Pickup to Utility Trailer Conversion info wanted.

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  #1  
Old 02-06-06, 01:53 PM
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Pickup to Utility Trailer Conversion info wanted.

Anyone have info or links on how best to turn a small pickup into a utility trailer?

Thanks --M
 
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Old 02-06-06, 03:07 PM
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it takes someone with really good welding skills as well as some parts and I'm guessing some place to get rid of the other half of the pick up truck.
why not just buy a utility trailer ? they're cheap ( about $700 for a 3500 # single axle or cheaper if bought used ) and most important they're street legal, not too sure about converted trucks bed.
 
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Old 02-06-06, 03:51 PM
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Pick-up truck box trailers are inherently dangerous due to the fact that the axle is positioned smack dab in the middle of the box.
Add this to the fact that the weight of the tailgate and bumper if left on make the whole thing rear heavy.
Folks that use a short lightweight tongue and hitch wind up with a trailer which has a dangerous center of gravity that can cause whipping.
There is a way to minimize the effect of bad axle placement and that is to have a longer than normal tongue and be very carefull in distributing your load.

I'll second the suggestion to try to get a conventional trailer.
I have found several rough looking trailers that only needed a little TLC to make look like new.
 
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Old 02-07-06, 08:07 AM
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Huh. Gee - Everyone around this area seems to have one. I've never heard complaints before. I've looked at a lot of commerical trailers here and I'm not seeing the axle much further to the rear than the middle on most of them.

Anyhow, I've already got the donor Ford Ranger - figured ripping off the front fenders and probably the cab would be easy. Cut the cross members off, heat the frame and bend to a triangle or attach some other such tongue arrangement. Didn't figure it to be much for a DIY'er, just thought I'd investigate the pitfalls first but perhaps I'll reconsider.
 
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Old 02-07-06, 08:22 AM
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Not to question your welding ability but, if you build it and something breaks and causes an accident, your insurance probably won't pay. Good luck.
 
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Old 02-07-06, 04:23 PM
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mordecai,

The reason you do not hear many complaints is that the owners likely do not know any better.
A trip to the lumber yard for a sheet of plywood will not likely get one in trouble but the loads of dirt or twenty-five sheets of drywall I see being carried in these things are an accident waiting to happen.

Although this is a generalization, a distance relationship of 60/40 is an axle position that often works well in utility trailers.
If you have a ten foot trailer as an example, a good position for the axle would be 6 feet from the front.
For a single or tandem axle trailer you should have somewhere around 10% to 15% of the loaded trailer weight on the hitch.
With the axle in the middle it is hard to load the trailer to achieve this balance.
Another thing you have to watch is that you carefully maintain the axle seals on the differential.
With the trailer sitting idle for a good part of the year the seals could dry out sooner that if the truck were driven regularly.
You cannot afford to loose any gear oil.
 
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