Lance and Becky's Sagwagon

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Lance and Becky's Sagwagon

Postby Oldragbaggers » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:35 pm

The wind is howling and the rain has been pouring for hours outside as hurricane Irene approaches and all I can think about is that I picked up the trailer frame for our teardrop this morning.

After over 2 months of searching, researching, agonizing, changing my mind, bugging you good folks and then changing my mind some more, I finally found a frame that had a pop-up camper on it in a previous life. I got it off of Craigslist for $100, and I couldn't be more excited. I think it's perfect and puts me on my way to the "bargain build" I had hoped for.

Lance had just put the trailer hitch on my Hyundai Sonata last weekend, which will be our tow vehicle, at least for awhile, so it was the first time we had pulled anything with the baby car. The trailer sits perfectly level behind the car and I was trying to picture how cute the teardrop would look riding back there.

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A few weeks ago I wouldn't have known a torsion axle from Axel Rose, so I don't know the particulars about this, but it does have a torsion axle on it which appears to be pretty heavy duty and looks to be in good shape. Of course we will take everything apart and service it and make sure that everything is as it should be.

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The trailer is made from 1-1/2" x 3" x 1/8" channel, very little rust, welds all look good. It appears to be a very substantial trailer, especially conpared to the HF. I am sure it weighs more as well. A-frame tongue

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The frame measures 76" x 110". We appreciate the extra length, which will give us a nice deep galley without robbing us of length in the cabin, but don't want the weight or expense of a teardrop that wide so we will be removing the outriggers. There is also a nice support member right in the middle at the back which will give us a perfect place to weld a receiver for the bicycle rack.

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After removal of the outriggers the frame will have an outside width of 52". A true full size double bed plus some. In addition there is 5" between the outside of the frame and the interior tire wall, so I can build with the walls outside and covering the frame, and add any covering or trim I wish without any worry of anything rubbing on the tires.

The axle is 48" (43% of the distance) from the rear. Not exactly ideal. But it is bolted on and once the frame width is reduced and the axle position is not limited by the wheel wells, it can be moved as needed. We do plan to put a tongue box on though, with a good sized battery in it, so I am not sure if we will need to move it. I will wait for all of you with far more knowledge to weigh in on that one.

The wheels are 13", 4 bolt. The tires have a good tread still but I have no idea how old they are. We will at least replace the tires with a nice high speed radial. Not sure about replacing them with bigger. I haven't done any research yet so I don't know how hard it will be to find wheels with the 4-bolt pattern.

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We are avid bicycle riders and one of our favorite activities is searching out and riding the Rail Trails, which are usually beautiful, safe, serene places to ride and present an opportunity to see different places at a leisurely pace while getting great exercise in the process. We have many of them within a days drive of us. The teardrop will be the perfect sagwagon (in the bicycle world, s.a.g. wagon stands for "support and gear") for us. Therefore, that is going to be the name.

Thanks to everyone for the advice, encouragement and support you have given so far. And thanks in advance for the million questions I will probably bug you with as this build progresses. I can't wait to get started!!

Becky
Last edited by Oldragbaggers on Mon May 26, 2014 7:56 pm, edited 33 times in total.
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

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Postby Woodbutcher » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:55 pm

That will make a great trailer and is a good size once cut down. Soon you will be making sawdust! That is when the real fun begins. Enjoy your build and take lots of pictures.
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Postby CliffinGA » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:58 pm

Comgrats to BVecky and Lance on your start! 13" wheels should keep it at the perfect height for your Sonata. One thing I would have Lance do is on the back I would add more support before build a hitch on back there. I was thinking of soing that to mine but my friend who beefed up mine has built several and said the angle iron flexed a lil too much. Can't wait to keep watching your build as it progresses. Congrats on your start!

Cliff & Sheri
In God we trust, shoot the rest and he will sort out!

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viewtopic.php?f=50&t=42628
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Postby Danny » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:37 am

Nice score! Paint those rims up after a little wire brushing and they will look great.. Tires look fine,at least from the pix..
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Thanks all!!

Postby Oldragbaggers » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:03 am

Thanks everyone.

We've been without power for 2 days (thanks Irene) so I had to come to work today to see my posts.
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

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Postby aggie79 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:03 pm

Woodbutcher wrote:That will make a great trailer and is a good size once cut down. Soon you will be making sawdust! That is when the real fun begins. Enjoy your build and take lots of pictures.


+1 to everything Woodbutcher said! :thumbsup: :applause: :thumbsup:
Tom (& Linda)
For more on our Silver Beatle teardrop:
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Postby jbyrd » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:13 pm

great find!! i looked and looked for an old pop up trailer but couldn't find one, should make a fantastic platform to start on.
Til later, See ya
Jeremy

My build journal #1 "SOLD" : viewtopic.php?t=45945
my build journal #2 "SOLD": viewtopic.php?f=50&t=59216
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Postby Oldragbaggers » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:31 am

jbyrd wrote:great find!! i looked and looked for an old pop up trailer but couldn't find one, should make a fantastic platform to start on.


