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Camping/Gear Trailer build

kf4zht

Red Skull Member
Joined
May 20, 2020
Member Number
561
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Trying a new way of accomplishing projects. Instead of deciding to build something when/if it gets done go do something with it I am setting a goal for doing things and building what I need to make that happen. Short timeline, some may call it agile, but that makes me want to run my face into a door as punishment

Last year was shot for doing much of anything. I bought my house around August and knowing it needed work spent every free weekend fixing/updating it. This happened till Rona hit, then I spent several months straight working all the time to get hospitals opened for cases. Last year I got out hunting one single day. The closest I have been to camping was staying a couple nights in my parents camper while we had the kiddo at the lake. All of my fall plans and events are now canceled

Goal - Spend every free (every other due to custody) weekend in the woods - either camping, hunting, boating, fishing - From mid september through Thanksgiving.

The main issue I have camping is making packing easier. I've downsized my jeep, truck, etc to a VW Sportwagen. Honestly its a really decent ride. The TDI engine gets me 40 MPG, it can out accellerate most junk on the road and I've already got a tow hitch for the boat on it. Plan is to lift it with Tiguan springs after I get some warranty issues taken care of.
- I can't leave the car packed easily, not enough room vs stuff that comes and goes
- I have a carport, so most gear cant live there with no security and no climate control
- The garage is my shop and is full of just shop stuff (12x24 doesnt leave much room)
- I have my daughter the Wed-Friday before free weekends so packing ahead of time is limited

So the answer for me is a gear trailer. Something that my camping gear can live in and all it takes is tossing food in and go. Right now the plan is
- Under 1500lbs loaded (VW seems happy with that number, even without brakes)
- 48" inside side to side in case I need to use it as a utility trailer since I dont have a truck anymore
- Eventually have water storage and onboard batteries
- Some sort of table attachments or fold up/down to for cooking
- Later ability to add sleeping, probably a RTT
- Overall ride height at or below sportwagen roofline
- Uses as much existing metal stock as possible

Here is the design I am working off of right now. 48.5" inside posts, 19" tall bed, 9" underarea for water/battery/electronics storage. 60" long. Probaby 1/8 aluminium for the bed, but I'm working on tracking some down at a decent price. People around here want retail+ for metal thats got holes, beat up, bent, etc. If I need to I will buy new


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I've got about 90% of the metal to make this happen. So i ordered the running gear from TrailerPartsDepot. Should be here monday
65" WMS-WMS 3500lb axle
2000lb springs and hangers
Coupler
Flush mount lights
Fenders

Why a 3500 lb axle with 2000 lb springs - I've had bad luck with the 2000lb axle componets, seems they fall apart easily if run even near their rated load, and it doesn' cost much to upgrade the axle. But I stil want it to flex and absorb so the lighter springs.

I havent ordered tires/wheels yet. Right now I'm between 205/75/15s and 175/80/13s. I think the smaller ones will fit better, but I'm tempted to eventually redrill some hubs to match the VW pattern (5x112) and get matching wheels, which would be closer to the 15 in diameter.

The steel should get moved over to my house this weekend. Got a couple items on the welding bench to finish up, but 3 projects down this week. It's going to be tight in the shop but I just have room.
 
Looks like a fun project! I do something similar in a 6x10' enclosed trailer for all our reenactment gear we use for 16th century events. It all lives in there until we need it. It is great to just hook up the trailer and leave.

We have a 10 person camp we set up for weeks at a time and I would be exhausted loading it all out of the shop to use even before we left. 3 large canvas tents, dining fly, wooden historic repro furniture, carpets and also all the modern 5 burner range/cooking gear, Shower &water, propane, coolers and other modern things we use behind the scenes. And if it is all together you are much less likely to forget something.

Best part is that with it all packed I have enough headroom in the trailer have a pallet set up with our queen sized futon set up on top of all the gear. So if I get to an event late at night or even in inclement weather I can have a warm and dry place to stay.

I plan to do some similar mounts for propane and water cans on the outside to further unitize it and not have to pack the truck with anything but my clothing. I agree with your using the heavier axle as the parts are easy to find at tractor supply and as you add on to this it will only get heavier.

