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 Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable

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mr.modified
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PostSubject: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 06, 2018 12:21 am

I think pulling a trailer off road will always be somewhat limiting vs riding without a trailer dragging behind you. But I think with some special design feature's, an off road trailer could be usable for carrying a small load or some extra equipment. Eventually I plan on building a matching trailer for the simplicity for carrying extra fuel, parts, tools, and gear for a long trip.

In an off road situation, you have rough ground or mud and a trailer getting hung up on things will only slow or stop your forward movement. Also the added weight of the trailer on downhills will be tough on brakes. If you google off road trailer, you can see most for jeeps are high off the ground and relatively short so they won't hit bottom.

In my opinion, I think a good off road trailer should be as small as is usable for the load you want to carry. As light weight as practical, to make pulling or stopping easier on rough ground and hills up or down. Rugged so it can be beat around and abused without parts breaking. Larger diameter wheels to roll over rough terrain more easily. High ground clearance and short so it doesn't hang up on things.

At the time of this post, 2018 Haspin is only about a month away, and for picking up firewood, I figured I would make a test trailer to get an idea of any future modifications that would be helpful. A bit of field testing should show any problem areas.

For a wood hauling trailer, I'm starting out with what I think was a craftsman front axle and some dry looking tires.
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6663

Made a framework of 1" square tube which will sit on top of the axle. Not welded on yet, just mocked up here.
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6664

Not very big but should be able to pile wood up pretty high and hold it down tight with ratchet straps. Even if it flips over the wood should stay on it.
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6666

With Haspin getting close and other things to do, things like fenders and lights probably won't be added on just yet if at all on this trailer. But it should be a decent for testing. We'll try to ram it over every rut and rock we come across and see if it holds up or not.
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6665

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 06, 2018 12:28 am

Very nice.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 06, 2018 12:38 am

So I guess this must be the prototype then, haha. Looks pretty rugged so far!

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 06, 2018 12:42 am

Do you or anyone you know have a setup for welding aluminum? Could save a ton of weight building from that, then maybe reinvest some of those savings in a cast iron front axle used as the trailer axle.

Or have arms coming down off the sides of the frame that spindles mount to so there is no axle going across. That would definitely maximize ground clearance
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 06, 2018 10:53 am

Looking pretty good.  I think the weak link here will be the spindles you used getting bent, but only testing will tell.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 06, 2018 11:23 pm

Maybe 4 wheels (2 per side) on a tandem axle setup would work great for off road use. The tandem axle setup would cut the up and down movement in half on each side. The hard part would be making the axle spindles and pivot point for the beams strong enough to carry the weight you want.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeMon May 07, 2018 12:04 am

Thanks people! Aluminum would be a good idea, but I don't have an aluminum welder yet.
And tandem wheels is a cool idea too, but for my uses probably a bit heavy. For the most part I won't
be carrying a real heavy load. Just things that won't fit on the hood of the tractor or anywhere else.
With the simplicity, the main limiting factor is horse power. It's a bit lacking for heavy hauling especially on steep hills.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeMon May 07, 2018 10:36 pm

Welding the spindles solid
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6674

Spindle to axle gusset
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6676

Size comparison with the Simplicity
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6675

Still not welded to the axle yet, but all the pieces are here
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6677

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeMon May 07, 2018 10:40 pm

Looking at the size, maybe not an issue with bending the spindle shafts. Be a good day and a half wood it would haul. (Depending on the wood) Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable 2731072446

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeTue May 08, 2018 8:10 am

Since I frequently move smaller trailers around with my tractors, I leave an 1 7/8 ball bolted onto my draw bars all the time. I welded an 1 7/8 trailer coupler on to the little trailer that I tow with my tractor around the yard. this way I don’t have to keep taking the ball on and off. also I think the ball and coupler is a better swivel joint than the pin set up for an off-road application. Plus there is no pin to lose or pop out when out on the trail. I know this isn’t a dirt cheap idea but what do you think?
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeTue May 08, 2018 3:15 pm

I like this, it will be interesting to see how it works out at haspin, one of my many back burner projects is making a powered trailer, I have a old hydro from a mtd and a push mower engine and a old yard kart, plan was make the hitch slide in and out and control the hydro, leave the engine off and the hydro in roll mode, then if you get stuck or are about to go up a hill or through the mud, fire up the engine and engage the hydro. It wouldnt push the tractor but it would pull its own weight, at least thats how it works in my head, maybe seeing your trailer is the push I need to build mine
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeTue May 08, 2018 4:01 pm

Mightyraze, Yeah I shouldn't be hauling much more than 75lbs? That should be at the upper end I think. I'm not even going to beef up the spindles any like i always do with my tractors.

