Off-road camping trailer build

OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
I original built the box about 5 years ago on the back of my M416A1 military trailer (currently for sale). It has a hot water heater, 20 gallon water tank, electric water pump and had a double sink. I switched to a single sink to make room for a 2 burner camp stove to it’s left. The sink drains into a small holding tank that can be rolled to the nearest safe spot to drain (it is just rinse water).



I started by building a frame out of 1×1 thin wall tubing. This was placed on the M416 and attached to the stock mounting points (the trailer frame was never altered). After the frame was built, I skinned it with (too heavy) 14 gauge steel. I think this was over kill and would use lighter next time.



The water heater is a standard RV type made by Atwood. It runs on propane. There are other models that are 3 way (120v, 12v, propane) but I thought this was too much for an off road trailer. We won’t be using camp grounds with hookups and the 12 volt draws too much current for regular use. It doesn’t really take long for it to heat up with the propane. I just start the water heater first and there is hot enough water by the time camp is all set up. If I were to do it again I would consider an on demand type.

The trailer is a simple ladder frame build from 2″x3″ tube steel. I chose to use a combination A frame draw bar that extends to the spring mounts. I had some old Land Cruiser springs and hangers so I used them.





I had the old fenders so I went ahead and used them. They are a little small for 31-33″ tires but I think they will work out fine. I am looking at switching to round fenders like on Box Rocket's build

The trailer is decked with 1/2″ pressure treated plywood fastened down using riv-nuts and flat head cap screws. I decided to add the deck in increase the usability of the trailer.





For the draw bar I had a piece of 2″x3″x1/4″ tube. I welded a pintle lunette onto the end and formed it for a little cleaner look. I drilled a 1/2″ hole for the safety chains about 12″ from the end and added the brake away switch for the trailer brakes. This hitch is rated at 10k# and should be more than sufficient for my needs.





The box is held to the trailer using the same rive nuts, 4 per side. Now I just need to add some “D” rings to the sides of the box so I can easily hoist it off.

In addition to the water heater and storage tank the box has power connections, 2 deep cycle RV batteries. There is also room in front of the box to store extra fuel, water, cooler or other supplies.

Eventually I would like to add a large tent to the trailer making in a complete off-road camper. I am currently trying to source a supplier for such a tent.

Here is a sample 3D model I drew up using Google’s Sketchup program.





I am currently working on getting the tent made and will have more pictures once it is mounted.

Additional details of the build can be found HERE
 

OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
Unfortunately offshore at this time. Should have it in about a month. I will give more details once I have tried it out. I am hoping to spin this into a bit of a business venture. I am excited for spring and getting the tent set up.
 

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OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
The tent has arrived.

Picked up the tent. I set it up quickly or some pictures and get a first impression. Of course it was raining so I had to set it up in the shop. I was not able to open the annex and install the walls but the main tent fit (just barely) and I like what I see so far. Well made with heavy sippers and double seams. I have some questions on the travel cover but everything else looks pretty good. Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to mount it to the trailer. I think a bit of extra bracketry is required and will have to pack the tent back up and flip it over to get a better idea. I will get more pictures one I get it permanently mounted and can set it up outside.












A few more pictures at http://www.olympiafj60.net/off-road-tent-trailer-build-part-3.html
 

highlandercj-7

Explorer
I love the looks and design of that tent. Post up the $ iguresif your planning on selling them. Something tells me there will be a demand. Nice work.
 

OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
I love the looks and design of that tent. Post up the $ iguresif your planning on selling them. Something tells me there will be a demand. Nice work.
Thank you. I'm still trying to figure out all the costs and go over a few changes with the manufacturer. I will post up a price when I'm ready to start selling them.
 

highlandercj-7

Explorer
So is the design made so you can drop the box and use it as a flat bed utility trailer when you don't need the camper? If so that's a great Idea and it looks like you have executed it well.
The tent design reminds me of my Apachee. I believe that it would made a great replacement for mine when the canvas finally need redone.
 

OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
Yes, the box can be lifted off and the trailer used as a flat bed. This is my first version. I have thought of some other methods that would have separate sections placed instead of box hopefully reducing weight. I think moving the water heater and batteries to a front box and water tank and gray water tank under the trailer too, then the box would be more manageable for removal. Maybe expanded metal for the flat be floor like the Outlander Trailer uses, then another section with a plywood floor and sides for a utility trailer.
 

OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
Still waiting on ocean shipping rates. Also looking into the need for fire retardant fabric before I announce a price.

The size of the tent closed is 90" (~7.5') long, 66" (5.5') wide and between 6"-12" tall. The width was selected because that is the width of my trailer outside fender to outside fender. I believe the M416 is roughly the same. The base is designed to sit 54" off the ground. Open, the tent is 17' wide and 15' long (7.5' each for main room and awning). The peak is 8'. The tent fabric is 10oz rip stop poly cotton canvas and the floor is 13oz PVC. Polls and ladder are steel. The base is 3/4" marine grade plywood with a metal frame under for added support. There are two hatch doors in the base for easy access to trailer storage once setup. There is a 3" foam mattress. The entire tent weighs roughly 350 lbs.

I am still working on the mounting. I am thinking of offering a mounting frame at additional expense or having the customer provide their own mounting method. The frame would fit customers trailer and have hinges, latches and struts.
 

OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
I am also looking at a slightly smaller tent. About 78" long by 60" wide on the trailer and 10' by 14' on the ground (6.5' for tent and 7.5' for Awning). Otherwise, the same features. Trying to get a weight estimate for it.
 

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OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
Trailer Tent Price

I'm not sure of the etiquette for announcing prices here so I setup a section on my store to discus price and order information. If people think it would be better in the for sale section on mud please let me know.

Trailer Tent Price

I have not seen the small tent in person but it will be ordered to the same specs as the large one I have. I am almost done mounting it on the trailer and will have more detailed pictures.
 

OlympiaFJ60

Adventurer
Been working on the tent a little bit at a time in the evenings this week. I added a channel to hold the welt of the cover. I think this cover is made for the slightly larger standard tent made by the company. I will request a more snug fit on the edges on the production tents. I also added a little bit of extra tubing the the frame that was supplied as part of the base. This was to add a little strength as well as a better sealing surface against the trailer box.



This also covers a little better the area under the hatch doors. I started welding with the frame on the tent base using a welding blanket with whole in it to protect the tent and cover. I had one spot where the hatch was not all the way closed and burned the foam sleeping pad a little. At least it didn’t all go up in smoke.:doh:




Before heading out to set up the tent I remembered to weld on the stabilizer legs. I used a pair of weld-on tongue jacks with drop legs that have a large “sand foot” for the base. This will give plenty of lift to accommodate uneven terrain. They are a 3000# bulldog side crank jack. This is way overkill but I thought it would be easier at the time. I think next time I will go simple and use a steel pole through a color and a T bolt to clamp it down. Theses work nicely as gaurds for the tail lights though :eek:



This was my first time setting it up and it took about 20 minutes with the help of my 8 year old son. The tent is unfolded from the trailer and the bottom is staked down (it comes with two sets of stakes, standard and extra heavy duty 12" spikes). Once staked down, the poles are lengthened on the inside to bring all slack out of the tent walls.

Next is the awning. The awning uses it’s own set of poles. Setting this up was the hardest part of the setup. It helps to have a second person to hold one of the poles as you attached the rest of the structure. Four poles attache through the tent wall to the inside pole structure.





Here are a few of it set up

 
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