I've been yapping to my wife (and anyone that will listen) about getting a trailer for the last year. Through various ups and downs we saved enough to pay for the materials and parts to build our own. I've been digging through threads and laying in bed too late at night thinking of the best design for us. I used Sketchup to piece it together and like the way it came out. Its a 6'L x 4'W x 2'H box on a 2x3 frame. My goal is to have it operational by OVX 2012 and by that I mean it will be complete short of the slide out galley and some of the bolt on accessories like jerry cans, propane tank, awning, etc.
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Using the Sketchup drawings as a base I reached out to the Expedition Portal community to ask some questions regarding trailer design, materials and suspension in this thread:
http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...tion-Questions I received a lot of valuable feedback, thanks again!
Last week i got the ball rolling and purchased the springs, axle, wheels/tires, and steel
1) Springs are from a Jeep YJ and purchased used locally at American Spring. This shop will build custom spring packs, install lifts, and do custom fab work (Bumpers and such). Good folks and awesome resource
2) The axle is a 3500lb Dexter with heavy duty hubs purchase locally from a family owned horse trailer builder/dealer called P&M trailers. Again, great easy going people and I'll pick it up on April 29th.
3) Wheels and tires were purchased used off of Craigslist to match my 07' Tacoma. This was during a whirlwind trip to Phoenix where I sold our old Bantam, made 6 stops (including 1 to Sierra Expeditions to pester Will), and literally drove around the valley and back to Flagstaff for some 600 miles. Not one spec of dirt road along the way
4) The steel was purchased locally from Mayorga's Welding. This shop holds a special place with me...my godfather ran it until he passed away and his son has been for the last decade or so. They're THE shop in town for raw steel or fabrication and I'm not just saying that because of a family bias...really, they're it and they do an excellent job. They cut the frame steel for me and will be bending the main box out of a 6'x12' 14ga piece of sheet metal. In addition, the owner has been to the Overland Journal open house...so he's familiar with overland type trailers which made explaining the purpose much easier. Here's the box layout and I hope to have it on May 8th:
5) The spring mounting brackets, shackles, and shock mounting brackets were ordered from Barnes4wd http://www.barnes4wd.com/. It was one of my goals to get these while in Phoenix but instead I got some weird looks at a commercial tailer outfit when asking for 2.5" spring hangers, shut down at two 4x4 shops and 2 other trailer venders, and ended up ordering it all online anyway. Thanks for the link Lesspavedroads
Today, with some help from my Captain and a cousin, we welded up the main frame using 2x3 (3/16) square tubing and here's how it turned out. It may not look like much but that was after 5 hours of work. I didn't know how to weld going into this (and still don't) but this little taste gave me a healthy respect for those individuals with welding experience and talent. I learned a couple of lessons here:
1) If the shop you buy the steel from can cut the material for you, just give them the exact measurements and save yourself the time, even if you have the tools to do it.
2) There's more to welding than...welding. Heat, warping, tips, angles, gas, penetration, grinding, prep...
I came home today to a wife that wanted to hear about the progress. There's something cool about a woman that is excited about a simple steel trailer frame
I've been fortunate to have the resources and time available to make this happen so far. MANY thanks to skersfan, goodtimes, lesspavedroads, UK4x4, Greenmonkey, and all those that have pitched in to show me the way thus far. I'll post more when the spring hardware arrives (hopefully by May 4th) and we get the axle and tires mounted.