Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Vintage Travel Trailer Part5-frame
The frame design is about as lightweight and minimal as it can possibly get. The ONLY thing supporting the wood base and the weight of the entire trailer was the one length of angle-iron at the front and the two main C-channel pieces. Not even a length of angle iron for the back. The piece you do see on the back there is merely the rear bumper and has nothing to do with supporting the trailer body.
While I understand the reasoning for the frame being built so spare, I don't like it.
I'd rather add some additional weight in raw steel to get a more solid floor base and a safer trailer.
I plan to add some additional support to the frame using 1 3/4" angle-iron similar to what was used for the front cross-piece and two inner cross pieces. Ideally, I'll be able to bolt the metal of the wheel housings directly to the angle iron itself rather than to the wood base like the original layout. (My planned additions are in red.)
I have a MIG welder and can do the welding. However, I'm not sure that I'll be able to get the angle-iron pieces bent to match the original one in the front. That will require heat and force that I'm not equipped with. It's certainly not something I can manage in my garage. I'll have to have a welder or metal fabricator do that for me. And it might be too expensive. If it does turn out to be cost prohibitive, another option will be to just weld up smaller pieces of the angle iron from the corners to the edge of the C-frame channels. Either method will produce a stronger, more sturdy frame.