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Thread: Steerable Trail Trailer

  1. #1

    Default Steerable Trail Trailer

    Being as how I like to go in some of the tightest places I designed a trailer I can sleep in and take it with me on the tightest trails. This one has a wireless electric ram remote control steering.

    I'm about half done with it, so be patient in how fast I post the build up.

    Ist, I had this small Isuzu pickup frame I wasn't using and had looked at that thing for years trying to figure out what to do with it. I cut the frame in half and built a pickup bed trailer for a friend out of the back half.

    Then the wheels started turning so to speak. I'm not one of those inside the box builders.
    So I may offend some of you. But here goes.

    I got part of the design from JJBiggs's drawings he posted up several years.
    Mine is full width and longer than in the drawings, but the concept is the same.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Curtis in Texas; 11-24-2016 at 03:59 AM.
    Expedition Rig: 93 Isuzu Rodeo 24 V V-6, SAS'ed, front Toy axle,Tacoma 5 speed and double transfer cases, 20 fwd's, 4 rev's, 8p roll cage. Isuzu Dana 44 full floating ARB'd axle. On board air, underhood welder
    Expedition Trailer: (under construction) Custom Off Road Tear DropTrailer, 4 x 8 floor with independant steerable suspension trailer, hatched roof
    Expedition Bike: Custom Built 685 cc 06 Kawasaki KLR dual sport, custom bags, seat and crash bars. HID lighting. GPS and tool storage

  2. #2
    As I alluded to in the Title this one steers.
    So here's the frame. It's an IFS torsion bar suspension and will be steered with a 1300 lb 12 volt ram.
    Can crank up the torsion bars to raise the height and clearance.

    I added the fuel tank to the rear of the frame complete with factory skid plate. Had the tank sealed for 26 gallons of potable water. Probably won't be drinking the water, but the sealant we used says I could. (It was a new, unused fuel tank)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Expedition Rig: 93 Isuzu Rodeo 24 V V-6, SAS'ed, front Toy axle,Tacoma 5 speed and double transfer cases, 20 fwd's, 4 rev's, 8p roll cage. Isuzu Dana 44 full floating ARB'd axle. On board air, underhood welder
    Expedition Trailer: (under construction) Custom Off Road Tear DropTrailer, 4 x 8 floor with independant steerable suspension trailer, hatched roof
    Expedition Bike: Custom Built 685 cc 06 Kawasaki KLR dual sport, custom bags, seat and crash bars. HID lighting. GPS and tool storage

  3. #3
    Got the floor frame done a few months ago, before I got sick, and added three access doors to the steering compartment, battery storage and fuel tank access. (Sorry about the sideways picture!)

    I looks like it's heavy, but it's build like furniture. with Dado's and Pocket screws.
    The plywood is 3/8's and 1/8 inch to save weight. The sidewalls will be glassed in for strength later.

    (I'm going to need to load up some more pictures on the Forum to continue the story. So stay tuned if you like it.)

    Oh and for the record, I use to make my living building Camping Trailers for several Texas Trailer Companies.
    It was years ago, but I never forgot the best trailer construction methods I was taught.

    I'll probably skip a lot of the little details just so I can get this posted up faster. But it's got a lot of little things you won't see. Hopefully my spell checking can keep up!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Expedition Rig: 93 Isuzu Rodeo 24 V V-6, SAS'ed, front Toy axle,Tacoma 5 speed and double transfer cases, 20 fwd's, 4 rev's, 8p roll cage. Isuzu Dana 44 full floating ARB'd axle. On board air, underhood welder
    Expedition Trailer: (under construction) Custom Off Road Tear DropTrailer, 4 x 8 floor with independant steerable suspension trailer, hatched roof
    Expedition Bike: Custom Built 685 cc 06 Kawasaki KLR dual sport, custom bags, seat and crash bars. HID lighting. GPS and tool storage

  4. #4
    This thing is sick!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Southern OH
    Posts
    727
    As usual anything Curtis does is more like Ridiculous Equipment than sick stuff. Curtis will get it

    Glad to see you feeling better and in the shop Curtis. Looks awesome!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    375
    I do love this build. I had through about something along the lines for mine, but it was way too ambitous for a first project and I didn't seem it necessary for me, but would of been damn cool. Maybe if I ever do a 2.0 I'll be able to do it

    Subscribed
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Coachgeo View Post
    As usual anything Curtis does is more like Ridiculous Equipment than sick stuff. Curtis will get it

    Glad to see you feeling better and in the shop Curtis. Looks awesome!!!
    Thanks George. It's taken a long time to get this going and it's slow. I work on it when I can and have the cash for the top shelf stuff. Trying hard not to post up the build so fast that I can't keep a pace where I have it finished as the post go up at regular intervals.

    Such as the solar panels are here and working. And I'm wiring in the kitchen. But those pictures and write up are for down the road. I did get a lot of pictures loaded up on the Forums site last night. But there's tons more. Just explaining them will be a major task.

    Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll.

