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Gman's Adventure trailer build thread.

Discussion in 'RV / Trailers / Camping' started by gmanpaint, May 15, 2018.

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    1. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Yeah, like bears!!

      I chose blue to give a soothing light for camp, and they actually have a purpose for spotting, on hard climbs / decents when you need to see the wheels and trail at night.

      Blue reminds me of boating at night, and that's one of the most relaxing things I have done.
       
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    3. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Started this fine windy Sunday morning by working on the Propane tank mounts.

      Two 11 lb pancake tanks will be mounted to the main box, in the rear, on top of the fenders. These needed a little modification to work how I wanted them. The bolt bracket on them are 2" away from the tank clamp straps, and pushed the edge of the tanks, past the edges of the fenders.

      So, I marked them, cut out a little over 1" of the bracket, and welded them back together. Primed & painted back up.

      Before:

      propane mount before.jpg

      After:

      propane mounts after.jpg

      That's as far as I got. High winds came through, and had a bunch of tree damage to contend with for the rest of the day. Just now making lunch at 6pm.
      After these get installed, I can start on the next fabrication project. No wonder these things can cost up to $50k, the labor times are crazy high. Pushing 2000 hours already!
       
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    4. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Fitted the strap mount to a tank to line up the bolt holes for drilling, and it dawned on me..... I need to make these things lock. Not that I am not a trusting person, it's just that I don't trust the public at large, in general. :D

      So all I can think of is to weld a hasp hinge to the black strap, and bolt the other end to the galvanized clamp end. If anybody has another idea to fit a padlock or maybe even a hitch pin lock, by all means, share the ideas!

      clamp on tank.jpg

      Looks like it's overhanging in the picture, but it's not.

      20181029_180257.jpg
       
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    5. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Forgot to post this little dealio for @BKennedy to see.

      These little UWS rod connectors for the paddle latches on the Tongue box. 1/4" alum rod, cut to length, inserted in these, and a simple Allan head set screw with a pointed tip, digs into the rod, for a tight connection. Connects two latches together, and when you open one, the other opes as well.


      UWS rod connectors.jpg InkedRod on latches_LI.jpg
       
    6. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Ok, another little $$ saving victory today.

      These propane tank clamps are actually made for holding commercial LPG tanks horizontally, on forklifts. Those tanks take two clamps, so they both come as a kit. These are beefy heavy duty clamps, with 3/16" thick straps and adjustable 3/16" fulcrum clamps. They cost 1/3 of what the aftermarket companies are selling the glampers for tank mounts. I have seen some up towards $150. I knew I could make these work, by putting them in the vise, and massaging them to fit the pancake tanks, as they only differ in diameter by 1/2" from commercial LPG tanks. (That's from the seam weld in the middle)

      I got two mounts for two tanks out of this kit, and it only cost me $25, plus what I just added ($10). So for 1/3 the cost, of one tank mount, I have two beefy tank mounts. Just took a little modifications, a little dash of this, and a sprinkle of that.

      Looking at all the Hasp hing locks the hardware gettin place offered, I really didn't see anything that looked beefy enough, to modify to my wants. I kept looking up/down the 200 ft isles of brick-a-bracs offered, until I found what I could make work. A 6" gate hinge that is at least 1/8" thick, and has a big meaty hinge, ready to be abused.

      Cut some meat of it's bones on the ends, made a bend in the vise, drilled the holes a bit bigger, marked & drilled holes into the clamps, bolted it on with 1/4"x0.75" Stainless bolts, and made my marks on the other side for a slot.

      Drilled out the slot with a 1/4" bit, then cleaned it up with the dremel cutting wheel & grinder stones. With the slot made, I could now mark the strap by tracing the slot onto it. Mark the steel strap, for where I would weld on the small bolt tabs I made, out of the sections I removed from the clamp brackets. (Pack rat, I am)

      Using a welding magnet to hold the little booger of a tab in place, it was welded, all around, then welds cleaned up, so the lock hasp would fit tight. Prime & paint per the usual followed.

