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Old August 28th, 2008, 09:00 PM   #1
ckhanna71
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Default Off Road Trailer

Well I have had a thing to build an off road trailer to pull behind the Jeep. Tonight I was able to lay out the dimensions and square things up, got the axle and springs, and cut a few pieces of the frame. I plan on posting pictures as I go.



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Old August 29th, 2008, 06:04 AM   #2
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I also am thinking about making an offroad trailer. What are your plans? Will it be an open top or enclosed for camping gear? I drew up plans for a camp only trailer with an area on the back for a small kitchen/cooking area, a propane tank for a lantern and stove, spare parts storage, tool storage and possible sleeping area on top. Keep the pics coming as you go.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #3
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My plans are going to be really close to this trailer. I want to keep it open and as needs and wants change I can add to it later.

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Old August 29th, 2008, 08:06 AM   #4
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Just an FYI, not picking on you at all and if your trailer turns out like the one pictured than kudos to you.

I sell a cool set of rubber torsion axles with anywhere from 500 pound per pair to 2000 pound per pair available that would work great on an offroad trailer. These are independent so you lose the tube and it gives you more ground clearence in the center.


$160 a pair for the 500 pound
$175 a pair for the 1,000 pound
$185 for the 2000 pound

need any other trailer parts give me a shout, I can usually get them to you for less than TSC, including the LED lights
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Old August 29th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #5
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I sell a cool set of rubber torsion axles with anywhere from 500 pound per pair to 2000 pound per pair available that would work great on an offroad trailer. These are independent so you lose the tube and it gives you more ground clearence in the center.

also eliminates the need for springs, shackles, etc which would save money.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #6
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sorry, already bought the axle and springs
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Old August 29th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #7
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sorry, already bought the axle and springs
That will be a nice build....just make sure you paint it to match my Jeep
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Old August 29th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #8
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That will be a nice build....just make sure you paint it to match my Jeep
nice, but wont happen. But you will be helping me build it!!
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Old August 29th, 2008, 10:20 AM   #9
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A couple observations re: off-road trailers:

1. Torsion suspensions are fine (kinda) for the road, but will invariably fail in off-road use because by their design they let debris into the housing, which destroys the rubber. They are also not easily field serviceable, and usually don't have provisions for shock absorbers. See the tech articles on adventuretrailers website for a more thorough discussion.

2. Derated 25" trailer springs work kinda OK. We built two trailers this summer, one finished and one nearly so, using TSC 3500lb springs with the two smaller leaves removed. This worked OK on the finished one, in terms of spring rate, for a 650lb chassis and 500lbs of gear. But the hardware worked itself lose repeatedly and would get squeaky when used over the course of a day on a 2-rated trail (~40-50 miles). The nylon "bushings" just aren't up to the task, either. After completing a 1400 mile test of the completed trailer design this past Friday-Monday, we will probably be cutting the trailer springs off to reinstall OME lift springs for a Samurai over the winter. The Sami springs are roughly 36", which will provide for a more gentle oscillation frequency that will work better with the sort of shocks that a trailer will want and the loads that it will see. NAPA lists a replacement shock for the military M-416/Bantam/Willys trailer that is a good match to most 1000-1200lb gvw off-road trailers.

3. Off-road trailers need shocks. Period. Their absence will beat your trailer's contents silly.

4. Having a dual-coupler design is nice. Mine runs a pintle, which gets a bit noisy at times, though the ring is removeable and I will eventually rig up a 2" coupler insert for on-road use. A 2" ball will kindasorta work, but limits the ability of the trailer to rotate in different directions than the tow vehicle. A Tregg or Lock-n-Roll coupler is preferable.

5. Expanded metal is NOT a good choice for flooring. Loose items will beat their way through the metal, especially if you spend time on washboard roads.

6. You NEED 3500lb hubs/bearings, even if your trailer won't weigh a fraction of 3500lbs. The smaller diameter 1000lb and 2000lb setups will fail much easier, and the increase in cost for the 3500 is negligible. The 1000lb axles will often shear off completely, leaving your hub, tire, bearings, and whatnot rolling away.




Are you planning on having a recovery point at the rear of the trailer chassis? What material are you planning for the frame?