    And if any of you guys are ever in the DFW area and want a sneak peek at the current progress give me a hollar. Would love some visitors. I'm not far from the Texas Motor Speedway.
    Expedition Rig: 93 Isuzu Rodeo 24 V V-6, SAS'ed, front Toy axle,Tacoma 5 speed and double transfer cases, 20 fwd's, 4 rev's, 8p roll cage. Isuzu Dana 44 full floating ARB'd axle. On board air, underhood welder
    Expedition Trailer: (under construction) Custom Off Road Tear DropTrailer, 4 x 8 floor with independant steerable suspension trailer, hatched roof
    Expedition Bike: Custom Built 685 cc 06 Kawasaki KLR dual sport, custom bags, seat and crash bars. HID lighting. GPS and tool storage

  8. #8
    The funniest part of this build is I am a metal fabricator more than I am a wood furniture builder.
    But, I do know how.

    I thought I'd try to explain the steering system under the trailer.
    And hopefully the system will make more sense to you guys.
    This is not a half baked idea I dreamed up one morning and decided to slap together.
    This is a culmination of years of planning and testing.

    Note that the suspension with it's stock shock absorbers, is the front frame half of a torsion bar sprung IFS Isuzu pickup with the steering box removed. I used a second idler arm in place of the steering box to keep the steering concentric. These vehicles come in left hand and right hand drive configuration from the Isuzu Factory, so the Idler arms are symmetrical. Pretty much a no brainer! The 12 volt steering ram will piggy back with the steering dampener shock in the final solution.

    And it uses the same wheel bolt pattern as my Expedition Grade Isuzu Rodeo.

    I am using a push/pull 12 volt electric ram. The one in the picture is a 440 lb ram, but I have a 1340 lb ram that will replace it later. The picture I'm showing you of the smaller capacity ram, was a proof of concept test, and it worked well under the bare frame. The steering is not designed to be capable of turning the loaded trailer while sitting parked on a paved parking lot. But, of course it will turn a lot easier while moving even at slow speeds or on dirt/ sandy surfaces. The ram speed is slow so it will be easy to control even at faster speeds.

    The plan for the final stage of the steering will include a steering dampener (not shown in the POC picture) to help absorb some of the shock loads when in operation in the field.

    There is a centering lock handle that when set will drop in and lock the steering in the straight ahead position as the steering passes it's location. I will have to raise the spring loaded handle, much like a parking brake handle, to unlock the steering. And there will be a micro switch that will only allow the steering ram power to be activated once the steering ram is in the unlock position.

    Steering input will be controlled by a wireless remote winch control sending unit. So it will be one button for left turn ( winch in) and one button for right turn (winch out). (I'll relabel the buttons later)

    And in case you are wondering how will I know how hard it's turning, short of getting out and looking, it will have a long push pull cable from the idler arm to the front of the trailer that will move a indicator arm mounted on the front outside wall of the trailer. That indicator will be visible in the rear view mirror of the tow vehicle. The indicator will be a lot like a large amp meter needle gauge.
    With the needle straight up, steering will be straight ahead. Simple so I can actually use this trailer behind any of my vehicles without a lot of wiring hassles. Just take the remote, plug the trailer lights in and go.

    The power switch to arm the steering will be behind a hatch in the front drivers side corner of the trailer.
    This way an LED indicator bulb, visible next to the turn indicator gauge, will show when the system is activated.

    The best part of this wireless remote concept is if I get into a sticky super tight trail and need to really concentrate on my driving I can hand the trailers remote control box to my spotter and let him direct me and control the trailers position.

    The down side will be waiting for my fellow trail campers to clear the same tight spot with their trailer that I had just breezed through.

    I hope this makes sense without boring you with too much information.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Expedition Rig: 93 Isuzu Rodeo 24 V V-6, SAS'ed, front Toy axle,Tacoma 5 speed and double transfer cases, 20 fwd's, 4 rev's, 8p roll cage. Isuzu Dana 44 full floating ARB'd axle. On board air, underhood welder
    Expedition Trailer: (under construction) Custom Off Road Tear DropTrailer, 4 x 8 floor with independant steerable suspension trailer, hatched roof
    Expedition Bike: Custom Built 685 cc 06 Kawasaki KLR dual sport, custom bags, seat and crash bars. HID lighting. GPS and tool storage

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    380
    Interesting concept... how do you plan to lock the steering straight for highway/road driving?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ert01 View Post
    Interesting concept... how do you plan to lock the steering straight for highway/road driving?
    Post #8 Paragraph 7

    Oh, and it works too!
    So it's built and tested, not in the works.
    Expedition Rig: 93 Isuzu Rodeo 24 V V-6, SAS'ed, front Toy axle,Tacoma 5 speed and double transfer cases, 20 fwd's, 4 rev's, 8p roll cage. Isuzu Dana 44 full floating ARB'd axle. On board air, underhood welder
    Expedition Trailer: (under construction) Custom Off Road Tear DropTrailer, 4 x 8 floor with independant steerable suspension trailer, hatched roof
    Expedition Bike: Custom Built 685 cc 06 Kawasaki KLR dual sport, custom bags, seat and crash bars. HID lighting. GPS and tool storage

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