Power Trailer Dolly, Ron's version - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2013, 02:23 PM   #1
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Name: Ron
Trailer: 2008 13' Scamp
British Columbia
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Power Trailer Dolly, Ron's version

I have to move my Scamp 13 over some bumpy grass to its' parking spot. It takes a little more physical effort than I like so I've built a test dolly using my existing (cheap and flimsey) dolly and a cable winch that I already had. Driving one wheel isn't ideal by I wanted to see if the winch motor had enough grunt to make it worthwhile building a two wheel drive unit from scratch.

I machined the winch drum to take a chain sprocket. I mounted a larger sprocket to one wheel. The motor is mounted using quick and easy 2x4s instead of fabricating a metal mount because I don't know if it's going to stay on the dolly or not. It can be set to freewheel so it's no problem staying in place even if its' not being used.

I hooked it up to a battery and it's alive Wasn't sure what to expect speed wise but it ~seems~ (technical term) to be just about right.

I had my wife stand on it to give it some traction and I couldn't hold it back, so that's hopeful. Hopefully in the next week or so I'll have a chance to try it out on the trailer. Even if it can't move the trailer completely on its' own any assistance it can give will be welcome.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:37 PM   #2
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Name: Eddie
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Is that green the duct tape? You could put bushings on the axle and pin the wheels to the axle and have both wheels pulling.
Eddie
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:08 PM   #3
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And here is another version.

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Old 03-04-2013, 05:26 PM   #4
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Name: Ron
Trailer: 2008 13' Scamp
British Columbia
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Originally Posted by Eddie Longest View Post
Is that green the duct tape? You could put bushings on the axle and pin the wheels to the axle and have both wheels pulling.
Eddie

No, the green tape holds a little bag containing the 4 original bolts for the wheel. I've learned, very slowly, to keep track of parts that I remove from things in case I need them later. I may be removing the hub etc. and didn't want to muttering and cursing "Where are those damm bolts"

The axle is welded to the frame. It would require welding and fabricating to use it. I don't mind doing that but the existing axle and wheels aren't suitable for using.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:24 PM   #5
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And here is another version.
Red Green would be proud. This reminds me of when I was a teenager working in a rental store. When it got slow, we raced belt sanders. The trick was to coil the extension cord so it reeled out fast.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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Name: Ron
Trailer: 2008 13' Scamp
British Columbia
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It's alive! I got to test my powered dolly today and I have to say it did much better than I thought it would.

The negatives that made me think it might not work.

The winch motor drum only has bushings, not bearings. A lot of friction under load.

The axle is so wimpy, small diameter and unsupported, even unpowered it's marginal.

It's one wheel drive only and the wheels are far apart.

The area where the trailer is stored over the winter is rough, with exposed tree roots and a slope. It's been tough for my wife and I to haul the trailer out to the driveway. We've used a small manual winch to help.

So I hooked up the dolly, took a deep breath, and pushed the button and off went the trailer without us pushing The one wheel drive, with the tongue weight on it, kept its' traction even on the moss. The off center drive does want to rotate the dolly but the long handle has more than enough leverage to provide steering.

I was originally just going to test the motor for power and gearing and then make a two wheel, more beefy version. But this one works so well it's going to be used "as is".

Color me one happy camper
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:36 PM   #7
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Name: Ron
Trailer: 2008 13' Scamp
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Look Ma, no hands Well maybe not no hands because you have to steer and push the go button. But no heaving ones' guts out or having to use a manual winch.

I used it today to move the trailer around quite a bit, about 70' of powering, no pushing and running strictly off the house battery. No signs of it sucking down the battery too much.

I'm really happy with the way it turned out. On reflection I think the only thing that I'll do is move the wheels closer together which will make it stronger.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:36 PM   #8
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I gotta say, I like it! Crude, but effective, my favorite!

