Help with tent trailer build

Christo54

New member
Hey all, just wanted to post a couple of preliminary pictures of a rough CAD design of a trailer I’m going to be building over the next few months. I am sourcing materials right now and already have the frame for the trailer which is 3/16” thick 4” c channel. The main question I have is if I can make the posts for the rack and sidewalls out of 0.065 wall 1.5” square tube steel for weight saving and the fact that I already have about 20 ft of it.
The rack will carry about 800 lbs with tent, my family and gear inside. On the road it will only carry the 175lb tent. All the cross bars will be 1/8”.

In the pictures the metals colored green are 0.065 wall, while the blue are 1/8” wall and the black are 3/16” wall.

let me know what You think! View attachment 636627View attachment 636628View attachment 636629thanks for your help in advance!
 

high-and-dry

Active member
3/16 is pretty heavy stuff, luckily its only a c channel. I would have gone with a .120 2x3 for the main rails and .084 2x3 for cross rails. I think the 1.5 065 would be fine, I would just add some corner braces to stiffen it for movement when you are in it. The 1.5 would hold many thousands of pounds straight down, but the movement with that much weight could be too much stress on the simple butt joints.

edit the tube would be 1.6 lbs a foot lighter
 

Christo54

New member
Thank you high-and-dry, that is very helpful. the 3/16" channel frame is being cannibalized from an old ATV trailer I had. it is definitely heavier than I would have wanted, but only being a 4x1.5" c channel I think it shouldn't be too heavy. also thinking about cutting the tongue of the trailer out from underneath and moving it all up to be flush with the frame, not sure how much benefit that would be for the amount of work, but it does drive me a bit crazy having the tongue and main body being at different heights.
do you feel like it would be worth the effort?
 

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high-and-dry

Active member
Thank you high-and-dry, that is very helpful. the 3/16" channel frame is being cannibalized from an old ATV trailer I had. it is definitely heavier than I would have wanted, but only being a 4x1.5" c channel I think it shouldn't be too heavy. also thinking about cutting the tongue of the trailer out from underneath and moving it all up to be flush with the frame, not sure how much benefit that would be for the amount of work, but it does drive me a bit crazy having the tongue and main body being at different heights.
do you feel like it would be worth the effort?
No most people have the tongue lower so it can tie in to more cross members and maybe the side rails. If its at the same level you are very dependent on good welds, its underneath and hitting more things each weld carries less stress.
 

high-and-dry

Active member
Also steel is not that exspenive, I can build a frame that could carry 3000 lbs and weigh 300 lb not including the axle for 200, maybe 300 bucks
 
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