Peter Connan

Camping trailer build thread

88 posts in this topic

@@egilio, I have not tested it at such an extreme angle (as I don't think it is in any way relevant), but small mis-adjustment doesn't seem to make any noticeable difference to the characteristics.

 

Larger diffences will probably cause the trailer to "crab" somewhat, which will probably have an impact on tire wear and fuel consumption.

 

However, there is an inherent design feature which makes it pretty easy to see the level also the correct ride height (which is easily adjusted by either increasing or decreasing the pressure in the springs).

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~ @@Peter Connan

 

The illustrative images are stellar.

Really and truly fine.

The tight focus on the subject with blurred background bokeh is as good as it gets.

Quite apart from the mechanical engineering sophistication, the photographs entrance me.

Thank you so much for posting these.

Tom K.

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Thanks @@Tom Kellie

 

Two weekends ago I filled the tanks and we went and did the local 4x4 trail. It is known as quite a tough trail, and I have seen some supposedly very capable vehicles struggling with some sections.

 

Th trailer managed every single obstacle, although not without some damage. But I guess that's the point of testing. The biggest damage is that I managed to bend the steps which will eventually be used to access the tent.

 

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Nice Peter. You certainly haven't taken any shortcuts and have gone the extra mile with off road capability and strength. Hydraulic brakes is an extra and independent suspension are interesting options.

 

I have to say that I have gone full circle with safari trailers, camper vans, extreme 4x4s and now I use a bushlapa Boskriek trailer van. Game warden published a bit on my vehicle build, which I have since discovered was a little overkill in some instances.

 

My problem was my influence from my radical 4x4 Jeeps with big off road tyres and raised suspension etc and trying to incorporate it into a touring camper vehicle or trailer. Truth be said - you don't need the fat tyres with heavy thread. I even took the aggressive tread oversized tyres off for the trip to Niassa last year because we had about 9000km to do most of which was good tar, some bad tar and a bit of dirt, with only a few sections slightly technical.

 

I have just come back from a month in Zimbabwe doing 7500km - also most was good tar, but the most gruelling dirt roads asked some big questions of both vehicle and trailer. One the trailer fell in a ditch damaging the water tank, which I fixed with plastic steal (its still holding) and we had one puncture, but plugged it without having to remove the wheel. The worst damage was a troop of baboons trashed our camp - bending our awning, and an elephant smashed my back windscreen and bent my tent poles. Other than that the vehicle and trailer held out pretty well on some rough roads.

 

We are off to Zambia in March - this one I won't take a trailer, but the isuzu pickup that I have converted, and travel a little lighter. (that means leaving my wife at home) ;-)

 

Great build - keep the photos coming.

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Thank you @@Bugs

 

I fully agree that aggressively treaded tires are unneccesary in a trailer. But don't be fooled by the tires seen in the photos above, those are just the only two wheels I had lying around at the time (being my car's spare wheel and an additinal spare which has not been used much due to a sidewall patch).

Diameter is far more important. Also, I rather like the idea of haevy-duty sidewalls, particularly on a trailer, as it doesn't follow the car exactly.

 

Unfortunately, tires with strong sidewalls only seem to come in fairly aggressive tread patterns. Also, I would eventually like to have exactly the same tires on the trailer as are on the car, since 1) it makes exchanging wheels a lot simpler and 2) I could then rotate through 8 rather than 5 wheels, and thus not end up having to throw away tires with half their tread left just because thay have long expired...

 

I have now found dedicated wheels for the trailer, so the car can get 'it's spare wheel back.

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Posted (edited)

In any such project, it often seems as if one works and works and works and nothing happens, then all at once a lot of progress becomes visible, only for the cycle to be repeated again.

 

For the body I chose glass fibre. Primarily for lightness, but it has advantages in other areas too. It is relatively easy to repair, does not require expensive machinery to work with and lends itself to easy modification.

 

However, normally one would have to make a mould, which is a lot of work for a lazy bugger like me.

 

In fact, I am so lazy, I found an alternative. I found a company making flat glass fibre sheeting, gell coated on one side. I decided to use this as both the mould and the outside of the body at the same time. Effectively, I cut it into the shapes I wanted, riveted it together using Aluminium angle strips and a few steel sections in the high-load areas, then added extra glass fibre on the inside surfaces or where extra strength is required.

 

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The roof of the trailer. I built the primary body upside down as the roof was the largest flat section.

