eatSleepWoof's '18 FSR trailer

Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
511
Location
Vernon, BC
I watched the video again and went to the website called out in the video arkportablepower.com, but they said they were out of stock. Looked a little closer and it was only the "Black Edition" that was "sold out". If you go to the 2nd page, there's the regular for $20 cheaper. There's some lighter duty models available too, that are cheaper. So I got one of the regular XO750s coming, too. The one listed on your website is $375....is that Canada price? I paid $279 and shipping was free.
Yup, $375 is CAD, which is pretty much exactly inline with current USD->CAD conversion. The best we can hope for, really. Normally there are a whole bunch of additional fees tacked on for products sold in Canada.

Kakadu Camping told me the same thing: black edition models out of stock. I got the normal, silver-coloured one.

Expecting to have my hands on both items this Sunday.
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2018
Messages
1
Location
Calgary, Alberta
The mods do add up real quick. So far I'm into (all prices CAD):
~$500 for spare wheel & tire
~$600 for custom aluminum work
~$200 for custom stainless work
~$180 for the basket
~$70 for tongue box
~$700 for the two front runner cross bars (getting these to Canada was stupidly expensive and not something I'd do again)
~$350 for electric drum brakes and wiring
~$25 for turnbuckles
~$40 for misc hardware

So nearly $2.7k CAD sunk into it already, not counting around ~$200 worth of hardware I already had on hand (80/20 materials, skateboard bearings, nuts/bolts/washers/etc).

For comparison, I could order a Smittybilt trailer kit for $10,273.99 CAD (plus taxes, possibly other costs). The Smitty comes with a lot more out of the box, and I think it's generally more useable, due to larger openings, pre-existing slides, already coming with the spare, tongue box, etc. But with the Smitty I'd lose the Timbren suspension, have to wait a few months (goodbye summer), and still have to buy a RTT on top of the price. Win some, lose some. If I were buying in mid winter, I'd probably have gone the Smitty route, but buying in the spring and having the FSR option in front of me, that was more appealing.
I've been following along your post as I'm in the throws of modifying a utility trailer into something I can take on backcountry excursions and always looking for new ideas.

It is my understanding the Smittybuilt Trailers were pulled from sale in Canada due to issues with meeting some CAN/CSA standards.
That may be B/S and they're just limited due to demand...not totally sure.

If you'll excuse the unsolicited advice, based on what I see in your pictures it is evident that you know your way around wood and cabinetry. Metal work isn't too far off, and what you've spent on 80/20 or having fab shops do for you, could have gone a good way into investing in metal fabrication.
I've had good luck with KMS Tools and I see they are in Kelowna.
I'd recommend looking at a Miller 215 - Multi process, will run on 110 or 220, and is about as plug-n-play as you get.
Even if you don't want to dive down the rabbit hole of metal fab just yet, you might be interested in taking a night course first to see if it something you want to dive into. Mig is pretty easy and the skills build fairly quick, if you are into it.
Just googling Welding classes in the Okanagan yields a few options.
It will honestly change how you look at designing and creating solutions not just for metal but your wood working projects too.
 
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
511
Location
Vernon, BC
I've been following along your post as I'm in the throws of modifying a utility trailer into something I can take on backcountry excursions and always looking for new ideas.

It is my understanding the Smittybuilt Trailers were pulled from sale in Canada due to issues with meeting some CAN/CSA standards.
That may be B/S and they're just limited due to demand...not totally sure.
Interesting. I haven't heard anything about this, and I do see the trailer is still available on 4wheelparts.ca. It's actually on a $1000-off discount (today only), so maybe they're blowing out existing stock?

If you'll excuse the unsolicited advice, based on what I see in your pictures it is evident that you know your way around wood and cabinetry. Metal work isn't too far off, and what you've spent on 80/20 or having fab shops do for you, could have gone a good way into investing in metal fabrication.
I've had good luck with KMS Tools and I see they are in Kelowna.
I'd recommend looking at a Miller 215 - Multi process, will run on 110 or 220, and is about as plug-n-play as you get.
Even if you don't want to dive down the rabbit hole of metal fab just yet, you might be interested in taking a night course first to see if it something you want to dive into. Mig is pretty easy and the skills build fairly quick, if you are into it.
Just googling Welding classes in the Okanagan yields a few options.
It will honestly change how you look at designing and creating solutions not just for metal but your wood working projects too.
Appreciate the advice, thank you!

Welding is 100% something I want to learn and invest into. I just don't have the time for it right now. Purchased a house last October and am still catching up on maintenance of things the previous owners neglected. Barely started any of the (needed) renovations. Trying to find a middle ground between working, house upkeep, and actually getting out and enjoying nature can be chaotic.

Welding classes and tools will definitely happen, just not immediately. I also very much want a hydraulic shop press and dies to bend metal. As well as a wood planer, jointer, and a few other goodies! Never enough tools.
 
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
511
Location
Vernon, BC
MaxCoupler:

In order to install the vehicle-side of the coupler on the tow bar, you need two large, (roughly 1.5") adjustable wrenches. I only had one, so I had to make do with a C-clamp acting as a wrench for the top nut. This was a pain, but I got it done. Ordered another adjustable wrench, and may re-do this when it arrives.

