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-   -   My overpriced cheap trailer build (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f118/my-overpriced-cheap-trailer-build-97343.html)

monkeee2002 06-08-2011 08:49 PM

My overpriced cheap trailer build
 
I happened to get my hands on an enclosed trailer cheap. Really cheap.
REALLY cheap = needs work:
New wood. All of the wood was rotting.
New trailer tongue (it looks like it was welded on in the 40's by a toddler)
New axle - antique. It had backwards-threads on one side. Apparently an old Chrysler thing?
New springs - rusted through & broken springs
New lights & wiring

I didn't realize how bad off it was when I bought it. Initially I thought I could just slap new lumber & paint on it, and be good. But every time I looked at it, I found something else wrong, lol!
Here's what I started with:
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...1beginning.jpg

Here’s a look at it partially disassembled.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...sassembled.jpg
The tires that came with it were cracked and probably WWII era tires. I planned to use my Jeep tires on it anyway- I run 1 set for summer, 1 set for winter, so I always have 5 sitting around.
I found that the axle & springs were pretty done in, so I ordered up a new axle & springs.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...leafspring.jpg
And the tongue was plain ugly. Crappy welds – everything was welded- a funky antique looking hitch, and a nut welded to the frame with threaded stock running thru that for a jack. The rebar welded to the end for a handle bent when I tried to raise the jack. Here’s a pic of the original tongue

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...uglytongue.jpg
My trailer was initially expected to be a simple rebuild: New wood, tires, fresh paint, then get rollin’. WRONG.


Once I got near the “rebuilding” stage, I started to rethink the idea of building it back into what it was before. I started thinking about tonneau covers, rather than a fully enclosed box.
My original thought was to build an open utility trailer, then build an enclosure that I could bolt into it fairly easily. This meant much more lumber and hardware. Build an open-topped box, then build another enclosed box. Then attach the two. I don’t know what I was thinking! :doh:
My biggest reasons for doing this were:
1) I wanted the option of having an open trailer for hauling junk, bikes, etc.
2) I wanted an enclosed trailer for keeping my camping gear relatively clean & dry
3) I wanted to build a mounting system, so I could store my doors inside the trailer, and still tow it without worrying about my doors getting scratched up.

I decided the “box-in-a-box” idea was a bit overboard for my needs.
The metal rails are about 22” tall. I figured I needed 36” to be able to stand up my Jeep doors inside if I put any kind of a top on it.
If I made it tall enough to protect my half doors when they’re off, I wouldn’t be able to reach over the sides to retrieve anything. So, the door mount thing is on hold. I may build a platform to stow them in the trailer laying flat & stacked, but I dunno yet.
I decided to buy a tonneau cover for a full size pickup (my trailer is 4x8) and just slap that on, build a simple fold-down tailgate, and call it good. I found a nice tonneau cover (nice = CHEAP) called black magic, made by Extang. Easy assembly, the top snaps to a rail, which would be great for my trailer – I could open any corner I wanted, without having to open the whole thing.

From start to finish, I changed my trailer design about 5 times. Remaking it into what it was originally would have been hard on my Jeep. Towing a brick with a brick would probably take my gas mileage down to single digits!
I settled on a simple 4x8 open trailer, sides are about 24”. As a bonus, it seems that (in Oregon) light, open trailers don’t need to be licensed. :D
Here is the new tongue being welded in.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...nnewtongue.jpg

Here it is with the axle in, and the frame all painted up. I went with Rustoleum Bedliner for the frame & fenders.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...intedframe.jpg

Once I got the frame painted I started obsessing on the trailer, and neglected to take pictures until it was pretty much finished.
I decided to rattle can the whole thing, that way touch-ups would be easy. I went with camouflage colors, tan & OD Green.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...almostdone.jpg

I used the OEM spare tire mount from my Jeep, and 2 of the 5 rubber bumper thingys for the spare as well.
Inside I thought it would be nice to have a clean smooth floor now & then. We had some plastic paneling left over from a bathroom remodel, so I cut one of those to size. I can slide it out when I haul anything messy. The front edge slides under a 2x4, and the tailgate has a 2x4 that closes in over it, so it won’t ever fly out while driving.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...ss/7inside.jpg

I’m actually very close to finishing it up now. I’m just waiting for some paint to dry so I can put on my tailgate lock and the fenders.
I bought a bar lock setup from realworktrucks.com I know it’s overkill, but I’ll never worry about it coming open!

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a2...ck-ih611ld.jpg

I was able to use quite a bit of lumber that I already had: oak planks for the sub-floor, ” particle board over that, the plastic panel over that, I had ” plywood for the sides, and nearly of the 2x4’s that I needed. This was very fortunate, since my “cheap & easy trailer build” still came to a price tag of $825, including the initial cost. And with that, I still need to pick up a tonneau cover. They start at just over $200.

I figure it’s worth it though. At this point it’s a practically brand new trailer-and built REDNECK tough! :thumb:

I'll post up pics of the tailgate when I get that finished up. Let me know what y'all think! :popcorn:

Wrangler06 06-08-2011 08:56 PM

awesome work! looks like a brand new trailer lol i love those wheels are they American racing?

monkeee2002 06-08-2011 09:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrangler06 (Post 1292096)
awesome work! looks like a brand new trailer lol i love those wheels are they American racing?

Thanks! They're Ultra wheels, I think they're called 050/051's. They're taking the summer off, while the Jeep is sportin' soft 8's :)

Wrangler06 06-08-2011 09:07 PM

id ask how much you wanted for them if you didnt live across the entire country lol

monkeee2002 06-08-2011 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrangler06 (Post 1292137)
id ask how much you wanted for them if you didnt live across the entire country lol

Heh, funny you say that.
I wasn't planning on selling it, but I'm thinking of building one or two more next summer, and seeing what I can get out of them.:thumb:

Wrangler06 06-09-2011 01:09 AM

not the trailer..the wheels hahaha but the trailer is nice too ;] just doubt my 4 banger would enjoy pullin it around lol

JeeperJake 06-11-2011 10:59 PM

nice write up!!!

With that kind of experience you'll be ready to buff out one of my Bantams soon!!!

topher38 06-11-2011 11:02 PM

looks real good man.
you did a good job


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