Building my own Overlanding Trailer
I decided I couldn’t afford a super expensive overlanding trailer (I’ve seen great ones for 20k-50k) – so I opted to build one in my workshop, so it would be setup exactly the way I want it.
So much fun…
So much work
Planning is important.
I didn’t do a lot of it.. at least not on paper. It did cause me a few problems as I went along, but it actually ended up working out in my favor at the end of it.
Once I had the idea.. now it was just a matter of finding the pieces and parts.. and do a bunch of ordering..
TIME TO BUILD IT OUT
I have no idea how much time it will take, however.. I only get an hr or two a night, and a chunk of my weekends.. Guess we’ll see..
parts and pieces
Amazon is my friend.
So is Ebay
Even Facebook Marketplace.
But Amazon loves me more.
FIRST STEP: Find a Trailer Base..
I suck at welding.. at least welding structural things I depend on.. so I needed to find a trailer that would work as a base.. I found one, on Facebook marketplace..
This is gonna be interesting.
SECOND STEP: Gut it.
Not only did I have to gut it, I needed to rework the framework.. I envisioned a tent on top.. and stuff on the tongue.. so got to prep all of that
Next: Start to put it together
knowing one of the CORE things needed for Overlanding was WATER.
So I decided was going to make sure that had the safest place.. and needed to go in first. Although reminded myself to leave space under it for batteries etc…
Welding Time, for the Storage Frames etc.
Not only did I have to gut it, I needed to rework the framework.. I envisioned a tent on top.. and stuff on the tongue.. so got to prep all of that.. get it Read for the first coat of Paint.
I reworked the old ‘flip sign; on top, to hold a Rooftop Tent later..
And Framed the front tongue rack in.
Battery and Electrical Core
Getting the Solar Battery installed and starting on 12v electrical panel
Painting Round 1
Round 1 of paint.
New Brake Axle
Need (really just want) a new axle.. so I have trailer brakes..
Don’t want to be going downhill and affect my tow vehicle brakes.
I enlisted Tyler’s help to weld the axle on.. I don’t weld structural stuff, and he’s a certified welder.
Also ordered some new fenders that fit the look and fit my tires.. be here in a few weeks.
Note: I also switches to tires that are the same size as my Jeep Gladiator.. so I conceptually have an additional spare for whatever vehicle needs it.
Found some killer plans for a quick and easy Chuck box online.. gonna build one real quick.. Boom, Yeah. that will work.
Gas Cans are the second most important thing in the middle of no where.. so you don’t run out, in the middle of no where.
So Installed a 5gal one on the tongue rack, and a tongue bar for two spare 5gal jerry cans too.
Also, wanted to add a propane tank for the water header / cooking, etc.
Solar powered (12v) Fridge and Freezer.
Yes, I want a Filet and a cold beer in the middle of no-where.
Here is the Fridge I got: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TXG7G1Y/ref=as_li_tl
I picked the ICECO VL60, as I wanted the larger space – but I was torn on picking a cheaper one.. but ended up buying the better one for the Dual Zone. It also was the right quality, and right number of watts for what I was going to have as my solar panel. Very happy with this choice.
I decided to go with a Nomadic two person Roof Top Tent
It mounted exactly like I hoped it would.. Thank god it fit. I didn’t measure, just guessed. I got lucky.
We decided to have it open to the rear of the trailer.. as I am too tall to get under it well, and it would have made cooking hard otherwise.
Here is the Tent I picked:
I picked the Nomadic 2 Rooftop tent. Reviews were great, I didn’t need anything larger, and it was going to fit. This was also a GREAT choice.
DC 110 Inverter
Decided to go with one much larger than I needed.. so if I ever added a welder onto the trailer later – it would work for me…
Had to weld a small rack in for it.. and decided to mount it on with an adjustable clamp
Ran wires up to the Tent (so I can charge phones, and have tent lighting)
Storage (grill) and Solar Rack install
Added a flip down countertop on one of the doors.
Fire Extinguisher.. Don't forget having one of those.
Yes, it’s better to have it, than not. It’s a cheap addon.
Make sure it’s easy to get to.
In case I’m ever at a campground.. I am adding a shore power (110v) so I can charge and run everything off a campsite if I ever needed to.
Note to self. Pack an extension cord.
Adding a new tongue stand, and extending the rear support legs
I wanted to make sure it was supported well at night, so we didn’t end up having vertigo every time we got it in (because of the next axle) so we needed to extend the rear support legs, and the trailer didn’t have a good front support post, so we added one.
Install Camping Water Heater
I opted to splurge for a camping water heater… I mean, not much better than a grilled filet, a cold beer, some relaxing, and a hot shower before bed.. well that’s the thought anyway.
In order to save some space, I decided to mount it in a Pelican case I already had, bolted to the frame of the box. I had to make a run to lowes and home depot to find the right quick connectors and 90 degree angles to fit in the box right, but I managed to get it all mounted together in a few hours, and secured it. I also opted to get a propane quick connect, so I would be less rough on any propane cable I had.
Now all I need to do is use a padlock, and it’s secured away, and protected from the elements, but also able to be quickly accessible when desired, and open-air (kinda needed for a propane water heater). I will still test all my gas lines sometimes soon, but I can’t (read: don’t want to) do that inside my shop.
Also: Watch for a future blog post.. I’ll review this when it’s first used on a trip.
Every Square Inch matters...
Every square inch matters.. and keeping stuff in place is also important.. so:
- Added a chunk of cargo net to keep things in the front nose inside
- Riveted a “back seat” organizer to the door, as that was unused space.
- Also mounted a spare tire underneath (as it was gonna be higher than my axle anyway)
I like it.
Direct 8g 12v connection to tow vehicle alternator
If the solar was ever not working as I desired, or not enough, I wanted a way to be able to charge the trailer battery from the vehicle alternator (as the 12v 7way connection wouldn’t really be enough) so I set it up so If I want my alternator to also charge the trailer, I just hit the aux switch on my dash, and it connects the trailer to the car battery and hence alternator.
This deserved a separate post with more details: Click here: trailer-battery-connection-to-my-tow-vehicle-battery-alternator
Updated cooking/working counter.
More yet to come...
I’m not done yet.. so more to come..