Progress to date on mine: The frame is a box of 2x2x.25 square wall, the crossmembers are notched-to-fit .25" angle iron, and the side pieces are .25" flat stock. The rear two crossmembers are connected by a 2.5" square wall piece that serves as a rear receiver for recovery, accessories, etc., and the front tongue is 3x3x.188 that accepts an extendable tongue of 2.5x2.5x.25 (plus a few weld beads ground just enough to allow for a friction fit in the 3" tube), and a 2" lunnette ring inserted as the coupler. The 2.5" section is set for off-road use (84" from rear axle of vehicle to trailer axle) and for carrying my canoe (with tongue extended 3.5' longer). The body structure, which is not pictured here, is made of a number of salvaged bedframes, and all but a couple pieces of steel were free. And it has a tire carrier that places the spare vertically on the front tongue section, welded to the tongue, crossmember, and the body structure of the trailer itself

I have yet to add a water tank/pump, deep cycle battery, and hopefully a Technitop tent on top of the main body of the trailer.


Last edited by computeruser; August 30th, 2008 at 09:35 PM.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:51 AM   #10
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Is there anyway that I can get some better pictures of that trailer?
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 10:40 AM   #11
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It's covered up right now with tons of stuff that I had to get out of the way for our garage sale this weekend, but when it's uncovered I'll try to snap some.

My buddy may be looking to sell his, I'll let you know if he ends up doing so. Here's the best pic I have access to right now:
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:44 PM   #12
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finished welding the main frame together today. All the corners were cut on 45's for a cleaner look.



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Old September 3rd, 2008, 04:47 PM   #13
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looks nice, i like the round stock in the middle portion.

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Old September 3rd, 2008, 08:33 PM   #14
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Sweet, just the kind of thing I was looking for. I picked up what's apparently a civilian version of the old military trailers (has a tailgate, I was told that meant civvy) last weekend:



I've got 100s of ideas on what to do with it to make it a proper Jeep/travel trailer. Idea is to be able to use it to:
1. run to the hardware store/pick up Jeep parts/general hauling
2. pack for family camping and road trips with gear, bikes, eventually a couple kayaks maybe
3. Haul gear, tools, spare and parts to camp/trailhead for Jeep trips with my Scrambler.

This looks like the perfect thread to get even more ideas.

I was thinking the same thing as the one you posted that you're modeling yours after and use a set of Yakima/Thule bars for the variety of things I want to mount on the top. However I was thinking about doing a removable hard top that they'd mount on rather than just the open top like they have.

Mine also came with no shocks and no way to mount them. I was wondering where I could pick up a decent set of shocks.

Are you doing a spring under or over on yours? I was thinking of switching mine to spring over for fitting ~35" tires.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 08:39 PM   #15
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Mine, as you can see in the pictures will be a spring over axle. I really like the military style trailers!! But I wanted something custom that I built. But I am pretty sure this one will go up for sale when it is finished!!!
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 09:46 PM   #16
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Looks like you are off to a great start. May want to check out this site for some ideas.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...splay.php?f=42

Lots of good ideas on off road/expedition trailers there.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 05:49 AM   #17
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Looks like you are off to a great start. May want to check out this site for some ideas.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...splay.php?f=42

Lots of good ideas on off road/expedition trailers there.

Great link!!! Now I am re-thinking a few things
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Old September 4th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #18
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Great link!!! Now I am re-thinking a few things
Glad I could help, been doing a lot of reading on that site myself.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 07:44 AM   #19
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Sweet, just the kind of thing I was looking for. I picked up what's apparently a civilian version of the old military trailers (has a tailgate, I was told that meant civvy) last weekend:
Yep - that's a Bantam BT3-C, sold through Jeep dealers on the civilian market for 5-6 years after the war.

A few links:

Trailer Spotters Guide:
http://www.film.queensu.ca/Cj3b/Hubb...rs/Bantam.html

CJ3B page has one on the cover:
http://www.film.queensu.ca/cJ3B/

My Bantam rebuild (not technically a restore):
http://www.boyink.com/splaat/bantam-trailer/

Ric Meagleys - I sold him this trailer after buying it locally (had both of them behind my Jeep at once, but only ever got video of it..)

http://mightymo.org/bantam.html


Your Bantam is extremely original looking - don't do anything that can't be undone! ;)

For shocks - buy some early CJ5 spring plates with the pin, that will get you the axle end of the mount. For the uppers you'll either have to source a military part or fab something up out of square stock to fit into the frame rail.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 07:36 PM   #20
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Got some more acomplished tonight. I got the slide hitch welded in and got the spring perches and axle tack welded, and set some roller wheels on until I get a set of 33's to match my Jeep. Starting to look like a trailer!!



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