Suggestions for a trailer, please

Submitted: Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:19
ThreadID: 69169 Views:3608 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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I have a 4.5 L petrol Patrol,and I am thinking of purchasing a trailer to tow behind it. I travel extensively on dirt roads and station tracks with about 5 to 10 % of travel where there aren't any wheel tracks at all. Current vehicle, ready to go bush, is 3.8 t (!!)

Yeah, I know trailers cost rego & insurance, blah, blah, blah. I am aware that my range will suffer as fuel consumption rises.

Problem is, I cannot fit all the water, food, cooking eqpt, spares including tyre gear, swags, chairs, tables, personal bags, tucker, fridge etc needed for trips, into or on top of the Patrol for 5 of us.

I have considered a late model 2nd hand Troopie,and reckon the changeover cost would be about $ 35 K. That figure includes getting it to the storage & off road state my Patrol is currently in. The volume in the rear of the Troopie is twice that of the Patrol, but the compromise is in passenger access and ride comfort.

I do not wish to prejudice your replies, so won't offer my views of suspension, make, style, new Vs 2nd hand, storage box/canopy, etc.

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:24

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:24
Build one.

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 366664

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:42

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:42

A 7x5 offroad trailer is a practical choice for extra storage needs and will allow you to go virtually anywhere.

I don't use mine as often as I used to, as our camper trailer provides adequate storage space as well as a means of transporting the tinnie on fishing/camping trip occasions.

I travelled "up the middle" to Darwin and back (and side trips along the way) towing the trailer with the tinnie upside down on top of it and had no problems at all. The extra fuel consumption would be negligible when compared to a roof rack on top, for extra storage space.


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AnswerID: 366670

Reply By: Member - DickyBeach - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 20:43

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 20:43
I suppose you could say that I'm in a similar boat as you and, as has already been suggested by Peter to you, I'm proposing to build my own campING trailer to carry all the stuff we need (and no doubt lots that we don't need).

I reckon I can build (correction, have built, as my hands are all thumbs) a 2.0m x 1.8m (excl drawbar) which when fully loaded with 220L of water, Engel and all the other "necessary" will weigh just under 1500kg and be easily towed behind my LC80.

If you're interested in my thoughts - or just want a good laugh - send me a MM with your email address and I'll send you what I have; I'd also be interested in your reaction, critique, etc.

AnswerID: 366692

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 20:51

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 20:51
G'day Dick,

Can't MM as I'm not a member. However, here's my addy:
rickmoore@ p a c i f i c d o t n e t d o t a u.
love to cant & I'll explain my ideas also.

FollowupID: 634394

Reply By: Member - daz (SA) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 21:07

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 21:07
Two very good trailer builders in SA are Miegel Bros at Murray Bridge & Built Tough at Willaston. Both on the net.
AnswerID: 366697

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 23:22

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 23:22
Gday Rick,
When our family of 4 kids were growing up, we towed a 1960 model Treg trailer. Tregs still operate out of the same factory in Underdale, and they make a nice strong 4x4 trailer. Won't come cheap though. The one I used is now being used by another family member - its almost 50 years old.

Also you could contact the people at Adventure Camper Trailers. They also make solid leaf spring trailers.

All the best with your trips - I expect you're still folllowing the routes of John McDougall Stuart!

AnswerID: 366741

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 23:31

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 23:31
Heres a photo of what we'd take - actually took another family with us on that trip to Dalhousie and up the Old Andado Track. Had 4 adults and 6 kids in the vehicle!
FollowupID: 634438

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:20

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:20
thanks Phil,

The Good Old Days - who needs sealed vehicles with air con, comfy seats, iPods etc ???? (me, now), split rims, 7.50 x 16 tyres etc?

My first 4 x 4 was a three speed [no synchro on 1st, but that did n't matter as I grew up with crash boxes] FJ 40 Landcruiser, short wheel base. It's weak point was brakes, actually. It had a scrub frame same as your troopy also. I bought an engine piston air compressor - remove a spark plug, carefully screw in the fitting, and wait for (ever) the engine to pump up a tyre.



