying my pipes is necessary, but she needs a little customizing anyway :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right now the power poles would be brought in cut down to about 21 feet and erected for equipment shelter.

Also to erect for ham radio antenna.

Later on for barrier on road. We got a wreck call one night and this guy was going down the road in the dark and this tree had fallen across the road. It was tall and thin like a power pole. At any rate the guy hit it, took front end out from under car and car caught fire. It was totaled for sure.

That is when I got the idea of using them to seal off roads.

I worked on trailer most of the day today and did the final floor frame welding. I started to cut down the out riggers on the outside of the frame so about 2/3rds of it is going to be decked out with thin steel sheets 3X8 ft so it will be six feet wide.

I lucked out and when I went to dump site there was a bed frame in dumpster for a king size bed so I fished it out. I took it apart today and it is just perfect for welding on cut off outrigger arms to completely line both sides. Did not have to cut the first piece. Absolutely perfect fit.

I am going to run the wiring inside 3/4" PVC left over pipe I have and run the brake electric lines in it as well. The original cross members have perfectly aligned holes of various sizes in them which will be great for running them and be protected from the weather etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I checked out website and it appears to be Tear Drops but will ask about rims on it. I found a rim on another website guy is going to give me. Can't beat that. Would like to have at least one more rim as all four tires are iffy at best.

Funny trees for road barriers are mentioned. I have had experience in moving trees from roadways. Big oak tree fell across road a few months back and I have a John Deere 410C (read big) backhoe and it was a bear moving it.

Just this afternoon neighbor came over and said he couldn't knock down trees with his dozer and wanted me to dig the roots so he could get them moved. I got them pushed over and neither my 410c or his JD 350 dozer did well in moving them with the root system in tact. Two were pines and two hardwood. One of them was a real bear to cut though the root system. Wound up having to go out from tree and start ripping them up about eight feed from trunk and finally gave way and I could push it over with back bucket. I have three rear bucket sizes 12, 24 and 36".

A power pole across the road would be easy and theoretically could be moved easily by one guy with a cant hook or peavey. I have a cant hook and log lug. Pole could be swung into place quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Finished welding in the floor reinforcement today and started wiring the lights.
If I get it wired and all tomorrow I will take it out for a spin with the truck to see how the electric brakes work as it is the only thing with a brake controller I have.

Not going to have enough steel to deck it 100% so I will have to do one section with CDX plywood.

I am using 18 wheeler tail lights (the sealed units) that mount in rubber housings. I have them on two other trailer and they are very nice lights. I bought a tube of electrical grease for the connections to keep them from corroding

Ran the main 4 conducter line to back of trailer through 3/4" PVC I had left over from a project. PO had caster wheels on back end but only housing left.

Tongue still has the battery box and rack for propane cylinders and the control valves for propane. It had the steel pipe for the gas down in the frame so I removed it and saved the brass fittings.

I may put some kind of skid at back of trailer on both side frames so it will take the dragging and not the frame.
 

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Funny.....I have been thinking about re-working my 2 axle 8'x16' flatbed trailer to use as a last ditch BOV. I think I can pull to it cross country (covered wagon style) with my 4x4 John Deere tractor.
Tractor has a front loader that I can use to carry a drum or two of diesel fuel and to move stuff out of my way as I travel on gas pipeline right-of-ways to safer locations.

I thought that I would re-enforce the trailer sides, add a low arched steel mesh top made of steel highway mesh (the stuff your contractor uses in the slab under your house). Then drape the mesh with a heavy duty vinyl tarp and camo netting for protection from the weather. I've got lots of those solar powered landscape LED lights that we could use carefully at night, and of course all types of camping gear to help make us a little more comfortable in our new (hopefully temporary) home.

Under the trailer, I want to add some type of welded on skids from end to end, so I can drag the trailer across large ditches or creeks. Also add some heavy duty springs to help haul all the gear, guns, beans, and evacuees.

Already talked to a guy that can fill all 8 tires (tractor and trailer) with the type of foam that will make them permanently non-flat tires.

