This Article is about our family sized overland trailer. We wanted a trailer that was versatile enough to be both an overlander and still be a practical trailer when we needed to move stuff like ATV's, canoes and kayaks. This post will go into why we selected this base, how we modified it and what we have learned along the way.
We wanted to convert this trailer to carry our equipment, put gear on top, and provide a camp kitchen from the back. There is a lot of work to do!
Because paint does not stick well to galvanized metal, it did not take long to strip the trailer of its old paint. This was important, because I wanted to match the colour to the truck.
After fixing the holes, it was time to design and fabricate a dual lid for the top.
We added stiffeners to the underside of the lids that are light and strong enough to walk on if needed.
A 3/2 split lid system on this trailer allows access to under the roof top tent, or the back storage and the tailgate kitchen.
Simple props let me keep the lids open.
The rubber ball and socket hold hold downs were cheap and nearly caused me to loose the lids when I tested the trailer on the highway. I will find a better solution later.
3/4" overhung roof racks on each lid.
I added cheap foam protection around the roof rack rails; this is pipe insulation from the hardware store.
Adding one of the step rails.
We mounted the spare tire in front to reduce wind drag and free up side rail storage.
We tucked the cabling into shielding and mounted it up and along the side of the main frame. This will protect the wires when we bottom out the trailer.
Our friend Alex came by to lend a hand. Here he is applying an acid etching primer to eat into the galvanized coating. This will give the paint something strong to adhere to.
All the components are now assembled.
We found a good deal on a small cargo rack. This made a great place for mounting the jerry cans; out of the wind and off of the rough surface of the side rails.
We can easily tie down two kyaks to the lids.
We are ready for adventure!
The trailer was in good shape with a good design. It is just the right size, with a drop tailgate and solid frame made from bent sheet metal panels that are light and strong.
Using a heavy power washer, we blasted the paint off of the galvanized panels and found the rust spots pretty quickly.
This shows the access to the rear of the trailer.
Here is a shot of my helper. Note the rapture and enthusiasm!
Here we see the the locking closer for the lids.
I can open this lid from either side, so that I can remove it. These handles are also useful to tie off equipment to the top of the trailer (or for the kids to hang from).
Drip tray and drains for water that finds it's way down the seam between the lids.
Basic lid functions and the beginning of the heavy duty step rails.
New folding jack leg with a wheel to roll.
What the finished step (side) rail now looks like.
Our side rails offer great storage. However, the downside of using toothed rails is the possibility that they will eat thru fluid cans.
Here you see the pipe protection added for the lights. It is not a question of "if", but "when" we back into something.
We tried to colour match the trailer to the truck as best we could. The trailer certainly looks better with a coat of paint.
Ain't she pretty!
These are stainless steel spring loaded hold down clamps. The use of these fixed all the problems we had with the previous rubber ball and socket hold downs.
We found a spot to store the shovel.