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Enclosed cargo trailer conversion to motorcycle hauler/camper.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Flying Frisian, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,041
    Location:
    Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
    Sold my 5x10 utility trailer a few weeks ago and decided to buy an enclosed cargo trailer. The idea is to pull it behind my Ford Transit camper van so I can bring my motorcycle and bikes when we go camping. I like to set up camp in the mountains, desert or on the coast and then ride my motorcycle to explore the area.
    The 130" wheel base Transit has limited space to carry anything besides the necessities for camping. It has a permanent bed, a kitchen. fridge/freezer and a small sitting area. The plan is to put a small kitchen in the trailer as well so we can cook in there when the weather is nasty.
    The Transit has the 3.5 liter EcoBoost, with over 400 lbs/ft of torque and the 3.73 rear-end so towing isn't a problem.
    I went shopping for a single axle 6x12 trailer but ended up with a 6x10 Continental Cargo trailer with a V nose that can be used for the small kitchen. The trailer has an interior height of 6'7", which is 6" taller than the standard version.
    20180730_152916.jpg

    From a distance it looks like a nice trailer with LED lights, but up close it's not as pretty. There's a sticker on the trailer that says "proudly built in Silverton Oregon", but I'm sure that whoever built this trailer didn't take pride in his or her work. Some of the interior black paint on the frame falls of when you touch it and there are pieces of welding wire stuck to the frame in several locations. The wiring for the LED lights is fed through razor sharp holes in the frame without grommets or cable glands. There are also multiple holes that shouldn't be there but were probably mis-drilled. Anyway, overall it's not a bad trailer for the money and it will be pretty when I'm done with it.
    20180801_144930.jpg

    20180801_144922.jpg
    First thing I did was install some grommets to protect the wiring.

    After that I bought some coin mat garage floor tiles from the Home Depot.

    20180803_081506.jpg
    #1
  2. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,041
    Location:
    Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
    Installed the 18" x 18" tiles on the trailer floor. I didn't glue the floor but left it floating instead. Due to the big differences in temperature, the floor needs to be able to expand and contract.
    I also cut (2) 14" x 14" holes in the roof for 2 Fantastic vents that I ordered on Amazon. The front vent will have a fan above the kitchen area and the rear vent is just a fresh air inlet.

    20180803_105942.jpg

    I covered the ramp with coin mat tiles as well but I had to be creative so the floating floor wouldn't fall when closing the door. I used aluminum angle and aluminum strips to hold the tiles in place.

    20180804_140829.jpg

    20180804_131618.jpg

    After I completed the floor it was time to install the vents which arrived yesterday.

    20180804_140905.jpg
    #2
  3. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,041
    Location:
    Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
    Worked on the trailer some more this week. Insulated the roof with polystyrene panels. I cut it slightly larger than the opening to make it a pres fit, no glue required.

    20180814_172025.jpg

    After that I installed the ceiling panels.

    20180815_163816.jpg

    I ran the wiring for the fan and the LED ceiling lights as I was going.

    20180816_164959.jpg


    20180816_165028.jpg

    Next I'll install a shore power inlet for 120VAC and a 12VDC powersuply for the fan and the lights. In the future I may install a solar panel and a house battery but for now I just use the plug in power supply.
    A rack for helmets and motorcycle gear will be after that and perhaps a small kitchen galley with a propane stove and sink etc.
    #3
  4. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
    Installed a shore power inlet today. The skin of the trailer is flimsy aluminum sheet metal, which makes it difficult to mount things. I decided to use a 6x6 junction box as back support for the Marinco 15 A power inlet. The box is recessed into the wall panel and the round Marinco plug is mounted through the sheet metal skin and the back of the box. I installed 1 120 VAC outlet for now but will ad more later. For the 12 VDC LED's and the fan i used an 8.5 A LED power supply that I had lying around.

    20180817_130058.jpg

    20180817_211536.jpg

    Let there be light!
    To be continued.
    #4
  5. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
    And last but not least:
    20180818_090346.jpg
    #5
  6. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,041
    Location:
    Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
    The last few days I worked on painting of the interior and the installation of some aluminum trim pieces for the floor and walls.
    A coat of primer first:

    20180821_135237.jpg

    And many coats of paint later this is the result:

    20180823_130541.jpg
    20180823_130736.jpg
    #6
  7. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,041
    Location:
    Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
    The trailer came with 4 D-rings that were installed on the floor and screwed into the trailer cross members with self tapping screws. I don't trust these to hold my motorcycle so I removed them. Instead I bought 4 heavy duty D-rings at Lowes, which I will bolt thru the floor cross members with heavy duty hardware. I also bought 4 lengths of 5' E-track from Harbor Freight.

    20180823_130833.jpg

    At this point I am still debating if I should mount the E-track on the walls or on the floor, or both. I'm not sure if I still need the heavy duty D-rings if I place the E-track in the right spot. The E-track is heavy duty and if mounted thru the frame I should be able to strap the bike down with the E-track only.

