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Old 07-29-2013, 08:55 PM   #1
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Where to begin

Howdy all, this is my first day on this site, have barely broken the skin on what y'all have to offer and I already like it.
Well, I am wanting to build my own trailer and am wondering if anyone here has done the same thing and just looking for tips to think about, what I should probably not do, or just anything really... I don't want to get done and think "I should have done this".
Right not i have a regular trailers use to haul this and that and I plan on cutting it up and starting from scratch. The trailer is 16' tongue to lights and a little under 5' wide. I plan on widening/strengthening the axle and am guessing make it around a 16'x7' give or take.
Roughly I am thinking a full size mattress in the back, foot and a half walkway, bunk "twin size" beds on one side, small kitchen on the other... Maybe or maybe not a bathroom at the end.
My questions will vary from (if I have a bathroom) hot water heaters, water pressure, hot/cold set up, toiletries, grey water tank and accessories; electrical... all things electrical; well, a wide variety of things. I can do the "cosmetics" no problem but will need help for the functionality part of it.
Thanks in advance for all your help and I look forward to sharing my progress and making some friends.

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Old 07-29-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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Wow - you are a real handy man. My 1st thought is you can build your own trailer the way you want it. You can actually build it better also.

It will not be easy though. You might have trouble jumping thru all the hoops to get it on the road. There are probably a myriad of regulations.

I would think about buying a 'project' trailer. Gut it then start rebuilding as you want. That way you start with something that was already certified for road use and have a VIN number.

I know Airstream trailers can be salvaged and refurbished. Also most RV dealers will have a row of trailers that are older and in need of some TLC.

Good luck.

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Old 07-29-2013, 10:45 PM   #3
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That is definitely one possibility... I guess I didn't think too much about regulations or anything... I just saw a few minutes ago about brakes on trailers over 1500lbs in Louisiana... Thinking about iti will have to find some brakes off of something else to go on it IF I do go ahead with the plans.
If all else fails, I can just build a small teardrop style I guess... Just would like something for the whole family.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:54 PM   #4
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I would start by buying a bargain higher end trailer and deconstructing it for the chassis. This will give you an inexpensive platform and you can get an idea about how it was put together. A mid 2000s "leaker" or travel weary rig should be easy to find and cheap. Don't get a branded title or wrecked trailer, just a back lot lurker and "remodel" it. Sounds ambitious!
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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Good to see a local post'er.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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If you buy one that needs work it will have all the things you are looking for already and you can gut it, rebuild it to your needs. This is what I have done. The trailer I have pictured on the right is a 1996 thor that was a leaker. I gutted it and rebuilt it to what I required. I wanted a light weight trailer I could take local (state) to be by the lake and do some fishing. I already live in the woods so it is like camping everyday.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #8
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For IN, you'd require an inspection by the state police. They fill out an affidavit, then you apply for a VIN. Then you can apply for a title and registration and pay your wheel tax of course.
I worked for state for some years ago. This may have changed. And, of course, your state may be different.
Really it isn't all that uncommon or difficult.

Have you thought about a bus conversion?
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:25 PM   #9
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Josh, Welcome to the forum. Once you get started on your project you'll have to keep us all updated with progress and pictures. Sounds like a fun project. Good Luck....
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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Here in Texas, my boss was explaining today that it is a long process... He builds trailers on the side. But, not too long a process to discourage me from doing so.
When it comes to a bus conversion or restoration... I really don't have the money to start off... I know, I know, how am I going to start from scratch... I have a trailer already I don't necessarily need on a regular basis, and I can get about 90% of all the metal I need from work if not all of it. I work with my uncle on the side doing remodeling and he is always coming across anything and everything under the sun. I actually called him today to ask about a tiny stove and sink so I don't have to buy one and he told me he just got rid of both about a month ago.
I don't plan on starting until towards the end of summer so I have plenty of time to figure out how much of what I need to do it all.

I do appreciate your thoughts, and who knows... Maybe something will fall in my lap before I start.
I did plan on making it around 16foot, but I don't want it too heavy, so I'm working on another floor plan(I think I've made about 5 or 6 already) that won't make it too long/wide.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:11 PM   #11
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I will definitely have a bunch of pics to share and for my scrap book... cause let's face it... I'm domesticated now
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:54 AM   #12
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Just thinking, you wouldn't happen to have autocad or inventor? Drafting and design software?
Myself, being OCD, id want to draw it out and see it on paper. Make a parts list.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:04 AM   #13
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Visit dealers and RV shows. Look at other trailers and see what you want and how it is done. The best part of building it yourself is you will always be able to fix it.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:48 PM   #14
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I built a 10 foot camper a few years ago with fridge stove etc from wrecks and it was great. Had alum. siding custom made and all was great. I do build boat trailers and utility trailers but never thought about a nice TT. Just make sure your frame is sufficient for what ever weight you are going to have and go for it. 3/4" plywood deck then add on, caulking as you go and good glue and screws instead of the staples the RV makers use now.
Good Luck with your project

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