LeRoy's LittleGuy Silver Shadow Modifications

RandomAbstract

Adventurer
Hi Everyone,

Scott B is also building out a LittleGuy Silver Shadow here and suggested that I also share my modifications.

I have been reading this forum for several years. The encouragement gained here helped me build my first "expedition" trailer. The goal was to take my wife on a 3 week tent camping trip from Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest and back. And, we thought that taking the convertible would be way more fun than driving a minivan. Since we couldn't haul enough camping gear in the convertible, I built a gear hauler trailer - kitchen gear in the back, sleeping gear in the front.

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(Breakfast in Yellowstone)

It worked fabulously. However, we love the Rockies and there are a lot of miles between Minnesota and the Rockies. Sometimes it would be nice to pull over and sleep without having to really set up camp. Also, I have dreamed of exploring the back-country in the Rockies. My plan was to build an overland teardrop. But, we ran into a really good deal on a 2014 "used once" Little Guy Silver Shadow 5x10 and decided it would be more fun to go camping than spending the entire summer building a trailer.

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(BTW, it was only used once because the original purchaser decided that a Class A motor-home was more to their liking - go figure!)

The minivan also bit the dust and we upgraded to a more manly vehicle, a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit with a 5.7L Hemi. My guess was that the Hemi will be sufficient to pull the teardrop. :ylsmoke:

I doubt this will be our "final" trailer, so I am mostly trying to keep it stock. This summer is a test to see if we like the format and whether we will keep this trailer, spec another trailer from LittleGuy, or decide to build my own.

The first upgrade I did was to add a full-sized (60") truck toolbox to the trailer tongue. I found one at a reasonable price at Fleet Farm. There was barely room to squeeze it in place as the tongue is only about 3 feet long. I had to move the battery box forward about an inch.

This has been a very useful addition. My wife wanted to carry around a porta-potti. Neither the Jeep, the galley or the bedroom sounded like a great place to keep it. It turned out to be a good idea. I have since learned that wash-board mountain forest service roads cause the blue flush water to exit the device and christen everything around it. :eek: The box also holds things like a screen room, camp ax, tools, wheels chocks, ...

The box also makes a great table for things like a quick picnic on the run, since the ARB fridge is in the back of the JEEP.

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Our second upgrade was a new mattress topper. The 3" foam mattress just wasn't thick enough to keep our bones off the plywood floor. Since the bed area is just shy of a queen mattress (58x80 instead of 60x80), I found a 4" memory foam topper (2" memory foam over 2" of regular foam) at Wally World for about $130 that was 58" wide. No cutting involved. That on top of the 3" of foam is pretty comfortable. If the memory foam is too cold for late fall camping I can just invert the pieces. If I was sure of this trailer instead of a 6x10 trailer, I would probably have a custom mattress made.

So much for an introduction. More to come. Comments and advice are more than welcome.

LeRoy
www.MomentsInNature.net
 

RandomAbstract

Adventurer
I got tired of things bouncing around in the galley. Plus, the water situation hasn't really worked out well.

I originally went with a couple of the blue Reliance water jugs. One of the two leaked all over the place and got the galley floor soaked (I think it was defective from the git go). I have also had problems with their spigots breaking. After soaking this trailer and my previous trailer, I give up on them.

My next attempt is some WaterBricks. They seem sturdier although not as convenient.

The stove and water jugs were the two biggest offenders sliding around in the galley. My solution was to build brackets that just fit into each side of the floor of the galley to keep those items from sliding. These two plywood plates have holes to fit the alignment blocks of the water jugs (left) and legs of the grill (right).

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They are split in half because there wasn't enough room to slip the full-sized plates in place. Slicing them in two allowed me to put in one half at at time and still work just fine.

This is what the plates look like with the gear in place.

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This is all theory, of course, until we get on the road again in a couple of weeks. I just put a couple of coats of poly on them today. I will try to get pictures of them uploaded soon.

BTW, here is the proper way to use a Coleman grill! I would have preferred an open fire, but we were too hungry to wait for the coals to burn down.

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Scott B.

SE Expedition Society
Subscribed!

I like the tongue/tool box you have. I would like one, but I will have to modify my swingout to clear it.
 

RandomAbstract

Adventurer
Scott,

I see that you are working on spice storage. I was going to build a pretty birch/maple rack until I found these guys.

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The spice bottles haven't budged, even on washboard roads.

They are situated on top of the breadbox holding the electrical converter, which takes up way too much counter-space.
 

ColoradoFJ

New member
Hey Scott B. I’ve owned it for 5 ish years. After camping and fly fishing the Rockies for a couple of years and scraping the spare tire on my out of the way spots I like to fish I decided to ask a buddy of mine ( he want to stay anonymous ) to replace the axle with the independent style. He had it for a couple of weeks when he called and said lets just lift the axle you have and put 32” tires on it. I have been using it for 2 years like it sits now. I can’t say enough good things about the trailer. It has never gotten stuck or skidded over the ground. It makes the best base camp.
 

Scott B.

SE Expedition Society
I see you have been keeping your thread up to date, as have I. :(

We've towed our trailer about 35,000 miles, and have never had any problems. I even towed it up to Cerro Gordo, before it was sold.

How is your axle lift working out? Good, I'm sure.

New tow vehicle? Have you changed the drums on the trailer brakes to 6 lug? I really like running the same wheel/tire on the truck and trailer.

Camping season is starting - can't wait to get out!
 
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