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Old 07-21-2020, 07:07 PM   #1
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Name: paul
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 13
Storage bin on hitch...

Hi all.

I am permanently removing the propane tank (and stove) from my 13' Trillium and instead mounting a storage bin on the hitch. I'm worried that drilling the vertical 3/16" holes into the top and bottom of the frame for the mounting hardware may weaken the hitch/frame. (Eight holes in total - four on top and four on the bottom). I realize I could use "U" bolts but drilling would look much cleaner.

Am I being overly paranoid? Anyone have any experiences with drilling into the frame?
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:17 AM   #2
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Ontario
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if you are unsure about drilling the frame, you could get brackets welded on the inside of the frame and drill those.

Joe
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:49 AM   #3
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Name: p@
Trailer: Casita
South Carolina
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Am I being overly paranoid? Anyone have any experiences with drilling into the frame?
no, you're not. while i've done it and haven't suffered (yet) but, i do think it's a bad idea to put additional holes in a somewhat small frame section. welding a couple small tabs and bolting your box thru that sounds easy and prudent.

p@
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:27 AM   #4
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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A hole on the top would slightly weaken the frame, but not a great deal. A place for rust to start would be a concern as well. Welding on the side might be a stress riser also.
A tab bent at right angles would let you drill a hole at the 1/2 way point down the side of the frame where there is no bending forces. Still could rust so if you do this be sure to repaint the hole. Putting the screws in with wet primer is not a bad idea either.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:43 AM   #5
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2010 Little Joe / 2010 2 Dr Jeep Wrangler
Colorado
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Id go with u bolts
The more holes you drill the weaker the frame and more prone to rust
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:37 PM   #6
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Name: paul
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
Posts: 13
The storage bin installed...

I went with angle aluminum on the inside of the frame... using two existing holes and drilling two new ones. The bin is a DeeZee made from heavy plastic and cost about $200 Cdn. I reinforced its bottom with 1/4" plywood.

I'll just put a small padlock on it so hopefully thieves clue in that it doesn't contain any valuables. I intend on using it as my "mud room"... a place to put wheel chocks, jacks, dirty boots, hose, etc.
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:49 AM   #7
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looks good
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:04 PM   #8
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Name: Kevin
Trailer: Scamp
Kansas
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My Scamp 16 had a propane tank mounting bracket on the tongue w/ 2 bolts through the frame holding it down. I removed the tank bracket, and installed a big plastic box (65 gal, $50 @ Lowe’s), and put the tank bracket/20lb tank inside the box. Used the same 2 bolt holes. Works great but not as pretty as Paul’s setup. But it’s tall enough for the lp tank. Holds all that dirty stuff: levelers, jacks, tools, firewood, trash, etc. The holes have been there since 2007 with no problems.
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:29 PM   #9
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Trailer: Trillium 1300 1973
British Columbia
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Storage bin on hitch...

I really like it, but need the propane for the fridge. Would a 25# propane tank fit inside it? I would also consider putting the battery inside it.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:02 PM   #10
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Name: Cate & Dan
Trailer: 1976 Triple E SurfSide "The Mutt Hut"
Manitoba
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I put a heavy duty plastic tool box on the front of our surfside similar to the plastic l box shown. Put it on by positioning it where I wanted, having a helper hold it and drilling through the box from the bottom. Used U bolts with square corners around the frame and up into the box with nuts and large washers on the inside. Inside I placed a piece of wood and the bolts thread through this as well. Did this to reinforce the plastic so it would not crack. Acts like a clamp and spreads the tension of the bolt. Put a little piece of rubber cut from an old hose around the U bolt itself so it doesn't rub the frame and cause vibration wear. Lock tite on the bolt end inside and that sucker does not move. The tool box is not as pretty as an actual tongue box but it was loads cheaper and is roomier for being rectangular. Also had a lock already as well as padlock holes. I'd show a picture but I have it off the trailer because of sanding for paint. Point is NO HOLES in the frame!
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:08 AM   #11
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Name: paul
Trailer: Trillium
British Columbia
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My trailer didn't have a fridge - so my goal was to eliminate the propane system entirely. I was also trying to keep as much weight off the hitch as possible because it's hard on my cars suspension. I positioned my battery just behind the axle under the bench. I made a wooden box to hold it in place.

The bin I installed is plastic and I suspect that heavy weight inside might take a toll over time. This was the reason I put a wooden base inside it. I think it's large enough that you could put a tank and battery inside.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:32 PM   #12
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Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
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I know that when I removed the dual propane bottle bracket from my Scamp I discovered how rotten and thin the tongue metal was. Previous holes in the top had let water in which settled in the tube and rusted it from the inside.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:13 PM   #13
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Looks good
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:43 AM   #14
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Name: Rob
Trailer: FunFinder & Surf Side
British Columbia
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There's a reason propane tanks are either on the tongue or in a sealed compartment. They must breath through the bottom.. propane sinks if there is a leak.. And batteries can give of fumes and need a way to vent as well.
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:44 PM   #15
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Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul paquette View Post
so my goal was to eliminate the propane system entirely. I was also trying to keep as much weight off the hitch as possible because it's hard on my cars suspension. I positioned my battery just behind the axle under the bench. I made a wooden box to hold it in place.
Which begs the question, do you know the total weight of the trailer or the tongue weight. Even small trailers can get sway, and go out of control, and single axle ones are worse than tandems in that respect. Be very careful about getting the tongue too light, you want that 12-13% on the tongue.

Charles
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