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Old 01-28-2015, 02:55 AM   #1
Davi5678 OP
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Using an old van body on a trailer?

I'm torn between all the awesome van builds in shiny things and the toy haulers and trailers. Could you split the difference?
(mods please feel free to merge this into an appropriate thread, I couldn't pick one?)

How feasible would it be to get an old transit or sprinter wreck, cut out the front cabin and engine, and use the remaining body as a box and mount it on a car trailer as a chassis?

Enclosed trailers of a comparable size cost over $10,000 new($AU), finding a half decent body for around a $1,000 should be achievable, a car trailer can be built for around $3,000. The benefits would be the functional doors and windows, roof racks, etc,

Challenges off the top of my head would include getting the tow ball weight right and having to modify the bodywork to accommodate a double wheel arch closer to the middle of the body, mating the cut away cabin space up to some sort of alloy toolbox on the front of the trailer / A frame.

As a rough idea, something like this -


Any trailer builders or mechanics got some pearls of wisdom?

Davi5678 screwed with this post 01-28-2015 at 03:01 AM Reason: add image
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:07 AM   #2
trailer Rails
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Take lots of pics and keep us posted. Looks like that could be a fun build.

In the US, enclosed trailers are cheap and it is not really worth the trouble. For a trailer that size would cost about $2000-2500 new.

Auto recyclers are plentiful here also, even a wrecked van would fetch more than that $1000. You would have to start with your own wrecked van or find a deal.
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:32 AM   #3
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That's the thing, small market and anything remotely close to what I want comes with a price tag I can't justify. 30 to 50k
My brother's friend is a mechanic who can build trailers, but I want to bring a feasible project to the table.
I have a rough budget of 20k for the total project, but I don't want to spend more then half on the basic box trailer.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davi5678 View Post
That's the thing, small market and anything remotely close to what I want comes with a price tag I can't justify. 30 to 50k
My brother's friend is a mechanic who can build trailers, but I want to bring a feasible project to the table.
I have a rough budget of 20k for the total project, but I don't want to spend more then half on the basic box trailer.

Are you on drugs ?

This is what about half your budget will get you, here in QLD, new.




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Old 01-28-2015, 11:35 AM   #5
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Not a builder, but I've seen a few of these at shows. Every one, the van's existing chassis remains in place and the tow V attachment is welded on to the stock vans chassis. Which looks the same in your pic.

Shouldn't be a very large undertaking at all for a competent welder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davi5678 View Post
I'm torn between all the awesome van builds in shiny things and the toy haulers and trailers. Could you split the difference?
(mods please feel free to merge this into an appropriate thread, I couldn't pick one?)

How feasible would it be to get an old transit or sprinter wreck, cut out the front cabin and engine, and use the remaining body as a box and mount it on a car trailer as a chassis?

Enclosed trailers of a comparable size cost over $10,000 new($AU), finding a half decent body for around a $1,000 should be achievable, a car trailer can be built for around $3,000. The benefits would be the functional doors and windows, roof racks, etc,

Challenges off the top of my head would include getting the tow ball weight right and having to modify the bodywork to accommodate a double wheel arch closer to the middle of the body, mating the cut away cabin space up to some sort of alloy toolbox on the front of the trailer / A frame.

As a rough idea, something like this -


Any trailer builders or mechanics got some pearls of wisdom?
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:11 PM   #6
Davi5678 OP
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The 30 to 50 k is referring to things like the jayco toy hauler and other caravans from what I can see on here

Quote:
This is what about half your budget will get you, here in QLD, new.
Got a link for that? Looks decent.
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:37 PM   #7
FR700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davi5678 View Post
The 30 to 50 k is referring to things like the jayco toy hauler and other caravans from what I can see on here ...

Um, no. You said you have a rough budget of 20 grand.

The trailer in the pic's that I posted cost half of that. New, on the road.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Davi5678 View Post
I have a rough budget of 20k for the total project, but I don't want to spend more then half on the basic box trailer.


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Old 01-28-2015, 07:21 PM   #8
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I had one I bought when I was a teenager with a small lawn business. A friend of mine started with a totalled work van and cut the cab off. He cut the front of the frame and welded it to make the tongue. The front was sealed with plywood covered in fiberglass. It worked great. It was a 1980 something Ford Econoline. The problem with it was that it was HEAVY!!! The same sized enclosed trailer would probably weigh half as much. The other problem was that it looked really ghetto. I found out that some clients just didn't want that contraption in their front yard. As my business grew I got rid of it. I tried to sell it, but ended up scrapping it when no one bought it.

It looked a lot like this one only not as well done: http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/?showtopic=37645
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtMedic View Post
I had one I bought when I was a teenager with a small lawn business. A friend of mine started with a totalled work van and cut the cab off. He cut the front of the frame and welded it to make the tongue. The front was sealed with plywood covered in fiberglass. It worked great. It was a 1980 something Ford Econoline. The problem with it was that it was HEAVY!!! The same sized enclosed trailer would probably weigh half as much. The other problem was that it looked really ghetto. I found out that some clients just didn't want that contraption in their front yard. As my business grew I got rid of it. I tried to sell it, but ended up scrapping it when no one bought it.

It looked a lot like this one only not as well done: http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/?showtopic=37645
This thing must be really tongue heavy
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