Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby ygmir » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:00 am

go ahead and shift into 2nd.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:56 am

Flabio33 wrote:Just getting back to this topic. My trailer looks very similar to Figjam's. However, I had some problems. It was a rather difficult tow from San Diego. My Toyota 4Runner and its 3.5L V6 struggled up every hill. Image



So you're saying you couldn't drive 75mph for most of the trip?

Did you have any over heating of the engine?

Any problems with the transmisson?

How "full" was the trailer?

Did you leave the overdrive engaged the whole trip?

How did it work for the burn?

These are all important questions. 8)
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Flabio33 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:18 pm

Flabio33 wrote:Just getting back to this topic. My trailer looks very similar to Figjam's. However, I had some problems. It was a rather difficult tow from San Diego. My Toyota 4Runner and its 3.5L V6 struggled up every hill.


FIGJAM wrote:So you're saying you couldn't drive 75mph for most of the trip?

45mph for a gradual uphill. 35mph for steep hills. I was getting passed by just about every motor home.

FIGJAM wrote:Did you have any over heating of the engine?

Not according to the gauge, but it did smell and feel hot.

FIGJAM wrote:Any problems with the transmisson?

Not that I know of.

FIGJAM wrote:How "full" was the trailer?

Pretty full, which probably had a lot to do with it.

FIGJAM wrote:Did you leave the overdrive engaged the whole trip?

No. I turned off overdrive when going up hills. Maybe I could have gone faster in some stretches, but the engine sounded pretty stressed. I don't remember the RPMs, but it was not close to the red line, so maybe I should have pushed it more.

FIGJAM wrote:How did it work for the burn?

Good. It's 5x10, so we had to load almost everything out when we went to sleep at night. I need to build bunks like you did - it is just ergo-metrically better. Mine was just a hallow box on the inside. My cdx has a foil covering one side, so I faced it to the interior because it was punched with little holes. Bad idea. The box became an oven if a little light got inside, but I kept it buttoned up, so it wasn't much of an issue at the burn. I would recommend at least a 6 ft width to anyone that needs to accommodate two large people.

FIGJAM wrote:These are all important questions. 8)


There are some improvements I have in mind.
Reduce the air resistance. Do something about the 2x2" angle iron that faces outward making a nice sail. Maybe Curve a piece of sheet plastic around the front.
Lower to the ground. Smaller wheels and tires. The ones that came with are large car tires. Maybe put the leaf spring below the axle.
Reduce the weight. Less water (my first time, I took too much). Less beer (no, wait, scratch that). The cdx itself is quite heavy (don't know what to do about that).
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Flabio33 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:23 pm

ygmir wrote:go ahead and shift into 2nd.

Mostly, I just disengaged the overdrive on the uphill. Would using 2nd be better? I use 2nd mostly when going downhill to keep brakes from overheating.
I need to learn more about driving larger loads. What is safe RPM? I think the redline is 6K on my 4runner, but I never get close to it.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Jackass » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:27 pm

I believe wind resistance was probably the biggest culprit, struggling up hills is pretty much commonplace with many overloaded vehicles, mine included.
Last edited by Jackass on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Joshua! » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:34 pm

You can see in the photo that he had too much tongue weight, overloading the rear suspension of the Toyota. I'd bet if he had redistributed the weight a bit, it would have towed a whole lot better.

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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:16 pm

My "pod" loaded for the playa weighs out at about 1,000 pounds.

It seems burners can't help but pack every available space when prepping for the playa.

The only extra thing that goes in the pod is my trike, as everything is set up as my living space.

No matter where I am on the way up, I can pull over and nap in the pod without having to rearrange anything.

Check your owners manual to find the towing capacity of the 4 runner.

I don't think wind resistance accounts for all that reduction in speed.

Sounds like you need a cooler for your pod! 8)
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Flabio33 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:09 am

FIGJAM wrote:My "pod" loaded for the playa weighs out at about 1,000 pounds.

It seems burners can't help but pack every available space when prepping for the playa.

The only extra thing that goes in the pod is my trike, as everything is set up as my living space.

No matter where I am on the way up, I can pull over and nap in the pod without having to rearrange anything.

Check your owners manual to find the towing capacity of the 4 runner.

I don't think wind resistance accounts for all that reduction in speed.

Sounds like you need a cooler for your pod! 8)

Figjam, before I forget, thanks for your great posts. I referred to them often when building my pod. It was a learning experience.
I was about to give on the pod, but the feedback makes me excited to see what refinements I can make to improve performance.
I also made a cooler similar to yours, but that needs some improvement also. Thanks again, Flabio
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:35 am

Maybe some more pictures of just the pod from all angles?

It looks like you made it big enough to stand up in, which is nice, but adds a lot of wind resistance.

You angled the front which was good, but to realy get a result, I think that angle would need to be like 45 degrees.

