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DIY 4WD Box Trailer

 

After building my slide on camper,  (seen here) Slide on camper I have decided to build tough little box trailer to complement it.

This way I have the option to either put the camper on my ute as previously or tow it behind on the new trailer. It will also enable people to use the camper if they don’t own a utility or a potential buyer who wants the whole package!

The reason to build a trailer over buying one are a plenty, this way I get exactly what I want and save a few dollars in the process. Also my dad has been wanting a new trailer for decades and thought it would be nice if I built one we could both use. And to no cost to him.

Its going to be quite small, have heavy duty 1600kg 4WD suspension, 33″ 4WD tyres (Cooper ST MAX’s), made from galvanized steel, have an internal box storage size to perfectly fit 4 x 900 x 500 x 400 Pelican space cases, and the top made to the same size as the camper so when its paired it will work and look awesome.

This is my story,

IMG_8611Like all ideas of mine, they begin their fruition on a piece of paper. Starting with rough sketches of what comes pouring out of my mind the design slowly takes shape.

IMG_8613Putting dimensions on sketches gives me parameters to work with, like a limit to what I can do within the space and also the goal or reason for build.  In this case, the tray top needs to match the camper so 2050 x 1850  is the ideal size.

IMG_8612I would like the inner box compartment to fit my pelican space cases which measure 900 x 550 x 400 each so an internal size under the camper of 1800L x 1100W x 400H min.

IMG_8641Next is to get a bit more serious. Without going into too much detail using Autocad and drafting up proper drawings, this one has all i need to do the job. From this drawing i have also worked out the wheelbase and most importantly the axle length which i can now order to get made to size.

IMG_8642Here we have the side elevation above and below an isometric view of the parts for the frame/chassis with part numbers. From this drawing I can start cutting the lengths of tube up.

IMG_8603Next step was to get cracking! Here we have the box section chassis made from 40 x 40 x 2.5 Duragal SHS tacked together. All cut from that crappy drawing above. No CAD necessary.

IMG_8807There’s the frame fully welded and the tailgate made and installed. Its upside down by the way,

IMG_8808My Christmas has come early!  Got a delivery today. The hardware!

IMG_8810Basically everything i need to make a trailer. Minus the wiring , lights wheels etc.

IMG_8812A few late hours later I have welded the hangers and installed the shackles, fitted the springs and are now fitting the custom made axle.

IMG_8813Axle on, electric brake hub on.

IMG_8814Getting excited!  (i am only dry fitting the bearings tonight as I need to borrow a bearing grease packer off a friend tomorrow

IMG_8834Prepared earlier, was a new set of Cooper ST-Maxx.’s 33″ on 17″ steel rims.

IMG_8819Wheel on, mudguard just sitting in there at this stage. Its looking pretty good, so far the dimensions are matching the sketch. Almost ready to make the draw bar and flip it over.

IMG_8829Draw bar on. Making it quite long as its easier to reverse, able to jack-knife for turning around on tight 4WD tracks and also my to point under my ute is a fair way under the tray.

IMG_8835On its wheels. Tail gate done!.

IMG_8837There it is, the rolling chassis.

IMG_8836Looking at how the height came together i think its a bit high, from here I will take the axle out again and put it on top of the leaf springs which will lower it about 130mm.

IMG_8955There thats better. see how the wheel is more inside the mudguard now. Also checking to make sure the pelican cases fit.

IMG_9137Mudguards painted, now to fit the gal sheet metal.

IMG_9138Im going to use a 2mm gal sheet for the bottom and 1.5mm for the sides to reduce the weight a bit.

IMG_9149Sheet metal done.  It has been stitch welded on so there is no rivets or screws then every seam and join i have used a flexible sickaflex 11FC to keep the edges from collecting dirt and water and rusting out. Its will be painted over later on.


 

So,  I have missed taking a few photos of wiring the lights and finishing painting etc but she’s finished now.

As you can see in the pics below, its great all rounder, versatile solid trailer great for any purpose. Unbreakable and rustproof. With electric brakes and heavy duty 4wd suspension its a pleasure to tow and forget its even there sometimes.

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Next up is to mount the slide on camper on top and see how she goes.


Here’s a few photos of my slide on camper mounted on the trailer. These two pair up perfectly and giving me ultimate versatility to either tow it and leave the ute tray empty, put the camper on my ute for a bit more remote travelling or just using the box trailer as a good all-rounder and leave the camper on its legs.

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Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more interesting projects to come!.

Next up:  Turning that trailer into the ultimate off road camper!!

If you want to see the slide on camper build.  See it here!

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4 thoughts on “DIY 4WD Box Trailer”

  1. How do you find the fridge and weight on the drawbar? I’m thinking of extending my drawbar (currently a very short bar on a box-trailer camper with a useless toolbox and spare tyre) to mount a fridge slide similar to yours. Is the ride smooth enough still? Have read a couple forums where people think the ride on leaf springs like that is too rough and bottles will break/burst etc. By the way, how long is the drawbar on the trailer now?

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