My Trailer's 4x4 upgrade

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JohanM
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Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:46 pm

As a lot of you guys are aware, last year saw me buying a secondhand Alu-star trailer. Very lightweight to tow and well packaged, but it was in need of some work to be done.

So I had it in the garage and made a few measurements and then decided that it is time to upgrade the running gear to withstand harsh off road travelling conditions and to match the Prado in towing height as it was very nose up behind the Prado.

Here is the before picture as what I bought back then.
$_20.JPG
Today I went to collect my newly customized trailer that will be able to withstand a lot more rough terrain and this is what it looks like now.
It does have a matching track width as the Prado and also the same size tyre & rim with matching offset so I can use the spare wheels across without any problems.

Here is my newly matched trailer.
Trailer03.jpg
Trailer02.jpg
I am happy to say that is tows like a ghost. I do not feel it on the towbar at all and it is stable at highway speeds. Will still test it on gravel roads with a load in it to see how it behaves.
Johan Marais

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Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:50 pm

Looks great, Johan! Very nice trailer :)


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Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:03 pm

Looks good! :thumbup:

All you need to do to lift the ride height of the trailer is to refit the axle as SOA instead of AOS .... a ½hr job that will instantly give you an extra 100mm or so ride height as well as the same amount of extra clearance on the mud guards. :winkx:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:57 am

Netjies Johan.
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JohanM
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Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:23 pm

Mud Dog wrote:Looks good! :thumbup:

All you need to do to lift the ride height of the trailer is to refit the axle as SOA instead of AOS .... a ½hr job that will instantly give you an extra 100mm or so ride height as well as the same amount of extra clearance on the mud guards. :winkx:
Andy that is true but what I did not know upfront when I bought the trailer is that I the chassis was a T-pole design for light weight and thus was not strong enough for my liking.

It basically looked like this when I looked underneath it.
T-pole Chassis.jpg
So I decided to design my own chassis and then just put the bin and nose cone on that. I opted not to use the leafspring design as this one came with independent suspension axle, which I deceded to replace with a upgraded axle with higher load capacity, stronger bearings, stub axles and swing arms. Also I had special shocks fitted to match the axle capacity & design.

Here is some pictures of the building of the chassis.
NewChdgn1.jpg
I decided to use one draw bar to extend the full lenght of the trailer to aid strenght without putting unwanted KG's on. Also being one draw bar, I incorperated a trailer recovery point should the trailer have to be recovered on its own from behind. A serious ommision from all manufacturers in the country. This is hidden but still accesible.
NewChdgn2.jpg
Here you can see the part extending to the back and also the braces added to the chassis to maintain strenght without having to go to thick on material.
NewChdgn3.jpg
Here the final adjsutments took place and it was ready to be fully seam welded on all the joints.
NewChdgn4.jpg
Ready for the final finishing touches before it goes to the painting booth to be primed, painted 2x coats 2K and then stone chipped.

Here is the primed and painted stages...
Primed.jpg
First coat.jpg
Shocks being installed..
NewChdgn5.jpg
Here it is ready for the bin and nosecone. I have made it in such a way that the bin and nosecone can still be removed should I need to use it as a flatbed trailer.
NewChdgn6.jpg
Andy now you see why it wasnt a mere case of swopping the axle to under the springs as it could be in most cases.

Also I had the mudguards fully enclosed on the sides to make it easy to keep the mud and sandblasting of the wheels contained and not exposing the Alu body to it.
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almost.jpg
Johan Marais

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Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:50 pm

Looking very good. :thumbup: :thumbup:

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ChrisF
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Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:30 pm

Now that is one serious "upgrade" :)

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Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:52 pm

Windgat ek se.

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Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:44 am

Hoe gaan jy maak met papiere en payload?
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Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:24 am

Thanks for the explanation Johan, yes that's a whole different 'kettle of fish' and you've done a superb job of it. Much better than the original setup, well done! :thumbup:
When your road comes to an end ...... you need a HILUX!.

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Life is like a jar of Jalapeño peppers ... what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.
Don't take life too seriously ..... no-one gets out alive.
It's not about waiting for storms to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
And be yourself ..... everyone else is taken!

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JohanM
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Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:23 am

Thabo die payload bly dieselfde 750 kg GVM. Papiere is gesort voor ek die veranderinge gedoen het. Ook is sy nommers op die body so dit het alles baie maklik gemaak. Onthou al die veranderinge is gedoen deur Sunrise trailers wat custom sleepwaens bou. Baie netjiese werk gedoen.

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Johan Marais

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JohanM
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Sat Mar 19, 2016 6:27 am

Mud Dog wrote:Thanks for the explanation Johan, yes that's a whole different 'kettle of fish' and you've done a superb job of it. Much better than the original setup, well done! :thumbup:
Andy thank you very much. My job was only the design and overseeing of the work done, as it was a first for the custom trailer builder to build such a chassis for a off road trailer.

It is still light enough that I can lift the one side's wheel off the ground when picking it up on either rear corner. So it hasnt picked up to much weight with the additions.

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Johan Marais

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JohanM
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Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:23 pm

A long time since I have posted here but I have been busy in the workshop with various projects in and around the house, and also getting the Prado and trailer finished to the level of ease of use for camping, touring and travelling.

I towed the trailer a few times and have decided that the old Mudflaps which I removed form my Hilux had to be put to good use and also the wheel arches needed some rubber to widen them a bit over the 265 tyres and finish it off looking not as an afterthought.
mudflaps.jpg
mudflaps2.jpg


Also I found the single 1000N gas strut to be quite not to my liking when the roof is loaded so I set out to make a removable rear gas strut stay and make the lid use 2x gas struts when loaded on a long camping trip. I bouth 2x 750N rated struts from Venter boksburg and used some caravan pole connectors and 25mm round Alu tubing. Took me 4 hours and it was done. Now the lid opens efforless even when loaded with 75kg on top of it, and it stays open.
removablestay.jpg
I then decided to make a removable stone protector similar to those that is found in Australia on outback camper trailer to prevent the rear of the vehicle being sand blasted and also to prevent stones being kicked up and smashing the rear window. Used some left over rubber, some aluminium lying in the garage and some ideas. Bought the 40% shadecloth and doubled it up over the frame.
stoneprotector.jpg
stoneprotector2.jpg
stoneprotector3.jpg
I also decided to make the numberplate fixed but hinged so that I can access the rear towing point when needed to without having to do special tricks to remove it.
no plate mod.jpg
Eagle eye readers will note that I have also improved the reliability and resale value on the trailer with some small modification that was added.
Johan Marais

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Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:16 pm

very nice Johan

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