Make sure to add a spare tire mount to it. I'd go for the larger tires as they are easier to source. Matching tires would be nice but not needed. I'd lean towards trailer tires/rims so you can get them anywhere. Harbor Freight has a decent steel tongue box that is reasonable with a 20% coupon. The dead site had a nice build up of a Mil Jeep trailer that used the box to hold a battery and charging system in it that I may do to my box at some point. Nice to have a charging point and inverter on board... even in the 16th century. ;)
 
I plan to do some similar mounts for propane and water cans on the outside to further unitize it and not have to pack the truck with anything but my clothing. I agree with your using the heavier axle as the parts are easy to find at tractor supply and as you add on to this it will only get heavier.

Make sure to add a spare tire mount to it. I'd go for the larger tires as they are easier to source. Matching tires would be nice but not needed. I'd lean towards trailer tires/rims so you can get them anywhere. Harbor Freight has a decent steel tongue box that is reasonable with a 20% coupon. The dead site had a nice build up of a Mil Jeep trailer that used the box to hold a battery and charging system in it that I may do to my box at some point. Nice to have a charging point and inverter on board... even in the 16th century. ;)

For the propane tank I havent decided. I like the little 5# ones for the size but then I'm stuck finding place to fill. Plus they will only run a grill/water heater for about 2 hours, which could be easily hit on a weekish trip. Oh, water heater will happen. They are cheap and I want this to be something I can take to events, being able to get clean would be nice. Otherwise the side mounts I'm going with something modular where I can mount a jerry can for backcountry trips but swap it out for scuba tanks on those trips or ?? Its also going to be how I balance out the weight. The sportwagen only likes around 100-150lbs of tongue weight, plus with storage I want it to be easy to pick up the front and wheel it into the back

Spare tire may get mounted in the lower section. Water system takes one section, batteries/electrical another, leaving the last one free. I think I have a spare tire winch from my old jeep.

I'm in favor of making the front end open up. That gives me more options using it as a utility trailer, and I can make a divider and seperate stuff but still able to get it without opening the still unknown top. Maybe firewood in the front as an example.
 
Nice start, looking forward to seeing the build.

Totally get the bigger axle, I've had a few trailer axles fail before and have always upgraded them to the next size up.
 
Regarding security issues:
Is it going to be a truckbed style hauler or are you going to have full enclosure?

If full enclosure; what will the walls and roof be?


It appears/sounds like it will be sitting outside; how will the trailer be secured from someone breaking in or hooking it up and driving away with it?

My thinking comes from being a former cityslicker who basically doesn't trust anyone, so I prepare/plan for the worst of humanity.



I like your design, and I'm in a similar boat as you.

I have a 8' truckcamper sitting on a HMMWV generator trailer.
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Regarding security issues:
Is it going to be a truckbed style hauler or are you going to have full enclosure?

If full enclosure; what will the walls and roof be?


It appears/sounds like it will be sitting outside; how will the trailer be secured from someone breaking in or hooking it up and driving away with it?

My thinking comes from being a former cityslicker who basically doesn't trust anyone, so I prepare/plan for the worst of humanity.



I like your design, and I'm in a similar boat as you.

I have a 8' truckcamper sitting on a HMMWV generator trailer.

So its going to be .125 al walls and bed. For phase 1 timeline I will probably sew some marine vinyl I have into a truck bed cover with velcro. Eventually a rolling aluminum top, but waiting for a cheap deal on one that is damaged or an odd model is unpredictable.

For security it should be small enough to roll through the gate and sit on my stone patio. At this point if someone gets back there I'm screwed anyway as they have no visiblity from the road to take their time getting into my house or shop. I also keep a boat in my carport and so far havent had any issues with a coupler lock and a length of chain through the wheel and around the frame. I figure they might bust the coupler lock but probably won't notice the chain until the thing starts bunny hopping on them.

There is a local guy with an S250 military shelter local that I considered buying and just building a frame under it, but he wants way too much for its condition

I'm also seeing these little style RTT trailers around here are disappearing if priced anywhere around 3500-5000. I'll be in this one less than that, so if it doesnt work I can get out of it pretty easily.
 
