Sienna minivan camper. No longer going the teardrop route.

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

  1. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

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    Perhaps WeeRoll keeps their prices reasonable by having low overhead? I'm considering having them build a cargo version of their Silver Cloud.
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  2. dmottv

    dmottv Take the Long Way Home

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    I had a small 8x16 toy hauler (small by toy hauler standards). Sometimes, I didn't feel like towing the trailer so I pulled the couch/mattress out and used it in the Express Passenger Van. The couch/mattress dimen are 75"x36"x3" thick with a sewn hinge at 24" allowing the remaining 12" to fold up against the wall when used as the couch back. I cut a plywood piece to be the 75"x27" (the 24" +3" foldup thickness), and used 4 smaller coolers at the four corners to raise it off the floor about a foot or so. Plus, it worked well as a couch while stopped. I stored it all on edge against the drivers side during the day, and the coolers doubled up for food/beverage storage. It didn't take long to setup or tear down. I've enjoyed this setup for multiple trips now, and as you say, it's nice to be able to pull in, climb in the back and take a rest either underway, or at the end of the day.
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  3. klp

    klp Been here awhile

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    Yeah they have a new facility about 20 minutes from the storage lot. Seems they are ramping up from a small company to more production. They have a new roof design too.

    As much as Facebook sucks you can find more info about them there.
  4. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Ah, that explains it. I should have called them Thursday but wasn't sure what time I'd be passing by. I was pretty sure they had a lot of trailers out in the lot judging from their website and FB page. I'll check them out next time I'm down there, probably next fall.
  5. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Just sold a scooter so have some cash to get the trailer project started. Now I just have to figure out what I want to build. The more I think about it the better I like this design.

    [​IMG]

    I'd want a 5' high teardrop though and at least 5' wide, the van is almost 6' wide so if I build with the wheel wells inside I should be able to go 6' wide. Can't really find any trailer kits that'll work so I think I'll price out having one welded up for me.
    With the bike between the van and trailer it shouldn't cause much turbulence and then I can build a traditional teardrop design with galley.
  6. brgsprint

    brgsprint Long timer Supporter

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    Odd coincidence. I hadn't heard you mention a teardrop in a while and a couple of hours ago, we were passing one on the way home from Syracuse and I pointed it out to Di as what you are considering. It was being towed by a small older Hyundai. It was no taller than the car.
  7. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    It's a sign from above!:clap
    The idea went on the back burner until I had a chance to test out the van. Now that I know the van works fairly well a small trailer is the next step. I figured if the van didn't work out I'd have to think about either a bigger van or truck which would allow me to tow a cargo trailer but I'd rather stay as small as possible.

    That platform for the bike above could also serve as an area for a shower tent while camped, possibly even install a holding tank under it for places that require them.
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  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Definitely doable, but you will need to carefully place your axle to ensure proper tongue weight.
  9. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    I've thought about that. I guess you just calculate the placement with the bike in place to figure that out and if I wasn't loading the bike for some reason I'd use that area to load other stuff to offset the difference in weight. The axle on the one above looks too far back doesn't it? Suppose it depends what they have in the galley though.
  10. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Definitely looks too far back based on the placement of the "box" and with the bike on there. It may be OK sans bike though. That looks like a KLR250, so a little over 300 pounds. It is possible they balanced it so it had 10% without the bike, and a lot more with. As long as it is under 500 pound tongue weight it could be OK, but seems like a poor set-up anyhow.
  11. dmottv

    dmottv Take the Long Way Home

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    Has anyone ever seen something like this where the camper unit can be removed/stored so the trailer can be otherwise utilized?

