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Trailers made from Tacoma beds.

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Doug86, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Mar 7, 2013 at 10:19 AM
    #1
    Doug86

    Doug86 [OP] Member

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    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
     
  2. Mar 7, 2013 at 12:54 PM
    #2
    miniceptor86

    miniceptor86 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  3. Mar 7, 2013 at 1:06 PM
    #3
    Doug86

    Doug86 [OP] Member

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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.
     
  4. Mar 7, 2013 at 2:37 PM
    #4
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to support the axles if you take the jack pot out they will flop around like a fish inside the axle tubes.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2013 at 3:11 PM
    #5
    Oowen

    Oowen Well-Known Member

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    I believe as long as the bearings are in that it's ok.
    Don't quote me on this :eek:
     
  6. Mar 8, 2013 at 4:19 AM
    #6
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  7. Mar 8, 2013 at 5:17 AM
    #7
    Tripps2012

    Tripps2012 2014 TRD OR

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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.
     
  8. Mar 8, 2013 at 5:49 AM
    #8
    Mr.Gadget

    Mr.Gadget Well-Known Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013
  9. Mar 8, 2013 at 6:25 AM
    #9
    Tripps2012

    Tripps2012 2014 TRD OR

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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".
     
  10. Mar 8, 2013 at 6:36 AM
    #10
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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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.
     
  11. Mar 8, 2013 at 6:44 AM
    #11
    T@co_Pr3runn3r

    T@co_Pr3runn3r XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    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.
     
  12. Mar 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM
    #12
    Mr.Gadget

    Mr.Gadget Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. Mar 22, 2017 at 3:04 PM
    #13
    StreetTiresJay

    StreetTiresJay Well-Known Member

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    If anyone is still listening, I'm attempting this build this summer. I have a friend in Autobody that can get me a box/frame with a box cheap from local insurance company junk yard lot. I like the idea of a composite bed that won't rust out (just reinforce it) then I'll be using it to mount my RTT to it and basically have a complete swap of identical box accessories I can load onto the trailer or onto my actual truck if I dont/can't take the trailer.

    Has anyone already built one? Pictures would be great or a link to another thread (Still searching myself) when I get time I'm going to sit down and design this out make sure I can get everything I need.

    Why would I not be able to just use the stock axle housing the truck normally would have come with? I'll be loaded up enough I don't think hopping will be an issue.

    200# Tepui rooftop tent
    150# RTT rack/bed rails
    300# of camping gear (rough estimate)
     
  14. Mar 22, 2017 at 4:21 PM
    #14
    paranoid56

    paranoid56 Well-Known Member

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  15. Mar 22, 2017 at 4:22 PM
    #15
    paranoid56

    paranoid56 Well-Known Member

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    while you can use the stock axle, its just a lot of weight. you can pick up a custom 5k axle trailer with matching 6lub hubs for 250 bucks. much lighter. has easy to service bearings and is deigned just for that.
     
  16. Mar 22, 2017 at 4:47 PM
    #16
    Bobcdn

    Bobcdn Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar idea to get a bed to use as a trailer- as well as a place to put the topper when not on the truck (or build a trailer with the proper dimensions to fit the topper.

    I won't be building one for a while but have been planning it for a long time already!

    The lighter I can make the trailer the more I can carry (burning less fuel). I have a 6x12 enclosed that is built from aluminum- it is just under 1000lbs.

    I plan to build mine from aluminum, might even get 3/16th thick aluminum box bent up like the Eby trailers;

    http://www.mheby.com/products/utility-trailer/

    I am planning to go with Timbren axleless suspension units. No trailer axle to get hung up, No custom width axle needed, Better ride loaded or unloaded and the install is simple;

    https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Trailer_Suspension-sf-Cushioned_Suspension.aspx


    If you could get them cheap enough- buy two boxes cut the rear portion off one and attach it to the others front and you would get a slightly longer box and a tailgate at the front and the back (good if you occasionally have a longer item).

    Another option that would make it really easy to modify is to use fiberglass bed sides.

    Best of luck- I will be following along!
     
    StreetTiresJay likes this.
  17. Mar 22, 2017 at 7:35 PM
    #17
    cliffyk

    cliffyk Well-Known Member

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    A fellow in England (I believe) did this with a Miata some years back...
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Mar 23, 2017 at 5:36 AM
    #18
    Mongoose

    Mongoose Active Member

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    That Miata trailer is pretty cool, never seen that done before.
     
  19. Mar 23, 2017 at 8:02 AM
    #19
    baboon

    baboon Active Member

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    Way way way too "redneck". Do a proper trailer instead.
     
  20. Mar 23, 2017 at 8:16 AM
    #20
    eccracer104

    eccracer104 O.G. Member

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