First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby txcamper » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:35 pm

So, I was planning on building an enclosed utility trailer with a rack on top for a RTT. I starting looking for harbor freight trailer modifications on the web and ran across this site.

I then showed the teardrops to my better half and we've both jumped on the idea. Thanks to all the contributors here, I've yet to have a question that hasn't been answered in a search. I'm sure I'll have some through the build though.

We're starting the project this weekend and I figured it was time to join the board and start a build thread.

We're starting with a 4x8 HF trailer I've had for a while, extending it to a 5x8 base (wheels under the body) and using the generic benroy plans as a guide with some modifications.

The idea is to sandwich some drawer storage on the 4x8 platform that surrounds the fenders with 6" extensions and then create a flat 5x8 on top of the drawers (over the fenders) as the benroy base.

I'm extending the tongue to make room for a way too large tongue box I already have (tool box off an old truck) and I'm trying to keep my budget under $1500 total for phase 1. Haven't decided on all the changes for phase2 yet, but it will involve a larger axle, improved suspension and more height for some off road capabilities.

I'll get my drawings and some pictures up this weekend.

Thanks again to all for the information here, incredible group!
User avatar
txcamper
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 117
Images: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:25 am

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby canned o minimum » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:39 am

Welcome to the madness !! We jus so happen to have one more straight jacket in YER size !! But.. you'll hafta EARN it ! First thing is to visit another build thread and steal sum ideas that will totally change YER plans...Then ya gotta put the axle on upside down or too near the front or rear...A couple a changes to the galley area and cabinets and you'll be on yer way to that "jacket" before ya know it ! :?

We've all been thar... so we are here to help our fellow addicts with the same affliction ! :FNP
canned o minimum
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1266
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:54 pm
Location: Riverside,Ca.

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby txcamper » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:59 am

The changes have already started and we're just making the first hardware store run tonight.
User avatar
txcamper
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 117
Images: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:25 am
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby txcamper » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:08 pm

Here is the base we're starting with, just a Harbor Freight folding trailer bought on sale and with a coupon almost a year ago.

I've since sold my SUV and I'm driving a truck now so no longer need the trailer for it's intended purpose.

Last night I welded the corners and at the folding joint, mostly just because I've had a 110v flux core welder for a while and no real reason to use it. I'll get pictures of the welding after I've cleaned them up a bit.
:)

Image
Last edited by txcamper on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
txcamper
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 117
Images: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:25 am
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby txcamper » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:15 pm

This is my first real welding effort beyond a couple folding table tack weld fixes and what not, but here is one of the corners welded before clean up.

Image
User avatar
txcamper
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 117
Images: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:25 am
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby Oldragbaggers » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:28 pm

Welcome to the forum!!

So many people use that same trailer you are building on that there is no shortage of information about anything you might want to know as far as modifications or anything. You're starting in a good place and we're all looking forward to your build thread. And, nice job welding!!
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

Build Journal http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45917
Visit our blog at http://www.oldragbaggers.com
Image Image
User avatar
Oldragbaggers
Gold Donating Member
 
Posts: 1842
Images: 331
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:22 pm
Location: Essex, MD
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby Txbum » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:46 pm

txcamper, welcome , check out the south central chapter for events in 2012...good luck with your build..where in Texas you call home?...Richard..Txbum :beer:
Txbum
Titanium Donating Member
 
Posts: 139
Images: 51
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 9:16 am
Location: Schulenburg Tx
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby txcamper » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:37 pm

I'll check for the events, thanks! I'm a little northwest of Austin.
User avatar
txcamper
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 117
Images: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:25 am
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby Dan & Julie CO » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:35 am

did you displace the axle back for better towing and weight distribution?
I couldn't tell from picture
User avatar
Dan & Julie CO
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 365
Images: 56
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:33 pm
Location: Colorado
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby slowcowboy » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:54 am

the axle in the photos looks like its is still in the center and I would defently recomend moving it farther back.

its just a few new bolt holes with a drill and bit to do it. and GET IT LINED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't stress this enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!


measure from the tongue to the spring shackle on the axle or the mounting seat.

do it on both sides.

like a triangle.

you would be surpised off off the axle is for straight towing or tracking where china put it at the factory.

a lot of people don't realize how much bettor and how less tire problems they will have with a axle that is squared up and lined up and straight dead on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this is the source of lots and lots of tire problems.

