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Box Rocket Trailer Build

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by Box Rocket, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:27 AM
    #1
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    Spoiler with a current pic to start things out.
    IMG_0248_zpsutde5d4y_1854aa43a321ee4e809553ff805a41487e25f233.jpg

    I've had this trailer for a few years now but thought it might be a useful addition here. First off this is nothing even close to the quality and detail of an Adventure trailer or some of the other professionally built trailers. I built this trailer purely out of necessity. At the time I built it, my wheeling vehicle was my FZJ80 Land Cruiser. I have a wife, 4 kids and a dog that all like to camping/wheeling so even though the cruiser will seat 8, with all of us in the truck there isn't that much room left for gear. A trailer seemed like the best option since I didn't want to add a lot of weight to a roofrack.
    So my goals were simple.
    1) Room for gear in the trailer
    2) compact size for better maneuverability on trails
    3) track width to match the Cruiser
    4) Rugged enough to tow through the Rubicon
    I wasn't worried about running power to the trailer for lots of things like a fridge or generator etc. I really just needed a place to put gear so we wouldn't be so cramped inside the truck. I drew up some basic plans and got all my measurements together and headed to the steel yard to pick up materials. At the same time I ordered a custom width axle with match lug pattern to match the width and lug pattern of the Cruiser.
    The axle took just a couple days before it was ready. 3500# axle. No brakes. Also came with spring hangers and 3500# trailer springs for about $130.
    _MG_3236_a19a5b6795cd93972589aa4c81a94a61e29ec326.jpg

    For the frame I used 2.5"-3/16" wall box channel. I don't have a bunch of specialty tools, but I had borrowed a chop saw from a friend and a welder from another friend. And I had my 4.5" angle grinder and a bunch of grinding disks, flap disks and cuttoff wheels. I wanted to keep the dimensions similar to the M416 military 1/4ton trailers that have a 4x6' box. So I laid out my measurements on the garage floor and cut my frame to 4x6'.
    _MG_3247_ba6d25dccf6c110749c85baa5b44a7e26d75d1fe.jpg

    When those were all squared up I tacked it together and put it up on my makeshift welding table and tacked in a couple crossmembers.
    _MG_3248_f458539c268f3e7c3b8f4b1992de20e357fc8e7e.jpg

    Once I had the main frame how I wanted it I welded it all up and cleaned up the welds with a flap disk.
    _MG_3249_521765c236e2dbcf9890e1c4339eba8b843f19c6.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  2. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:28 AM
    #2
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    Then it was onto the custruction of the box itself. I didn't feel a need to buid a box on frame design that would allow me to pull the box off the frame so it's all welded. For the frame of the box I used 1.5" thin wall box channel. the sides are 18" high. I got all the frame peices cut and tacked in place using my high-tech string method to get them aligned correctly ;)
    _MG_3252_a03446672fa09870cf31d6123852072fe572d995.jpg

    _MG_3253_fa860367037806049c8356fe6f3c98548278aff8.jpg

    _MG_3254_b9af561cc321c518450626cf3242c25cda0f04af.jpg

    After the box frame was in place I added the top rail. For this I used 1x3" box channel. This would give me a wider top rail that would make it easier to stand on if necessary and a wide surface to seal against when I built a lid.
    _MG_3256_8f3353fbd5c6708136bcb6f0036d6a1b94e632fa.jpg

    _MG_3255_7b63a66a4d1ceee564e1b5482580c77d0dfc75ed.jpg
     
    davids540i likes this.
  3. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:29 AM
    #3
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Male
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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    Now it was ready to get the axle hung. I flipped the box over and got all my measurements that positioned the axle just a few inches behind the centerline to provide a slight front weight bias for better tongue weight. Once in position I welded up the hangers, welded the perches to the axle and threw it all together.
    _MG_3258_3b9e96a13dca7f899b38f61e69420839c1c48580.jpg

    I had an old set of stock rims/tires from a '92 pick up that I threw on the trailer just to make it easier to move around. It was starting to take shape.
    _MG_3261_4e1f7c4b82022d55bc3f219f40fd842c52e3b4f8.jpg

    I had a pair of Thule load bars and feet that I bought from my sister in law. She had them on her Honda Civic. I tweaked the clamps just a little and figured out they would work perfectly on the top rail of the box so I tried them out to make sure. Not a bad fit.
    _MG_3262_36068de12144387bc0631bade4fcd5104a4caacf.jpg