I was checking Craigslist for quite a while using "trailer" as the search word, and didn't get any popup frames. I found the key was to use the term "pop up frame" or "pop up camper" and do it 3 ways, "pop up frame", "popup frame" and "pop-up frame". I got quite a few hits that way that didn't come up under trailer.

jbyrd, I just looked at your album. Where did you get your trailer?

Becky
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

Build Journal http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45917
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Postby David S » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:31 pm

Looks like a good score on the frame :thumbsup: look forward to your build.Dave
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The Modified Trailer Frame ( and a change of name)

Postby Oldragbaggers » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:30 pm

I picked up our trailer frame from the welder yesterday. He did a fantastic job and I would recommend him to anyone. His name is Tom MacDougall at Realcraft Precision Welding in Dundalk MD, if you happen to live in this area.

The main adjustment was cutting off the outriggers. This narrowed the frame to 51". (The actual width of the tear will be more like 54".) And also makes it possible for us to move the axle into the proper position.
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He used some of the metal he had cut off to add another support beam down the center in the rear so he would have a stronger platform for the 2" receiver he welded on for our bike racks.
He also removed the old propane tank rack from the tongue and used another piece that he had cut off to weld a supporting crossbeam in the tongue to stiffen it.
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He installed the leveling jacks I got from eTrailer at all 4 corners of the frame. Then he went over it front to back and bottom to top making sure any stress cracks were repaired and reinforcing all the old welds. He finished up by putting primer on all the areas he cut and welded. I rolled very happily out the door for $275.

Today we stripped everything off the frame that would come off so that we could figure out exactly what we have and prepare the frame for cleaning and painting. With the exception of one bolt in the axle everything came off easily. One bolt did shear off though, so we were happy for the opportunity to replace them all and avoid trouble later.
We found a nice little aluminum sticker on the bottom of the axle with enough numbers and information that 10 minutes on the internet yielded not only everything we needed to know about the axle, but a pdf copy of the service manual and a list of the service centers in our area where we can get parts (there's one less than 10 miles from our house.) It's an AD-KO Kober 2000# rubber torsion axle.

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And just as we had the frame all stripped down and turned over on its back with its little metal feet sticking in the air all ready for cleaning, it started to rain. :(
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I have 10 cans of spray paint waiting in the garage and an itchy sprayer finger, but tomorrow is another day, and hopefully it will be a sunny one. 8)

Salute,
Becky
Last edited by Oldragbaggers on Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

Build Journal http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45917
Visit our blog at http://www.oldragbaggers.com
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Postby jbyrd » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:29 am

jbyrd, I just looked at your album. Where did you get your trailer?


Becky, I got my trailer from my brother in law. He is a bit of a junker (scraper) and always has 10 or 15 trailer frames setting around, infact i'm headed over today to do some horse trading with him for another trailer. I'm thinking about finding a little bit bigger trailer to swap my current build over to and using the trailer I have for my mini tear to pull behind my honda civic.
Til later, See ya
Jeremy

My build journal #1 "SOLD" : viewtopic.php?t=45945
my build journal #2 "SOLD": viewtopic.php?f=50&t=59216
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Postby CliffinGA » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:50 am

Becky love the name and the frame is looking great! Ya'll keep up the good work!

Cliff (& Sheri)
In God we trust, shoot the rest and he will sort out!

My Build:

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=42628
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Postby Oldragbaggers » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:15 am

jbyrd, lucky you having access to lots of frames. That was the hardest thing for me.
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

Build Journal http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45917
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Prime Time

Postby Oldragbaggers » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:58 pm

Today, after making my inevitable Home Depot run, I set about removing rust from the trailer and getting it ready for painting. First I scraped, then used a wire brush attachment on the drill, then a bit of sanding. There wasn't all that much rust to start with so removing it only took a little over an hour.

We then power washed the frame first with TSP, then with dish soap. After wiping it dry as good as we could we used the air compressor to blow as much of the remaining water as possible out of the channels and so forth. I was anxious to get a coat of primer on so that rust wouldn't reappear. The sun was shining, the frame was finally good and dry and all was right with the world. I was just about ready to start painting, and wouldn't you know it, it starting raining again.
:cry: :cry: :cry:

We tried to get a tarp over it, but we weren't prepared. We ran around like Laurel and Hardy for a few minutes but by the time we got our s%!# together it was already all wet. Drat. Then the rain stopped, almost as quick as it started. So I can only conclude that the only earthly reason for that rain at all was to wet down the trailer. Period.
:fb

Again with the towels, again with the air, we got it dry and managed to get one coat of primer on. Whew. One step closer to sawdust.

Becky

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Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

Build Journal http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45917
Visit our blog at http://www.oldragbaggers.com
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Postby parnold » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:24 pm

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Can't wait to see the sawdust fly!
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