I can't stress lineing up a axle for straight tracking right touble free problems enough!!!!!!!!!

my dad is a proffesonal welder and not only a welder but a faburcator. he has been building trailers and lots of other stuff all his life.

everyone talks and raves on his 20 foot shop built gooseneck flat bed trailer.

and a lot of this he told me as we lined up the axle swap on my harbor freight trailer teardrop is due to lineing up a axle when you mount it properly.

he told me most factory made trailers do not have this right and it leads to a lot of future tire problems and wear and hard towing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

slowcowboy.
Plans. there was supposed to be plans to be followed when I built this thing. Opps! AH, gee, tum,tee tum. I think I forgot about the plans 2 years ago. ------Tow vehicles, 1995 ford explore, 1994 ford ranger, 1993 ford F-150, 2009 4x9 Off road teardrop, on harbor freight greatly modified frame.
User avatar
slowcowboy
6000 Club
6000 Club
 
Posts: 6902
Images: 164
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:25 am
Location: pavillion, wyoming.
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby txcamper » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:13 pm

I'm curious about the axle placement. I plan on lengthening the tongue by about three feet. The body, plus my tongue box is 106". My axle is currently 42" from the back and I plan on water storage along with a dual deep cycle batteries in the tongue box.

I was reading one of the other posts and it referenced 40% ratio if you plan on a heavy tongue box.

With extending the tongue and a 20" tongue box, do I still need to move the axle?
User avatar
txcamper
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 117
Images: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:25 am
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby parnold » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:18 pm

Alot of people have very elaborate galleys, and the weight requires moving the axle back in order to keep tongue weight correct. I did not move my axle, but I have a simple galley and it tows perfectly. It's all about weight distribution, so really only you can answer that question based on your design ideas. Tongue weight should be around 15% of total weight if I remember correctly. Extending the tongue will affect how much if at all you need to move your axle. You can also pack to compensate if your a little off.
User avatar
parnold
Donating Member
 
Posts: 2342
Images: 302
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:49 pm
Location: Northwest New Jersey
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby doug hodder » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:44 pm

Slow's right....make sure you are square with your axle to the coupler. I measure off axle stubs. This is especially important on trailers with a smaller wheel. The smaller they are, the more important it is. You can scrub off a set of smaller tires pretty quickly. Doug
doug hodder
*Snoop Dougie Doug
 
Posts: 12624
Images: 562
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:20 pm
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby txcamper » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback. After some debate, I've decided to keep the axle location.

Made the decision both because I plan on the tongue extension with a decent amount of weight on the front and the fact that I plan to install a completely different axle next winter and can make any adjustments at that time if needed. The new axle will be wider and 6 lug to match my truck so I plan on filling the area I cut for the fender now and then install the appropriate fender to the outside wherever I put the new axle.

I've owned this trailer for about a year and used it frequently towing engine/transmissions, lumber, quickrete, etc and tracking has been great with no tire issues where it is now so I also was comfortable not worrying too much about making any adjustments for axle alignment for this one.

We finished framing and starting using the sealer I saw referenced in the construction technique area. It's working out great except that 2 rolls wasn't enough for me, and the store was very closed by the time I got to this point last night.

Image

We also got the first side wall cut. we're using just a 4x8 3/4" ply for the sides to keep it simple. My wife was the master with the jigsaw for this one.

Image
User avatar
txcamper
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 117
Images: 129
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:25 am
Top

Re: First time teardrop builder - project on 4x8 HF

Postby Dan & Julie CO » Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:38 pm

We will from time to time chime in only to help with any possible pit falls along the way,
that's why all of us are here to learn from one another. Hope you didn't mind My input.
Your side wall profile looks great The Mrs has a steady Hand with the Jigsaw :applause:
User avatar
Dan & Julie CO
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 365
Images: 56
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 8:33 pm
Location: Colorado
Top

Next

Return to Build Journals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bc toys, Kim Armstrong, Nibbs, Olddog1, Staryder61 and 5 guests