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Off Road Trailers

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I fancy sticking an off-road trailer together for camping type trippy things.

After my Oz offroading trip, I miss the great outdoors... :(

Anyone got one, done this, used one, or got any relevant info at all?

Should I fabricate one and buy a roof-tent for on top, or just buy one?

How should I make it, what should I include?

Dimensions, weight, axles, suspension?

Cheers, Al.

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I use alot of off road trailers and have my own one awell.

Because I am skint, what with building a new house and all, I bought a second hand heavy duty trailer from the electricity board and am slowly doing it up.

1. Wheels are the same as those on my Defender so now I have lots of spares all round and when I finish using the tyres on the Defender I pass them down to the trailer so economic too.

2. The push/pull is a sprung self brakeing jobbie that operates drum brakes on the trailer. The hook/up is a heavy duty ball joint - there is discussion about the safety of ball joints off road as they can come unhitched (I have yet to have or see a ball joint come unhitched and I do some very serious off roading with my trailer) but on the other hand they do not thump the vehicle everytime there is some movement on the NATO hitch type of set up or similar.

3. I would like to have leaf or coil springs on the trailer with shocks too and one day will make the necessary mods - in the mean time I run extra heavy duty trailing arm type supension (don't know what you guys call them in english).

4. It is important that the trailer is dead level when hitched upto the tow vehicle.

5. I would very much like to have a hydraulic tow point that could rise/drop in order to improve approach and decent angles when negotiating obstacles but that will probably just remain a dream.

6. Loading the trailer is very important. Keep the trailer slightly front heavy so that the back never sits down falcruming the rear wheel of the tow vehicle up. Keep breakables at the front of the trailer as the back bounces around quite alot and some things just cannot travel in a trailer off road at all - vegies, fruit, eggs and or stacked plastic or carton packed stuff like milk cartons, yogurts etc...

7. Check and service tariler bearings often as they work loose/wear faster than standard vehicle bearings - must be all that bouncing.

8. When off roading in the dark I light the trailer up with a rear facing spot so that I can watch the trailer and see what is happening in real time.

9. Trailer lights are always giving up - again because of the bouncing and just to be on the safe side I carry a spare light bar so that I can always get home.

10. The wire conecting the trailer to the vehicle electrics should be a spiral type jobbie (like a house telephone ear piece wire ?). Another good thing to have is a conector that has plugs at both ends - the trailer has a female conector like the car end does and the conector cable has a male on each end - and I carry a spare cable with males at each end (this is so that if the cable gets caught or damaged on a obstacle damage is minimal and easily solved).

11. Last but not least - always lash everything down well and re-check often as lashings work loose and loads compact. Always check the trailer and load when you get to the highway.


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You can buy my Sankey Wide-Track (has tailgate) for £500.

Wheteher you choose to or not though, you can't really beat starting with a Sankey wide-track as a basis... it was purpose-designed as an off-road trailer, has NATO jaw so no problem towing at strange angles off road, has more than adequate ground clearance, is braked, is easily converted to 7-pin trailer socket wiring (mine already done), all the brakes, lights and everything else is road legal too. Plus it's built to withstand squaddies.. so is very tough.

Finding a wide track isn't easy though - they are rare, and finding a non-rusty one is even trickier. Hence mine at £500 - it's in perfect condition.

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