Camping trailer build thread
Posted 06 September 2016 - 01:38 PM
I consider any form of remote-controlled photography device to be unethical except if used purely for research in aid of conservation, and i don't drink coffee.
@Soukous, the plans can be made available for a nominal fee. The more nominal the fee, the more mistakes i will leave un-corrected.
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Posted 16 September 2016 - 03:29 PM
The braking system is now complete and seems to be functioning correctly.
This photo gives an idea of how far the suspension can be adjusted, and thus in theory, how uneven a camp-ground you can potentially "level":
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Posted 16 September 2016 - 04:19 PM
That's quite an incline! How easy is it to adjust the suspension so it's level and easiest to drive?
Posted 16 September 2016 - 08:34 PM
What I was wondering about, are the driving-characteristics influenced when it's not level? If so, how do you get it easily to exactly being level? It might not make a difference however when it's just off as the wheels will both be flat on the ground, not like in this picture.
Posted 17 September 2016 - 07:22 AM
@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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Posted 05 October 2016 - 12:40 PM
~ @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.
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Posted 05 October 2016 - 03:30 PM
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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Posted 08 October 2016 - 11:21 AM
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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There's none so blind as those who will not see.
Posted 08 October 2016 - 02:54 PM
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 27 November 2016 - 03:56 AM
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.
The roof of the trailer. I built the primary body upside down as the roof was the largest flat section.
Some stiffening and bulkheads added.
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.
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.
Right hand side.
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, 27 November 2016 - 04:11 AM.
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Posted 27 November 2016 - 04:17 PM
Another busy weekend, Peter?! As your trailer is starting to get final shape, it looks better and better!
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Posted 08 December 2016 - 06:52 PM
220v power points (these will only be active if the trailer is plugged into an AC supply):
12V DC power points:
All three drawers open:
Kitchen worktop and washbasin (note the location of the taps, hot and cold):
Geyser and power control panel:
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:
Sti;ll a lot of work to do, but from now on the results will be less visible.
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Posted 08 December 2016 - 08:53 PM
Hi Peter, trailer looks better each post! Did you gave it a name already??
Posted 18 December 2016 - 04:33 PM
The trailer itself is done.
@KaliCA, these last two are just for you: In the first, the geyser is visible mounted to the cupboard door:
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.
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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Posted 18 December 2016 - 05:16 PM
Congrats and have fun on the 26th!
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The best way to a man's heart is through the fourth and fifth rib