Old Aerotow Trailer

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Wolfy

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I have an old Aerotow Trailer that my parents bought for camping when I was a kid. I inherited it when they didn't want it. Been using it for camping with the family this summer. It's super handy to have, and has seen a lot of dirt road miles. One spot we used to camp along the Kern River had some 4x4 sections and my dad ripped off one of the fenders once...



Mods so far: Receiver hitch for the bike rack. Though I am going to rebuild this. I have a better design in mind.

Future mods:

3500# axle with 6 x 5.5 hubs
2000# leaf springs with shackles
Fenders:
Running board step: for mounting jerry cans
Lit rack for more bikes
Replace front compartment with rack for water can, fuel can, fire wood and battery
Solar panel
Paint or Vinyl wrap. Probably vinyl wrap as I think it'll be easier to do
Bed liner: inside and underneath
265/75r16 tires that match the ones on my 4runner

Here's a video walk around:


What do you think? What else does it need?

I'm not going to start the build until it gets cold. I don't want to take it down for camping season...

-M
 

VCeXpedition

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Pretty brilliant really. I've seen trailers this size and been tempted but shy away because they look a little fragile, but if you've dragged it around and it's all in one piece, well-done.
I'm not sure I get the reason for a 3500# axle but I get the direction for sure, just more capacity. Just seems like too much weight for the payoff.
I really like bedliner, I did a whole car in it once!
Let us know when it turns into a full project, I'm interested to see the results.
 

Wolfy

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Pretty brilliant really. I've seen trailers this size and been tempted but shy away because they look a little fragile, but if you've dragged it around and it's all in one piece, well-done.
I'm not sure I get the reason for a 3500# axle but I get the direction for sure, just more capacity. Just seems like too much weight for the payoff.
I really like bedliner, I did a whole car in it once!
Let us know when it turns into a full project, I'm interested to see the results.
Actually, the need for the 3500# axle stems from wanting to use 6x5.5 wheels without a spacer or adaptor. I've found that you can't get that with the lighter axle. I don't intent to haul more than 200# with it at most.
 

Jose

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May have found a good source for axle, hubs and springs.

http://abctrailerparts.com/axles.html

Looks like I can get axle, hubs, brakes, and springs for $219. That's a pretty good deal! I can probably remove one leaf from the pack to de-rate them a bit.

-M
That is a good find Wolfy, thanks for posting it up. I just saved it to my favorites for my OffRoad trailer build.
 

VCeXpedition

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Have you considered if a Timbren axle would work in this situation? I don't know what the under side of the trailer looks like, but it seems ripe for an axle-less style suspension.
 
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expeditionnorth

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nice little trailer, I'd keep it as original as possible but thats just me & keep it
LED lighting in the 2 compartments would be sweet
fabricate that awning if its of interest to you
a lock & roll hitch of you're really do off roading more than highway
 

Wolfy

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Have you considered if a Timbren axle would work in this situation? I don't know what the under side of the trailer looks like, but it seems ripe for an axle-less style suspension.
I have looked into Timbren and torsion. Timbren is too spendy for now and Torsion won't let me run a 6 lug on a 2000# without spacers. I figure leafs are good enough and bomb proof.

I don't thing independent suspension on a trailer is all that important anyway. With only three point of contact, the trailer is always going to seek level. Unlike a truck with 4 contacts and needs good articulation to keep them all on the ground.

Damping would potentially be good though. So maybe shocks. I'll probably need coil-overs and piggybacks... :sunglasses:
 
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VCeXpedition

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Just watched the video. I see your challenge. That seems like a good size for your family and the heritage is awesome. Were it me, I'm not sure I'd go that big on the tire, just seems overkill, and usually I'm Mr. Overkill.
 

Wolfy

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Just watched the video. I see your challenge. That seems like a good size for your family and the heritage is awesome. Were it me, I'm not sure I'd go that big on the tire, just seems overkill, and usually I'm Mr. Overkill.
Yeah, the tiny tires are too tiny for proper overlanding trips, and I have a second set of 4Runner wheels/tires. So I don't have to buy them. Plus it'll look totally bad ass. And I'm sure the only thing that you can't argue about on an internet forum is that bigger tires = more bad ass.

-M
 
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VCeXpedition

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Those are very cool, I do like the 4-link, airbag & shocks suspension, that's my kind of overkill, but it has to be crazy expensive. You're not an RTT kind of guy? I'm with you, couldn't talk the wife into that.
 

Wolfy

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Yeah, the roof top tent thing doesn't make sense to me. So heavy, so expensive, so on-top-of-the-car. If I was doing an extended overland trip at low speeds spending the night some place different every day, maybe. But even then I think I'd opt for a ground tent for the privacy and the ability to walk away from the cars and sleep someplace less on-top-of-the-car.

I'm thinking of doing a video: 10 Reasons We aren't getting a Roof Top Tent. Not sure I could keep it down to ten.

Expensive
Small
Ladder
Foam mattress
Wind noise
Wind
Fuel efficiency
Installation (I don't have to install my ground tent when I go camping)
Only good for Overlanding, not camping
I like setting up my tent
I like sleeping on the ground
I like standing up inside my tent

OK, nobody cares... Should do well on YouTube.

-M
 

VCeXpedition

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Haha, how about top-ten reasons? I could add midnight potty trips, and challenging for physically challenged kid, but that last ones getting pretty specific about the ladder thing. How about... too many choices, made in China. Too trendy. Yeah I'm sitting here adding to your list as if I had to talk myself out of one, but I've never seriously considered it for most of these reasons.
I'd watch that video! Kind of a counter-argument to Andrew St. Pierre-whites video about why they're a good choice.
 

Wolfy

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Haha, how about top-ten reasons? I could add midnight potty trips, and challenging for physically challenged kid, but that last ones getting pretty specific about the ladder thing. How about... too many choices, made in China. Too trendy. Yeah I'm sitting here adding to your list as if I had to talk myself out of one, but I've never seriously considered it for most of these reasons.
I'd watch that video! Kind of a counter-argument to Andrew St. Pierre-whites video about why they're a good choice.
Yeah, I don't want to get too negative with my videos, but that would probably generate some conversation. We'll see...

The only thing an RTT has over a ground tent is quick setup. And that's only if you don't use one of the extra enclosures. And since setting up our tent is a kind of meditation for me, that's not really a pro.

-M
 

Mike G

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Cool Trailer! You should keep the trailer as is and pass it down to your son. That way you can make/buy the Trailer you want.
 

VCeXpedition

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Hmmm, properly installed, that's a good solution. Don't know what the back of your trailer looks like, is it sturdy enough to hold the weight? I know it doesn't seem like bikes weigh much but in a dynamic situation, they can create a lot of downforce on a bumpy road.
Good on you for checking too. It must've been sitting in the back of your mind?
 

Wolfy

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Hmmm, properly installed, that's a good solution. Don't know what the back of your trailer looks like, is it sturdy enough to hold the weight? I know it doesn't seem like bikes weigh much but in a dynamic situation, they can create a lot of downforce on a bumpy road.
Good on you for checking too. It must've been sitting in the back of your mind?
The current hitch is one of those clamp on receivers for the rear bumper of an RV or travel trailer. It was my idea, and i paid a guy to install it and he did not make it strong enough. I tried to reinforce it, but it ended up not being enough.

Here is the underside if the trailer:



Its totally strong enough. Or will be when i grind all that off and install this:



It will connect to 4 frame rails. Should be more than enough. Only issue will be balancing the load.

-M
 
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