I think I can load my family and preps and bug out from our rural location if things just get too scary to stay here.
By heading along the gas pipeline right-of-ways I will keep us off the highways hopefully away from the bad guys long enough for us to get deep into one of the state or national parks. We can hold up there and head back home when and if things calm down.

One main problem is that the right-of-ways cross lots of highways (where trouble my be waiting for us), and they cross many parcels of privately owned property with lots of fencing. My only thoughts here are to carry a good supply of trade goods or gifts really, to pay land owners a crossing fee (if I can keep them from shooting us on sight as we pull into their area).

The tractor of course is JD green, but I have lots of spray paint ready to give it a camo paint job when and if the time comes.

So HUMMER......Please keep us posted on your progress, so we can all learn as you go along. Pictures are always the best way for me to learn

Thanks
B
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have finished welding on it and it is 73" wide on the deck. The tires will be slightly wider outside to outside. Got the tail/brake lights on and clearance lights on all four corners.

Learned some interesting things on clearance lights and found some really great lights at a fraction of where they were at other places. In the South there is a parts store chain called Orielly's and they just opened a store here. I popped in for a looksee and found some nice clearance/marker lights LED style. $5.49 to 2 LED lights with lifetime warranty. They are by Optronics and they show up very well at night.

I drilled and tapped the outer rails 8X32 and screwed the light bases directly to the outer rail. The LED is a sealed unit so the only thing I have to worry about is breaking the light as I coated the two plug in terminals with dielectric grease to keep the terminals corrosion free for years of service. These are the nicest clearance lights I have yet to find and half the price of others.


For brake/tail lights I used Truck-Lite sealed units that mount in rubber grommets and laid the dielectric grease to those contacts as well. These are the same lights seen on tractor trailers now that are not LED. For a higher price I could get Truck-Lite LED bulbs but these should last for many years. No more corroded 1157 bulb sockets and screwed up bulbs and breaking base of bulb off down in socket etc. The di electric grease is also Truck-Lite I got at the truck parts place.

I think in the whole lighting system I have about 90 bucks invested.


I soldered all the wire connections and used shrink tubing over most of the solder joints. The shrink tubing I had was not large enough for the bigger solder joints so I taped them with UL approved electrical tape.

Took it out for a spin yesterday and both the left wheel brakes work fine and I can lock up left side wheels but right side won't for some reason I have to check out and see why no brakes on right side.

I haven't decked it out yet but I am going to have to use CDX plywood for part of it as I don't have enough steel.

I need to pull the brakes down and check them out and clean and repack the bearings with Grease, Aircraft Wide Temp Range and that will take care of them for years.

Found a spare wheel rim on another website. One heck of a nice guy responded to a post on another website. Said he had it since 1980 and kept it when he sold his trailer. One more and I will feel much better about hitting the road with it.

I will take some pics of the frame reinforcement before I put the decking on.

Oh yeah one more thing I came up with. I got a four conductor trailer wire at auto parts store and I had some 3/4" PVC pipe and the trailer frame has pre cut holes in cross members. I worked the 3/4" PVC through the holes and pushed the 4 conductor wire down through it so there is lots of protection for the wiring to ride in. On the other side I ran 1/2" PVC pipe through similar holes and ran the electric brake wire down it.

I connected the wiring with a junction block I got a Home Depot. It is a 6 terminal block so the trailer wiring runs into bottom of block with crimp on forked blade connectors coating internal and external with dielectric grease as well.

The hook up to truck is a 7 conductor wire I got from truck supply place (6 flat pin 1 round) plug like comes on everything now. Same thing with blade connectors and dielectric grease on that end as well and also coated the plug in terminals with it.

When finished I will cover the junction block with something to keep the weather from getting to it.

This trailer came with a 2" ball hitch. I greased the inside of the hitch and ball before hooking it up.

The ride on the trailer was impressive. Even though it was empty it did not bounce going down the road. Pulled perfectly straight.