Does it have a window to vent the air out from the cooler? 8)
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Jackass » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:05 am

FIGJAM wrote:
It looks like you made it big enough to stand up in, which is nice, but adds a lot of wind resistance.

You angled the front which was good, but to realy get a result, I think that angle would need to be like 45 degrees. 8)


Thats just what I was getting after. I had a jeep that I used to tow a 22ft full size boat with, down the freeway no problem. Taking that same jeep and pulling a small uhaul trailer (smallest one you can get that you can stand up in) the jeep had a lot harder time keeping freeway speed and would overheat. The boat weighed probably 3-4 times as much as the trailer, but due to is shape it was smooth sailing(pun intended). I tow a tent trailer and all our crap to the burn with a four-banger. It struggles a bit but gets us there, if I were to tow one of those playa pods or a trailer of similar height I would have some issues. Tent trailer+low profile=EZ tow, carry on.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:35 am

That's why the new one is only 4' tall inside.

He'll be pulling it with a ford focus, but he said he does'nt mind taking his time getting there, so we're pretty sure he'll be alright.

May add a extra tranny cooler.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Flabio33 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:01 pm

Here are some more shots
Image Image
Foiled again Batman
Image Image
I'm thinking my cooler box was too deep
Image Image
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:25 pm

Is that plywood?

I've never seen cdx pllywood with foil before.

I would use the louvered panels with pad on 3 sides of that cooler since your setting it outside anyway.

It would be a very easy mod.

Make sure all the air has to pass through the damp pad.

If you do that, it will be COLD in your pod! 8)
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Flabio33 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:14 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Is that plywood?
I've never seen cdx pllywood with foil before.
I would use the louvered panels with pad on 3 sides of that cooler since your setting it outside anyway.
It would be a very easy mod.
Make sure all the air has to pass through the damp pad.
If you do that, it will be COLD in your pod! 8)

The HD here in San Diego sells cdx with foil. It wasn't much more and it reflects more heat according to the mfg. Make sure to wear a mask and goggles when cutting foil.
I will take you up on the louvered panel ideal. I liked the aesthetic look of cutting my own holes, but I had to deal with leakage problems too many times.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:12 pm

FIGJAM wrote:May add a extra tranny cooler.

Yeah, trannies are so hot, you gotta add a cooler or two, or us bio-girls won't have a chance.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Sun May 06, 2012 12:26 pm

bump.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby gyre » Sun May 06, 2012 3:33 pm

FIGJAM wrote:That's why the new one is only 4' tall inside.

He'll be pulling it with a ford focus, but he said he does'nt mind taking his time getting there, so we're pretty sure he'll be alright.

May add a extra tranny cooler.

If it doesn't have a cooler and it's an automatic, it already needs one, without towing.

Overdrive was mentioned.
On many automatics, that is actually lockup, though there is plenty of vartiety now.
Most lockups are inadequate for any substantial towing resistance.
There are companies that can fix this, but it isn't cheap.
Cheaper than a new trans though.

Good synthetic fluid is a good idea.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby ranger magnum » Sat May 26, 2012 4:18 pm

A word about automatic trannies... Most people incorrectly believe that there is a built in cooler in the vehicles radiator. This is not a cooler, its more of a heat exchanger. Auto trans fluid needs to be at a minimum temperature to perform its job. In cold climates this is not possible, so flowing it through the radiator gets it to that temp.

Trans fluid starts to get funky around 250 degrees f, and will start to cook at 275. Big V8 engines, particularly the Chevy 454, run hot. Its not uncommon to see them run at 230-240 when working hard. Ideally, you want your fluid in the 175-225 range. So running it through the vehicles cooling system can, in extremely hot conditions, can cause premature transmission failure.

I bypassed the coolant radiator, and ran the trans fluid through its own radiator. The results are dramatically cooler temps. I would highly recommend a trans temp gauge, and a fluid change before you leave for the playa. High heat is also cumulative. Even short term exposure to high heat will cause the oil to break down rapidly, leading to failure.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby gyre » Sat May 26, 2012 4:40 pm

You need a very large cooler to bypass the radiator entirely.
Running too cool is a problem, even with synthetic.

The big problem came about when fuel injection tuning raised the running temperatures of engines, but most cars did nothing to help the transmissions.
Lockups carelessly added cause even more issues.

Synthetic fluid for the trans and rear end is a very good idea.
Replacement must be done properly to get full advantage though.

Easy on a manual trans.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby gyre » Sat May 26, 2012 4:44 pm

The usual arrangement is to run the fluid through the radiator and then an additional cooler.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:37 am

Get busy bump!
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby peyote2004 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:15 pm

I don't want to drive my Santa Fe to the playa if I can help it. I have the 'tow package' but don't like the idea of driving from eastern Ontario to BM towing a trailer.

