Why? Because I'm moving to New York City. There certainly is no place there for me to continue the project as-is. It's utility, however, is not lost. It's helped me move hundreds of pounds of junk out of my two bedroom house to various destinations around town.
We'll that's all for this project for now. Maybe I'll pick it up in the winter when I come back to visit Florida.
I'm sure there's more interesting things I can build to make the city more livable.
I registered the trailer... took 3 fricken hours running around town and sitting at the DMV. Anyway, I installed the trailer hitch. This was some wacky crap though. Since the bumper beam was a box, I had to drill it and run a fish through the hole and out the end. Then I had to tape a carriage bolt and a matching washer to the fish and pull it back through the hole I drilled. Who knows what hells I would have endured if the bolt fell off the tape and stuck inside that fricken death box. After that, the trunk bolts were a breeze. I also installed a trailer jack.
In order to legally tow this hunk of metal around and pick up materials from the Depot, I had to wire up the tail lights. So, I downloaded the wiring diagrams from alldatadiy.com and spliced in a connector for the trailer. This wasn't as easy as I thought it would be because, of course, the Malibu has separate turning and brake lights. This required a few 6A rectifier diodes and it still doesn't work right, because I needed to use high-power transistors and they weren't readily available. It's enough to fool the cops until I get the thing built and run real wiring. Also, being a painted trailer, there was no path for ground. So even if the screw for connecting the ground for the trailer actually existed per the manual, the lights wouldn't have had ground contact anyway. I'd have to grind down spots near the lights and maybe even jumper most of the frame because there's no metal-to-metal contact anywhere! Alternatively, I just ran an extra ground wire to each tail light.
Here's the crossbeam installation in progress. Almost done here. Four bolts into the frame on the first, second, fourth and sixth beam. Two in the others. This looks simple, but it took a few hours. Drilling through the steel was time consuming and the very first beam, which I did last, required a lot of thinking and measuring to line up properly with the existing through-holes.
The greatest thing to come from this, was getting my garage back from the piles of trash and broken overhead door.
Expenses this post:
10' Pressure treated 2x4
3 x 10' Pressure treated 4x4
Wheeled trailer jack
Bolts, washers, nuts
Total Project Expenses: $477.26
Total Project Weight: 380lbs.
I've spent the last two weeks working on the details of this project. This is the most time I've ever spent planning anything. I've pretty much completed the CAD drawing, except for the interior walls that will enclose the bathroom and create storage space. I estimate I will hammer that detail out as construction begins, as the doors will play a big part in it. Hidden layers in the drawing below include the exterior sheathing and interior wall covering. I also have not finalized the exterior finish material. I'm leaning towards using a galvanized metal roofing material. Windows? I don't know where to begin there yet. I'm sure that will either include some skillful woodwork or expensive add-ons.
Here's the CAD model in all it's glory. After this was finished, I took a lined piece of paper, and with the width representing an 8' 2x2, I drew each cut onto the paper. I then drew out all the sheathing material in such a way to make the best use of each 4x8 sheet. This enabled me to economize on my lumber purchases.
The bitch here is weight. I did some calculating and so far I've included 94lbs of PT 4x4, 82lbs. of 2x2 and approximately 300(!)lbs of 1/2" plywood (roughly 500lbs of building materials). With the exterior and interior treatments, this puts the final trailer towing weight near 750lbs. I'm leaning towards reducing the sheathing thickness from 1/2" to 1/4". This will save a significant amount in weight. I should know better when the frame is complete and I know how sturdy it is.
Next step is to get down to the DMV and get the trailer registered. I also got my bolt-on trailer hitch, I'll need to install that soon.
Yesterday, the ball began rolling on a very intimidating project, the kit trailer frame for a do-it-myself camping trailer was delivered. Here are the project goals:
Weigh less than 1000lbs (so the Malibu can tow it)
Sleep 2 comfortably
I've been working in AutoCAD to design the structure of the camper. I'll post those models when they're completed.
Here's the assembly of the trailer kit. It was fairly straightforward. None of the frame components were labeled though, as the manual said they were, so that took a bit of guessing. All bolted connections. The entire assembly took just three hours as stated in the manual. The kit was missing cotter pins for the wheel hubs, which I easily obtained from Home Depot for a few pennies.
Expenses this post:
Haul-Master 990 lb. capacity 48" x 96" foldable utility trailer
Pair 2-Ton jack stands
Total Project Expenses: $386.00
Total Project Weight: 240lbs.