The coupler's instructions also call for 10 pumps of grease into the nipple. Grease gun & grease are also in the mail.

The horizontal spacing of the holes on the MaxCoupler lined up perfectly with the existing holes from the "normal" 2-inch-ball coupler. However, the vertical spacing is a little bit off, so as a result there is about a 2-3mm gap between the top part of the coupler, and the hitch. Don't think this makes any difference in terms of strength or safety, but still a bit of a bummer.

I had to get two longer mounting bolts since the metal in the MaxCoupler is thicker than in the original coupler, and as a result, the original bolts weren't long enough. I also had to relocate the attachment of the safety-chains, as they interfered with the new coupler.



XO750 Offroad Trailer Jockey Wheel:

This is one serious piece of hardware. It weighs 70lbs and is simply a monster. I wrangled it into place myself, but a second set of hands would have made life a lot easier. In typical Aussie fashion, it came with no installation instructions, (only maintenance notes) and it was a little tricky to figure out the orientation of the "clamping bar" through which the bolt protrudes, as well as the best bolt holes to use.

The wheels were also not attached, and came with four bearings that had to be pressed into the wheels.

Interestingly, my original Curt-brand jockey wheel had a similar (1600lb) weight rating. I can very confidently say there is zero comparison between the two products; they're in completely different leagues.





Initial impressions of both products are great. Heading out camping this coming weekend and will report after some real-life use.
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
SILVER Star
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
2,921
Location
Canyon City, OR
MaxCoupler:

In order to install the vehicle-side of the coupler on the tow bar, you need two large, (roughly 1.5") adjustable wrenches. I only had one, so I had to make do with a C-clamp acting as a wrench for the top nut. This was a pain, but I got it done. Ordered another adjustable wrench, and may re-do this when it arrives.

The coupler's instructions also call for 10 pumps of grease into the nipple. Grease gun & grease are also in the mail.

The horizontal spacing of the holes on the MaxCoupler lined up perfectly with the existing holes from the "normal" 2-inch-ball coupler. However, the vertical spacing is a little bit off, so as a result there is about a 2-3mm gap between the top part of the coupler, and the hitch. Don't think this makes any difference in terms of strength or safety, but still a bit of a bummer.

I had to get two longer mounting bolts since the metal in the MaxCoupler is thicker than in the original coupler, and as a result, the original bolts weren't long enough. I also had to relocate the attachment of the safety-chains, as they interfered with the new coupler.....
I forgot about the large size hardware until you mentioned it. That's weird about the vertical difference. I didn't have that, but I had to drill holes in my tongue. Is the tongue arm square? It should not have that 2-3mm gap. If it were me, I'd put some kind of a spacer in there. Like a steel plate to take up that gap. IMHO, you want no possible shifting of that coupler on your tongue - in any plane. The bolts were shipped with mine:
IMG_1129a.JPG


XO750 Offroad Trailer Jockey Wheel:

This is one serious piece of hardware. It weighs 70lbs and is simply a monster. I wrangled it into place myself, but a second set of hands would have made life a lot easier. In typical Aussie fashion, it came with no installation instructions, (only maintenance notes) and it was a little tricky to figure out the orientation of the "clamping bar" through which the bolt protrudes, as well as the best bolt holes to use.

The wheels were also not attached, and came with four bearings that had to be pressed into the wheels.

Interestingly, my original Curt-brand jockey wheel had a similar (1600lb) weight rating. I can very confidently say there is zero comparison between the two products; they're in completely different leagues.



Initial impressions of both products are great. Heading out camping this coming weekend and will report after some real-life use.
Mine should be here today. Did you need a press for the bearings?
 
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
511
Location
Vernon, BC
I forgot about the large size hardware until you mentioned it. That's weird about the vertical difference. I didn't have that, but I had to drill holes in my tongue. Is the tongue arm square? It should not have that 2-3mm gap. If it were me, I'd put some kind of a spacer in there. Like a steel plate to take up that gap. IMHO, you want no possible shifting of that coupler on your tongue - in any plane. The bolts were shipped with mine:
View attachment 2057102
Interesting. Perhaps my original coupler was not "standard" and its holes were higher than normal? I don't think there can be any shifting as it is, but spacers aren't a bad idea.

My MaxCoupler did not come with any hardware. In fact, the instructions sheet normally mentions "included hardware," but that part was blacked-out with a sharpie. Go figure...

Mine should be here today. Did you need a press for the bearings?
No press. One wheel accepted both bearings with only minimal convincing from a mallet. The second wheel... I invented an entirely new array of curse words by the time I got the first bearing in. It just wouldn't go in level from either side. After getting the first bearing in, the second one practically popped itself in.

In hindsight, a c-clamp, or a vice may have made life easier.
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
SILVER Star
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
2,921
Location
Canyon City, OR
Interesting. Perhaps my original coupler was not "standard" and its holes were higher than normal? I don't think there can be any shifting as it is, but spacers aren't a bad idea.

