Hello! My First Post

This is the place where you can introduce yourself, and include a photo if so desired.

Hello! My First Post

Postby Carolina_coast99 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:09 pm

Hello all;
I’ve been reading as many posts on your site as possible for the last month and I am still just cracking the surface I believe. The knowledge and information collected here is pretty amazing- Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to document and post your information and projects. My intention is to purchase a car hauler or cargo trailer and convert into a camper. Unlike most on here- I prefer a somewhat larger camper than many of the builds I have seen. My uses for the camper will be vacation trips ranging from long weekends to two week excursions; but I will also use this to live in when I am working out of town- across the US- for anywhere from four to six weeks at a time. I have only owned one camper thus far and that story goes like this: (Why it never occurred to build my own in the first place - I will never understand!!) :cry: After extensive research I purchased a 2018- 29’ Winnebago Minnie Plus (pic is in my gallery), I loved this unit and the quality seemed far above all the other brands I researched- but the overall “cheapness” of materials used for camper construction turned me off very quickly (frame, plumbing fixtures, axles, tires, etc.). So I sold it and decided to research making my own. – Sorry for the long winded opening!
As of now- I am still researching the right car hauler or cargo trailer for me; but would like to pick your brain if I could on a few things I’m contemplating: Note: I want to make my build HEAVY DUTY; but I sometimes need to throttle this trait back- for both weight and money concerns (and sometimes I over build projects in the name of being “heavy duty”- maybe I watched too much “Tim The Tool Man Taylor”) HA-HA :D . My tow vehicle is a GMC 3500HD so this should not be a concern.

I see that many of you have converted 7” wide cargo trailers and not the 8.5’ wide version. I understand there is better gas mileage potential, easier visibility and better maneuverability in the 7” models- but is there something else beneficial I’m not thinking of?

I’m looking at buying an all steel tube frame 20’ x 8.5’ car hauler. Some of the upgrades I am considering are the following: (these are in the interest of durability- not in hauling more weight inside the camper. Also; I want the final project to weigh less than my Winnie did, which was less than 9000 lb.). Thoughts are greatly appreciated!

1. 7,000 lb. leaf spring axles as opposed to the 5200 lb. axles. (Also the 7k comes with 16” tires as opposed to 15” on the 5k). Do you think this is money wasted? Are the 5200 lb. axles durable enough?

2. 16” framed walk on roof rafters- as opposed to the standard 24” span frame. Just in an effort to make more durable…and for if I need to access the roof.

3. Upgrading from a 6” frame to an 8” main frame- I don’t want to bend a frame trying to level properly…

4. 7K drop leg jack on tongue as opposed to the standard 2K

Also; I read on another forum site that extending the tongue 18” (to make room for a generator box for example) creates a “weak spot” area in that extension- as far as the frame integrity goes… any comments?

Guess that just about does it for now- thanks a lot for reading my post!
User avatar
Carolina_coast99
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 62
Images: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:35 pm

Re: Hello! My First Post

Postby bmr528 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:11 pm

Wow,, when you jump in,, you use both feet,, I can't really give any advice as I am still doing a ton of research here myself.

Good luck and i look foward to more posts from you.

djl
bmr528
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:09 pm

Re: Hello! My First Post

Postby Ottsville » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:30 pm

Welcome! Are you in Virginia?


1. 7,000 lb. leaf spring axles as opposed to the 5200 lb. axles. (Also the 7k comes with 16” tires as opposed to 15” on the 5k). Do you think this is money wasted? Are the 5200 lb. axles durable enough?
If you are going for 9k pounds, then axles rated for 10.4k pounds should be enough, right? If 16" tires is what you want, then just upgrade the wheel/tire combo.

2. 16” framed walk on roof rafters- as opposed to the standard 24” span frame. Just in an effort to make more durable…and for if I need to access the roof.

3. Upgrading from a 6” frame to an 8” main frame- I don’t want to bend a frame trying to level properly…

I'd guess that a car hauler frame is probably a little sturdier than your average mass produced TT. You already know how muck those flex while you are leveling them, but again, 9k lbs on 10.4k lbs rating...

4. 7K drop leg jack on tongue as opposed to the standard 2K
If your tongue weight hits 2k, something is wrong. Even GM says tongue should be 10-15% of trailer weight up to 2k lbs

Also; I read on another forum site that extending the tongue 18” (to make room for a generator box for example) creates a “weak spot” area in that extension- as far as the frame integrity goes… any comments?
It doesn't have to, as long as it is done properly. Why not have your trailer manufacturer build it that way to begin with?
Ottsville
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 192
Images: 1
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 2:19 am
Top

Re: Hello! My First Post

Postby Carolina_coast99 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:59 pm

hello. yes I am in central Virginia. thanks a lot for your reply ottsville
1. that's a great idea. I had not thought about asking for a wheel/tire upgrade instead of the whole axle. however- I generally try to stay away from "enough"- haha. I like overkill.

3. I agree. But just in weighing out the options- a 6" framed trailer (according to my dealer) should weigh about 3600 lb's and an 8" should weigh about 4000k. I need more input from others who have built semi- full sized campers, but I would guess that either trailer should finish out less than 9k....? (and the upgrade is only $200 more)

Yes- the tongue extension would be an upgrade done by the manufacturer. I read that information on a welding forum. I guess it has to do with the leverage placed on that part of the frame in general.

Ottsville wrote:Welcome! Are you in Virginia?


1. 7,000 lb. leaf spring axles as opposed to the 5200 lb. axles. (Also the 7k comes with 16” tires as opposed to 15” on the 5k). Do you think this is money wasted? Are the 5200 lb. axles durable enough?
If you are going for 9k pounds, then axles rated for 10.4k pounds should be enough, right? If 16" tires is what you want, then just upgrade the wheel/tire combo.

2. 16” framed walk on roof rafters- as opposed to the standard 24” span frame. Just in an effort to make more durable…and for if I need to access the roof.

3. Upgrading from a 6” frame to an 8” main frame- I don’t want to bend a frame trying to level properly…

I'd guess that a car hauler frame is probably a little sturdier than your average mass produced TT. You already know how muck those flex while you are leveling them, but again, 9k lbs on 10.4k lbs rating...

4. 7K drop leg jack on tongue as opposed to the standard 2K
If your tongue weight hits 2k, something is wrong. Even GM says tongue should be 10-15% of trailer weight up to 2k lbs

Also; I read on another forum site that extending the tongue 18” (to make room for a generator box for example) creates a “weak spot” area in that extension- as far as the frame integrity goes… any comments?
It doesn't have to, as long as it is done properly. Why not have your trailer manufacturer build it that way to begin with?
User avatar
Carolina_coast99
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 62
Images: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:35 pm
Top

Re: Hello! My First Post

Postby Ottsville » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:37 pm

I'm in Hanover and there's a few posters here from the area. Check out Domoarigato's CTC build thread. He's in the RVA area. Icanfabul8's CTC build is good also.

Frame upgrade seems reasonable price wise and if you need the strength then go for it. Remember though that "little bit extra weight for heavier duty" adds up when it comes in on multiple pieces of the project. I'd also consider the spec on the stringers, especially where you are going to place leveling jacks. As for the the tongue, a good manufacturer should have their engineer check out the tongue design. Ask for a plan with his stamp on it to make sure it's not just some line welder doing "that should be strong enough" job.
Ottsville
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 192
Images: 1
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 2:19 am
Top


Return to Newbies, Introduce yourselves

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests