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Old 01-26-2013, 05:48 PM   #1
SikDMAX OP
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Building a Truck Bed Trailer

Well, I made a booboo a while back and dented up the side of my 08 Chevy Silverados truckbed. Yesterday I located a new bed for it and bought it - and now have an extra!

Id like to turn that truck bed into a trailer for hauling motorcycles, similar to the ole hack-off-the-back-of-the-truck style trailer, but a bit nicer.

I will utilize the original tail lights as, well, tail lights, as well as leave the bumper and tailgate on. 2 roll-in chocks will be installed in the bed along with LED white lighting. 110v, 12v and USB power ports in the bed. 4-6 foot tongue length from front wall of bed to hitch, decked with diamondplate or similar. Weatherguard toolbox chest installed on the decking closest to the bed which will house 2 Optima Red Top batteries along with a 110v inverter. In front of the toolbox will be a spot for 4 5 gallon "utility" jugs, capable of being locked in place.

Id like to install a set of airbags to help get the bed lower to the ground for loading/unloading. Not sure if I can utilize a helper-bag type setup or will need to get more custom here. If I run air I will also have a 12v compressor and holding tank in the front toolbox.

As far as the frame, I'm thinking 2x4 box tubing, double height on the tongue area and the necessary bracing. After the frame is done it will be powdercoated.

Im wanting to run 8 lug wheels, matching the Duramax, so Im not sure if a trailer specific axle with 8 lug outers is the best way, or if I should find a Silverado axle and leafs to run.


Sooo..... what am I forgetting, what tips can you offer, etc etc. Im going to start building this in a week or so, and Ill start a build thread here to document the progress. Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:48 PM   #2
Lonestar2112
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My initial thought is that you are going to spend a ton of $$ compared to buying a big tex trailer that is already low and has other characteristics that you want then you can farkle it.

Don't mean to rain on your parade. If you are not really caring about the costs then ignore what I said above.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:58 PM   #3
SikDMAX OP
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Hows that exactly? I don't see having more than about $500 into it. I have the bed, I have the wheels and tires, I have all lighting/electrical.

I basically need to buy raw material and weld it together, and purchase/attach an axle/leafs. Ill also need to purchase a hitch coupler to weld to the tongue, tongue jack, and 7 way electrical pigtail.

Powdercoating the frame would be a couple hundred dollar "extra" expense, along with an airbag system. Im thinking pulling all but 1 or 2 leafs and replacing the rest with an airbag. These will be used to haul at max 2 sportbikes, or 1 full dress motorcycle, so weight wont be huge.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
Lonestar2112
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I was figuring a buck + for the axle, I figured that it would cost you 4 - 5 for the materials to get the tube frame plus the welding time. The tires/wheels will be another buck. The electricals would run you close to a buck by time you add it all up.

The small big tex type trailers can be had for <$8.

It sounds like you have most of the goodies to do this. I look forward to seeing how this looks.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:04 AM   #5
muddywater
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A rear frame clip of a chevy truck would be a good start, everything would bolt up. Work out the tounge and axle.
You are basically building a trailer to mount your bed on.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
SikDMAX OP
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Originally Posted by muddywater View Post
A rear frame clip of a chevy truck would be a good start, everything would bolt up. Work out the tounge and axle.
You are basically building a trailer to mount your bed on.
True, but going to be a bit difficult to find a rear frame of a 2008+ 2500HD. Plus it would have just regular frame rails with holes in them, etc - trying to make this look cleaner than that.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
GP640
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I like the idea but I see a cuople of things that could use some thought.
All that stuff you want to carry up front is weight/ space that will have to be figured into tongue weight.
If you want to drop it on the ground for loading, you'll be needing a fairly complex link set up and real
bags,not overloads. Your leaf springs won't let you get where you want to go with the drop.

I wouldn't use a truck axle. Look around, I'm sure you could find an axle or spacers that will let you
use your wheels.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:47 PM   #8
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A long time ago, I was given a trailer made out of the back half of a 60's C10. It was very heavy, the bed was very high and tough to load. It didn't tow particularly well, either - but that could of been how the tongue was made. The double snowmobile trailer I use now is worlds better.

I agree with those (and you) if you want to do this, build your own lighter weight frame and use a trailer axle and springs. But unless you really need some sort of box (or even if you do), using the truck body just seems heavy and limiting (for instance, a double snowmobile trailer is 8x10 with a tilt bed and no GD wheelwells).

And in case you think this would just HAVE to look classy:

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Old 01-27-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
9Dave
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Northern Tool and eTrailer.com are both good sources of axles and pieces parts for trailer builds.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:29 AM   #10
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I think the other guys nailed it with the cost. I think even having the parts you do it's going to be more expensive than buying a used trailer. Putting full sized 265 truck tires is going to lift the trailer way higher than you want to go, esp if this is being built as a dedicated moto trailer.

I just bought a new Tundra and loaded into the bed last weekend. Crap those are high. My trailer is literally walk up the ramp hell my wife could do it.

If you are going for the "look" of a truck bed, although not sure why that would be desirable personally, I would buy a trailer axle, link it, and run air bags to drop the bed down to reasonable height. Of course thats a shitload of money and effort to get the desired result that a regular utility trailer has wich will probably pull nicer being lower CG etc.

I would really consider this if this is designed to be truly used and functional because I think the height reality is going to get old quick unless you play for a basketball team.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:24 AM   #11
Maggot12
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Devils advocate here..... Sell all the parts you have, including the truck box, and buy yourself an enclosed 6x10 cargo trailer. If you want it pretty, put aluminum wheels on it and paint the trailer to match your truck.

your welcome..
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:16 AM   #12
SikDMAX OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggot12 View Post
Devils advocate here..... Sell all the parts you have, including the truck box, and buy yourself an enclosed 6x10 cargo trailer. If you want it pretty, put aluminum wheels on it and paint the trailer to match your truck.

your welcome..

The box is slightly damaged. Not worth anything selling.

I wont do a build here then... too much negativity. Ill post completed pics when its done.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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Bought one of these when they were on sale for $550, and they're frequently on sale. Best money spent. Does everything, and love that ramp gate for easy loading. Light weight, tow with any car, and tracks beautifully. Lay down a sheet of plywood, and you're good to go.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/carry-o...pacity-1090202
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SikDMAX View Post
The box is slightly damaged. Not worth anything selling.

I wont do a build here then... too much negativity. Ill post completed pics when its done.
If you want to do a build, more power to you. But you won't save much money, and you won't have a trailer with much value when you're done.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SikDMAX View Post
I wont do a build here then... too much negativity. Ill post completed pics when its done.
Forget the naysayers. If you want to do it, do it. Who cares if it's not the most economical option. An off the shelf trailer won't be half as cool, so why does it matter if it's half the price?

Let us know how it goes.
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