Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DrewsBrews » Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:05 am

As far as I know folks use wheel spacers in that case. Unless Timbren has axle stubs in longer length available. Narrower tire would work too.
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DesertApprentice » Fri Aug 06, 2021 9:08 pm

Thank you DrewsBrews ! looked into the wheel spacers more. Looks like they are commonly used for Jeep wheels. I figure I can go with a 1.5" spacer, I hope that's enough space between the frame and the tire.

When placing the axle with 60-40% body length distribution, since there is no actual axle, I suppose it counts from the spindles. If anyone knows here, please let me know. I also plan to call Timbren on Monday to confirm.
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DrewsBrews » Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:52 pm

Yeah it would be measured from the spindle.

Placement really depends on the actual weight distribution. Someone posted this on my build thread and it proved very helpful (though takes a bit of time to figure out):
https://www.engineersedge.com/calculators/trailer-weight-balance.htm

It is nice to also play with moving the weight around to see how it would affect your desired axle placement if, say you decided to mount a battery at the other end or started storing items in a different location during transit. General rule is over 10% tongue weight is good. Too much over can be excessive for vehicles that could otherwise handle the trailer weight. And many commercial trailers have less than 10%, but can be kept stable with heavy trucks with stiff suspensions/tires.

The old 60/40 idea is common for evenly distributed loads. Tear style trailers tend to have more rear weight due to the galley as well as cabinets at the rear of the sleeping area. So Tears with luxurious galleys you will often see as much as 67/33 axle placement, or maybe even farther back.

I plan to have a minimalist galley on my on-road squaredrop using a partial height rv door, a few plywood shelves and flip up counter to store light items in transit. And reverse sleeping orientation so overhead storage at the back will be small. I also plan to have 40lb of AC unit mounted up front. So the axle placement I ended up with is about 62/38 after running numbers with estimations in the above calculator. Though i'm not done with the build yet so I don't yet know actual tongue weight or how it pulls.
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DesertApprentice » Thu Aug 26, 2021 7:24 pm

I took a long break. Restarted building again, and managed to weld the frame together.
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However,I just found out it's hard to find a spacer that can fit perfectly to a custom hub. I just came back from a store, tried 3 different ones. The dimension is all over the place.

Now, I'm also looking into getting a set of wheels instead of the spacers. One question I have is, after everything is installed, what is the proper distance between the tire wall and the frame wall? (or fender wall) , 1 inch, 1.5 inch or even more?
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DrewsBrews » Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:30 pm

Things will flex with weight on them bouncing around down the road so too close can end up with rubbing. I'd suggest adding a rail to connect both sides of the frame right where you will mount the suspension to quell twist/flex. Since you aren't using a single continuous axle, The trailer weight will apply a twisting force on the frame rails that will try and push the top of the tires into the side of the cabin walls. If you are very weight conscious you might just move that rear inner rail, instead of adding more, as I don't see that one being most useful where it is now (unless you have another reason for it).

If you can keep flex down I figure 1" should be enough without being excessive. But I don't have experience with such large wheels and tires on a trailer.
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DesertApprentice » Fri Aug 27, 2021 1:07 am

DrewsBrews wrote:Things will flex with weight on them bouncing around down the road so too close can end up with rubbing. I'd suggest adding a rail to connect both sides of the frame right where you will mount the suspension to quell twist/flex. Since you aren't using a single continuous axle, The trailer weight will apply a twisting force on the frame rails that will try and push the top of the tires into the side of the cabin walls. If you are very weight conscious you might just move that rear inner rail, instead of adding more, as I don't see that one being most useful where it is now (unless you have another reason for it).

If you can keep flex down I figure 1" should be enough without being excessive. But I don't have experience with such large wheels and tires on a trailer.


DrewsBrews, Thanks again for your response! Yes, I will add a 2" square tubing cross member onto the Timbren assembly.
The tires/wheels have become an unexpected challenge for me. I'm still exploring all options. BTW, i found this link recommending 2" gap between tire and frame, that sounds like a lot https://www.etrailer.com/question-376258.html

This picture shows why it's a challenge to fit wider tires with Timbren. That big bolt sticks out 1" from the frame wall. The bolt is right against the tire wall. It robs away my precious real estate :NC
Image
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DesertApprentice » Tue Aug 31, 2021 9:09 pm

I have a somewhat solution to the problem of the Timbren bracket rubbing the tires. It turned out my bigger 37" Jeep tires have a negative (-18mm) wheel offset, that will give me the 1.5" clearance between the tire and the Timbren bracket.

