For vacations, we need to plan every little thing, and make arrangements for lodging, food, and security of our belongings. For all such amenities, a lightweight travel trailer proves to be a very good option. They are not only fully-equipped, but are also useful with regards to security and safety. Thus, they can rightly be called a "home on wheels."
There are ready-to-use models available in the market, but for those on a budget, it is advisable to build one from scratch. The advantage here is, you can build it as per your needs, convenience, and size.
Here is a list of apparatus that will be required:
- Power saw of length 2" x 4" x 1/4" box
- Steel frame
- Basic welding tools
- Axle kit (you can use torsion axles)
- Suspension system (length of square tubing)
- 1'' trailer hitch
- Solid round bar
- Fenders, tires
- 2' x 8' oak planks for the decks.
1. Designing the trailer is the first step, as it would help you know about the layout that you want. A five foot width is the standard size; however, it can differ depending upon your requirements and the number of travelers. An AutoCAD program would be useful to draw up some simple structural diagrams.
2. It is always advisable to select an axle kit that would match and bear the weight that you are going to haul. You can choose the appropriate suspension system that would best suit the width of the frame and the height of the hitch. Leaf spring and torsion bar are the two suspension options that suit the design and dimensions of such a vehicle.
3. The next step is to purchase steel from a supplier and cut it into the size according to the design and dimensions. Having the proper equipment to cut the steel is important. If it is not available, it is suggested to rather go with the design to a workshop which can help you to cut it.
4. Make sure that the axle fits below, before welding the frame with it and then tackle the welds. The frame should be flat and even, to bear the weight of the contents that you are going to carry.
5. You need to position the axle at about 6'' behind the frame's center, closer to the center of gravity. Now fix the tires. However, care should be taken that the axle is square and centered; and there is uniform distance from the hitch to each of the wheels. The axle should be attached with 'C' clamps to the frame.
6. The next step is to mount the suspension tongue to a crossbar in front of the axle. In order to provide the trailer the ability to pivot, reinforcing gussets should be installed between the mounting tabs. Then, weld a latch to the center of the tongue. This is done to control tilting and fit the vehicle with its suspension system.
7. To create a point for lights and the license plate, fenders need to installed by welding them with small rods using low heat. They should be reinforced with angle iron. The side rails and vertical side braces can be created by welding the section of angle iron together.
8. The next step is to cut the oak planks with a saw, so as to prepare the floor. Here, care should be taken that the cutting fits the deck measurements, and the deck should be secured and made steady with the help of an iron framework.
9. The last step is to sand, prime, and finally paint the trailer.
You can even add many other parts and accessories such as a television, computer, Internet connection, security system, electrical system, microwave oven, mini refrigerator, etc. Now that you have built one and taken care of all the requirements, the travel trailer is ready to hit the roads and serve you during your journey!