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Thread: Bug out trailer project

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Central Texas
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    Default Bug out trailer project

    Another project? Really?


    Yeah. I guess Im an addict when it comes to projects.



    So this project will not be started anytime soon, but I wanted to go ahead and put up this thread to get some ideas from yall. So my wife wants to go camping again, but the last time we went camping the heat got to her. We live in Texas and it can be hot any time, even in winter. So we had thought about picking up an RV, but due to towing limitations and storage requirements we would have to go with one that we wouldnt be happy with. So we looked at pop up campers since they would fit our towing and storage requirements. We were almost ready to pull the trigger on one when a random phone call with a family member opened up another option. A small enclosed cargo trailer in combination with a good size tent.


    That will work.


    So the cargo trailer is a 5X8 with an interior height of 50. This means that it is low profile which will help fuel economy with the tow vehicle, but it has a high enough interior height to be useable. After a bit of negotiating, we got the seller to come down in price from $1,800 to $1,200. Its in good shape and the plywood floor is not rotten or damaged.

    Pictures will be coming at a later time.


    This trailer is small enough to fit inside our garage, and is big enough to store all of our camping equipment inside it. However, I will be modifying it so it can also be used as a bug out trailer. Our BOL is now about 200 miles away so we need a way to transport all of our gear and supplies to that location.


    So here is the part where I need yalls help. What should I do to the trailer to make it into a better bug out trailer, and to make it better for camping?



    Here are my thoughts;

    Add a water tank(already got a 40 gallon RV water tank)
    Add solar panels, inconspicuously if possible
    Add a powered roof vent
    Add light weight foldable shelving for secure storage
    Add a sink and stove that is accessible from the outside
    Make it harder to break into and harder to steal



    The #1 priority though is keeping it looking like a plain cargo trailer on the outside.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    1,181

    Default

    Upgrade tires to the max ply you can get.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2009
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    East TN Smokey Mountains
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    Default

    I guess first question is what you gonna pull it with?
    53 foot fully equipped Winnebago RV with a years supply of provisions tucked away in every nook and cranny?
    or small single seat pickup truck?
    in other words when you bug out what is being carried elsewhere besides this trailer?

    next question is how far is your BOL away?
    will you need to carry fuel in this trailer to make it to the BOL without stopping for fuel?

  4. #4
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    Feb 2010
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    Default

    before you start tearing into things - there's been a few new UTube postings lately on that conversion agenda - I noticed right away that there was no mention of insulation .....

  5. #5
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    Default

    For now, it will be pulled with a mid size SUV. Since our BOL is about 200 miles away, and with the fuel currently stored at my location, we will easily be able to make that trip on one tank of fuel.


    As to supplies, it would primarily be a suit case of clothes each, a couple of coolers, our dry goods/non-perishable foods, a small fridge(can easily be powered by a small solar setup), our camping supplies(which would always be in the trailer), self defense items, and a few other small survival items. All of this accept for the suit cases and self defense items would be able to fit into the trailer. This leaves room in the SUV for other things(like educational and entertainment things for our daughter).


    Insulation. Very good point that I have looked into but forgot to mention. I too have watched a few tube videos showing removal of the inner walls to add insulation. Ive still got a full sheet of 1/2 foam board insulation as well as a couple of partial pieces. My intent is to insulate the trailer. The 1 thick insulation is working surprisingly well in my shed, but for this build I would like to go as thick as possible. If the walls only have 1/2 gap then I might just have to modify things so there will be at least 1 thick of insulation on the roof and walls. A powered roof vent is a definite must have to go along with the insulation.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CENTEXDUDE View Post
    Upgrade tires to the max ply you can get.
    GREAT IDEA!!!


    Over the weekend I was able to show to my wife the end result of good tires(not China bombs!!). I had to replace 2 of the stock tires on my current car. Those tires are Michelin and have worn VERY good despite my driving. They had 62,000 miles on them and still had 4/32 of tread depth left so they could have stayed on the car for another 8,000 miles easily. But, they both had nails in them and they recently started having a high speed vibration once you got up to about 90 mph. So they got replaced. But replacing the tires with better quality AND a load range or two higher is a great idea!!
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  7. #7
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    the tire suggestion by centex (as usual) is great.
    never know how heavy a load you might be forced to carry.

    maybe a roof top rack?
    either store bought of improvised.
    again never know what you might be forced to carry.
    and you could make a rig for your solar panels to bolt on to it.

