5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

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5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby corymike756 » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:37 pm

So I have got my design pretty well laid out...but I am wondering if I will be able to use/modify the HF trailer for my uses and remain within safe limits. My cabin design is 5x9 allowing for a queen size sleep area and a functional galley. I know if I go with the HF trailer I will have to probably add some length and relocate the axle. What I need to know is if this will end up costing me more than building fronm scratch or if it is even a good ideda. I am planning to go with a hybrid foam construction to keep the weight down since my TV has a 1000 lb tow limit according to the mfg.

If building my own from scratch is the smarter route to go, can I get away with aluminum tubing and cold connections? :thinking:
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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby KennethW » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:28 am

That is what I used. It is on sale now and if you can use a 20% coupon it is a really good deal.
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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby daveesl77 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:44 pm

That is exactly what I used and mine is 5'4"W x 5'H x 10" L on the cabin. I did add in a central tongue bar (2x2x3/16) that runs from the 2nd cross member back. Took the standard HF "A" frame attachment piece and flipped it upside down so the tube runs through it and extended out 18". While probably not an absolute necessity, I did weld all my joints and kept the bolts too (belts and suspenders). My weight, fully loaded, on our last trip was 1,340#. If I remember, my tongue weight is maybe 120#, not certain any more, but I can pick it up by hand and move it around. It tows like a dream.

I way overbuilt mine, so you can definitely go with a much lighter build than I did pretty easily.

Be absolutely certain to take the bearings out of the hubs, clean the shipping crap out of them and repack with good wheel bearing grease. The stuff that is in the bearings is not wheel bearing grease but is only used for protection during shipping and storage.

Use ratchet straps to square the frame before you tighten it down and do this on some type of level risers. This way you are both square and not racked, which will make things so much easier in both the build and usage.

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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby tfunk » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:54 pm

That's what I used as well, 10 foot long x 5 x 5, plywood 3/4, 5/8, 1/2. She ways in at 1270# with gear but not food and luggage and rides fine and smooth. I welded in some tongue re enforcement as well though. I attached my floor to the bottom of the frame with uni strut stingers, so I left the middle supports out. I flipped the axel too but you have to cut a slot in the angle to allow full travel, I wanted to reach the same ride height as my tow car, Subaru Outback.gallery/image_page.php?album_id=4122&image_id=136038&display=popup
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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby corymike756 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:08 pm

Thank you all for your replies. I was concerned with making the box bigger than the chassis, if that would create potential failure down the line. Although I am trying to keep the cost and weight down for this project, I fully intend to be able to enjoy it for a very long time once it is finished. Looks like I will be heading over to HF on friday to pick up my new chassis. The next trick will be finding the time, to get it assembled and legal.
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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby Kaz » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:27 pm

I'd build my own. Custom fit to trailer and needs. Put axle where you want with no mods. sound,solid. Mine only cost about 600$ complete rolling chassis. Just my 2 cents.
Was also built to fit TV.

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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby Gunguy05 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:26 pm

corymike756 wrote:Thank you all for your replies. I was concerned with making the box bigger than the chassis, if that would create potential failure down the line. Although I am trying to keep the cost and weight down for this project, I fully intend to be able to enjoy it for a very long time once it is finished. Looks like I will be heading over to HF on friday to pick up my new chassis. The next trick will be finding the time, to get it assembled and legal.


Don't worrying about the cabin hanging over the framing, the walls will hold it all together. The strength is in the completed box, not the frame. I know this might be hard to trust in , as I had trouble too, no worries though it all works out. You can overhang the frame by a foot and be just fine.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby Nobody » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:42 pm

I built my TD in 2006 using an HF 1800# (rated at that time, now 1720 or 1740 # I think) trailer. My TD cabin is 5' X 114", or close enough to 5x10 that the difference doesn't really matter. I built the floor from ripped spruce 2x4s (nominally 2" x 1 5/8") with 1/2 CDX plywood for the deck, & 1X6" spruce for side rails. Sides were 'stick' built from inside out using 1/4" oak plywood for inner wall, 3/4" framing fastened with glue (TiteBond II) & a few pocket screws in selected locations, 3/4 blue (or pink) board high density foam insulation, outside wall 1/8" luan plywood covered with 0.040" mill finish aluminum. The spars were ripped from spruce 2X4s (1 5/8" X 1 5/8"), with a rabbet at each end to fit in a 'notch' in each wall. 1/8" luan sealed the inside roof with 1 1/2" high density foam insulation, again followed by 1/8" luan & 0.040" mill finish aluminum. The walls were fastened to the 1x6" side rails using 3" or 4" 'deck' screws vertically thru the 3/4" thick wall framing, before adding the insulation & outer skin(s). The cabin & floor thus built extends approx 6" either side of the HF chassis, approx 4" at rear, & approx 6" at the front before curving outward (& upward) another 6-8". My entire TD (including a group 27 battery, queen size 4" memory foam mattress, galley accoutrements, tongue extension, & tongue box plus contents) weighs 1180# including 200# tongue weight, & after 9yrs & 25K+ miles there is absolutely no distortion or sag of any component including that part of the cabin that 'overhangs' the trailer chassis.

