Convertible box trailer

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Convertible box trailer

Postby ScottH » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:32 am

Hi all,

I'm looking for ideas, tips and/or suggestions for a convertible box trailer that can pull double duty for both camping and general household duties. I only have space for one trailer, and I regularly need to hire a box trailer for hauling gear home from Bunnings, landscape supplies, etc. The Financial Controller has agreed to buying a trailer for household duties, but I want to be able to use it as a camper trailer eventually as well.

The budget will not stretch to buying a camper top for it immediately, so the plan is to buy the right base, use it with our current tent set up. When the budget improves, I'll buy a camper top and pass the tent setup onto someone else. Even then, I'll still need to be able to pull the top off and revert back to a box trailer when required.

So far I have the following requirements:
7x4 or 7x5 high-sided box trailer
1500-1800mm long draw bar
Toolbox on draw bar
Swing out tailgate (which side??)
Spare mounted either on tailgate or vertically on draw bar
Infill panels either side of guards suitable for later mounting of gas bottles, jerry cans, etc.

Anything else I should be looking at in the basic trailer?

I'm drawing up plans to build my own tailgate kitchen which will be removeable, but I'm struggling with a way to make the camper top easy to remove and store.
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby Derek Bullock » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:02 pm

Scott

I take it you have looked at a number of manufactured camper trailers for ideas? If not would suggest you do so. There are heaps out there and all have something that is useful.

Have a look at the Camel Camper Website at http://www.camelgroup.com.au/default.asp You can see the basic trailer and then follow the links.

For example this is the standard Nomad trailer http://www.camelgroup.com.au/product.as ... 0On%20Road If you follow the link to Accessories and Add-ons http://www.camelgroup.com.au/product_ac ... 0On%20Road you will see all of the extras and that will give you some idea of what's available.

If you are eventually going to go for a full camper top I would stick with the 7X5 trailer as most standard camper trailers are that size and that allows a queen bed on top.

The other important thing you may want to look at is a water tank. Camel have those as well http://www.camelgroup.com.au/product.as ... er%20Tanks

Yep this is a plug for Camel as I have one myself and couldn't be happier with it. You can see mine here http://www.aussiecampovencook.com/homeawayfromhome.htm

The camper tops are pretty heavy however mine can be removed by unscrewing two nuts and undoing the gas struts. You could possible look at some sort of frame so that you could lift it up on a pulley system to the ceiling or perhaps legs similar to those you see on the tray back campers and then pull the trailer out from underneath.

Also look at pole carriers.


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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby Blue Bravo » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:49 pm

Came across this rig in Bourke earlier this year. The owner was a man in his eighties who reckonned that camper trailers were too expensive so he built his own.http://myswag.org/gallery/d/5784-2/DSCF8097.JPG
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby Derek Bullock » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:59 pm

Blue Bravo wrote:Came across this rig in Bourke earlier this year. The owner was a man in his eighties who reckonned that camper trailers were too expensive so he built his own.http://myswag.org/gallery/d/5784-2/DSCF8097.JPG


Here it is

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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby Pauly » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:26 pm

Its not that hard to do Scott. First up you need to get some square tube around the 50mm you then need to get another square tube that fits neatly inside.
You fit the 50mm tube to the underside of the camper then you make your 40mm tube the shape of an unside down L x4. Your top will be bolted with 2 bolts on 1 side and 2 catches on the other, your gas struts can be removed in seconds. once you unbolt the hinges you lift each corner of the top then slide your 40mm tube into the 50's and vallah your top is on a stand.

I can draw it up for you if you want. What area are you from, could even help with a trailer if needed
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby coyotte » Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm

Oz-Tents have pic on their site show a Oz -tent set up as a very basic CT.

