Drop frame and move on dollies (?)

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Drop frame and move on dollies (?)

Postby les45 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:46 am

My new project is to convert my hard wall pop-up project to a retro look patterned after a 1966 Jet camper trailer. With the height of my frame, the overall height of my new build will be 94" (utilizing the existing pop-up camper door as a control dimension). This would require me to build it outside or rent a space with a taller garage door. I figure if i can get the total height during construction down to 82" I can work on it inside my garage. This would require dropping my project ceiling by 6" which is doable (I think it would actually look a little better at that height). I would drop the floor by 4" in the center where we would normally stand (between the queen bed and the dinette) and that would give me six feet of total interior height which would be OK for me and my wife at 5-9 and 5-3. The issue is that I would have to remove the wheels and lower the frame 6" onto cribbing in order to work on it inside the garage. I'm thinking I could do this by rolling it out of the garage on car dollies and re-install the wheels outside in the driveway. Has anyone built a taller trailer by using this method?

This is my existing pop-up project. Walls are portable foamy panels. Top and walls would be removed and the bottom shell would be the base for my new project.
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This is the look that I'm going for.
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Re: Drop frame and move on dollies (?)

Postby EZ » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:47 am

Les45, I will soon begin a build of a small standie in a garage with a door height of about 76" with somewhat of the same challenge as you mention. I was thinking about taking off the wheels and rolling the trailer around on the hubs with plywood runners underneath as a cushion. I am not sure but I may have read someone else doing that on this forum. Only time to do this would be to build it (pretty stationary), remove it after completion or take it inside for repair or upgrade otherwise is will live outdoors. I am assuming that the hubs are strong enough to support the weight since the wheels attach to them but I could be missing something; I know it is not exactly the same.

I like your idea of car dollies but the trailer will still be supported by the hubs. No trailer dollies makes it lower and less expensive for me. I would love to build a standie with a drop floor (interior height 6' 1") and the rest being interior height of about 5'3", flipped axel (NT Ironton trailer) and wind up with it being less than 76" high overall but that just isn't feesible I don't think. Still working that out....

Ed
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Re: Drop frame and move on dollies (?)

Postby les45 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:30 am

EZ wrote:Les45, I will soon begin a build of a small standie in a garage with a door height of about 76" with somewhat of the same challenge as you mention. I was thinking about taking off the wheels and rolling the trailer around on the hubs with plywood runners underneath as a cushion. I am not sure but I may have read someone else doing that on this forum. Only time to do this would be to build it (pretty stationary), remove it after completion or take it inside for repair or upgrade otherwise is will live outdoors. I am assuming that the hubs are strong enough to support the weight since the wheels attach to them but I could be missing something; I know it is not exactly the same.

I like your idea of car dollies but the trailer will still be supported by the hubs. No trailer dollies makes it lower and less expensive for me. I would love to build a standie with a drop floor (interior height 6' 1") and the rest being interior height of about 5'3", flipped axel (NT Ironton trailer) and wind up with it being less than 76" high overall but that just isn't feesible I don't think. Still working that out....

Ed


Dexter recommends against dropping the weight of the trailer on the hubs so I don't plan to do that. My concept of the trailer dollies would be to use two on each end near the corners and build wood cribbing on them that would support the trailer at a height that would leave the hubs about two inches above the floor. I will need a little clearance to clear the slight drop where the garage meets the driveway when I move it to the outside. On my Dexter axle, I could even remove the entire axle with just four bolts if needed giving me even more clearance. I would also have a 2X4 running the full length of the crossmembers on each end to distribute the load and to serve as jacking points. I would securely fasten all the wood cribbing to the dolly and the trailer frame so it couldn't come loose while moving it around. In addition to gaining the height advantage, this would allow me to move the trailer from side to side and front to back to have enough room to work on it on all sides inside the garage.

These are the dollies that I would use (I have four of them). They will hold 1,500 lbs each and my trailer will only weigh about 1,300 lbs when completed.
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Re: Drop frame and move on dollies (?)

Postby greygoos » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:50 pm

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Re: Drop frame and move on dollies (?)

Postby GTS225 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:42 pm

Greygoos has it. 3/4" plywood "wheels" to support your build until you can roll it outside and put on the real stuff. If you don't want to trust a single layer, double it up to 1.5" thick.

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Re: Drop frame and move on dollies (?)

Postby aggie79 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:06 pm

On my teardrop build, I unbolted the torsion axle and made a "dolly" to rest the frame on. This was to give me me ease of access to the top of the teardrop. The dolly was made from 2x4s and four 3" casters:

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