    _MG_3263_df5bd331a7978398e83188d60068c0f38a914244.jpg
     
  4. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:30 AM
    #4
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    First Name:
    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    Now I needed a tailgate. I used some basic hinges I picked up at Lowes and built a frame using the same 1.5" box channel I used for the box frame.
    _MG_3265_d7c7c5ec07dc5ca46dfefa5e0d39c98182654ca3.jpg

    _MG_3267_cffcab03d550210d5c37888c987bcc24fe410ee0.jpg

    I wanted to keep the latch system simple so I just welded some tabs and used a pin to keep the gate closed. It worked really well and keeps it all closed up nice and tight.
    _MG_3288_675cdc00960ab584071e00605ac7bc56d6c8ee48.jpg

    _MG_3289_002a9a9a42c200e97c74a07dcf69f5f83dd632c9.jpg
     
  5. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM
    #5
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    It was time for the tongue. ;) I used the same 2.5" box channel I used for the main frame of the trailer. I chose the length of the tongue so that it was as short as possible to allow me to tow it easier on tight/technical trails. But it also needed to be long enough so that if I jackknifed the trailer it would not contact the truck.
    I notched the front frame crossmember and welded in the tongue extending it back to the second crossmember.
    _MG_3286_1fe8e589f5bc515bda0629e3d732b3251b4004c6.jpg

    Then added some traingulation and called it good.
    _MG_3291_4a00fd8dc3869b66267d51cea24d32a7e4fc4a29.jpg

    At this point I had picked up a pair of matching FZJ80 wheels and a pair of used 285 75 R16 MTRs and put them on as well to get a better idea of the true ride height.
    _MG_3292_31087061431ad3226815dcfe2f0d60fb2b2fc172.jpg

    Sat pretty level behind the Cruiser
    _MG_3294_9ad2892e232749eee9aa2eba70ab52dd1fb05b3e.jpg

    I had also purchased a Lock-n-Roll hitch
    _MG_3268_e9739bef16a4365b07d2d8aa324376b5f65727f5.jpg

    This was the best hitch option at the time for unrestricted movement with the exception of a full rotation pintle hitch. I prefer the tighter design of the Lock-n-Roll. If I were building another one now or needed to replace this hitch I would use a Max Coupler from Adventure trailer. It is a nice design that addresses the few drawback of the LNR.
    I also had a square ubolt on hand that I cut down and welded to the tongue for a handle.
    _MG_3395_0e727f7ed426f01037033e2f0c03ba90c4cdb62a.jpg
     
    TacoCynGsxr likes this.
  6. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:32 AM
    #6
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    The end of the tongue needed to be reinforced so I added some material there.
    _MG_3420_23348c8c052f0811faf418a07d3c2ceda04c4c2b.jpg

    Now that I had a rolling chassis, it was time for a test run around the neighborhood. Even though it was very light it towed very well and tracked straight.
    _MG_3350_9bcf8a05ae79a1f70a697c8550503270ff175e24.jpg

    _MG_3352_1814ce9113717e9764c4b7a3e5c302575d0cfab3.jpg
     
  7. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:33 AM
    #7
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    I had found some safety chain loops at a local trailer supply place that looked like they would work great as tie down points on the inside of the trailer. They were shaped like this.
    loop_c6c2c5a0e5787ffcfa9dc18498f27d6a755c5dfe.jpg

    It was time to skin the trailer. I used a few sheets of 16ga sheet steel. I measured, marked and busted out the cutting wheels to start cutting the skins.
    _MG_3348_9b7e28dac58f6149e0588c49076308205fba9490.jpg

    _MG_3349_8762a3c23f5d26709528491382c82570e87e9d5c.jpg

    _MG_3354_08580ad6e16e41916d65d3ea2036750fe90d4451.jpg

    _MG_3355_3ea06f5827ef84a0baf631f61b0aa039d2029ad9.jpg

    _MG_3356_6c6b1753bc92a4e232665ab172b899411ae6ed5c.jpg

    The skins were just stitch welded every few inches. later on I would use some 3M seam sealer on all the seams to keep things sealed up and rust free.
    Here you can see the tie downs and I also welded in some captured nuts to the frame in case I ever wanted to use some plywood sides on the trailer for work around the house.
    _MG_3421_e952e5eb22b3a5e3a837bc7157997c319ce2fd64.jpg

