My Little Trailer Build! | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

My Little Trailer Build!

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jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
Found this little trailer while cruising some back roads in southern Indiana a month or so ago. Not sure what it is (military or not) but it is perfect for my DIY build. I have a lot of ideas in my head but welcome any ideas or advice any of you might have.

IMG_1640.jpg
 
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jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
Trailer is coming along pretty nicely! I learned to weld in high school and I'm 48 years old now. I'm confident my welds will hold but man are they ugly!

Got quite a bit of sanding and painting to do but then the fun stuff will start.

I found a sweet deal on some Jeep JK rims and tires so the next step is to flip the axle and see if these new shoes will fit under the fenders.

IMG_1754 resized.JPG
 

jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
Opinion time! Everyone has one, feel free to shar yours!

These are the rims and tires I scored for $16 each! This picture shows what they would look like under the trailer (trailer is jacked up to get the tire/wheel to fit). An axle flip should gain me plenty of clearance vertically. I have about 1" of clearance between the tire and the trailer on the backside.

Wheels will get painted black.

I need opinions on the fenders. Do they look cartoonish like I think they do? Thinking about removing them, widening the angles to closer match the tires and reinstalling. Maybe it will look different when they are all painted up and on but the fenders definitely look like they were built for 14" wheels.

IMG_1779.jpg
 

smritte

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Remake the fenders. Its not difficult. When you measure be aware of how far the tire moves back when the shackle moves. What I like to do is make the fender large enough on both sides so I can keep it centered.
If you haven't thought of it yet, put some brakes on it. You will really be glad you did later.
 
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Scarab

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Advocate III

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Hastings - England
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Looks like a great platform, what are your plans for things to go in there?
Does it need to support a tent or is it just for cooking and equipment storage etc? The main bulk of the issue is planning out what needs to go in there and making it fit. If you know the exact items it'll be far easier than trying to find things to fit after.
 
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loper

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Nampa, Idaho
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Hendricks
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Yep, fix the fenders. Do those wheels fit your tow vehicle (might be a cool idea)?

Brakes are never a bad thing...

Get a good estimate of the finished weight, so you can build the suspension to carry it.

I really like seeing self-built projects.
 
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jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
Remake the fenders. Its not difficult. When you measure be aware of how far the tire moves back when the shackle moves. What I like to do is make the fender large enough on both sides so I can keep it centered.
If you haven't thought of it yet, put some brakes on it. You will really be glad you did later.
Thanks for your input. These fenders will have to be cut off an welded back on (built like a tank). So it's a little work but I have the ability and equipment either myself or from a friend. I haven't though much about brakes. I'd have to Google "adding brakes to a trailer for Dummies". :)
 
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jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
Looks like a great platform, what are your plans for things to go in there?
Does it need to support a tent or is it just for cooking and equipment storage etc? The main bulk of the issue is planning out what needs to go in there and making it fit. If you know the exact items it'll be far easier than trying to find things to fit after.
I'm making it up as I go. I ought a Smittybilt Overlander XL RTT for it so that is definitely going on it. Will definitely be adding a battery to power some lights (probably a lead acid 100 ah battery to start with). Maybe some solar to charge the battery. Maybe some water storage. Will probably start out minimally and see what we feel like we "need" to add.
 

jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
Yep, fix the fenders. Do those wheels fit your tow vehicle (might be a cool idea)?

Brakes are never a bad thing...

Get a good estimate of the finished weight, so you can build the suspension to carry it.

I really like seeing self-built projects.

My tow vehicle is a 2021 Gladiator. The wheels don't match exactly, but they are Jeep wheels with a Jeep center cap.

I should probably get it weighed as is to know what I'm starting with.

IMG_1639.jpg
 

smritte

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My M-100 is similar to yours. Empty with just the box was around 500#. If I was to guess I would say your probably around 600# right now. I'll comment a bit more on brakes when I get off work.
 

jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
Flipped the axle last night. Hardest part was getting the leaf spring shackle bolts loosened up and out. Cut the leaf spring brackets off the axle and re-welded them back on 180 degrees. Cleaned things up a little and sprayed a coat of paint on the axle.

Gained about 5" of vertical by doing this.

