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Paddling gear and boat review
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Crane
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Post by Crane » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:07 pm

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Last edited by Crane on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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okieboater
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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by okieboater » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:26 pm

Larry,

I have not done the conversion ----- yet. But done a lot of thinking about it.

For what it is worth, here is some thoughts on a conversion you are thinking about.

From a money standpoint, by the time you buy a quality utility trailer then add stuff on to that, it is cheaper to buy a used popup. That is if you want all the nice things the average pop up has these days.
I had a Jayco popup I purchased used totally loaded with A/C etc from the original purchaser for a song. Used it for a
number of years. Worked great till I got a big raft. So I sold it.

Here is my thoughts and I have a river bud with a utility trailer almost there. This 5 by 12 utility trailer owner put a solid frame on his utility trailer with corner posts and reasonably height sides. He is a canoe boater and normally puts two canoes on top and gear below. Last trip we were on, at the put in he just tossed a long tarp across the canoes and slept on his pad inside. I think a pretty basic cover with roll down sides made out of solid canvas could be made at a reasonable price.

Please post up what you end up doing.

dave
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Jim Krueger
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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by Jim Krueger » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:32 am

Larry,

Quite a few years ago I was also thinking about going this route. I had a 16' trailer that I used mainly to haul my older tractor back and forth to the farm and thought about how I could make it do double duty as a camper while preserving it as the open utility trailer that I mostly used it for.
The first thing I did was to buy a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet to make the wooden flooring nicer for camping. Then, to make a removable structure
to support a tarp ( think covered wagons of the Old West), I found a coral panel fabrication company near Sheridan that could custom bend some of their 1 1/2" galvanized tubing to the width of the trailer and the height I wanted. I was thinking about having about half a dozen made and then attaching some stake pockets along the sides of the trailer so I could just insert the hoops at camp, then cover with the tarp. I never proceeded with getting the hoops made because it was about that time when Marlo and I stopped in at the Airstream dealer in Searcy as we were headed up to the Spring River one year.
Now that I have owned a travel trailer for the last eleven years, I think that has really worked out the best for us. Whether it's a pop-up, or conventional travel trailer, it's hard to beat the conveniences. I certainly like the AC, frig, and bathroom, and being able to keep the unit stocked with the majority of stuff we use, it makes it quicker to prepare for each trip. Two of the things that can make pop-ups more useful over conventional trailers is their lighter tow weight, and the ability to strap canoes or kayaks on top when transporting.

Best Regards
Jim
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Clif
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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by Clif » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:05 am

First thing that hit me seeing this was an enclosed cargo trailer? I looked into that some time ago. My needs would be hauling the motorcycle as well. Roof vents and windows added up to a lot. I thought necessary for venting in warmer weather. 3k or so. Side door rigged like RV door.... locking inside and out handle as opposed to a standard cargo outside latch... may have been in that feature set.

Single or double axel is a major price difference as well. Power in is not difficult. Plumbing not so easy, if you want it. I was thinking rigged for hammocks. Ramp rear door or side swinging?

A camper 6 to 10 years old can often be found in the $5 to $8K range. Some could be modified to let you put boats or rafts inside, downside is room for you and boats?? Many folks sell campers cheap this time of year as they realize they are not using and face winterizing expense. Either way, look at some smaller toy haulers for ideas. Work n play trailers are a lower, cargo trailer profile.
You sure this is on the right channel?

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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by okieboater » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:29 am

Having been in the boating thing for many years, trailers have been multiple chances for me to spend money for fun.

I just got another expensive utility trailer and spent a lot of time and money putting in higher sides, a top to haul a fully inflated mini cat and a winch to get that raft on top. The GC accident caused me to rethink a lot of things.

I think Cliff is on to something with the enclosed trailer idea. For raft owners or any one else able to rig and un rig what they can store inside and get other gear on the roof - hard to beat for hauling all sorts of gear.

I have been lucky to park my open trailer just loaded to the max with expensive gear in motel lots and never lost a thing. But, always worry big time.

A enclosed trailer gives the owner a lot of security worry free sleep time or when ever the owner is away from the trailer.

I know going inside a cafe with gear out in the open can be a worry. It is not the boaters that worry me, just the casual walk by person who thinks they need your stuff. Professional thieves will probably get your stuff no matter what setup you have.

