eatSleepWoof gets a 6x12 (2 Viewers)

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Trailer is a 2017 Mirage 6x12, enclosed cargo trailer with a single axle.

It tracks beautifully on the highway, but bounced like mad on anything other than perfect pavement. We took it camping the day after buying it, and with weight inside all bouncing disappeared altogether - it was fantastic both on and off the pavement. It's also a perfect-fit (in terms of size) for my LX, in that I can see around/behind it with original mirrors, and my LX covers the majority of the trailer's front-face, which will improve fuel economy and accessibility on trails. Our campsite was 1.5hours into a forest service road, and after lowering the tire pressure to 28PSI, the trailer behaved wonderfully.

First time camping, basically an empty box on wheels:

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Build plans:
  • Flooring: re-mount with bolts (vs screws), waterproof, insulate, vinyl plank flooring
  • Walls: re-mount with bolts/rivets, waterproof, insulate
  • Ceiling: remove, seal top with Herculiner (waterproof, eliminate noise from rain drops), re-mount with bolts, insulate
  • Suspension: convert spring-under to spring-over for an immediate 5-6” lift; keep original axle, wheels/tires
  • Sleeping: two 32x84” bunks one over the other lengthwise, one 32x72” bunk widthwise; top lengthwise bunk will likely lift straight up to use lower bunk as seating area during the day
  • Kitchen: 180L fresh water, on-demand propane water heater, sink, dual-zone/2-door fridge, propane hookup for camping stove, water filter pre-tank, separate water pump and lines to fill onboard tank from lake/river/water can
  • Heating: 2kw diesel heater
  • Cooling: two roof-mounted fans
  • Passenger side wall, exterior: 10x8’ RV-style awning, 2’x7’ drop-down work/kitchen table, hot/cold water for table, lighting, propane hookup for camping stove
  • Driver side wall, exterior: hot/cold water for shower, possibly exterior container to house diesel heater (if I choose to not put it inside)
  • Rear wall, exterior: three vertical airline tracks, spare tire(s) mounted, possibly bike mounts above the spare tires
  • Front wall, exterior: two 30lb propane tanks, extra storage above
  • Interior: door window, two wall windows, plenty of dimmable lighting, 200-350ah of batteries, all the storage that I can cram in, likely tongue & groove panelling for walls and ceiling
  • Charging: DC to DC charger from vehicle; probably no solar at this point
  • Other: extend tongue, replace coupler with a removable, slide-in option (for some extra theft protection), clean up minor surface rust, possibly sand-blast and powder coat some of the existing hardware, frame-in and insulate rear wall/doors
Majority of the parts have already been ordered.

Started off by putting on 8" wheels, which allowed me to fit the trailer in the garage with 1/4" of clearance to spare.

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Doubled-up the floors by adding another layer of 1/2" plywood, and sealing all joints.

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Framed-in the first of two 30x24 windows:

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Applied several layers of Herculiner on the roof.

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Also replaced every single screw on the exterior of the trailer with either through-bolts (with nylocks inside) or stainless, 3/16" rivets. At the same time applied sealant between every overlapping siding panel, into every single hardware hole, etc.

Installed an 8x10 awning:

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Installed a 24"x80"x1/4" aluminium table:

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The window, the awning, and the table are mounted into 1x1" steel studs which I welded in place where/as necessary. Every piece of these components is either bolted (stainless M6) or riveted (stainless 1/4") in place. All hardware components are stainless, every bolt has blue threadlock, and every single hole received sealant before the bolt/rivet went in.

That's it for now. Tons more work to come.
 
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80t0ylc

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  • Suspension: convert spring-under to spring-over for an immediate 5-6” lift; keep original axle, wheels/tires

Started off by putting on 8" wheels, which allowed me to fit the trailer in the garage with 1/4" of clearance to spare.
Nice project, but when you do the spring-over isn't that going to keep it out of the garage? :hmm:
Also, I got a good laugh at the 1st pic with 8" wheels, it looked hilarious...o_O
 
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Nice project, but when you do the spring-over isn't that going to keep it out of the garage? :hmm:
Also, I got a good laugh at the 1st pic with 8" wheels, it looked hilarious...o_O
Yes, won't be able to fit into the garage at that point. But I also need to install a few vents in the roof, and no matter how much they protrude, they'll be high enough to not fit the trailer in the garage. So at that point, might as well lift it!

This will be the very last thing I do, after absolutely everything else is finished. Probably (hopefully?) this coming spring.
 
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GW Nugget

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Thanks for the share.
I did a 6x12 for years, it worked great till that one time we had 4 people & 2 dogs... it was time to move on.
 
