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Old 12-15-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
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covered trailer as SMB tag along

OK, I'm sort of at my wit's end. I have this 95 SMB which is in need of a little love, but I'm presently clearing my slate to get started on it. Love the floor plan, love the van except it's an RB. I know I won't be able to afford or probably even find one with this few miles again. It isn't perfect but I have an idea to keep the family of 4 traveling in style. It's a 460 so my fuel mileage isn't going to suffer if I put a couple thousand pounds behind it.

She wants a shower. A real one. I kind of do too, not gonna happen with 4 seats in an RB. We are ONLY ever tied to paid lodging because of showers. Laundry is never really a problem for us on long trips.

I also like the idea of having my bikes, supplies, etc. secure for long road trips that will hopefully involve some light off-roading. Living in Tn. I'm not going to be taking my SMB up Engineer Pass most likely, but if I did I could park a trailer somewhere if exploring for a few hours or a day.

I'm thinking of getting a 6x10ish covered trailer with a side door to pull behind the van. I would put a small counter and sink in the front with a small shower in the corner (just a Lowe's/Home Depot fiberglass single shower, 3x3 I guess). I would find a decent water tank from an RV salvage place probably and put a hot water heater in the trailer as well, and permanently house my generator there. I would use a 20 lb barbq tank to run the hot water.

This gives me lots of room to keep 4 bikes, tools, groceries and lots of other things I probably wouldn't bring along with just the van. I could attatch a small awning to the trailer and probably not bother with one on the van. Also, I could take a dual-sport bike along sometimes.

So, upsides: space, a shower, a place to wash dishes with hot water
downsides: I'm reversing the reason I bought a van, and pulling a trailer again, which will inevitably get in the way sometimes, but can go more places than a big camping trailer.

My biggest questions: Will I destroy a covered trailer if I try to pull it anywhere off road? How tough are they? What tires etc. would I need and would it be worth it to lift it.
Also, how to do a shower drain. Straight through the floor and carry a blue boy (portable RV tank waste tank) to catch the gray water when I need to? I hate the idea of a permanent black/gray tank.

Thoughts? Ideas?
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

you could probably pick up a used fleetwood evolution for off road that has the shower set up already and is pop up trailer camper for low profile.
good luck.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

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Old 12-15-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpvi
Those dudes certainly know how to have a good time! Is your point that a trailer can take some abuse? Because a lightweight covered contractor style trailer like I have in mind ain't quite made like that Kedron they're pulling!
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

Don't you pull an off road trailer about that size already? It would seem like the an enclosed trailer would not be that much of a change.

You will probably want to match tire size to your van and also the bolt pattern. That way only one spare tire to carry. A lift should not be to difficult. You will also need to pay attention to the tung weight. If the living space is in front and you use the back for different toy hauling configurations the tung weight could fluctuate quite a bit.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:22 PM   #6
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie
Don't you pull an off road trailer about that size already? It would seem like the an enclosed trailer would not be that much of a change.
Larrie, no, I've never pulled a trailer behind my van. I had a big rack but don't use it anymore.

Thanks

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Old 12-15-2013, 10:55 PM   #7
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

Here in CA, pulling a trailer means being stuck in the slow lanes with all the merging traffic and Semi's - parking, three point turns in the dirt, backing up all too much of a PITA for me to ever want an adventure trailer.

Get a shower tent.
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

I have a shower tent... all nice and new and never even used it. We hang a curtain over the doors (side or back depending on location) and shower just like home.

If you go the shower tent route, (which will prolly fit a fam of 4 better'n our little system) I'll sell you mine for less than cost. It's the Cabela's top o' line one... literally never used, I set it up once in my shop just to see what it looked like.

...and you can do stuff besides shower in it
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:08 AM   #9
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

Thanks guys, but I have a shower tent and have experimented with gravity fed rooftop showers using PVC pipe. I have one made right now that I'll be trying out next Spring. My problem is twofold. We ALWAYS have a minimum drive of 2 hard days to get from here to where we usually explore, Co/Wy/Az/NM/Id/Ut/Ca/etc. We inevitably have to waste money at some dumpy motel worry about secure parking if we want to sleep and shower anywhere other than the van. Oh yeah, then there's the 2 days on the return trip. I'm getting pretty tired of this since I sleep a lot better in my own bed and also I want all my toys closed up and out of sight, also out of the dust and grime we always get in to. I don't want to join, or rejoin the motorhome set, but we like the idea of pulling over and cooking/showering whatever at a rest stop better than killing time and money at a motel.
I've been leaning towards a small B/C like a Chinook but the deal is I already have a paid-for SMB and a trailer would not add much cost. They can be had for around $2K.

Baja, is that a law in CA? Anywhere in the east you can pull a trailer in any lane if you aren't holding up traffic, except for semi's of course. They are usually restricted to the right or 2 right lanes on a 3 lane. I'm not so much worried about maneuverability in tight spots because I wouldn't be attempting to drag it through the kinds of places you go. I guess I'm more worried about shaking it to pieces on washboard roads, etc.

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Old 12-16-2013, 09:23 AM   #10
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Re: covered trailer as SMB tag along

As far as I know, and I may be in denial or ignorance here, but in CA the most restrictive trailering law is that you're only allowed drive up to 55mph while towing. In some parts of CA I'd be happy doing 55, but 55 on I5 in the middle of the state? That's a death wish as cars and trucks would be passing you at 75-80mph all day long. I've never had issues towing at 65mph (+/- 5mph) in CA. I just make sure there's always some people going faster than I am.

When towing, I try to stay in the second-to-rightmost lane. Less hassle dealing with merging traffic, and leaves the left lane open for the people travelling at light-speed.


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