SAR_Squid79's Expedtion Trailer Build


Okay guys, you're gonna have to bear with me on this one.

I am in the process of preparing a full article for 4WD Toyota Owner Magazine about my trailer build. I don't want to post too much here until after the article. But I PROMISE this write up will eventually include specs, parts, costs, lessons learned, etc, etc...

To be honest - even if I wanted to post all of that info right now, I couldn't! I have a box full of receipts and invoices that I haven't even sorted through. Plus all my thoughts, and opinions... This trailer is still a work in progress. As it sits right now, it's ready to hit the trail, but I have a long, expensive, complicated to-do list to accomplish before I will call this thing "FINISHED".

I designed the trailer all on my own, with a few influences from others. It has been built completely from scratch my my dad, and I. Once complete, it should have the same ride height, ground clearance, approach & departure angles, track width, and turning radius as my Tacoma. In theory - it SHOULD be able to go anywhere my truck can go. Time will tell.

In the mean time here are a few pics of the evolution of my trailer. I am naming the trailer "Long Range Patrol".

The Symbolism:
The Arrowhead: The 36th Division was organized with personnel from Texas and the Indian territory or Oklahoma. The arrowhead represented their operation in Indian territory. It was originally approved on 12 November 1918 for the 36th Infantry Division. It was redesignated for the 71st Infantry Brigade on 7 May 1968 and redesignated for the 71st Airborne Brigade on 10 March 1969.

The Scorpion: This is the insignia of the "Long Range Desert Group" (LRDG) - The Long Range Patrol was one of the first special forces formed in WW II. Although part of the British forces, the Long Range Patrol was mostly made up of New Zealanders. In December 1940 British formed G Patrol, and along with the New Zealand R and T patrols made up what was now known as the Long Range Desert Group. In January 1941 they were joined by more British in Y Patrol, and Southern Rhodesians in S Patrol.

The "R": Symbolizes "TRD" and in honor of the trailer being towed by my sweet Tacoma.

The Evolution:

I'm taking her on her first official off-road maiden voyage next weekend!

When it's done, I'm plan to have on-board:
  • 10 Gallons of Gas
  • 25 Gallons of Water
  • Refridgerator
  • Self-sufficient electrical power
  • Camp Shower
  • Roof Top Tent
  • Awning
  • Storage
  • Cooking Area
  • Flood / Work lights

My goal is that when this trailer is fully outfitted I can hook 'er up, head deep into the back-country and be completely self sufficient, and relatively comfortable (no gas stations, no 7Elevens, etc.) for 7 - 10 days.

In the mean time - while I'm still getting all my info organized - I'm happy to answer any specific questions about parts, sources, measurements, etc...
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New member

I am new to this forum but have been reading it for awhile. I am building my own trailer right now and it will be very close to what you have built. How big is your box and what size of springs did you use for suspension. Also where did you get the rear lights? One other thing, what gauge of steel did you wrap the box with.

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SE Expedition Society
DIY Chaser... ...nice execution. I'm sure that M&M can give suggestions on suspension upgrades and other hints for "what works & why".
I still wish I had the skills and room to build something too.

The Adam Blaster

Expedition Leader
It's definitely a nice looking trailer!
However, have you thought about including some angled suports in the structure? (Triangulation)

All of your supporting cross members are on 90 degree angles to each other. Putting some running @ 45's would greatly increase the rigidity of the frame.
Just a thought. :)


New member
Looks great. I plan on building a similar trailer with a tongue box and a rack on top then eventually a RTT when I have the cash.

What does it weigh? Does the lid have any weather stripping? How thick is the angle you used?


ChemicalToilet said:
Looks great. I plan on building a similar trailer with a tongue box and a rack on top then eventually a RTT when I have the cash.

What does it weigh? Does the lid have any weather stripping? How thick is the angle you used?
Well I wouldn't have an RTT on there yet, if I hadn't won it in a raffle! I'm not yet sure exactly how much it weighs, I would estimate somewhere around 1000 lbs.

Yes - I did put weather stripping around the lid.

The angle we used is 3/16".

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This weekend I took the trailer out for its maiden off-road voyage. It did about as well as I expected.

I pretty much beat the piss out of it this weekend (at least it felt that way). I almost dumped it on its side once, and hit a lot of rough spots in the trail faster than I should have. It rode, pulled, and tracked great. It seems to be very tough, and soild!

I think it could probably benefit from a set of shocks. Possibly longer springs. However - I'm confident that the trailer is fine as-is to be taken out on the trails.

The most important thing I need to revise before its next trip is the way I have my gear organized and secured. My system worked GREAT and has been proven time & time again when loading everything in the bed of the truck, but the trailer is a WHOLE different story.

I got lots of attention and quite a few compliments from others we encountered on the trail, and the Rangers. Overall - A VERY SUCCESSFUL TEST FLIGHT! :victory:

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