A new trailer consideration (Karavan 5×8). Would this work well?
May 23, 2021 at 11:20 am #3579
I currently own a Karavan 5×8 utility trailer and planned to use it to mount my TD once completed. I have read through all the usual recommendations on here and think it is a good idea based on the 12″ wheel size and ride height. I am newer to trailering so I have questions about what would be needed to complete this task or if I should scrap this idea all together.
The rear gate and rails come off completely, as do the wood slats. Looking at the picture of my TD on the trailer, the black on TD looks great and fits perfectly between the fenders. If I slide it forward, the weight distribution seems appropriate for safe hauling and I can access the doors. It also looks like the tongue length is appropriate but I really don’t know. My questions are mainly.
1. Does this trailer appear to be a good fit?
1a. Does the tongue need to be lengthened?
1b. It looks like I just need to shorten the trailer and move up the break lights. Does that look correct to you?
2. If everything else checks out, is there an argument to just mount to the wood slats that are already stock on the trailer?
<p style=”text-align: center;”>With consideration given to weight, I also considered using the excess portion of the trailer in the back to build a custom box (so long as it doesn’t affect galley reach).</p>
Any general thoughts are greatly appreciated.May 23, 2021 at 11:27 am #3581May 23, 2021 at 11:28 am #3582May 27, 2021 at 7:42 pm #3604
My teardrop is mounted on one of the longer, more heavy-duty Harbor Freight trailers, with the back of the trailer frame sticking out a bit more from the camper shell than yours appears to in the picture. At first I thought I might trim that back, but so far have left it. Now, I am thinking: a) It does offer a bit of bumper that extends (in my case) out a little bit more than the rear of the camper shell, and b) it also offers a place were I could install a sort of knee-high counter area for temporarily setting things on while camping with it — water jug, or dishes, a loaf of bread, or whatever I want to set there for a while perhaps to clear a little more work surface on the galley flat when preparing a meal. I suspect there are good counter-arguments I haven’t though of, but there is one observation.
As for mounting to the wood slats, the following are just very rough thoughts: I would think you would want to thoroughly weatherproof that wood to avoid having the base rot out well before the camper does and to minimize wood movement from swelling and shrinking with the weather, which could (maybe?) stress the camper shell. I would also think that some elevation from the surface would be important for airflow/moisture control underneath unless you are going to fuse them all together. If it were me, I might spend some time thinking about elevating enough to somehow use the under space for storage, but I suspect I would realize that I was over-complicating things and ultimately not do that.May 31, 2021 at 4:31 pm #3617
A follow-up thought. Based on my experience, the tongue doesn’t need to be lengthened unless you are planning to install the front storage box. CLC says that the front box’s dimensions are: 24 inches deep, 33 inches wide, and 19 inches tall. There wasn’t room on my trailer to install the CLC box without moving the teardrop back on the trailer, and it was already mounted, so I bought a triangular box that does fit (that is, won’t pinch in a tight turn) and that seems to work well enough. In other words, the above could be an argument for moving the teardrop back a little bit on the trailer, if you are planning to install the CLC front box, which assuming you do install the box, could still keep the trailer appropriately balanced I would guess.May 31, 2021 at 4:40 pm #3618
Thank you for all of your thoughts, John. I was planning on installing my own box that is a bit smaller than the OEM version. I understand now that it is just the box that is the limiting factor with tongue lengthening. I also like how you use that overflow space on your trailer, I am thinking of something similar that would add utility and reduce would be cost of shorting this trailer. Other than these concerns/considerations, I think the Karavan is a very worthy consideration given you can get it built from HD for $850 on sale and has 12″ tires on it.June 14, 2021 at 2:20 pm #3654
Thanks! I should say that I do think the Karavan is a worthy consideration — it has the advantage of the triangular tongue front hitch connection, which I think is a bit more durable than the single bar tongue on the small HF trailer described in the manual (and perhaps the Trailex as well) — you are likely trading some weight for the added sturdiness, but I think the added security of the stronger attachment is worth it. I suspect there are valid arguments in the other direction as well, but that’s my thought on it.
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