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Thread: For no good reason. Expedition Trailer Build.

  1. #1
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    Default For no good reason. Expedition Trailer Build.

    Well for no good reason I got bored and said since I don't know how to weld, I think I am gonna build a trailer or at least try to.

    So after about 100 idea different changes and re-draws I finally designed a trailer look I was happy with. But yet it changes every time I work on it.

    To start out with I wanted this to be a dual purpose trailer, flat bed with a detachable Expo. box. The idea of being to put the Expo box on and go or have a flat bed for just junk made it more practical at least in my mind. End goal is to be able to carry extra fuel, water, camping gear and whatever is needed for an up coming 7-10 day trip into Northern Maine.

    The better set of drawings:
    Flat bed with fenders.jpg

    Flat bed with fenders1.jpg

    Two different designs for the Expo. box. I think I am goign to go with the flat top slightly bowed to create water run off. Plan is it have a rack on the top of the trailer for the roof top tent.

    Body1.jpg

    Frame with body and fenders.jpg

    All these drawings actually well after the start of the project but now to some real photos.

    Started with a brand new Millermatic 211 (really a great machine to learn with), Milwaukee Porta-Ban, and some other tools I picked up to help make the build a little easier.

    I made two steel runs and am due for a third.
    First was for just the frame

    3"x2" 3/16 square tubing very heavy but I want this trailer to be able to handle a beating.
    IMG_3932.jpg

    2nd steel order was a little more planned out.
    IMG_4127.jpg


    After a whole lot of Re-Do's and back and forth from jumping the gun, I stopped screwing around and start moving forward.

    Spring mounts picked up at the local Tractor supply
    IMG_4013.jpg

    Now I did not have my axle or springs yet but I knew what the measurements were so I went ahead and mounted the spring hangers.

    IMG_4015.jpg

  2. #2
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    Axle showed up so here was the moment of truth
    Rockwell american made 3500 lb axle and springs

    IMG_4046.jpg

    IMG_4048.jpg

    IMG_4047.jpg

    First snag was the axle was supposed to of had 5x5 hubs to match my Jk lug pattern, the vendor dropped the ball and shipped it with 5x4.5 I knew I was goign to have to run spacers regardless to match the width of the Jeep axle so I just got adapters in the width of the spacers.

    Installed, tight fit but actually came out perfect. Now lets just hope it pulls straight going down the road. The Duratracs are actually off of my JK this was before my Guard Dog tires were delivered.

    frame with 2 tires.jpg

    So I had to move into a much smaller and more cramped work space with no heat a limited lighting. Got some ventilation rigged up and started back to work. Got what will later be a small storage compartment framed up but this will be changed later. Got the first part of the tongue tacked in place.

    IMG_4161.jpg

    Mounted up the 315/70/17 Treadwright Guard Dogs on Level 8 Tracker wheels.
    Wheels and tires.jpg
    Last edited by mblue; 02-24-2015 at 20:46.

  3. #3
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    Built the tongue will require some cutting of already installed metal but this was a design change mid stream.
    Hitch.jpg

    My wife caught me working.
    IMG_4253.jpg

    I know not the best place to weld in a wooden storage shed but you have to work with what ya got, I had multiple fire suppression methods in place.
    W1.jpg

    Tongue welded in I chose to go with a Pintle hitch to allow for more movement off road road. i did look at the lock and roll hitch but I can only imagine the nightmare that would cause tring to back a trailer up on the trail.
    IMG_4286.jpg

    First test pull and photo op.
    IMG_4287.jpg

    IMG_4288.jpg

    IMG_4289.jpg

    Test drive went great, trailer tracks true, it is bouncy as heck with no load and the heavy rate springs I think I might add some shocks later.

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    So with a few failed attempts at the Expo. Box I think I am goign to seek some professional help thus far it has been just me learning as I go. With the help of Youtube.
    This was a really good start to a bad box build. The box is framed up with 3"x1.5" Square tubing 1/8 wall thickness. I learned about transfer and warping building this. Frame has been cut up and scrapped the sheet metal was never welded it was just clamped.

