Loki's Utility/Expo Conversion Trailer - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 07-02-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Loki's Utility/Expo Conversion Trailer

Well as promised here is the newest donor for my next project. This is an apparent home built utility trailer with plywood floor and 15" tires on unknown capacity axle. The rough measurement of the deck area is 4' x 8'.

The end result will be a 4'x7' flat utility with new 12" side rails, expanded metal floor, LED lights, 3500# axle with 5 on 4.5 hub, but most important will be a completely removable tub that can be used for expedition runs, then stowed, allowing the trailer to be used as a normal utility trailer.

This trailer will hopefully be ready for the Savannah Poker Run, if not well, guess I'll be bringing the Mule again.
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post #2 of 47 Old 07-03-2010, 03:43 AM
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Subscribed! Cant wait to see another great build!
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post #3 of 47 Old 07-03-2010, 05:59 AM
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Let's see what it's gonna look like...
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post #4 of 47 Old 07-03-2010, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neoxxis View Post
Let's see what it's gonna look like...
I'll try uploading a excel sketch I did awhile back. This isn't going to be a complete new build but rather a visual aid to show what a DIY guy could do with a pre-made tub and conversion kit along with an existing utility trailer. Already this trailer is offering a challenge as the builder built the frame backwards from what you would find on production trailers.

This is where a touch of customizing will be factored in. I can flip the entire frame as it already requires a new tongue and spring mounts. Or I can modify how the tub will be mounted onto the deck. Being this is to represent a low cost conversion, modifications to the existing trailer will be limited.

However when everything is legal and finalized, I hope to offer a "turn key" version under the new venture name.

Larry


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post #5 of 47 Old 07-04-2010, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Well after yesterday's demolition, I think this trailer is beyond the point of conversion. At this point its going to be easier to build all new and with the material I want to use and formed my way. This trailer is filled with shitty welds, even worse cut angles, and most of the metal is deep pitted with rust.

So hopefully tomorrow the steel yard will be open and I can go pick up some stock. This will definitely set my time line back to beyond the Savannah trip.

Still working on posting a concept pic...I don't have one of those cool sketch artists like Kenny over at RR has....


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post #6 of 47 Old 07-07-2010, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
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Well like I said, I don't have a cool sketch artist and I haven't mastered Google sketch-up yet so this is about as good of a concept pic as I can offer for now....


I'll post up some pics tonight as we have gotten the basic frame done. We chose to go with 3" 5# C-channel for the outer frame and tongue along with 2" angle cross members. The side rails have the standard 12" height while the drop tailgate is still being designed as we are taking into consideration a spare tire mount location. We'll be working on the tongue design tonight. I'm going to try to utilize an adjustable receiver tube so that the trailer's wheel base can be adjusted to match either a 2dr or 4dr simply by pulling a pin and sliding the tube in or out.

Also still up for possibility is a move from leaf spring suspension to an independent arm suspension with airbags. This would also change the cross members from angle iron to 3"x2" tube. Being that the trailer will already be wired with a 7 wire harness, powering an onboard air compressor won't be a problem. This will also mean a 1gal air tank would be mounted and available for airing up tires. This feature will ultimately come down to cost, so we'll see.

The best feature of this trailer is you can later add the M416 style tub as a straight bolt on, though the tub will actually be slightly bigger than the original M416 both in width and depth, thus more cargo capacity. I'm still re designing the tub to accept even more future mods as well, including an experimental straight vertical lift lid ran off of 4 electric 400 lb actuators. The additional height should provide the ideal height for RTTs that utilize the lower dressing/shower rooms. However this is still a ways off and I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself.

BTW, if I stay on this schedule then this trailer will be at the Savannah Poker Run and it might even have a nice little "For Sale" sign attached to it....and before you ask, I won't know for how much until I'm finished as I will sell it at my cost...Not looking to PROFIT from this one!


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Last edited by Loki646; 07-08-2010 at 09:55 AM.
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post #7 of 47 Old 07-08-2010, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Well nothing new and innovative to share, just a few pics as I promised. We spent the whopping 2.5 hours we worked on it yesterday entirely setting the tongue in place.

Unlike my first build, this one has the traditional utility trailer tongue placement of being mounted under the frame rather than inline with the frame. Its arguably stronger and definitely easier. The only tricked out area on it is around the receiver itself. I'll post up better pics once I'm finished with it and have it cleaned up, where we left it last night is less than desirable to share at the moment.

