If you did it again....What would you change?

Chorky

Observer
Starting (I think) to enter the final phases of custom trailer planning/design with the many sketches/ideas I have thought of over the last 2 years. The general idea will be building my own trailer from a cargo trailer, but not quite what most would see on google searches. This will not only be a 'off road camping' trailer, but will also serve as a live in trailer as I have been full time in my 21' for the last 3 years. The idea will be to have true off grid capacities and live a nomadic life (as work has me travel extensively so the trailer would be parked in the compound for up to 3 months at a time in any weather condition). Will be large enough to be comfortable, as I'm really only actually 'home' 10 days a month at most. And able to travel practically all standard forest service roads (within limits of course). Not designed to be Jeep trail capable, but rather extensive travel on roads you would reasonably take a unmodified full size truck (although mine is modified).

So the point of this thread is to ask the simple question of those who have gone before me, in regards to your home builds, or custom work, what you would change.

What would you do the same, what has worked out really well that you like?

What would you change, what do you really dislike or wish you did differently?
 

Dirt Rider

Member
The first few times you use it, you will quickly realize what you would change, you are building something custom, which means for your likes and dislikes. When you out in the boonies you will learn what you wish you had.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
I wish I had known what the final result would be, instead of building it in stages and changing things as I went along. Know you end-goal before you start.
 

mklucas

New member
I wish I had ID’d the different screws and bolts I’d need for the project and stocked up on extras in various lengths and sizes before I began the project - it would have saved me a ton of time and trips back to the store because I needed this screw but just a bit longer or that one, but a bit fatter. Can typically return what I didn’t need or save them for the next project.

If planning to install windows, I would have made my cutout templates for the windows and drilled some pilot holes through the skin before I installed the insulation and reinstalled the interior wood walls. It was tough to get as exact as I needed to be between the vertical studs once insulation and walls were back up (created a lot of jigsaw chatter that messed up the exterior paint because I had to graze a stud on one window).

Leave plenty of extra wire and a sizable empty pocket between the insulation, the skin and the interior walls for future switches and easy access to your bus bar/fuse bank. In that vein, run a couple extra wires for future possible upgrades/equipment. And buy some quality connectors for the smaller AWG you’re using - I just grabbed the first ones I saw and they were basically worthless. I bought a $20 hammer type crimp tool for the various large gauge wire and it worked great.

Plan to spend some time mapping out your buss bars, fuse bank, fuses etc. I did this on a separate piece of plywood that I later cut to size and mounted to the interior wall. This allowed me to find the most efficient use of the heavy gauge wire and correct angle for crimping the necessary terminals. Don’t skimp on the necessary fuses and electrical requirements - it could be dangerous and save a lot of headaches down the road.

I also really like e-track for its versatility- gives me a lot of options for anchors and removable storage for different purposes.
 

Teardropper

Active member
I just finished my fourth teardrop.

I designed this one using Sketchup and it really helped to work out problems before I started cutting. It was also an amazing resource to fall back on during the build. I suggest you take the time and become fluent with it. There's a free version that works great.












I get your not building a teardrop ––but I hope you get my planning thoughts.

T
 

Chorky

Observer
ad ID’d the different screws and bolts I’d need for the project and stocked up on extras in various lengths and sizes before I began the project - it would have saved me a ton of time and trips back to the store because I needed this screw but just a bit longer or that one, but a bit fatter. Can typically return what I didn’t need or save them for the ne...
Yeah making sure you have all the right little parts is pretty important! I've done that back and forth game many times before with other projects. Sometimes hard to prevent, but I agree, identifying things as much as possible before hand is good. Also the window idea is great. I've made the mistake before of test fitting, but not actually putting things together, and even though taking something back apart is a pain it can prevent major headaches! Thanks for your thoughts.


I just finished my fourth teardrop.

I designed this one using Sketchup and it really helped to work out problems before I started cutting. It was also an amazing resource to fall back on during the build. I suggest you take the time and become fluent with it. There's a free version that works great.
I get your not building a teardrop ––but I hope you get my planning thoughts.
Nice little trailer you got there!! I actually have been looking up some various CAD programs, but for some reason none of them I have found have been very easy to use despite my experience with various programs. I'll have to check out sketchup though, haven't heard of that one!! I was resorting to hand drawings, but using engineers scales gets old after a while, especially when drawing in 3D is an option! Thanks for the idea! Hope your teardrop is working out well for you.
 

Chorky

Observer
Anyone have experience with these folks?


Considering something along these lines, but asking for a shell (simply for the RV stamp to not make some RV parks angry) and doing the rest of the real work myself...
 

gdlals

Member
I built out a cargo trailer. The only regret is the spare mounted on the tongue. More tongue weight than I wanted.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
MyOSB BOX was a quick, cheap, test the concept build. Do it again I'd build it to be light. I'd probably go with a foam core, canvas box construction like the BUG OUT build thread. But I doubt I'll ever do it now.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
If I build another one, I will make the tub a little longer. Currently mine is 50" long; would go to 60" long. Doesn't seem like much, but it would be a 20% increase in volume.

Overland Adventure.1 (2).jpg
 
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