    IMG_4339.jpg

    So the idea on Expo. box was to mock the older style military trailers. That is still the plan just going to have each side bent out of one sheet rather than trying to weld the sheet metal together. (Lesson learned)

    Mock up of one side
    IMG_4128.jpg

    This is the ideal look: Flared sides, liftable lid with a rack, except of course the box will be removable.
    54d2jn.jpg


    So until I can get to a shop with a more skilled person than myself I am back to working on the frame, The tender supports are 3"x1.5" 1/8 wall square tubing the fenders will be 16 gauge.

    IMG_4397.jpg

    Counter sank the tail lights this is not at all the way I planed them to go but they came out ok. Originally I wanted them in the fenders but I think they are better all the way in the rear.
    Attachment 67720

    Attachment 67721

    3/16 thick deck plate should hold up to the abuse.


    Attachment 67722

    IMG_4396.jpg

    Getting this thing flipped over by myself was a job, definitely drop tested it.
    IMG_4425.jpg

    Yes that is snow starting to form on the ground, Joys of not having a shop to work in.

    I did get a few plugs welded in the ends of the tubing, I was very happy with how these came out.
    IMG_4366.jpg

    IMG_4367.jpg

    IMG_4368.jpg

    IMG_4370.jpg

    IMG_4371.jpg
    Last edited by mblue; 02-24-2015 at 21:32.

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    These two pockets will be the storage areas I spoke of earlier. will have flush mounted lid and drain plugs. Being only 3" deep it is not goign to hold much I really should have made it deeper but it will work good enough.
    IMG_4437.jpg


    And I would really like to say the project has not gone stale but it has. Work schedule picked up been in and out. Then finally had a chance for some real time off, I took 23 days of leave went back to work for 3 days and then took another 14 days of leave. in this time I got nothing done primarily because the trailer has been buried under a wall of snow. Would have been a great time to get some work done but weather would not allow it.

    Well I did get tired of doing nothing, dug out the trailer over about a day and a half, re-mounted the axle, wheels and tires and winched it out, plan was to take it to the shop about get the fenders built and start on the Expo. box. But the same day I winched this out I got into an accident, was pissed used 4wd when I knew better than to and and set off a grenade in the front differential in mu JK.
    IMG_4669[1].jpg

    Well it looks as if the trailer will handle off road articulation pretty well. Video is low on the action side and pretty boring to be honest but this is the most I have been able to do with my project in over a month so it was fun for me.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLpJ9dbO4zg

    Hopefully I make it to the shop tomorrow and get the metal bent for the fenders. I did frame them up a little but have not done any welding with them.
    Last edited by mblue; 02-24-2015 at 21:22.

  6. #6
    Member warthog_cj7's Avatar
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    Ya should have put plywood or something under the tongue when pulling across the snow so not dig in so much, but was pretty funny to watch.

    3/16" thick tubing is plenty thick enough, should have no issues there.

    In earlier post you said about being able to seperate the box from top of trailer. Might want to built some kind of cross rails under the box to sit on the trailer. That way you have a low means of lifting the box and supporting while driving out from underneath.

    Looks like a good design for the base of trailer. Just curious on the tire width, were you keeping kind so spare would work on rig/trailer? Looks like you have plenty of width on the trailer, why not go with a 9.50 width tire to reduce some weight (as you got plenty in the steel dept).
    Dan M.

    '85 CJ-7, 4.0L,T18,4.10s,35s,Fully locked,winch,cage

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    Well I have a third matching wheel and tire for the trailer as a spare. I have yet to determine a mounting location for it. I was thinking a swing out tire carrier would be cool. I just wanted matching size tires so the trailer would sit level. But running one of these tires on the Jeep would be a last resort one being they are re-treads and two they took over one pound of weight per tire to ballance. They will work great as trailer tires as they will not see a lot of highway use. Also to be honest weight reduction has not really been a concern the trailer is heavy but nothing crazy. I tried to strap a section of plywood to the tongue to keep it from digging but it did not work so well and I needed the trailer moved.

    Good suggestion on the cross rails idea, the plan was to use a cherry picker and just pop the lid and lift but what you mentioned might be better.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    Very cool project. Reminds me I have touched my trailer "speedy" in about a year. uploadfromtaptalk1425439279306.jpg

  9. #9
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Cool build up. Thanks for the photos

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    Senior Member jeepdreamer's Avatar
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    I'm almost embarrassed I have done nothing with this in so long. So many other projects needing attention right now.

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