Does anyone know how to convert 700X14 tire size to the new numbers? Guess I will pull a wheel off and measure the circumference to make sure I get a tire that will match what I have.

Next time I will try and post some pics.
 

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rims

i ran into this same problem when igot an old trailer frame with this type of rims. to make a long story short did you know that you can swap the hubs with house trailer hubs and use house trailer rims? I did this on my trailers and it works great. the only thing i did was replace the seals on the back sides and grease the bearings with lithium grease. pulls like a dream. by the way this is also a double axle trailer frame. A neighbor gave me a 275 gal. oil barrel with a pin hole in it, plan is to cut the ends out and use the sheetmetal as a floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
GWRIDER
FWIW I understand the DOT boys don't like mobile home tires on smaller trailers. Something about the mobile home tires are not rated for some silly reason.

Maybe somebody else has run into this?????

I have another trailer that originaly had mobile home axles and I used to get tires from mobile home transporter trucks I would see stopped here and there for chow. They always have about eight spares on board as they constantly lose them in transport. I have got almost new tires and rims for 25.00 from them.

At any rate I wore them out and changed out to a single axle (8000 lb) 8 Lug torsion bar axles that backs much easier and tows much easier than the original set up ever did. On that trailer I am running Firestone Transport 110s (10 ply) that are 25 years old and they work fine. They are on the two piece rims that came on my F250 that I changed out years ago to one piece rims. The trailer is a home made and out frame is 4" heavy angle iron fabrication I reinforced with a handrail frame/truss combo. I could put my Jeep and tractor on it and a Subaru I had but other stuff it is just too narrow.

Like the other day I could have got a VW stationwagon but it was three inches wider than the rail.

Best I can figure I need 195X75X14 tires to come close to matching the tire size (700X14 bias belt) I have on it now.

I spotted a camper the other day with dual axles and these hubs. Never paid attention to the rims before it I know the trailer has been sitting there over a year for sale. I expect it is about a 16' trailer.

In the interim I have applied the red/white conspicuity tape to the sides of the trailer to the rear of the duals. Had to cut a piece in half as the outer rail is 1 1/2" angle and too narrow for a full strip. Will put a full strip across the back. Also have yellow reflective in places forward of the duals.

I have some new highway center line reflectors a road crew gave me. I am going to drill hole in a couple of them and mount them on the front edge of the trailer that sticks out slightly wider than the truck I will pull it with so it will be seen my oncoming traffic. I will drill and tap the trailer frame with 8X32 tap and screw the reflectors on and lock nut them from back side.

Wish I could get some of those reflectors in red. I have seen them on roads to indicate wrong way traffic but never seen them unmounted.

I wrapped a piece of yellow reflective around the jack stand in front as well and it shows up well.

Next I am looking for vinyl covered fiberglass (awning material) to make tire covers from. I found some in North Carolina years ago that were seconds from a plant that made it but haven't seen any more since and what I had is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have been taking a few close trips pulling it and today I put it on the road. Put the spare tire in back of Durango, hooked it up and off I went to the steel place to get six 20' sticks of 1" angle to use as bracing for the shed I am extending to put the old Airstream trailer under.

While out I went to lumber yard and got 2X6s to make 6x6 posts for the last part of the shed extension so the whole Airstream (31') will go under it.

All told I put over 125 miles on it. I thought sure one of the weather cracked tires would let go but to my surprise they did just fne. It is very easy to back and last week I even pulled it with Honda SWG.

As I tied down the material I realized I should have gone ahead and mounted the tie downs I got at Tractor Supply so this evening I put them on and drilled 3/8" holes in appropriate places for the ratchet straps. the tie downs are only like 2.50 each and are rated at 1200 lbs I believe.

Next time I go to town and I going to get maybe 8 more of them to put around inner rail of pick up.

All in all I am quite pleased with this trailer. It carried the 20' sticks of angle just fine. The other day I went and picked up 9 pieces of 25' X 3' galvanized roofing.
 
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