6x4 camp trailer

Submitted: Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 16:42
ThreadID: 132703 Views:2537 Replies:8 FollowUps:14
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Hello all just looking for some trailer wisdom. I am building a camp trailer 6 x 4 with rooftop tent, tool box and few odds and bits. All up maybe 350 to 400 kgs in the trailer. The trailer is an old steel frame with timber side's and the rego gives no weight but I would think its around 400 kgs.
My question is, What would be the best option on strength vs smooth ride in a replacement suspension. I have springs and coils on now but they are old and need replacing. Was looking at these on e-bay.
(link)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Single-Axle-Trailer-Kit-1400kg-Rating-with-Slipper-Springs-UNBRAKED-/291548036422?hash=item43e19dfd46:g:qlcAAOSwkNZUdDk-
Any help would be great.
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Reply By: Bob R4 - Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 17:19

Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 17:19
I think you'll find that any trailer exceeding 750kg gross wt will require to be braked.
1400kg rating of the set shown would be too stiff in my opinion.

Bob
AnswerID: 601197

Reply By: stacey s1 - Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 18:11

Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 18:11
Thank you yes I was aware of the 750 kg and above rule but I was thinking about toughness. So would you go with 1000kg and shocks?
AnswerID: 601199

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 18:38

Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 18:38
I agree with what Bob said about 1400 kg being way too heavy for a trailer that shouldn't weigh more than 750 kg all up unbraked. You will shake the trailer and load to bits on corrugations.

If you are planning on dragging it over rough roads or tracks I would recommend the use of shockies and I wouldn't use slipper springs.

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: stacey s1 - Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 18:43

Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 18:43
Good catch did not notice they where slipper I have eye to eye spring set up with coils
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Reply By: oetkb - Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 19:40

Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 19:40
I'm a big supporter of leaf springs, less moving parts and fairly indestructible.
One thing I would reconsider though is the timber siding, Steel doesn't swell rot or break when struck particularly easily. Timber sides would look retro and pretty cool though.
Enjoy.
AnswerID: 601204

Follow Up By: stacey s1 - Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 19:46

Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 19:46
thanks could you recommend from experience a kilo rating on springs? 750kgs or 1000, ect???
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Follow Up By: oetkb - Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 20:05

Friday, Jun 10, 2016 at 20:05
I bought a basic standard camper trailer, did a few trips and started doing Mods. This invariably added weight and I then had to go to heavier springs.
If you can keep it basic, have 1 x 60 lt water tank etc then 750 kilos should be fine, If you're gunna keep going with mods then go the heavier springs.
Hope this helps.
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Follow Up By: stacey s1 - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 08:01

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 08:01
cool ya I was thinking one water tank, arb rooftop tent pulled off the truck and a tool box. maybe few surfboards and mtb
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Reply By: Hoyks - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 08:56

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 08:56
Crawl under the trailer and have a look how it is constructed. A lot of old 6x4's have what appears to be a solid draw bar, but it is welded onto less than substantial structure. Sometimes the cross members under the load area are just folded sheet metal.
Adding a tool box to the draw bar will add more stress to this area and it is not uncommon to see a box trailer that has a bent draw bar, or has folded under the weight.

If you have the facilities and welding experience, then I'd suggest that you "renovate" the trailer and make it more substantial as building a new one and getting it registered can be a pain. On mine I replaced everything, except the number plate and the chassis number.

Slipper springs work OK, just weld a 100 x 6mm wear plate to the chassis, rather the little square your average box trailer has for the spring to run through. They aren't as good as eye to eye leaf springs, but you are unlikely to wear them out with occasional use. The less complexity, the better most times.
AnswerID: 601219

Follow Up By: stacey s1 - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 09:12

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 09:12
Great stuff. I have not started the renovation yet as Im still in the research mode however I have purchased some 33 inch tyres to match the Toyota and I have the arb tent. I like the retro look of timber sides so ill keep it. However I will spend the money in the suspension and everyday camping concerns. The frame is welded 25mm sq tube and the springs are eye to eye with coils. Some pics


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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 12:35

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 12:35
Surely this is a troll??