Now, I see another challenge (I guess that's how DIY works :FNP). My Jeep receiver is 6" higher than the trailer tongue. With the 37" tires, my Jeep receiver is 26.5" off the ground, the tongue height is 20.5".
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Normally, i can just pick a receiver adapter. However, I'd like to use an articulating coupler like Lock-n-roll or Max coupler. Both of them have a maximum 4" adjustable drop. So the tongue will still be 2" lower than the receiver adapter.

Questions: 1) how bad is it the trailer coupler is 2" below the adapted receiver? 2) This is a wild question, can I weld an elbow onto the tongue? essentially adding my own adapter. My guess is this is a bad idea. I don't remember seeing anyone doing it.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DesertApprentice » Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:37 am

I think I figured out the answer for the 2nd question. I don't think I can weld the elbow to raise the tongue. I noticed the real hitch adapters are all made from solid steel, not square tubing.

I'm still not sure about the 2" gap between the hitch adapter and the tongue. Timbren has another suspension that may fit my Jeep wheels. That suspension will raise the tongue to 22", which means the top edge of the frame will be 24" off the ground.
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DrewsBrews » Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:18 pm

I often see a square tube welded in parallel on top of the tongue bar...Maybe a foot or so of overlap down the tongue to have adequate weld strength. Doing this with a 2" square tube would get 2" of rise.
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DesertApprentice » Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:41 pm

DrewsBrews wrote:I often see a square tube welded in parallel on top of the tongue bar...Maybe a foot or so of overlap down the tongue to have adequate weld strength. Doing this with a 2" square tube would get 2" of rise.

Thank you DrewsBrews! I have contacted Timbren. I may have a $200 solution to recover from my design( the lack of it) mistake. Timbren spindles can be purchased separately for $200 with different height requirements. I'm going to get a pair of spindles to raise the tongue to 24". Lock-n-roll sells 2.5" drop hitch, that should match my 26.5" Jeep receiver.
Maybe it's a good thing I don't have a detailed cabin design yet. I'll take a serious look at the cabin design after I finish the frame. I anticipate more challenges waiting for me :FNP
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DrewsBrews » Fri Sep 03, 2021 5:10 pm

Just be sure you are OK climbing into the cabin 2+ft above the ground. I know it doesn't sound like much but I bet a step stool will probably be necessary to do so comfortably.
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DesertApprentice » Mon Sep 06, 2021 10:58 am

DrewsBrews wrote:Just be sure you are OK climbing into the cabin 2+ft above the ground. I know it doesn't sound like much but I bet a step stool will probably be necessary to do so comfortably.

True and a very good point.
Due to the lack of details in my design, I have been confronted with issues from all directions (pun intended :roll: ): horizontally, I'm struggling with the axle balance position and the tire/frame clearance. Vertically, major gap from the coupler to the receiver; door entrance height and cabin height.
I have put a pause on the build. I'm binge reading posts here and watching youtube videos. I'm trying to think ahead a bit more. I want to reduce similar issues as I move forward. It has been a true learning experience from the get-go :)
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby tony.latham » Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:09 am

I'm struggling with the axle balance position...


Install the axle near the 40/60 point on the frame (excluding the tongue) and you'll be fine.

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:thumbsup:

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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DesertApprentice » Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:19 pm

tony.latham wrote:
I'm struggling with the axle balance position...

Install the axle near the 40/60 point on the frame (excluding the tongue) and you'll be fine.
:thumbsup:
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Thanks Tony! That's where I have put the axle in my design now. The balance spreadsheet works out that way too.
The 37" tire solves the problem of tire space to the frame, but it skews the geometry. I'm willing to explore along this direction and hope it will work out. Here is the update as I rework on the design. The front of the fender to the camper front edge is less than 40". I'm drawing the new cabin and doors as we speak.
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Re: Learning to build a 5x8 square drop

Postby DrewsBrews » Mon Sep 06, 2021 7:27 pm

Yes, there are many times where one thing leads to another and ends up steering a build into directions you may not have intended... For me I'm doing a single side door squaredrop since I picked up a large door years ago (original plan was rear door). Single door means Ill be scooting around more inside to get to the door, so I bumped up to a 5ft tall cabin so I can move around on my knees without bumping my head or bending my neck. The sleeping orientation will be reversed (head by the galley) so I can maneuver around my wife's feet instead of trying to get over her whole body. Interior sleeping area will also be 8ft long so I have some extra stepping area past the mattress. Ill probably also add handles in strategic locations to aid getting around inside.

My original dream of one day building a traditional tear morphed into a simple explorer camping storage box trailer with roof mount tent idea (due to living situation) then morphed into a truck camper cap trailer idea and finally to the much larger squaredrop that Im actually building years later.

Don't take anything I say as gospel, just things to consider. I'm still mid way through my build after all. There are many ways to do everything, and as long as you are willing to adapt, or are not bothered by, potential downsides of a certain design then go for it! That is how you end up with a very unique build.
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