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Trailers made from Tacoma beds.

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Old 03-07-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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Trailers made from Tacoma beds.

I am thinking about making a trailer from a Tacoma (2nd Gen) bed and was wondering if anyone had any experience with this. I am going to be going on a trek into Northern B.C. and my goal is to make a trailer that can haul our gear, with a cap and then a platform above that to set up a tent.
My questions / concerns are the following:
Do I use the Tacoma frame, or weld up my own?
If using the Tacoma frame is tongue weight too heavy or light?
Other than that, if anyone has pictures, thoughts or experience I would appreciate it.

Thanks,
Doug
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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Hi,

I've often thought of doing that for the cool factor but always came back to the fact that their are lighter, more utilitarian and cheaper alternatives.

I think the easy way to do it is to utilize the frame and rear axle but that is a lot of weight plus the extra drag of turning the ring gear and pinion.

To make it look cool it would have to sit as high as your trucks box making it a little harder to load compared to a conventional cargo trailer and you would be limited to a maximum of 6' length.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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I agree about the weight. I did think of getting a bed from a junk yard and welding my own frame, But once you strip everything out and off the frame there is not much there. I figured I would pull the ring and pinion out and just leave fluid for bearings.
I am good with 6' of length as the only thing I need longer would be the platform for the tent and that could extend over the front and rear of the bed.
I still think it will look cool, I always liked the old CJ with a CJ tub for a trailer.
I'll be sure to post pictures and updates as I build it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug86 View Post
I agree about the weight. I did think of getting a bed from a junk yard and welding my own frame, But once you strip everything out and off the frame there is not much there. I figured I would pull the ring and pinion out and just leave fluid for bearings.
I am good with 6' of length as the only thing I need longer would be the platform for the tent and that could extend over the front and rear of the bed.
I still think it will look cool, I always liked the old CJ with a CJ tub for a trailer.
I'll be sure to post pictures and updates as I build it.
Nothing to support the axles if you take the jack pot out they will flop around like a fish inside the axle tubes.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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I believe as long as the bearings are in that it's ok.
Don't quote me on this
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:19 AM   #6
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The axles are only supported at the bearing with out the carrier so you have 3' of axle at the far end, try holding one from the very end and see how you do. It also will eventually trash the bearing because they are not designed to have sideways thrust.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:17 AM   #7
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I wouldn't use the Toyota axle or frame too much weight. Best bet is to build a frame from steel tubing and use a standard trailer alxe.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:49 AM   #8
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Yep, build a tube frame from 2x3 tube or channel and then use a normal trailer axle with electric brakes. All you need for the frame is to hit the mounting points and also don't forget the rear bumper.
If you build it like an off road trailer you want a single pc tongue and a length to get you from the ball to the fender so you can make 90 deg turns or for backing.
I have a few that way.
If you jack knife it the point of contact would be the front corner of the trailer/bed to the rear of the truck tire.
They also make custom axle lengths and they have axles in 6 lug so you can have the same track and rims and tires.

The problem is the cost of the bed, tailgate, bumper, tires, rims, to match your truck.
The front of the bed looks like crap, was thinkking if I did it to add a tool box to the front of the trailer infront of the bed. Inline like a sleeper cab. It would set up to the bed and cover the part normal not seen, and covered by the cab.
Local a bed can go for 2000-3000$ So will not be a deal for that reason.
The axle is about 150-190$ and each side brake/bearing is 100$
Steel is 200-400 pending to type used.
I have built several trailers and some for offroad.
Built some 4x8 and 6x12 deck overs two axle trailers for atvs, and hunting, they pull in the mud and sand easy. They would let you have an angle greater then 90 deg, and ball height high enough that it would not drag in most cases going threw a ditch or wash.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:25 AM   #9
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^^^What Gadget said also if you go with a 5K axle which will be overkill for sure the bolt pattern will match the truck with 6 on 5.5".
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:36 AM   #10
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I'd use the Tacoma frame but try to swap a trailer axle instead of the Tacoma axle. By using the Tacoma frame, you already have bumper mounts in place, leaf spring hangers, shock mounts and good, solid support for the bed. The weight savings of make your own frame vs. the Toyota frame is minimal and it creates a lot of extra work and fabrication.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
I'd use the Tacoma frame but try to swap a trailer axle instead of the Tacoma axle. By using the Tacoma frame, you already have bumper mounts in place, leaf spring hangers, shock mounts and good, solid support for the bed. The weight savings of make your own frame vs. the Toyota frame is minimal and it creates a lot of extra work and fabrication.
This is also the direction I would go. Just modify the frame in front of the bed to accomodate a storage box to hide the front of the bed and then add the appropriate tongue.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripps2012 View Post
^^^What Gadget said also if you go with a 5K axle which will be overkill for sure the bolt pattern will match the truck with 6 on 5.5".
You can get 3500 lb axle in 6 lug, just need to look, but there is not much difference in a 3500 and a 5250, just swap out the springs if you get a kit or take a leaf out works fine, that is what I have done building trailers.

I think the problem is with the tube on a factory frame that when you cut it at the bed you need to plate some and then try to tie a tongue in to the factory frame.
The frame would be heavier then a new design, the factory design is built with the thought of towing, torque, and so on.
A tube or channel frame that tie to the bed mounts, uses trailer springs at a lot less weight, would make for a stronger setup.
The tongue could be an a frame front to back bumper and have a few cross members to tie the bed mounts, the bed will suport the weight like the truck does.
The other thing is a long spring like a truck spring will have more hop and bounce then a shorter spring, shocks help but the difference in the ride of towing loaded and unloaded will be so much that it will not be fun.

Some of you may know what I'm talking about....
Ever driven a truck with out a bed, the back end will hit a bump and there is not enough weigh so it starts the hop and it will come off the ground.
This is one reason trailer springs are shorter, to limit travel.
Travel in springs just is not safe for a trailer to tow.
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