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Posted: 2/18/2021 9:12:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2021 9:13:45 AM EST by IowaJack]
Well I pulled the trigger and purchased a cargo trailer yesterday. This is the one that I am going to partially convert to camp in, more like a glorified box tent. Trailers and anything that moves right now are high and are probably going up even more so I figured I better get it before they go up even more. I ended up getting a Charmac brand made in Twin Falls ID.

I guess I can either bug out in it if needed or have a really nice dog house if the spousal unit kicks me out. When we retire and get ready to move I will be able to haul most of our stuff myself. I could have gotten a regular camper trailer, but I like the option of setting this up how I want it and having lots of room to haul stuff. This trailer is only 3000 lbs so my 5.0 F-150 should easily drag it anywhere I want to go. Wish me luck!

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Link Posted: 2/18/2021 9:14:24 AM EST
I like the side entry door.

Link Posted: 2/18/2021 9:16:01 AM EST
In for the build out.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 9:16:10 AM EST
If you are going to make it a convertible look in to a raising bed in the rear, either fold up or on a track.

Link Posted: 2/18/2021 9:16:45 AM EST
Very nice! In for the build!
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 9:18:24 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LandKruiser:
In for the build out.
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Don’t let us down OP
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 9:47:05 AM EST
What size OP? 3000 # sounds kind of high unless you have upgraded axles or something.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 9:55:48 AM EST
Yup, I am already planning on several mods. I am sure by the time I am done I will have another 5-6 grand into it but it will be how I want and give me something to do. The quality on all the camper trailers is just crap so I figured I would start with a blank canvas. I might even get a small ATV or SxS to load in and bring along.

Putting a bed frame that raises up
waterproof wood flooring
a propane on demand water heater
a screened in deck on the rear ramp
110 shore power plug and outlets


Link Posted: 2/18/2021 10:01:16 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AR_Dale:
What size OP? 3000 # sounds kind of high unless you have upgraded axles or something.
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It is an 7.5 x 17 size. It is actually 2,940 lbs with a payload of 4,060 lbs on 3,500 lbs axles. The sidewalls are framed with tube steel and a 3/4 inch floor. It is supposed to be one of the better built trailers but I shall see. There really isn't a lot to them so I should ba able to patch or fix anything on it.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 10:17:27 AM EST
The side RV door with the window was a little more but I figured by the time I purchase a window and monkey with cutting it out and putting it in I would be better off just to have it already done. I really dont mind tent camping, but id did get a little chilly a couple of times. This way I can leave all my gear in the trailer and just hook up and go.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 10:19:13 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By midcap:
I like the side entry door.

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That’s what she said.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 11:15:50 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IowaJack:


It is an 7.5 x 17 size. It is actually 2,940 lbs with a payload of 4,060 lbs on 3,500 lbs axles. The sidewalls are framed with tube steel and a 3/4 inch floor. It is supposed to be one of the better built trailers but I shall see. There really isn't a lot to them so I should ba able to patch or fix anything on it.
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Oh, I didn't guess that big looking at picture.

I have a 7x12 + V nose and 6.5 inside height. 5K frame and torsion single axle w brakes, build like a tank it's 2600. Mine is 21 years old and hauls my dirt bikes 30+ weekends a year, salt is starting to work on it.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 11:28:11 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AR_Dale:


Oh, I didn't guess that big looking at picture.

I have a 7x12 + V nose and 6.5 inside height. 5K frame and torsion single axle w brakes, build like a tank it's 2600. Mine is 21 years old and hauls my dirt bikes 30+ weekends a year, salt is starting to work on it.
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When I live din the midwest I sprayed the bottom of my vehicles with Fluid Film to try and protect it a bit.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 11:36:21 AM EST
OP, before you do anything else, insulate it.