OR why not try as I currently am with building a Folding Camper on 8x5 box trailer --- same principle would apply to a CT

Simply build a removable box unit on coasters within the trailer --- then overhang the the bedbase either side to the edge of the mudguards (gain 18') with the ability to lock/unlock both bedbase and box unit together --- then when you wish to remove the unit --- simply lock the two together, pull either the unit or trailer out, leaving the camping unit on a stand ready to be reloaded

just a idea -- may be stupid -- but I'm going to see if it will work

cheers
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby coyotte » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:15 pm

I would also check out the overall cost -- the last quote I got (from camel) for a very basic canvas tent (for a CT) to cover the trailer and with a 10'x8' ground level living area was just above $4000.
I would also query the high side trailer --- unless you really need the extra height for storage --- it's extra net weight and worse it's another 8 to 9 inches to climb up onto the bed top
If you keep the gross weight below 750kg you will not legally need brakes -- so the lighter the trailer the greater the legal payload --- just a point to bear in mind
So if you add the bed-base overhang (18") you would only need a 6x3 (overhang front of bed-base 6") or a 7x3 (no front overhang) trailer .

cheers
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby ScottH » Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:27 pm

Thanks all for the comments. I think I may have found one that will suit my needs for the right price (~$1400), so I'm heading out on Saturday to inspect it. If it's not right, then I'll leave the hunt until the new year, as it seems there is a real premium on the prices pre-Christmas. Pauly, if you are in the Sydney area, then I'd appreciate any help with sourcing a quality trailer at the right price.

The high sides requirement is based on hiring a high sided trailer recently, and finding the top at a very convenient height for a workbench. As I'm going with a tailgate kitchen, this should put the benchtop at an ideal height. The extra storage space will also be useful with two young boys, as their toys seems to take a disproportionate amount of space. The extra few inches to reach the bed doesn't bother me, and might just stop the 3yo from climbing into bed with us and stealing the covers!

I managed to sneak away at lunchtime and see an OzTrail 12 camper trailer top set up in a local camping shop, and was quite impressed with the size. I can't afford to buy it now, but I'll keep my eye out for any stock clearances or the next caravan & camping show to see if I can pick up a bargain on something similar. I'm sizing up the trusses in the garage ceiling as a possible pulley lift storage solution - back trailer in, unbolt and lift to ceiling, drive trailer out. Seems like it would work, but until I can double-check the load capacity with my father-in-law (retired builder) I'm not sure...
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby coyotte » Fri Dec 12, 2008 7:06 am

Quality Custom Trailers
21/157 Airds Road
Minto, NSW 2566
Ph: 0246268132


Custom made if needed
picked up passed for rego, a new 8x5 x 5 draw bar --- High Side -7 spring -- box chassis -- checkered floor
for $1300 --- you could do better if you haggle --- I was just pleased with price (on road with stamp duty & etc $1600)
They have a add on the "Trading Post" site under the trailer section
Also noticed in the same section a mob in Melb that do a 7x4 dual wheels for around $1550

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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby Pauly » Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:56 am

Scott Im only in Newcastle, will get you a price on a new 7x5 trailer 75x50 draw bar say 1800 long with a 50mm tube chassis, 7 leaf springs 2 gas bottle rings with high sides, 2mm checker plate floor etc. Does it need to be on road or light offroad?

Lots of the trailers mobs are making them for a budget price, just be carefull of the cut corners. Draw bars should go back to the spring hangers, no welds across the drawbar etc.

If your trailer is made to around 1050 max height you can use a chinese top off ebay, not as good as the aussie made ones but acceptable. I paid 1800 for mine 3 rooms all 14 oz ripstop canvas, so far so good.

I just finished my camper trailer and the trailer and top came in at 640kg but my trailer is a very heavily built job designed for serious off road and a unique design, ;) You walk up each side. I was going to patent it but its too pricey.

Ive just finished my trailers kitchen, I decided to make mine free standing. I dont like cooking near the tent because you can end up with fat and oil splatter on the canvas. We always set up a tarp so our kitchen is under the tarp.

I will take some pictures of my set up when we put it up next. Ive got some of the walk in system on the camera just not all set up
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby ScottH » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:03 am

Pauly - that would be great. I'm only planning on using this on-road, but happy to spend a couple of $$ extra for the light offroad if the improvements are worth it.

The kitchen I'm designing has a fold-up lid which acts as a splatter guard, but I take your point about the grease buildup over time. It's been designed to be removable for storage, so it shouldn't take too much more to put a couple of legs under it to make it free standing.
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby Komodo » Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:17 pm

If buying new try get the manufacturer to supply you with two tail gates -
one swing away
one drop down.

I always feel sorry for guys at the tip with swing away tail gates makes it extremely difficult.
Water tanks and such are nice accessories to have - but depending on your type of camping may not suit your needs. Jerry cans are cheap and can be moved around.
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Re: Convertible box trailer

Postby Blue Bravo » Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:58 pm

Thanks for getting the photo up Derek. :grin:
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