designing own camper trailer

Submitted: Monday, May 31, 2010 at 09:41
ThreadID: 78920 Views:4177 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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I have a design in mind that suits our needs. I just can't decide between steel, aluminium, aluminium checkerplate?? Or maybe a combination.
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 09:46

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 09:46
Are you able to weld Aluminium when remote?

I would go the steel as there is an easier ability to repair if things go wrong when travelling.

Cheers Kev
Russell Coight:
He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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AnswerID: 418887

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:00

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:00
'Are you able to weld Aluminium when remote ? ' ,,, Course you can if you have the equipement , cant repair steel everywhere for that matter either ,
Go ally if your plans include a majority of beach camping and you dont want the pride and joys paint job needing touch ups constantly as with steel.
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Follow Up By: CPRforLife - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:22

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:22
thanks, kind of both what I was thinking but leaning towards aluminium for weight and lack of rust.
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Reply By: ob - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:34

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:34
I built our "slide on" camper for our Cruiser ute using a steel frame clad with galvanised sheet. If I was to do it again I would still make a steel frame although a little lighter (if you ask the good lady wife a lot lighter.....lol) but clad with checker plate aluminium.

ob
AnswerID: 418891

Follow Up By: mintrax - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:55

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 10:55
You might want too have a look at this as an alternative.

http://camperz.com.au/camperzarticle3.htm

You may be able to buy the "tub" and build around that.


Mintrax
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FollowupID: 689061

Reply By: Member -Signman - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 11:08

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 11:08
If it's going to be an 'off-roader'- it's mandatory to use heaps of aluminium checkerplate !!

AnswerID: 418897

Follow Up By: ob - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 14:57

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 14:57
???????????????????
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FollowupID: 689080

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 11:12

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 11:12
Gday,
Personally....I would go a steel chassis and structural parts and aluminium tub and panelling,
As others have said steel is easier to get repaired when remote but if you where to carry the right gear you could weld ally your self on the road ,otherwise make do with a good battery drill, a few steel plates and some bolts to make running repairs.
As for checkerplate...its a bit stronger than sheet of the same thickness, it doest mark and dent as easy but is heaps harder to keep clean.I would go for checkerplate but it is a personal choice.
Aluminium welds are more likely to crack than steel when under stress and vibration, which is why I bolt steel hinges etc to ally rather than weld, just remember to use big body washers when bolting to ally to spread the load or have a thickness welded on that area.
A lot of it comes down to personal preference but I think ideal is a combination of both ally and steel as they both have different properties.

Cheers
Hairy
AnswerID: 418898

Follow Up By: CPRforLife - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 10:57

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 10:57
ta, all good info
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FollowupID: 689221

Reply By: splits - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 12:10

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 12:10
Regardless of whatever material you decide to use, make sure you get the suspension right. Many camper trailers break but the cars towing them don't. I have driven all over the outback on and off since the 1970s with home made all wood camper bodies on the back of standard utes and I have never had one came apart. It probably has a lot more to do with a factory designed suspension working well within its load limits than my building skills. I am not for one minute suggesting you use wood, just make sure your springs are exactly the right rate for the weight of the camper and the unsprung weight of the suspension and use good matching shocks mounted at the angle recommended by their manufacturer.
AnswerID: 418904

Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 13:36

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 13:36
I may have this wrong (it's a long way back to my school days when I last looked at this) but I would have thought mixing steel with aluminium would not be recommended as electrolysis bewteen the two would lead to rapid corrosion. I would have thought a trailer should be made of one or the other??
This was always a problem on Landrovers where aluminium body panels met steel.
AnswerID: 418910

Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 16:49

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 16:49
Its definitely something to consider.
Its a bigger problem by the coast than the desert but it can be avoided by separating the two with felt before bolting together.
There are formulas relating surface areas and a Galvanic chart and electrolysis can be minimised if done correctly.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 689095

Reply By: Crackles - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 22:06

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 22:06
Depends on the design/style of camper, where you intend to take it & the recources you have to build it what materials will be best. My preference is for a gal steel chassis for stone protection, a tubular steel frame with flat aluminium sheets to minimise weight. Chequer plate is for anti slip so not a material I'd use to line a camper. If your design has walls then some of the foam core panels are very light & worth a look.
To my thinking there is no point reinventing the wheel. There are some excellent campers out there, just copy the best features to suit your needs.
Cheers Craig..............
AnswerID: 419017

Reply By: daverobbo5 - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 01:29

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 01:29
check out this top design for a camper trailer.
AnswerID: 419042

Follow Up By: daverobbo5 - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 01:31

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 01:31
i'll try that again
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