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Old 07-06-2018, 03:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 58
SMB Trailer Rebuild

After 14 years of owning my trailer it was time for a ground up rebuild. I bought this used in 2004 for $2500 off of eBay and have used it for camping, hunting and hauling all sorts of stuff since I don't own a pick up truck. I think this was a custom one off build from Sportsmobile using diamond plate aluminum and marine plywood for flooring. I've beat the snot out if this thing with all the junk I've tossed/strapped on or in it so the aluminum box has been awesome.

First order of business was to tear it down completely and assess the frame which was in need of repair. I coated the inside with a rust converter and then sent it off for sand blasting, repairing some rot and finally Line-X. Two additional trailer hitches were also welded to the ends of the rear frame for hoisting and butchering deer during hunting season. It turned out great.
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Farming out all that work was not cheap so I decided to tackle the rest myself. The original axle was bent, probably from too many trips over loaded with firewood or gravel, so a new Rockwell 5200lb axle was ordered complete with new brakes, springs etc. I coated the axle with spray can bed liner for some added protection and hung it from the frame using new springs and greaseable shackle bolts. Shackles were also coated with spray can bed liner. Will see how that holds up over time. New tires were then mounted to the original alloy rims that came with the trailer.
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Now it was time to tackle the box. Gathering inspiration from other forum members who had used Rhino Liner I order a kit from Amazon and set to work. Out came the wire wheel to clean up the older paint and several cans of an etching primer later I was ready to spray. I applied two coats to the entire box and lid and was happy how it turned out.
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Next on the list was electrical. I ordered bulk wire and set to creating my own harness minus what I bought pre-made that runs from the tongue thru the frame to the inside. It came already wired to a 7 pin female connector with heavy duty jacket so it made sense to go that route with the initial run. This was connected to a junction box that I mounted to the inside of the trailer where lighting and brake electrical branched out from. I replaced all the lights with new LEDs with wiring run inside protected loom. All connections were made using quality 3M heat shrink connectors.
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The same fabricator that fixed the frame made me a new tailgate out if 1/4" plate as well as nice powder coated covers to protect the lights on the inside of the trailer. Toggle latches were installed to the lid to keep it nice and tight going down the road. My tool box was bolted back to the lid to carry spare parts such as marker lights, shackles and bolts as well as other odds and ends.
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I'm pretty stoked how it all turned out. Every nut, bolt and washer was replaced the only original parts being the frame, box, flooring and rims. I expect to get another 14 years or more out of this trailer, it has served me well. Future plans include solar, battery, lights and some custom framing to bolt up fuel cans, traction boards, a high lift and swing out spare tire carrier. I've even considered a telescoping rack system like some of the higher end off road trailers have for a roof top tent for when the kids get bigger and the van more crowded.
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:24 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 39
it looks really stout

Mike L
2011 e250 5.4 eb42 e-ph agile offroad 4x4
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:40 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: MO
Posts: 797
Sure does. Well done.
2008 GMC 3500 Quigley Weldtec 4x4 Savana SMB
2006 BMW HP2 Enduro
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 58
Thanks much. This was a 2 year project that finally got completed this spring. We had 2 kids in those 2 years so progress was SLOW.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:26 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 184
Very inspiring. I'm working on a trailer build of my own - converting a stout "3-rail'er" (motorcycle trailer) to hold a side-by-side. I'm very much in the initial stages, and always happy to see others' ideas and creations. For now, I'm flipping the existing axle to see if it'll get the the ground-clearance I'm looking for, and venturing into wheel adapters, which I know very little about. Perhaps time to start my own thread!
2009 E-350 Lopes 55
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