My "New" Willy's II Trailer Build

slimtwo

Adventurer
I have been working on some of the small projects on the trailer that needed to get done. I got the skin for the front of the trailer cut and bent. I still need to fasten it in place, but it is at least done.

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I also got the bottom and front piece cut for the water tank, and the battery tray.

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I also found a convenient place to stow the lever for the tent lifting platform.

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The biggest plus in all of this is, with the need to get the trailer to the fabricator to cut and bend the aluminum for the front of the trailer, and the battery tray, and the water tank tray, I got a chance to tow the trailer around allot yesterday and today. And the best thing is, it tows great! It tracks like a dream. The tongue weight is in the ball park. The breaks work, however, they are going to have to be adjusted better. A minor thing really. But I’m really excited to be so close to getting it done. That being said, I am in the process of lining up a source for the plywood I need to build the box. Unfortunately, the quality of plywood, is hit and miss. So, I may need to draw from a couple of sources just to get what I need.

Well, that’s all I have for now. Have a great weekend, and thank you, to all the Veterans out there for your part in making our country a great place to live, and the freedoms we enjoy. I just pray, that we can keep it that way.
Let's go Brandon!

Happy Trails!
 
Love following this build so far! Exceptional quality and attention to detail. You're making me want to cut mine apart and change some things!

How much do you think you'll have in it ($) when all is said and done?
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Love following this build so far! Exceptional quality and attention to detail. You're making me want to cut mine apart and change some things!

How much do you think you'll have in it ($) when all is said and done?
Hello "Projectforester", Thank you for the compliment. Regarding the investment thus far, I'm guessing about $3,000 to $3,500 now. I need to add up the receipts again, and I have been afraid too. LOL
I am getting ready to start the box, which will add another thousand or more, given the price of plywood now. My hope was to stay under $5,000. We'll see how that goes.
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
So, I should mention, that when I had the trailer out on the road last week, I discovered, that the trailer cable is too short. When I jack knife the trailer to the right, the trailer connection is tight to the hitch. So, I picked up a longer pigtail (12 feet this time), and will replace the shorter one. I’m gonna add 12 to 16 inches. That should be more than enough.

Today, I mounted the front skin to the trailer, and welded the tabs for the side panels. It looks so good al shiny an all. But, I will probably paint it anyway. I don't want to be blinded from the glare in the side mirror.

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I went to the lumber yard, and priced out for the plywood. 4 sheets of BCX grade plywood in ¾” x 4 x 8, and 8 sheets of the same, in ½”, will cost me $875.00. That’s a big OUCH! But not as big as 6 months ago, when it was over $1,200.00, for the same stuff. After Thanksgiving, I will pull the trigger on the lumber. I’m hoping that for Christmas, I will have a nearly completed trailer, ready for trials.

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Week and a half ago, the spring on the roll up door at the shop where I am working on the trailer broke. I have been working on a new hard top for my Jeep, and the jeep was trapped inside. The jeep was pulled in front ways, so I thought I could not get the top behind the jeep to install it. They were able to come out on Monday, and make a temporary fix of the spring, so we could open the door. They will order the springs, and replace them when they come in. Meanwhile, we were able to set the top on the jeep the way it was after all. But only because we had 4 people to help.

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I am so stoked!!! Everyone told me how much of a difference it would make to have the hard top, but after experiencing it for myself, OH, MY, GOSH! it was awesome! Now that the top is done and, on the Jeep, I have to finish mounting the solar panel, then, I will start the box after the first of the year.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
So, I have been mulling over several ideas to mount the solar panel, and where. I want to mount it on the front left corner of the trailer, which will get it the farthest away from the tent when it is deployed. I’m thinking of a boom, that will swing away, and telescope upward about 2 feet. That way, I can walk under it. And I want it to rock over at 45 degrees in either direction. I’ve drawn some things out, however, nothing concrete yet.


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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with family (I know I did). I will be working at this after the first of the year.

Happy New Year!
 