Basic frame and tongue (still deciding on cross member material)


The next two pics show how I "boxed" in the C-channel to provide a recessed area for a set of oval tail lights. I'll be adding a divider piece on each side to complete the light boxes as well as the rear receiver and a pair of weld on D-rings





The front receiver as we left it last night, but by no means finished


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post #8 of 47 Old 07-08-2010, 09:22 AM
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Looking good so far!
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post #9 of 47 Old 07-08-2010, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well I wasn't overly motivated today, however I did finish the hitch receiver. Other than cleaning up the bottom side, this part of the build is finished.











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post #10 of 47 Old 07-17-2010, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Just some updated pics.









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post #11 of 47 Old 07-17-2010, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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hmmmm.....???




Yes the frame is upside down and no the axle & springs are not mounted.


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post #12 of 47 Old 07-18-2010, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Just waiting on spring hangers and shackles....then we can flip the frame and start in on the really fun stuff. For now I'll just leave you all with this part two tidbit.



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post #13 of 47 Old 07-23-2010, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Well yesterday after waiting almost 10 days for delivery of our spring hardware, the frame is officially a rolling unit now. Though it currently has the old axle and 25" tires on it, its at least mobile. The frame is at 17.5" while the tongue is at 14.5". Now add in 15 or 16" rims with 32's and the ground clearance should come in around 22" for the frame and 19" for the tongue which my M416 is at 19.5" on 32s. Both the M416 and this one are still sprung under so the axle CG is still low and providing better load control.

Hopefully a new axle can be ordered in the next few weeks as well as fabricating up some shock mounts. Next up; finishing the custom tongue box and side rails.

Current Specs as known:
Length: 126" (7ft deck/3.5ft tongue)
Width: 62" (outside of wheels)
Deck: 7'x4'
Frame and tongue: C3 5# C-Channel (3"x1.498"x.258")
Cross Members: 2"x2" Angle
Front Skid plate/lower storage floor: 16 gauge sheet
Springs: Pair of 30" long 1750# for a combined load cap of 3500#
Axle travel: 5" on a 3" tube (sprung under) or 8" (sprung over)

Hooked up to my buddy's TJ (3.5 RE on 33s)
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Last edited by Loki646; 07-25-2010 at 03:43 AM.
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post #14 of 47 Old 07-25-2010, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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With the frame now flipped over and most of the work finished on the underside. I decided to start in on the tongue box. The first thing I had to address was the pocket hole left by the C-channel.

Taking a piece of 1/8"x2" flat stock, I simply cut out an insert plate and welded into place for a nice clean corner location for both a marker light and a draw latch for the deck lid.

Next I put in the two rear vertical supports for what will become the insulated tongue box. The box will house two deep cycle batteries (stacked) as well as have room for numerous other electronics such as charger, inverter, Spod, OBA,etc.
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Last edited by Loki646; 07-25-2010 at 04:05 AM.
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post #15 of 47 Old 07-25-2010, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Continuing work on the tongue box and being rather lazy about it too. I did manage to get it framed in and the first interior panel put in. However, my hunger and craving for beer and pizza took over my creative enjoyment.. The interior panels are 20 gauge while the outer will be 16. The reason for the double panels, now I can mount some of the electronics on the sides on the the box using self tappers without worry of the looks of the outside. Once both panels are in place, I'll use self expanding foam inserted through drilled holes to fill the space between the panels.







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Last edited by Loki646; 07-26-2010 at 01:01 AM.
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post #16 of 47 Old 07-27-2010, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Wow 688 views and hardly a comment, you guys bored already or just lack ideas to throw out?....

So if you were in the market for a new trailer that you could take anywhere, list some things you would like to have. Keep in mind this isn't an RV, so a 52" LCD over a plumbed toilet isn't gonna happen....


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post #17 of 47 Old 07-27-2010, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Tinkered around with the box some more and got all but the front panel and the lid put on.


Here you can see the double cross members for the lower edge of the box. This will also serve as reinforcement bracing for the jack-stand to be mounted in the middle as well as exit points for the wiring to the Jeep from the trailer's junction box.

