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Camping/Micro Overland Trailer


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I was up on Exmoor at the weekend. For once it wasn't just me and the kids, SWMBOWF's shifts had coincided with us all being together. Now my wife doesn't pack light - never has, never will. We also took both dogs with us. The Disco is simply not big enough for all of us, the kit and too 20kg pooches. Even with a roof-box. Operation 'take the wife's car as well' was instigated. Not ideal

So over the weekend, whilst putting the world to rights with my wife's cousin, I decided to buy a small trailer and modify it to add the bulky heavy items.

I'm aware that in all reality chucking a trailer on the back of a vehicle compromises it's off road capability as well as it's on road capability. So I wanted small and light. I couldn't be a***d to build one form scratch (nor could I be bothered with IVA). I don't need to match tyres and wheels or vehicle widths. No point.

Reasonable ground clearance

narrow tyres

Long draw bar

Bradley hitch (with no brakes coupled up)

750kg max



Low CoG




I found an ex fumigation trailer on The Bay, not far from home. No one bid so I put in a cheeky offer and it was accepted.

It's 110cms wide, 90 cms long (without the draw bar) and 53cms high. A lockable box on 13" rims, with a nice galv frame and steadies.

The draw bar is too short so will have 1.0m welded in. All the timber will be replaced with marine ply and then sealed on every joint...

This will take the fridge, food boxes, cooker, water, incidentals and booze


Suggestions/comments appreciated

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Ply is ok provided you seal with epoxy resin every side and and edge, and use glass or polythene cloth on all the joins. Epoxy is not UV stable, so then you need to paint with good paint over that. Two pot is likely to be susceptible to stone damage (brittle), so a hard wearing acrylic enamel might do the job.

I used ply on the old trailer (1964) I inherited from the father in law. Ply is 10 years old, get used and abused almost every week, and the ply is still going strong.

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I was going to use Lloyds registered 12mm marine ply - with three layers of primer and three layers of gloss. It's cheap, easy to cut, proven and I can spare the weight

The trailer is rated to 750kgs. I weighed some stuff last night and I can't get over 200kgs, even with my toe on the scales. So if I run 150-175 on the trailer, I'm well under the sort of weight that reduces capability in the vehicle.

I will make up an Ali skid plate underneath though and look to strengthen the suspension units.

I'm looking at better quality bearings as well - but off the shelf

Mike's suggestion of the battery on board is a good idea. I have a spare photovoltaic panel that will trickle charge, and can run a feed from the vehicle via the unused fog light wire. I was thinking of fitting a telescopic pole on one corner and mounting an LED flood light. I've also got a tube 'basket' in the stores that would fit across the top for exterior storage

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Some pictures of ours for you perusal:



Water tank, pump and batterys under the canisters


I know ours is bigger but might give you some ideas a water tank up front is also a good idea as it helps load the draw bar to make it tow better. You don't need to go as far as a pump but a tap stuck out the side/front of the trailer would be useful. Ours is 30ltrs plenty for a long weekend.


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I was quite taken by yours at DaveFest

I think a 20litre water tank is workable - mainly because I have one

I was going to fix a Jerry Can holder to the drawbar and the spare wheel mount, so I can almost ballast the drawbar

I was also going to find some nice 1970's Chavesque Alloys with the same PCD - maybe SlotMags - to add some road going bling

A 12 volt PC cooling fan will be fitted to vent air to the outside so the convection fridge doesn't have to work to hard

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Dave - I wouldn't bother with a small solar panel, it will do less than nothing compared to 5 minutes charging from the vehicle. Rule of thumb (after exhaustive research) is ~10% of the solar panel's rating is what you'll actually get on average.

Our 3-way fridge is up for sale if it's of any interest.

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