My plan is to buy either a minivan and remove the seats, or a cargo van (preferred) and convert it into a mini camper. I'm working on designs for each, and will will purchase a van and do the conversion next spring. I've never done anything like this before, and will likely have questions when I'm working on it. I hope to have it completed by next May, so i can test it camping in my area.

This thread has given me some ideas :)
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Oldguy » Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:48 pm

Please excuse me, but isn't the shiney side supposed to be on the outside of the box. White is better than dark, but not shiney ? Or is the white an insulation coating ? Or is the film too fragile to go outside ? Enquiring mind wants to know.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Canoe » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:44 pm

peyote2004 wrote:...This thread has given me some ideas :)

The low-cost version.
improv.jpg
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:59 pm

Oldguy wrote:Please excuse me, but isn't the shiney side supposed to be on the outside of the box. White is better than dark, but not shiney ? Or is the white an insulation coating ? Or is the film too fragile to go outside ? Enquiring mind wants to know.



The roof coating is very reflective, sticks to anything, won't scratch, chip, or flake off.

Big plus is being able to hose it out when you get home. 8)
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:13 pm

peyote2004 wrote:I don't want to drive my Santa Fe to the playa if I can help it. I have the 'tow package' but don't like the idea of driving from eastern Ontario to BM towing a trailer.

My plan is to buy either a minivan and remove the seats, or a cargo van (preferred) and convert it into a mini camper. I'm working on designs for each, and will will purchase a van and do the conversion next spring. I've never done anything like this before, and will likely have questions when I'm working on it. I hope to have it completed by next May, so i can test it camping in my area.

This thread has given me some ideas :)



I thought a lot about doing that before building the pod.

Did'nt what to spend the money on a vehicle just for the burn, but I did some research.

Try to find a place that buys fleet cargo vans from places like Dish Network or another big service type fleet.

Dish replaces their vans at 100,000 miles and a guy here buys them and turns them over for 4k to $5k for 05 and 06 vans.

Most have the partition between the passenger space and cargo space, and a roof rack.

The 5.2 liter motors get close to 20mpg.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Canoe » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:59 pm

peyote2004 wrote:...My plan is to buy either a minivan and remove the seats, or a cargo van (preferred) and convert it into a mini camper. I'm working on designs for each, and will will purchase a van and do the conversion next spring. I've never done anything like this before, and will likely have questions when I'm working on it.

With a cargo van, or trailer, made things modular, so you can relocate them to a different location within the vehicle, or move them to a new vehicle. I.E., a bolt-down cabinet for a range-top with sink, drawers.

For trailer, I'm leaning towards a top along the lines of:

sidebyside.jpg


For a van, I find a pull-out, out the back of the van, intriguing:

rear slide out.jpg


Hard panels, for wind/debris resistance:

funny-car-photos-homemade-rv-van-diy-mobile-home.jpg
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby Canoe » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:12 pm

A fold-up hard top allows you to get the height of the towed trailer lower for a better wind profile.

This is just one configuration of roofs/sides:
hard top, fold-up.jpg


Even a simple two piece fold-up, could be of benefit:
two surface fold-up.jpg



I'm leaning towards a trailer with a roof layout similar to the van top in my last post.


One layout, in a 6.5' x 12' footprint, you can get:
collapse down table in one end that will sleep two adults,
fold-up/collapse-down table on one side to seat two, sleep one, with fold-up to clear floor space for cargo,
range top with sink, kitchen storage under
toilet/shower combo
upper level bunks possible, providing an additional three single adult bunks (dark green rectangles)
Layout - 6.5x12.jpg
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby peyote2004 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:49 pm

So... I had totally typed a response earlier, then my computer crashed when I was almost done :(

I'm an avid camper, so the van will definitely get used for more than just my trip to BM. I'm at a stage (arthritis and back issues) where I don't really want to camp in a tent anymore, but I'm not willing to take the leap to a travel trailer. Converting a van seems like the logical solution.

There really are some great options out there. I've been checking out vans from utility companies. There are some decent ones available for fairly cheap. Today, I saw a 2001 Dodge Ram 3500 with 119000 km for $2900. It has storage cabinets & a roof rack. It's one of the more expensive ones I've seen, but has great mileage. When I'm ready to get a van, I'm going to a car auction. I should be able to get one very cheap there, and my friend's father is a mechanic, so he'll go with me to check it out.

I'm likely going to ask my nephew to help with the conversion. He's great at that sort of stuff ... and he's a certified welder, should I need anything welded. He's very creative, and I think he'll be able to help put my plans into action.

I think for the first year, I'll go very simple with the van. See how I like it, then do more upgrades... but you never know. I might just make my 'dream van' ... once I figure out what that is.
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Re: Travel trailer, cargo trailer or.....

Postby gyre » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:44 pm

Considered a class C?
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