Offroad designe useing a harbor freight trailer,yes it works

Lets captures all those good off road construction ideas here...

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Postby Toyotero » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:17 pm

SlowCowboy,

That's a great looking trailer. :thumbsup:

FYI, be sure to separate the links or else they all run together. Separating them them on different lines works well.
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http://tnttt.com/album_ ... c_id=61339[/img]
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Regards,

Toyotero.
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Postby slowcowboy » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:56 pm

ah, you have discorvered my style of writing. I gave up on the grammer seveal post back and several english essays in highschool. I might pay bettor attention to the links to the photos though. but everything run to gether I hate to say it is my way of signing my name. My typing I hate to say it stands out all over this forum. What did the run to gether photo links do bring you up two photos at once instead of one? just curios. Try the personal album of slowcowboy and it will all fit toghether in one photo one at a time. My thoughts. 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.
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Harbor freight triler off road?????

Postby boxcar » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:28 am

I will start by saying i am a worse speller than you.... and I love your T/D
Very nice traditional tear. I don't want to seem contrary but I heartily disagree with your assumption that a harbor freight trailer is a good foundation for an off road trailer. Your mods do look like they will help but over the long haul it will fail.....The steel used in the stock trailer frame is much to thin for this use it will develop fatigue cracks and the tongue is way to light for off road trailing.If one is converting an existing tear to off road use and it was built using an H-B trailer your mods make allot of sense, But if you are building ground up Fab your own trailer using sized structural tubing. Wile heavier the strength gains are well worth it
Not to mention that the total cost of the trailer will be cheaper. By the time you are through modifying an H-B Trailer $300-$400 add an Axel $250-$350 (new) for one with brakes ( a must for off road T/Ds) Steel to stiffen the trailer say $100, New perches for the springs $32 Paint $10.
You end up with a $700- $900 Trailer. One can be scratch built for substanchaly less money with greater results....Boxcar... Ps: I love your rig
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Last edited by boxcar on Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby slowcowboy » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:45 pm

Hello, boxcar and good eveniong. your off abit on the cost. The steel I used to beef it up and would need to build a new frame is free. all in m iron pile at home behind the shop. The axle was less than a 100 bucks all in a pop up camper I bought and tore down to the bare frame. The springs were all in the less than 100 buck deal.

the hole trailer has seem over 200 to 500 miles of the wind river moutains here in wyoming and down 2 tracks and over ruts with no problems on cracks in the tongue or frame.

I have a secreat, a old man that is a retired faburcator, pluse professional welder. He told me to check under the tongue for peeling paint or bulbs in the paint, and there is none.

Might be a cheap, thin china trailer. But it is held up fine. There is a lot of wood on top bolted with 1/2 inch bolts to the frame. this is 3/4 plwood braced with a lot of 2 by 4 studs and a milloon 1 x 6s.

The secret you see to making the hole rig last is in the gas shocks in the leaf spring supions. I have gas shocks under the thing attached to the frame and then to the spring leafs just like your car. this is the key to off roading with a harbor freight trailer. It takes all the shocks and jolts out of the trailer. It is not pounding and bouncing behind me at all rides over washboards like glass.

Number 2 is I am not rock crawling. just mostly normal dirt roads. with some pot holes. Mostly wash broads. about 85 % of the time. Yes, I do go down 2 tracks and I do pull off road out in the bush. But I am not in major jeep country with this teardrop. IF a Ford explore with a stock suppension can't make it why should I go there. No, need. and my teardrop goes where I go.

There is after a year of this off road camping, absulutly no signe of frame falilure or tongue failer. This harbor freight tongue is not at all like it came from the factory. it is way braced with the new bull dog aframe hitch and it is braced with the angles in the tongue box. the tongue box is then bolted to the tongue to.

I see no problem with my set up or no need to rebuild. My dad made a good assment of the habor freight trailer before we went to rebuilding it. The onle parts I had to buy for the mods to the haborfreight trailer was some 25 dollars worth of spring seats from a local industrail suppply store. all metal was free out of the iron pile and all parts was salvaged. Tires and rims were already in my storage shed and were saved 4 years ago off a ford ranger I sold.

Brakes from r and p carrages were only 175 dollars total for all the parts to put brakes on my trailer includeing the 7 way plugs and the wires and even the connectors. this ebay sellar is tops and is way great on price. I even got new lug bolts with my brakes set up.

I have no frears of major frame damage. I don't plane to try and drive a vehicle were a horse goes or where even a horse won't go. that to me is stupid but I will amit is great sport to jeep guys. for my off roading and miles of windriver moutanins as well as the miles of highways I will travel and lowland lakes with 2 track roads. I see no futures of major frame failers. it is held up good for 2 years this habor freight frame. and it is not craking it self to death.