Take the wood panels off the walls and ceiling, if it came with panels, and cut rigid foam board to fit tightly between the supports.  I'd recommend  you then paint the panels before reinstalling them.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 11:42:15 AM EST
Have you pulled that thing yet with your half ton pick up truck? I bought a 7 x 16 twin axle cargo trailer and pulled it with my half ton Dodge ram pick up truck. Gas mileage dropped down to about 9 miles per gallon empty. The front of those trailers are like a huge air dam going through the wind.  There were stretches of highway where I had to stay on the accelerator to maintain speed going downhill.  Don’t forget to think about tongue weight as you build out that trailer you want to keep the weight evenly distributed in front and behind the axles.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 11:45:02 AM EST
Cool.  I just started thinking about one for myself.

Best of luck with it.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 11:57:04 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tangbang:
Have you pulled that thing yet with your half ton pick up truck? I bought a 7 x 16 twin axle cargo trailer and pulled it with my half ton Dodge ram pick up truck. Gas mileage dropped down to about 9 miles per gallon empty. The front of those trailers are like a huge air dam going through the wind.  There were stretches of highway where I had to stay on the accelerator to maintain speed going downhill.  Don’t forget to think about tongue weight as you build out that trailer you want to keep the weight evenly distributed in front and behind the axles.
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Here is my old camper and truck with the 6 speed 3.5EB and it didn't tank too bad on mileage. The new trailer is a V-none and the new ford is a 2020 with the 5.0 and 10 speed so I am expecting a 4-5mpg drop.

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Link Posted: 2/18/2021 12:03:46 PM EST
I bought an all aluminum, 7.5x14 NEO last fall. Thing pulls like a dream! Before it got cold as balls I had time to add shore power and LED shop lights. Once the weather breaks I’m going to add quick connect propane piping for inside heat as well as battery operated / solar charged lighting for when I’m not hooked to shore power or the truck. I’ll keep picking away at it, but it hauls my ranger crew XP 1000, so I can’t do a full on conversion and still have room for the SXS

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My pops wiring up some lights -

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Link Posted: 2/18/2021 12:06:12 PM EST
I picked up my 6x12 all-aluminum in December. I put R5 foil-backed insulation in the walls, ceiling and soon under the floor. Will have 110 shore power with a couple of outlets, a 12v solar system, a lift-up bed in the back. The kitchen will be an outside table. I am picking up the lauan plywood for the ceiling this weekend, and also the vinyl roll flooring.

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Link Posted: 2/18/2021 12:08:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 12:10:17 PM EST
Do the additions involve beakers and flasks?
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 12:25:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IowaJack:


When I live din the midwest I sprayed the bottom of my vehicles with Fluid Film to try and protect it a bit.
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My current vehicles have that, didn't know about it in 2000.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 12:27:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IowaJack:
The side RV door with the window was a little more but I figured by the time I purchase a window and monkey with cutting it out and putting it in I would be better off just to have it already done. I really dont mind tent camping, but id did get a little chilly a couple of times. This way I can leave all my gear in the trailer and just hook up and go.
View Quote

What about a trailer top tent?  There is a rooftop brand called iKamper that has zip in insulated walls for winter camping. Then you have lots of other options for inside the trailer.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 1:24:02 PM EST
OP, check out the awesome job this older guy did on his first trailer conversion.  It should give you some good inspiration.

Part 1 of 2:
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 1:28:50 PM EST
I want to do the same thing.  YouTube has some amazing videos on those.  

I have been watching Built by Sonick.  He has a pretty detailed video series of his build.


Link Posted: 2/18/2021 1:32:22 PM EST
Get rid of the crap China trailer tires and put on some passenger vehicle tires that are much less likely to randomly fail.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 1:41:45 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HighCaliber:
Get rid of the crap China trailer tires and put on some passenger vehicle tires that are much less likely to randomly fail.
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Passenger vehicle tires?  The utility trailer I bought in December came with 10-ply radials (Load Range E).  You won't find passenger  vehicles with those types of tires.

