converting a rv camper to a car trailer? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 4:27 PM Thread Starter
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converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

Has anybody converted a rv camper trailer to a car trailer? There have been a few listed locally that need lots of work and I was thinking of knocking the top off and making it into a flat bed. Does anybody know what the framework is on one of these things? Would it be strong enough to tow a car? I figure I would have to strip it to the bare frame add some bracing and then laydown a wood deck and maybe beaver tail the back. what do you think?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 4:36 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

I would think you could either strip it down to the base, and at the very least replace the deck with thick plywood. The axles shouldn't be a problem weight wise, the only thing might be the frame, but you could get some angle iron and reinforce it if needed. Hmm, now that I think about it it might turn out to be more effort than it's worth

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 5:24 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

They are pretty narrow. On a trailer that is built for hauling cars, the outside of the fenders are at the maximum legal with of 8 foot 6 inches. (British Columbia laws, yours might be different) On a camper trailer, the widest part is the walls. The axles are not as wide as those made for a car trailer.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 5:27 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

And I thought they only did that kind of conversion in Alabammy

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 5:30 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

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Originally Posted by 1badss396 View Post
And I thought they only did that kind of conversion in Alabammy
no you're thinking of the raft with the tailer on it, the redneck yacht

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Originally Posted by jpete, Dean, Derek69SS, hoffbug, rubadub, Grandsport, Thomas Jefferson, 1badss396, MEJ1990TM, and mrdjc99
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If it doesn't fit, force it. If it breaks, it needed to be replaced anyway.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 5:34 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

The entire framework is too light for that. They are built that way so after installing all the goodies, They don't weigh 10 tons.
You can find a used open trailer for about a grand.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 5:41 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

Put this in google, some good stuff on it.

how to build a car trailer from an rv frame

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 7:30 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

Don't waste your time. The frame is too light and the axles are usually only 2000 gvw.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 8:32 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

Ya' coulda had mine! Tell ya' what, I still have two 7500 lb. axles. I'll make you a heck of a deal on them. I can say for certain you'll only have about $8-900 into it when you're all done. Maybe less. Steel is real cheap again.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 10:35 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

Certain RV's make great candidates for trailers. The frame themselves are usually much like cars, not terribly rigid alone, they depend on the body for strength. Knock the body off, then weld in cross members, then deck it and you can have a nice long trailer for the price.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 08, 11:14 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

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Originally Posted by SuperChevy402 View Post
Certain RV's make great candidates for trailers. The frame themselves are usually much like cars, not terribly rigid alone, they depend on the body for strength. Knock the body off, then weld in cross members, then deck it and you can have a nice long trailer for the price.
BUT, Troy. you still will not have the width of a purpose built car trailer unless you cut the axles and make them wider, as well as making the trailer frame wider. I know of 2 that are built from travel trailer frames at our local dirt track and to get the car on the trailer, they have to take the front wheels off and put stock style rims with no offset on. No biggie for a car with stock wheels I guess but why not start with the right stuff in the first place? Wider = more stable IMHO.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 08, 4:49 AM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

i had the same idea a year ago- was given a 23 foot camper trailer for free. once i knocked the body off (and got about 500 pounds of aluminum and copper that i haven't brought in yet..), i got to measuring the frame and really looking at it.
the frame itself seemed alright- 2X6 rails spread 6 feet apart- but the crossmembers would have needed to be beefed up, and the tail would need to be sloped down in a beaver tail to make it easy to get cars on and off. it has a pair of 7500 pound axles under it with brakes on both axles- but they are narrow- 6'4" between the tire sidewalls, which would be about 2" of clearance on my Monte..
i kind of gave up on it, thinking it would not be up to the task of hauling a 5000 pound vehicle. my opinion of that changed about a month ago, however, when we made it into a round bale hauler by adding a 10 foot wide deck made of 2X6 treated lumber ran across every 2 feet.. we get 7 of the big round bales on it- around 1000 pounds each. the springs are barely compressed, and it pulls really nice. it only flexes at al lbehind the axles, where there isn't as much support.
i'm thinking of looking for another one to tear apart- i'll just take the axles in to work and get one of the welders to widen them about 6", add some 2X3 tube crossmembers, beaver tail the back end, and put some treated decking on it.
i'm thinking that the frame rails being right under the wheels of the car that's sitting on it can only be a good thing.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 08, 3:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthquake68 View Post
Ya' coulda had mine! Tell ya' what, I still have two 7500 lb. axles. I'll make you a heck of a deal on them. I can say for certain you'll only have about $8-900 into it when you're all done. Maybe less. Steel is real cheap again.

How come you waited for me to move to NY to try and sell me all the good stuff

I am still planning on building one just exploring all my options

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 08, 10:50 PM
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Re: converting a rv camper to a car trailer?

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Originally Posted by ed3196499 View Post
How come you waited for me to move to NY to try and sell me all the good stuff

I am still planning on building one just exploring all my options

You coulda' fought the PCS. If you were still down here, you'd have a nice trailer, and I'd have a nice dually.

Need any parts for yours? I've got power doors and real nice front clip. I'm parting mine out. It made me mad on the last road trip. Which one of you guys sold me the headers that heat up the starter so it doesn't work until it cools down?
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