Dads welds are holding rock hard. even my very few worm mess welds are holding and not cracking. I have no desire to rebuild and love my little rig to death. Why the heck would I want to build a new teardrop and get a new frame when this harbor freight one is working so good?

I think you should get yourself some gas shocks. I think you will find it will save yourself buying a new trailer frame in a few years. My harbor freight trailer is working good. Besides us rancher here in wyoming don't nessary HAVE TO buy any thing to just go out and build a new trailer. We have ways around that!! If we want a new trailer There are ways to get what we want with out going and buying it brand new. I

If I want new steel I don't have. I don't go down to a store and go looking for it. I hit other places.
My thoughts. 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.
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Postby slowcowboy » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:57 pm

Oh, by the way your prices don't add up. I got my harbor freight trailer on sale in 2007 for like 26- to 270 dollars. my spring seats were only 2 for 20 - to 25 bucks. and like I said I got a hole axle for less than a 100 dollars on a use junk popup trailer pluse a gold mine of other valuble rv parts.

You don't need brakes for off roading. I am even putting in a toggle switch on my brakes wires to shut off the brakes while in the moutains off roading. We wore out electric brakes on horse trailers in the big horn moutains when I was cowboying for a living doing off road horse trailing.

I pulled this teardrop just real great with all my off roading last summer with idler hubs.


what you really need when off roading to hold you back on the hills is not brakes but a lower gear.

I put brakes on my teardrop for one reason only stricter trailer laws in states outside of wyoming, called the state of colorado. This is becuase I hold a class A cdl and have no desire to aurgue weights, trailer laws, and legalitys with colorado cops. The less I see of the dot, the more I am happy

My thoughts. Slowcowboy. P.S if you need brakes so you can drive over house size boulders get our version in wyoming of a go any where suv. The horse. Then get yourself a tent and a pack horse to carry it. To me crawling in low gear over rocks and high centering a vehcile all day is not relaxation or enjoyment. This teardrop with a harbor freight frame will do fine just where a normal suv like a ford explore goes.
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.
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off road trailer

Postby boxcar » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:48 pm

If you check what I was saying I was quoting all new parts from catalog pricing -Not used parts . You are right though if one shops and scavenges one can usually build anything on the cheap. What I am saying is that if you are going to build an off road trailer you are much better of building from scratch. As to breaks if you have ever towed a 1000 lb load down a steep grade on wet muddy or dry loos terrain with a short wheel base rig like say a cj5 or wrangler YOU NEED BRAKES Or it may decide to pass you at a bad time.Low gears can compound the problem Trust me my cj is very low geard. But what keeps the trailer behind me is the brakes...I have towed all over the west
Yes even in Wyoming ( You guys have the worst clay I have ever seen)and I will never tow without brakes.
Your gas shocks are a great idea (we use air bags) but have experimented with gas shocks and they do work well..... we are running rs-5000 nds and airbags just so we can adjust for the loads... I do tow my trailers just about everywhere my jeeps go (just about).
The rig in the pic is going to moab in June and will do some miner crawling. Like I said before "If your trailer is already siting on an H/B trailer your Idea of reinforcing it makes sense" In fact I Recommend It. But if you are going to build an off road trailer you can do mutch better Building a trailer designed from the get go for the application and the conditions....Boxcar...PS: Love your rig.....and I don't intend to sound arrogant or argumentative, That is not my intention. I have just bin doing this for a long time. I hate like heck to se anyone get hurt due to failure on the trail.Sorry for the poor spelling. old dog syndrome!!!!!
Tow Rigs: Jeeps, Lot's a Jeeps... :[img]thumbsup:[/img]
Last edited by boxcar on Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby slowcowboy » Sun May 09, 2010 1:22 pm

Well, well if I need to instantly rebuild my habor freight framed trailer. Why did everyone give me so good of advise on my tread on general discusson on your idea of a habor freight trailer becomeing hirshomea. Now I love my teardrop Will not rebuild it. and please don't get to aurguing on my tread box car and lock down this tread. There is a lot of new people on here that enjoy this tread and seeing what one can actually do safely with a affordable set up on the harbor freight frame. If you chose to slame my teardrop and shut my tread down. I will let you know. I don't have the time of day to aurgue with you. My thoughts On what is a perfectly good teardrop on a perficlty good frame with over a 1000 miles of wind river moutans back roads. and no I repeat no cracks no broken trailer. My teardrops frame has nothing wrong with it. and will not blow up in a mushroome cloud and No I chose to camp in it and enjoy it. Not start over when i am so close to being called supposed to be finshed. Don't get scared of a harbor freight trailer folks. they are not a bad idea. they do work. My thoughts, and loving my teardrops frame the way it is. SLowcwoboy.
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.
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trailer