Snydmax

New member
I see some guys are making their panels loose or removable so they can park the tent in the shade and drag the solar out into the sun... also have seen some running with both options, a hard mounted panel and a “portable” auxiliary panel


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slimtwo

Adventurer
I see some guys are making their panels loose or removable so they can park the tent in the shade and drag the solar out into the sun... also have seen some running with both options, a hard mounted panel and a “portable” auxiliary panel


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have thought about that. Thinking back on it, I do try to find shade if I can, and that would cut the effectiveness of the panel. One plus having it hard mounted on the trailer, is that while in transit, the panel would be able to get sun, and charge the system, where being loose, would mean it is stowed in the trailer not getting any sun. There have been more times than I like to admit, where we were long on the trail, setting up in the late afternoon. That wouldn't leave much time for the panel to work if it were stowed too. I will say though, the sun on the trailer makes an afternoon nap kinda tuff. Thanks for the input. Always something to think about, and unfortunately, I can't think of everything.

Happy new Year!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Happy New Year everyone! I hope and pray that this year is an improvement over the previous year. I am starting this year off, taking my turn with the covid bug. To be honest, I didn’t want to believe the test results, because I didn’t feel that sick. Anyway, I have not been able to get to the shop to work on the trailer. Hopefully, I will be back on my feet in a week, and back in the shop.

Peace to all, in this New Year!!!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
This is what I have come up with so far, for the solar panel mounting system.

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An outer sleeve will mount to the corner of the trailer. The solar mount shaft will slide inside the tube for the elevation and swing of the boom. the solar mount will pivot on the boom as well.

In this side view, the panel will also rock over either side, to better catch the angle of the sun.

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Now all I have to do, is devise a retention set up to secure it while traveling.

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Okay, this has taken me longer than I figured, but I’m getting there. I have the frame for the panel completed, and I have the support boom mounted. I am working on the stowed configuration for travel now. I’m gonna have a 90-degree arm come off the frame and run up to capture the boom. Then I will have a draw latch to lock it down. That should be more than secure enough to handle the rough travel. The panel, when deployed, will be about 7 feet off the ground (so I won’t clock myself). I changed the design a bit, by eliminating the swivel under the panel. The boom swings out 180-degrees, and the panel pivots 90-degrees on both sides, so it made sense to simplify it, and save a little weight.

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I will have better pictures tomorrow or Friday.

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Well, the mount for the solar panel is pretty much done. I still have to come up with the arms that hold the angle of the solar panel, but other than drilling a few holes for the mounting pins, it’s complete. I am gonna do a search for an adjustment arm, that is slotted so it will slide on a bolt, for a progressive adjustment. Hopefully, I can find something. Otherwise, I will have to fabricate that too.

Here are the pictures I promised.

The first pic shows the boom in the stowed position. Then I welded the tabs for the adjustment arms.

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This is how the panel will be in the stowed position. the next shot shows it deployed. The panel pivots in either direction, based on the location of the sun, and the boom swings further out if necessary, as well.

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I'm very happy to have completed this part of the project. On to the next one.

Until next time.

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
Well, I’m just about done with the solar mount. I’m not happy with the pivot link. I’m gonna look to see what else is out there that will work, and that I like better. Or, I will just make something different. I drilled the hole in the base of the vertical support for the index pin. It works great (Thought I had a picture of that, but apparently not). I'm looking at the last picture, and realized that there is more in the back ground than I thought. Trailer is almost lost in there.

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I realize that I have been dreading what's next... degrease, clean up and paint. Actually, there is one more thing I plan to do. My friend suggested that I install a shelf of expanded metal on the upper frame alone side of the tent at the kitchen side of the trailer. so I still have that to do.

Happy Trails!
 

slimtwo

Adventurer
I need to back up for a minute. When I started this build, I started with the trailer frame upside down. So as I progressed, it got heavier, and so on. The frame was on jack stands so I didn’t have to weld on the ground. Well, to make a long story short. The chassis ended up with a bow. The high side being in the middle. Everyone said that it wouldn’t be an issue, but it bugged me. And I was worried, because it seemed like all the weight was in the middle of that frame, and I was concerned that it would bend in a heavy hit. I know I said short. Bottom line, I welded 1/4” x 2 ½” steel strap to the frame in the wheel well to add strength, and to take out the bow.

To do this, I used some 2 x 4 x 188 steel tubing, a 3/8” piece of scrap steel to space it off the frame, and s couple heavy duty C clamps. Then I cranked! It didn’t take much to get the bend out. Then I welded in the plate. It took two days, but I got it done.

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That’s all I have done in the last two days.

Happy Trails!
 
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