Pieter Pretorius

Build your own off-road trailer

To attach the box to the trailer I used those heavy duty clips.

On the inside I welded in extra 5mm plates to attach the clips and since it is welded in the corners it also adds to the strength of the frame.

To assemble the trailer is rather easy and I can do it alone. From a goods trailer up to being transformed into a camping trailer takes me about 15 minutes if I do it alone.

I let the box stand up straight and then tilt the floor of the trailer.

I then lower the box onto the floor and tilt the floor back.

I then only have to move the box forward that little bit.

On the inside I have not done much yet. The idea is to use the trailer a couple of times and then build the rest as we go along.

For the front doors I built a frame which can take 8 ammo boxes. I used 50x5mm flat bar to build a little "door" to prevent the boxes from sliding out. In the middle of the rail I added a little piece of flat bar to prevent the boxes being pushed all the way to the other side. It is a normal frame built from 24mm square tubing legs and 25x25x2 mm square tubing.

You will note from the picture above that I added the Jerry can to the back of the trailer. Since most of the weight would be in the ammo boxes I decided to put the jerry can at the back for better balance. I use a loose 60l plastic water tank. I prefer the loose tank because then I can move it around in the trailer on order to balance the trailer better. The steel ammo box on the fender is my tool box. In this tool box goes all the things I do not use often but might need. Like extra bolts and nuts, insulation tape, extra light bulbs, electrical wire, bloudraad, an axe, cable ties, leather gloves, etc, etc.

The one side door is use for a working space. I will soon build a wooden box in the space behind this door for the cutlery. For now I just use it as it is. I have not yet attached fixed gas stove. I first have to test this idea and ask around. What bothers me is that sometimes the wind is not gas stove friendly. The one tends to move your stove to a better position where there is no wind. If I attach the stove to the table and the wind is a problem, I will have to move the whole trailer. It does not sound like a good idea at this stage.

You will also note that there is no fridge attached to the trailer. At the moment I put it in the vehicle. This is another thing to think about. Is it really worth the effort to put it in the trailer?


And that is my trailer story. I used no fancy tools I used a normal angle grinder (one bog and one small) a normal drill and drill press and an arc welder. The trailer took me about 10 days to complete and the canopy another 3 days. I spent (in 2006) a total of about R14,000.00 to come this far. This includes the axle, rims, tyres, ammo boxes, etc. It also includes consumables like grinder discs, welding rods, paint and the circular saw I needed to cut the holes for the lights. Oh ja, and it also includes the rubberizing.

Will I do it again? Considering that an empty shell Echo trailer now cost R36,000, YES. There is some things I would do differently next time, but at the moment I am more than happy with the trailer as it is.


And just to give you an idea, here it is in tipper and flatbed mode:


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