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Adventure Forum A place for outdoor side of your XJ/MJ. Discussions revolve around camping, equipment, and camping trailers. As well as outdoor activities that take off from your XJ/MJ like hiking, geocoaching, and rock climbing. Also the place to discuss tips and hints for the best places to camp off the beaten path.

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  #1  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 13:04
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Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

I have been planning on building an offroad capable trailer for nearly three years and started picking up parts about that time. With being either flat broke or medically laid up, it kept being pushed to the background. I slowly purchased items when I found a killer deal so now I am starting the build.

For those who are not familiar with the term teardrop, it comes from the shape. They were popular in the 30's to the 50's and are starting to make a comeback. It is just big enough for two to sleep inside, while the back opens up and gives you access to the galley. Most are build on cheap harbor freight frames and the like and the body is totally wood. Being the pain in the ass perfectionist engineer I am as many of you know, I had to do it different. I am building a fully welded frame sitting on airbags and 31's. The upper section will consist of 1" steel square tubing with a sheith of Filon.

I am just getting started on the frame and have it about 50% welded. I am using a different suspension type from most as you will see as things progress. I have attached a pix from Outback Teardrops to give you a rough idea of the shape of the body. Mine will be a bit different but theirs will give you an idea. Progress from this point will be limited by funds. I rebuild and port power steering boxes and I am using that to fund my trailer.


I will have a different style set of doors. As it turns out, that is the most expensive part of the build for me. A set of doors will run me almost $600.




I originally snagged a trailer axle with the 5x4.5 bolt pattern and a drop axle. As it turns out the drop axle, that I intended to rotate up, just didn't work out height wise and I ended up just scavenging the brakes. I have sandblasted the brakes and painted them, along with buyins a set of trailer spindles and a section of 2x2x.25" box. I ended up cutting some new mounting plates and milling the holes.








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  #2  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 15:20
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

Awesome. Good luck on your build.

What exactly is Filon?
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  #3  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 15:28
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigalpha View Post
Awesome. Good luck on your build.

What exactly is Filon?
It is the sheet fiberglass covered with gell coat that is used on the out sides of motor homes.
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Loveland, Colorado My teardrop build
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  #4  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 20:31
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

If you guys were wondering about how I was going to set up the suspension with the air bags, well I am going to run what is called a single link with a panhard bar. It is similar to what is called a trailer hitch suspension, only I am using a RE Super Joint. That will be my project for Friday.

After that I need to make a bender to arch the 1" square tubing. With that small of tubing, it is actually pretty easy. Stay tuned for the details.
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  #5  
Old April 2nd, 2012, 22:00
Haulin Haulin is offline
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

Google rv surplus, their are a bunch in the Elkhart, In area. I picked up a door for around $100.
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  #6  
Old April 3rd, 2012, 07:48
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

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Originally Posted by Haulin View Post
Google rv surplus, their are a bunch in the Elkhart, In area. I picked up a door for around $100.
Thanks for the idea but I am set on the doors in the pix. Wish I could find the manufacturer.
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  #7  
Old April 3rd, 2012, 15:01
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_man View Post
Thanks for the idea but I am set on the doors in the pix. Wish I could find the manufacturer.

Post that pic up at Expo, somebody might be able to help ya out. If you dont have an account i can do it for ya..

Been waiting for this thread for some time, i'll be following. I'm sure it'll be an awesome build Tom.
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  #8  
Old April 3rd, 2012, 16:36
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_man View Post
Thanks for the idea but I am set on the doors in the pix. Wish I could find the manufacturer.
That window looks identical to the ones used on the 'Little Guy' teardrops: http://www.golittleguy.com/teardrops/index.php

The Rough Rider model: http://www.golittleguy.com/teardrops...s/rough-rider/

A little snooping around, and I think they are made by Statewide Aluminum, and look similar to some of their livestock windows: http://statewidealum.com/livestock-t...ewide-alum.htm

Maybe that can help..
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 18:08
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

Thanks for the lead. I will call them tomorrow.
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  #10  
Old April 6th, 2012, 19:17
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.




I'm watching.
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  #11  
Old April 9th, 2012, 05:51
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

ill be watching this as well, she's decided she wants a teardrop to pull with her rig. You think round tube could be used for the structure? thats what would be easiest for me to bend and work with
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  #12  
Old April 9th, 2012, 06:11
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

Personally it think it would be a ton harder. I will show you how to bend the 1" square tube easily and cheaply. I have just a bit left before I post pix of the trailer platform with axle and hitch. I will start the top later. While there it is a bit time consuming building the trailer portion from scratch, it is a lot tougher than the HF based solution.

I will be beating the crap out of this so I don't want it to break.
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Loveland, Colorado My teardrop build
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  #13  
Old April 14th, 2012, 18:03
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

Pretty much finished welding all the platform and suspension. I built it upside down, now I have to figure out how to flip it over. I want to clean the garage a bit before taking pix. It is surprising how dirty a shop can get when you are welding, cutting, and grinding for a couple of days.

I overbuilt the heck out of the frame since I will be dragging it to hell and back.
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Loveland, Colorado My teardrop build
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  #14  
Old April 15th, 2012, 07:09
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

I love tear drop trailers, and for a long time I wanted one to pull behind the XJ. Before I could find a decent one to buy, I ended up getting a camper.

Good luck on the build, Tom, should come out nice.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 11:40
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Re: Finally starting my teardrop offroad trailer build.

I need to post a bunch of pix but first I have to take them. I got it turned over, ready to put on the wheels, but life has been hectic. My 94 yr old mother in law had a heart attack so things have been in a turmoil.
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