I am having a man weld a trailer together for me and i have some basic questions as i know nothing about frames.
The trailer i want to use will be a 5X8 (or maybe a 5x10 that's still undecided). If you want a visualization think of this project as a micro-Shasta. Not as small as a teardrop and not as big as a 1500 hoping to stay around the 1000-1200lbs dry weight. I definitely don't want overkill on the frame!! or for it to fall apart either!
1. 2 inch or 3 inch 3/16 angle? 2. 2x2 tube? 3. 3x2 Channel? 4. Any other ideas?
Axle Distance from the rear?
2. How far back should the axle be mounted? 30-40% from the rear?
Frame Modification needed?
3. I am planning on doing an over the fender build (making it a 66" inside on a 5 foot frame) so can i just extend the wood over the metal without adding support in that area for the frame (behind and and in front of the wheels)?
Any help would be great on this
Last Edit: Mar 18, 2013 2:46:08 GMT -5 by bigkarma
Dunno about the frame size, I'd check on teardrop-building forums and see what's typical.
Teardrop axles are so far back because of the rear galleys, that's where all the weight is in a teardrop. If you're building it more like a conventional camper you'll want the axle much closer to center. "They say" about 15% of your weight should be on the tongue for towing stability, so where the axle goes depends on how your weight will be distributed topside. If it were to be a solid block of wood from ball to bumper instead of a hollow camper with small heavier spots here and there, you could just put the axle 57.5% of the way back. As it is you'll have to do some serious calculations in order to get it in the best spot. The more that the heavy items are put over the axle, the less critical axle position becomes, but things like propane tanks up front will mess with your calculations...
Six inches of floor extending off the sides of the frame shouldn't be a problem if your subfloor is strong.
I will throw this out there. I have built several teardrops and I have always used Bolt Together Frames. I have never had any problems with them. However, I do modify them. I replace the axle with a custom built one from Southwestern Wheel www.trailerpart.com/ and change the tongue to a piece of 1/4" x 2" x 2" steel tube.
As for the axle placement, the general rule of thumb is 60% in front of the axle and 40% rear of the axle. You also want to keep in mind to keep the tongue weight around 12% of the total weight of your build. A lot of the times, you can adjust that weight when you are building the interior cabinets and placement of appliances, water tanks, etc.
Another thing to remember, make sure that you have at least 3' of tongue exposed in front of a tongue box, propane tanks or trailer front wall. This will come in handy if you ever have to "Jack knife" your trailer.