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cad-guy

trailers #2

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so while I am on the subject of trailers, what would you do to make an "organized" trailer? Shelving? Tables? Lights? Just wondering what would be essential to create an awesome troop trailer

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We have a 7x14 tandem axle cargo trailer with electric brakes. We installed shelves made of 7/8" angle-iron and plywood. It holds the troop and patrol gear for nine patrols plus adults. There is room for about 110 gallons of water when we need to haul it in. This gear includes 10 chuck boxes, stoves, lanterns, propane, 2 16x20 canopies, patrol dinning flies, axes, saws, rope, charcoal, tables, etc. The tables are old folding tables that had the tops replaces with expanded metal and are used to hold everything in the shelves when we are on the road.

 

There is a small solar panel on it that we use to keep the brake battery charged. There are stock lights, but they require that the trailer be connected to the vehicle. We generally disconnect at site. Except for the initial unloading they are rarely used.

 

We are looking into converting to LED lanterns instead of propane. If we do, we will set up a charging station inside with a set of solar panels to handle that. Still cost prohibitive, but it is getting close.

 

The trailer it replaced had a rack on top that we could put canoes of poles on. We still have not found a good replacement for that.

 

It is big. We've not taken it to a scale to weight but we think that it is normally at least 2 tons and could top 3 tons when fully loaded. The tow vehicle needs a trailer brake controller, a HD transmission and lots of torque.

 

We carry personal gear in an open trailer. A smaller unit could get by with a single trailer.

 

I'm not sure it was the most cost effective solution but I'm glad we have it anyway.

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>

 

 

 

I suppose each Scoutmaster would have their own ideas, but personally I'd favor a place to hang my uniforms, a desk, bookshelf for Scout books, file for paperwork, a comfortable office chair, a nice light and a soft bed.

 

Oh. And a mugholder.

 

 

Wow, it's really thoughtful of you to ask!

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I think that's kind of funny, SP, considering that I've been to a couple of KCBS barbecue competitions this last year. They've been regional competitions, with some people coming from maybe 6 hours away. Of course there are some people who travel in RVs, and quite a few teams that haul smokers on trailers, but I've also seen a few cargo trailers that are outfitted quite nicely. One of them more or less has a kitchen inside the trailer, complete with stainless steel counters, and room to wheel in a custom-built smoker. Another guy is really funny -- his trailer is smaller, and he has just a couple of smaller bullet smokers, but he hauls (more or less) a "living room" out of his trailer -- an easy overstuffed chair, a lamp and a side table.

 

The guy I compete with -- he bought a very nice folding chair (an REI "zero-gravity" chair, I think) and came up with a novel solution to hold his beverage: he plants an inverted plunger in the ground next to his chair -- there's room to put a few ice cubes in the plunger and then it holds a bottle. It is quite an "attention getter" accessory. :-)

 

Guy

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I've been in two troops with trailers. Troop 1 had shelves installed and every piece of equipment had an asigned spot. It made it easy to see when something was missing and nothing moved around on the trip. It had no extra room for personal gear and everything they owned was taken on every trip whether it was needed or not. Also required a pretty heavy duty truck to pull it. Troop 2 just has an empty trailer and whatever is needed is transferred from the troop shed to the trailer for the trip. That leaves a lot of room for personal gear or we can haul bikes if we are going biking. Sometimes things are left behind that we wished we had brought but it usually only requires a medium duty truck to pull it because of reduced weight. Both trailers are the same size with tandem axles and trailer brakes.

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We have lights, batteries, shelves, tables, cook kits, emergency food, emergency supplies, tents, stoves lamps fuel storage and a place for everything to go and until personal gear goes in, still have an aisle way.

 

The trailer is huge, the only time we are ever close to capacity is summer camp load in/out or if we hit the road to a drop off point with backpacking gear for 3 full crews(Philmont style).

 

It's great having such a big trailer because you never really worry about having to leave something behind for space or weight.

 

It's a curse having such a big trailer because it's easy to get into car camping and not taking those coll backpacking trips AND you limit the number of vehicles that can pull the thing.

 

If I were setting up a system form scratch - I'd look for two smaller trailers. One to load Troop equip for car camping and one to carry backpacks or footlockers. We need a full size Truck to pull ours now, I'd prefer to be able to use 1/4 tons or even full size cars if necessary.

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We picked up a new trailer:

 

Big enough for 6 patrol boxes to fit when car camping (9/12 of our annual outings). Those boxes cover 5 patrols and the adults. The tents are stacked on top. The milk crates of tarps and ropes go behind them. 2 canopies, 5 dutch ovens, bags of charcoal, firewood (no gathering where we camp), and all other sundry items are added. Patrol coolers can fit too.

 

On top of the trailer is a cage / box system to haul wooden poles for pioneering projects.

 

In front of the trailer is a cage rack system that holds 6 full zied propane tanks.

 

This is a single axle rig with surge brakes only. This leaves us open to having the trailer towed by anyone with a decent V8 truck (Suburban and its clones).

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Gunny2862: "It's a curse having such a big trailer because it's easy to get into car camping and not taking those coll backpacking trips AND you limit the number of vehicles that can pull the thing."

 

You've got that right. We don't take it on backpacking or canoe trips.

 

 

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Our shelving is dimensioned to hold patrol boxes. So, effectivly two rows of two shelves. There's about 6" of space above each box. Milk cartons hold small stuff.

 

Propane bottles fit under the shelves in front. Tarps/canopies on the front shelves. Somehow a small microwave fits in there, just in case ...

 

That allows for a narrow isle from the side door to the back hatch for some personal gear.

 

We store gear in a garage, and transfer to the trailer as needed.

 

Safety gear similar to what was mentioned above, but we include wheel chocks.

 

We've blown supposedly good engines hauling that thing. So, balance and share the load. Don't overload a trailer just because you're short a driver.

 

Troop is willing to share with the crew. But my preference on Venturing outings is to take an extra vehicle or two or pack lighter.

 

(Side note: at Woodbadge, I could spot the crew advisor's cars, they were smaller and had less gear!)

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We've gone with the "no shelves" route for now. When we go on a bike trip, we can fill the trailer with bikes hanging from the ceiling. When we go to summer camp, we fill it with trunks. For most other trips, we pack it with our patrol boxes on the bottom layer and put personal gear on top. It's not as efficient for any one particular function, but it does serve a whole bunch of functions.

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