I agree that most trailers come with somewhat less desirable tires, but just ensure you have a spare or two with you and the ability to change the tires out when needed.  No sense in throwing away the original tires though.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 1:45:41 PM EST
I have a v nose 7x16 that I haul 2 commercial zero turns in, and my 5.0 f150 hauls it easily. I have the 3.73 gear ratio fwiw
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 2:10:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2021 2:11:56 PM EST by Steelhammer]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HighCaliber:
Get rid of the crap China trailer tires and put on some passenger vehicle tires that are much less likely to randomly fail.
View Quote


Maybe not passenger vehicle tires, but at least get some good load rated radials.
I would make this my first priority, and keep one of these 'China-Bombs as a spare. If you don't plan to do this, at least get your tires balanced. (No trailer manufacture, even some tire shops, don't balances the cargo trailer tires) These two things will make it pull tremendously better.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 2:30:05 PM EST
Many trailers have 15" wheel which makes it hard to find E truck tires, many swap to 16" wheels.
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 6:35:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2021 6:36:39 PM EST by Goodn]
Link Posted: 2/18/2021 6:52:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2021 6:53:55 PM EST by loon_138]
My 7x16 Neo
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Added a fold down bed, too, still leaves room for wheeler
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Probably have more pictures if I dig around a bit. We love it, nice to pull, durable, adaptable to our needs. Spray foam insulated all around including floors
Link Posted: 2/19/2021 8:34:39 PM EST
Bump
Link Posted: 2/19/2021 8:48:48 PM EST
Not a camping conversion just my dirt bike trailer and this is 2009 of my 2000 trailer that I still use almost weekly in 2021.
I have added more storage on the walls, I can't understand how many enclosed moto trailers I see with no shelfs or anything.

Link Posted: 2/22/2021 10:32:52 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History


What heater did you install?
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 10:37:38 AM EST
Solid choice in Charmac. I’ve done business with the owners and toured their plant, they don’t cut any corners or skimp on components and build quality stuff.
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 10:38:56 AM EST
I am wanting to insulate the underside of the floor. Should I coat the underside first or just insulate it and cover the underside? I have heard that if you seal the OSB then it won't be able to breathe and expel moisture?

I picked it up this weekend and we stayed in it Sat. night on the way home in 20 degree weather. I had a propane heater inside with a CO alarm and the vent cracked a bit. We were ok and stayed warm enough, but the walls were sweating pretty good by morning.

Also, when I insulate the walls should I put the vapor barrier in or out? I have always heard that the barrier should face the warm side but what about for both hot and cold weather?
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 10:46:14 AM EST
Neat. I've been working on outfitting mine.
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Link Posted: 2/22/2021 11:02:57 AM EST
Don't really know what some of ya'll are paying for these Aluminum trailers.  But here is a nice Sundowner that can be used at any campground if needed.  I know we are talking back woods boondocking but if the need ever arises to stay at a state CG or private CG they wont allow home built without a safety cert.

https://ocalatrailer.com/inventory/1037859/view/RA0021/Ocala-FL/2021-Sundowner-1869%20Trail%20Blazer
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 12:01:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/22/2021 12:02:21 PM EST by ORjeepguy]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By OBE1CanOB:
Don't really know what some of ya'll are paying for these Aluminum trailers.  But here is a nice Sundowner that can be used at any campground if needed.  I know we are talking back woods boondocking but if the need ever arises to stay at a state CG or private CG they wont allow home built without a safety cert.

https://ocalatrailer.com/inventory/1037859/view/RA0021/Ocala-FL/2021-Sundowner-1869%20Trail%20Blazer
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Mine was 3200. Probably have another thousand into it or so. Take me a lot to put 25 grand more into it

Hadn't heard about exclusions from camp grounds. I'll have to look into that.
Link Posted: 2/22/2021 9:59:58 PM EST
looks good
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:31:57 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IowaJack:


What heater did you install?
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IowaJack:


What heater did you install?


If I'm not mistaken it is a Suburban brand RV furnace. It was installed already when I bought the camper, I'll have to dig up then paperwork on it to verify brand.

On a thermostat back by the bed, and it's vented. Makes for a very comfortable space, not terribly loud, and pretty efficient. We've been in it at about -10 degrees or so and have had no issues.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:36:45 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By IowaJack:
I am wanting to insulate the underside of the floor. Should I coat the underside first or just insulate it and cover the underside? I have heard that if you seal the OSB then it won't be able to breathe and expel moisture?