My MaxCoupler did not come with any hardware. In fact, the instructions sheet normally mentions "included hardware," but that part was blacked-out with a sharpie. Go figure...



No press. One wheel accepted both bearings with only minimal convincing from a mallet. The second wheel... I invented an entirely new array of curse words by the time I got the first bearing in. It just wouldn't go in level from either side. After getting the first bearing in, the second one practically popped itself in.

In hindsight, a c-clamp, or a vice may have made life easier.
First off, I'm beginning to supect your supplier is ripping you off. Did your MaxCoupler and XO750 come in their own box from the manufacturer? I got hardware & instuctions for the MaxCoupler and instructions for the XO750 and both came in a box from the maker, like I bought them off the shelf in a store. IIRC you got both from the same place.....anyway, I got the XO750 installed, with some self inflicted problems. If I would have read the instructions more carefully, they said if your tongue is more than 50mm wide, you need to get longer bolts. The pic in the instructions was showing which holes to use for 100mm, 130mm &150 mm and silly me, thinking square tongue. My tongue is roughly 65mm square. After fighting it I realized I needed to make a trip to the hdwe store. Can't wait to try it. I'm glad you posted you were interested in one. After checking it out, I knew one was in my trailer's future.
 
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
511
Location
Vernon, BC
First off, I'm beginning to supect your supplier is ripping you off. Did your MaxCoupler and XO750 come in their own box from the manufacturer? I got hardware & instuctions for the MaxCoupler and instructions for the XO750 and both came in a box from the maker, like I bought them off the shelf in a store. IIRC you got both from the same place.....anyway, I got the XO750 installed, with some self inflicted problems. If I would have read the instructions more carefully, they said if your tongue is more than 50mm wide, you need to get longer bolts. The pic in the instructions was showing which holes to use for 100mm, 130mm &150 mm and silly me, thinking square tongue. My tongue is roughly 65mm square. After fighting it I realized I needed to make a trip to the hdwe store. Can't wait to try it. I'm glad you posted you were interested in one. After checking it out, I knew one was in my trailer's future.
I've no reason to suspect "foul play" from the store I bought these from.

Both items did come with their own, correct boxes. The MaxCoupler had my overall receipt inside, so that box was opened, but it had no signs of having been permanently closed beforehand. The XO750 box was sealed with those white strips all around the circumference (no idea what they're called).

I just reached into my "trailer papers" folder to snap a pic of the only sheet of paper that came with the XO750, and realized that it's actually TWO sheets, which fold open. Instructions are inside! The sheets are just so tight together that I somehow missed the inner pages. Probably didn't help that I had a very long work day before I got to this last night. Totally my mistake though!

Also, the bolts that came with the XO750 were plenty long enough (see photos) to mount to my 2"-square tongue. 2" is 50.8mm, so I'd say that's close enough to the 50mm "limit."

I had to get longer bolts to mount the MaxCoupler, but the XO750 went on just fine with what came in the box.
 
Joined
May 18, 2017
Messages
511
Location
Vernon, BC
With winter nearly upon us, seasonal changes had to be made.

I removed the original mattress & the foam topper I had added, and installed 1"-thick, rigid foam insulation from Home Depot. This gives an insulation R-value of 5. I then added my Exped Magamat Duo LW on top for another R9 worth of insulation.



Then I added a new Teton Sports Fahrenheit -18C double-sized sleeping bag. This bag is very comfy, warm, and surprisingly cheap (around $170 CAD).



And then the 100% down comforter which we normally use went on top:



We camped with this setup last weekend and saw night lows of around -10C. We slept with the tent's door opening completely open (rolled up), two of the other windows completely open, and were still too warm and had to partially unzip the sleeping bag on both sides. Good stuff.

I also found a way to lower the firewood basket:







This give me a LOT more room, so that's a success.

I also picked up a Chinese diesel heater off eBay. $230 CAD shipped to my door in less than a week from the US. And I then started making holes in my tongue box:



The unit is reasonably well made and assembled, but the one concern I found was that underneath the metal cover, the gas tank was not in any way secured to the rest of the unit. I wrapped a few cam-buckle straps around the tank and the rest of the unit in order to minimize movements of the tank.



The base of the unit is held down with a single M8 bolt (could only access enough empty room for this single bolt), and then a ratchet strap overtop. It's very solid:



I installed an aluminium blast gate for the output port:



The blast gate allows me to close the hole while in transport:





The exhaust and fresh air intake are both at the bottom of the heater, so down they went:



The exhaust desperately needs a muffler (it's on the way) because that's the single loudest source of noise.

The air intake then went back up into the tongue box:



Quick test while connected to my tiny 20ah lawnmower battery:



I tested the heater out a fair number of times and it works well, although the above-mentioned battery dies after only 50 minutes of use (from a full charge). The heater should only draw around an amp of current once it's warmed up and operating, meaning that ~10ah of useable battery charge should have lasted a LOT longer. I suspect my battery is old and worn out.

I'll be taking ownership of a friend's two group 35 batteries (also used) this weekend, and will use them for powering the trailer's toys. Don't yet know where I'll fit/mount them, but I'll figure something out.
 
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