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  • Help with choosing a trailer

    Greetings fellow campers,

    I am just starting out on this journey and designing my first teardrop for my wife and I. I have been watching tour videos and checking out build blogs, however, I feel lost in finding a trailer to use. We will be pulling it with a Subaru Outback so weight is super important. I feel like we need to use a 4 x 8 because I do not want it wider than the vehicle. We may want to build out over the wheels so that we can have a wider mattress. Based on our sizes that is important. I am also not sure how center of balance plays into making it taller. So, you can see what I am dealing with. Once I have the base trailer and some sound advice I will be well on my way. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you. ~B~

  • #2
    Check out the TNTT.COM website . They have lifetimes of information .

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    • #3
      It took me a min but I got it. It was tnttt.com. (one more t). Thank you I will go do some reading.

      ~B~

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      • #4
        If you're looking for a basic utility trailer that comes with some paperwork that will help you get it registered, Harbor Freight and Northern Tool have some options. The Northern Tool is a 5x8, and a bit heavier steel. Either one is suitable for a small camper. If going with either of those, there is a fairly simple modification to extend/strengthen the tongue. Otherwise they're a good start.

        A welding shop local to you may build you a custom trailer, but theres a lot more work involved with that, including the registration process.

        Another option would be an old pop-up frame. They're fairly common on craigslist or Facebook marketplace. And there are even some RV centers that resell stripped frames.

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        • #5
          Zach,
          Where would I find the modification to strengthen the tongue?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Isp3898 View Post
            Zach,
            Where would I find the modification to strengthen the tongue?
            I had a build thread on TnTTT years ago that had the information: https://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?p=1067349#p1067349

            Basically you flip the coupler mounting plate upside down, which allows you to slide a piece of 2x2x3/16" steel tube through it, and bolt that steel tube to the underside of the first two trailer frame cross members. You also bolt through horizontally through the coupler mounting plate (and the newsteel tube that runs through it) to help stabilize the tongue extension. And then you need to get a replacement coupler made for a 2" tongue.

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            • #7
              Thanks Zach. I have read your thread about your build but could not find the length of the tongue extension. I see how you placed the holes for the coupler but not for the placement of the two holes from the left end of the extension. What would be those measurements? Or do I slide the extension into place and mark the holes that way? Thanks !

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Isp3898 View Post
                Thanks Zach. I have read your thread about your build but could not find the length of the tongue extension. I see how you placed the holes for the coupler but not for the placement of the two holes from the left end of the extension. What would be those measurements? Or do I slide the extension into place and mark the holes that way? Thanks !
                Had to dig through my files, but I found the drawing I gave to the metal fab shop that I got the steel tube from. It looks like I got 1/4" steel tube, but 3/16" should be plenty. I took careful measurements of the frame and the coupler to get these dimensions, and then had them drill the holes. A lot easier for them to do it since I was getting the steel from them, and I don't think they charged me hardly anything for the labor. These measurements were specific to the Northern Tool 5x8 trailer, at the time. I have no idea if anything has changed, so it would be best to verify.

                The measurements for the horizontal holes might be a little hard to read. From left to right: 56-13/16" ; 22-9/16" ; 3" ; 1-5/8"

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                • #9
                  Thanks so much. I plan on putting a 5ft wide Kuffle Creek Cubby on a Northern Tools trailer and this thread has given me a head start on my research.

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                  • #10
                    Richard - I noticed you are in Chapel Hill, NC. If you are interested in having a utility trailer built as a foundation for your teardrop I can recommend Modern Metalworx in Fuquay Varina, NC. I gave him specifications and he built a utility trailer which I used for my build. I was very happy with the quality of his work.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks. I will look into that. Was he expensive?

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                      • #12
                        It depends on what specifications you give him. He is certainly not an inexpensive option, but his quality of work is great.

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