First order showed up. Decided that I would likely need to hold thing square in several places or multiple planes, so it was an excuse to order some minon squares from fireball. Also got the new thumb screws to update my older square, which gets used pretty much every time the welder comes out

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Like all great projects this one starts by scrambling to finish up and clean up from previous projects. Knocked a bunch out this weekend:

It was my daughters 4th birthday, went to her party at my Ex's. Then came home and with the help of the Grandparents got her "Offical" present built. Getting 12 yards of mulch to fill in the play area today, may need a second truck this week. She sees it this next weekend

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Then I've had an issue with lathe chucks ignoring the "no loitering" signs on the workbenches and being generally rambunctious. Grabbed some scrap plywood and made them a time out zone

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Also had my tool grinder taking up a permantant spot on my long bench, so it got strapped to the wall.

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Finally bent this strange piece of sheet metal for questionable reasons

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Clean Shop! As you can see I don't have a ton of space. A good amount of capabilities but it forces me to keep things tidy

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One day the compressor will go outside, need to pour a pad and build a small room. That may get done quickly if it gets too annoying. Airlines are plumbed, with a hose running all the way around the place to the temp location.

Steel and running gear should arrive today
 
Parts and steel are here.
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Started mockup, cuts need to be trimmed a little, the bandsaw my dad used isn't as accurate as I like (hence why I gave it to him and got a new one:flipoff2:​​​​​​) but close. Figured out that the 13" wheels will fit perfectly with the hitch height after the tdi gets a slight bump. I'm going to run spring under. Figure if I later get a bigger truck I can slap new perches and toss some bigger rubber on.

Still to order/buy:
Hitch tube for back bumper
Inside sheet metal
Water tank (likely pushing to phase 2)
Grommets for through frame wires


Also trying to decide on the coupler type. I have a basic latch style, but was considering swapping for a receiver tube, so that I could later use a roll and lock style. But starting to think that won't be necessary now and is very simple to change down the road
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Some progress. Got the bottom frame tacked and the back bumper cut for a tube and light holes. The playground is mulched and done so I can focus just on this and the MP5 build.

Swapped to angle for the mid braces and changed the location. This should be more fit for the water tank. Also gives enough room for an undermount spare on the back end. Also starting to realize that this will nearly wipe me out of tube. Not a bad thing, but I will have to use some of the sizes other than just 2x2.

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So on the lights - does anyone know for the front and rear side markers - is it prefered to have them at the rearmost or outermost point? They wont be the same.

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Worked on it for most of saturday. Sunday turned into yard work day until my dad came over to help get it off the table and flipped right side up. Axle mounts are burned in, spring hangers are good. The box is together. Total is just under 1/16" out of square but thats close enough for me. Next will be the fenders, which are going to be a little fiddly to line up, cut and attach to the sides.

Goal is to get this done welding this week and at least one coat of paint. Once its painted I can wire the lights and go deal with the DMV for a tag. I really need it tagged to go get the sheet metal, my usual trailer is tied up until a lean to gets done at my dad's shop.


Frame halves getting squared up and tacked. I put the supports in places that should later give me "panel" areas for water and power connections

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Needed a little shimming on the back. Anyone who welds should keep some tig wire around just for this type of stuff. Cheap and consistent in size

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Here it is from the other side. The welds at the end took some practice, I havent done much vertical mig recently, but nothing a grinder can't fix

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Ubolts would not take nuts due to galvanizing. rethreaded all of them, which took annoyingly long

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Flipped and on jackstands. Stating to get real tight in the shop area. Lots of walking around the whole place to get to the other side

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Mocking up the bed sides. These squares are amazingly handy

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Got back from a work trip wednesday at midnight. Figured I would hit the sack early last night, so I ended up welding till 12:30 getting it done.

Put the tires on it and rolled it out of the shop.
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Then I went outside this morning and looked at what I actually built.
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Tossed the first coat of primer on it
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Paint will probably be a dark green. I think that with the natural AL color will look good, better than the normal gloss black of trailers. Printed off the forms for the homebuilt trailer reg and it required a notary, so I'll have to deal with the appointment system at the bank.
 
Snuck out during work and got it painted. 3 coats of rustolem professional Hunter Green. I wanted something readily available and that came in spray cans, this thing will get both beat up and modified and I don't feel like needing to get out the paint gun every time I add a bracket. Figure the green should look good with the aluminum.

Ordered more electical supplies from delcity, hoping the metal guy gets back to me today to order the sheets so there is time to have them cut before friday. If I can get both it should be done this weekend except the tag and the top, which can be a weekday project. If that holds I should be able to hit my target date.

