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Off Road Camping Trailers

silvrzuki77

Well-Known Member
Messages
556
Location
Vegas
Scarsman, i feel generous and will build it for ya. Your down payment and monthly payments will suck though!!!! Lol. Im considering a teardrop with independent suspension. Interior room sucks but at least in high winds it will be quite which the last three trips the winds have been crazy.
 

Portager

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Messages
1,506
Location
Silverado
I plan to build an off road trailer some day. I have some pretty crazy ideas for it! It will likely be some time before I can do it though, because I don't have much, any really, extra change to throw at a project like that. But it will be AWESOME!!! Here are some of my ideas:

  • Aluminum construction to minimize weight
  • Instead of a conventional axle, it will be independent. Imagine an oversized motorcycle swingarm riding on a coil spring for each wheel. This would provide maximum center ground clearance. (This design is still evolving in my head. Could also end up being an IFS style a-arm suspension with coils or torsions.)
  • Pintle hitch. The tongue would arch up from the hitch and back down to the trailer to avoid breakover issues. The tongue would be just long enough to allow maximum jack-knifing.
  • Wheels will use either an electric or electric over hydraulic steering setup that will be remotely controlled from the driver's seat. They would, of course, lock in center when not using the steering function. This would greatly assist maneuverability on tight offroad trails.
  • Probably use hubs that can run stock H2 wheels. Then carry two spares, and they could be used for either the truck or trailer.
  • Inset rear mounted winch with horizontal sheaves mounted to rear of frame to allow sideways pulling as well as rearward.
  • The roof would raise up like a pop up camp trailer and have canvas walls for a sleeping area on top of the trailer. Probably have a floor section that would fold out one side once the roof was up to make it bigger. Below the sleeping surface would be "hard mounted" utility things and storage as outlined below:


  • Self contained w/small generator, 110V welder, small oxy/acet set, small air compressor, water tank w/12V pump and propane water heater
  • Built in tool and parts storage
  • Small "hardware store" section w/nuts/bolts, and things like barsleak, tire plugs, JB Weld, gasket maker, oil, etc.
  • Possibly one of those portable toilet things
  • Camp shower
  • Fuel storage
  • One side would fold down/open up and have gas stove/grill/oven, sink, counter, fridge, and an awning that would pull out over it all.
  • External LED lighting


All the heavy things, like generator, water/fuel tanks, etc. would be kept as low as possible to keep center of gravity low.

As you can see, I have not thought about it very much! All I need is money! Anybody feeling generous?
C:\Users\schoolmg\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif
My dream for it is to build it and then run the Rubicon and some other really long, tough, trails with it.

I like a lot of your ideas. The independent suspension you describe sounds a lot like the trailing arm suspension that many Australian trailers and Adventure Trailers (AT) among others use. There are a lot of advantages of the trailing arm independent suspension for off road trailers. In fact, I think the trailing arm suspension is the best followed by a solid axle with leaf springs, followed by torsion axles. Here is a good read on AT suspensions :link:.

I’d use a three axis coupler instead of a Pintle or ball hitch. The Pintle hitch rattles too much and doesn’t provide the range of motion that the 3 axis coupler provides.

My dream trailer would be a multi-purpose trailer chassis with interchangeable boxes and would be designed to make full use of my 5,900 lb tow limit. One box option would be a hard floor camper (like the Adrenalin or Kamparoo). The second would be a dump trailer box to haul up to 4,000 lbs of rocks, sand or brush. The third would be a water trailer designed to haul up to 480 gallons of water to run my sluice out in the desert. The forth would be a recirculating sluice like this :link:.

The chassis on my trailer would have trailing arm, air bag and shock suspension to adapt to the range of loads that I’d like to carry. It would also have tandem axles to spread the load over more wheels and improve approach and departure angles by reducing the overhangs. My trailer wheels would be interchangeable with my tow vehicle wheels with one spare on the truck and one on the trailer. My trailer would have an telescopic tongue using nested square tubes running the length of the trailer and a dual action hydraulic piston to extend and retract the tongue about four feet. Most of the time the tongue would be locked in its shortest length, but when I want to use the maximum jack knife angle I could extend it. Also, when the going gets tough, I could extend the tongue while driving forward, lock the brakes and if necessary chock the wheels and retract the tongue to pull the trailer through rough spots.

I’d have a wedge shaped box over the tongue which would stay with the trailer and house propane tanks, hydraulic power unit (HPU) and AGM batteries. An AGM battery would power the HPU and in turn be recharged by the tow vehicle. The wedge shape uses the space above the tongue and the angled sides deflect flying rocks to the sides and not back into the tow vehicle.

I think your steering on the trailer wheels is overly complicated, unless you’re doing the Rubicon. However, if steering was combined with my telescoping tongue concept, it would provide extreme maneuverability!
 