    Some advise would appreciated.
    #7
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  8. jagmqt

    jagmqt Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 27, 2017
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Following with interest...my 6x12 is being made now and for pick-up in a few weeks, then my work begins.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #8
    Flying Frisian likes this.
  9. markherman

    markherman Louisianaman Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    344
    Location:
    new orleans, la.
    I just updated my 20' to accommodate electric with shore power added. Because of our severe heat and humidity I opted to install one of these [​IMG] so that it can stay open in any kind of weather. Now, when I go into trailer it's not like an oven. Just sayin. Nice work.
    #9
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  10. justdirtyfun

    justdirtyfun Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    849
    Location:
    St. James MO
    My wife and I had a Carson 7x12 for a few years. Did much of what you are doing and enjoyed it. Nice touches in yours .
    One feature we added was a soft screen door on the rear drop down. We went the DIY approach but it might be available commercially. Also consider a few peel and stick key hooks for on the inside frame of the man door. At a height you can get to from ground level.
    #10
    Flying Frisian likes this.
  11. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

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    Location:
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    I installed the smoke version over the Fantastic Fan in my Transit campervan earlier this year.
    20180508_111102.jpg
    #11
    eddyturn, Ol Shenanigan and spokester like this.
  12. josjor

    josjor Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I put three rows of e-track on both sides of my trailer for the full length of the 7x14" beast. Best decision ever.
    I thought about some floor mount but unless you route out the flooring to make it flush, you can't roll anything with smaller casters over it. The other issue was worrying about dirt and debris getting into the slots of the e-track. When I haul a bike I just go to the lowest row of e-track on the sides for tie-downs and haven't ever had anything move.

    In addition to being tie-down points, there are a lot of gadgets available for e-track these days. Hangers, shelf brackets, storage baskets..... Having all that stuff moveable to the best location with the e-track makes a trailer very flexible.

    And for what it's worth, if you go to an actual trailer dealer, they often have 10' lengths of e-track so you have fewer seams.
    #12
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  13. shovelstrokeed

    shovelstrokeed Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,708
    Location:
    6South Florida
    If only there was a place where this kind of thing is routinely discussed with photos and ideas.
    Might want to request a move to Shiny Things.
    #13
  14. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,317
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    E-track is great. My utility has lots of it. Photos are few, but the best I have is this one of my grandson playing in it; you get the idea:

    [​IMG]

    There is also a short track in the front center.

    When I installed mine, there weren’t frame members in most locations where I wanted the E-track. I had access to a horizontal bandsaw, so from the left-over, I cut 2-slot doublers of E-track for the underside, and thru bolted the track with large washers, using the doublers at the ends for insurance. My deck is 5/4 solid lumber, so pull-out resistance is excellent. I got carried away with the E-track, but it was on sale, and now I always have a good angle for tie-downs.

    If I had it to do again, I would have used the vertical E-track rather than horizontal. Vertical would have a more natural direction of pull, for how I mostly use it.

    Love the versatility of E-track!
    #14
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  15. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

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    Thanks for the advise. I will probably put some on the walls and some on the floor. I was thinking of placing one length of E-track in the front running from side to side as a tie down point for the front of the bike. As long as I can bolt through the cross members underneath the floor.
    Looks like your grandson approved the layout.
    #15
  16. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

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    Location:
    Oregon, Dual Sport Paradise
    Today I decided to wait with mounting of the E-track and D-rings and start with the kitchen cabinets in the V-nose instead.
    Got some 2x2's and started building a frame. I glued and screwed everything in place so it is pretty sturdy. 20180825_182451.jpg

    Haven't decided if I'll build 2 doors or 3, and if I go with hinges or sliding doors. I will also build an overhead cabinet, which will be less deep so we don't bump our head when we work in the galley.
    #16
  17. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Long timer

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    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Very nice build out.
    #17
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  18. bruceco

    bruceco Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    woodstock ontario canada
    I used e track on the floor .I also used 2 vertical ones on one side about 4 ft apart.I then used 2 etrack 2x4 stud fittings that clip into the tracks. I made a 1x1 angle iron framework a little longer and welded the fittings to the 12 " x 52" framework. I can remove and clip it in any height I need and use it for my helmets etc . I use a helmet net to secure them in.I will get some pics for you.You can also remove it when you don't want it in the way and set it outside when camping.
    #18
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  19. bruceco

    bruceco Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    woodstock ontario canada
    Here are a few pics.
    Mine is a 5x8 trailer. I made sliding doors for front storage over the front bike wheels.The side shelf is 12"deep.I was wrong about the angle iron.It is 3/4"
    IMG_3594.JPG IMG_3595.JPG IMG_3596.JPG
    #19
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  20. reveille

    reveille Displaced Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,117
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Maybe I missed it but did you insulate the walls like you did the ceiling? I sure hope so because these trailers hold zero heat/cold with the thin factory wall sheeting. Some folks go as far as insulating the floor by installing a raised floor using 1" firing strips and placing insulation under the new floor sheeting.
    Looking very nice so far, keep up the good work!
    #20
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