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Friday I ran to the metal supplier and picked up the aluminum for the bed. I had ordered/paid for 2 4x8 sheets of their grade 2 (sat outside, discolored) when I got there they had misidentified those, so they gave me 4x12 sheets for the same price :smokin:. Getting them home proved more interesting as I had only planned on stuff that would fit in the trailer.
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Doing some mental math this gave me enough to build a hard top, something I had orgionally skipped due to cost. I may need to get a little more angle but thats cheap. Started planning it out and have 2 options I can see
1. One solid cover hinged like a truck bed cover - This would be the most water sealed, but may be limited on opening if I add a rack later. I would also need to find the right hinges, is that considered a "cantilever" style or what search term am I looking for
2. Gull wing split down the middle - Then each tailgate has its own, could likely be open more with a rack over it. Downsides are there is a hinge in the middle that needs waterproofed and it makes it harder to do solar/mounts of some kind.


While I pondered that I got to work. First all of the sheet got cut into pieces. Used a Festool tracksaw, does a good job as long as you have a backer. Since this is my "table saw" replacement I keep an MDF spoil board handy already. It got grumpy a few times due to heat, but it also was 90* outside and dripping wet so that didnt help.
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The largest piece to the left is what will become a top

Then I realized that the one vertical I got lazy on, it was in a shitty spot wasn't vertical enough. I could have made it work but knowing that I may be adding a telescoping rack that would be a huge problem later. Cut the welds and put it back on correctly. This is why I wanted a paint color that came in a spray can
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Sides were easy. Nothing is welded, just riveted. Found some clecos in the drawer that came in very handy. The top angle goes on the outside of the side sheets, which go down past the floor. I'm making no claims that this will be watertight, but I want to do as much as I can with just the design to keep water out. Avoiding a bunch of seals or goop except where truely needed, like the doors.

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Then I welded the catch angles on the floor. The back section is riveted in. The front is on a hinge to open it up for access to the electronics and water area. Ideally this would never be opened on a trip, but is there to make work a little easier.

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I got very humbled welding the aluminium. Been a long time since I did it and it was a pain compared to steel. It's stuck but I'm not proud of it.

Working on the gates this week, the wiring, and start on the top. Also will need to figure out how I want to attach the panels for the bottom section. These will later hold electrical and water connectors, indicators, etc. Not sure if I want to do threaded holes in the tube, angle brackets or what. I keep thinking they need to be easy to detach, but that might not be right long term. I'm a fan of vibration resistant fasteners like welds or rivets on a trailer
 
So it kept bugging me that my aluminum welds were such crap. I know I'm out of practice but I do pretty good on steel. This new welder (AHP 201XD) has 6x as many knobs and 3x as many switches as my old welder (Miller 330 a/bp). Turns out I had the AC balance set at 40%, which was dumping way too much heat into the tungsten and not much into the work. The first test weld after changing just that and it was a massive difference

Before:
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After:
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Still need practice but at least I'm not shooting myself with a bad setup.
 
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Working on the tailgates. Is it a tailgate on the front? Dunno
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Unlike the rest I don't have a clear plan on these. Making it up as I go. Got the basic frames, then went back and forth between how it sat and opened. Ended up going with side brackets as stops. Found some steel tube to use for the hinges, bored to remove the seam. Started turning down some aluminum pins. Need to get some aluminum tube of the right size. No idea on latch type.

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Oh and I bolted the hitch on, it's really a trailer now
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2 hinges down, then realized that lights were higher priority so I can deal with the tag office. Process isn't bad in GA, but it does require a notary, so its an appointment with them, one at the dmv, one with the popo for inspection and again with the dmv.... Damn rona

Wiring is running through predrilled internal holes in the frame. Nothing goes outside to be snagged. All led and all flush mount. Trailer lights are a headache, so as much prevention as I can.
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The hinges are al bar stock turned to fit through a steel tube welded to the frame into al tube welded to the gate. The will be pinned with screws into the al tube section. The ends have a countersunk zerk cross drilled in the steel section


