The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby kirkupnorth » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:26 pm

Nice video, McDave -- Thanks for the link! Yeah, we're really excited about the upcoming Yellowstone trip. We're planning to stay in the Mammoth campground while we're there. I'm hoping we'll be able to get a spot, since it's a first come, first served campground.
Fingers crossed. We're thinking about spending a couple of days in Spearfish on the way. We had such a good time there last year!

We just got back from a local camping trip in one of Minnesota's state forest campgrounds. We had to do a trial run for the pooch, to make sure he's ready for the big trip. He came to us about this time last year, but his health was so bad that we only got to camp with him one time. Thought a refresher course was a good idea. He did a great job and behaved like a perfect gentleman camper the whole time. Here he is wondering when supper's gonna happen:

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We're really looking forward to heading west in a couple of weeks! Your recent weather sounds a little challenging, but it should be interesting! Thanks again for the video -- Safe travels!
8)
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby kirkupnorth » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:19 pm

On our second big trip this summer, to the upper peninsula of Michigan, we realized that we had a bent axle. We both found ourselves looking at the wheel, which seemed to be at a weird angle. It might be hard to see here, but there was definitely something weird about the passenger's side wheel.
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That, combined with very uneven tread wear on the tire, told us we needed a new axle. We're pretty sure that this damage happened a while back when we were on one of the roughest roads we've ever experienced! Our trailer had come with a Dexter drop axle, so we decided to stick with the Dexter brand. This time, though, we went with a straight axle. We thought the extra clearance would be a nice thing. Here's a pic right after hubby welded the "saddle" on to the new axle.
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Of course, this wasn't exactly a small job. Luckily, everything went well with no broken parts, bodily injury, or marital discord. Kind of a miracle, really.
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We like how the trailer sits up higher now. That should be really nice for getting in and out of gas stations and parking lots. Had we known we'd be doing this repair/change, we probably would have bought a different step. Well, it's always something!
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby dno1967 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:34 pm

kirkupnorth, thanks for allowing us to join you through this adventure of yours, I look forward to future updates. I ordered a 5x10 v-nose & should take delivery by the end of the year, thus beginning my adventure.
Dana, Jeeper & future overlander
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby kirkupnorth » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:54 pm

October camping in northern Minnesota!

Up here winter's right around the corner, so we decided to get out camping this past weekend. The weather was beautiful, 50s and 60s during the day, and cool at night -- 28-30 degrees.

We have found that since the pandemic started, it is really difficult to get a spot in MN State Forest campgrounds. If you're not there by early afternoon on Friday, you might as well just forget it. So, Mr. KirkUpNorth and his trusty sidekick, Danny, headed up early on Friday while I was at work. They got a beautiful site in the tiny campground -- only 8 spaces in the place. By the time I got there, camp was all set up and ready to go. All I had to do was sit down to supper -- a nice big ribeye on the grill and homefries. I was definitely a happy camper!
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At this time of year, things are pretty beautiful here. This campground is situated between two small, quiet lakes.
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We had a great time. Got to do some riding -- there are tons of trails in this area! We were surprised at how busy the trails were, though. Lots of ATVs and UTVs out there, and a few grouse hunters as well. Our pooch, Danny, has really come to love camping!! He's surprisingly well-behaved at the campsite, too. He is definitely gun shy, though, so the hunting in the area was kind of freaking him out. When he hears a shot he runs to the camper door, goes in, and curls up on the bed. We're glad he feels safe in the camper, and likes to spend time in there. Here he is, just hanging around the campsite.
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On the way home, I got a shot of the truck and trailer heading out of the forest for what might be our last time this fall -- we'll have to see what the weather does. We're definitely going to have to winterize it tomorrow, since the weather prediction says low 20s later this week.
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby aggie79 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 9:18 am

Beautiful pictures of your campground! Thank you for sharing them. :applause: :thumbsup: :applause:

As you are closing down your camping season, It is just starting to get cool enough to camp here in Texas.

Take care,
Tom
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For build info on our former Silver Beatle teardrop:
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby flboy » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:42 pm

Looks like you had a great time! That is my favorite.. camping and dirt bike riding! Your dog looks like he likes to camp too! Good for you! Take care.

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YouTube Video of Finished 6x12 Trailer:
https://youtu.be/6_-8cVdWUIA
YouTube Video of 7*18 with 2ft V-nose Trailer:
https://youtu.be/MUcMM86LA2g
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby dno1967 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:35 pm

Awesome spot & great photos. (Especially the Jeep.)
Dana, Jeeper & future overlander
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby kirkupnorth » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:00 pm

It's the time of year in northern Minnesota when we start getting the CTC ready for camping. This season's big change revolved around the refrigerator. On the initial build, we installed a 110V dorm style refrigerator:
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It got the job done. However, when we built our portable solar suitcase, we hoped to be able to boondock for several days at a time.
We soon found that the refrigerator was using too much power. We'd have to run the generator to recharge the batteries after a day or two, which was not ideal.

