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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking at several designs on the net. My wife hates tent camping so this has driven me to do some of my own design work. Most of the trails we will see won't be rock climbing trails, but gravel/imbedded rock type stuff with maybe some tight canyons, etc. I have at least convinced her that I can build something like a 4X8 X 4 high "module" to sleep in and an additional canopy to cook/relax under.

A few of the ideas I have looked at are:
Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers :: View topic - My offroad Camper
(without the galley)

And

Offroad Teardrop - SawTooth XL - Expedition Portal Forum
(again without the galley)

So far the dimensions are ok with her! :lol: I'll be sure to go with a tire height to match the FJ. The elctrical will be all 12V for lighting/computers with solar chargers. "IF" I add an AC unit then I would add a small generator just for that.

Anyone here want to share pics/ideas on a build?
 

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Funny. I've been pondering this too and have started to do research; I even bought a small trailer off Craigslist to help me better understand what IS required and what is not... My wife keeps telling me necessity and not luxury; that oughta keep the debate going for years... Our first tent trip is next weekend with the local group; we'll see where the debate goes from there. I'll keep you posted. Looking forward to your build!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am not handy enough to build this, but would definitely buy one of these.
Well I started looking at just buying one. I have a co worker that bought one of the "Little Guy" offroad traiilers....for about $8,000!

As H1 said above, my wife just wants a comfy enclosure to sleep in.

I am an aircraft electronics guy by trade, and a photographer as my second job so ..I am not a skilled woodworker either :lol: but I am going to give it a try. I think (by looking at the materials) I can pull it off for under $2,000. I am a decent welder, but I am going to get some estimates from local welding shops and look at buying a pre-built bare bones chassis.
 

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If you guys can find a Chalet or Aliner used, you will have the happiest wife in the world. You can buy one for less than building one. They are truly fantastic, I have one that was made in 1996 and is still perfect. Gives her the room she wants, shower, porta potty, full bed, stove, fridge, hot water and hard walls, Weighs in at under 1500 pounds and has a tubular frame, The Aliner as rubber ride axles. They are suitable for most fire roads and some backwoods roads, not an expedition trailer, but more of base camp.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Those look really nice! For what I want to do, I think they will be a little big. I want something that I can turn around on the trail if I have to. It would be an awesome campground trailer but a lot of where I want to go won't have camp grounds.
 

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I took a look at both.

The first one, the axle is too far back, it will tow fantastic at highway speeds, but will have tremendous tongue weight and will track outside of the rear wheels on your FJ. I did not see measurements of overall width, but for a serious off road, expedition trailer you need the trailer wheels to stay inside of the tow vehicle on tight corners or you will have problems.

The second one is closer to where the axles need to be, but the frame is not strong enough or built for serious torque applied by the tow vehicle. It is also too wide, with the FJ you really need to stay at 70 inches or narrower, and it most likely too long of tongue without further bracing. The frame looks like it will bend. If you decide on a specific design, I would be glad to give you dimensions for the frame, so you will not have to worry about it. The frame is the most critical part of the off road trailer, espcially if you are using a wood upper box. You will need to use box tubing.

Also you really need a good axle, and trailer brakes. Brakes are very important on serious downhill descents as the trailer will tend to push you.

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lots of very valid points! The track width is one thing I did look at, hence the 4ft bed width of the trailer. The second important factor to me was going to be tongue length. (I know hahahaha, I know) but to make that equal to half the width of the FJ plus a few inches so you can jacknife it if you have to make a U turn.

I am still very much in the planning process as this will be a winter project. I'll be using wood for the box, but looking at high grade marine plywood at least 3/4 to 1" thick. I'll post up some drawings as I go along further. I was looking at a pre built trailer frame but the more I look into this, the more it looks like I will end up building the frame or having it built. I may look at renting a saw and welder for a weekend.
 

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Looks like a fun project! I have a 2006 Fleetwood E-2 offroad PUP, and I take it everywhere. I can understand you wanting something a little smaller and more maneuverable (And cheaper).... Keep us posted with pics and progress on your off-road teardrop! I'd probably enjoy a project like that if I had the time, but sadly time is a precious commodity these days. I barely have time to go camping 3 times this summer! (Had to already plan the weekends on a calendar just to get them in for sure)

- Hakrjak
 

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Take a drive to Barnes & Knoble or any very well stocked news stand and see if you can get a copy of

Austrailian 4WD Action Magazine, 6 issues a year

THey are very big on trail trailers and even slide on campers. Lots of ads and info. Might find some ideas you like there.

Good luck with the project
 

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You might want to check into myswag.org for some ideas. Those aussies build some serious off road trailers/campers.
 

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Looks like a fun project! I have a 2006 Fleetwood E-2 offroad PUP, and I take it everywhere. I can understand you wanting something a little smaller and more maneuverable (And cheaper).... Keep us posted with pics and progress on your off-road teardrop! I'd probably enjoy a project like that if I had the time, but sadly time is a precious commodity these days. I barely have time to go camping 3 times this summer! (Had to already plan the weekends on a calendar just to get them in for sure)

- Hakrjak
I really dig those fleetwoods! Found a yellow one on CL for $4000 but couldn't get the guy to email me back. :mecry:
 
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