I started the whole planning this build back in '05 and have been using it for yard and construction duty since then, but am finally getting back into it to get it camp-able within the next two months for a big gathering of friends in Virginia. I'm doing a lot more reading this time, and there are some things I already would change, but it's getting built as is for now. It's not going to be what you call a "light" build, but it should be plenty strong. I think it will come in at around 1200-1500lb with everything but water and propane. Luckily, the tow vehicle shouldn't have any problem with that weight, but I'll have to see how it does off road, and in the fall might have to redo the frame to take off a couple pounds and redo the suspension. At worst, I can take the "camper" part off, and just continue to use it for yard and construction use. The Sawtooth build is pretty impressive, and is tempting me. )
Anyway, here are the basics:
- Back end of a Ford Ranger with some weight shaved off and 3500lb brake axle (about 250lbs with tongue and stock wheels/tires).
- Lock-n-Roll hitch and Tongue is long enough to jack-knife behind the Bronco during camping so I can use the tail gate of the truck as additional lay down area.
- An aluminum utility body (355lbs).
- Stock ranger suspension until I see how it holds the weight of the camper, then I can remove leaves, or use an add-a-leaf as needed.
- Tires on now match my old truck, a Ranger, so they'll get changed out to ones matching the Bronco.
- I have an aluminum diamond plate box that will fit on the front of the utility body (40lbs). I am building this to hold a slide out table on heavy duty drawer slides, and probably the propane and batteries.
- I will be building a wooden top for it that will hinge on the drivers side of the trailer and be braced flat to us as a bed.(100lbs)
- I have a cheap tent that I will be using near term that I will modify to cover the area. It is just a cheap dome tent that is the right size (10.5'x7') to fit over the opened trailer.
- I will eventually make a canvas trailer and inner support structure that will fit better and provide some additional options.
- Entrance will be in the back of the trailer, hard door on the bottom, soft door in the tent like an old pop-up.
- I'll be increasing the strength and size of the tailgate to act as a landing type area, and be able to hook a ladder to.
- Passenger side of the trailer will hold entertainment (radio, TV, Speakers) in the front compartment, kitchen equipment in the top, long compartment, and water/cooking equipment in the back, lower compartment.
- I'll have a 50'ish gallon water tank under the body, with flex hoses running to the kitchen areas.
- Rhino line on the inside, paint to match the truck on the outside.
I think that's about it, especially for it being late. Let me know your opinions. On with pictures..
The tow vehicle:
The trailer as it stands today:
And me using it in '05 year for a tailgate at Virginia Tech when I first started the built: