Sticky for trailer chassis/frame plans?

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Sticky for trailer chassis/frame plans?

Postby Esteban » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:54 pm

It would be very helpful to to have a sticky with several good, reproducible, trailer frame plans people could use to home build, or provide to a welder, to construct a teardrop trailer chassis/frame. Rich and Doug's Frame Tutorial provided one.

Over the years some excellent trailer frame plans have been shared here in build journals, member designs, off road construction secrets, and elsewhere that are now very difficult to find. It would be nice to bring the best of them to the forefront. Possibly in PDF and/or SketchUp formats.

Possibly there could be sub categories for on-road trailer frames and off-road trailer frames.
Steve - SLO, CA
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Re: Sticky for trailer chassis/frame plans?

Postby S. Heisley » Tue May 01, 2018 8:02 pm

:thinking: Maybe we just need to rename the Trailer & Chassis Secrets topic to Trailer Chassis Frames?
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Re: Sticky for trailer chassis/frame plans?

Postby Esteban » Tue May 01, 2018 10:25 pm

S. Heisley wrote::thinking: Maybe we just need to rename the Trailer & Chassis Secrets topic to Trailer Chassis Frames?

That might help, too.

My suggestion has more to do with providing good plans people can use to plan/build/construct/weld a trailer frame. Some excellent trailer frame plans have been posted on TNTTT over the years within people's Build Journals, Offroad Construction Secrets, Member Designs, etc. that are kinda buried among hundreds, probably thousands, of posts. They are now very difficult to find hidden gems. Some have been lost because photos of them are no longer available.

My suggestion is to provide some ready to go plans in PDF format and/or in SketchUP that people could use, as is, to build a trailer frame, or use with a little customization. Lets rediscover, resurrect, and bring some of the best plans to the forefront in a sticky.

With the disappearance of lower cost Red Trailer, Harbor Freight and Northern Tool 4' x 8' and 5'x 8' trailer kits it seems the need is greater now more than before.

People who can or want to re-use a boat, pop-up camper trailer, etc. have another option.

A custom built trailer may not cost (much/if any) more than a (inferior quality) $600 to $1200+ utility trailer.

It's not unusual to spend a considerable amount of money, time and effort to fix or improve an off-the-shelf utility trailer, boat trailer, pop-up camper trailer, etc.

With a custom trailer you have much better control of the size, weight, strength, quality, parts costs, road worthiness, and myriad design details to build a trailer frame that best suits your wants, needs, budget and ability.

Having a sticky with several good trailer frame plans could be a very helpful resource for beginners and more experienced teardrop trailer builders.
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Re: Sticky for trailer chassis/frame plans?

Postby Esteban » Tue May 01, 2018 11:03 pm

Photos of several trailers that may be good examples for people to use

jeeper's trailer
Image

Chuck Craven's trailer
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Re: Sticky for trailer chassis/frame plans?

Postby working on it » Wed May 02, 2018 1:03 pm

[
Esteban wrote:People who can or want to re-use a boat, pop-up camper trailer, etc. have another option.

A custom built trailer may not cost (much/if any) more than a (inferior quality) $600 to $1200+ utility trailer.

It's not unusual to spend a considerable amount of money, time and effort to fix or improve an off-the-shelf utility trailer, boat trailer, pop-up camper trailer, etc.

With a custom trailer you have much better control of the size, weight, strength, quality, parts costs, road worthiness, and myriad design details to build a trailer frame that best suits your wants, needs, budget and ability.

  • Never did a build journal, and didn't have a frame plan, but lots of pictures in my gallery document my build, and modifications thereafter. I started with a derelict motorcycle trailer, bought for $50, and sat in my back yard for 15-18 years. A friend and I enlarged and strengthened the 50" x 60" frame to 50" x 96", and replaced the bent tongue with a longer, stronger 3' square tubing piece, and welded it to a center spine we also added, and to three crossmembers. Since then, the frame rails have been strengthened by adding 1/4" angle and 3/16" flat bar stock to the spring hanger area.
  • Altogether, my trailer's frame enlargement & center spine install, tongue replacement, and frame reinforcement 3 years later, probably cost me about $250 in steel alone; the welding was done by my friend, and later on, myself. Other basic expenses, coincident to frame alterations, were much more: 1)changing the original axle from 8"-tires w/ small bearings, to 14" (new wheels/tires/spacers/bearings/hubs, etc.), 2)complete replacement of the axle/springs/hangers.
  • All work was done by myself and my experienced welder friend at his home shop, and my garage (the axle replacement & reinforcement were done there); no work was farmed-out to any other, though some work on the original axle was done by another friend (racing teammate) under my supervision, while I was cutting out the sidewalls. God only knows how much it would've cost to have a professional shop perform all the operations done to my junk/ragged frame, to convert it to the rolling frame I built upon! Or even for my later axle change-over project? I think that, at least in my case, having a scratch-built custom frame might've been cheaper, in the long run, than bringing my trailer back from the dead. And, starting with a ready-made HF, NT, or big-box store trailer, would've been cheaper still. And using a re-purposed boat, pop-up camper trailer, or utility trailer, of the right size, would be the cheapest yet way-to-go. But, probably not as challenging/fun/frustrating/skill-building as my frame build was.
  • 86927 starting point (twin bed frame on trailer for comparison/sizing evaluation)
  • rugged frame begins with tongue mount spanning 3 crossmembers.jpg
    rugged frame begins with tongue mount spanning 3 crossmembers.jpg (317.35 KiB) Viewed 723 times
    extensive welding/bolting/screwing to make the frame road-worthy
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", rugged, 4x8 TTT, 2150+ lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube braked axle, 3000 lb.springs, active-progressive bumpstop suspension
  • *27 x 8.5-14LT AT tires (x 3) *Weight Distribution system for single-beam tongue
  • *100% LED's & GFCI outlets, 3x fans, AM/FM/CD/Aux. *A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill, vintage skillet
  • *zinc/stainless front & side racks *98"L x 6" diameter rod & reel carrier tube on roof
156215157958148599
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