The chassisless chassis.

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The chassisless chassis.

Postby bravebluemice » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:34 pm

Things have finally settled down here enough that I can concentrate on the finer points of construction, though I have an interesting dillemma.

The build has changed a dozen times, but now that I have a more potent tow vehicle, I'd like to do something bigger.

In the broad strokes, it's going to have a profile similar to the kampmaster, but taller and longer, without a hatch, and some interior design tweaks. The top is going to be fiberglass over polyfoam.

The bottom I'm going to build like a torsion box with 1x6 stringers (actually depending on how frisky I feel, I might use 6" widths of 1/2" plywood on edge) with plenty of adhesive and an occasional fastener. I know this is really strong and light, but....

I was thinking for my build of stretching the limits of "tiny" and building something like a 5' x 15'.... But I don't want to start it out on a prefab trailer nor do I have the cash to do a custom trailer. Would I be able to strategically strengthen the torsion box with a couple 2x6 timbers enough so that I could just attach my axle and tongue to the torsion box with some small steel reinforcement plates?

My goal is an epicly lightweight trailer that fits in the wind shadow of my jeep so as not to kill the mileage, or overwork that little four liter.

I would hazard a guess with the skeletal structure I have imaginized and diligent jointery it should be tough enough for the freeway cruisin' that I'm likely to be doing. I think the closest to off road this will see is crossing a grassy knoll, so I'm not even concerned with the ground clearance (except the ends, those are going to need some skid plates), and I'd like this to be as slouchy as possible.

Questions, comments, concerns, threats, vulgarities?

~BBM
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Postby mezmo » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:00 pm

I believe angib once posted a link to someone who built a formula 1
racecar chassis and a support trailer out of plywood [the really good
multi-ply kind] without a regular chassis.

I don't have time to search now, maybe you could look through his
posts for the link(s), or perhaps he'll see your thread and could supply
the info.

As I recall they were quite an interesting read.

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:44 am

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Postby bobhenry » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:48 am

http://www.mikenchell.com/VintagePlans/pln_midgettrailer.pdf

Many of these vintage plans are 70 +/- years old but have many tried and true design ideas. I have at one time or another wandered thru most of them and there are ideas for everything from thermal chimney ventalation to building your own ice chest. Ideas that may have been lost!

I am sure there a few more of these designs that were built on the very modest Vee frames shown above.

I have built 2 torsion box floors by using 2x6 halo and rabbeted in a 3/4" osb top and bottom diaphram. These are glued and screwed and make an extremely stout, truss like ,floor. It can not rack and can not flex without stretching and compressing the flatstock diaphram. By adding just enough steel to allow you to support the body and attach the springs the trailer can have a very modest frame. We need more builders that are willing to get back to these basic designs to test the limits of (HARD)wood frames vs metal frames.
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Postby aggie79 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:15 am

As Bob had in his first post I would take a look at the ultralight frame. The minimum weight of the steel connecting the coupler to the axle would give me a greater peace of mind than not connecting the two.
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Postby loaderman » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:26 am

Did not see this thread till now. i had started one also.
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=48507

Use the walls as a box beam, hang floor off of it. Also run metal strap from the top of the wall down to the front and back on both sides of the wall. making an upside down V with it.
For a single axle there is a design on the forum for an axle with angle iron forming a V to the front. No real frame.
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Postby Larry C » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:21 am

aggie79 wrote:As Bob had in his first post I would take a look at the ultralight frame. The minimum weight of the steel connecting the coupler to the axle would give me a greater peace of mind than not connecting the two.


I agree with Tom, my chassis weighs 45#with coupler. The center unpainted piece is just a temporary brace and won't be there. This is the chassis upside down.

Larry C

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http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=35852
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Postby jonw » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:06 pm

I didn't use a frame for my TD - just a 3/4in marine ply floor with a torsion axle and tongue bolted to it. Works just fine for lightweight trailers.

Here's an upside down picture of the floor before the axle was attached
Image

And this one shows the axle attached through the floor and cleats along the side walls
Image
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Postby Larry C » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:31 pm

jonw wrote:I didn't use a frame for my TD - just a 3/4in marine ply floor with a torsion axle and tongue bolted to it. Works just fine for lightweight trailers.

Here's an upside down picture of the floor before the axle was attached
Image

And this one shows the axle attached through the floor and cleats along the side walls
Image


Wow!... And I thought I was pushing the limits? Your tongue is not connected to your axle at all. How much does your trailer weigh? What size wheels are you using?

:thumbsup:

Larry C
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http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=35852
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Postby jonw » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:27 pm

Larry C wrote:Wow!... And I thought I was pushing the limits? Your tongue is not connected to your axle at all. How much does your trailer weigh? What size wheels are you using?

:thumbsup:

Larry C


Hi Larry - the finished trailer was 720 lbs. including everything but clothes. The wheels are 13 in.

What makes this work is using marine plywood. It is incredibly strong and stable as all plys are hardwood and there are no voids. Plus the glue is waterproof. It cost and weighs more than regular CDX plywood, but overall it weighs and costs less (and is simpler) than having a frame.
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Postby TJinPgh » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:09 am

Very interesting design.

The question I asked about the Pico seems to fit here.

If there's no actual trailer frame, how does one register it for road use?
-TJ
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Postby jonw » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:32 am

TJinPgh wrote:If there's no actual trailer frame, how does one register it for road use?


In Massachusetts all I had to do was get a form filled out by my car insurance agency (even though the trailer is not insured) and tell the registry how much it cost to build. I then had to pay sales tax as if I had purchased the trailer for that much (even though I paid sales taxes on all the materials...), pay for the registration, and they issued me a registration and license plate.

I never had to get it inspected or anything. They seem to assume you know what types of lights, etc. are required and have built that in (I guess).

In Mass it seemed to be all about the $$$. Your state may vary.
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Postby Larry C » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:01 pm

jonw wrote:
Larry C wrote:Wow!... And I thought I was pushing the limits? Your tongue is not connected to your axle at all. How much does your trailer weigh? What size wheels are you using?

:thumbsup:

Larry C


Hi Larry - the finished trailer was 720 lbs. including everything but clothes. The wheels are 13 in.

What makes this work is using marine plywood. It is incredibly strong and stable as all plys are hardwood and there are no voids. Plus the glue is waterproof. It cost and weighs more than regular CDX plywood, but overall it weighs and costs less (and is simpler) than having a frame.


I see you have a Flexride axle, at least it looks like one. Your in my part of the country. Where did you get your axle, and if you don't mind how much $ was it.

Thanks,
Larry C
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http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=35852
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Postby jonw » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:13 pm

Larry C wrote:I see you have a Flexride axle, at least it looks like one. Your in my part of the country. Where did you get your axle, and if you don't mind how much $ was it.

Thanks,
Larry C


Yep, it's a Flexride. Got it from http://www.trailerpart.com/torsionaxles.htm for around $350 with shipping. I had them de-tune a 2000 lb. axle to 1400 lbs.

BTW I grew up in Syracuse and went to JD high school. If you're going to the Tearup the ADK in June I'll see you there!
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Postby Jiminsav » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:59 pm

How soon they forget...I got a chassisless chassis from back in the stone age.Image
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