Bug Out Trailer
After years of planning on getting a trailer to use for a Bug Out Trailer 2011 seems to be the year. A neighbor down the road a ways had a Chevy LUV pickup box trailer for sale for $100. I bought it and brought it home Thursday (it is Sunday, June 19, 2011 as I write this). I added a trailer jack to the tongue Friday and started building the box that will enclose the pickup bed. The pickup bed is 71 inches long X 61 inches wide X 15 inches deep. The wood box I am building on it is 42 inches tall, this will mean an inside height of 57 inches or 4 feet 9 inches, just high enough to nearly stand up in.
The frame of the trailer will be built using 2x4s, 2x2s and 7/16 inch OSB. I looked for 1/4 or 3/8 inch plywood but could only find it $20 a sheet or crap that was no better than OSB so I went with OSB for now. I have 2 gallons of exterior paint that was a color mismatch so I got them for $9 a gallon, it isn't the color I wanted but it will it is a neutral dark beige so it will not draw attention. There is enough paint to do 2 coats inside and out, the pickup box may get painted in the future with a rust inhibiting paint, but that is down the road.
Each side of the wood frame is built as a separate unit and has 4 bolts holding it to the bed of the pickup box (each with two nuts and lock washers for added security). The side frames are screwed to the front frame with 3 inch screws. I need to get two more 2x4s to finish the rear door frame. We have heavy rain in the forecast Monday to Wednesday evening so the trailer is tarped and the rest of the lumber is in the garage.
There is enough room on the trailer/pickup frame in front of the box to build a box to hold two spare tires and a few other things. A 2 inch receiver will be welded to the rear bumper so I can put in a hitch mounted bicycle carrier. The corners and top of the wood frame will be covered in 2 inch angle iron that will be welded to the box and to each other so there will be no chance of the wood enclosure coming off of the pickup box.
Next weekend looks good weatherwise so I should be able to get the OSB cut and screwed on. I have paintable caulk to seal all the joints and any small areas that need it. I will have to figure out which wire goes to which light and hook that up to a connector I picked up.
To my neighbors and most other people I refer to this as my "camping trailer". I go camping a few times a year and I really hate loading and unloading the truck, with the trailer 90% of my camping (and a good chunk of my Bug Out) gear will already be loaded. My neighbors won't even bat an eye since they've seen me loading and unloading the truck so many times and heard me complain that I needed a trailer just for my camping gear. It was my neighbor across the street that told me about this trailer because he knew I was looking for small trailer to keep my camping gear in. I can hook up the trailer and load the last few items and be on the road in 30 minutes or less.
September 25, 2011
Today I finished the main box of the trailer, I also packed most of my camping stuff in there so I have a bunch of room in the garage again. All that is left now is to put angle iron on all corners (welded to the box), put in the front side marker lights (the rest of the lights work) and build the tongue box. Tomorrow I will call a local steel warehouse about the angle iron and most likely pick it up. I have to get the angle iron on before I can build the tongue box. If the angle iron is more than I have free right now I will at least do the front corner up rights so I can start work on the tongue box.
The lights from the wiring kit are mounted where the license plate would go (my state will issue a lifetime sticker for the tongue so no plate), they of course are all in one lights - tail / brake / turn. I have the lights that are original to the pickup box trailer working too, the turn signal is just a turn signal while the outside brake / turn signal works just as the trailer lights but the turn part is fairly dim. The rear side marker lights could not be saved so I bought some red after market lights and put them in. Once I have the amber marker lights that came with the wiring kit installed I will have front and rear side marker lights.
I still have some things to pack in the trailer and likely won't add any new pictures until then, that will most likely be next weekend.
October 3, 2011
The trailer is mostly packed. The angle iron uprights on the four corners are on, hasps are welded to the angle iron and the tail gate. This was done Saturday. My neighbor also gave me a 12ft x 8ft dome tent that needs a couple of small holes patched and the pole sleeves reinforced - not a first line tent but good for a back up tent, gear storage or some place to play cards. I picked up another 20 foot length of angle iron (2x2x1/8 inch) today to finish the top edges, it is currently primed and painted on the inside of the angle and one outside edge. The last outside edge will get painted once what is there has dried enough.
Here is a PDF of the current packing list: Trailer Packing List
Below are pictures of the trailer from start to eventual finish.
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