New here (to trailer community)! Aspiring to start a trailer build this Summer..

#1


Hello, Expedition Portal. The name's Kris and reside in San Diego; I'm stoked to be a part of this expedition trailer community to both learn from all the experienced builders and share the progress of my build once it starts. The goal is to build an adventure trailer that puts function over form first, can be beat on offroad through some harsh trails, and can fit me, my girlfriend, and our two dogs. I drive the 2014 Toyota Tundra in the above photo, which has been one wild of a ride on its own building it. The same rig will be what tows our trailer around. Even though it is on 40" tires, it has more than enough power to pull since it's supercharged (500hp/550ft-lbs) and has 4.88 gears. Still, the plan is to have the trailer be as light as possible (eg. using a channel-based frame instead of tube).

Here's the build info on my Tundra:
http://buildprint.io/builds/3.pluto?v=m

We're turn between having the trailer be either a 5x8 or 6x10 box and on the same 40" tires ..hell, maybe we'll build both at the same time and try different building techniques or designs on each.

I plan on documenting my trailer build here on TnTTT and also on Buildprint:
http://buildprint.io/builds/12582.reacher-gamma-1?v=m

Some of the general ideas for the trailer are..
- Pop-up trailer
- Hybrid aluminum/plastic walls
- Sleeping bed length of 6'
- Interior shower
- Minimal (ie. other than the important sleeping and cleaning features, don't need any built-in electronics or a baked-in kitchen)
- Seating area
- Tables
- Roof rack
- Independent arm suspension
 
#4
I'm familiar with your ride from Tundra talk and am excited to see what your trailer build ends up being.

For your walls, I would recommend looking into some HDPE, great to work with, very solid, you can get it in colors and UV stable.
I know you are a big fan of the HDPE Marty(love your build). That is the same material they use on playgrounds now right? How is the expansion of it in the heat? IIRC, your trailer is small; I would think over an 8' or 10' length expansion would be an issue.
One thing I've been throwing around in my head for siding is the aluminum laminated sign panels. You can get them in colors and they are pretty light and rigid.
 
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#5
For your walls, I would recommend looking into some HDPE, great to work with, very solid, you can get it in colors and UV stable.
That's what I was thinking, too; that or UHMW (but will probably be more expensive). Still not sure if the plastic should be the exterior or interior half of the hybrid wall. Exterior would help with durability in tight trails against branches and light rock wall scratches. Interior would probably help with temperate management better (ie. having aluminum on the exterior absorb the heat and plastic in the interior maintain heat).

I'm familiar with your ride from Tundra talk and am excited to see what your trailer build ends up being.


I know you are a big fan of the HDPE Marty. That is the same material they use on playgrounds now right? How is the expansion of it in the heat? IIRC, your trailer is small; I would think over an 8' or 10' length expansion would be an issue.
One thing I've been throwing around in my head for siding is the aluminum laminated sign panels. You can get them in colors and they are pretty light and rigid.
Interesting.. didn't consider expansion as a result of heat. Do you think that'd be an issue even with thin-walled HDPE?
 
#6
I have no experience with HDPE in trailers, but the google returned this:
https://www.ipoly.com/faq/how-much-does-hdpe-sheet-expand-and-contract

How much does HDPE sheet expand and contract?
Indoor applications experience little to no expansion as the temperature is constant. For outdoor ambient temperature applications, the rule of thumb is that a 4 x 8 sheet will expand as much as 1/2" in length from a hot summer day to sub-zero winter temperatures in cold climates. HDPE sheet expands more in length than in width, due to its molecular structure.
The easiest formula to use for an exact expansion / contraction dimension is as follows:
Degrees Fahrenheit:
0.00011 x degree variance(°F) x length in inches
Example: 0.00011 x 30°F temperature change x 96" long sheet = 0.3168" or approximately 5/16"
Degrees Celsius:
0.00019 x degree variance(°C) x length in inches
Example: 0.0001 x 16.7°F temperature change x 96" long sheet = 0.3173" or approximately 5/16".
While these numbers may seem high, expansion can be easily negated by using correct installation techniques.
 