 

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Some stiffening and bulkheads added.

 

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On the trailer. this is the rear view. A table clips onto the rear light guards, and can be stowed in a big drawer under the tail of the trailer. This table has a hole in for a washbasin.

 

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Left-hand side, first cupboard doors attached. The bracket on the rear door will have two taps attached (hot and cold), in close proximity to the washbasin, and the gap behind the wheel will house the battery and gas bottle.

 

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Right hand side.

 

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Right-hand side with kitchen and fridge sliders extended. To the kitchen drawer will be added three extra drawers of different sizes, in which will be stored all (or at least most) of the cutlery, crockery and eating utensils, as well as the spices.

 

The doors, which are all steel, are hopefully being painted this weekend by a friend who does panelbeating for additional income (my painting is terrible), and in the mean time I am busy doing the electrical system, which is quite complex.

 

At the heart of this is an HCdP Mk5 power panel, which has a AC, DC and solar chargers/controllers built-in, and has outputs for AC (only if there is an AC source connected), and DC, with dedicated circuits for fridge, pump, lights and sockets., and 5V USB outlets for phone chargers etc. All these are properly secured with re-settable fuses and earth leakage for the AC circuits.

 

All I have to do is lay some wiring.

Edited by Peter Connan
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Another busy weekend, Peter?! As your trailer is starting to get final shape, it looks better and better!

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Thanks @@xelas. Busy indeed!

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More progress:

 

220v power points (these will only be active if the trailer is plugged into an AC supply):

post-24763-0-44400200-1481222733_thumb.jpg

 

12V DC power points:

post-24763-0-13393600-1481222750_thumb.jpg

 

Kitchen slider:

post-24763-0-11186400-1481222769_thumb.jpg

 

All three drawers open:

post-24763-0-70969600-1481222787_thumb.jpg

 

Kitchen worktop and washbasin (note the location of the taps, hot and cold):

post-24763-0-53926600-1481222804_thumb.jpg

 

Geyser and power control panel:

post-24763-0-09230600-1481222820_thumb.jpg

This power panel can charge the battery from the car, from 220V AC or from a solar panel, and contains all the power distribution circuits, including switches, fuses and circuit breakers as required.

 

And the rear box now in place:

post-24763-0-19853000-1481222839_thumb.jpg

 

post-24763-0-74818700-1481222855_thumb.jpg

 

Sti;ll a lot of work to do, but from now on the results will be less visible.

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Hi Peter, trailer looks better each post! Did you gave it a name already??

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@@xelas, I am still waiting for your input. I know you will come up with somethin great!

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Finished!

 

The trailer itself is done.

 

post-24763-0-68818400-1482077984_thumb.jpg

 

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@@KaliCA, these last two are just for you: In the first, the geyser is visible mounted to the cupboard door:

post-24763-0-35405300-1482078346_thumb.jpg

 

And here, just underneath, are two taps (hot and cold). These are intended to drive the shower, although of course the taps at the wash-basin can also be used for that.

post-24763-0-39637600-1482078376_thumb.jpg

 

Now, my friend @@xelas needs to come up with a good name quickly, as we are taking it for it's first camping trip on the 26th.

 

I still need to build a tent (or have a tent built) to attach to the side of the tent and coverthe kitchen and washing areas.

 

And then the modifications can start! Well you didn't think something like this is ever truly finished, did you?

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post-49296-0-58539200-1482081015_thumb.jpg




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Congrats and have fun on the 26th!

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I am honoured to be asked to name the newest addition to @@Peter Connan family. I am assured it will add to the joys of this extraordinary friendly folks so my suggestion is "Precious".

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Thank you all very much.

 

@@Tom Kellie, a hand-written christmass card no less! Thank you.

 

@@Patty, thank you very much for your kind wishes.

 

@@xelas, thank you for that excellent suggestion. Just in case i can pronounce it correctly, what is the Slovenian translation?

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@@Peter Connan

 

Slovenian word is most probably very tough to be pronounced :) . Below are translations/meaning of Precious in slovenian:

 

Dragocen - very valuable

Veliko pomeniti komu - very valuable to someone

 

 

What leads me to this name?

 

1. Precious - for something that will allow your family to spent more quality time together travelling

2. Precious - for something that a lot of handwork and knowledge was invested in

3. Precious - for its technical aspects

4. Precious - for this word can be spoken in a very soft voice, and soft voice is what we associates with you

 

As an adjective in Slovenian language this word can be used n both masculine and feminine form; I am using it in a feminine form because women are the strongest ones, and the reliable ones, and you want your trailer to be both.