I don't like to be pessimistic, but I'm afraid that I agree with Bigfish that you are wasting your time. That trailer would struggle to pass rego, let alone the rigors of off road use.
The draw bar is too thin and isn't attached to the trailer adequately. Adding a tool box and I'd predict that it will fold where the braces are welded on 1/2 way. Having a draw bar that runs all the way under the front of the trailer and is welded to the front suspension pivots is a better plan.
Yes, the suspension needs work, those dropped pivot points are just nasty.
Again, I think you would be better off starting again, even if you stick with the angle iron frame so you can have the timber infills, as the current chassis, in my view is inadequate for what you have planned.
I don't go and buy the best there is, I think I am rather frugal (although my wife says I'm a tightass) and on this job I think you will be throwing good money after bad to get something that will still be inadequate and more than likely leave you stranded. The whole point of a trailer is to carry stuff you can't fit in the car, so what do you do with all that gear when the draw bar snaps off out in the scrub 200km from home?
When my wife was a teenager they had a box trailer done up as a camper. It broke while they were out camping, so they dragged it into the scrub and camouflaged it before heading back to town to get what they needed to recover it. 5 hours later they came back to find everything pilfered and what was left alight.
Can you afford to lose it all?
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Follow Up By: stacey s1 - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 13:24

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 13:24
yep OK solid points .
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Reply By: Bigfish - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 09:19

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 09:19
Looking at your trailer I would suggest that you never venture onto dirt roads. It is very lightly built and the odds of it breaking up on a corrugated road would be very high. In my opinion you would do better buying a new trailer that is safer, stronger and better equiped for what you want. Sorry mate but your asking a little boy to do a mans job.
AnswerID: 601220

Follow Up By: stacey s1 - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 10:50

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 10:50
lol, the power of positive thinking, Look I could just go out and buy the best thing going like I always do but I wanted to make something this time. I do plan over hauling the frame and Im sure ill spend more on this then if I just bought new. Its the journey right
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 12:33

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 12:33
Positve? Positive it wouldnt get 100 meters ,loaded and off road. Mate you will need an entirely new frame suspension and floor, sides and draw bar. Get some plans for a total new trailer and enjoy the project. No good throwing money at something that would cost you $100 on gumtree.
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Follow Up By: ian.g - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 16:33

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 16:33
I'm sorry if you have spent money on this "trailer" but I would be worried pulling it to the dump, if it has rego, deregister it, claim it back and do as other experienced writers on this forum have advised and start from scratch.
Regards
Ian
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Follow Up By: stacey s1 - Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 19:37

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016 at 19:37
Thank you all for your help. very informative.
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Reply By: Lionel A - Sunday, Jun 12, 2016 at 07:27

Sunday, Jun 12, 2016 at 07:27
Go for your life Stacey, I did the same thing over 10 years ago and have had no problems. Believe me, my trailer has been to hell and back more times than I can remember. I also, had plenty of 'advice' from 7 star campers who wouldn't know a screwdriver from a teaspoon....lol.

Strengthen the subframe as you see fit. Common sense works better than any engineering degree.
The 750kg kit will be the go, but if Chinese wheel bearings are included, throw them away. While you're at it go spring over axle, works for me, especially in extreme off-track situations.
Oversized galvanised mud guards are stocked by most trailer parts suppliers.
33's are a large wheel, keep pressures down to about 20psi and she will ride a treat.

Enjoy the times ahead mate, it will work.

Cheers.....Lionel.


AnswerID: 601245

Follow Up By: Hoyks - Sunday, Jun 12, 2016 at 08:30

Sunday, Jun 12, 2016 at 08:30
Lionel, did you look at the images of said trailer?
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Follow Up By: Lionel A - Sunday, Jun 12, 2016 at 09:09

Sunday, Jun 12, 2016 at 09:09
G'day Hoyks, I certainly did mate and it appears in much better condition than mine when I started the project.....lol.
I was looking for a more compact, lighter and robust unit because I knew where I would be taking it. Budget at the time was a huge factor also.
It's primary job at the time was to haul extra fuel, water & wheels on extended remote trips. Mostly off-track travel which Willem [remember him], was doing long before it sparked an interest within myself.

My point is that it is doable.....I've done it...

Cheers......Lionel.

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Follow Up By: nickb - Monday, Jun 13, 2016 at 02:54

Monday, Jun 13, 2016 at 02:54
I agree with Lionel, that trailer has potential. The chassis looks pretty pathetic so I would make a new one with a new strong drawbar, then bolt the wooden/angle box onto it. It will be strong as anything and still look like he old trailer!!!
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Reply By: Malcom M - Monday, Jun 13, 2016 at 07:16

Monday, Jun 13, 2016 at 07:16
You don't say what your intended usage is!
Are you just driving around on the blacktop, outback touring or extreme off road?
That info dictates how much you need to over engineer things.
My fully off road camper weighs some 850Kg but has 3000Kg leaf springs (9 leaf). It can go anywhere.

Once you decide what you are going to do with your trailer, head on over to myswag.org. Thats an Ozzie camper trailer forum sight where most people are building or modifying campers.
AnswerID: 601275

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