#9
I know you are a big fan of the HDPE Marty(love your build). That is the same material they use on playgrounds now right? How is the expansion of it in the heat? IIRC, your trailer is small; I would think over an 8' or 10' length expansion would be an issue.
One thing I've been throwing around in my head for siding is the aluminum laminated sign panels. You can get them in colors and they are pretty light and rigid.
Not sure about playgrounds, I used it due to its use in boating. I used King Starboard in my build which has great UV stability, they claim 1/32" for every foot for expansion/contraction, if it does move, I cant tell the difference. I've had my trailer in 90+ degree weather in the summer, to negatives in the winter.

That's what I was thinking, too; that or UHMW (but will probably be more expensive). Still not sure if the plastic should be the exterior or interior half of the hybrid wall. Exterior would help with durability in tight trails against branches and light rock wall scratches. Interior would probably help with temperate management better (ie. having aluminum on the exterior absorb the heat and plastic in the interior maintain heat).


Interesting.. didn't consider expansion as a result of heat. Do you think that'd be an issue even with thin-walled HDPE?
I will give it up to durability, the stuff can take a beating, I've made a couple simple skids plates out of it as well. It also fabricates with standard tools, and fasteners, no need for anything as far as specialty tools. Another huge reason I chose it was due to weight, I always saw people skinning their trailers with 14ga steel. A single sheet of 14ga is 100lbs for a 4x8 where as the Kind Starboard is 40lbs for the same size granted it is 1/4" thick but that didn't matter to me.
 
#10
I have no experience with HDPE in trailers, but the google returned this:
https://www.ipoly.com/faq/how-much-does-hdpe-sheet-expand-and-contract

How much does HDPE sheet expand and contract?
Indoor applications experience little to no expansion as the temperature is constant. For outdoor ambient temperature applications, the rule of thumb is that a 4 x 8 sheet will expand as much as 1/2" in length from a hot summer day to sub-zero winter temperatures in cold climates. HDPE sheet expands more in length than in width, due to its molecular structure.
The easiest formula to use for an exact expansion / contraction dimension is as follows:
Degrees Fahrenheit:
0.00011 x degree variance(°F) x length in inches
Example: 0.00011 x 30°F temperature change x 96" long sheet = 0.3168" or approximately 5/16"
Degrees Celsius:
0.00019 x degree variance(°C) x length in inches
Example: 0.0001 x 16.7°F temperature change x 96" long sheet = 0.3173" or approximately 5/16".
While these numbers may seem high, expansion can be easily negated by using correct installation techniques.
Hm. Those numbers are actually not too bad. I think I can modify my designs to account for warping. Thanks for digging this up!

@Spvrtan , these may be an option for you to consider:
http://www.carbon-core.com/panels-composite.htm

They also make them in aluminum sided.
Here's an awesome build with them:
https://www.expeditionportal.com/fo...0-home-built-compact-composite-pop-up.168085/
That looks promising. The prices seem reasonable, too; though the rates are comparable to solid aluminum sheets. I'm wondering how easy those composite panels are to fix though. With aluminum you can easily weld in a patch but with those panels you might have to swap the whole thing out.

Not sure about playgrounds, I used it due to its use in boating. I used King Starboard in my build which has great UV stability, they claim 1/32" for every foot for expansion/contraction, if it does move, I cant tell the difference. I've had my trailer in 90+ degree weather in the summer, to negatives in the winter.


I will give it up to durability, the stuff can take a beating, I've made a couple simple skids plates out of it as well. It also fabricates with standard tools, and fasteners, no need for anything as far as specialty tools. Another huge reason I chose it was due to weight, I always saw people skinning their trailers with 14ga steel. A single sheet of 14ga is 100lbs for a 4x8 where as the Kind Starboard is 40lbs for the same size granted it is 1/4" thick but that didn't matter to me.
What about using 1/8" aluminum alone for panels? That seems to be a good balance between weight, strength, and repairability; aluminum does pretty good at mitigating temperatures, too -- albeit, not the greatest.
 
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