All the welding on the trailer is now done. Only a few more things to do and we have a fully built momma-lovin trailer!
Here is our new design (drawn by the lovely Kenton Zerbin):
Let me break it down for you. The outside supports and extensions remain the same, but we added a few things.
- The hitch is longer. We upped the length of the hitch from the frame by quite a bit – from 5 feet to 7 feet. This will give us a swanky spot to put our battery box and our propane tanks. Most importantly though, it will increase the turning radius of the trailer when someone with a giant truck hauls it. You have to size your hitch to the back of the biggest truck that will haul it, so that the wideness of the back of the truck fits along the triangle of the hitch, otherwise it will hit your house when it makes a sharp turn.
- It is beefier. Before it was built out of what looks like sheet metal bent to look like C channel, so that’s real cute. It will be nice to have it stronger in case something hits it or it hits a tree or something. I don’t know, these things don’t happen to us. Also they seem to have done a repair job or something in the back, because they jammed a piece of wood in there that caught fire a few times while we were welding. So… That was a weird thing to do.
- This time it was made with LOVE! … and a little bit of hate. Stupid tree should have grown about 3 feet to the east.
Here is what it looks like now:
Next steps… Get on the wheel wells (Kenton’s friend from high school, Robert, built the hitch AND the wheel wells for us.), get rid of the rust, silicone all our seams (to keep water from sitting inside it and rusting), and then slap some paint on it!
If we were to do it all again:
We would still get our axles from Timbren. They withstood the accident like a champion – they drove the trailer back smooth as butter even though it was all bent up and made our souls cry. Everyone who has seen them or driven the trailer with them on has complimented the system. It rules.
We would NOT buy another used trailer and try to make it fit our plans. It was a big hassle to try to bend the pieces back to square, a bigger hassle to add on strong well designed elements to a flimsy frame, and the biggest hassle of all to rebuild when it ultimately failed us. We have literally replaced the whole trailer at this point. We would probably recommend that people think through a plan, draw it out, and bring it to a fabricator. This way, they could build it in the shop (which has a lot less to worry about for leveling, squaring, etc) in a lot less time, exactly how it should be and with the strength you are looking for.
Bring on the walls! I am so ready for the walls.