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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby corymike756 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:56 pm

Great, so there is no issue with that chassis supporting the camper I want to build. The next question is, will I be able to have the wheels on the outside without having to make major axle mods? I really don't want to have to deal with wheel wells inside the cabin area.
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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby daveesl77 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:49 pm

If you make it 5' wide exactly (outer wall- outer wall) , then you will have part of the wheel under the cabin. If I remember correctly the inside distance between the tires is 54". Wheel wells aren't a big deal to make. I have seen a couple of trailers where they added spacers to each side, but even with that it is a tight fit.

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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby Nobody » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:41 am

If you take a close look at the pix in my post above, you'll see the 'wheel wells' intrude only an inch or so high & maybe 6' wide in the cabin area. We have a 4" memory foam mattress with a 1 1/2" 'eggcrate topper' on that & the wheel wells have absolutely NO effect on our use of the bed/cabin. You can see the slight 'ridge' on either side near the foot of the bed but it causes us no problem. We sleep with our head toward the front of the TD. If you sleep with head oriented in the other direction you may have a problem? If you do go with the wheel wells, make sure they're constructed tightly & the seams are tight & well sealed. Otherwise you may get water 'thrown' up from the wheels which may 'migrate' into the cabin if driving in rain or on wet highways, resulting in wet bedding. Been there, done that, & had to re-seal the wheel well seams after a couple of years 'on the road'.

Lengthening the axle or replacing it with a longer one isn't a good idea as it merely puts extra stress on the axle/spindles when they're that far away from the axle/spring perches. Likewise, spacers between the wheels/hubs add additional stress & usually don't provide as much clearance as needed...

If you're willing to live with the 12" wheels (perfectly adequate in my experience) & want a 5' wide cabin on a 4x8' trailer, adding the wheel wells should result in little if any inconvenience.
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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby satch » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:54 pm

[Lengthening the axle or replacing it with a longer one isn't a good idea as it merely puts extra stress on the axle/spindles when they're that far away from the axle/spring perches. Likewise, spacers between the wheels/hubs add additional stress & usually don't provide as much clearance as needed.../quote]


or you could do what I did and lengthen the axle but build a carriage to sit on. The springs sit above the hubs
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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby corymike756 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:07 am

satch wrote:
[Lengthening the axle or replacing it with a longer one isn't a good idea as it merely puts extra stress on the axle/spindles when they're that far away from the axle/spring perches. Likewise, spacers between the wheels/hubs add additional stress & usually don't provide as much clearance as needed.../quote]


or you could do what I did and lengthen the axle but build a carriage to sit on. The springs sit above the hubs
33291


Now that I like the look of, I also saw a link on another post where I can get a longer axle quite reasonably....less for it and the HF than buying a NT 5 wide. And I am sure the 12in wheels are adequate, but if I am going to build this from the ground up I think I would prefer to pick up a pair of nice wheels from my local salvage yard...prob 14's and use whatever adapter plate that will require. My TV has really nice machined aluminum wheels, I kind of like the idea that my TD look as good as the car.

What size angle did you use for that?
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Re: 5 x 9 on a HF 1720lb frame ?

Postby satch » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:29 pm

corymike756 wrote:
satch wrote:
[Lengthening the axle or replacing it with a longer one isn't a good idea as it merely puts extra stress on the axle/spindles when they're that far away from the axle/spring perches. Likewise, spacers between the wheels/hubs add additional stress & usually don't provide as much clearance as needed.../quote]


or you could do what I did and lengthen the axle but build a carriage to sit on. The springs sit above the hubs
33291


Now that I like the look of, I also saw a link on another post where I can get a longer axle quite reasonably....less for it and the HF than buying a NT 5 wide. And I am sure the 12in wheels are adequate, but if I am going to build this from the ground up I think I would prefer to pick up a pair of nice wheels from my local salvage yard...prob 14's and use whatever adapter plate that will require. My TV has really nice machined aluminum wheels, I kind of like the idea that my TD look as good as the car.

What size angle did you use for that?

It's 2" angle at 3/16 thick. You probably could use 1/8 to save weight, but I wanted to make sure. After 7+ yrs, I never had a problem.
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