    _MG_3369_d6eeb1d03630bf22a4c374400a497f918b127715.jpg
     
  8. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:34 AM
    #8
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    I had been debating how to handle the fenders. My options were to build my own and use a flat top fender design similar to the M416 or I could use some round style fenders from a trailer supply place that were the style of the civilian model M101 trailer. For the sake of cost and time I chose to use some 9" wide round fenders from the trailer supply place. I think they cost me $20. I cut about 6" off each end to make them flush with the bottom of the trailer.
    I bolted them to the trailer sides and finished welding up the skins.
    _MG_3394_86dd04eb7cbcec03c8574ca3f2e6e7e4c8bbbc5b.jpg

    _MG_3393_53c9aecacdb8070697269c9a07e45216b2da4055.jpg

    _MG_3391_3ee3aab1ca6bcf470b63b595ffc69e14d7f14263.jpg

    _MG_3390_7bf97d23e5d0662403552950baa0437ab0bce8a0.jpg

    I wanted a small fender step so I used some of the 1x3" box channel I had left over from the top rail and welded it to the frame in front and behind the fenders with a small tab to bolt to the fender. This not only provided a step but really stiffened up the fenders.
    _MG_3423_1e81fb1536cebb38d7e04ec2249ce96602529e36.jpg

    _MG_3424_41b55c4d05489e1ddfb7850f11940597a77866d3.jpg
     
  9. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM
    #9
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    Time for another test drive. threw on some cheap towing lights and cruised around town for a while. Even found a dirt pile to test the hitch.
    _MG_3503_0a4d6eacb8a72a932a991d76539ce6f189b8a5f6.jpg

    _MG_3495_710e22b0e9b74a3a84f85148d419350e21db366d.jpg

    _MG_3494_35f2e222b9630e220477530e0b5dd4d0427b6944.jpg

    _MG_3507_ae8eead6016a5012dded0716c5d1d1e2a4d8f669.jpg

    At this point I was satisfied with what I had and figured I had met my goals. It was time to get this thing painted and finished up.
     
  10. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM
    #10
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    The only issue I still had was that the fenders I bought weren't quite wide enough to cover the tires. I didn't want the trailer to pick up gravel on the road and throw them into the cruiser. As luck would have it, early style Jeep CJ7 fender flares are the perfect radius for these fenders. I found some fenders flares locally and after the trailer had been sprayed with primer I bolted on the fender flares. I couldn't believe how perfectly they worked. And they really finished off the look of the fenders and covered the tires just enough.
    _MG_3516_eafb0d42310839ba1ad0c53ccdda13cd05fbcc16.jpg

    _MG_3517_fbdfce4eec0e2efbe78dab4972700a8d9c7abec7.jpg

    Then it was time for paint. This was a budget build so there was no fancy paint on this project. I bought several cans of Rustoluem gloss white and sprayed 3-4 coats of primer and seam sealed all the joints on the whole trailer, then sprayed 4-5 coats of White paint. Turned out nice enough for me.
    _MG_3529_435887c082b7d283e8a7c2cbe9845ce7865246fb.jpg

    _MG_3528_98078f8bf51bdf7a6ab11b171697604d72964a52.jpg

    _MG_3522_13d14c8a22206f16365aba971477eb04ab70fdf5.jpg

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    _MG_3524_3a76cf58447722957815386bc5835f26bb738349.jpg

    _MG_3526_e135e7a2e8d1e5525bba18faa76c87713031c21b.jpg
     
  11. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:36 AM
    #11
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    I wanted to protect the bed of the trailer but couldn't afford to have it professionally lined. So I chose to use Raptor liner. This stuff is great and IMO is easily the best quality of all the DIY spray on liners. The texture and finish is much better than other products and it's tough. I sprayed the entire tub and underside of the trailer and over the top rails. I also sprayed the underside of the fenders.
    _MG_3548_6d4ee64afa7ce76330a900c466c0235dbba072f8.jpg

    _MG_3544_053e183a1e39fb46e59215b10130281c6ad29fdf.jpg

    This thing was just about ready to use. I decided to just use the cheap magnetic towing lights I had. I secured the harness under the trailer and added some plug to the lights themselves. Since they are magnetic I can unplug the lights and pull them off the trailer so they don't get damaged on the trail.
    I built a small coolor rack for the tongue that will also hold 3 fuel cans and used some Blitz can brackets for my water cans. Between the water cans I mounted a bracket for my CO2 tank. It still needs a lid but we got it out and started using it right way.
    _MG_4097_6dbff1d4cb14b0fb6de9072d04ab0afd0871f6d4.jpg
     