PS any news of Greg & Tric Cartan?
FollowupID: 634467

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 09:27

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 09:27
Have mo now for some thoughts Rick.
I have had a 5x7 Tregg for about 15 years. It has given good service, but over the years I have made some significant mods to it.
1. Drawbar. Boat style (single tube) and a bit longer will allow jack-knifing in excess of 90d for getting out of tight spots. I extended the Tregg drawbar by 1M.
2. We only tow the trailer when we take a tinny. The tinny is mounted RIGHT WAY UP so it can be left rigged with motor on in camp etc. I modified the trailer to full tilt so we can launch and retrieve the tinny with a boat winch.
3. It has a 2.5T axle and HUGE wheel bearings. A majour plus. I added a bearing lube sustem (a grease nipple in the bearing cap) so that the hubs can be filled with grease regularly to keep the water out.
4. It has conventional 9 leaf short leaf springs. This is NBG. If you want the stuff in the trailer to survive you need longer travel, softer suspension AND shockers. Independent would be nice, but not essential, IMHO.
5. Spring shackle pins and bushes take a thrashing. They must be eaily replacable on the road and greasable.
6. Wheel track should be identical to the tow vehicle and it should have identical wheels and tyres.
7. Most stuff should be stored in plastic bins with lids. The lids should be as dust proof as possible and the bns should slide in to their 'home'.
8. There is opportunity to carry extra water and fuel under the floor and use transer pumps instead of jerries.
9. Fit a fully articulating hitch (eg Tregg).
10. Brakes are a pain (mine has none). Fit whatever mechanical system that stays together best (to be legal over 750kg) rather than what works best. Avoid hydraulics at all costs.

If I started again, I would definately build my own. The design would start like a boat trailer with storage under the boat, rather than a box trailer modified to carry a boat. That way there is better access to 'stuff' along the sides.

OKA196 Motorhome

AnswerID: 366777

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:07

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:07
Ahh, Capt Sturt has travelled west, still in search of the Inland Sea!!

More seriously, thanks for your response, and that of others.
Have had Treg Trailers previously, and as noted by Phil G, they are still around.

Had factored longer drawbar; longer eye to eye springs with matched shocks; identical wheel tracks; same hubs, brgs, rims & tyres; low mounted baffled water tanks with gravity draw off; bins with lids.

Not yet sure about which braking system.

I wish to use the trailer as a cooking kitchen/work centre, so it could have a two benches - one (probably fold out) along the near side; the other a return bench with drop down leg.

I had though to have a sealed canopy with 2 x gas strutted lift up doors + internal frames to carry the tucker, fridge, cooking eqpt etc. Plus a roof rack to house trestle table, chairs, swags (no tents) & firewood (when needed). And yes, tubs with lids.

The KISS principle is to be employed. e.g. tubs to slide on nylon runners, similar stuff to that used on bats at retrieval. No fancy (read - expensive) drawer runners. Weld mesh internal compartmentalised frames - cheap, easy to build, tough, don't need paint, light weight.

In terms of trailer construction, which is better - steel or aluminium ????????? I don't recall seeing al. trailers out in the bush, but that may be because of other reasons?

Cheers again
FollowupID: 634462

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:20

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:20
Aluminium would be GREAT, but ONLY if the strength is in all the right places. Problem is it fatigues if the detail is not right and it is harder to fix when that happens.
If you want to keep weight to a minimum (and can handle the extra cost) I would use a steel chassis/drawbar and a FRP/foam sandwich panel 'body'.

OKA196 Motorhome
FollowupID: 634468

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 00:08

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 00:08
Gday Peter, I recognised the track - I've been along the Cook-Volkes Hill Rd about 6-7 times since 2002. Last year there were a heap of Mining Shot Lines that hadn't been there before - petroleum exploration.

Sounds like your trailer has similar specs to mine. I also had a 2.5T one piece axle; The 9-leaf springs are about 1.5 T from memory; the bearings on mine were also huge (Chev) and the wheels on mine were 1960 Dodge 16".

Theres a mob down south that are making the Aluminium trailers. Andrew Weller (Vivid Adventures) was using one out in the GVD and elsewhere. I have no idea what it was like, but he was selling it last year.
FollowupID: 634784

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