Plans for the Elusive $1k Off-road Trailer

TeCKis300

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Most of the box is together. Sikaflex and rivet construction and it's boxing in nicely with good structure. We're taking an exoskeleton approach to be able to have frame members to bolt accessories to from the outside. Still needs top frame laid in make with 2" angle, and that should complete the box. Then onto the upper rack for the RTT.

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MrMikeyG

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Looking good. I haven't had to source marine plywood in a while, I hope it's not gone up the same percentage as construction grade stuff.
 

TeCKis300

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It's crunch time. Buddy is wanting to shake down the trailer on a short trip in a couple weekends. It's not going to be 100% with accessories, but the core stuff will be there and she'll tow. :cool:

Box is done! Sika, riveted, and sealed from the elements. Next big step is to build the upper rack to support the RTT. We've got 1.5" steel tubing and brackets on hand. A few hours should have us knock that out.

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TeCKis300

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Done. At least all the major structures and trailer legalities (license plate, taillights, and fender flaps) are done. Sent her on her way to her new home this morning and my buddy is elated. From a campfire discussion to reality. He really didn't think a trailer was attainable.

We're about $1500 all in, so we've missed a bit, but we did add in some little extras in the core like 18gallon water tank, 3500lb axle with matching Nissan wheels. Core stuff is all there. Still needs the crossbars added to the deck to support an open gear platform. Then of course, the sky's and budget can easily be stretched further accessorizing. The RTT he bought from a friend is ~$1k retail alone and not included as part of the build cost.

Running 15 PSI in the tires. The original HF spring pack was taken down from 3 to 2 leafs for compliance. Depending on how much weight he puts accessorizing and loading, we may need to put the leaf back. Following it down the road, it's tracking great with solid stability. Honestly the RTT is higher than I recommended but it's the height he wants it at for the annex. As an engineer, I'm always concerned with overall balance and trailer rollovers, and it's COG is likely higher than ideal. Once he gets water and gear in, with the wide track width and proper low tire pressure for compliance, I trust it'll do great off-road.

I had to try it on for size on my own rig.
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Behind it's intended partner.
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Houston TX
Looking good.

On the boxes, I think I understand you chopped them up in order to make your own size/shape/door locations.

I think you have one box at the back, opening as a tailgate, then maybe one big space with small door on each side? So you sort of reach to the side to get stuff inside behind the wheel?

My trailer is just a big tub that opens from the top, which quickly becomes a mess after a week of camping, but not even being able to see in, I would lose things immediately.

Or maybe I misunderstood.
 

TeCKis300

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Looking good.

On the boxes, I think I understand you chopped them up in order to make your own size/shape/door locations.

I think you have one box at the back, opening as a tailgate, then maybe one big space with small door on each side? So you sort of reach to the side to get stuff inside behind the wheel?

My trailer is just a big tub that opens from the top, which quickly becomes a mess after a week of camping, but not even being able to see in, I would lose things immediately.

Or maybe I misunderstood.

Had 3x truck boxes total. One large at the rear, and 2x smaller at each forward corner. Cut the backs out of them and re-used the metal to bridge the open center.

Buddy uses plastic storage bins to organize and keep stuff inside, It's easy enough to reach and pull them out. Could get fancier with drawers and more sophisticated organizers, but it's working for him well, and is lightweight.

No fenders?

Didn't have enough time for fenders so we did the bare legal minimum and used rubber floor mats for mud flaps. He hasn't added them yet, but would be a nice table top and step space to reach the RTT. As well as safety against launching rocks. He has worn highway tires on the trailer at the moment so not as much concern about it picking up rocks just yet.
 

TeCKis300

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Caught up with my buddy for a weekend of camping. He's absolutely loving the setup. Modest but functional. More than functional as it's just easy and satisfying to setup and use. It's so lightweight, a single person can move and rotate this thing around by hand. Or get out of a goat trail.

He's got 1200 miles on it and 9 nights. Couldn't be happier. Sure, there's always upgrades and "better", but at its core, can't really beat the simplicity and effectiveness of this setup.

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