I picked it up this weekend and we stayed in it Sat. night on the way home in 20 degree weather. I had a propane heater inside with a CO alarm and the vent cracked a bit. We were ok and stayed warm enough, but the walls were sweating pretty good by morning.

Also, when I insulate the walls should I put the vapor barrier in or out? I have always heard that the barrier should face the warm side but what about for both hot and cold weather?
View Quote


Mine was brought to an outfit that does spray foam, it was put on a lift and they sprayed the bottom completely. I don't believe there is any sort of coating underneath the floor.

The moisture is due to the heater being non-vented. If you switched to anvented heater, moisture wouldn't be an issue.

Vapor barrier goes on the side of the conditioned space(whether hested or cooled). The stud spaces on mine were sprayfoamed, and fanfold foil backed insulation was installed, with the wall sheeting screwed back up over that.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:37:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2021 8:39:44 AM EST by loon_138]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By OBE1CanOB:
Don't really know what some of ya'll are paying for these Aluminum trailers.  But here is a nice Sundowner that can be used at any campground if needed.  I know we are talking back woods boondocking but if the need ever arises to stay at a state CG or private CG they wont allow home built without a safety cert.

https://ocalatrailer.com/inventory/1037859/view/RA0021/Ocala-FL/2021-Sundowner-1869%20Trail%20Blazer
View Quote


I have a bit over $12g in mine. So far besides private property and a couple shirt trips to unimproved public land, it has spent 20+ nights at state parks and private campgrounds. No issues, here at least.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:50:40 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By OBE1CanOB:
Don't really know what some of ya'll are paying for these Aluminum trailers.  But here is a nice Sundowner that can be used at any campground if needed.  I know we are talking back woods boondocking but if the need ever arises to stay at a state CG or private CG they wont allow home built without a safety cert.

https://ocalatrailer.com/inventory/1037859/view/RA0021/Ocala-FL/2021-Sundowner-1869%20Trail%20Blazer
View Quote


My NEO was a tad over $8000. That’s all aluminum with tandem torsion axles and a side entry door with RV locks. Worth every penny to me.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 8:52:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/23/2021 8:58:41 AM EST by fl-ar-fan]
A few years ago I was going to purchase a Runaway Camper which is basically a sleeping pod.

I couldn't justify the $5k price tag, so I bought a 4x10 v-Nose, had the height cut down so the top is below the height of my Jeep, but still tall enough to be usable.
I put a bulkhead in the rear with A/C and plenty of storage, added a couple windows I got off eBay, insulated and did some wood on the walls and a little cabinet in the V.

Only have about $3k in it, and it is perfect for the Wife and I.


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Even has a screen door held on with rare earth magnets. Beer opener and Coach light.

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Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:12:34 AM EST
When we bought ours, I thought something looked off about a couple of them on the lot.

Took my six foot level and laid it against the wheels. The axles on two trailers weren't parallel, it looked as though they'd been welded on without the use of a jig. Guess I'd of figured it out when they started wearing tires....
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:16:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By IowaJack:
Well I pulled the trigger and purchased a cargo trailer yesterday. This is the one that I am going to partially convert to camp in, more like a glorified box tent. Trailers and anything that moves right now are high and are probably going up even more so I figured I better get it before they go up even more. I ended up getting a Charmac brand made in Twin Falls ID.

I guess I can either bug out in it if needed or have a really nice dog house if the spousal unit kicks me out. When we retire and get ready to move I will be able to haul most of our stuff myself. I could have gotten a regular camper trailer, but I like the option of setting this up how I want it and having lots of room to haul stuff. This trailer is only 3000 lbs so my 5.0 F-150 should easily drag it anywhere I want to go. Wish me luck!

https://www.ar15.com/media/mediaFiles/250895/Charmac_Trailers_7_5x16_Stealth_Enclosed-1830512.JPG
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They're really easy to steal so finding ways to make it harder to move should be a one of your first priorities.
Link Posted: 2/23/2021 9:25:34 AM EST
My brother did the same thing some years ago for deer hunting, worked great for him.
He sold it a few years ago since he stopped deer hunting.
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