  12. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:37 AM
    #12
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
    Vehicle:
    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    This trailer has worked out really great for my needs. Future plans are to finish up a lid for it. Add a water tank underneath and run some power back to it so I can put my fridge in the trailer if needed rather than always having it in the truck.
    The trailer tows really well behind the cruiser, and even though the track width is just a little wider than the Tacoma it also tows really well behind the Tacoma too. It has made camping lots morecomfortable for me and my family.
    Here's a few pics of us using it.
    _MG_4055_WP_edffbd58ddf8df16bb7eff4f1312cd360770234b.jpg

    _MG_4056_5c249ca62f3a5dce193765279047ee901baab21d.jpg

    _MG_4103_dd9d822255e4370433fce1dd5ff3be6dd6fa66df.jpg

    _MG_4095_d7af8f7499c7041bc4731153a1c0ee54ffdfea8c.jpg

    _MG_4108_1506eaa1ddb398058ad0a6fc8d7aeb627f55cc8c.jpg

    WhiteRocks_02_4bd05817778d9967907a91525ef35d4c79511dc3.jpg

    WhiteRocks_01_7150c1b7dbe31b78d36a606172dfff676afdf247.jpg

    Just recently a friend gave me a set of 3 BFG KMs that came of his cruiser. These are 315 75 R16's. I swapped these onto the trailer with the extra as a spare. This size matches the Cruiser but is slightly bigger than the tires on the Tacoma but it still works great for both and I think the 35's look sweet.
    _MG_5327_e347242b029fd79d88b9070e77ee06de106e5575.jpg
     
  13. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:40 AM
    #13
    113tac

    113tac Well-Known Member

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    Stephen
    Northern Virginia
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    2017 Magnetic Gray Tacoma
    Stock...for now
    thats a really nice trailer! good job! :thumbsup:
     
  14. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM
    #14
    YellowDog01

    YellowDog01 Well-Known Member

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    :drool: Amazing work!
     
  15. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:48 AM
    #15
    Namyo

    Namyo -

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    NIce work man!
     
  16. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:53 AM
    #16
    AzogSS

    AzogSS Well-Known Member

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    Subbed. Looks great, I want one now.
     
  17. Dec 14, 2011 at 11:57 AM
    #17
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Adam
    Syracuse, Utah
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    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    you don't need much. Basic hand tools and a grinder/cutoffwheel and a welder. That's it.
     
    Jcyr likes this.
  18. Dec 14, 2011 at 12:02 PM
    #18
    Box Rocket

    Box Rocket [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Syracuse, Utah
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    1995 FZJ80 Land Cruiser
    3xLocked, lifted, well used
    Oh! Since I'm sure someone will ask..... I would have loved to just buy a Chaser from Adventure Trailers but there was no way I could afford a $15-20K price tag for a trailer. I figured I could do this one on the cheap.

    Other than the cost of materials the biggest expenses on this thing were the wheels which cost me $100 and the Lock-n-Roll hitch which is about $200. I was fortunate to find tires for free. tires could be an additional expense for someone wanting to build a trailer.

    In total I'm into this trailer about $1600. That was much easier to handle than thousands of dollars on a professionally built trailer. Like I said in the beginning this trailer is nowhere close to the quality or functionality of those high dollar trailers but it meets my needs and cost me much less.
     
    davids540i likes this.
  19. Dec 14, 2011 at 12:06 PM
    #19
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    Milton Juevos Portimous II
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    '06 TRD Access Cab, v6, 6-speed
    Scaffolding and a painted grill
    Kick ass! :thumbsup:
     
  20. Dec 14, 2011 at 12:17 PM
    #20
    yota new.o

    yota new.o Well-Known Member

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    joe
    klamath falls oregon
    Vehicle:
    96 tacoma 2.7 sr5
    fabtech dirtlogic coilovers with all-pro a-arms chevy 63" leaf springs billi 5125 12" extended bore shockins in rear headache rack duplicolor bed armor bumpers kc daylighters front fenders corbeau racing seats custom bed rack
    :bowdown:imma tell you right now you sir could make alot of money building those trailers very nice work
     
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