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Old 05-13-2017, 08:43 AM
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Looking for advice/thoughts on a trailer build

A friend of mine has a full fab shop in his garage and I am going over this weekend to go over plans for my tent trailer. I am designing this to mount the Smittybilt Overland XL rooftop tent, so it will be 78" in length. I have a couple drawings from google sketchup (great program by the way for free drafting) and was hoping for some ideas/criticisms from you guys. I'm hoping to do the majority of this over a couple weekends with my buddy.
Overland XL tent:

Here is the basic design less fenders. It is going to be 2*2 square tubing for the main structure. The separate tent rack you see in this pic has since been tweaked. The idea is the tent rack can sit right on top of the trailer which will be a little bit under 4 feet off the ground. I am going to add a detachable step to one side of the trailer, so that when the tent is setup at "low level" the dogs can climb right up into the tent from the side that is flush with the side of the trailer.

The reason the tent rack is a separate component is I want to be able to lift it about 2.5-3 feet above the height of the trailer for when I don't have the dogs. The reason for this is 2 fold, 1 so I can attach an annex/awnings, and 2 is to get us a little farther away from some animals. It is, afterall, a rooftop tent. Because the trailer is only 22" thick including the frame, and I need approximately 42" uprights, I have decided to have the 4 uprights as seperate components. I will slide them in from the top and affix them with clevis pins, and then use a 30" RV scissor jack (which are rated for like 7500lbs) to lift the 150lb tent. This also allows me to fold out the tent at ground level, and jack it up after setting it up.

I am planning on using a 2200lb 48" torsion axle from ultra-tow. It's about 170 shipped, plust 50 or so for hubs. I don't know if I am going to just buy some cheap steelies and A/Ts for tires, or bother to get hub adapters to match the JK wheels yet. It may be cheaper to just buy 3 wheels and tires.

Here are some additional drawings of the blue prints. I'm really interested in thoughts before I commit to it.

Base of the trailer:

Notice I am giving myself a foot of width for the fenders. This should be adequate, right?

Here is the tongue design:

I am going to go about 12" under the frame with the A-frame, and use a piece of receiver tubing for the center. This way I can do an adjustable length tongue. Initially I'll probably just set it up for a receiver hitch and ball, and eventually build or invest in a multi-axis receiver.

Here is the "top" of the trailer. There will be 18" 2x2 uprights between the bottom and top section:

The 2X2 center beam is to accommodate the scissor jack which will sit in the space between the tent rack and the top. Notice on the corners I have 2X2 square tube for the telescoping uprights. I've been told that I may need to order special telescoping square stock that already has the flashing removed.

And here is the tent rack

Again I am using the telescoping tubing here. The smittbilty overlander XL has the rack mounts running the long way, so they'll clamp to the horizontal bars. This is 1.5" square tubuing. I'll be mounting a plate with about 1"of offset on top of those center 2 supports, this will allow the jack to be tucked between the top and this rack.

This is the basic concept I'm going for

Here is a rough 3d rendering of the fender design. I am going to tweak it a little bit, and also make the back section square rather than angled.

I am reliant on my buddy and his busy schedule to get this built, but otherwise I'm ready to go. I haven't designed the side doors (will go in the forward portion of the trailer) or tailgate yet.

Initially I just want to get it built for my camping trips this summer. Ultimately I plan to add a water tank and pump, battery, and some other stuff.

Tear it apart, give me suggestions, etc.


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Old 05-13-2017, 08:54 AM   #2
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Friend of mine just did something very similar. Google Seven Slot Syndicate and he has a very good write-up on his site.

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Old 05-13-2017, 09:03 AM
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Thanks, I'll take a look. ETA: wow, that's a really nice clean build

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Old 05-17-2017, 08:13 PM
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Just thought I'd throw some updated drawings up:

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Old 05-21-2017, 10:34 AM   #5
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Great looking build, cant wait to see the finished setup.
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:15 PM
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Me neither... still waiting on my buddy to order the stuff haha.


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Me: 2016 Mojave JKUR -- still owned by the bank!
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Old Yesterday, 07:41 PM   #7
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That's going to be one hell of a trailer! I have an m416 that needs some work, seeing this makes me want to sell her and do this exact same thing lol... keep us posted

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