Hello from Central Texas

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Hello from Central Texas

Postby Staryder61 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:41 pm

Hi y'all.

I'm David, from Central Texas.

We love camping. Now that my wife and I are older. Sleeping in a tent on the ground is getting harder. Then there's the packing and loading everything up to go. We have been looking for a small camper for a few years now. They always seemed out of our reach, price wise. Used ones were always handy man specials.

For years I have been fascinated by the tear drop trailers. Small, complete for the most part. Loaded with essentials and ready to go. And no more sleeping on the ground. Maybe do some touring and gatherings.

What a concept.

Have spend weeks and hour after hours on the internet researching them. Then I found you guys. Love this forum and all the helpful hints I have already received reading on here.

So after long discussions about this with my wife. She is definately onboard and wants to help. Also have sons that love doing things, so it'll be a family project.
I have 35 years of being a master cabinet maker under my belt. Still have all my tools and a small shop in the back yard. So I'm confident with my knowledge and y'alls help. I can pull this off and be camping or touring before we know it.

So this will be our first build. The Tear Drop Camper....

My oldest son had an old 16' tri-hull boat and trailer. Several months back he gave a friend the boat for parts and told me I could keep the trailer to make a utility trailer out of it. Then came up the possibility of a tear drop.

All parts off the boat, I paid the landfill $12.65 to give the boat a final resting place. Our first expense towards the tear drop.

So we have a trailer, we are on a roll :applause:

Build begins: 29 Oct 2017 Trailer prep 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm

Pics to follow later:

Thank y'all for a great helpful site, now let's get building..
Staryder

Always reaching for the stars..

And to think, they put a man on the moon. Probably using recycled tin cans.....

"Your own reality, is only limited by your dreams"
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Re: Hello from Central Texas

Postby dogpound101 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:55 am

Welcome to the craziness

First thing that comes to mind on boat trailers is axel placement
They tend to be further back than normal Search for 60 40 rule on this forum. I'm sure others will reply


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Re: Hello from Central Texas

Postby bc toys » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:20 am

there are lots of tear drops in the DFW area great group of people the have gatherings coming up around this time of year and if you want to go see a lot of tears and get ideals go to the Louisiana gathering down by Monroe well keep up up to date with your build
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Re: Hello from Central Texas

Postby Dan242 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:50 am

First few paragraphs could have been written by me, I am 95% done finishing my camper, We camped in it in the back yard a few times to test it. I am in SA, where are you?
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Re: Hello from Central Texas

Postby Staryder61 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:57 pm

Thanks dogpound101:

Exactly why I am here. Knowledge of others.
Axle placement: Great to know.

Have figured out that the tongue is longer than needed for the build. Will check axle placement. And if needed, ad new hanger brackets to my buy list.
With no cost for the trailer, I have $'s for parts and welding fees to make adjustments.

Wheels and tires are shot. So need to replace them.

What's a general opinion? Should I stay with the 13" or go to maybe a 14"

And with a 5' x 10.5' should it have brakes?

Thank you, Staryder
Staryder

Always reaching for the stars..

And to think, they put a man on the moon. Probably using recycled tin cans.....

"Your own reality, is only limited by your dreams"
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Re: Hello from Central Texas

Postby working on it » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:14 pm

  • Howdy from DFW. I built my trailer starting with a non-standard, 50" w x 60" l motorcycle?-carrier, (derelict) junk trailer I had bought for $50, 20 years before I used it as the basis for my TTT squareback. Not being exactly sure as to how I would arrange features I wanted inside, I just added 12" to the front and 24" to the rear, and winged it from there. I knew my 60/40 ratio would be off a bit, but I removed the bent tongue and welded on a 3" square tube, 6' long, .1875" thick, that I hoped would offset some of the rearward weight bias. I moved battery and heavy storage items forward, to a tonguebox, to also help compensate for the heaviness of the gear in my galley, including an on-board generator, extended-run fuel tank (3.5 gallon), 5k btu A/C in the rear bulkhead, and of course, the required Coleman lantern and stove, there too. Since I built my trailer of 3/4" plywood, any addition or deletion to my basic design moved a lot of weight around, so I used a Trailer Balance spreadsheet http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/Trailer%20Balance%20101.htm, to determine the effects of every item moved. If I had known previously, I would've added a longer tongue to counter the extra weight at the rear, but it was too late. In your case, I'd leave the tongue as-is, and only shorten it if needed; you might need it longer than normal, too, as I could've.
  • As for your wheel/tire size choice, ask yourself whether you might use the trailer 1) on the road only, or maybe off-road a bit, 2) towing at high speed speeds for long stretches of time, or at a leisurely pace. Larger tire sizes are better for both off-road and higher speeds, because the greater diameter allows crossing rocks and debris easier, and rotates at a lesser rate per mile, causing less bearing wear. My original trailer had 8" tires, which I immediately discarded, replacing them with new (larger diameter) hubs/bearings/spacer-adapter set, installed on the unknown capacity original axle, allowing me to use 14" ST trailer tires, so I could share the spare with my wife's 20-ft business trailer (I was on a low budget build, at the first). Three years later, after committing to a future off-road course of modifications, I installed a 3500 lb, braked, Dexter axle assembly (frame reinforcements, new springs & shackles, and hardware), but kept the old 14" ST tires for another 3 years. Then, still using the 14" wheels, I put all-terrain LT tires on it, instead of new ST tires, anticipating future use on unpaved roads. But, the choice of 14" all-terrain LT tires was very limited, so if I were to start over, I would go bigger, with 15" or larger tires...better selection, and better (longer) wear. So, 13" or 14" is fine for normal usage, but don't make that decision if you might someday want to go off-road, where bigger is better.
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring:
    • 3500 lb Dexter axle,
    • 27x8.5-14LT tires,
    • LED lighting,
    • A/C & heat,Optima AGM battery,
    • extended-run 2500w generator,
    • Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern
  • 147697148333125895
  • 148599148106
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