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Got all the lights hooked up and working last night, no pics I could barely see outside by the time it was done. Also got chains on it, so its ready for inspection. Going by the bank tomorrow to get the homebuilt trailer form notirized. \n\nThe first two spindles are machined fully. The second two just got roughed out. One of the tailgates has the hinge bar. The other will be done today. \n\nSince we are coming up to the goal weekend and I have my kid Wed night thru Fri morning time is getting tight. What I have accepted:\n\n- Lid will not get done in time. This isnt an issue, I can just a tarp for now\n- Jacks/stablizers wont get done. I\'m leaning toward using these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07V25XP8B/?tag=91812054244-20 instead of a jack. Long term if I add a tent I will want them. The balance is so light its just as likely to flip backwards if you sit on the tailgate\n- Hoping I can get the tag done thursday/friday\n- Gates need latches and supports for when down\n - Latches will probably be these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K1QJ34Y?tag=91812054244-20 basic, should hold plenty\n - For the supports I have some 1/16 stainless wire rope I would like to use. Its small and strong. Ideally I want end fitting like these: https://www.mcmaster.com/3872T11/ for the price and look, but I don\'t have or know anyone with the right crimp tool. For now I will probably just use normal swages and thimbles. There is a whole spool of cable, no big deal if I do it twice\n
 
Gates on, latches and tagged! Top is in progress, not sure of what I want.

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Maiden voyage completed!

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It tows well, straight, light enough the car doesnt notice. I made the possible mistake of going on a shooting/camping trip so the car was loaded with guns and ammo and the trailer was loaded. didnt give me a good feel for just the trailer. It is a short little bugger and turns quickly. On saturday I got tired of the mess of gear and ran to home depot for storage tubs and reorganized.

Came back with a pile of things I want to do. Many of them were packing related, but the big fab/install ones:
- Install tailgate stays, Hadn't gotten around to it, working on them now with some small stainless wire rope I had
- Jacks, its clear all 4 corners need them, ordered from the amazon
- Propane tank - Found I had one and despite thinking I needed a smaller (10lb) tank the 20lb fits perfect. Need to fab a mount
- Fire extinguisher and CO2 tank - Also need to fab/install mounts
- Jerry can holders for fuel and water
- Top is needed. I was sold back on a soft top, but turns out I dont have enough fabric. Once i was out there I realized that a hard top would be better- I can run in the store or park in a lot overnight with some security

I also found my highlift, might as well mount that, it isnt doing anything. Shovel and Axe would be good also.
 
Looks like a handy little trailer. Hard top would be good. Makes a platform to put a tent on or at least somewhere to bolt stuff.
 
Watching. I got a military trailer i want to make a hard top for. I'll let you do all the thinking. Then copy yours. :smokin::laughing:

Lookin good so far!
 
Updates:
Haven't got much done, life and work gets in the way. Can't use it anyway this weekend, I have a shooting match.

Finally decided on the roof design. It's going to be gull wing, u channel in the middle with piano hinges. Frame will be angle with a skirt at 45 and flat tops. I considered angled tops for runoff, but realized at the height it will be used for work/stuff and the angle will just piss me off. Ordered the missing material, hinges and some other stuff.

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legs are installed. Set came from Amazon. They have some limited manual lift capacity. Had to mount them 2 different ways front and rear but it shouldn't matter. Forgot how much drilling steel upside down sucks.

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picked up a couple fire extinguisher mounts for a 2.5 gal water and a co2 for the power tank. Used these mounts a lot during the fd days and properly adjusted they hold well. Plus at $30 each its hard to build something better that doesn't look like crap.

Been having a harder time finding a good propane tank mount. Seems everything either sticks way out or has a nylon strap, which I don't trust. For the last corner I have some l track as a carry whatever until I get a water heater.

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got the first pair of cable stays in for the rear gate. It's some 1/16 military surplus wire rope I had laying around, technically rated at 200lb terminated, but I did it so I'll derate. I can sit on it and it only flexes in the middle.

