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Old 10-10-2018, 06:25 PM   #1
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Exclamation 1980 hi lo trailer/axle tire question/

Okay so I have ended up tearing my 1980 all the way apart it ended up having more water damage then i realized when i seen the floor under it rotten with water anyhow now i have a bare frame I am in the middle of sanding the whole thing down and painting the frame to hopefully keep it from rusting for years to come.
I have a few ideas in mind of what i will be doing with it. As i want to be able to stick my Radio control planes and gear in it and go to the flying field.


#1. get a full sized van body and stick on the frame just weld it to it. hook up the lights on the van for the lights for the trailer.

We all know a full size van can hold lot of stuff. no seats in it it would hold even more.



#2 Get a Blazer body and do the same with it. I have a blazer so be kinda neat i think to have a matching trailer the same.


#3Get a full size pick up bed. and stick the bed on the frame, find a camper shell to go on the bed and just use that.


#4 Just build new flooring, and build a 2 foot tall box pretty much that the top would open to get planes in and out of. if i go this route the box with me 6 ft wide by 8ft long. I know my planes can sit inside that area assembled w/o any issues. I just do not want it to leak and still not sure on what to use on the sides and top to make it 100% waterproof.

My question for you guys is does anyone know if i really need both axles and all 4 tires or would it be okay to remove one axle?

my tires on it are ST175/80D13 #3 or 4 most likely cause i cant find a cheap non running van body if i do either #3 oor #4 i for sure want to chop it down. it doesn't need to be 20 foot long.. I plan to cut it right behind the rear tires but kinda be nice to get rid of the one axle or thought about cutting off the step and moving the rear axle to in front of the other one to make it shorter.
I do have it up for sale be nice someone just to buy it as it is and i will buy a small 4x6 enclosed trailer.

if anyone has any input it be great.
she is all naked now..
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:36 PM   #2
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Keep the dual axles if you don't you will have problems with weight plus it will tow better
You can always shorten the length of the trailer but move the axles will help with your design but you always keep 10 to 15 % of the total weight of the trailer at the front so you don't have the trailer swaying going down the road
Keep the electric brakes it will be safer to tow
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by campthewestcoast View Post
Keep the dual axles if you don't you will have problems with weight plus it will tow better
You can always shorten the length of the trailer but move the axles will help with your design but you always keep 10 to 15 % of the total weight of the trailer at the front so you don't have the trailer swaying going down the road
Keep the electric brakes it will be safer to tow
10 to 15%? never heard that so cutting off the extra 5 foot of frame behind where i want to build my box would help correct then the front would be heavier correct? cause right now the front of the trailer wants to tilt backwards i think im going to figure out a way to fasten the spare tire to the front also cause on the back bumper it was making it even more heavy back there.
the trailer brake wires are all totally gone. where having bad weather right now but when its over i plan to jack it up put on jack stands and take all 4 tires/wheels off and check out the brake drums and all and replace the bearings. to see what all that looks like..
at the moment my truck doesn't have a trailer brake in it. I would have to get one of those too.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:37 PM   #4
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The two axles double the carrying capacity of one single axle.
Unless the trailer will weight 4,000 lbs like the old one you can remove an axle.
Remove the rear axle. Doing so will not stress the frame by making it a longer span from hitch to the axle.
The weight concern is now what the two remaining tires can carry. I think trailer has 2,500 lb axles, so that is the Gross weight you can load onto them. My 1997 trailer had two 2,200 lb axles, so check the sticker if you can find it off the old body.
I vote #4. Build what you need. A vehicle body is silly, heavy and be a lot of trouble for nothing.
Keep the height lower or equal to the tow vehicle height and you will see great mileage for a trailer.
Why not make it more aero while you are at it? The front roof can be a little higher and then gently slope via curve towards the rear. I would enclose the batt box area with a curve (never a v-nose).
I had a small utility trailer I built up from a trailer frame. I made short sides, about 3 feet or less, and the whole roof was on lifts and hinged up. I had access from the top, and also had a rear door that hinged up also. I could get to the inside from the top and the walls were about arm pit height from the ground - this was a little high, so unless u need that height make it shorter for easier access. I always had to stand on the fender to get down into it.
Get a strong fender or some sort of side step.
While 2,000 miles from home I picked up a heavy thing a friend bought off ebay and hauled it home in my packed trailer. The axle broke, I drug it 11 miles not knowing, then abandon it on the side of the road. Too far from a u-haul or anywhere with parts to make it worth getting home. wish I still had it.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:06 PM   #5
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The two axles double the carrying capacity of one single axle.
Unless the trailer will weight 4,000 lbs like the old one you can remove an axle.
Remove the rear axle. Doing so will not stress the frame by making it a longer span from hitch to the axle.
The weight concern is now what the two remaining tires can carry. I think trailer has 2,500 lb axles, so that is the Gross weight you can load onto them. My 1997 trailer had two 2,200 lb axles, so check the sticker if you can find it off the old body.
I vote #4. Build what you need. A vehicle body is silly, heavy and be a lot of trouble for nothing.
Keep the height lower or equal to the tow vehicle height and you will see great mileage for a trailer.
Why not make it more aero while you are at it? The front roof can be a little higher and then gently slope via curve towards the rear. I would enclose the batt box area with a curve (never a v-nose).
I had a small utility trailer I built up from a trailer frame. I made short sides, about 3 feet or less, and the whole roof was on lifts and hinged up. I had access from the top, and also had a rear door that hinged up also. I could get to the inside from the top and the walls were about arm pit height from the ground - this was a little high, so unless u need that height make it shorter for easier access. I always had to stand on the fender to get down into it.
Get a strong fender or some sort of side step.
While 2,000 miles from home I picked up a heavy thing a friend bought off ebay and hauled it home in my packed trailer. The axle broke, I drug it 11 miles not knowing, then abandon it on the side of the road. Too far from a u-haul or anywhere with parts to make it worth getting home. wish I still had it.