65162377181__A99C16D5-5DB8-4C7D-BC11-3D935D7AF48A.jpgIMG_1790.jpgIMG_1791.jpgIMG_1794.jpgIMG_1795.jpgIMG_1796.jpg
 

smritte

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Ontario California
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If you look at your picture of the axle on the saw horse, you see the bend in it (camber). I'm not concerned with that. What I want you to do is measure toe. The axle most likely has the front edge of the tires slightly closer than the back edge. You need to make sure you didn't accidentally flip this backwards (ask me how i know this). When I measure this, I bungi cord something straight across the center of the tires (I use 1/2 angle iron), Tape measure the distance between the front edge of the tire and compare to the back edge (on the angle iron). The front edge should be around 1/4 in more. I say this because i saw the axle company cambered the axle. That means most likely they gave it toe also. The camber (positive is top out) and the "toe in", increase stability on the highway. If your toed out (front edge pointing out), it makes the trailer move side to side when it hits groves in the road.

The front should look like this / \. Not like \ /.

Also, clean and paint your springs as well as use castle nuts and cotter pins on the spring and shackle bolts. The extra movement you get from dirt road driving tends to unscrew the nut. On my latest build, I decided to use locking nuts instead. First trip out I had some of them loosen and lost a nut on one. Drove the rest of the trip with a pair of vicegrips on the bolt.
 
Last edited:

jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
If you look at your picture of the axle on the saw horse, you see the bend in it (camber). I'm not concerned with that. What I want you to do is measure toe. The axle most likely has the front edge of the tires slightly closer than the back edge. You need to make sure you didn't accidentally flip this backwards (ask me how i know this). When I measure this, I bungi cord something straight across the center of the tires (I use 1/2 angle iron), Tape measure the distance between the front edge of the tire and compare to the back edge (on the angle iron). The front edge should be around 1/4 in more. I say this because i saw the axle company cambered the axle. That means most likely they gave it toe also. The camber (positive is top out) and the "toe in", increase stability on the highway. If your toed out (front edge pointing out), it makes the trailer move side to side when it hits groves in the road.

The front should look like this / \. Not like \ /.

Also, clean and paint your springs. The rust will grind away the metal as they move and will most likely squeak.
Great info. I'll definitely check that out. I did rotate the axle 180 (drivers side went to passenger side) before I flipped the brackets.

I'm trying to get this thing ready to do some camping this season. That is the reason I didn't spend much time cleaning up the springs and shackles. I'm making a list of winter projects and taking the suspension back apart and cleaning up all of it is on my list.
 
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smritte

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I'm glad I had a small round jaw. My larger one wouldn't fit well. The worst part was, there was one town, I drove 40 miles to get to it just to find out they didnt have a hardware store or auto parts. The tire shop let me look through their loose bolt collection but nothing fit.
 

jcmorgan31

Rank I

Traveler III

192
Orleans, IN, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Morgan
Service Branch
U.S. Army Veteran
Update on the trailer.

Flipping the axle raised the trailer too high for the rear jacks to touch the ground. I flipped my jack supports over which gained me back 4" but I think I'll still need blocks under them.

Painted the front of the trailer - starting to look pretty good. Cut off the angle steel plate on the drivers side front where the old spare used to sit. Probably a pound of steel off the bottom line...

Took my bent tailgate out to my uncles and we ran over it with a skid steer until straight! :) got it painted and reinstalled along with the bumper.

Plasti-dipped the Jeep wheels.

Planning to cut off the fenders and modify them tomorrow night. Once that's done and the paint is finished, she will be ready to mount the tent and awning.

IMG_1810.jpgIMG_1816.jpgIMG_1818.jpgIMG_1808.jpgIMG_1809.jpg
 

Billiebob

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Opinion time! Everyone has one, feel free to shar yours!

These are the rims and tires I scored for $16 each! This picture shows what they would look like under the trailer (trailer is jacked up to get the tire/wheel to fit). An axle flip should gain me plenty of clearance vertically. I have about 1" of clearance between the tire and the trailer on the backside.

Wheels will get painted black.

I need opinions on the fenders. Do they look cartoonish like I think they do? Thinking about removing them, widening the angles to closer match the tires and reinstalling. Maybe it will look different when they are all painted up and on but the fenders definitely look like they were built for 14" wheels.

View attachment 207816
you are doing it backwards
keep the trailer stock and make the Jeep match
52407052_10218009397244047_5547230659723919360_n.jpeg

But nice job, I like the repurposed tongue jacks.