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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
|Here| is a link to my FJ build thread.
------- edit --------
The trailer has been built and we will continue to mod it to how we want it to fit our camping style. So you don't have to scan though the pages to find the final product. Here you go.






Phase 2 start of the kitchen/deployment box. |link|

---------- now back to the original post ----------
The wife and I have finally decided to make a camp/utility trailer. With any luck it will make the decision to go to camping and such farther than a day much less of a ordeal. Just leave the trailer packed and hook up and go.

The plan is to make it in stages.

Stage 1 is make the utility portion of the trailer.


Stage 2 is after we have used it a bit and we decide on how we want to put a lid on it. Currently the plan is to make several hatches so we can store stuff on top and still access most of the cargo below.








Day 1: I attached the max coupler to the main spar of the trailer. Nothing big but I figured it would take a decent amount of grinding to remove the seam and to get a near 0 tolerance fit.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Day 2 was me cleaning up the garage yesterday.

Day 3: Was home sick and had to go to the doctor. Didn't mean I didn't do some work.

While I was at home waiting for my prescriptions to fill I cut out most of the members for the frame of the trailer.


Then when I went to lunch I took my tires and rims to get them mounted.


Its not going to be a huge trailer but I think it will do the job perfectly. Tomorrow when I'm feeling better I'll get the frame tacked and squared then measure it for an axle.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I'm trying to keep it idiot proof. Somewhere I know I'm going to mess up.

Day 4: The first thing I wanted to do since the cars have been kicked out of the garage for this is to properly set this up.


I think this will give me plenty of room and until I end up mounting the tires I'll use it as a staging ground. Once they are mounted I'll have to pull some more saw horses out of the house.


Today took longer than I thought and I wasn't able to get nearly as much stuff done as I wanted. We were having an issue getting the frame square. Since the frame is essentially 2 rectangles along the center spar we were having issues keeping either the whole frame square to the hitch or keeping the box square. After a several times measuring we finally knocked one piece loose and we managed to get it all within 1/16" of square. Since that took so long to do I only ran a bead along one side of the square tubes to square make sure it stays square in the X-Y plane. Tomorrow I'm going to have a fun time pulling the frame square in the Z but I would rather take much longer in the first stages opposed to building on a shot frame.

Once I get the outer members square and fully welded I'll put in the 4 cross members and then cut the frame for the 2 diagonal pieces that form the A in the front of the trailer. Last I'll put the 2x2 angle on the rear that protects the Piano Hinge for the tailgate and acts as a bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Day 5: Some how the front cross members were nearly a full 1/4" above the 2 1/2" square when we flipped the frame over so it took us a while to cut it out. We first welded a strap across the 2 members to keep it square in the X-Y then cut it out and used the strap to act as a hanger to let it fall square in the Z. After that was fixed we welded out the frame.


An hour and half of work and the only thing you see different is its on jack stands.

I'm going to take Friday off on this project and I'll try to get some work on it Saturday afternoon.
 

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Looking good so far
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This morning was productive. Minimal measuring and mostly welding. I got the 4 remaining cross members welded into place.



Once that was done I managed to measure out the axle length required and ordered all the axel equipment 3,500 lbs along with a jack and lights. Tomorrow I should start measuring out the A frame then there will be some grinding and touchup welding until the axle parts come in. I made the axle at least 2 inches larger than required for the tires I have no so I can put some MTRs on later.
 

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I love the design and size.
Where did you order your axle from? And approx. cost?
At some point I'm going to want to upgrade the axle on my little trailer to allow me to use my extra FJ wheels/tires.
I do have one observation on your layout: It appears that the axle is a little too far forward unless you plan to carry more of the load in the front of the trailer. Of course I could be completely wrong...
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I got the axle |here|

I was thinking about the CG issue too, I think the 4 fuel tanks and the spare tire shifts the weight forward enough to counter it. I figured the CG in front of the axle by default.



The little "+" marker in the front third of the main trailer body is the center of gravity marker. I was planning on carrying most of the heavy stuff on front end of the trailer and keep lighter items near the tailgate. I did check and it would take a load over 700 lbs placed on the "TOYOTA" on the rear of the tailgate with only the spare tire and gas to counter to shift the CG to the axle.

At first I had the axle in the back third of the trailer then I realized I had to worry about loading the hitch. I'm probably overthinking but its my first trailer I have ever built. I also don't plan on having any kitchens sliding out on 300lb rails either.

AT overland also from what I see has their axle about center of the tub but I don't know if they have batteries and such in the tongue box.



Later I will probably add some batteries to this too and I will place them where the gas cans are and just raise the gas tanks up about 14" to further shift forward.

edit: I just double checked and if I don't have the spare on and no gas tanks it will take about 450lbs on the tailgate to shift the CG to the axle.
 

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Looking good. Personally, I would slide the axle back 7 or 8 inches. You're not talking about that much tongue weight and it will pull much nicer at freeway speeds. Looking forward to the build.
 

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subscribed- a trailer build is on my horizon for this winter and i really like your plans and progress on this build. looking good!
 

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Looking good. I've never seen the cross members in two pieces like that. I hope those welds are really strong. Do you have any corner magnets? They are invaluable when trying to get everything square. I bought mine at Harbor Freight and use the heck out of them. Some wire and a turn buckle will help you dial it all in square and keep it there until it's all welded up. Looks like you are past that step now. Is all that square tubing 1/4"?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have a few corner magnets. I didn't use them on the frame because I felt I go more accuracy out of a framing square with the size of the members. The smaller supports that will form the box and tank rack I'll be using the magnets more. The main issue I had with keeping the frame square is I thought I was on a square section of slab, no cracks. I was wrong and the forward section of box was dropped just over 1/4". I from what I have seen it does look like most trailers do have the cross members solid and the center spar is the secondary. I do feel confident in the welds. The center spar is 2 1/2" x 1/4" and the rest is 2" x 1/8". I know its light but I also don't necessarily plan dropping this trailer off any 3' ledges. 99% of the time it will be on paved roads going to camp sites and then some dirt roads. In Texas I haven't seen any destination trail/campsites yet.

The deck plate I have on order is 10 gauge and I will be welding that to the frame to keep it square and I don't plan on adding any extra gussets to the corners due to this, I know it won't help with the loading of the trailer. Before I take it out to get painted I'll more than likely load it up with weight and take and inspect the trailer. If it looks like the center will have any issues I can add some ribs to the cross members to stiffen them up.
 

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Nice, I think the choice to go 1/8" everywhere else is wise, as long as the 1/8" doesn't become fatigued where it is welded to the thicker center spar. A proper weld can in fact be stronger than the iron, but the thinner iron next to the weld tends to get more brittle.

The tongue will see much less than 100 pounds of force, whereas the cross members will see much more. That being said, people underestimate the strength of eighth inch tubing.

I just use the corner magnets as "helping hands", and like you, a large square and diagonal measurements to get it square.

No such thing as a flat piece of concrete. They shouldn't be able to call it flatwork, lol. Shims and c-clamps are our best friends when trying to make a level butt joint. That deck plate will be nice and add a lot of linear and side to side strength.
 
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