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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:40 pm 
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I have a 32' (overall) gooseneck, enclosed, cargo trailer, and have recently thought about converting it to a bugout trailer. Mainly this would consist of reconfiguring the inside, but the thought of building a new, beefier trailer has crossed my mind.

If I could start from scratch, I'd include storage in between the grid of structural support members in the floor, accessible from either inside or outside, modular cabinets, cargo handling system in the floor, walls, and ceiling, solar panels on top (or flexible on RV style retractable awning), etc.

What features or equipment would you include in a trailer like that in order to be able to pick up and leave at any time, and be able to start from scratch on an empty piece of land at a BOL? I'm making several assumptions, including that I already own the land to which I'd be going.

Let the brainstorming begin! Throw out your wildest ideas. Who knows? Maybe there's a cheap, practical way to implement the big ones.

-SFB


Last edited by ShortFieldBreak on Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My Bugout Trailer
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:03 pm 
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With a 5th wheel trailer, I would look into getting pneumatic jacks installed to the front, so you can just press a button to lower the jacks to unhook the trailer fast. At the bottom of the jacks, have metal for it to slide on. I would also get some heavy duty D-Rings welded along the sides, near the front and back, and a winch front and back.

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 Post subject: Re: My Bugout Trailer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:14 am 
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I've been full-time RVing for a bit over a year now and one thing that comes to mind is having to use it for a less than end of the world scenario. For instance, imagine a localized disaster (hurricane, tornado, something like that--heck, or even a financial disaster that required you to live in it) that just requires you get out of dodge for a brief time. It may be nice to have the option to use it in an RV park since they'll have readily accessible sewer, water, power, internet, etc. A lot of RV parks, though, won't accept nontraditional RVs that don't look like a regular 5th wheel, travel trailer, etc. So I'd consider trying to make it look as "normal" as possible just to give that extra option of staying in a park if I had to.


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 Post subject: Re: My Bugout Trailer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:10 am 
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dukman wrote:
With a 5th wheel trailer, I would look into getting pneumatic jacks installed to the front, so you can just press a button to lower the jacks to unhook the trailer fast. At the bottom of the jacks, have metal for it to slide on. I would also get some heavy duty D-Rings welded along the sides, near the front and back, and a winch front and back.

I like the idea of powered jacks and the D-rings. How do you see the winches being placed and used at either end? I'm not sure I follow that one.

johndoe wrote:
It may be nice to have the option to use it in an RV park since they'll have readily accessible sewer, water, power, internet, etc. A lot of RV parks, though, won't accept nontraditional RVs that don't look like a regular 5th wheel, travel trailer, etc.

Excellent point. I've considered the possibility of living in it (hence driving it out to a barren piece of land and start over), but not about the appearance and where it may or may not be accepted. Is there a standard location for the electrical, water and sewer hookups (right side vs left side, etc)?

I sometimes ask silly questions like that, because even as I'm working on the trailer I have, I'm putting the "new" one together in sketchup.

Great ideas so far. Keep 'em coming.

-SFB


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 Post subject: Re: My Bugout Trailer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:29 pm 
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32 foot, gooseneck. Wow.

Going to stay on paved roads for the most part? No?
Then look at a spring over modification for the axles.

The mod will add several inches clearance.

Look at adding skid bats/plates to the rear and adding bumpers to the axel/spring set up to help with bottoming out.

Hard mount scissor jacks at each corner for leveling and stability.

Consider a 'rocker' for the truck.
I tow a 22 footer, with a 6 pax F350. It makes for some interesting turns now and again. The rocker hitch has made all the difference in hooking back up on uneven terrain.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: My Bugout Trailer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:02 pm 
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TacAir wrote:
32 foot, gooseneck. Wow.

Going to stay on paved roads for the most part? No?
Then look at a spring over modification for the axles.

The mod will add several inches clearance.

Look at adding skid bats/plates to the rear and adding bumpers to the axel/spring set up to help with bottoming out.

Hard mount scissor jacks at each corner for leveling and stability.

Consider a 'rocker' for the truck.
I tow a 22 footer, with a 6 pax F350. It makes for some interesting turns now and again. The rocker hitch has made all the difference in hooking back up on uneven terrain.

Good luck!

I like the idea of a suspension mod to improve clearance a bit. Also, I was thinking about making the bottom smooth in order to enclose some equipment "drawers" on either side, as well as protect some mounted, RV style water (potable, grey, black) tanks between the frame rails and crossmembers.

Since the wheels on the trailer are just aft of the middle of the box, I've thought about some way to help protect everything in case it bottoms out,...just not sure how to implement it.