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Thanks for the share.
I did a 6x12 for years, it worked great till that one time we had 4 people & 2 dogs... it was time to move on.
Hah, yeah, that's probably pushing it. Just us (two adults) and a German Shepherd for now, but I anticipate being able to fit one or two small kids. Down the line we'll definitely be moving to a larger travel trailer, but we're not quite there yet.
 
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Made some good headway on the rear storage system.

Took apart the trim on both of the rear barn doors and discovered that the doors are only solid around the perimeter. Each door has two large, rectangular empty spaces inside. I filled these with plywood, then sealed everything imaginable with silicone, and buttoned the doors back up.

The piece in the middle is what I added (two of these in each door):

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I removed the original locking hardware because it was in the way of my plans, and started figuring out how to seal the door in place permanently. Even with the original bar lock, half the door seal (all around the perimeter) showed air gaps, which simply wouldn't do. I added a second (inner) rubber seal, then 1/8" butyl tape all around the perimeter, then added some temporary D-rings inside the door and used ratchet straps to pull each door in.

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I then secured each door in place (to the trailer frame) with several dozen stainless 3/16" rivets. The doors have an incredibly tight fit now (how it should be).

I bolted-in three 4ft pieces of airline track on the exterior of the doors, and started work on the steel storage/rack.

Before getting this trailer I had never held a welder in my life. Learning as I go, and my welds are getting noticeably better...

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But even so, I ground-down every weld I could access:

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This is the end result, with the spare-tire carrier bolted in:

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The passenger side of this rack is where I will mount a plastic case with my diesel heater. The rack itself will be getting sandblasted and powdercoated.
 
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Rear rack is back from powdercoating.

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Also installed a RV door lock that's beefier than any lock in my home.

Recessed the strike plate into the frame:

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Used a 1/2" plywood spacer, which will be replaced when I do interior siding down the line.

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One lock/key for the paddle latch, another for the deadbolt.

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e9999

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nice work!
So when you bolt stuff to the walls on the outside, like the tables, do you put some backing plates or frame inside or is it just the aluminum skin holding it?

(never liked these handle locks, always thinking that somebody could put a lock on it while you're inside, as a prank. Or worse. But at least you have the windows to get out through.)
 
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nice work!
So when you bolt stuff to the walls on the outside, like the tables, do you put some backing plates or frame inside or is it just the aluminum skin holding it?

(never liked these handle locks, always thinking that somebody could put a lock on it while you're inside, as a prank. Or worse. But at least you have the windows to get out through.)
I’ve welded in steel 1x1 tubing (to the original studs) for every component that bolts through the wall. Everything is solid!

And yes, I have the same fear about the original lock; I’ve got ideas on how to deal with that at a later time. Won’t be getting locked in by anyone!
 

80t0ylc

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(never liked these handle locks, always thinking that somebody could put a lock on it while you're inside, as a prank. Or worse. But at least you have the windows to get out through.)
Look at the "handle lock" closely. It's easy to prevent what you're describing as a prank. When the handle is in the open position, take your padlock and lock it as if the handle was closed. Voila...prank proof. Personally, I like this kind of "handle lock" for both security and confidence that the door remains closed while on the road, regardless how bumpy it is. The style is very common in the trucking industry.
 
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Look at the "handle lock" closely. It's easy to prevent what you're describing as a prank. When the handle is in the open position, take your padlock and lock it as if the handle was closed. Voila...prank proof. Personally, I like this kind of "handle lock" for both security and confidence that the door remains closed while on the road, regardless how bumpy it is. The style is very common in the trucking industry.
It’s a bit more complicated. Even with a lock in place, the long handle can still “catch” on the rear of the locking handle (especially with a puck lock, like the one I’m using). I’ll come up with a way to “lock out” the handle when it’s open.
 

e9999

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yes, even if you put a padlock yourself at the intended spot with the handle open, it'd be pretty easy for somebody to tie the long handle to that very padlock with any number of things like baling wire, a shackle, etc before they hotwire your truck... Not fun!
With your system you could just make the hinge pins removable and take the bar and handle completely off when planning to sleep inside. Would take 10 secs.
 
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yes, even if you put a padlock yourself at the intended spot with the handle open, it'd be pretty easy for somebody to tie the long handle to that very padlock with any number of things like baling wire, a shackle, etc before they hotwire your truck... Not fun!
With your system you could just make the hinge pins removable and take the bar and handle completely off when planning to sleep inside. Would take 10 secs.
Right, but...

The hinge pins are very large, very stainless rivets; the last thing I want to do is have to drill them out. I also want the bar to be "fixed" in open position, so it can be used as a grab handle. I plan to figure out a way to lock it in place in the open position - likely with the very same pad lock that I would take off the locking mechanism when opening the door.
 