I know here lately Tulsa has has a ton of enclosed trailers stolen. My take is thieves think there will be expensive tools inside (a lot of that for sure) and rip off the trailer. Most turn up by the side of the road with doors cut open and contents either ripped off or tossed out.

Cliff, I think your advice on a enclosed gear hauling trailer is very good advice. I wish I had went that route a long time ago.

My long time boating friend, Roger Head, has a enclosed trailer that he used to haul with a suby 4wd. Hopefully, he can post his experiences.

As a canoe/kayak boater who went to rafts big time (really enjoy rafting!) I went from roof racks to a utility trailer real fast. Those folks wanting to get into multi day rafting fun should realize at some point in time acquiring a trailer of some type is gonna be in your list of toys.
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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by Jim Krueger » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:57 am

'Ah So', an enclosed trailer, I'm with you now, I'm just a wee bit slow on the uptake sometimes :oops:
The enclosed trailer would definitely take care of the sides and roof part but I also agree that a couple of windows added for light and ventilation would be very good, as well maybe a small 110v AC unit plumbed into the front. As for the windows, I would check with various RV dealers and try and find some from a wrecked or parted-out travel trailer. The RV windows are often tinted, come with a much better weather seal for that application, and are designed to be at least partially opened even when it's raining without having rain blow in. More importantly, I would look for at least one of the RV windows that is designed as an emergency exit, with a flip of a lever inside the whole window can be pushed out in an emergency. Most RVs have at least one or more of these type windows to meet fire codes depending on the length of the trailer.
If you do find yourself at an RV dealer looking for parts, you may also be able to find yourself a nice roll-away awning that you can attach to the top edge of the trailer on one side or the other. These awnings are usually self-supporting and easily roll back and lock when not in use or for transport. An awning the length of your trailer can give you a nice shaded space below for a table and couple of chairs. My experience thus far has been with the 'Zip Dee' brand awnings, they are well made and function well.

Best Regards
Jim

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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by Crane » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:28 am

Thanks, all!! Yes, it's a 6X12' V-nose enclosed cargo trailer... with very little use. I plan to haul it and my rafting/kayaking gear in/on my truck, so being able to haul non-camper stuff will be secondary. (But, I plan to take future stuff-moving into some consideration as I equip it) So far, we are at the point of removing plywood interior paneling to allow 1/2" foam insulation to be installed. Planning on interior design must be done before re-installing the paneling, since wiring will be necessary... Decisions, decisions, decisions... The biggest point is that my bride may (emphasis on MAY) be joining me and her comfort needs are substantially different from mine... until she advises me that I need to plan on spending all of my time in the trailer! More later... Thanks! crane
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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by Roger » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:43 pm

Okieboater, my trailer is a 5x8x5 enclosed for all the raft gear (breakdown frame included). Thought about putting in some sort of sleeping area (hang it from the wall and when not in use the secure against wall) but space really didn't allow it. Plus one would have to unload gear set it up, etc.

Thought about adding some racks to the top for hardboats but never did. Happy to leave this one as it came from factory now in retrospect. Best $1200 I ever spent for a "toy!"

I think that there are combination toy/hauler camper units available but size and pricing are obvious drawbacks.
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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by Agua » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:04 pm

What your looking for is a work and play cargo trailer. Insulated with RV amenities installed. Very good and solid trailers. I work on RV trailers for a living and I haven't seen any structural problems. Beds either fold down on the sides or motorized down from ceiling in the back. Appliances and side door in the front. The problem is people who own these generally don't want to sell them so you're probably going to have to buy a new one. Sign of a good trailer!
If your going to convert a cargo trailer be sure and spray seal the seams with a GOOD SEALANT before insulating. This not something you want to deal with afterwards! Water tank will have to be installed under the cabinets, not enough room under the trailer. Used parts can be pur chased at an RV salvage yard. The closest one is in Missouri, Kolaw 1-877-548-2125
Good luck and enjoy.
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Re: Cargo Trailer Conversion into Camper?

Post by okieboater » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:04 pm

Crane and others:

Go here and just look



youtube is full of utility trailers converted to RV campers

I was looking for tear drop trailers and ran into this area

lots of fun to look at and may well give you ideas

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