      Confused yet? Ok, Pictures to show what the heck I am talking about.

      Clamped tight, lock hasp open...

      propane clamp lock open.jpg

      Closed up and stainless hitch pin lock installed. I will probably trim it down in length later.

      Propane clamp locked.jpg

      That will Chooch!

      These bolts will have to do, until I get some security nuts/bolts ordered up. (Using them for other things on the trailer too)

      If your wondering what the gray is on the bottom of the tanks, its a rubber gripper that fits tight on the tanks. It grabs metal, like a hooker with Kung foo Grip. Also protects from any scratching from the tank bottom.

      Tank tire on.jpg

      So now, it has a small theft deterrent, and it holds the clamp locked, no matter what. No worries of it getting jarred open somehow on a trail. If someone wanted it bad enough, they can get it off, but having to work at it, might just be all it needs, to change a mind.

      Got both mounts installed. I can now order the 2nd tank, and add it. The Dr side tank will get a regulator on it for the instant hot water heater. Pass side tank will feed the cooking stuffs, and what I have already has regulators. So hook up the line, when needed, and done.

      Stainless hardware to the cabin wall, with large fender washers behind for more surface contact to spread the load. Rubber washers between the mount, and outside wall, to waterproof the bolt holes.

      Dr side mounted with no tank

      Dr tank mount.jpg

      Pass side with tank, and trimmed down lock pin.

      Pass tank mount.jpg

      Hope this little mod helps someone down the road looking for a cheap, but very strong tank mount.
       
      Last edited: November 3, 2018
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    7. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Ready,

      set,

      weld!

      Ready welder in side box.jpg

      And when you burn yourself from welding....

      First aid kit in side box.jpg


      Just playing around, seeing how things will fit & store in the side boxes. Pics are for entertainment purposes only, and who the heck knows what the final arrangement will end up like. :laugh:
       
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    8. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I like a big first aid kit. Out away from civilization you need as many things as possible.
       
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    9. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Agreed. That first aid kit stays inside the Black Hole, and has been used several times already. lol

      I have the front driver's side box compartment reserved just for medical stuffs. When I can afford it, I will buy a "My Medic" bag and keep it in there. I already have the Red Cross vinyl for the door face.

      Check it out here:

      First Aid Kits
       
    10. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      sanitary napkins are good to have also in case of a huge wound. Plus, they smell pleasant when you open em, .

      Nice work on the gas bottle security. Real nice.
       
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    11. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Might have to hide those in a ammo can. Lol

      Thanks for the kudos you guys.
       
    12. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      As for the propane tank mounts, is there some sort of material on the inside to prevent spinning of the tank, if someone wanted to spin one to dismount it? Pry tight enough now, but after repeated use, or some ambitious thief :dunno:
       
    13. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      The fulcrum clamp is adjustable. Can tighten it by turning it, as it is threaded. It's super tight now, and you can't turn the tank. The base on it grips as well.

      Besides, these straps are thick 3/16", doubtful they bend any. Time will tell I guess.
       
    14. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Decided to take some overall measures and compare them with some of the well known, higher end units available out there. To my surprise, this fits in with them. On the list made by Expedition Portal, some are teardrops, some are tub with lids, and some are like mine with the larger storage cabins. These start at $18k up to $64k, with the most around $25-35k. I would share the list, but not sure if it is ok, to do so or not. Here is the link the review. Spec sheet is towards the bottom.

      Home on the Range

      This trailer:
      Height > Cabin roof - 64" .................. Roof rack- 69".................Roof Top Tent- 83"
      Width > 77.5"
      Overall Length > 154" (12'-10")
      Axle hub to coupler Length > 124"

      The only measure that is a bit off is the axle to coupler. I made the tongue arm half the width of the tow rigs bumper width. This is so it can jacknife past 90* and only the tounge would make contact with the bumper, and nothing hitting the tow rig. This made it about a foot longer than the tow rigs wheelbase length. Ideal measure would be the same or less, for tracking on the trails. I will just have to accomodate for it. This measure would be perfect for a pickup truck, just not so much for a short wheelbase SUV.