Postby boxcar » Tue May 18, 2010 12:13 am

Dude get ahold of your self. I never slammed your trailer or your idea .Read my posts >I agreed with you. I said if you already heave a H/F trailer and you want to try to go off road your mods make sense. Gees whats it gonna take to make you understand. And by the way I have towed OFFROAD for about 30 years. I have no clue how many miles. In The USA Canada and Mexico. I've broke just about everything that can be broke. Usually a thousand miles from home. So when I plan a new trailer (For off road use) or on road use for that matter. The FRAME IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE TRAILER. Everything else is attached to it. All I recommend is that if you are starting a new build with off roading in mind you will be far better off building a trailer frame designed for that use. And if you are planning to use brakes . The H/F trailer is then not a cost effective option..Boxcar... PS: I hope this puts this issue to rest....[img][/img]
Last edited by boxcar on Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby deepmud » Tue May 18, 2010 1:45 pm

You are both right - you both can't spell worth a hoot :lol: But spelling and working in the real-world don't always go together.

I was able to interpret what you are saying - let me restate.

Slowcowboy - you had a Harbor Freight trailer, and made it work well. You re-enforced the frame, swapped out the axle, upgraded the hitch......all on a "rancher's budget".

Boxcar applauds your work but points out that for someone looking to start from scratch a Harbor Freight trailer is not likely
make sense.

Slowcowboy, you should not take that as a "put-down" on your thread or your work - just a word of caution to someone reading this who might be tempted to buy a Harbor Freight trailer and put it to use without your modifications.

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Postby parnold » Tue May 18, 2010 1:57 pm

Deepmud:

I think your talents might be needed in the Middle East!

Well put!

:applause:
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Postby slowcowboy » Wed May 19, 2010 11:57 pm

yes I see. folks be scared shitless of the harbor freight trailer frame. No box car i will not fight with you. I don't need my tread shut down to your same old bs. Go bug someone esle and slam someone else thread. I haven't got the time of day for you.
No I am not rebuild my teardrop. It works just fine. With the harborfrieght frame.

Is it brand new steel from china yes. will it fall apart and exlode no. If you are starting out new will this be a bad way to go buying a harbor freight trailer and wanting brakes ablsulutly no. IF I am broke and it worked for me why can't someone else do it to that is broke.
Now you are trying real hard to get my tread shut down and I gave alot of people peace of mind on a harbor freight trailer frame till you go on here one day and starting telling me to rebuild it. No bug the heck off. Find someone else to fight with and leave me and my tread alone.

Cost effective this harbor freight trailer works perfectly good in cost if you were to buy the hole thing new. Now I am not going to fight with you guys any longer.

Teardroping is about having fun Not wars. get lost. My thoughts, Slowcowboy. far as I am concerned I am about to ask the admenstrarors personaly to lock my own tread down. Its for the good of the furom and the nice people on it. I refuse to fight with you guys any longer. I am Not going to hang it in with you as long as lawyn did. Leave me the heck alone and quit scaring eveyone with the blowing up harbor freight trailer.
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.
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Postby slowcowboy » Thu May 20, 2010 12:33 am

Oh, by the way it would be real peaceful if I had to join Gages world as a lurker again for a year. but despite what the experts are saying There is no problem folks with using a harbor freight trairler frame for a off road vehcile. it works. didn't blow up and my teardrop has been tested. any one can build the same dang supscion no cost of new steel in the hole build other than some spring shackle seats and the angle if you want to beef the frame up. Been proven in countless threads that a harbor freight trailer frame is up to the job. Now this will be the last time I post on this tread. I opened it up when i first got on here and joined to show folks just how verstile and efective a harbor freight trailer was. and how cost effecent it was for anyone struggleing to get by that wanted to get into teardrops. I wanted to show that if you are saying you are short on money that anyone can get into a teardrop if they want to this cheap way. I did this tread for to help people and I am real sad to see one guy get one here and shut it down with a thing about go rebuild your harbor feright trailer it won't work. I won't be posting to my own thread on here again.