 

I would love to see the word hand-written by @@Tom Kellie with his now famous Montblanc fountain pen! Then you can scan it and make a long sticker for the lateral sides.

 

 

Of course, only a humble suggestion.

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Congratulations Peter, a job well done! As a man without any practical talents whatsoever I am thoroughly impressed. But ... Precious? Call it "my preciouss" then? Have the two of you never read Lord of the Rings? :-)

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Posted (edited)

@@Peter Connan

 

Slovenian word is most probably very tough to be pronounced :) . Below are translations/meaning of Precious in slovenian:

 

Dragocen - very valuable

Veliko pomeniti komu - very valuable to someone

 

 

What leads me to this name?

 

1. Precious - for something that will allow your family to spent more quality time together travelling

2. Precious - for something that a lot of handwork and knowledge was invested in

3. Precious - for its technical aspects

4. Precious - for this word can be spoken in a very soft voice, and soft voice is what we associates with you

 

As an adjective in Slovenian language this word can be used n both masculine and feminine form; I am using it in a feminine form because women are the strongest ones, and the reliable ones, and you want your trailer to be both.

 

I would love to see the word hand-written by @@Tom Kellie with his now famous Montblanc fountain pen! Then you can scan it and make a long sticker for the lateral sides.

 

 

Of course, only a humble suggestion.

 

@@xelas, it is common here for people to name their vehicles in one of the local languages. It is also common for that name to be one of the local wildlife.

 

On the one hand, I like the idea, but using Slovenian would "add a whole new dimension". And as for the second, there are too many animal names already. If it were, it would have to be a bird, probably either a Bee-eater or a Kingfisher.

But Dragocen (Google has taught me how to pronounce it, hopefully correctly) is so much better, for three reasons: 1) I like your reasoning, 2) I like the sound and 3) Only those let into the secret would understand.

So obviously I need to get ministerial permission from the minister of home affairs, but assuming that she will like it (or at least not object too strongly), how about it @@Tom Kellie, are you prepared to assist with your Montblanc and your wonderful handwriting?

Edited by Peter Connan
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But Dragocen (Google has taught me how to pronounce it, hopefully correctly) is so much better, for three reasons: 1) I like your reasoning, 2) I like the sound and 3) Only those let into the secret would understand.

So obviously I need to get ministerial permission from the minister of home affairs, but assuming that she will like it (or at least not object too strongly), how about it @@Tom Kellie, are you prepared to assist with your Montblanc and your wonderful handwriting?

 

~ @@Peter Connan

 

Dragocen”?

Printed or cursive?

Large or small?

Tom K.

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@@Tom Kellie, printed, definately!

 

As for size, I already know where I want to put it. The space is 650mm long and 110mm high.

 

And as I am sitting here on my porch, getting ready to leave for work for the last week of the year, I am hearing both Diederick's and Red-chested Cuckoo, in among the turtle doves, laughing doves, crested Barbet and Bulbuls.

 

Africa's a tough country!

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And as I am sitting here on my porch, getting ready to leave for work for the last week of the year, I am hearing both Diederick's and Red-chested Cuckoo, in among the turtle doves, laughing doves, crested Barbet and Bulbuls.

 

~ And a partridge in a pear tree?

Tom K.

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@@Tom Kellie, pear trees are scarce in my neighborhood, but i hope there is one somewhere!

 

Ministerial permission has been granted.

 

Tom, i think you need to write it at a normal size, then photograph it at best resolution 0(if there is some file sharing service that is not blocked where you live), and we will enlarge it suitably from there.

 

If you try to write it too large, the lines could end up very thin?

 

Thank you and @@xelas very much.

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Posted (edited)

@@Peter Connan , I would suggest you to use the feminine versions i.e. Dragocena . Because when you will address your trailer somewhere in the middle of nowhere, you should be gentle to it, same as you would be to a woman.

 

And this word has then two "parts" Drago + cena And first part many of local will understand. Which is not a bad thing.

 

If going for the bird name, and again using an exotic language like Slovenian, my suggestion is "Vodomec" = Kingfisher

Edited by xelas
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@michale-ibk

 

 

Of course I am aware of LOTR. But I do not associate the word with "my precious" and Gollum. Maybe with the ring itself, and how it send Frodo on his fantastic journeys through the Third World.

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