Re: Troop Trailer
Blaine S Nay (b.nay@JUNO.COM)
Sun, 25 May 1997 02:03:48 EDT
>I have two ASM's who not only want to build a Troop trailer, but have
>expertise to do so. One builds boat trailers, and the other manages a
>semi-truck and trailer repair shop. Can anyone provide me with some
>plans or design parameters? We'd like to get this done before summer
Here's the story of my personal trailer. Although I built it with my own
money for my own use, my scouts have benefited most from its existence.
I had a steel skeleton welded for my trailer in 1984. The "chassis" is
of 2x4 steel channel iron with rest of the body being 2x2 angle iron.
The tongue is 4x4 square tube with a 2-inch ball coupler. The floor is
100 inches long by 60 inches wide. It's 60 inches from floor to ceiling.
Both sides have 2-inch wide steel straps dividing them vertically and
horizontally (like a cross) into four rectangles where I installed
plywood. The front is likewise divided horizontally into 2 rectangles.
It has two side-swinging doors in the rear that open to the full
60x60-inch opening. A barrel bolt top-and-bottom keep the one door
closed and the second door is secured with a barrel bold which has
provisions for a padlock.
These dimensions are rather wasteful of plywood, but it gives me an
easy-to-use size, but still big enough to carry full sheets of plywood,
I specified a 3500 pound single axle with 5-bolt 15-inch tires to match
the van I had at the time. I think the cost was around $800 with lights
and wiring installed (including an interior dome light).
I installed 2x6 all-weather lumber for a floor and 3/8" exterior plywood
for walls and roof. I applied caulking to the plywood before screwing it
to the frame to make it weather tight. I finished it up with exterior
enamel inside and out (outside is gray, inside is cream-colored so it
isn't dark inside.
I've seen trailers with shelves, additional doors, etc. But I left mine
spartan so I can haul a load of dirt one day, and camp equipment the
next. It has been well worth the investment.
I've had to repaint the trailer once and it needs repainting again.
Since the roof sees the worst of the weather, it has started to leak
around the seams with the steel frame, so I need to re caulk there.
Otherwise, maintenance has been zero.
Hindsight is always 20/20. I'd recommend some galvanized or aluminum
sheet metal on the outside of the plywood for better weather resistance
-- especially the roof. Don't eliminate the plywood, though, you need it
to give strength to the sides so your scouts don't throw a tent pole
through the sheet metal. At the very least you'd see a lot of dents in
unprotected sheet metal from backpacks getting tossed around.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City