Twin Magnolia's Homebrew Trailer

I'll start this by saying my dad is the best. I started talking to him about wanting to build a trailer a year ago. Beginning in November, he and I began talking about design; simple stuff first: dimensions, height, suspension, etc. Then he started drafting it and decided he wanted to give us the finished trailer as a Christmas gift. We used Evernote to swap ideas and collaborate on design.

My dad is retired, and has the time to undertake that kind of a project. However, he's had both knees, and a shoulder replaced. He also has diabetes. Framing out, welding it up, and getting a rolling chassis would be a big project for anyone to do by themselves. Considering his health, as well as the oppressive Florida heat/humidity, and I never really expected it to be finished by Christmas.

Helping him work on this project was also a difficult proposition because I live about 700 mile away. I'm usually only down in Florida at Christmas and around July 4th. So, after 7 months of him working at his pace, I came down to finish out the first part of the build. For the last week, I've worked about 8-10 hours daily to get it to it's current state.

I'll add to this periodically to document it's beginnings, and future additions/upgrades.

As it stands this afternoon: 2017-07-07 16.56.03.jpg
Wow. This looks great. So much the better since you collaborated with your Dad on it. I am sure he is having the time of his life and you sir are one lucky son to have a pops like this. Can't wait to see the whole story.
If it's worth building, it's worth overbuilding. I think that is the old man's motto and his projects are always built for the "just in case" scenario. We started with 2" square tubing for the frame, and 2.5" for the tongue. The box would be a 4'x6' box with step sides, and a front deck.

Side story: the deck where most of this work was done was built as a Christmas gift from me and my brother. We showed up with lumber and built it so Dad could have a place outside his tool shed and in the shade of a Water Oak. That tree made this project bearable.

All laid out and squared up for tack welding.

And here's my brother-in-law getting a little time in with the stick welder. It's cool when one of us has a project going on, everybody kinda stops by as they are able, and helps out for as long as they can if they know your working. That is one thing that I do miss about living near my family.

Next up were the sides. We built those 2' high. The plan was for the trailer floor to be at approx. 2' off the ground, the lid at 4', and the bottom of the roof top tent fully raised at 6'. I thought a wood frame box atop the pretty solid frame would be enough, but the ol' man wouldn't hear it. Not with the whole family, more importantly his grandkids, up in that tent. So, a 1x square tubing was used to build the sides and the lid. 3/4 ply would be the flooring, and the board at the front of the box. 1/2 ply would skin the sides, lid, and tailgate.

The trailer was also going to have step sides that were sturdy enough to walk around the trailer. I had watched enough people monkey themselves all over their vehicles, and trailers just to set up their roof top tents to know that I wasn't going to be doing that. Everything had to be accessible from standing on a step of some kind. We went with 1x square tubing for the step sides, which were 18" wide, and would incorporate the fender flares.

Another angle

With front and rear step sides finished and the wheel propped up there just as a frame of reference.

So far, pretty straight forward and mundane. That's all for tonight. We just got in from 700 monotonous miles from South Florida to North Georgia on the interstates.
Can't wait to check this thing out. It looks great!
It definitely needs a shakedown run or twenty before the rendezvous. Let's do it.


Wow. This looks great. So much the better since you collaborated with your Dad on it. I am sure he is having the time of his life and you sir are one lucky son to have a pops like this. Can't wait to see the whole story.
Yeah. When we snapped a pic of the "finished" trailer I was smiling like a jackass eating briars through a barb wire fence. Everytime I go home, I bring some kind of project for us to work on just so we can hang out. I don't really care what it is or who it's for, as long as we get to build something together.
Top Bottom