    I have a 5'x10' that I'm looking at mounting a bike rail across the front similar to the above, in front of the bike chocks that allow two more bikes loaded from the rear. If the camper was removable, I could also use the trailer for hauling bikes, lumber, the atv, etc. Maybe something like an ice fishing shack with the sled rails removed? :evil

    Ice Shacks snip.JPG
  12. HippyJoe1

    HippyJoe1 Adventurer Supporter

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    The thing I keep getting hung up on is axle position for an unloaded trailer and a loaded trailer. Hard to believe, but I *may* not always take the bike on a trip. Been thinking of counterweights on the rear of the trailer when the bike is loaded.... :hmmmmm
  13. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    That's my concern with this sort of setup. The teardrop is light enough I think it'll make a difference with or without the bike loaded. I think I'd normally have the bike loaded so that may not be an issue.
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Instead of counter weighting the rear, add weight to where the bike would be. It doesn't have to be the same as the bike, just 10% of the trailer weight on the tongue. Maybe design a box to carry supplies, or items you may normally carry over the axle with the bike in place. Maybe even a slide-out that can go in either location.
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  15. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    Kind of defeats the light weight build if you're adding weight. If you have to add weight, better to set it up to add when the bike is not there (the front) rather than when the bike is there (the rear).
  16. mike25

    mike25 Been here awhile

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    How about having two axle mounting locations.
  17. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer Supporter

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    Could do a flat back and rear entry door and then put the axle where it should be for proper weight distribution.

    If a kitchen is in the plans, a sideways slide out at the front of the box wouldn’t be too hard and then the wall of the trailer makes a nice wind block. Could even add a clip on table for max counter space. Add a roof rack and an awning and you’re all set.
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  18. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    I'd all but given up on this teardrop idea until stopping at an old friends place today on the way back from Ithaca. He's got this 5x10 home made steel trailer for sale with upgraded 15" wheels (spare underneath) and 4" steel frame, 1/8" plate on top and I'm wondering if that might be more of a hassle to deal with than an open frame. I'd have to fasten the teardrop to it somehow, welded bolts I guess. He'd actually bought it to build a tear drop on for hunting season but doesn't have time to build it. He's asking $900 but I'm sure there's room to talk it down. It's all been seal coated, pretty sure it was rusty when he bought it but he said he cleaned all the rust off. Not so sure about that to be honest. There's some sort of protective coating on it which I'll post up when I hear back from him.
    I like the axle placement and I think it'd work with the bike mounted on the front without much of a change. The tongue is light as it sits. He welds and could help me make a rack on the front for the DR.
    What does the collective think this is really worth? I'm thinking $700 would be a good offer.

    dales trailer.jpg

    Side rails are slide out so easily removed. There's another 6" between the bed and fenders on each side to widen the teardrop closer to 6' width if I wanted to.
    Just heard back and it's coated with Rustoleum truck bed liner. Axle is 2x2 1/4" thick wall. Not torsion from what I see, springs.
    It is big enough I could still try to make a toy hauler inside the teardrop if I wanted to I suppose but I'm not sure about that idea anymore.
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  19. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Been a while since I updated this thread. The teardrop idea is dead. I picked up a 2 rail Kendon trailer for the bike and will just keep it simple using the van for all my needs. I also picked up a tool box from HD to mount to the trailer for gear and tool storage. Been working on window coverings and a curtain for the van the last few weeks. Finally ended up using a plastic screen moulding for a curtain rod. It's held in place by a few screws on each side thru the plastic on the pillar of the van and one small screw in the ceiling to keep it from moving forward or back. Pretty much light tight except for a few spots which I can stuff a sock or two into if I'm in stealth mode.

    Van curtain 1.jpg van curtain 2.jpg van curtain 3.jpg van curtain 4.jpg

    I will get the material hemmed when my sister has some free time. I used faux suede which appears to be light tight, and a few velcro straps to keep it up while not in use.
    Heading to Florida in a few weeks and will be camping in water preserve areas for the week so will have a good chance to spend 7-8 days living in the van again. Made the same trip last year. I'm retiring this summer so getting the van ready for winter in AZ.
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  20. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

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    Reflectix panels made for the windows. I just stapled black material on them to go in stealth mode.

    van curtain 5.jpg
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