We decided to get rid of the 110V fridge, and go with a 12V solution. After lots of research, we decided on an Alpicool 42 quart chest style refrigerator. It uses a compressor, and can be run as a refrigerator or a freezer. Of course, that meant we had to do a small remodel of the cabinet. An added benefit was that we were able to add two large drawers for more storage, which is a very nice thing! Here's what we ended up with:
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We put it on heavy duty 300 lb. capacity full extension drawer slides, which work just great! We haven't had a chance to get out camping yet, but we've tested it here at home, and it works really well. It's VERY energy efficient -- it's pulling 2.5 amps when running. Over 24 hours it uses less than 20 amps. It does a great job of cooling and holding its temperature. It's nice not to need to run the inverter!
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The capacity is good -- it seems like it holds more stuff than the original with shelves.
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We're really excited about this change. It will allow us to stay as long as we want at state forest campgrounds where there are no electrical hookups. We hope to get out in a couple of weeks, once the weather starts to cooperate! I'll let you know how this change works out for us.
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby TNDave » Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:29 am

I noticed on your youtube video (which was great!) that you moved the hot water heater inside. Can you elaborate on the reasoning for doing this, as well as the installation? What ducting vent did you use? Your floor plan is almost exactly what we were looking for. We are just about to start our conversion, and appreciate all the great ideas we gleaned from your build!
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby kirkupnorth » Mon Aug 16, 2021 8:33 pm

Hi TNDave- Thanks for your kind words about our build. We've been very happy with it!

Yes, we moved the water heater to the interior for a couple of reasons. The main problem with the exterior installation was that when the water heater was running, the wind tended to blow it out. It was really frustrating! We also found that when we used the CTC in the winter months, the weather and salt on the roads was kind of hard on it.

We've been happy with it indoors, in the cabinet under the sink. It does tend to put out a bit of heat, but not enough to be a problem. I'll have to ask KirkUpNorth himself for the install details. I'll get those, and a couple of pictures posted tomorrow to explain how we did it.
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby kirkupnorth » Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:04 pm

Well, I finally got around to snapping some photos of the hot water heater install. We have been very happy with it since we moved it indoors. We put it in the cabinet under the sink, and the install was pretty basic.
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We used metal vent hose of the type that you use for dryers. When shopping for the heater itself, we made sure to get one with a flange that would work with the vent hose and a simple hose clamp.
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We bought a stainless steel vent cover for the exterior. The one we chose is made to keep the weather out, and it works great! We just angled it down and to the rear.
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The stainless steel looks just fine on the black exterior.
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If you have any other questions just let me know.
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby flboy » Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:18 pm

I installed one of the OD water heaters in my new 6x12 and vented through the ceiling. Once I got a good 2 stage regulator, it works stellar as long as I have a good water flow..seems impossible to low flow a hot shower like I can with the conventional 6 gallon type.

Not an issue when hooked up to water and Grey water drain, but uses too much water IMO for boondocking unless I Navy shower it. not complaining when I have hookups.. can take the endless hot shower.

Have you had the same experience. Anything I can do?


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YouTube Video of Finished 6x12 Trailer:
https://youtu.be/6_-8cVdWUIA
YouTube Video of 7*18 with 2ft V-nose Trailer:
https://youtu.be/MUcMM86LA2g
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby TNDave » Tue Nov 23, 2021 11:33 am

This is a bit belated... but thank you for the follow up and pictures on the water heater install!
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby kirkupnorth » Fri Jun 16, 2023 9:59 pm

Wow, it's been a while!!

I wanted to let everyone know our impressions of the Andersen weight distribution/anti-sway hitch. Our trusty old friend, the F250 Super Duty, has been retired from towing duty. We wanted to be able to tow with my new Bronco, but were concerned about tongue weight. We were also a little worried about towing with a shorter wheel base vehicle -- the Bronco is a 2-Door.

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Hubby did a lot of research, and finally decided on the Andersen Hitch. This hitch is absolutely amazing! We just came back from towing the CTC from northern Minnesota to Moab, UT -- about 2,600 miles round-trip. Lots of Interstate driving, up and over the Rocky Mountains, and lots of wind! With that hitch, we didn't feel any pushing/pulling from wind, from passing big rigs, etc. Absolutely no sway! It doesn't get bouncy over bumps. Tight turns and backing up are no problem, and the hitch is silent while you're doing it. If you're considering a weight distribution hitch, you might want to check it out.

It's a little different concept. I'll be honest -- I really don't understand how this works. I just know that it works really well.

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So, towing on this trip was much easier than we expected. This was our first time in Moab, UT. What a cool place -- we had a blast while we were out there. On the way home, we had some weather!! We were up by the Eisenhower Tunnel in the Rockies, (11,000 feet), and the temperature suddenly fell to 34 degrees. Within a few seconds were were driving through a blizzard - blowing snow that was actually starting to accumulate on the ground. Living in northern Minnesota we've had plenty of experience driving in blizzards, but this was really freaky! It lasted for about an hour, and then we drove out of it. It was June 12 -- what the heck, Mother Nature??

We stayed in a very nice Colorado State Park campground -- Chatfield State Park in Littleton. That's where the first picture in this post was taken. Nice sites with full hookups if you want them, beautiful scenery, and convenient access to the Interstate. I definitely recommend it if you're in the area.

Overall, a great trip!
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Re: The Adventure Begins: 6x12 V-Nose Conversion

Postby flboy » Fri Jun 16, 2023 10:02 pm

I bought that hitch for pulling my 7x18 CTC... I can agree. I love it.

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YouTube Video of Finished 6x12 Trailer:
https://youtu.be/6_-8cVdWUIA
YouTube Video of 7*18 with 2ft V-nose Trailer:
https://youtu.be/MUcMM86LA2g
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