My trailer build thread.

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Jun 13, 2016
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This is my new trailer.

I never seem to have the time to order exactly what I want.... and lets face it, I just like tinkering with stuff so it would be no fun if it was perfect out of the box. so I am going to be doing some minor upgrades and stuff to the trailer. I don't have a lot of time, the Moab Bronco safari is the first weekend in May, and I am taking a week off early in April to take my oldest daughter to Disney World for her birthday. she has some developmental issues and has always been slow to develop so she is still childlike despite living in an adult womans body. anyway, that's what she wanted to do for her birthday so that's what we are doing. but that does put a bit of a time crunch on getting the trailer ready. I am also still working on getting the Bronco ready doing some minor fixes and things so I did like I always do and just shotgunned everything.
I never saw it in person, just pictures on the computer. here are some of them.



there is a lot you can tell from pictures, but a lot you can't.

so my old trailer was a 22 foot haulmark. my new trailer is a 20 foot Neo. it is 2 feet shorter inside, but about the same length outside because it has an extended tongue. it is also a lot lighter because it is all aluminum construction. even the frame. it looks like a pretty good quality trailer. I just picked it up today.


there was probably several people working at the dealership, but the only one we saw was some young kid, maybe 20 years old, he had only been working there 5 months. He was working hard, but pretty well swamped. so we had to wait a bit to be able to do the paperwork and take delivery. by that time I was in a hurry I wanted to get it home before dark and we had a 2 hour drive. so I very briefly looked it over, and it looked fine so we hooked it up and left. I asked about the lug nut torque and the kid assured me they just torqued them that morning since I was coming to take delivery so we drove off. I realized about 15 minutes down the road I had even forgotten to check to make sure the lights were working. so we stopped at truck stop and checked out the running lights. they all worked fine so we brought it on home.

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once I got it home I was loading some boxes from the house and tried to turn the lights on in the trailer, crap they don't work. so after fuming a bit I had already planned on doing some work on it so I backed it into my shop. when I built the shop I did it expecting that I might want to put my trailer in there to work on it, so I put 10 foot doors on it. its a tight fit, but I got it in there.





I have enough room to open the ramp and everything, but it is tight.
so then I tried the interior lights again, no go. then I read the owners manual, no information at all. so I did what I always do, rant and rave and complain about it for a bit, then start trying to figure out what the problem is. I did some google fu research and discovered that sometimes in newer vehicles they are not set up to run interior lights on trailers from the factory. so I took a spare battery and my powerprobe and figure out that the lights on the trailer work if the accessory hot wire is powered.



so I got them working with the spare battery and just jerry rigging the wiring. this is good, because the interior of the trailer has 4 4 foot LED lights that actually light the place up pretty well, and I have a plan to use the winch battery to power them when the truck is not hooked up. more on that to follow, but I proved to myself that the trailer lights work and I can power them without the truck being attached so now all I have to do is figure out why the truck wiring isn't working properly. that is going to have to wait for now. in the mean time, I have a bunch of stuff I have to figure out how I am going to fit in the trailer.

so to list off some of things on my initial build plan

1. coat the floor with garage floor epoxy. in my old trailer I never did anything with the floor, and cars of course leak fluids. especially old cars, and it seems, especially old fords and jeeps. so my old floor had an ugly stain in the middle of it. I looked into several options, vinyl floor mat, vinyl tiles, bedliner, and the rustoleum rock solid garage floor epoxy. I decided on the epoxy because I liked the way it looked, it will be easy to sweep out, it will hide a lot of minor stains and blemishes, and it was relatively cheap. that is going to be my first priority.

2. in my old trailer I used it as a temporary garage when we first moved here, so I wanted electricity inside it to plug in my battery tender. so I added a poor mans shore power system. basically I bought a 30 amp shore power recepticle.