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This is exactly what I've been considering for my next project! Following. And, if you have any links for the various add-ons, any/all would be appreciated
 
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This is exactly what I've been considering for my next project! Following. And, if you have any links for the various add-ons, any/all would be appreciated
I do have a running list of all parts/components used, but it's already massive, and honestly I don't really want to make it public at this point. Let me know what parts interest you and I'll share the links for them!
 
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I've finished my diesel heater install and tried it out today. Ran it for about 2hrs, it had no problem keeping the trailer at +17C while it was +2C outside, and this is with no insulation.

I decided to mount the heater in the exterior case to keep both fuel and combustion outside the living quarters. This should be the safer option (vs. mounting the heater inside), and it's a pretty clean end result.

This is a 2kw, Vevor-branded Chinese diesel heater mounted in a plastic hard-case. I've added a 60mm 12v fan on the intake side of things to push fresh air to the combustion air intake, and I will (later) add another, identical fan on the opposite side to keep air moving, and to also suck out any potential exhaust leaks.

Everything is bolted together with stainless hardware, and all exterior-protruding hardware is sealed with sillicone. I opened up the heater and bolted the case to those L-brackets before assembling it all back together. Pushing on the heater shakes the entire trailer; it's as solid as it gets.

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Top: air intake (this is the air that gets heated and sent into the trailer.)

Bottom: 12v fan, sucking fresh air in for combustion purposes.

At some point I will add overhanging "covers" for both openings, to prevent rain water intrusion.

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- Power distribution bars (to neatly power the heater and fans).
- Exhaust covered in exhaust wrap and sent into a "through-hull" fitting.
- Diesel tank's movements are prevented by the two, metal L-brackets, and it's further strapped down by those two ski straps.
- Fuel pump mounted at the correct (30-35 degree) angle.
- Wiring neatly tucked away.

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I used 2" sewer ducting and fittings to route hot air into the trailer. Great fit for the 60mm heater output, and easy to source at all local stores. I initially wanted to use metal fittings, but it then occurred to me that the heater casing is plastic, as are the fittings it comes with, so there shouldn't be any risk of any plastic melting. No issues in the few hours I ran the heater at max power, so I don't anticipate any issues down the line, either.

I'm waiting for a new exhaust hose to arrive, and will pair it with a muffler for the final install. The exterior exhaust will also be physically secured to the plastic case.

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My only regret is running all three wires (power, ground, controller) separately. Laying in bed after making this install it occurred to me that it would have been better to use some 3/4" liquid-tight electrical conduit and to run all three wires inside it in one go. Oh well, live and learn.

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The inside has this fitting, which is threaded for that same 2" sewer pipe. I can easily route this output to wherever I want. This (rear) interior wall will be getting framed out, insulated, etc., so this fitting will not be visible.

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A difference I have thought about is keeping the barn door rear accessible, having a galley that folds to the side for transport available from the rear doors, with a batwing style 270* awning to keep the weather off the galley.

Do you have any plans for a kitchen/galley/eating or food prep area?
 
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A difference I have thought about is keeping the barn door rear accessible, having a galley that folds to the side for transport available from the rear doors, with a batwing style 270* awning to keep the weather off the galley.

Do you have any plans for a kitchen/galley/eating or food prep area?
Yeah, that's a popular layout with these types of conversions.

I will have the main kitchen inside - at the front of the trailer. I also plan to route a propane line (and water, too) to the exterior side table, so that area can be used as an outdoor kitchen.
 
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Spent most of the weekend working on the inner rear wall...

I wasn't planning on sound-deadening anything but the roof, but changed my mind at the last second and decided to deaden the rear wall to as to minimize sound from the (already pretty quiet) heater.

Applied sound deadener on the rear wall and up to the first stud on both sides, plus (whatever I had left) on the roof:

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Stuffed fibreglass insulation (R12) into the cavity above the door, plus on each side. Then covered everything with a layer of 3mm mass loaded vinyl (more sound deadening), and covered it all with rigid, 1" insulation (R5).

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Then the fun really began. Framed out the rear wall with 2x4s, filled it in with the same fibreglass (R12) insulation, and covered it with a vapour barrier. Sprayed fire retardant around the heating pipe, and also sprayed the gaps between every stud and paneling, around the window, door frame, ceiling studs, etc.

Most of the rear wall is now covered with R17 worth of insulation, and R24 in a few spots (top and sides). Pretty sure that's better insulated than my home.

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Finished installing noise deadening on the roof, and installed the remaining pieces on the larger flat areas of the inner walls. Also decided to use the left-over MLV on the rear wall section closest to the heater; it's not really needed, but I had no other use for the MLV and didn't want it collecting dust.

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Installed 1x6 tongue & groove pine on the rear wall. Other walls and ceiling will eventually get the same treatment.

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