As for a "rocker", I assume you're referring to a 5th wheel hitch? I like the gooseneck, because the side to side freedom is inherent in a gooseneck hitch. Dirt/gravel/uneven roads are why I want that freedom of movement. I do expect to be on paved roads for the majority of the journey, simply because I live in eastern VA, and my goal is to get as far away from the east coast as possible. Great ideas TacAir.

-SFB


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 Post subject: Re: My Bugout Trailer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:52 pm 
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ShortFieldBreak wrote:
. Is there a standard location for the electrical, water and sewer hookups (right side vs left side, etc)?


Generally all the connections will be on the left (driver) side on standard RVs though theoretically you could locate them anywhere with long enough hoses, cords, etc. I wouldn't want to put sewer on the right side, though, since you want a straight run to sewer generally. You could put a macerator pump in though, which is probably a good idea anyways. It really expands where you can pump your sewer out--it will let you pump it out over long distances (like into a toilet somewhere), uphill, wherever you want really. Come to think of it, I'd say it'd be real nice if you were bugging out since if you didn't have a normal sewer hookup you could at least pump somewhere far away from your trailer (though obviously there are environmental concerns.

The other thing is the size of your holding tanks. I'd get as big a grey tank and fresh water tank as you can fit. Black tanks can be a little smaller, but if it's possible I'd try to get at least a hundred gallon grey tank since that fills up fast with showers and such. And of course, the fresh water as big as possible for obvious reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: My Bugout Trailer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:18 pm 
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I think I remember seeing a similar build here : http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/forums/71-Expedition-Campers

Pics?


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 Post subject: Re: My Bugout Trailer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:47 pm 
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DarkandShiny wrote:
I think I remember seeing a similar build here : http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/forums/71-Expedition-Campers

Pics?

Can you provide a link to a particular thread? I spent about 30 minutes looking for one, but all I found was slide in camper stuff and "expedition" type trailers.

This is a picture of my truck and trailer hooked up. It's not pretty, but it could be. :)
Image

This is a pic of the E-track on the wall of the trailer, and a good view of the modular construction method of the shelving inside.
Image

Here is a good picture of the modular shelving along the left interior of the trailer,...the shelves on the left are the same, but the length modified due to the measurements of the door on the side (where I'm taking the picture from). There's tons of crap in there at the moment (including my table saw) because I'm using it for storage right now, but I'm in the process of getting rid of useless crap and outfitting it with the stuff I need.
Image

That being said, I envision removing some of the rearmost shelving being removed and raw material storage being constructed in its place.

What do you think? I think it has tons of potential.

-SFB


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:54 pm 
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I lived in a 5th wheel for a year and half when I went back to school a few years ago. I was real lucky and found one with a polar package. It was only a half inch of additional sheet insulation all around, but it made a huge difference. The metal frame on trailers makes for horrible thermal bridging and makes the minimal insulation in a trailer nearly useless. If you plan on living in this trailer. or just want to be capable of it, adding a little insulating to the interior may help a lot. Even half an inch does wonders if there's no thermal bridging.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 3:19 am 
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RoneKiln wrote:
I lived in a 5th wheel for a year and half when I went back to school a few years ago. I was real lucky and found one with a polar package. It was only a half inch of additional sheet insulation all around, but it made a huge difference. The metal frame on trailers makes for horrible thermal bridging and makes the minimal insulation in a trailer nearly useless. If you plan on living in this trailer. or just want to be capable of it, adding a little insulating to the interior may help a lot. Even half an inch does wonders if there's no thermal bridging.


Great point. The other thing they do with those packages is to fully insulate the floor/undercarriage. That makes a world of difference in the livability.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:05 pm 
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A hidden chest or trunk to keep the most valuable of items hidden is nice for peace of mind as well. Not sure how you would hide one with the current set-up you have. In my old one, I pulled the couch/hide-a-bed out and built a daybed with one under it. The front of the bed had shelves under it. The back was the trunk. The lid of the trunk had screw heads (with most of the threaded shaft removed so they didn't actually hold anything) put in so it looked like it was screwed down. It was locked with a small cheap sliding bolt you got to by reaching underneath and through the shelves. I kept my SKB rifle case in there. It wouldn't stop anyone with a crowbar and 5 minutes to wrench it apart, but it wasn't meant to. It just kept things hidden if meth heads did a smash and grab. Had over a dozen people crash on that bed when visiting and nobody ever voiced any suspicions that there was anything odd about it.

It just occured to me that I kept that daybed when I sold the trailer and I'm sitting on it right now. The hidden trunk is now stuffed with blankets and curtains.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Quote:
Can you provide a link to a particular thread?


I couldn't find it in the expedition portal forum either - maybe I was thinking of something else. I'll keep searching for it. Your project is full of potential, keep going!


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