I cut an extension cord so I had about a foot long piece with the female end, and the rest with the male end. i hooked it up so I had basically a pass through extension cord, and it worked fine for the last 13 years, but when i went to sell it I was a bit embarresed to have to explain what I did, so this time I plan to do it right. I bought the same shore power kit, but I bought a 30 amp breaker box, and I will be installing a proper system with gfci protected outlets.

3. once the breaker box is located and wired I will mount the winch. I am still working on how I want to do that, but I have a winch mount plate that I will be through bolting through the floor and frame. it will be secure and strong, but the exact details I will work out as I go.

4. I intend to mount the battery in that tongue mounted box and I have a solor powered battery tender which will be permanently installed to the top of the box and the battery. the wiring for the battery tender is universal and it has a disconnect so when 110 power is available and solar is not I can hook up the 110 battery tender to it to keep it charged. I also have a quick disconnect with quick disconnect jumper cables that I can hook to the truck battery in cases where the battery is dead and I need to winch something.

5. I am going to put a 7 pin receptacle in the tongue box and wire it to the winch battery so when the truck is disconnected from the trailer I can plug the trailer 7 pin connector back into the tongue box and power the inside lights. that will have the added benefit of keeping the wiring prongs from getting dirt and crap in them.

6. then I want to build a semipermanent work bench into the front of the trailer. I have that old pickup toolbox that I had in my old trailer that I want to use for storage and I have a few other ideas. we will have to see how those work out.

7. I bought a bunch of etrack racks and such that I will install.

8. new polished aluminum wheels. I don't care for those grey steelies much.

and a few other miscellaneous doodads. A long list and I may not get everything done in time for MOAB but we will see what I can accomplish. unfortunately my floor epoxy won't get here till tuesday so this weekend I will be mostly working on the Bronco.
I'd like to know what you think of tge epoxy when done. I have a 20 foot enclosed trailer and it has carpet that I'm debating tearing out.
I'd like to know what you think of tge epoxy when done. I have a 20 foot enclosed trailer and it has carpet that I'm debating tearing out.
I picked up a used 12' cargo trailer I'm going to turn into a trailer for my 4 wheeler and hunting stuff, following.
ok, well since it seems at least the regulars are interested in what I have in mind and have decided to allow it, I will try to document it well.

the epoxy floor coating won't be here till tuesday, walmart didn't have it even though the website said they did, so I put a bunch more pesos into Amazons pockets.

since I couldn't do that I decided to do some work on the electrical system. I am going to be mounting the winch as soon as the floor is done, and build everything else around that. so I needed to figure out how I was going to power the winch. I had several choices. most of the people I have seen put the battery inside the trailer and vent it outside and hook up some kind of charger to the outside. I thought about that, but decided I would instead put the battery in the tongue box I already had it because I was going to put it on my old trailer. and this will make replacing the battery when necessary much easier, it will also make it easier to hook up my quick disconnect jumper cables when necessary. the first order of business is to mount the box. this new trailer is all aluminum construction. the frame is boxed aluminum so my options were to use self tapping screws, drill a hole all the way through the frame and run a long bolt through the frame, use rivnuts. but Instead I found a couple of ubolts that were left over when I did the lift on the jeep. I upgraded to heavier u bolts and saddles so these have just been hanging in my jack closet.

I made a couple backing plates out of strap steel and powdercoated them. then I bolted the box to the trailer. that thing is going nowhere. I may put a couple self tapping screws in on each side just to keep it from twisting, but honestly that thing is not moving. then I screwed the battery box mounting strap in place, put the box in there, and stuck an old battery that I have been meaning to recycle in there for testing purposes



obviously I don't have the top on the box yet, I am not done wiring, and this battery is not staying there.

then I drilled a hole in the side of the tool box and mounted my wiring plug in.

I hooked a battery tender up to the battery just using aligator clips for now, when my military terminals get here I will use the permanent mount which I can switch between the 110 charger and the solar panel by just unplugging the cables.


and I have 12 volt lights set up in the trailer without the truck hitched.


once I get ready to wire it permanently I will probably depin the terminal and run the wires in powerbraid.

now I just need to figure out where to mount the solar panel. I have 2 options and I am undecided which way to go.