Thank you so much for your Post, I kinda figured it would be fine w/o the rear Axle in it for what I want to do.. I am on hold right now on my project got other projects going on. did get it all sanded and some paint on it to keep the rust away for now.. If i do my project i will end up chopping off 5 foot of the rear of it Be cutting it right behind the rear wheels ( there is a frame joint at that point runs all way across. )
I kinda planed to do what your talking about 2 foot sides and i had a few ideas i really wanted a top that would flip open but at 4x8 lid it going to be heavy still thinking about ideas to make a lighter top. plus i really want/need it to be water proof.. My other idea was to frame out the walls and all in 2X4 and just fasten a long bed truck camper shell to the top then make the rear open like a tail gate but being 8 foot deep its going to be hard to get things out that are all way in front so not sure if a added door on the side be needed and if i do that how would i keep it water tight.

Not sure if there is a way to figure out weight of wood and a camper top.. but i don't think it be 2500 pounds. the items going inside wont even weigh what one piece of plywood does. was going to use all pressure treated lumber so lil more weight.
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Old 10-18-2018, 06:36 PM   #6
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If you could weld steel that would make the build way easier.
I used steel angle iron for the box frame and sheeted it with sheet metal and used rivets to hold the sheets in.
Consider using aluminum sheets for the roof.
For strength get some of that pink (or purple) foam board from the hardware store and glue a panel together. Outer is the sheet metal (or fiberglass, or plastic) and inner can be very think plywood. The Liquid Nails will glue the panels and not dissolve it like in the old days. Or use Glidden Gripper paint as an adhesive, apply thick.
You can also make a shallow A-frame shape to the roof to roll water off.
If roof opens to the side then easier to design. The hydraulic lifts (like in hatchback doors) are plenty strong as you buy the spring strength you need.
Sounds like your build will be very light, so no need to worry about being too heavy.
Best wishes
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