Convert 16' Box Truck to Trailer?


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Old 12-26-13, 07:54 PM
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Convert 16' Box Truck to Trailer?

I was offered a 16' Isuzu box truck. (1994) I'd like to pull the engine for a 40KW generator, cut the cab off, and turn the box part into a box trailer to tow with my pickup truck. (F-250) How hard do you guys think it would be, if at all possible. I have access to a plasma cutter and a large MIG welder that will handle cutting and welding no problem. The trailer will be used to transport my sound system, portable generators, deep fryer and griddle, etc.
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:09 PM
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Probably do-able but the frame is pretty heavy to work with.
With a frame of that weight it would seem that load balance is going to be tricky.


Deep fryer and griddle..... love it
 
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Old 12-26-13, 08:39 PM
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Most vehicle frames are made with heat-treated steel and welding on them (or even drilling a hole) is expressly prohibited. I wouldn't attempt to make this a trailer.
 
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Old 12-27-13, 03:31 AM
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That much weight, imbalanced as it will be, a Ford F250 may tuck its tail. You may need to graduate to a real truck, like a Dodge 3500 with a Cummins diesel. Mine will pull buildings down and not whimper. It will be a towing challenge, even if you could build it balanced.

Are you considering a 5th wheel or at least a gooseneck hook up?? I don't think a regular hitch will take the punishment.
 
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Old 12-27-13, 04:00 AM
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vehicle frames are made with heat-treated steel and welding on them (or even drilling a hole) is expressly prohibited
I've always heards this but I've cut, welded or otherwise modified a 1/2 dozen or so frames over the years with no apparent problems. I do agree it would be a challenge to tow if you do convert it to a trailer.
 
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Old 12-27-13, 04:54 AM
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Trailer

Would it not be easier to mount the cargo box on a 16 ft. utility trailer?
 
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Old 12-27-13, 03:17 PM
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That much weight, imbalanced as it will be, a Ford F250 may tuck its tail. You may need to graduate to a real truck, like a Dodge 3500 with a Cummins diesel. Mine will pull buildings down and not whimper. It will be a towing challenge, even if you could build it balanced.
One day, One day. It's a little out of budget. Of course, I do accept donations.

Are you considering a 5th wheel or at least a gooseneck hook up?? I don't think a regular hitch will take the punishment.
I'm not quite sure how that would work with a ladder rack...

Would it not be easier to mount the cargo box on a 16 ft. utility trailer?
If it comes to that, it's going to make a nice shed for a few years, as a 16' trailer is out of my incredibly low budget. Honestly, I'm not sure how long it's going to take me to get the 1,846 plus shipping for the generator head. (which is at higher priority than the trailer)
 
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Old 12-27-13, 03:58 PM
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Thinking outside the box here (pun intended) What about cutting off the box and making it a self propelled flatbed and skip the trailer? Perhaps there is a way to install the geny head on the flatbed and use the motor to power it while keeping it on the truck. I see lots of trucks that use the motor sitting there to run shredders and things like that.
 
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Old 12-27-13, 04:10 PM
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Not sure if Tolyn was thinking this or not, but rig up a PTO on the unit and the motor can serve both purposes, driving it around and powering the genny.
 
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Old 12-28-13, 02:13 PM
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Thinking outside the box here (pun intended) What about cutting off the box and making it a self propelled flatbed and skip the trailer? Perhaps there is a way to install the geny head on the flatbed and use the motor to power it while keeping it on the truck. I see lots of trucks that use the motor sitting there to run shredders and things like that.
Now that is a good idea.
 
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Old 12-28-13, 02:49 PM
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Not sure if Tolyn was thinking this or not, but rig up a PTO on the unit and the motor can serve both purposes, driving it around and powering the genny.
That is what I was thinking, but I have no idea how it would be done. Not my forte'.
 
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Old 12-30-13, 02:09 AM
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The axles are normally mounted dead center of a pick-up box which as said would make it difficult to load and would not handle safely.
The normal axle placement is 60/40, being 60% of the total trailer length towards the back of the trailer.
This would give you 10 - 15% of the load weight applied to the hitch.

If not built to allow for this tongue weight the trailer would be prone to whipping and excess upward forces to the coupler.

My suggestion would be to look for a used trailer that is built to the right proportions but just needs a little TLC to make it roadworthy.

Be safe.
 
 

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