conversion cargo trailer to TT?

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dude_chevy

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May 23, 2010
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Just curious, what do y'all that have been into rving a long time thing about the idea of converting a enclosed cargo trailer into a TT? Some things i have read people say you can insulate one better than the store bought TT. 

I do like the idea of being able to basically custom build to what you want and don't want.
 
dude_chevy said:
Just curious, what do y'all that have been into rving a long time thing about the idea of converting a enclosed cargo trailer into a TT? Some things i have read people say you can insulate one better than the store bought TT. 

I do like the idea of being able to basically custom build to what you want and don't want.

There was a member here a few months ago who did exactly that. Not sure if I can find the post now. Maybe others can.
 
I have always wondered how one handles the plumbing, specifically the gray and black water tanks. Most cargo trailers I?ve seen don?t seem to have the clearance to add them underneath.
 
Over on the Teardrops N Tiny Travel Trailers forum, there is an EXTREMELY active sub-forum devoted specifically to Cargo Trailer Conversions - over 46,000 posts in more than 2,200 threads.

http://www.tnttt.com/viewforum.php?f=42&sid=b509c47920514f85a7dc77646f61ca45

I've looked at it a little bit.  It's become obvious to me that the CHEAPER brands of cargo trailers are every bit as shoddily built as the cheaper travel trailers are.  You've got to be willing to spend good money for one of the better brands/models if you want it to last.  And unless you're going for a bare-bones metal-tent-on-wheels approach, it's going to wind up costing you more than buying a used travel trailer will.
 
There was a guy here a couple years ago that did just that, and had a detailed thread.  Afterwards he deleted his account.
Not sure why.

ETA:  found it
http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,105349.0.html
 
Many have been done and done well.  It certainly is a viable option.  Advantages are as you indicated better insulation if you so desire, they typically are better constructed than TT's on the market, the ability to create a floor plan specifically for your need and likely lower cost to buy and convert to a TT.  If I were to go back to TT's, I would do a cargo trailer conversion myself.
 
Certainly doable, but a lot more effort (and expense) than most people initially think. [Ditto for school bus conversions]  As was mentioned, plumbing is often a problem, especially tanks and waste lines. On the other hand, components are readily available in RV store and online sources and the skills needed are no more than "advanced handyman" level.  Plumbing and electrical are the often most challenging, since it requires some knowledge beyond adding an outlet or changing a faucet.


The upside, of course, is that you can focus on the things most important to you. If cold & hot weather comfort is a major concern, you can insulate to any degree you like, though at a cost of some interior space. [Don't laugh - when you only have 96" to work with, devoting another 4" to insulation is a 5% hit on interior room]
 
Back2PA said:
I have always wondered how one handles the plumbing, specifically the gray and black water tanks. Most cargo trailers I?ve seen don?t seem to have the clearance to add them underneath.

In most cases, black tanks are not even needed.  There are several viable options that eliminate the black tank need. 

As for gray, there are literally hundreds of various dimension tanks for RV/TT use that can be purchased quite easily and at a reasonable price.  And one doesn't need a high capacity.  Gray water has a plethora of dumping options unlike black.  Do not need to use a formal RV dump station.  Plumbing is actually the easy part.  Amazing the stuff one can find at Lowe's, Home Depot, Menards, etc. 

I would agree that cargo units are lower clearance than typical TT units.  But that is easily solved also.  One can replace the standard drop axles on a cargo trailer with dexter torflex straight axles w/brakes for $300 - $400 and axle.  Quality axles that only seem to be on high ticket TT's like Rockwood, Airstream, etc.  Without any additional hardware, doing this would generate at least 4" of lift.

But tanks do not need to be mounted underneath.  One can get gray and fresh tanks up to 51 gallons that are only 5" to 6" high and no more than 30" wide.  Can be placed in base cabinet or under bed on floor and braced, and a slight platform to build shower on would suffice for drainage to it.    More of a true "4 seasons" build than even many of the all season wannabe travel trailers. 
 
Back2PA said:
I have always wondered how one handles the plumbing, specifically the gray and black water tanks. Most cargo trailers I?ve seen don?t seem to have the clearance to add them underneath.

You don't put them under. You put them under the seats. Water is easy. Black tank requires a step up toilet.
 
Has anyone ever seen a utility trailer, with a removable camper, so you can use the trailer, when not camping?
I once, bolted a pickup , popup camper (Palomino) on a utility trailer and went cross country. Reason the old Ford Ranger handled like a death trap with the camper on back.
 
over40pirate said:
Has anyone ever seen a utility trailer, with a removable camper, so you can use the trailer, when not camping?
I once, bolted a pickup , popup camper (Palomino) on a utility trailer and went cross country. Reason the old Ford Ranger handled like a death trap with the camper on back.

Come to Quartzsite.  You'll see that and every other combination of RV, tent, trailer, truck, bus, car or motorcycle.  If you can camp in it, someone's probably got one around here somewhere.
 
There are a few people on youtube that have done  just that. 

take a look see what you can find.  Ive seen some of the videos ,  there were some really cool ones...
 

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