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-   -   Project: Ultimate offroad lightweight camper (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/project-ultimate-offroad-lightweight-camper-265130.html)

OkieOutlaw 08-24-2013 09:59 PM

Project: Ultimate offroad lightweight camper
 
I am now retired and my wife is not too far behind. I recently sold the big popup camper that slept six with all the comforts. The camper I had in mind first and foremost was not to exceed the TJ's very limited towing capabilities. I learned a lot during a conversation here about factory tow packages(as I thought at the time my Jeep had). During that conversation I posted an idea of using a pickup bed trailer with a camper shell and posted a couple pics of the trailer but didn't get much response. Here is a pic of the rig when I bought it at the salvage yard for 150.00 cash in hand.http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/2288/tlgg.jpg
You will notice that most are only left hand shots. Right side looks much worse at first. Next picture is after a little camo work.http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/5503/qvv1.jpg
The bed looked kinda rough too. (It was originally built to be a trash trailer for a local farmer)http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/4527/l0x6.jpg
I now think it is almost done except for the roof rack and mounting solar panel and a/c.http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/4159/56n4.jpg The interior also looks a little better now. I even took her on about a 50 mile round trip to a spot on the lake to break her in right in celebration of completion. The little wagon pulls like a dream at highway speeds and down rough country roads with no problem once you get used to the sounds and feelings of a receiver type hitch again. Tongue weight is negligible as the trailer want to sit back on rear bumper(even with two cases of bottle water and a big box of canned goods stuffed under bunk and just in front of axle.http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/515/aopp.jpg

I can provide tons more pics and details on the project if anyone has interest.:punk:

Verf 08-24-2013 10:09 PM

Nice and affordable! I like it!

UnlimitedLJ04 08-24-2013 10:12 PM

doesn't look lightweight at all....a 3/4 ton truck frame, axle and bed are pretty heavy.

jsuggs 08-24-2013 11:02 PM

I like it. I have been thinking of doing the same with a M101 trailer if I can find one around here.

OkieOutlaw 08-24-2013 11:10 PM

Yes, but way below the two thousand lb. towing capacity. The 3/4 ton stuff is to handle the terrain.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 (Post 4116993)
doesn't look lightweight at all....a 3/4 ton truck frame, axle and bed are pretty heavy.


UnlimitedLJ04 08-25-2013 05:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OkieOutlaw (Post 4117179)
Yes, but way below the two thousand lb. towing capacity. The 3/4 ton stuff is to handle the terrain.

but you don't need the pumpkin or gear set for terrain....you also don't have brakes.....the frame is way beefier than necessary.... there's a crap load of unnecessary & unused weight there, so I wouldn't call it lightweight at all.

FWIW, custom built trailer axles w/ electric brakes that weigh a whole bunch less aren't expensive.


here's the trailer I built...

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...r/DSC_0362.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...ps82d8a905.jpg

It probably weighs half that truck bed trailer when empty, but still has a 3500lb axle with 10" electric drum brakes. Plus it uses the same bolt pattern and tire size as my Jeep. Even the towing limit of 2000lbs is a damn heavy trailer, for a Jeep.

OkieOutlaw 08-25-2013 01:01 PM

I really like the looks of that setup you have. I also have a custom built flatbed trailer a lot like the one you have pictured. My 12' flat bottom boat is on it now. I agree that a smaller pickup (perhaps compact ie. Toyota, Datsun, Nissan) may have been more appropriate for the project but none were available at the time ( Unfortunately salvaging wrecked pickups to convert to trailers is not a booming business nor is attaching a camper shell to these homebuilt trailers is also not very lucrative.) I simply chose that platform as it was readily available. I have a grand total of 165.00 tied up in this rig as it sits right now(Not counting the camo paint.) The small wooden box on the left side of the bed houses two 12 volt batteries that are both solar charged or can be used with a small electric battery charger to keep power on so the 5,000 watt genny doesn't have to be started at all unless running the a/c.
The battery charger that I have actually uses 1.2 amps of battery draw to produce 6 amps of charge. Completely powered by the batteries themselves. I agree the trailer could be lighter but it seems to pull very good as it is. My initial goal with this project was to build a nice two person camper that can be used for hunting or fishing as we both enjoy these activities. I figure I can park this rig close to an active game trail as I sit inside sipping a fresh brewed cup of coffee watching a movie on the DVD as I wait for some unsuspecting critter to stand around trying to figure out what it is actually looking at.:thumb:http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/7144/w3ai.jpg


Quote:

Originally Posted by UnlimitedLJ04 (Post 4117488)
but you don't need the pumpkin or gear set for terrain....you also don't have brakes.....the frame is way beefier than necessary.... there's a crap load of unnecessary & unused weight there, so I wouldn't call it lightweight at all.

FWIW, custom built trailer axles w/ electric brakes that weigh a whole bunch less aren't expensive.


here's the trailer I built...

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...r/DSC_0362.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...ps82d8a905.jpg

It probably weighs half that truck bed trailer when empty, but still has a 3500lb axle with 10" electric drum brakes. Plus it uses the same bolt pattern and tire size as my Jeep. Even the towing limit of 2000lbs is a damn heavy trailer, for a Jeep.


Notoriously_rob 08-25-2013 01:07 PM

As long as it does what you want it to do and are happy than who cares what it looks like, weighs, does, etc etc, lol. I like the camo though!!!!

Im a bit prissy and cant stem the camping thing. I would rent a log cabin lol.