This tread is going to be locked down in nothing flat with the way it is becoming with the last posting since about april of 2010. to bad. But I am not going to deal with the people ruinging it. I would rather have bettor discusion with nicer folks and do more showing people what real fun teardroping can be as soon as the snow comes off my wind rivers and in about a month I will be camping in july off roading in a harbor freitht trailer. I will start posting alot of photos for the folks to see and i hope to show folks lurking what fun it is to be a teardrop camper and to build your own trailer on a budget. I will show there is no feer or scare of what a harbor freitht trailer can do. I will take photos instead of fishing.

Good by to a great thread. My sad thoughts, and last post to this tread. 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.
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Postby deepmud » Thu May 20, 2010 5:18 pm

Slowcowboy, please read all of this before you reply - then tell me what you think.



This is you.

slowcowboy wrote:Hello folks ever conserdered what a heavly modified harbor freight trailer can offer up to the world of off road teardrops. My new build can demostrate a off road tear. I am not rock crawling but I do back road trailes in the windriver moutains in wyoming and would love to show what is possible with a gas shock and a pop up camper 3500 lb axle replacement on a harbor freight frame. beef it up with some heavy gauge angle iron some retired welder, fabercator dad know how and a decent bulldog hitch and some common sense size light truck mud and snow tires 215/75/r 15 all terrain bf good rich tires and it is possible to get a harbor freight trailer frame to be made into a off road trailer.


You added angle iron.

You swapped the tires.

You swapped the axle.

You replaced the hitch.

You state it's heavily modified yourself - so if someone says perhaps it's better to start from the heavier steel, and get a good axle - what's wrong with that? It's another point of view. It doesn't mean you are wrong, or your thread is ruined. It's all good information. You can defend your points without feeling like you are being attacked personally.

Discussing different ideas is what this is all about. It is about ALL that a forum is good for - otherwise we'd just go to the library, get a book and treat it like gospel.

Or worse - make mistakes and not share the learning experience.

THIS IS BETTER -you are "outside the box" - that is a GOOD THING. Nobody is calling you "WRONG". Just stating their own point of view. Not claiming to be "experts" - just saying what they think. Like you.

Try it like this ......... "well I made it work, and it's a good trailer, so I am proof it works" .....no one can argue that. It's true - your trailer looks great, you are right to be proud of it. I LIKE IT! Boxcar likes it. It's cool. I like that you plan to show it being used - more proof that it works. Again, no one can argue with that. No one is trying to.

I would like to ask for pictures of where you added the extra angle iron - I promise not to pick at it - I threw away a Harbor Freight (actually Fred Meyer, same critter) once due to failed bearings - maybe I would have used it with some upgrades like you made. As for building with "struggling to get by", my own trailer was built 15 years ago when I made 11 bucks an hour and had to pay someone else to do the welding - I KNOW how good things can be if you "make do" with what you have - I applaud you doing that and sharing your story.
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Postby slowcowboy » Sat May 22, 2010 2:48 pm

alright. I will crack out and make one more reply to this tread. there are 20 some photos on my personal album that explain the angle iron added. Some one asked this last winter. I took more photos to show. I have trouble sticking a photo in my tread. But there is if you go though the hole personal album a ceratin photo showing the angle iron.
One word of caution, its camafloaged. I painted the angle iron added red to match. the trailer. Just something I like doing I paint everything after I build it. or when I buy it used. My neptune 2 hp boat motor got a restoration blue coat of paint this spring after I bought it off ebay. My combine is going more green. I now have green paint on my glasses that won't wear off. Handles on my john boat went army green.


The jon boat is going on my new black roof rack on top of my teardrop this summer. this so I can go boating in style and camping on some real highcounty back on the contintal divide moutain lakes. These are 4x4 wheel drive to lakes.

and I hate to say it. With the hundreds of post to my earler theread on harbor freight trailers. 10 millon other teardropers disagreas with you and box car on habor freight trailers. Especially true owners of the trailers. My thoughts, Slowcowby.
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.
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Postby deepmud » Sat May 22, 2010 3:46 pm

Image


I see you added it at the spring hangers - I sort of expected it up at the tongue as well.

My folding trailer had a single tongue, not an A-Frame design like yours. It looks better than what I had, certainly.

Image


Is that tongue stock or did you make it? The stickers I see make it seem stock - that is the most vulnerable to cracking, I think, so it's a good place to have a little more steel.




Image

Your springs look brand new there - would you say they are softer riding than the stock springs on the HF?

I also agree shocks are GREAT idea on a trailer - but I think unless you run a soft spring (especially on initial compression, the first couple inches) then they don't help as much as they could.


Glad to see you are still on board. Remember, "It's just the Internet" - :D


I'm in agreement that there are MANY HF trailers out there, doing fine. You are right that they can be made to work, no doubt.

:thumbsup:
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