Hi. Is there any interest in a build thread for a camper/trailer here? I remember a trailer restoration that was allowed, but I understand it's not a car, so maybe it's not strictly allowed. I'm not sure. Well, anyway I'll give it a shot, and mods can just delete it if it's against the rules. I tried to PM one to ask, but there was no response, so fuggit.
So it's like a teardrop style camper in that the only "inside" part is the bed. The galley is outside and all that. But it's an off-road trailer. And it's rather a different design than the majority of teardrops. So yea, the design is mine and the fabrication is mine, except as noted.
I went through several design concepts:
2017-02-01_11-29-50 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
IMG_20161013_142909221 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
IMG_20161006_202849992 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
2017-02-01_09-49-40 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
But this is closest to what I'm working towards:
IMG_20161028_194439339 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
So there was an ad on Craigslist for steel tubing. A crew was tearing down the old horse stalls at Rockingham Park up in Salem, NH. I got a bunch of 1.5" square and 2" square lengths, enough for the frame. Obviously it had been exposed to the weather, so it needed cleaning. I gave each tube a soak in Evapo-Rust, which worked quite well. After a rinse, I taped up the ends and filled it with paint and rolled it all around to coat the inside surfaces and then dumped out the excess and let it dry. Then, with an abrasive wheel in the drill press, I cleaned the rest of the crud off the outsides.
2017-02-01_01-50-04 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
This part sucked because each tube would sit overnight. It was super slow, and seemed to take forever, with no real progress to show for it.
Before - after - during:
2017-02-01_02-34-35 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
The tube on the left is pretty representative of the lot of tubing I picked up. The far right is what they looked like coming out of the Evaporust bath, after a rinse. In the middle is one that's been painted inside and abrasive-wheeled on the outside.
So, I cut them all to length and laid them out on the floor to tack a basic ladder frame together:
2017-02-01_09-58-56 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
We ordered a custom-length 3500lb idler axle from Redneck Trailer. It's got provisions for brakes, but no brakes installed. Future upgrade if it's necessary, but I doubt it. So once that came in, it began to sort of look like something when I mocked up all the suspension parts:
IMG_20161119_155910026 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
2017-02-01_09-57-40 by Rob Mandy, on Flickr
2000lb. springs for now because they were cheap and available from a friend, but those might go away later on. I don't know what the final weight will be but I suspect it's less than a ton. We'll see.