Crazy Idea? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2010, 02:07 AM   #1
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Hi All,

I'm new here and have lurked for awhile, enjoying the friendly community.

I have an idea for a project that may seem a little odd to some but upon initial consideration, solves a few problems for me. I have a 92 dodge diesel flatbed truck that i use for work. I'm going for a month long trip through Alaska and thought it would be interesting to take an egg trailer off it's trailer frame and mount it to my flatbed for the trip. I've never had a trailer, always been a tent camper and don't like the idea of dragging a trailer. I design and build furniture for a living so have a complete metal and wood shop and am not afraid to adapt anything for my purposes.

So aside from the obvious issue of why I wouldn't want to pull the thing as is, what issues might be involved with this? I know I'll need a ladder to get to the door and that the trailer top will be higher than usual, anything else? I was thinking there may be a way to to adapt the trailer frame so that I could easily remove the pod with my forklift and set it on the mobile trailer to be pulled by my other truck for other occasions. I ride and race mtn. bikes, dirt bikes and a car so need the flexibility to mix things up for different occasions. for instance, last weekend I dragged a race car on a dolly behind my truck and could have used the pod as my snore chamber(if it were on my flatbed). Or, I could pull the trailer and park it at a campsite with a bunch of bike on the flatbed to journey to other locations to ride. The options are mind boggling!

Sorry for the long post and thanks for your thoughts!

Kyle
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:16 AM   #2
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http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/show...ighlight=casita

Just a place to start maybe?

Welcome too.

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Old 05-11-2010, 05:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/show...ighlight=casita

Just a place to start maybe?

Welcome too.

Ed
Thanks for the link Ed, I'm a member over there, but have never seen
that thread.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:12 AM   #4
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Interesting idea! I think you'll need to build the frame up, rather than take it off. There's a certain amount of "wrap around the bottom" and the trailer has to sit on something or you'll crush the fiberglass. It will be more than just cutting off the axle.

We'll follow your progress, hopefully with pictures (hint, hint, hint)
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:28 AM   #5
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Interesting idea! I think you'll need to build the frame up, rather than take it off. There's a certain amount of "wrap around the bottom" and the trailer has to sit on something or you'll crush the fiberglass. It will be more than just cutting off the axle.

We'll follow your progress, hopefully with pictures (hint, hint, hint)
When I mounted my Casita to the FUSO, I created a subframe to marry up the truck frame to the CASITA frame. The axle was removed but the subframe provides clearance for the plumbing
There are several variations in this thread, frame up, a service truck, flatbed, tilt bed etc. Lots of reading and ideas.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...splay.php?f=72

Have fun with your build. There are plenty of folks out there to bounce ideas off of.
Bruce
San Angelo, TEXAS
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your encouraging links! Now that I've been enabled by my new support group, It's time to find the Pod of my dreams. Is there a pod trailer that is notoriously bad and should be avoided? Does anyone know of a good one in NorCal?

I'm excited to get my hands on a pod and make sure the measurements will work. I'm thinking I can only use a 13' trailer to fit on my 8' flatbed. Does anyone know the rough dimensions of a 13' without the tongue and wheels, essentially just the fiberglass pod?

I'm also considering taking off my flatbed and mounting the pod directly to the frame of my truck for the trip. I want to build the flatbed of my dreams so might as well time it after this trip. the expeditionportal site looks insane. I have lots of skills and a big shop but no where near the budget to park next to those beautiful rigs. Mine will definitely look a little more road warrior. Below is a collection of all 3 of my trucks:
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:06 PM   #7
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If you really want to make it a bigger project check these out
http://www.htnz.co.nz/gallery/housetrucks/
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:21 PM   #8
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OK, so what if you pulled the axle, springs and cut off the tongue? This would leave the basic frame for rigidity; allow a safe way to fork-lift and give you something solid to attach easily to the flatbed.

My 13' Compact Jr is 10' 3" less the tongue..

Another idea? Modular camping
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:45 PM   #9
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OK, so what if you pulled the axle, springs and cut off the tongue? This would leave the basic frame for rigidity; allow a safe way to fork-lift and give you something solid to attach easily to the flatbed.

My 13' Compact Jr is 10' 3" less the tongue..

Another idea? Modular camping
Hello Kyle:

This trailer may be just what you are looking for, and it is located in California.
13" Trillium, and a cheap fixer-upper.
It is in the Referrals section right now, and sounds to be just the ticket
for your project?

Cheers and good luck with the project.
Jake


http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=39673
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:58 PM   #10
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All great info, thanks.

I'm going to look at a trailer this Friday that is advertised as a "land and sea" but looks like an Eco. She wants $2k and says it may need some cushions recovered. If that's all it takes, I'm sold!

After reading all of your input, I think I will try to take off the flatbed and modify the pod frame to fit on a custom subframe for the truck. I would like to have the option of towing it later so will create a bolt on tongue situation. It may be a lot of extra work but will reduce the weight and height significantly. I will have to create rock guards for the wheels and maybe mounts to put the tool boxes under the pod.

I'm not sure I understand the mounting issues with the trailer rigidly mounted to the truck frame. Some have suggested the trailer would endure too much twisting when the truck frame flexes. Could someone explain the kind of damage that would occur?

Also, I was wondering about the legality of mounting a trailer to a truck. Would the trailer need to be currently registered even if it's not actually touching the road? I think you may have to have cars reg. current in order to tow??

I'll post pics of the pod trailer I look at Friday, even if I don't buy it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:37 AM   #11
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The trailer is most likely an " El Macho " made by Land and Sea. It is a boler American offshoot. Some things on trailer history can be found here:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=21173
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:16 AM   #12
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Name: Deb & Chuck
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We have an ECO and a Boler and this looks more like a Boler.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:50 AM   #13
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We have an ECO and a Boler and this looks more like a Boler.
Why do you say that? What differences do you see? Colours? Lights? Windows? etc.

Link to pictures of various brands:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=37614

Link to Land and Sea ad for the El Macho.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...st&id=16252

Edited to add links
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
I have a 92 dodge diesel [b]flatbed truck that i use for work. I'm going for a month long trip through Alaska and thought it would be interesting to take an egg trailer off it's trailer frame and mount it to my flatbed for the trip.

I design and build furniture for a living so have a complete metal and wood shop and am not afraid to adapt anything for my purposes.

[b]what issues might be involved with this?
I was thinking there may be a way to to adapt the trailer frame so that I could easily remove the pod with my forklift and set it on the mobile trailer to be pulled by my other truck for other occasions.
I know I've seen pictures of this kind of thing done before, but I cannot help thinking:
Most 13' trailer floors of the Boler/Scamp design are NOT flat. From the inside, it looks like the floor in the rear dinette area steps up, but in reality the floor between the kitchen and the closet/entry door drops down. I have viewed pictures of "Frame-off" restoration projects and the frame does not look not simple, due to accommodating this well.

How is this irregularity accounted for in designing a marriage to a truck frame?
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