Sienna minivan camper. No longer going the teardrop route.

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by ride4321, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    I've been looking for a lightweight, aerodynamic trailer to haul my bike (DR650) with for extended trips in retirement. The box cargo trailer of course is the easy way to go but I'd like to haul it with a minivan and want a more streamline trailer that won't stress out the vans ability to tow and still allow me some living space once the bike is out. Teardrops seem to be the way to go but most designs are just too small. I'll looking at a 5x10 trailer plan and think it'll work pretty much as shown in these photos. 5x10' plywood and aluminum sheeting is available at a cost.

    big teardrop 1.jpg big teardrop 2.jpg

    I'd think there would be a substantial benefit in weight and drag with this design and it should work heightwise for any of the 3 bikes I have, Tiger 800XC, DR650 and Piaggio BV350. Height at the swing up hinge needs to be minimum of 4'6".
    Ideally a double hinged roof would be ideal with the front part of the roof lifting forward 90 degrees and the rear folding down to function as a ramp. That would make loading and unloading easy but not sure there would be a way to make the walls structurally stable. In reality I think just a rear lifting hatch with a separate loading ramp is probably the best way to go but it'll be harder loading the bike.

    This trailer frame should do the job I think...

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/t...MI8da2rdro1wIV0LjACh0JcgS4EAQYASABEgLj3vD_BwE

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    I am looking for a similar setup to pull behind my van. This is as close as I have found.

    http://www.intechrv.com/maxplus.php

    Not much to dislike about them other than the price. I wish they sold a stripped out one - just the shell with the slide out and side bed.
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  3. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Yep, there's a few builders with small toy haulers out there but the prices are way too high. I'm pretty handy with wood and can build my own (I think). Being in the $2K range is more my style, I'm a cheap bastard. That vertical back really sucks for wind flow, that's what I want to avoid.
    BTW, tow vehicle would likely be a Sienna minivan.
    The Microlite trailers are interesting but way too expensive as well.

    http://www.microlitetrailer.com

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. Robert OK

    Robert OK Been here awhile

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    Interesting looking, I couldn't find any prices on their website. What kind of prices are you being quoted?
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  5. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

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    http://www.tnttt.com/

    Tons of designs and all the info you need to build your own there. Probably not much for a toy hauler though. Most are side door entry with a gally in the back.

    If you could get the weight distribution acceptable how about mounting the bike across the tongue?
    #5
  6. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    That's the site that got me thinking of this actually. I need to join.

    Did a quick drawing to size and this is what I came up with. Teardrop box is 10' L x 5'H x 5'W, bike is actual size or close.

    teardrop toyhauler.jpg
    #6
  7. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    The Intech trailers sell for around 11-15k depending how they are optioned.

    I like the Ultralight trailers - got some interesting features with the saddle boxes and in floor storage. Maybe a stripped out one is in my future. I am towing with a full size Transit and agree that shape of the trailer and height behind the vehicle can make a big difference.

    Most of these will fit easily behind my van. Any other makers of lightweight haulers?
    #7
  8. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    All the ones I've seen are just too expensive for what you get. I'm pretty sure I'm going with this build. Almost perfect for my needs but a shower would be nice and that won't be happening in this hauler. Price I pay for being frugal.
    It'd be interesting to see other ideas though so if anyone has links to small efficient trailers post them up.

    One thing I'd like to change on this design is a fold down ramp. I'd keep it slanted similar to the tear drop design and maybe have Johnson (Eureka) tent (they're right down the road) fabricate a tent to attach using the ramp as a floor. It'd add a lot of space and could be an interesting addition to such a small space. I'll draw something up on Monday when I'm back at work and see what I come up with.
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  9. flatwoods

    flatwoods Been here awhile

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    have you checked out the teardrop and tiny travel trailer website……tnttt.com tons of info…..i converted a cargo trailer into a camper/ bike hauler last winter……i also want to do the teardrop thing now.
    #9
  10. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    I've spent hours on the tnttt site and think a teardrop-shaped lightweight bike hauler would offer much lower aerodynamic drag than any flat-back cargo trailer, but so far you're the first to propose building one. Bravo! You might check out the tnttt section on "Foamies" -- a low-cost lightweight construction method that might work for the walls and top of a bike hauler, but not appropriate for a ramp. I was considering building one but settled for a traditional 5' x 8' cargo trailer due to an immediate need. I was going to use an aluminum flat-bed 5' x 10' trailer with a torsion axle as a basis for my teardrop bike hauler; not cheap, but solid and light.

    Looking forward to reading about your project here!
    #10
  11. bcbullet

    bcbullet From eh to zed

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    Ditto here...I want to build a 5X8 cargo trailer utilizing the ramp as a fold down "tent trailer" style bed leaving the rest of the interior for a bit of a build out.
    #11
  12. Hipster

    Hipster Long timer

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    Ride, be mindful of galvanic corrosion during your build when attaching the Aluminum skin to that steel trailer frame. Does Teardrop trailers use an Aluminum frame?
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  13. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    I'll take a look at those. Thanks for the lead. My concern about using that method would be it's strength if the bike were to fall over in transport. It happens.

    Hadn't considered that actually. It'll most likely be a steel trailer so something to keep in mind. Thanks.
    #13
  14. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    In my little cargo trailer I use a trailer chock for the front wheel and have just added a Pit Bull bracket for the rear of my GS, which is supposed to work by itself without straps. Thinking that holding the front wheel in place will only enhance that. No straps to loosen should be a good thing . . .
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  15. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    I ran across these at a local RV place - pretty slick setup, price was $9,995.

    https://www.sylvansport.com/go/gallery/

    folded up for towing, can tie down a kayak/squirtboat on top...
    [​IMG]

    Set up to haul dirtbikes / atv's. You can see the mid-frame that folds down to be the base of the bed on each side.
    [​IMG]

    ready to camp
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  16. nk14zp

    nk14zp Long timer

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    Build a traditional teardrop,reinforce the roof,park bike on top.
    #16
  17. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Those Sylvansport trailers is pretty much what got me started on the light trailer idea a few years ago. Once again way too expensive for what you get but a great design. I will be using this in retirement in the SW so want a solid insulated structure for cold desert nights so the popups are sort of out of the running.
    Heading out to look at a Sienna and then a class B Roadtrek van. I've pretty much ruled out the class B but I want to get a feel for the layout and size in person. It's local so worth having a look.
    #17
  18. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    RoadTrek you say?
    IMG_2715.jpg

    190 Popular with 5' x 8' cargo trailer caboose. Trailer costs about 2 mpg, actually stabilizes the van a bit in crosswinds across the Great Plains. 6.0L V*8 handles it easily. Not a bad way to go.
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  19. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

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    How much weight can your minivan realistically haul?
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  20. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat Super Supporter

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    +1 and big enough for a GSA or some other large beast of burden or two later on.
    #20