Mounting shell to Trailex trailer

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  • #357
    Diving Duck

    According to the manual, you’ve got to set the shell on the trailer, mark the holes, then remove it and turn it upside down to drill-fill-drill the holes.  Then you can paint the bottom.  Doesn’t sound too bad, except that there is a butt block on the bottom of the shell, so the mounting holes are 3/4″ away from the bottom.  A lot of room for error there, especially when you are lying under the trailer while trying to mark the hole locations.

    Also, it’s hard for me to get anyone to help me move the shell around so for those two reasons I’m trying a different method.  I already have the Trailex trailer, thanks to CLC’s free shipping offer a while back.  So, I assembled the part of the trailer frame that the shell sits on, and set it on top of the shell (which happens to be upside-down right now).  The frame is sitting on four pieces of 1×2 to keep it off the butt block.

    After much very careful alignment of the frame, I’m now ready to mark the holes, but again, they are 3/4″ away from the bottom.  What’s the best way to project them onto the camper bottom?  For now, I shined a small LED flashlight down through the hole and found that the circle of light stayed in the same spot when I moved it around.  So that may work.

    As a double-check, though, I’m going to use a square to project the outline of each mounting bracket onto the camper bottom and draw the rectangles.  If I’m careful I should be able to line them up exactly (provided I don’t accidentally move the frame).  Then after I remove the frame I can take off one of the brackets and line it up over each outline to mark the mounting holes.

    If anybody has any better ideas, please let me know.


    Yup. I got a better idea. Get small blocks of 3/4″ plywood and drill them on a drill press to make “temporary risers”. Insert them to drill the holes (drilling right through them into the trailer bottom.  I am at the same stage you are.  The teardrop is upside down and I don’t want to put it on the trailer, then turn it over again. That’s a big hassle with an big risk of dropping/ damage. As it is I rolled the shell carefully on a thick carpet to get it upside down.  My trailer is too far together for me to be inclined to disassemble down to a manageable section to lay on the camper.  So this is how I may drill fill drill my holes: Put teardrop on trailer to mark holes.  Elevate the teardrop somewhat on blocks (on the floor), roll trailer forward a little bit; drill the oversize holes while laying under the teardrop; fill the holes; roll the trailer back in position and lower the teardrop in place and redrill the holes.  Even though I got the big wheels, the may not be enough room to crawl under there, so I may have to elevate the trailer and the teardrop somewhat to do this.  I like your method theoretically, so maybe I can beg enough muscle to set the whole trailer on the upside down teardrop – if the hatch bezel/roof can take the combined weight?????  But I am worried about retorquing the trailer assembly bolts to remove the tongue to reduce weight.


    I went out to look at my assembled trailex and determined that I have 19″ of road clearance from the bottom of the teardrop.  That’s enough to go under it in a creeper and drill through temporary risers that are 3″ x @8″ x 3/4″ with 3/8″ holes just enough to mark the camper bottom hole locations; then slide the camper back about 4″ and drill 1/2″ holes through the. marked camper bottom, then epoxy fill them; then slide the camper back in place and drill the final 3/8″ holes through the temporary risers; finally put the real risers and pads in and bolt the camper down. I am planning on painting the bottom in the next few days (not of all worried about drilling  the holes after painting).

    I have a serious question for John about the riser location.  The hymnal says to locate them 4″-6″ in from the inside of the side rails.  My Trailex came with them located EXACTLY 10.75″ in from the rails and the front diagonal ones located exactly in line with the rest and all tightly torqued down all to factory pencil marks – as though their engineer feels strongly that that’s exactly where they need to be.  Who’s right??? I’m inclined to go with the Trailex location, but will see what John says before I make up my mind.

    John C. Harris

    Pasted over from a PM with Eric:

    “Answer: the Trailex location is absolutely fine. Honestly, they could
    be at 20″ or at 4” and still do the job as intended. I think we had to
    put them on ours, and just said, “This looks about right.” I did not
    realize that Trailex was now bolting those on.”

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