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Gravity Works!
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I have a 30' camper I'm going to convert to a 5th wheel/camper/flatbed combo.

The camper:

30' Wildwood with the kitchen up front. Table converts to a bed. Going towards the rear of the trailer next is the living room with a couch that converts to a bed and a lounge chair (both to be removed) next is a hall way on one side and the bath room on the other side of the camper. Beyond that is a large bed room with three stacked type bunk beds (I know weird but it's OEM).

Plans:

Cut rear section of camper off up to the back side of the rest room leaving the existing frame. Taking the orig rear of camper and re-grafting it along with the side rear exit door it into the rear of camper.

Beefing the frame and extending it and additional 15 to 18' and fabbing a car hauler flat bed on that for the rig/porch.

Installing under the heavier frame two 7K torque flex axles with electric brakes (already purchased these.

MFGing a 5th wheel gooseneck on the front of the camper.

Campers weight on the chart says 6K ~ some of this will be removed via ass end diet.

QUESTIONS:

Question is how to find for and aft mounting location of axles for correct balance without scaling?

What to do or use for beefing existing camper frame for conversion? I have a few ideas just want to hear more suggestions.

Is 35 to 40' too long to handle?

I want to keep the camper as low profile as I can so I was thinking about inserting a I-beam ~ C channel beam into the campers existing rectangle frame for strength - thoughts about this?

A few photos of said camper - I know... it looks rough but it's in very good shape and the inside is in really great shape other then being infested with field mice right before I got it - fawk it stunk and still does - whew!!!

I'm worried about what the fawking mice did to the wiring systems on the camper and am thinking about removing all the out side skins and insulation for inspection - may need to remove some of the sides anyway for shortening process.

Photos

Front.JPG
Backside.jpg
passenger.jpg
Underside 01.jpg
Underside 02.jpg
 

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I am a big fan of that type set up.....I have done something simular to what you are talking about it was alot of fawking work as I'm sure you know. Don't know where you are located sure would be easy to set on this trailer

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=688342&highlight=40+deck Thats just me because I'm lazy......

I have recently done one that was not as much work... http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=690272
I weighed the camper and weighed my rig then made sure I had more weight in front of the axles than behind when loaded.....keeping in mind I did not want it to tounge heavy when empty, also knowing I could counter balance by parking my rig farther back on the deck.

Not very scientific, but I have built several trailers keeping those things in mind and they have always pulled good.

Anyway good luck on the project
 

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Gravity Works!
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30,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I am a big fan of that type set up.....I have done something simular to what you are talking about it was alot of fawking work as I'm sure you know. Don't know where you are located sure would be easy to set on this trailer

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=688342&highlight=40+deck Thats just me because I'm lazy......

I have recently done one that was not as much work... http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=690272
I weighed the camper and weighed my rig then made sure I had more weight in front of the axles than behind when loaded.....keeping in mind I did not want it to tounge heavy when empty, also knowing I could counter balance by parking my rig farther back on the deck.

Not very scientific, but I have built several trailers keeping those things in mind and they have always pulled good.

Anyway good luck on the project
Yep, I read your thread before I posted mine. I was wondering what your overall height is and how bad the air drag is?

I wanted to keep the weight down as much as possible by building my own trailer frame. I have a list of ideas but am looking for more.

I looked at the trailer in your link and asked him a few questions about it. It appears to be slightly bent:confused:or maybe it's the way it's setting but I doubt it. It would be almost as much work to rework it to my needs as to just build one from scratch. I don't think I save that much going with his trailer unless I picked it up cheap... and I mean cheap.
 

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assuming an evenly distributed load,you want the axle centerline to be roughly 3/4 of the way back on the deck,giving 20-25% on the pin. with a constant,and not evently distributed load(like youre building) you can slide them forward or back to get optimal pin weight.

best way would be to weigh or somehow calculate the weight of the empty finished product,and set the axles for that,assuming the flat deck has enuff room to move the rig forward and back to find the best spot for it to ride.

like mr texasdick,im not quite that scientific ;) im building a toyhauler from a 22.5' fiver travel trailer frame and an old slide in truck camper. i dont ever intend to remove the slide in,its all being built permantly,and its whole function will be to carry my junk to the trails. my axles centerline were at 13.5 feet from the front,wich was way too far forward. i put the front spring eye in the middle hanger,the equalizer in the rear spring hanger,and fabbed a new rear hanger. not quite 3/4 placement,but much further back and close enuff i can pull the trail rig forward if theres not enuff on the pin. and it was much easier than cutting all 3 hangers off and moving/remaking them ;)

id prolly shoot for somewhere around the 3/4 placement.

when looking for frames to use,i found a complete camper,and i thot about doing what youre doing,but decided i didnt have the energy. its going to be alot quicker to mount the camper on my empty frame and build the flat deck. tearing down campers is alot of work,and id imagine if youre tearing it down to reuse parts,its going to be even more work ;)

be sure to put up pics of your progress.
 

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Gravity Works!
Joined
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30,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
assuming an evenly distributed load,you want the axle centerline to be roughly 3/4 of the way back on the deck,giving 20-25% on the pin. with a constant,and not evently distributed load(like youre building) you can slide them forward or back to get optimal pin weight.

best way would be to weigh or somehow calculate the weight of the empty finished product,and set the axles for that,assuming the flat deck has enuff room to move the rig forward and back to find the best spot for it to ride.

like mr texasdick,im not quite that scientific ;) im building a toyhauler from a 22.5' fiver travel trailer frame and an old slide in truck camper. i dont ever intend to remove the slide in,its all being built permantly,and its whole function will be to carry my junk to the trails. my axles centerline were at 13.5 feet from the front,wich was way too far forward. i put the front spring eye in the middle hanger,the equalizer in the rear spring hanger,and fabbed a new rear hanger. not quite 3/4 placement,but much further back and close enuff i can pull the trail rig forward if theres not enuff on the pin. and it was much easier than cutting all 3 hangers off and moving/remaking them ;)

id prolly shoot for somewhere around the 3/4 placement.

when looking for frames to use,i found a complete camper,and i thot about doing what youre doing,but decided i didnt have the energy. its going to be alot quicker to mount the camper on my empty frame and build the flat deck. tearing down campers is alot of work,and id imagine if youre tearing it down to reuse parts,its going to be even more work ;)

be sure to put up pics of your progress.
Well this one too will be a dedicated hauler - but I have an 18' car hauler that I use now for runs and will keep it as well.

One of my ideas was to have the axle assemblies on their own carrier setup similar to a sliding tandem system on a tractor trailer trailer. My new 7K axles are torque flex style so the springs are inside the axle tubes.

One of my thoughts was to make a long ass trailer with the beams spaced the same distance apart as the beams are under the camper. Then just resting the shortened camper on the frame rails. Only real concern I have with this is raising my overall height. I'm thinking in the neighborhood of round 6"-10" taller then it sets now and it could be even higher depending on what size beams I end up using. I would really like to try and keep it lower to the ground if possible.

I don't care about the work involved as I have the room to do this and I'm in no hurry with it - heck I've had the camper for about three years now so... Plus I got the camper for free, best price anyone could ask for, so If I fawk it up I'll just purchase a used slide in and stuff it on the trailer frame instead.
 
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