      In other news....

      I had a nice long conversation with Timbren Axles in Canada about going to the bigger units, and what it will take on my end to make it happen. We hammered out a bunch of the spec details, and they have a combination that should work for me.

      To make this swap work, I have some thinking and some things to do to the frame first.

      These mount with three 5/8" bolts thru the frame rails. The heavier units are a little longer, and the space between the bolt holes are wider at 5.00", compared to mine at 4.250" The current units use 1/2" bolts.
      I have to re-use the center bolt hole (drill out to 5/8") to the frame for the bigger units to start. Drill new holes for the other two bolts that hold it onto the frame. I need to fill the old bolt holes solid as the space between the old & new holes will be small. Still thinking of a good way to do this. A plug weld might work okay, but I think if I weld in some 1/2" solid rod the width of the tube, it would be stronger.

      The bigger units also take a bigger center support tube. Current units use a 2"x2"x1/4" tube from unit to unit. The bigger units use a 2"x3"x1/4" tube.

      The heavier units are actually 5200 lb spindles that use a 12" brake & 5 bolt hub. I would have to get both of these new to replace the 10" brake & 4 bolt hubs. Timbren & I had to calculate the widths to stay close to mine, by cross checking multiple spindles they have. We choice to use the HD 5200 lb with 4" lift, for regular width tires. The difference in these, and the spindles they have for off road tires is just the length of the spindles from the mounts. Off road spindles would have increased my track width by 4". The new units hub to hub face measure will actually match mine within 1".

      These bigger units will only work, if they aren't much longer overall, as the wheel wells are fixed, and can't be changed up. Can't have the rear of the tires rubbing or too close to the fender tubs. My arms and the bigger arms are the same length, but the distance from the frame center bolt to the arm bolt is whats important here. I am waiting on a measure, to compare to mine. This measure is crucial, and will tell me if it is indeed even possible to swap. The bigger units, also have more deflection with different rate springs. Current units have 1-3/4" up travel, and bigger units have 2-5/8" up travel. I would clear the fenders by 3/4" only on top. Not much room, but there wasn't a lot to begin with.

      So the next pill to swallow is the wheels lug patterns. Keeping the tires under the fenders, and not radically changing the track width, means I have to buy all new 17" x10" wheels with a 6 on 5.5" pattern. Conversion spacers would not work, as they would add 4". I looked for 1", but couldn't find any, but even the extra 2" would not work. The 94 Explorer needs new wheels & tires, and I would only have to buy one more for a set, but having 3 vehicles with the same wheels might be a little funny, no?

      Next hurdle is to convince etrailer to swap these never used, only mounted units back, and pay the difference for the bigger units. $100 more for the units, and another $300 for hubs & brakes, then add another $400 for new wheels. The 2x3 tube and hardware, another $50. To do the swap with the trade in will cost me around $850, when if I just got the larger units from the start, only a couple hundred more for everything. :(

      Final nail in the coffin would be, if etrailer told me to jump off a bridge, and said no dice dude. That would raise this swap to $1,750. I just can't do that now. I would have to sell & ask at least 80% of what I paid for these current units, and have to have a fast turn around for that to offset the costs a little. Would have to buy one item at a time, spread out over many months even. Work is about to come to a standstill for the winter, so timing isn't right for this.

      Why am I telling you all this? To show how a simple build decision can cost you, down the road. For those reading this thread, for build ideas of your own, I can't stress enough, to think the overall weight & size of your build as best you can, and choosing the right axles from the start.

      Okay, my brain hurts from all that, and you probably fell asleep 3-4 times trying to get thru all that. Until next time..... Pasta!
       
      Last edited: November 7, 2018
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    15. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I like that planning, and I hope that works out for you. I just woke up from a nap(listening to some of the election talk). I did also just eat pasta, very good but I'm whooped now.
       
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