I like the tongue box as well. That is a real pro install.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
It's alive! I got to test my powered dolly today and I have to say it did much better than I thought it would.
.........
Good job. If it does what you need, then it is good enough.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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Good job Ron

The one I am building works great for my Boler but has some traction troubles moving my heavier Casita, just finishing up the redesign which will be 2 wheel drive. Be careful with the idea of moving the wheels closer together, it appears a major issue is when the wheels are too close together they will tip over very easily. If your unit is working for you .... enjoy
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:48 PM   #11
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I know this thread is a little old but I realized I had not provided an update.
I needed a power dolly, I use one 40' RV stall for both my trailers parked nose to tail. If I want to take the back trailer it involved a series of hook-up/pull out/disconnect/hook-up/pull out...... basically a real pain.

My design is very similar to Ron's, using the Pricess Auto ATV winch, the tires I use are small 8" with 5x4 1/2" bolt pattern that I install on my Boler when I need to fit it into my garage, (thought multipurposing those would work). Power comes through the trailer wiring harness but I also have built adapters so I can use the vehicle battery along with a 10/3 extension cord. I installed a momentary rocker switch that does apply the trailer brakes but as Ron said the winch provides excellent braking and I have not needed to use it (yet). I used an quick release ball that allows changing between a 1 7/8" and 2" ball

The frame is built from some scrap 3″x4″x 3/8″ thick aluminum angle and some 1.5″x3″x1/8″ aluminum channel and simply bolted together.

More picture are on my Blog









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Old 10-19-2014, 10:53 AM   #12
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Trailer: Researching
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Originally Posted by Ian G. View Post
I know this thread is a little old but I realized I had not provided an update.
I needed a power dolly, I use one 40' RV stall for both my trailers parked nose to tail. If I want to take the back trailer it involved a series of hook-up/pull out/disconnect/hook-up/pull out...... basically a real pain.

My design is very similar to Ron's, using the Pricess Auto ATV winch, the tires I use are small 8" with 5x4 1/2" bolt pattern that I install on my Boler when I need to fit it into my garage, (thought multipurposing those would work). Power comes through the trailer wiring harness but I also have built adapters so I can use the vehicle battery along with a 10/3 extension cord. I installed a momentary rocker switch that does apply the trailer brakes but as Ron said the winch provides excellent braking and I have not needed to use it (yet). I used an quick release ball that allows changing between a 1 7/8" and 2" ball

The frame is built from some scrap 3″x4″x 3/8″ thick aluminum angle and some 1.5″x3″x1/8″ aluminum channel and simply bolted together.
This is nice and would probably handle grassy slopes with the big tires. Do you happen to have the plans(measurements) in shareable format? Also, approx how much was the cost based on your material list for this mod excluding the scrap aluminum you had laying around?
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:18 PM   #13
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I don't usually make detailed drawings, the design of this was to make it as small as possible, with a 16" tread width for stability

Frame dimensions:
  • Length - 17"
  • Width - 8.25"
  • Hub face to hub face - 16"

Works good on rough and slippery conditions to a point, because the tire tread is smooth it can slip but as a bonus tire chains are available which makes it unstopable.

Cost is a hard question because I had most of the materials laying around my workshop, but all are available at Princess Auto in Canada and probably Harbor Freight in the US. the only Items I had to buy were the winch at $45.00, axle at $33.00 ... my guess all in about $150-$200 range.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ian G. View Post
I don't usually make detailed drawings, the design of this was to make it as small as possible, with a 16" tread width for stability

Frame dimensions:
  • Length - 17"
  • Width - 8.25"
  • Hub face to hub face - 16"

Works good on rough and slippery conditions to a point, because the tire tread is smooth it can slip but as a bonus tire chains are available which makes it unstopable.

Cost is a hard question because I had most of the materials laying around my workshop, but all are available at Princess Auto in Canada and probably Harbor Freight in the US. the only Items I had to buy were the winch at $45.00, axle at $33.00 ... my guess all in about $150-$200 range.
Thanks for the estimated cost and dimensions. Maybe one day in the future I can try to attempt to build one on my own after I get a fgrv.
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