HUMMER INVESTMENTS

[o O IIIIIIII O o]
Messages
3,518
Location
Black Hawk, SD
IMG_20120611_123810.jpg
Basic Camping production Trailer.

Long Term Plans:

Lift kit
37" Tires
Heavy Duty Generator
Repaint to Black with orange accents
IFS style setup
Control wheel steer from the driver seat
Heavy Duty Generator
LED lighting
Waterproof everything
Skid Plates
Front, Rear, side body protection like HummerDan Style
More ideas to come!
 

Scarsman

Sponsor
Messages
1,561
Location
Monroe, WA
Portager,

I really like that idea of a modular system. Just swapping it out for each purpose. I know the steering thing could get complicated. One of my goals would be to keep it as simple as possible and use common easy to get components. Your hydraulic tongue is a cool idea too. So, which one of will build one first? :wink:


Scarsman, someday I will have a load of money to give you to build me a trailer like that:)

Well, mostly I want one myself, but if someone else was spending the load of money to do it it would be almost as fun doing it for someone else. Hmmm. Actually that might be better, because then a second one would probably be better. I usually have more ideas once I start building.


View attachment 5066
Basic Camping production Trailer.

Long Term Plans:

Lift kit
37" Tires
Heavy Duty Generator
Repaint to Black with orange accents
IFS style setup
Control wheel steer from the driver seat
Heavy Duty Generator
LED lighting
Waterproof everything
Skid Plates
Front, Rear, side body protection like HummerDan Style
More ideas to come!

Is that one you have now? That looks pretty cool! Some bigger tires and it will look much different!
 

HUMMER INVESTMENTS

[o O IIIIIIII O o]
Messages
3,518
Location
Black Hawk, SD
Portager,

I really like that idea of a modular system. Just swapping it out for each purpose. I know the steering thing could get complicated. One of my goals would be to keep it as simple as possible and use common easy to get components. Your hydraulic tongue is a cool idea too. So, which one of will build one first? :wink:




Well, mostly I want one myself, but if someone else was spending the load of money to do it it would be almost as fun doing it for someone else. Hmmm. Actually that might be better, because then a second one would probably be better. I usually have more ideas once I start building.




Is that one you have now? That looks pretty cool! Some bigger tires and it will look much different!

Yes, that is our current "offroad camper". Again its just a regular production model. But hopefully when I am done, it will be what I want:)
 

Portager

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Messages
1,506
Location
Silverado
Scarsman, thanks. I think the modular approach will work well for all my applications.

I do like you're steering idea, if you can make it simple I might steel it.

HHI; I wouldn't spend too much effort trying to make a silk purse. You're trailer is too long for rough trails. Bigger wheels will help increase ground clearance, but they won't make it shorter.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 

silvrzuki77

Well-Known Member
Messages
556
Location
Vegas
I am going to be starting a tear drop trailer this fall. I was going to build a tent trailer tbut it is still a tent. After getting beat up the last too trips by highwinds I will take the the drawbacks off the tear drop trailer. I am considering the indepent suspension or swing arm style. http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/18142-Offroad-Teardrop-SawTooth-XL i really like the overall design of how he did his camper but would change several things around. Im soo sick of tents. I also agree on the multi-axis hitch my friend has one on his and is very impressive and quiet!
 

HUMMER INVESTMENTS

[o O IIIIIIII O o]
Messages
3,518
Location
Black Hawk, SD
Scarsman, thanks. I think the modular approach will work well for all my applications.

I do like you're steering idea, if you can make it simple I might steel it.

HHI; I wouldn't spend too much effort trying to make a silk purse. You're trailer is too long for rough trails. Bigger wheels will help increase ground clearance, but they won't make it shorter.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

To each his own, I am not trying to makea silk purse, but an off road ready trailer. Length does not essentialy matter as long as it is setup well for the trail. I am sure H3T owners should know:wink: Plus, I will be buying a military trailer soon now to make it offroad ready, or make a custom built trailer:)
 

silvrzuki77

Well-Known Member
Messages
556
Location
Vegas
Check governmentliquidation.com or govliquidations.com its a military auction site free and shows listing of military auctions near you. Military trailers go for around 600 bucks out here usually.
 

HUMMER INVESTMENTS

[o O IIIIIIII O o]
Messages
3,518
Location
Black Hawk, SD
Check governmentliquidation.com or govliquidations.com its a military auction site free and shows listing of military auctions near you. Military trailers go for around 600 bucks out here usually.
Yes, I have been watching there, but the more I think about it, the more I would like a custom trailer along with our current trailer:)
 

3Hummers

Super Moderator
Staff member
Messages
10,391
Location
Central Texas
Just saying that the bones of the military trailers tend to make a better base to build from if you are doing a custom build.
 