I've also been hardware swapping. As with any build you grab what's handy but I ordered some stainless and correct size screws and have been slowly swapping stuff out. Being in the south crappy hardware rusts fast
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Saturday I hope to get the lids fairly done. If so Sunday I'll put the lift springs on the dadwagon
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This past weekend it poured here due to the hurricane, so everything got canceled gave me time to complete the tops

First build a base frame. The lid will be two piece and open from each end. This was right at the limits of my welding table and was a bit of a pain both to align and doing the shuffle. To the frame I put 2 3/4 flat to get an overall 2" rise
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The corners took a lot of test fitting, got it close. The welds were better where it fit perfect, passable where it didnt.
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This was good practice aluminum welding. Especially the top. Was concerned about running out of filler so I oversized the top and basically did a no filler rollover weld

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and 2 down
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To attach it I used a piece of al channel with the hinges riveted on. Took some scrap heavier angle and made attachment plates

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Finally dropped the lids on
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The hinges are riveted. Won't vibrate loose but also can take them off easy enough for service. Ordered latches and gas springs from amazon, I'll need to weld in some filler plates where the hinge side is to cover a hole. Again, not waterproof, but pretty decent for the work effort
 
Anymore progress or ?

It looks pretty good, have you thought about back up and work lights?

Why didn't you put brakes on it?
 
Anymore progress or ?

It looks pretty good, have you thought about back up and work lights?

Why didn't you put brakes on it?

I took it out several times. Worked well. There have been some updates which I've neglected to post here. I'll work on grabbing pics and doing a big update but

- Built a kitchen insert that has cubbies for stuff
- Got a fridge on amazon sale, one of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L34Z6PZ?tag=91812054244-20
- Found some gas struts for the lids
- Built a battery tray
- started the electical wiring

Currently working on the wiring, but its been fits and starts due to weather and time. Not easy dealing with crimp connections when you have gloves on or its dark outside

First part electrical
3 batteries - why 3, because I had them free from work
Noco onboard charger
2 switch panels/USB ports - 1 front, 1 rear
USB C and 2.0 Charge ports - pretty much everything I take camping charges or runs off USB now
Lights under each lid with mag switches
reverse light
Ring of lights around bottom facing down - basically just to give some don't trip lighting


As far as why no brakes - honestly this thing doesn't weigh much even loaded. At this point it doesnt need them and the time it would take to wire the car for a brake controller isn't worth it yet. The axle has flanges, so adding brakes will only lose me the hubs and the 4 pin pigtail when I upgrade. I can see they may be needed once the water is complete and if I add a tent.
 
Ok, pics and details.

I took it camping about 4 times after the lids were on - some short, some longer, some family trips. Here is one to Vortex springs in Florida for diving. This is where it really made itself useful - 2 people + dog (minus one leg) + camping gear + scuba gear + tanks. No way either of us were fitting all that in the car.
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Now a couple things became really obvious. One was the cooking situation, everything in bins was annoying to find, none of the bins were the right size, so lots of wasted space. So I grabbed a sheet of 1/2 PVC from home despot and got to cutting. it worked well - waterproof, easy to cut, softer than anything going in it. Just assembled with drywall screws.

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The fridge pushed up the necessity of getting power installed. Like said, I get batteries for free from work when our PMs screw up and overorder or misorder. Had 3 of these handy so I built a battery box and put the lower floor in the electronics area.

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Note that the batteries are attached to and sitting on the tube that goes to the coupler, its not trying to hold on a sheet of aluminum.
 
So december was new tool time. Both a Harig surface grinder and a Shapeoko 3. The surface grinder probably won't be used on this, but the shapeoko will

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Used the SO3 to cut holes for switches and USB converters. One goes on the front and one on the back. The boxes are plano, and at like $4 each should be good to stop spray and road crap.

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The front has:
Switch for USB Ports
3 Way switch for ring lights
4 USB2.0 Ports
1 USB C 65w ports

Back has
Other 3 way for ring lights
Pump Switch
Reverse Light Switch
USB Port switch
1 USB C
1 USB 2.0

This weekend I pulled the trailer under the carport and pulled the wires for each but didn't get any pictures. All the connectors will be Deutsch DT.

Started laying out the connections and locations. Picked up a Blue Sea fuse panel, but then realized the relays were going to be a mess, so I have an order in with Delcity.
Need to get the back cladding mounted - both for the switch and the backup light.

Propane tank mount needs to be done, I'd like to not keep using a ratchet strap.

On other notes I grabbed a cheap water pump. Trying to decide on the tank. I built it to put one of these in: https://www.ebay.com/itm/UM-1500-Cl...y-Water-Tank-rv-concession-cargo/193601627625 but having second thoughts and considering just making a PVC pipe matrix.