Crazy Carl, That's a good idea and probably would be a better setup. Maybe a bit heavy visually for my taste. I plan on using a pin that is held in with a J clip, so it can't jump out. I'll find out how bad it binds up at haspin with the conventional setup first and then maybe later on for the box trailer build I will do something different.

Creepycrawler, That would be pretty cool and I would think that would work good. Be a bit of a trade off for normal pulling with the added weight but might even help on hills and stuff if it had enough guts to it.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeTue May 08, 2018 8:20 pm

@mr.modified a pintle hitch style will give you the best for articulation or a hiem joint welded on the end of the trailer tongue
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeWed May 09, 2018 1:02 am

Yeah I agree. It would be neat to make something like that. The other thing to think about is if a tractor with a normal style hitch needs to pull it. So I would like to stay somewhat versatile that way too.

For the prototype trailer, I did a normal type hitch, It gives almost 45 degrees or slightly less movement in all directions with a loose fit of the pin.

Welding the tongue to the axle. More gussets and bracing later. Also I still have to cut those stupid brackets off the bottom of the axle.
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6679

Closer to how it will look when done. Spaced back enough so that the back tires of the tractor can clear the trailer deck in a tight turn or backing. Also space for logs to stick out over the front a bit.
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6678

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeWed May 09, 2018 7:22 am

This build is moving a long pretty fast. It's looking good.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeWed May 09, 2018 9:20 am

Thanks, getting there

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeWed May 09, 2018 5:59 pm

Looks like a nice size for the Simplicity. Have you thought about putting some steel plate on the floor to stop sticks falling through the bottom?
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeWed May 09, 2018 8:31 pm

@MatthewD wrote:
Looks like a nice size for the Simplicity. Have you thought about putting some steel plate on the floor to stop sticks falling through the bottom?
I think goat fence or chicken wire would do.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeWed May 09, 2018 9:05 pm

I think a trailer ought to have a solid bottom. Even some pressure treated decking boards
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeWed May 09, 2018 9:24 pm

I don't know about chicken wire or anything like that, expanded steel would be much more durable probably.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeWed May 09, 2018 9:47 pm

I kinda like to see the open grid of square bars. I guess just because they're nicely lined up like that. But I may eventually add a solid bottom. I have more aluminum sign I could cut out and bolt down. That would be strong and light weight. Or I could find some more steel mesh too, that would look cool.

A solid bottom would make it easier to haul other things like tool bags or smaller items. I'm thinking I'll be picking up logs anywhere from 2"-4" or bigger diameter and the length of the trailer or let them stick out. So they'll sit in there no problem. Last time I found a lot of short pieces already the right size without having to cut them.

I thought of having a place for a spare tire too, but before haspin I won't get too fancy since I'm a bit pressed for time.

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSat May 12, 2018 11:19 pm

Added more bracing to the sides. One section to go. After that, still a lot of braces under the bottom and still need to cut off those low hanging tabs on the axle.
I want to add a fold up stand for the tongue and loops to hook my ratchet straps to.
Should be all done with welding tomorrow and as soon as the humidity is low enough to paint I'll spray it. Rained today so who knows for tomorrow.
Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Img_6687

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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 13, 2018 8:18 am

@mr.modified I like it just a heads up dont put a pin in that hitch thats long, I usally pull a trailer when im in the rocks and mud and I always get hung up on it
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 13, 2018 8:30 am

I would buy a trailer hitch head and weld it on, just because they're cooler.
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PostSubject: Re: Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable   Off Road Trailer, Designing one that's usable Icon_minitimeSun May 13, 2018 12:11 pm

Looking good Mr.mod. Should be a beefy trailer for Haspin!
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