How do I get started?

Discussion in 'Taking Your Camper Off Road' started by Brewskier, May 29, 2012.

  1. Brewskier

    Brewskier New Member

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    I haven't bought my popup trailer yet, but I expect to buy one of the 8' trailers I've seen for sale. I want to be able to take these offroad, so it looks like I might need a bigger axle and, of course, new tires. What else needs to be done? Is there a "how to" guide, somewhere? Maybe a list of manufacturers or places where you can get a larger axle and everything else?

    Thanks
     
  2. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    May not need a bigger axle, but you'll want to flip it for more ground clearance. Any reputable trailer shop should be able to do this for you if you don't have the skills. A search for axle flip or ground clearance should turn up some info on members who have done this themselves.
     
  3. cwolfman13

    cwolfman13 Active Member

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    There is a lot that you could do, but don't necessarily have to do. Also, it depends on what you mean by "off road." I have a standard p'up and I'm "off road" for most of my camping...that said, I'm not really doing any true 4x4 roads or anything....just your standard dirt forest roads. I'm consider doing an over/under with my axle to give me a bit more clearance....I don't have to have it, but it would make getting in and out of certain boondock sites a little quicker and easier. For me and what I do, I see no reason to do a bigger axle.

    If you're truly wanting to do some lite to moderate 4x4 roads, you should really look into one of the p'up models designed for this rather than trying to convert a traditional p'up....but that's just me. They come equiped with bigger and heavier duty frames, axles, wheels, tires, etc....most have diamond plate on the front and back to prevent damage from rocks being kicked up, etc.

    If you're wanting to go even more rugged, you'll want to look at something more like this:

    http://www.tentrax.com/tentrax_off_road_trailers.html
     
  4. wicked4x4

    wicked4x4 Member

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    as mentioned, there are some great offroad versions of these things...i personally, it was not in the budget to spend the money for a newer and pricey offroad version, though i'm sure if you search long enough, you'll come across a great deal.

    for me, i wanted an inexpensive trailer, i don't mind upgrades and mods and the work involved. we rarely see campgrounds, rather we do a lot of off roading with our truck, so we trailer down some 'rougher' roads and want to camp closer to the trails and farther from all the other people and their giant rv's. we do want to take our rig farther than most people would, but i'm not looking to tow it through the rubicon or the hammers or anything crazy like that.

    my 85 coleman sat super low, and had those little 'lawnmower size tires'. most important thing was ground clearance, need to get the front and back off the ground, especially if i'm dropping in and out of any little ravines, i didn't want to drag it.

    first thing i did was a SOA (spring over axle) conversion. some people here call it an axle flip, but keep in mind, you don't actually flip it. many of the axles aren't truly straight, they have a very slight arch, so you need to keep that arch in the same direction. this job can be done with very little fabrication skill, just cutting off the existing spring perches and welding new ones on. if that is not your thing, there are many soa kits, that have just the hardware to do this mod, no cutting/welding involved.

    then i added some larger tires, easier to go down a bumpy rutted road without small tire falling into a giant hole. something to consider if you are adding larger tires (depending on the trailer), not only fender clearance for the tire, but also, if the door opens downward as a step, like my trailer, will the tire be in the way of the door/step dropping down. i happened to get lucky with this, where the door opens and just touches the tire, does not actually get in the way though...if i were to go bigger, i'd have to move my axle rearwards.

    the next thing i did was built a pretty solid bumper for the rear (did not have one to start with). i'm not worried now if trailer dips and rubs the back now. not an issue. also added some good size reverse lights to it, that actually turn on and when tow vehicle is in reverse.


    GOOD LUCK! look forward to seeing your rig and some pics in the future.
     
  5. wicked4x4

    wicked4x4 Member

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    ***i forgot to mention in my last lengthy post.

    if you lift the trailer, you will need to consider what you will want to do to lengthen your stabilizer jacks. i lifted mine about 6-7 inches i think, jacks need to be addressed in about the same amount.
     

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