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Expedition Trailer
11 January 2019, 18:34,
#1
Expedition Trailer
Like a small child left unsupervised I often become bored and begin surfing the internet for hair brained projects to occupy my time.

Being old and growing older by the day I find that my past camping routine is no longer suitable for my decrepit frame.

I once camped like the pioneers of old, or anyone else back to the ice ages, in tents made from natural fibers. I was blessed with camp beds, closets, shelves and floor-cloths decorated brightly. Meals were often of the gourmet variety since the late wife's best friend was an award winning chief and she often camped with us.

When alone or in small camps I often slept on the ground wrapped in a blanket and ate less appealing fare cooked over the fire, in the coals or simply hung on a stick over the coals.

I can no longer carry about or set up those big camps, and after several years of camping in tents I have grown leary of that habit since I often camp in country shared by big fuzzy bears and small fuzzy coyotes. Possums and raccoons are present but a mere irritation.

Looking for a solution I discovered a new genre of camping now popular which is done inside and outside of small trailers. They are referred to as expedition trailers or adventure trailers.

They offer both a means of carrying all the comforts one wants in camp and offering an enclosed place to sleep. That is necessary in some areas of the U.S. since many of our parks now prohibit camping in fabric tents. Too many bears reaching in and eating boy scouts still in their sleeping bags, which makes me wonder if they taste like ducks or geese with all that down from the sleeping bag enclosing them like a large burrito.

The cost of these trailers is absurd! They are not RV type things they are 1.5-2 meters wide and 3-4 meters long and not even tall enough to stand properly. One crawls inside to sleep in their expensive cocoon and that is about it. Some have a simple camp kitchen on the back and/or simple electrics for light but they do not appear complex, just a rolling platform for all the things I once used separately and called "camp gear". I already own all of that stuff and I am not about to pay someone $13,000 for it mounted on a flimsy trailer.

What to do?? I have power tools, I can make my own! I have built trailers in the past and I can do it again!

what to use as a platform???

For a couple of hundred U.S. I can buy a new light duty frame and build on that. I would be restricted to a 4'x8' box of some sort and have to deal with aging and rotting wood, finding doors and hardware and getting everything straight. The end cost would still be a couple of grand to do it right.

Fortunately I stood at the end of the house and looked out the window at about that time and realized that I had the perfect vehicle already.

I own a cargo trailer that is 1.5 meters wide and 2.4 meters long and the standard 1.8 meters tall, that is 5'x8'x6' in old numbers. It has sheet steel sides and top a strong ribbed steel frame and a heavy chassis with large truck style road tires. It is the perfect platform my my new project. If I do not load it down too heavy my Jeep will tow it with no problem.

Only hindrance is that it is filled nose to tail with very expensive camping gear which must be kept in a dry, secure storage area. I must now find such an area and empty the trailer.

I will attempt to keep a running photo record of the progress if I can find a proper photo host with the demise of Photobucket.

By the way this new project must be a stealth camper. It can in no way resemble an RV, camping trailer, or caravan. In the area where I live any trailer used for commercial or recreational purposes is taxed heavily. Utility trailers are exempt.

The zombies I am trying to avoid are in the form of the local tax agents!

That means that I can not have solar panels on the outside, propane bottles visible, batteries and lights in plain view other than the legal requirements. This rig must look like the family utility trailer bringing the new fridge home or about to execute the perfect fly-tip.

Now I must find the perfect place to store several thousand U.S. dollars worth of camping gear somewhere else on the property! That will be its own job to do.
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11 January 2019, 19:54,
#2
RE: Expedition Trailer
Sounds like a good idea MB , and something you could get done easily ...you have all the skill sets and the ability to take on some trips ...fishing /hunting and something to bug out in , multipurpose ! ….you should go for it , and enjoy getting it done ...big buzz ! I can well imagine.....I know I would , is it a single or two axel ? will you use it in summer only or all year round ? are there swung doors or roller shutter doors ? ….times like this I wish I lived just up the road ……...we would have some real good fun !
The ability to laugh at yourself while you learn is a great attribute.
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11 January 2019, 21:39,
#3
RE: Expedition Trailer
Ahhh SS same here, we could do some real damage if we were ever allowed to assemble.

This is a simple cargo trailer with swing rear doors that open the entire rear of the trailer, or only one side.

After it is emptied I believe that will be the first thing I address, a way to secure one door closed and use the other for egress and exit without anyone being able to lock me inside.

I wish I had a side door, but alas, one that would look appropriate is not available and the ones that are available look like they belong on an RV.

I may attempt to cut a new door and save the panel of metal I remove and skin it over plywood to make a new door. It would require considerable trim work to make it look normal and non-RV.

I do plan to have propane and DC by use of a couple of plastic containers a tool box and an "action packer" to hide them. I can mount that on the A frame assembly at the tongue.

I may attempt to build a roof rack of crude form. If I do that properly I think I can partly frame out the lower part to hide a 70 liter fresh water tank I salvaged off another RV several years ago. It I put it on the roof I can gravity feed it for convenience and to possibly eliminate the need for a 12v pump.

I will use solar panels to recharge the battery, but that will be a portable setup due to my area being forested and hot. I need to park the assembly in the shade but set the solar panels in the sun.

Solar is down the list a bit since I intend this as a fair weather use item. A three season rig. I already live under adverse "nearly camping" conditions at home in winter and I am sure not going out to try and die in the frozen wilderness on purpose.

I believe the 180 amp/hr battery I already have would carry me through several days of LED lighting the interior if I augment it with portable solar camping lights. I do not plan on having a microwave or using a blender so the electrics would be for light only, or recharging cordless tools in an emergency.

I also have a 1k gen-set I can toss inside when I expedite my expedition. It might never get used but it would be there. It is a small thing about the size of a 10 liter petrol can.

I am pondering the use of an aluminum framed cot, a futon, or a "folding foam bed/chair" for sleeping arrangements. I already have one of each and I might just try them all and see what works best. I am leaning toward the cot. It can be folded and put out of the way ad I know it sleeps well, I have spent many a comfortable night on it.

I am very anxious to get outside. Just think, I only have 4 months to go before I can go camping without fear of freezing to death!
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