You can also see the pass through from the rear of the box to the special storage area located in the front 1 ft area under the deck.


A better pic of the deck storage area. This is a 6" deep space just right for storing straps, tarps, or even a possible Viair system. The space could even be adapted for the installation of a water tank if you know of a custom Fab shop to build you one.

The deck space will be accessible through a lockable deck "hatch" using a piece of diamond plate while the rest of the deck will be mesh.



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post #18 of 47 Old 07-29-2010, 03:49 AM
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Nice looking so far, thanks for sharing. I am planning a similar project when i get home and this has been very helpful.
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post #19 of 47 Old 07-29-2010, 09:29 AM
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This trailer is looking great so far. I like watching to see what you have come up with next as far as storage or new ideas. I think the lack of comments in here is because people are just spectating though.
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post #20 of 47 Old 07-29-2010, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittnthebz View Post
This trailer is looking great so far. I like watching to see what you have come up with next as far as storage or new ideas. I think the lack of comments in here is because people are just spectating though.
You're probably right on the spectating part cause the other thread only had like 3 or 4 regular commentors, but then I show up at Jeep Beach and I swear everyone and their 4 cousins came by to let me know they loved it and had been following the build.

Well if people love this simple little build and if I'm not packing up and moving out west......just wait till you see what I have planned in the way of a bolt on sleeper area complete with A/C...it will make a tear drop cry! Note, I said bolt on, that means it will be removable so you retain use of the trailer as a utility trailer and not having to store a dedicated trailer.


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post #21 of 47 Old 07-29-2010, 11:53 AM
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Bolt on sleeper with A/C heh?
Sounds interesting...
Keep up!
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post #22 of 47 Old 07-29-2010, 12:09 PM
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Mmm hmm... I like it! Looks like a lot of steel. Any idea on what you expect it to weigh? Should be solid and track well for sure. The front box and underdeck storage are sweet. How about an air tank for the OBA to you can run air tools? Maybe put some hooks or something on the inside of the lid to coil your air hose on for storage and easy access? Looks cool for sure...

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post #23 of 47 Old 07-29-2010, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hidX View Post
Mmm hmm... I like it! Looks like a lot of steel. Any idea on what you expect it to weigh? Should be solid and track well for sure. The front box and underdeck storage are sweet. How about an air tank for the OBA to you can run air tools? Maybe put some hooks or something on the inside of the lid to coil your air hose on for storage and easy access? Looks cool for sure...
No weight on it yet, but even with the heavier channel, the tongue on this one "feels" lighter than my 416. With a Mesh deck vs wood or solid, it will be a little lighter. I'll be happy if I can keep the base model at around 6-800 before adding in a tub or the sleeper options. With those, my un-edumicated guess would be that a well built model will be pushing 2 to 2.5k lbs. Keep in mind I'm including in the number some hardware and typical gear.

If you look at the last pic, just behind the piece of angle is where a 2.5lb viair tank CAN fit if mounted on its side. The connection fitting could be ported either through the frame rail or from out the side of the tongue box.

The other option I was considering for this location was instead of an air tank, how about a winch? With a special roller port through the deck, you could also use the winch line to pull heavy cargo up and onto the deck. While on the trail, if you need to winch the guy behind you or reverse winch yourself, you can. This option could also be used as a self contained method of hoisting the tub or sleep off and onto the deck merely by using a overhead placed pulley or snatch block.


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Last edited by Loki646; 07-29-2010 at 12:51 PM.
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post #24 of 47 Old 07-31-2010, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Well today was the day of the Goo!..

With all the panels in place on the tongue box, it was time to insulate the space in between the inner panels and the outer ones. This was more of a novelty thing than anything, however it does make the sides a lot stiffer and takes out the hollow sound. Pretty simple deal, drilled three holes and using a single can of "Great Stuff" in the black can (for 1"+ gaps). The one plus to this step is that by foam filling the space, it helps insure that water can not penetrate the box.






Post Clean up of the excess foam.




Here is a little better shot of the deck storage. BTW after having a bit of fun with the tongue box and foam project, I can now totally see this being a prime spot to do a built-in cooler for post trail...


Oh and hmmm.....



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post #25 of 47 Old 07-31-2010, 10:31 AM
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Shoot, heck with the electronics in the box, with those double walls and insulation, you got the making of a good cooler

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