Water crossings

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Postby Arne » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:28 am

As Andrew says, you will float in around 6". Water weighs 62#/cubic foot. Given a foot print of 4'x8', gives you 32 square feet. If you have a larger foot print, you will float in less water.

32 cubic feet of water weighs weighs around 2,000 pounds. To displace a 1200# trailer only requires the trailer be in a bit over 6" of water.

Then you have the doors and galley as leak points..... and any through bolts.

So, build high..... or tape the doors and have a drag rope to hold onto to keep it from swinging, but if the current is strong, one person won't keep it straight. Moving water is very powerful.
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Postby firemaniac » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:14 pm

Looking through this thread this mourning, I got to thinking , How would I build if I had to plan on water crossings? well that had my mind here all day. but the solution I came up with is

Estimate the overall weight of tear and contents in a completed state.

Plan on building on top of the frame

Do the math, using the formula in above posts to figure out the displacement and how deep it would be in the water at the fully loaded weight. I wouldn't include the buoyancy of the tires let theme give you an extra (if any) margin of safety

Use the depth from above and add a sufficient amount (something you are comfortable with) as your "water line" build up this line as if you were building a boat, I.E. seal everything, fiberglass not only the seams but the entire box up to the water line at the least

Build the openings (doors and hatch) above the water line.

keep the center of gravity as low as possible to avoid it rolling over in the current and turning into a submarine.

If with the waterline and the height of the rig it is hard to get into I would consider a fold out porch off of the frame (legs to ground double as a ladder) or putting the door in the front over the tong and making a porch there

Of course these are just some things that I had to get out of my head feel free to toss theme back and/or use theme. If I start another as a waaaaaaaaaay down the road project I am going to look closely at this
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Postby Steve F » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:42 am

I ended up just building high :) Doors will get taped if I'm desperate.

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Postby Wimperdink » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:04 am

Might also consider using fiberglass tape on all and any seams under the tear also. That will keep most of the water out of your seams and out of the end grain of your wood. If its good enough for wooden boats, it has to be good enough for the occasional water crossing. Having been in the navy, there are a few ideas floating around in my head about sealing a door. :) Once you've caught your forehead and shins on a few hatches, you remember how they were built.
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Postby bigalpha » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:06 pm

Steve,

I love both your TD and your XJ. Being an XJ guy myself, I appreciate such beauty.

Have you taken your TD through any water crossings yet? Did you do any special water-proofing for your TD?
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Postby Steve F » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:04 pm

bigalpha wrote:Steve,

I love both your TD and your XJ. Being an XJ guy myself, I appreciate such beauty.

Have you taken your TD through any water crossings yet? Did you do any special water-proofing for your TD?


No water crossings yet, with been in a drought for a few years now so it's pretty dry down here. Got a trip this weekend but dont expect any water.

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Postby boxcar » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:03 am

Just get lucky and find a tear drop american trailer . as we used to build ower off road TD. Pics in my profile .We are now adding the trailing arm suspension and air bags I will post pics of the finished trailer nexed week.
This trailer is all abs plastic and with all the pollyfoam we blew into it during the build it floats rather well. I designed it with water crosings in mind.....Boxcar
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:27 am

There are a number of Australian Outback caravans that are water proof to a certain height (and presumably float). Bush Tracker has some video.
http://www.kimberleykaravans.com and http://www.bushtracker.com both of these may give ideas.
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Postby legojenn » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:23 pm

I tend to cross water this way. Sure there's a toll, but I don't want my car to get wet.

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water crosing

Postby boxcar » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:21 am

Here is my anser to water crosing
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thoughs on floating

Postby jeprovo » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:04 pm

A little bit of floating is not going to cause your trailer tires to loose contact with the ground. Your suspension will sag a bit before the tires loose traction and you're pulling a boat through the water.
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RE: Water Crossing

Postby mezmo » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:21 am

Hi Steve F,

Although it is in an entirely different category, check out
this impressive range of off-road Caravans built there
in Oz:

http://www.bushtracker.com/Index.htm

They feature a secondary partial door to cover the
bottom of the entry door to waterproof it. I'm assuming
they have made the rest of the unit water proof/leak proof
already. See:

http://www.bushtracker.com/P_Travelling.htm

See pic 11 & 13 in the traveling photo album.

It might be helpful to give it a look for ideas.

Cheers,
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:54 am

There are a number of considerations here. The Ausi Outback trailers seem to have it right for river fording with the sides water proof up to 3'. There are a number of considerations possibilities. Use composites not subject to water damage, use marine grade plywood seal the edges VERY well and coat with CPES or similar. Use a membrane, which also can seal moisture in if it leaks. You then must consider door seals and electrical penetrations etc. With ours the seven wire connector from the TV goes into a water proof box, but I don't know that I would trust it for long.
One alternative/option is a variable height suspension to gain height when you wish it.
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Re: Water crossings

Postby ArkansasDon » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:50 am

water crossings should be taken seriously, the approach & the exiting, I never cross fast or deep water. When I was researching small squaredrop trailer manufactures (looking for a candidate to do a offroad squaredrop build) I liked how Runaway has a rubber membrane underneath the floor, the cabin (under construction on video) all the corners are wrapped before the adhesive & aluminum siding is attached. Runaway's method of attachment of the cabin to the chassis is also very impressive making it for good waterproof system.
When I done all the modifications & fabrication work to our 2019 Range Runner, ground clearance of chassis was 24", axle clearance was 14". Sally & I make numerous creek crossings on our backcountry adventures in the Ozarks. We never had any water inside the cabin or rear storage area nor leaking from the inside of the chassis. I periodically check the chassis for rust, rear storage area for water staining. I store the trailer inside a large shop building on my farm.
I used automotive sealant between the aluminum siding lower edge & bottom edge were the cabin & chassis meets (Black). When I re-placed the tail lights & re-wired the trailer lights, attaching the wires (fasteners) to the underneath floor to the membrane & chassis I sealed these areas extremely well with sealant. All accessories attached to the outside of the squaredrop 2 1\2gal Roto Fuel Pax, 2 1\2 gal Roto Water Pax, Hi Lift Jack Mount I made rubber gaskets & using sealant (Big Stretch) with large fender washers & locking nuts. Water will find a way into areas you do not want it to go. So far I've been lucky or successful not having any water leaking into areas of the trailer. Maintenance is a must, checking on the sealant applied, water can & will ruin a wood structured trailers.

Next month Sally & I are leaving on another 2 state Trans American Trail adventure, it's made up of dirt, gravel, forest, farm, & brief sections of paved roads. Were taking 10 days to do this with many stay overs.
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2019 Runaway Range Runner Offroad Build
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Re: Water crossings

Postby Tomterrific » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:00 am

You guys water crossing should worry about your trailer bearings. The bearings get warm from running on the highway. When they hit the cold water suction from the rapid cooling will pull water through the seal. I will suggest Bearing Buddys as these keep a constant slight pressure inside the hub if used properly.

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