3Hummers

Super Moderator
Staff member
Messages
10,391
Location
Central Texas
Good thing on the military trailers is that you can buy them pretty cheaply. Buy one, build your trailer. If you come up with better ideas for it through your build you should be able to sell the first one, get your money back/make some and then start in on number 2.
 

Portager

■ ☼▐▐▐▐▐▐▐ ☼■
Messages
1,506
Location
Silverado
To each his own, I am not trying to makea silk purse, but an off road ready trailer. Length does not essentialy matter as long as it is setup well for the trail. I am sure H3T owners should know. Plus, I will be buying a military trailer soon now to make it offroad ready, or make a custom built trailer.

Olan; I'm sorry if you feel I insulted your trailer. That wasn't my intent. I was just commenting on the reality of the geometry. There is a reason that all the off road trailers on the market are short. They work better off road.

The length of the trailer limits your approach and departure angles and the combined vehicle break-over angle. Long trailers tend to draw the tongue crossing obstacles, although the track and back-up well. You can certainly make you're trailer more capable by adding the lift and bigger wheels as you described, but there is a limit to what can be accomplished with such a long trailer. Eventually you get to the point where increasing the height makes it too unstable side to side because you're increasing the center of gravity height without increasing the width. If you're planning to only take it down moderate trails and use it as a base camp it will do OK. Just as long as you're not planning to do the Rubicon trail or something extreme with it.

As an H3T driver, I'm acutely aware of the limitations due to the length of my vehicle. The break-over angle and the turning radius are very limiting. However, the benefit is I have more cargo space and better stability on steep grades.

I’d suggest doing some research. Here is a thread on long off road trailer considerations :link:.
 

HUMMER INVESTMENTS

[o O IIIIIIII O o]
Messages
3,518
Location
Black Hawk, SD
Olan; I'm sorry if you feel I insulted your trailer. That wasn't my intent. I was just commenting on the reality of the geometry. There is a reason that all the off road trailers on the market are short. They work better off road.

The length of the trailer limits your approach and departure angles and the combined vehicle break-over angle. Long trailers tend to draw the tongue crossing obstacles, although the track and back-up well. You can certainly make you're trailer more capable by adding the lift and bigger wheels as you described, but there is a limit to what can be accomplished with such a long trailer. Eventually you get to the point where increasing the height makes it too unstable side to side because you're increasing the center of gravity height without increasing the width. If you're planning to only take it down moderate trails and use it as a base camp it will do OK. Just as long as you're not planning to do the Rubicon trail or something extreme with it.

As an H3T driver, I'm acutely aware of the limitations due to the length of my vehicle. The break-over angle and the turning radius are very limiting. However, the benefit is I have more cargo space and better stability on steep grades.

I’d suggest doing some research. Here is a thread on long off road trailer considerations :link:.


Don't apologize, I dont feel you insulted me or my trailer. I do know the limitations of a long trailer, but it does fit my needs, and that is what the use is for right? I don't plan to take it on anything "too hardcore", but just as an expedition trailer. The custom trailer I am thinking about building would be for more of the extreme use. Thanks for the link and I will do a read-up. :)
 

Chook

Well-Known Member
Messages
706
Location
Brisbane (Australia)
I set up my trailer as "Base Camp". It may be big but it can get through most places. Would I take it up a mountain, probably not, which is why I put the Oztent on the top of the trailer. I undo 4 clips and the tent comes off and I can put it in or on the Hummer overnight etc. then come back to base camp next day or whatever. As a base camp the trailer carries 110l (29 Gal) of freshwater, 200 Amp/Hr batteries, Fridge/Freezer, LPG Gas, etc. so it can sustain itself while I am away.
 

MaxPF

AGNTSA
Messages
1,394
Location
The dark side of the globe
Todd and I use a Jayco pop-up camper that has already been modified with lifted suspension and larger tires. It gets most places fine right now, but I want to do a high-clearance axle, larger tires (33's), larger spindles and hubs and longer mono-leaf springs. Todd wants to extend the tongue and add external storage to the rear. Possibly also switch to an articulating wrist hitch instead of the standard ball. None of this will happen until after this year's hunting trips, but the result will be a trailer that can be dragged into even more remote areas.
 

TXH3T

Well-Known Member
Messages
269
Location
Prescott AZ
Heres my trailer. Started as David Bradley/ Sears trailer. Removed the old rims axle fenders and a lot of rust then added a 3500lb axle h3 rims 33" tires a new tongue with pintle hitch custom fenders new waterproof led lights and paint. Its nothing crazy just a trailer to take a lot of weight and not make me worry about damaging an expensive trailer.
Before
f607264c.jpg

526ed56b.jpg


After
74960527.jpg

394585_325876764167180_1547521494_n.jpg
 

TXH3T

Well-Known Member
Messages
269
Location
Prescott AZ
One other picture but the temporary kayak mount had bent sadly which made this not look quite as good
DSC00986.jpg
 
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