Since camping out of a two door Jeep Wrangler sucks (lack of cargo space) and I'm in the market for a roof top tent, I made the long overdue decision that I needed an offroad/camping trailer. I wanted something Expo-style or similar to Boxrocket's trailer but didn't want to spend thousands of $$$ on a prebuilt trailer. I had a 3/4 ton single jetski/PWC trailer that I didn't use anymore, soo I put my building/fab skills to work!
This is how it looked when I rolled into the garage the night before I got started. The frame measured 46"x33" with a 10 foot total tongue bar length:
The next day, I started by stripping the license plate and trailer lights, pulling the wheels, flipping the trailer over and stripping the old axle assembly.
The original axle assembly wasn't wide enough to mount the 15x10 rims and 33" tires I wanted to run, so it was set aside to have the carrier/hub assemblies removed from the old axle bar. On the good side, I checked the lug pattern with my old stock spare jeep rim, and the hubs just happened to be 5x4.5 bolt pattern, same as my jeeps!
I enlisted the help of CrawlinWJ and his welding skills to help me extend the trailer frame from the stock 33" to 62". This was done with 2"x3"x1/8" box steel. I used 1/8" to match the thickness of the stock C-channel frame. All weld joints were cleaned of paint beforehand of course.
We determined the balance point on the trailer and set the axle centerline 4 inches behind that to give it a good tongue weight, then we set the spring perches in place, double-checked our measurements, and welded them on.
I then measured the hub-to-hub width on the rear axle on my jeep (approx 58"). We cut a piece of 1.25x.250 round tube, 53" long. We then cut the old hub assemblies and spring mounts off of the old C-channel axle bar, cleaned off the round spindle bars with a flap wheel and slid them into the tube, then did 4 rosette welds on each end to secure them. End result was a hub-to-hub of 58". The spring mounts were then welded onto the new axle tube, and bolted to the springs. Next came the sides:
I went with 6-1.5x1.5x1/8", 18" long for the siderail uprights, with a 2x3x1/8 at front-center above the tongue bar to support the spare rim and tire. Here it is with the axle mounted and side uprights done.
At this point I wanted to test it out, so I borrowed two of the 33" MTRs off my wrangler and hooked it up to my Cherokee for a run around the neighborhood. It tracked straight and is very light!
I used the stock 1-7/8 ball hitch for the test but will be getting either a Lock-n-roll or Max Coupler for permanent use. I'll also be reducing the tongue length later on (depending on which hitch I go with).
The build continues!!