I originally planned to mount it to the top of the tool box, but it is a little too big to mount there, so I would need to either use some little brackets to bolt to, or screw it to the front of the trailer. I don't really like the idea of screwing holes in the front of the trailer, but that would be the easiest option, and it would have the benefit that snow would not cover it up in the winter.

anyway. thats about all I got done on the trailer today, I did get over to omaha and did some shopping at home depot for some things I will be using later.
I don't know if youve thought about it, but install an electric jack on the trailer tongue instead of that hand crank.
So why do people vent the battery to the outside? My enclosed trailer has a battery inside in a plastic battery box, been that way since before I bought it. My trailer was owned by a race team before I bought it so it is already wired for power and has 12v and 110 fluorescent lighting. A little outdated but has most the stuff you are doing to yours. Was just curious about tge battery as I have not had any issues with mine.
How about scissor lift jacks mounted upside down on the back end for loading without being on the hitch?
it actually came with these drop down stabilizers already installed. which is nice, on my old trailer I had a set of jack stands I always carried with me.

So why do people vent the battery to the outside? My enclosed trailer has a battery inside in a plastic battery box, been that way since before I bought it. My trailer was owned by a race team before I bought it so it is already wired for power and has 12v and 110 fluorescent lighting. A little outdated but has most the stuff you are doing to yours. Was just curious about tge battery as I have not had any issues with mine.

they said something about outgassing of the battery I can't see that it is necessary, the main reason mine is going to be in the tongue box is because I don't want to have to struggle to get it out of the cabinet I intend to build in the front of the trailer. who knows if I'll ever get it done the way I see it in my mind, but since I don't use the trailer that often I will probably have to change the battery every so often. if my battery tender Idea works right maybe not, but I think this way will work well for me, and be easy maintenance to boot.


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I like the idea of the battery on the tongue to get it out of the way. Now days batteries are sealed so I'm not sure if it even matters. My Battery was in there when I bought it in 2016. Who knows how old it is. I rarely plug mine in to charge it and haven't had to replace it. It's completely died a few times too. Mine runs interior rv type lights and two flood lights on the outside. My tender is plugged in inside the trailer and only charges when plugged in.
I've got one on my camper and LOVE it.
I bought one for a flatbed I'm building, I should get one for the enclosed. I love the one on my travel trailer but in always scared it's gonna fail when I need it most.
I don't know much about this kind of thing. what I am doing just makes sense to me. I certainly don't know if its the best way to do things. its just my way, like everything else I do lol. anyway I finished up the 12 volt system tonight and started on the shorepower

I mounted a solar powered battery tender to the top of the box using rubberized washers and ran the cord in the back with a grommet. I need to fill the hole with sealer tomorrow. then I attached the permanent mounts for the battery tender, and the wires from the 7 pin plug to some military battery terminals. the nice thing about this setup besides not having to splice any wires is it will keep the trailer plug from getting any dirt or crap in it when it is parked.


I can also unplug the solar battery tender and plug in a 110 right into the same permanent connection when 110 is available.

so with the battery mounted, and the 12 volt system sorted and wired I tackled the shore power connection next. I mostly will be using this to plug a battery tender in to maintain a vehicle that I store in the trailer for long term. but I decided to do it right so i can expand if needed. so first I selected my spot and mounted the plug in.


then inside I ran the romex into a square D 2 breaker box.


that is all I got done this weekend. I am ready to run the wiring to the work bench once it is built, but next I need to figure out the winch mounting, and pull the d rings so I can epoxy the floor.
In the front of my trailer there is a husky tool box, probably 4-5 feet wide with the wood top. They took the wheels off and mounted it to the floor. I like and dislike it.
Mainly mine has a slight V nose so I lose some space. That and I didn't get the keys so sometimes the drawers open while driving. If it were pushed as far forward as possible I'd probably like everything about it. It would be nice if I made a new top that would cover into that V so stuff wouldn't fall behind it.

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