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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so guys who pull around a small ubuilt trailer or something similar, lets hear about your setup. I am going to build a trailer using my 85 pickup box and canopy, something to haul bulky gear, firewood, aluminum boat, mountain bikes, or utility work. Its the best of both worlds, drive a 4runner, tow a toyota pickup longbox trailer, makes alot of sense to me!

debating using the rear of the frame, toyota axle and springs, and box just how it is, and welding a draw bar and bolting a boat trailer tongue onto it. I would overbuild it for its purpose, gusset all areas of stress or fabricated areas, make it really beefy. The draw bar would probably be a triangle shape, built from 2x4 gusseted of course, put a diamond plate deck or a basket down to carry a cooler, propane tank, battery, whatever. Before you ask, I am able to take care of the welding and fabricating. Seems alot easier than trying to graft a box onto an already built utility trailer frame, and cheaper. I would be able to build it all from leftovers from the shop. Can anyone guess how much something like this would weigh? 7'6 toyota box with canopy on the rear of a toyota frame, with toyota axle and springs, 235.75r15 tires. I cant see it being much heavier than 500 pounds, but that is just a total guess, I have no idea how much a toyota box weighs.

what would you use as a hitch? if i build a beefy rear bumper out of 2x4 and weld a piece of reciever tube into it, gussets, build some 3/8 frame brackets, and bolt it onto the frame with 4 1/2" gr 8 bolts per side, and gussets it would definately be overbuilt for the low ammount of weight i would be towing. ive looked at various manuctured hitches, and this thing would be monstrous compared to those as its double purpose is a beefy offroad bumper. If its strong enough for tugging stuck trucks(because toyota diesels never get stuck, right?) then its strong enough for towing less than 1000lb.

can anyone see trouble in the future with the law doing something like this? I can legally register it, have it inspected or whatever insurance requires, but will the police be bothing me about not having a brand name hitch? I know we've all seen some really ******* ubuilt trailers from old truck boxes, you know the kind where its super rusty and falling apart, lights dont work, tires are bald, but this one will not be a piece of ****! it will be well built and the welds will look and be of professional quality, so I dont see what they could really hassle me with.
 

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its completely legal, people do this every day, ******* truck box trailers are everywhere, and ubilt trailers under 1400 kg don't need brakes or inspection.

as much as I hate to say it, don't bother going overkill. You're just adding weight for no benefit. For the amount of weight you're dealing with you could just attach a piece of schedule 40 pipe to the crossmebers with u-bolts and call it done.
 

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yep, a pickup box using the rear housings and all its innards is just extra weight you'll never need. keep the frame & box, but ditch the axle housing and put in a 3500# trailer axle in there, and maybe pull a leaf out of the pack. make a solid A frame up front using 2X4. id go with a pintle setup over a standard ball hitch...but thats just me.
maybe with pulling the housing and using a lighter axle, you might be at around 500# but those beds are pretty as is.
 

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as much as I hate to say it, don't bother going overkill. You're just adding weight for no benefit. For the amount of weight you're dealing with you could just attach a piece of schedule 40 pipe to the crossmebers with u-bolts and call it done.
Like westcoaster said. My trailer is built out of 1/4" angle iron, the tongue is 2" square tube, triangulated. It's running on an empty axle housing that I can't wait to dump for a 3500# trailer axle. This trailer is small, box size is about 42" x 72" x 12" tall. I have had it completely filled with sand and it didn't bitch at all. The tires almost went flat, but the welds held. The floor is 1/8" AL, the sides are 1/8" AL checker. Dry it's quite light and easy to move, it will sit tongue up for storage. I would like to add trailer brakes for the trail though, sometimes when loaded for camping it really pushes me around, plus on the long downhills on the highway a little braking would be nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ill try not to go overkill, but its just so tempting when you have as much steel and welding equipment available.. i think its those fumes, once i start welding i just dont want to stop!
The toy axle would probably not be perminant, I know its alot heavier than a regular trailer axle, but right now i dont have money for a 3500 pound 6 lug axle with brakes, but maybe one day in the future if i can find a good deal on one i will switch it. I want the trailer to have the same size tires at the truck, more spare tires for the journey.
i had 2 yards of soil in this box once, it was riding on the bumpstops but the mighty toyota didnt complain and the sides of the box didnt fall off.
saw some interesting hitch ideas on that expedition site, dont know what the dot would say about some of them, but i think ill go with a pintle and ring setup for ease of coupling and articulation.
can anyone comment on home made hitches/bumpers for towing? is there a law that states all hitches, safety chains, etc must have a DOT compliant sticker on them? Ill save my itchy trigger finger for gusseting the hell out of the hitch and bumper areas, im confident that when im done it will be safely able to do whatever a brand name hitch can x2.
 

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there are numerous home made hitches both on tow rig end and trailer end that are not DOT approved. does it need one? if you plan on towing regularly lets say 3500lbs to max towing capacity, then yes, id make sure the hitch on the rig is dot approved. of course in this area, overkill is OK...esp gusseting on the receiver. that being said, my 80s rear crossmember, where my pintle hook is mounted to with just 4 grade 8 bolts, looks to be just spot welded to the frame in various areas. i was rather surprised, i thought it'd be welded to hell on the frame end. i wouldnt tow a 3000lb load on the pintle but some have. for those loads, ive got a std class III receiver i can bolt on. but for the small weight my maxed out m101 would be (probably well under 2000lbs) i have no worries with using the pintle.

im no welder or towing expert, just going by what ive seen on other peoples builds etc and towing concerns on various forums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i cant find anywhere in my alberta inspectors manual where it says hitches must be dot approved, so im going to have to go with its ok unless your trailer breaks off and causes an accident.. I am a licensed commercial trailer inspector in alberta. i wont pay good money for one of those lame class 3 hitches when i could build something twice as strong that is also a bumper for half the price. just thinking of the future if i get pulled over by an overzealous cop who thinks my hitch is unsafe because it doesnt have an engineers and dots approval.
 

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oh geez if your're a licensed trailer inspector then just inspect it and sticker it, then there is no issue
 

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I used 2" receiver tube for the draw bar. My on road hitch combo uses a longer bar with a standard 2" ball set up. Off road i swap the whole set up to a pintle with a shorter bar. When it's parked at home I pull all of it out, leaving just the receiver tube. Not a perfect theft deterrent but unless your packing both a hitch mounted on a receiver and a ball mounted on a receiver you won't be dragging it off. This set up will reduce you tongue/ pull load. Maybe kore could chime in on the specifics, if there are any.
 

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Like westcoaster stated, custom axle is the way to go. Toyota pattern is easy, same as a chev ( 6 bolt ). Here's the place I use:
Sealand R V Service & Products (1980) Ltd
12031 Vulcan Way, Richmond, BC V6V 1J7
(604) 278-6442‎

Very old school, I don't think he has a website or email
 

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Like westcoaster stated, custom axle is the way to go. Toyota pattern is easy, same as a chev ( 6 bolt ). Here's the place I use:
Sealand R V Service & Products (1980) Ltd
12031 Vulcan Way, Richmond, BC V6V 1J7
(604) 278-6442‎

Very old school, I don't think he has a website or email
These guys are great, really knows their stuff, Mike or Marty and they can help you with vin numbers if you were to build a heavier trailer..... They build custom trailers too, as well as do commercial inspections for trailers. I have been going there for years... Oh and they can source unusual parts too plus they fix tent trailer lifting mechanisms which almost no one is willing to do....:beer
 
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