I am building a mini travel trailer to pull behind my van.
The reason I am doing this is to be able to camp and travel in comfort and style. If I get a short term job some place I want to be able to come in and work right away. I may also homestead a small plot of land with the trailer.
I wanted the trailer to be just wide enough so that a full sized futon would fit in the front of the van. It should have enough room to store clothing for 2 people, Have a shower, a toilet and a kitchen. It should provide enough power to heat the water, heat the interior, power a fridge, led interior lights, a small tv and a laptop computer. It should also be able to charge up a battery to run a drill or a cutter.
I had never built anything of this scale before. So everything was new to me.
At first I was aiming to build a 2000 pound trailer, but the cost for the 3500 pound parts were just a little more and even if my trailer only weighted 2000 pounds that would add a large safety margin into the equation.
I got 3 twelve foot and three eight foot sections of 2x2x1/4 angle iron. This was around $150. I only had three small pieces of waste metal when I was finished.
I laid out two of the 12 foot pieces as side rails and two of the eight foot pieces as end rails. I got 4 buckets all the same size to work on. The side rails went on the buckets. I clamped the end rails under the side rails. The axle was lifted onto the side rails and the width of the end rails adjusted to 61 inches on the outside, so that the spring mounts were just inside the frame.
Everthing was tack welded and then the frame was squared by measuring both diagonal directions. The frame was welded together by my step dad.
The front spring shackles were put on just past the mid point to lean some of the weight of the trailer onto the hitch. The rear spring shackle was put back 25 inches from the front shackle so that the swing arms just broke past the halfway point. The frame and shackles were drilled for grade 5 3/8 inch bolts.
The front A frame was welded to the receiver. It was positioned equally on each side so that it made two triangles on the front corner.
The frame was primered and painted with rustolium spray paint.
My first plan was to build the deck on top of 2x4 framing inside the angle iron, but this puts the deck up 3 1/2 inches higher than it needs to be.
So the plan now is to build inside the angle iron frame and go under it with 2x4's in 3 places to bring the weight back onto the trailer frame.