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Thread: The 4x4 Podcast Expedition Trailer Build Journal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Philadelphia, New York, United States
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    283

    Default The 4x4 Podcast Expedition Trailer Build Journal

    I interviewed Scott from Dinoot Trailers on my podcast a long time ago and ever since then, I haven't been able to stop thinking about building a trailer for my adventures. The biggest thing doing me though was the logistics of moving. Let me explain a bit. I drive a 99 Jeep Cherokee. My wife drives a 2007 Yukon XL. Since I'm in the Army, I frequently move across the country. To save money and travel more comfortably as a family with the 3 kids and a dog, we like to all ride in the Yukon and tow the XJ on a car hauler trailer. My 16' car hauler just wasn't big enough to hold the Jeep and an expedition trailer. In June I'll be moving for the 10th time in 10 years. But the difference is that this time we're heading to Alaska! The more important bit here is that the Army is paying to haul one vehicle for me. That means my XJ can take a commercial transport up to Alaska and I can haul an expedition trailer across the country and I'll the Alaskan highway!

    I'm so excited that is finally my turn to start building a trailer! The first step was selling my car hauler. So I posted it up on Craigslist for the same price that I paid for it 7 years ago.



    Within 24 hours of listing it, I had $1300 cash in my hands! Now on to the the new project.



    I bought their extreme duty 4x8 trailer frame and some other bits to get started. I'm ordering the Explorer Box plans from Compact Camping Concepts. The finer details of the plan aren't set yet but here's some of the things I'm thinking right now.

    - I want to be able to remove the box and use the trailer to haul general cargo occasionally.
    - I want to haul a family load of bicycles
    - Needs too have a propane tank, fresh water tank, a spot for my chuck box, a cooler, on board battery for 12 volt stuff, and other camping kit of course
    - I'm thinking about having the box fully enclosed for security and to keep to things from being abused too much on the gravel roads
    - I will likely swap the able to a heavier one and the tires to match the Yukon size/bolt pattern
    - I am also planning on adding a stick of 2x2 square running the length of the trailer for added strength

    I'm looking forward to working on this and starting to use it. It's going to be a lot of fun and will of course be great content for The 4x4 Podcast.

    Cheers!


    Dan
    Typos courtesy of Tapatalk
    http://the4x4podcast.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Vermont Mountains
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    1,348
    nice to see you here as well

    & congrats on the soon to be Masters degree
    http://www.expeditionnorth.com/
    ExpeditionNorth.boards.net
    Its not about the destination, its the journey.
    Yukon Build M416 Build

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, New York, United States
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    Thanks! It's been a lot of hard work in addition to my day job and having a family. I'm looking forward to this build serving as a project for the whole family.

    Well, maybe not the whole family.

    I worked on it for a few hours today.




    My 7yr old photographer caught some of the action.


    Gotta make sure everything is square.


    And now it's a rolling trailer! This week I'll do the wiring and bring home the lumber to start building the box. And of course order some additional bits and components. First thing to order is some different springs and a mount that involves a proper leaf spring setup with a shackle. I also need to replace the axle with a 3500lb one. And source some wheels to match the bolt pattern in my Yukon.

    Progress!

    Dan
    http://the4x4podcast.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Beacon, NY
    Posts
    1,607
    Hi Dan,

    Looks like it's going to a fun build. Scott has some some great ideas, and time proven methods.

    Good luck with the build, be sure to use lots of glue and screws!
    The R.O.A.M. Camper Build...Recreation Optimized Allterrian Module
    In Development....R.O.A.M II
    2016 White Trail Edition Premium /Work in Progress

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    80
    nice 2dr XJ! looking forward to the trailer build.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, New York, United States
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    When I buy lumber, I'm going to get a bucket of glue as well. And all joints will be held together with a combination of pocket hole screws and dados. And then sealed up for water resistance. The paint finish is something I'm still trying to work out though.

    Dan
    Typos courtesy of Tapatalk
    http://the4x4podcast.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, New York, United States
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    So I'm putting together the list of essential components. Here's my list so far but I feel like I'm overlooking some items.

    Fresh water storage - 20 gallon minimum
    Deep cycle battery with ability to charge from vehicle while towing and shore power
    Propane storage
    Luggage storage
    Chuck box does storage
    LED camp lights
    Shower/toilet tent
    Hot water shower system
    Gas can storage
    Solar - I'm not sold on this yet because I'll be moving each day, therefore also charging, so is solar necessary? Maybe I can leave that for stage 2 once I get past the initial use expedition.

    What am I missing?

    Dan
    Typos courtesy of Tapatalk
    http://the4x4podcast.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Beacon, NY
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    1,607
    Sleeping bag(s)/pad storage(s)

    Rear stabilizers

    12V water pump

    Some USB/12V outlets

    folding table/chairs

    Stackable boxes/containers to hold gear
    The R.O.A.M. Camper Build...Recreation Optimized Allterrian Module
    In Development....R.O.A.M II
    2016 White Trail Edition Premium /Work in Progress

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, New York, United States
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    Solar is definitely out for stage one of the project. I've heard that the 7 pin connector is not sufficient to charge the battery if it'd really drained. So I've purchased the T-Max dual battery system. It comes with the isolator, the monitor, and some other bits. It has some intelligence to it so it knows when to charge and when to isolate. It also gives me the option to "self jump" in the event that my starting battery goes flat. That also gives me the flexibility to have a dual battery setup while exploring in my XJ and the trailer.

    I also purchased the pieces for the hot water shower. That includes the Triton tankless water heater, a 12 volt pump, and a 20 gallon molded tank.

    It was kind of an expensive trip to Amazon.com.

    Dan
    http://the4x4podcast.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, New York, United States
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanpat57 View Post
    Sleeping bag(s)/pad storage(s)

    Rear stabilizers

    12V water pump

    Some USB/12V outlets

    folding table/chairs

    Stackable boxes/containers to hold gear
    I'm going to hold off on the rear stabilizers for now because I'm not putting the RTT on the trailer. That's on the list for stage 2 projects though.

    Dan
    http://the4x4podcast.com

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