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Discussion Starter #1
I have been shopping for a trailer now for a while, and was getting frustrated. Everything nice I found I could not afford and I did not want any of the junk I could afford. What to do?

Well new years eve I bought this for a song.



It started life as a 1983 Jayco camper. I bought the frame from a guy who scrapped it out. It was 26' long when I bought it, it had dual 4500lb axles both with brakes. I took them apart and repacked the bearings and they were in good shape. All 4 brakes work as well.

My first task was to put a lift kit on it. This was neccesary to get it to clear my dodge and ride level. It is also gonna allow me to deck over the tires instead of having fenders. To lift it I simply moved the springs from the bottom side of the axle to the top.

Next up I bobbed it to 20'. 26' was not enough for two rigs and it got kinda flimbsy toward the backend so I choped it down for maneuverability purposes. I then dovetailed the last two feet so I got a 18' flat deck and a two foot slant.

Next up is wireing, then decking, and new tires and wheels. When its all done I should have about 1100$ in it. I think that is dam cheap considering what I will have.

I will snap some more pics this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Worked on it more today doing reenforceing and framing, should finish that up tomorrow then gonna clean it up a little and paint it before we deck it.





A couple notes:
1. Every bit of steel that was on it at 26' is still gonna be on it in some shape or way at 20'.
2. According to the title it weighed 6180 as a camper. I will miss my guess if it does not weigh less complete with my truck on it. And that weight is dry weight on the camper.
 

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Mr. President
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Looking good. It's too late now, but you probably should have kept the flat deck at 20' and then the dove tail. Cause I bet the first time someone asks you to move something, you are going to wish you had that extra couple feet. (cough, Eric :D)

Are you doing a wood or steel deck?

I would make sure to use a good chassis paint for the frame. Not necessarily POR-15, but at least something equivalent in rust stopping protection. Cause we all know what Michigan and Ohio winters are like.
 

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I am gonna use treated lumber for the deck, I am not a fan of steel decks. I am prolly just gonna use tractor paint from tsc for it, the stuff is cheap and really quit durable. The thung is rock solid just surface rust.
 

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Im with head on leaving longer. I have filled my 18 flat deck and i dont have a gooseneck to deal with. and i heard treated lumber will slowly eat the steel cause of the chemicals so you may want to look into that.
 

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Mr. President
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Im with head on leaving longer. I have filled my 18 flat deck and i dont have a gooseneck to deal with. and i heard treated lumber will slowly eat the steel cause of the chemicals so you may want to look into that.
With a good coat of paint, and some tar paper between the wood and the frame, I think he will be fine. I like the wood decks more because you can screw stuff down to it and it is alot cheaper to replace
 

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I am gonna use treated lumber for the deck, I am not a fan of steel decks. I am prolly just gonna use tractor paint from tsc for it, the stuff is cheap and really quit durable. The thung is rock solid just surface rust.
I read that the chemicals from treated lumber don't react well with steel. Oil treat untreated lumber for best results. Has anyone else heard/experienced this as well? Nice build, I'm jealous. :)
 

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I had never heard that about treated lumber, I just assumed that that was what new trailers came with. I stoped at Menards tonight and they say that it may have been true in the past that the treated would corrode the steel but that their treated they sell now will not. I am gonna go to an actual lumber yard tommorow and see what they say

On the length, there are a few reasons I cut it to 20'

1. Like I stated earlier....it got a little flimbsy out at 26'...these camper framed are not the strongest, it is more than strong enough to do what I want, but its not like going out abd buying a 26' deckover 5th wheel equipment trailer. Buy hacking it off at 20' and reusing the steel to reenforce the trailer I have 20' of space I dont have to worry about instead of 26' I do have to question.

2. Dodges like mine are tall from the get go, add in the fact mine is on 33's and it is up there. Even with the springs fliped I think the trailer is gonna sit uphill a little. At 26' there was alot of rear overhang and I think I would have been draging the rear alot even if I had not dovetailed it. At 20' even dovetailed I have minimal overhang and 22" of ground clearance aproximately. That will allow me to take that trailer most anywhere. I think it would easily go accross the tracks in Wellsvile.

3. I have access to much bigger, heavy duty trailers if I need one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I asked around a bunch ans searched with google and can get do difinitive answer on the whole treated lumber deal. Most people seem to think that it will be fine but that trying to isolate the treated from the steel wouldn't be a bad idea so thats what i'm going with. I was gonna use tar paper like Jed suggested but that was gonna be a real pain in the ass covering each little thing. What I am gonna do instead is buy a few cans of rubberized undercoating in spray cans and simply spray it anywhere wood could touch metal. This will be way easier and should provide a nice insolater between the two.

A couple more pics

1. Incase you did not believe that I put all the steel I cut off back on, this is proof. That is everything that was not put back on, everything else I cut off is in some way welded back on


2. Built a rear bumper out of an old I-beam. Will give me a place to hook ramps


Should have it wired tomorrow and then on to paint this weekend. What color do I paint it? Towrig is dark gray, trailrig is cream. Kinda thinking I want something other than normal old black.
 

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Mr. President
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Black is definately your cheapest option. But if you want it unique, I would match it to the towrig.
 

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It would not be an exactmatch since my towrig is metallic, and I don't have the skill or time to do that,nor can I see spending that much money on paint for a trailer. I am gonna go to tsc and see if they have a dark charcoal gray paint of any kind and go from there. I also thought about a dark silver color since my towrig has silver pinstripes and they look really nice against the charcoal gray.
 

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Mr. President
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Black is definately your cheapest option. But if you want it unique, I would match it to the towrig.
plum
 

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Got taillights / turnsignals and brakes all wired, once I get it decked I will need to add some additional marker lights.

For the color I am really leaning toward silver. Gonna work this weekend at preping it for paint / painting it.

Only took one pic tonight.....it can fly!!! Lol

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got the hitch in my dodge today...must say it is super easy to install in a dodge like mine compared to chevys or some others. Hooked the trailer up and adjusted everything to get it riding correctly



It sits on there pretty decent as is and would haul ok. The new tires I am getteing are a couple inches taller which will help. I am also likely going to toss a leveling kit on the dodge to get rid of the forward rake which will also help.

The bad news is I have no way to paint it till the weather gets warmer :(. So for now I am just gonna do the stuff the decj is gonna hide then in the spring I will flip it on its side and fully paint it.
 

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Mr. President
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Looking good. Is it just me or does it seem like the axles are pretty far back?
 

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They are a little far back. I didn't feel like going through all the work of moving them, especially since my truck is sprung really heavy. And the extra weight up on the truck is not any issue. Really about 1' forward is all the more you would want them to go and it was gonna be a lot of work for not alot of gain.
 

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Mr. President
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Looking good. What are planning on using for tie-down points?
 
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