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Thread: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

  1. #1

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    Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    First, I need to get a hitch made for my sportster. That should be no problem due to my friend who builds race cars from the ground up. If he can't build it, it can't be made.

    So I have a old small cargo trailer I bought that will pull behind a bike. What I would like to do it ditch the clamshell and convert it into a 1 person pop up camper. I only ride by myself. So no need for lots of room, kitchen, living room, jacuzzi, etc.

    Anyone has any plans or ideas on how to do this? And cost effective. Cabellas has a cot/pop up tent for about $190. http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...harset=ISO-885 Wondering if I could ditch the clamshell, make a flat bed on the trailer, and mount their tent/cot on it. A pop up trailer that can be set up in 30 seconds. Just scratching my head trying to figure out how to get the frame into a flat bed config to allow this. And I would need to include getting the length of the flat bed longer than the standard 4'

  2. #2
    Sidecars Rule! ☺
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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    Poke around here. Lots of good ideas. http://compactcampingconcepts.com/index.htm

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    Trekker's Avatar
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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazymactech View Post
    First, I need to get a hitch made for my sportster. That should be no problem due to my friend who builds race cars from the ground up. If he can't build it, it can't be made.

    So I have a old small cargo trailer I bought that will pull behind a bike. What I would like to do it ditch the clamshell and convert it into a 1 person pop up camper. I only ride by myself. So no need for lots of room, kitchen, living room, jacuzzi, etc.

    Anyone has any plans or ideas on how to do this? And cost effective. Cabellas has a cot/pop up tent for about $190. Wondering if I could ditch the clamshell, make a flat bed on the trailer, and mount their tent/cot on it. A pop up trailer that can be set up in 30 seconds. Just scratching my head trying to figure out how to get the frame into a flat bed config to allow this. And I would need to include getting the length of the flat bed longer than the standard 4'
    I'm actually working on a design to do just what you're asking. My criteria is cheap (relative to other campers of course), light, simple, and easy. I am always blown away by the cost of small campers (knowing full well they cost that much for good reasons), and see a market for less expensive spartan models. I've sorta scrapped the idea of using a 4x4 trailer for now, which will probably not help keep the cost down. One of my first ideas, and simplest, is to use a long top box (Thule or Yakima) with tent fabric sides to keep the bugs & rain out. Only real problem with that is... where do the shoes and jacket and stuff go that normally come into the tent? It sure is simple and easy! Like sleeping in a coffin with the lid propped open, eh?

    I hope to be building a prototype of my slightly 'more better' design this year. Maybe I will have my own "trailer project" thread some day.
    Dave
    <<<< Willville in April

    '99 ST1100

  4. #4
    (Threadstarter)

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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    Hmm, with a "piano hinge" this might be doable. A 4' flat bed on the frame, and a 3' or 4' extension that lies on top of the bed with supporting legs and a piano hinge for the extension to fold out attached to the back of the 4' flat bed. Just wondering where I would get the piano hinge. I suck at mechanics. So we are looking at (already having the frame) a 4' x8' section of treated plywood. Probably about $40. Tent /cot from cabellas at $190. Hinge $30? Plus some metal to support the piano hinge addition section Would like some input on that part from folks with more mechanical knowledge than me. So for $400 or so to can turn the cargo trailer into a 1 person pop up camper. Well,maybe another $50 to have someone wield the piano hinge on. So we are talking around $350 to turn a cargo trailer into a a 1 person pop up camper. Would like more folks input on this before I start on this. Of course, still need to get a hitch made before I can even do that. But I hope this gives some folks some ideas on how to build a cheap 1 person pop up camper. Cabellas does sell a a 2 person version of the tent/cot, but I would imagine it would be too wide for someone thinking about this project for a bike. For a car, that might be doable.

  5. #5
    Sidecars Rule! ☺
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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazymactech View Post
    Hmm, with a "piano hinge" this might be doable. A 4' flat bed on the frame, and a 3' or 4' extension that lies on top of the bed with supporting legs and a piano hinge for the extension to fold out attached to the back of the 4' flat bed. Just wondering where I would get the piano hinge....
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...pianohinge.php

  6. #6

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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazymactech View Post
    Anyone has any plans or ideas on how to do this? And cost effective. Cabellas has a cot/pop up tent for about $190. http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...harset=ISO-885 Wondering if I could ditch the clamshell, make a flat bed on the trailer, and mount their tent/cot on it. A pop up trailer that can be set up in 30 seconds. Just scratching my head trying to figure out how to get the frame into a flat bed config to allow this. And I would need to include getting the length of the flat bed longer than the standard 4'
    I've had similar thoughts;

    http://www.motocampers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2483

    Interested in what you come up with...

  7. #7
    #%@*, it's raining again! Ironheadziggy76's Avatar
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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    Here are a few hitch links for you to look at. Your fab guy can check them out to get some ideas. One is from Dauntless Motors and the other is from a guy who built his own and included a backrest into the hitch from XLforums.

    http://www.dauntlessmotors.com/Mount...HLS10.2006.JPG

    http://www.dauntlessmotors.com/Mount...PRS10.2006.JPG

    http://www.dauntlessmotors.com/Mount...TSTERHITCH.JPG

    http://www.dauntlessmotors.com/hitch...idsonHitch.htm

    http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s...d.php?t=303652
    Sarcasm: Just one of the many free services I provide.

    2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, 2002 Harley Road King Classic, 1976 Harley Sportster

  8. #8

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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    I've been thinking about doing this... a hitch for my Deuce cost about $400 (shipped)
    and a Harbor Freight trailer about $500.... then drive to Houston and have my buddy narrow the axel/trailer....
    Hardest part is the hitch...NOTHING standard fits a Deuce! I was suprised I could even find one!

    also tiny trailers forum
    http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/

    Harbor Freight trailers...
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=2575
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=2948
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=90153
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92174
    And.....
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=66771

    My friend in Houston has one of these trailers (last link). he narrowed it a bit, threw it on his Glide and has gone from Houston to Sturgis to Kansas back to Houston with no problems. Said the 8" tires were no problem, even at speeds. His normal speed is pbly around 80+ out west.
    Y'all have fun!
    Mary aka Krashdragon

  9. #9
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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    We already got a cot/pop-up tent from Cabela's, it will fit in one of old cargo trailers! Should still have room for extras below the tent, but not alot. We'll pull with a 750 Honda Shadow, we'll see how this works soon!!!!

  10. #10

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    Re: Convert Cargo Trailer into 1 person camper?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmtracin View Post
    We already got a cot/pop-up tent from Cabela's, it will fit in one of old cargo trailers! Should still have room for extras below the tent, but not alot. We'll pull with a 750 Honda Shadow, we'll see how this works soon!!!!
    I'AM ALL

    Please post photos also if you can.

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