DIY Trailer Build

  • Thread starter DownUnda80
  • Start date
  • Watchers 1
DownUnda80

DownUnda80

Joined
Oct 27, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Australia
Hey all, thought I might share my most current and pressing project with you.. updating it's progress here might even spur me to get it finished!

The wife and I gave some pretty serious consideration to purchasing a TrackAbout Explorer camper trailer last year, but in the end came to the conclusion that spending $40k+ (AUD) on a camper trailer was a little out of our budget! (Somewhat devastated, fantastic trailers and an even better lot of blokes building them! But I digress..)

So, as with most things I set about building something that would meet the basic needs of our camping trips:
1. somewhat lightweight.
2. off-road, hard-trail capable
3. quick to set up for camp
4. storage space for all of our junk!
5. ability to expand for future family additions

Easy right?

So, I previously had a Nissan D22 Navara (Frontier in the USA), and had a couple of wrecks laying around doing nothing. The plan was to build a chassis underneath a spare D22 tub, and have the chassis utilise the basic dimensions of the D22's chassis.

So I started with a bit of 3mm steel plate:
1636353138909

And a few lengths of 100mmx50mmx3mm RHS and 10mm plate:
1636353191660

Made my own basic bender to use in the press (did a surprisingly good job despite breaking the press a couple of times!)
1636353375346

Used the plasma cutter and bender to make up some fishplates for the chassis to tie it all together:
1636353231692

1636353466123


...
 
DownUnda80

DownUnda80

Joined
Oct 27, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Australia
Next up made some forward spring mounts.
1636353556319


Originally it was going to be D22 springs under the trailer, but I was able to source some factory Ford Ranger springs which are significantly longer than the D22 items, which should provide a slightly better ride. I utilised the D22 rear mounts and shackles, after a bit of testing it proved to be a much easier fit, and the longer ranger shackles didn't make enough of an appreciable difference in travel and spring rate to warrant the extra work involved in making mounts. Don't judge my levels, its not about the size..
1636353749185

Some reinforcement for the front of the drawbar around the mounting plate and safety-chain attachment points. I used a combination of string-line, laser level and the good old-fashioned eye-chrometer to get things as straight as I could:
1636353867660

I'm using an Airbag Man airbag kit for a D22 between the springs and chassis a) to make carrying variable loads easier and more importantly b) making levelling at camp easier!
1636354063997

Shocks too of course, some Outback Armour adjustable I had here:
1636354108644

(yes, there is a crush tube through the chassis!)

....
 
DownUnda80

DownUnda80

Joined
Oct 27, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Australia
Safety chain attachment points welded to the Drawbar.
These are an 8tonne kit for a heavy trailer/truck connection. Yes, substantial overkill for this trailer!
Welding is permitted (and very popular) here on trailers up to 3500kg, however having had to replace many worn-out and damaged safety chains over the years, I hate having to re-weld new ones on! And having a pin and split pin is sooo much easier when (hopefully never) it comes time to do that.
All of that, and having seen the failure of some trailer couplings/chassis/safety chains over the years in my job, I like to err on the side of over-kill.
1636354158854


Some recovery points for the rear of the trailer.
1636354411164

And a tray built for the front portion. Probably will act as a place to throw dirty stuff for a while, eventually I want to put an alloy canopy here to mount the 60L Engel in, and store some things in a more more waterproof way.
1636354444447

1636354530391

Starting to get there!
1636354566908
 
DownUnda80

DownUnda80

Joined
Oct 27, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Australia
Got a handbrake sorted (service brakes will be electric - I hate over-run systems!).
Using the Cruisemaster DO35 hitch, it seems to have become the industry standard for off-road hitches here, keen to see how it goes!
Used 2x D22 handbrake cables that I modified to operate the trailer park brake. Not a requirement for registration here, but very handy for parking at camp!
1636354622664

1636354731303


Went to make a number-plate light mount on the tub, found heaps of filler.. oh well. More filler over the top of it won't matter!
1636354796050


That is pretty much where we are up to. Nearly time for some paint!
Then in theory, it will be a matter of sorting out the electrical, doing a soft install of the RTT and some basic kitchen needs and off for registration!

I'm sure that won't take long.... right? :p
 
DownUnda80

DownUnda80

Joined
Oct 27, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Australia
Bit more progress, fully sealed and painted chassis. Done in an etch primer then black raptor laid on thick.

1636969408610

1636969446617

1636969470063


Also primed up the old Nav tub after a bit of sanding. Nothing fancy here, minimal prep work. Got another less bashed up tub laying about that might end up on it instead at some point, but this one will do for now.
1636969494731


Underside of the tray also done in raptor.. this area is likely to cop a few stone hits so hopefully this stuff will withstand it better than regular paint!
1636969687066
 
DownUnda80

DownUnda80

Joined
Oct 27, 2021
Messages
8
Location
Australia
Well, I've been busy and the trailer is painted and assembled. There will be some additions to it in the future, but I am happy with the base product and can proceed to registration (as soon as I get the electric brake output on the cruiser working....hmmm)

Will be interesting to see how it tows, but I can jack-knife it in combination with Ollie and still have plenty of room. Probably won't be turning around on any hard trails with it, but for the beaches and dirt roads it should be perfect!

IMG 6512


IMG 6509
 

Similar threads

Drake2
Replies
3
Views
209
Drake2
Drake2
H
Replies
3
Views
237
ntsqd
ntsqd
70 FJ40
Replies
6
Views
451
titanpat57
titanpat57
iptman
Replies
51
Views
2K
iptman

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom