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Starting offroad teardrop build

old_man

New member
I am starting my offroad teardrop build over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. I got all the steel together for the frame and suspension, I got my axle, and the stuff to make my hitch. The tires are 31's.

I am building the suspension using a single RE Superjoint and a panhard bar system. I have the airbags for the suspension and adjustable shocks. The outside of the frame is 2x2 thin wall with cross supports being 1x2 thin wall. The tongue is 2x2 11 gauge. I am fabbing up a Treg hitch knockoff. I am making the mold for the neoprene vibration dampener and will pour them myself. I have been pouring neoprene parts for 20 years so this is no big deal.

I have been tossing around the idea of making a half dozen hitches while I was at it since I have the material. Anybody interested?

Once I get the frame made I will add the metal scaffolding for the top. Unlike most folks I like the frame to be steel rather than wood. I can probably do it stronger and lighter that way. I am modifying a set of dies for the roller to handle the 1x1 box for the upper body. That way I can get nice smooth arcs.

The outside will be skinned with Filon and backed with luan. Filon is what all the motorhomes use for skin. It handles hail and abuse without dents. It will be insulated with 1" styrofoam sheets. The interior will most likely be covered with foamed ABS panels. They are lightweight and strong, as well as cheap.

The galley will have a stove top and a pull out BBQ grill as well as a sink and 12v blender for my margs.

I already snared a 12v propane forced air furnace that uses a thermostat.

There is a front expanded metal shelf that will hold a 20lb propane tank and 4 NATO style jerry cans.

I hope to start posting pix this weekend.
 
Can't wait to see it, Tom. Let me know if you need a hand with anything and I'll time it for my trip up to pick up my axle (with the achilles and all...).:peace:
 
Have you priced the Filon yet? I've heard it is prohibitively expensive.

I found a place where I can buy the filon wholesale. It isn't cheap but about the same as the alternatives.
 
You should check out this tear drop style trailer

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18142

Also do you have info on what the hitch will look and act like? Intersted depending on price.

I like the looks but the shape isn't as practical as a simple teardrop.


The biggest design issue is dealing with the fact that if you lift the trailer the galley gets too high. I am looking at having the lower back swing down and provide a surface to stand on.
 
The hitch will look something like this.
TREG-OFFROAD-TRAILER-COUPLING-4808_image.jpg




I am upgrading the materials a bit. I am also going oillite lubed bushings on the swivel instead of steel on steel.
 
I would be interested in a hitch like this. would it plug into a standard 2" receiver? let me know what the cost would be if you want to make up more than one.
 
although those hitches are really cool and supossed to be quiet.. think about it and resarch them .. i am not convinced they are so great.. too many threads on the other forums where these type of hitches break and bend outta shape.. yes a pintle hitch is noisey .. but they are solid !
 
There are two ways to mount the hitch. It can be mounted by a bolt through a standard hitch or a 2" receiver insert can be used.

I am making this from significantly thicker and stronger material. I am also increasing the size of the poly isolator to allow for a larger swing in the hitch. I am using all grade 8 bolts. They use a lynch pin, since I don't have easy access to that, I am substituting grade 8 bolts with locking nuts.

Just for everybody's information, I am an engineer and design stuff like this on a regular basis.

They sell for $150, so I figure all finished and powder coated would be $70.
 
I just pulled my trailer over 350 miles of dirt roads. Including some fairly heavy 4wd roads and I was actually surprised by the pintle hitch. It isn't as noisy as I thought it would be.
 
Are we there yet?
 
I finally got out of the cast and I am starting to hobble around on my foot (achilles tendon rupture/surgery). Rehab is a bitch. I have all the steel cut, the axle, the air bags, and shocks.

My father's day wish is to be able to work in the trailer and start welding everything up, and not working on the wifes car. I just finished up replacing motor mounts and inner tie rod ends on a rack an pinion.

I hope to have some pix tomorrow evening.
 
I finally got out of the cast and I am starting to hobble around on my foot (achilles tendon rupture/surgery). Rehab is a bitch. I have all the steel cut, the axle, the air bags, and shocks.

My father's day wish is to be able to work in the trailer and start welding everything up, and not working on the wifes car. I just finished up replacing motor mounts and inner tie rod ends on a rack an pinion.

I hope to have some pix tomorrow evening.
Ah man Get better soon Tom! Don't push it. I was just ribbing you for an update. :sunshine:
 
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