Just dont get the jeep stuck or you will be permenantly camping ;)

OkieOutlaw 08-25-2013 01:19 PM

That's where the two cases of drinking water and the box full of canned goods falls into play. I figure I can survive a couple of weeks just with the supplies as they are not counting what I can kill in the woods., and look at all the money I am saving in log cabin rentals. LOL. If you can actually consider it camping. I have almost all the comforts of home in this thing.

thubub 08-25-2013 01:21 PM

Great use of what you got. Nice job

Holton345 08-25-2013 01:35 PM

Excellent job, man.

:thumb:

OkieOutlaw 08-25-2013 05:02 PM

And yeah Unlimited I had already made my mind up to drop the 3/4 ton third member and maybe a spring or two and fabricate my own axle. I am fortunate enough to have a rather large metal building specialty shop that sells anything and everything a farmer could want and a nephew that is a senior in high school who has been taking welding and fabrication for the last three years to build it for me. Welding = FREE.
Fabrication=Free. as I already have all the shop tools. Due to farm tax # =NO TAX.
Might even be able to sell off the old third member. But right now I don't have the money or even the tires and wheels it would require. Social Security =SUCKS.

UnlimitedLJ04 08-25-2013 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OkieOutlaw (Post 4119100)
And yeah Unlimited I had already made my mind up to drop the 3/4 ton third member and maybe a spring or two and fabricate my own axle. I am fortunate enough to have a rather large metal building specialty shop that sells anything and everything a farmer could want and a nephew that is a senior in high school who has been taking welding and fabrication for the last three years to build it for me. Welding = FREE.
Fabrication=Free. as I already have all the shop tools. Due to farm tax # =NO TAX.
Might even be able to sell off the old third member. But right now I don't have the money or even the tires and wheels it would require. Social Security =SUCKS.

what year is that truck bed/frame? that truck probably used a Sterling 10.25.....it's not a third member axle....

you're best bet is to sell the axle as a whole, and buy a new Dexter trailer axle. They're only around $200-250 for a 3500lbs version with brakes & grease-able bearings, delivered to a local Dexter dealer. Give them your desired spring perch to spring perch width and WMS to WMS dimensions and it'll show up ready to bolt in.

OkieOutlaw 08-26-2013 04:57 PM

Thanks for all the kind replies guys. The wife and I are extremely happy with how it has turned out so far. As far as the negative comments by one person that obviously has no idea of how hard it is for a disabled vet to just cough up money anytime its needed or wanted. We took her out just before sundown at one of my favorite hunting places ( A whole 3 miles from my house.) While she set up her video camera, I got my rifle out of the Jeep in case we saw a coyote or possibly a wild hog, and hung the camo nets to further break up outline.. She did get a short video of a doe and fawn at around 50 yards and they never knew we were there. I snapped a couple of pics just for here, but if we were actually doing it I probably would have hidden the rig in all the tall vegetation in the left hand side of pics. The next is of our view out the back on this mile long stretch of pipeline.http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/7379/v8xw.jpghttp://img703.imageshack.us/img703/1374/9gne.jpg

RevCo666 08-26-2013 05:42 PM

Congrats OkieOutlaw... Looks good, hopefully you can get alot of enjoyment out of it. Sorry if I spooked ya about the weight, I was just concerned that scenario could of turned into a nightmare. Atleast I was wrong :)

OkieOutlaw 08-26-2013 08:46 PM

I plan on having it weighed the next time we go to TX. Maybe that huge truck stop will let me use the scales to weigh the rig just to see what it weighs now. I still have a generator and 5 gal. gas and maybe the same in water. All that will be on the hitchpacker off the rear bumper though. Still add to Gross weight though. I figure it weighs between a thousand and maybe 1200 lbs just as she sits.

sduncan 08-26-2013 10:22 PM

Cool idea for what you want to use it for. One day you'll swap the axle out and the weight saved can go towards more goodies inside the trailer..until then have fun with it.. but be careful with the braking and such.

OkieOutlaw 08-27-2013 12:24 PM

Thanks guys. Probably 98% of our camping/hunting will be done within 5 miles of our farm. We have lived in this area for the last 36 years that we have been married. I usually manage to fill at least one chest type freezer with fresh catfish fillets from the Red River as well as another chest type freezer in the barn that usually stays full of venison/wild hog, and we also usually butcher a beef for the freezer as well. Needless to say we don't have to purchase much meat from the store at all. I usually supply fish or something to our church or the local fire dept. (All volunteer) to help them raise money or some other good cause. The actual location of our farm was the main reason for its purchase. I live directly adjacent to an 8,000 + acre public hunting area with the Red River right through the middle of it.

UnlimitedLJ04 08-27-2013 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OkieOutlaw (Post 4122790)
As far as the negative comments by one person that obviously has no idea of how hard it is for a disabled vet to just cough up money anytime its needed or wanted.

I assume you're talking about me. Similarly to your comment, you have no idea what my background is, what I do, how much I have into my trailer, or how hard it is for me to cough up money.

You advertised your trailer as lightweight based on the thread title. I disagreed with the statement that it's lightweight, because in fact it's heavy and has a significant amount of unused weight.

That was a technical discussion. Now you try bring in some sort of bleeding heart sympathy or personal attack? that's pretty disrespectful, don't you think?

RevCo666 08-27-2013 02:13 PM

Common' lets drop the negativaty and move on.


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