Also waiting on these to drop to their clearance price of ~40 on amazon. One would fit really well on the back wings. A water heater on the other side.
 
Long overdue update\\n\\nElectrical is nearly done - everything is wired. Need to get the panels mounted but as it turns out I have some fab work to do related to them and other stuff. Also ordered all the parts for the water system\\n\\n\\n\\nPanels are all in and wired - everything is very modular. I\\\'m bad about changing how I want things after a couple months so I made it to where any switch can be used for about any task with just a couple wires swapped. Still need to dress everything. \\n\\nTotal battery capacity is about 70 (26x3). Everything is DC - lights, pumps, fridge, charger ports. The only thing that is constant power is the fridge, everything else is switched to prevent drain on extended trips. \\n\\nHave a reverse light mounted. Its just a chinese flush mount light. Controlled by a switch on the back panel. While I could change over to a 7 pin with reverse linked to the car I don\\\'t think that is needed. Most of the time I won\\\'t need it and when I do it\\\'s a good plan that someone needs to get out of the seat and look at the path before attempting. \\n\\n\\n\\nAnd lights under the wings. This was one of those time travel wants - if I could have those when I was wiring it would have made seeing what was going on much easier - but then I didnt have anything to run them. \\n\\n\\n\\nNext is water systems - you can see the tank in the middle of the last pic. 15 gal onboard capacity. Also ordered one of the LP water heaters, a small sink and RV outside style faucet. \\nhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KQT3GFZ?tag=91812054244-20\\nhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08B8YXX9L?tag=91812054244-20\\nhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084JP3B5X?tag=91812054244-20\\n\\nThe faucet, aside from a slight phallic look, will let me use the loc line for normal sink work, then disconnect the line and connect a shower head. Here in the south humidity is killer and being able to wash off on a mutliday trip is key. Also many of my trips are diving/hiking/fishing and washing off the muck is nice. \\n\\nThe new stuff is forcing me to make a propane tank mount. But honestly the ratchet strap needed to go away anyway. \\n\\nOn a vacation trip a week ago we stopped by the CVT tents location in Chattanooga. It didn\\\'t help answer any of my plans for long term. Sure they are nice tents and yes - they can setup fairly quickly and have sheets/bedding ready. But they cost 3x more than the best camping tents for their entry level. Ended up running by REI and found a nice cot in the scratch and dent. Going to see if that bridges the gap some - and it was $23. \\n\\n\\n

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Ok, got a pile done this past week and weekend. Nearing completion, which is good since camping season is here.

First - no pics but I cut the supports for the tank to sit in. Big head slapper, if I had moved the top frame support 1/2" It wouldn't have been necessary to cut a 3' long slit with a jigsaw while laying on a creeper. :mad3:

Front controls mounted
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And the rear trim, panel and reverse light installed.
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I sprayed the back of the panel with rustoleum neverwet as a ghetto conformal coating. Probably will regret that later :grinpimp:

Then on to plumbering - first, everyone needs a sink on their trailer
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The drain goes to a hose fitting underneath. Plan is to get a short hose cutoff and run it to a foldable water tank.
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You can also see part of the plumbing. All 3/8 Pex, sharkbites for changeable later. And the water heater is mounted and plumbed, except propane - I need a 3/8 flare elbow to make it cleaner

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So the general plumbing plan is easy
2 Sources - either a 12v pump off the 15 gal tank or a "city" hookup for a hose. Both have a backflow preventer to seperate automagically
Runs to a Tee that splits to the sink cold and the WH
WH runs to the sink hot

There are some limitations
- The tank can only be filled from the gravity feed dish, not from the city water. I came up with a valve system that could do both but ended up going for the KISS idea. In reality I will either be running off a hose at a campsite or filling up at home/station and running off the tank. Not really both and if so it only takes a few second to stick the hose in the gravity fill
- The only current water out is the sink. It has a QD with the nozzle or a hose to a shower. I have a feeling that I will add a non-pressurized gravity fed valve before the pump. That way if the chinese garbage 12v pump burns out I can still fill bottles and such from the tank.

Finally I made an "Inlet Panel" for power, gravity fill and hose. They aren't bolted yet, pending some fittings for the water connections.

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Anyone else notice that every plumbing project involves 3 trips where you spend at least $40 on a few random fittings?
 
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