  8. #8

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    If I was going that small, I'd consider all my cooking supplies including Stove etc to be outdoor equipment and use the trailer primarily for sleeping so, Bedding is essential. If a bear can Shlt in the wood, so can you so, no need for gray water tank or bathroom. Ideal would be to be on the lookout for a propane fridg and water fans for cooling. If this will be used for recreation camping as well as a BUGOUT camper, you need to keep it simple. Two big things would be a bed that has plenty room underneath for storing an out door kitchen, lots of heavy duty tarps, fresh water tank, food and supplies, and insulate the living Shlt out of it, and silicone ever nook, crease and cranny. Also, you might want to consider installing low profile Windows on all four sides for two reasons. Drafting air and a lookout.
    Making good people helpless, doesn't make bad people harmless!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by explo72 View Post
    the tire suggestion by centex (as usual) is great.
    never know how heavy a load you might be forced to carry.

    maybe a roof top rack?
    either store bought of improvised.
    again never know what you might be forced to carry.
    and you could make a rig for your solar panels to bolt on to it.

    I thought about a roof top rack but Im on the fence. It has pros and cons, but it would definitely open up more cargo capacity.

    As far as solar panels, after brainstorming there is an idea that popped up. This trailer has a side door and barn doors in the back. My thought was to make the back similar to a tear drop camper where the kitchen area is in the back. One idea for the solar panels is to have them mounted on a hinge so that when the barn doors are open, the panels can be folded out. This would keep them secure, and protected from hail or other projectiles. It would also help with the stealthiness of keeping it looking like a work trailer. While camping, the panels and kitchen could be folded up and stored inside. No sun is out at night so there would not be a lack of battery charging taking place at that time.

    The big downfall to this would be a limitation to the size of the array that could be used. If panels were roof mounted, there could be one center mounted 400 watt panel, and then have 2 other panels mounted on either side on hinges for a total of 1200 watts. Once at the camping or BOL spot, the panels could be unfolded for a LOT of useable power in such a small trailer. If the panels were mounted in the back and unfolded from the kitchen, it would be limited to about 400 watts total(four 100 watt panels). Hmmmm.........


    Just a thought........
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camouflaged View Post
    If I was going that small, I'd consider all my cooking supplies including Stove etc to be outdoor equipment and use the trailer primarily for sleeping so, Bedding is essential. If a bear can Shlt in the wood, so can you so, no need for gray water tank or bathroom. Ideal would be to be on the lookout for a propane fridg and water fans for cooling. If this will be used for recreation camping as well as a BUGOUT camper, you need to keep it simple. Two big things would be a bed that has plenty room underneath for storing an out door kitchen, lots of heavy duty tarps, fresh water tank, food and supplies, and insulate the living Shlt out of it, and silicone ever nook, crease and cranny. Also, you might want to consider installing low profile Windows on all four sides for two reasons. Drafting air and a lookout.
    The idea I had to have a fold out kitchen would maximize interior space while making it easy to store the cooking equipment. The idea is to have about a 4 wide by 18 deep counter top. The sink would be mounted in this counter top, but it would have to be a shallow sink. Something like 4-6 deep. Beside the sink would be plenty of room for a 2 burner Coleman stove that would not be mounted. The counter top would be hinged so when not in use, it would fold up. By doing the kitchen like this, it would only take up about 1 of total room in the trailer. This would leave 7 by 5 for sleeping.

    A propane fridge would be a nice find. Ive been looking at 12 volt compressor fridges. They arent cheap but they work pretty dang good and dont use much power. I agree about pooping and not having a grey water tank. A while back I built a redneck A/C. It uses ice or cold water to cool off small spaces. That could be repurposed for the cargo trailer.


    You bring up a good point about the windows. Different ventilation ideas have gone through my mind with the main focus of keeping a basic work trailer exterior appearance. Automotive backup cameras all around the trailer can be used for security and the lack of windows would help to prevent people from seeing what is inside. For ventilation, a 2 or 3 PVC pipe can flow a lot of air. A single 2 or 3 pipe coming up from the floor can be routed to keep humidity low inside. The roof vent would then suck the air out.


    But once again, these are just ideas that Ive got and no clue if they are good ideas or not. I dunno.........
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

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