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Projects Help with Teardrop Trailer Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hdonlybob, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,974


    I am going to build a very small old style Teardrop trailer to pull behind my '63 Biscayne.
    Purpose will be to pull my handicap scooter, so will only be big enough for that, and I need to be able to move it around myself. I will paint it to match.
    I have an extra set of Ansen Torq Thrust type wheels/tires that match the wheels on my Chevy that I want to use. They are 4 3/4" bolt pattern.
    Here is my problem.....what to use for hubs.
    I can buy aftermarket trailer axle stubs with hubs, and would make my own axle...however they are not real cheap. I also thought about maybe using an old set of rear axles adapted somehow... ????
    Any ideas to help here would be much appreciated....the axle does not need to be heavy at all.....
    I am looking at buying one of those small trailer kits and going from there..
    Thanks in advance...
  2. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 549


    I hear fwd van rear axles are popular for light duty trailers - you might want to check into that.
  3. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,974


    Great idea...Thanks .. :)
  4. Kerrynzl
    Joined: Jun 20, 2010
    Posts: 2,283


    How much of a cheapskate do you want to be.
    Using a van/car axle is quite a bit of work to save minimal $$$$

    You can buy a complete axle, hub, spring and hanger kit for $200 [ I make my own because I don't have this luxury in NZ ]
    this is only available in 4-1/2 PCD

    Dexter make a 4-3/4 PCD hub for their trailer axles
    Part number 845475

    I personally ,would pony up the extra $$$ and get a complete Dexter axle made for your application.
    Go to a lightweight torsion so the whole assembly is 1 unit.

    Trailers need to be 100% reliable, but unfortunately [like the humble lawnmower] they only get maintenance when you absolutely need to use it.

    When building your , make sure the spare from your Biscayne will fit on the trailer [this saves a headache later if you don't carry a trailer spare]

    Because you know your payload weight, don't over spring the trailer [make it soft]
    And try not to have too much tongue weight ,this is a common myth that continually perpetuates itself
    [probably by "equalizer hitch" salespeople]
    54reno likes this.

  5. You could easily redrill the 5x4.5 hubs to take the 5x4.75 wheels.
  6. LWEL9226
    Joined: Jul 7, 2012
    Posts: 319

    from So. Oregon

  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,609

    Rusty O'Toole

    Lots of guys are building teardrop trailers on the chassis of cheap utility trailers from Harbor Freight, Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart. Start off with new chassis, bearings, wheels and tires. Plan on replacing the cheap Chinese tires with better ones.

    There are plenty of web sites and forums on building teardrop trailers if you look around.
  8. 54reno
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 115


    You can buy a Dexter axle built to your specs for a very reasonable cost. You can spec it with the 5 on 4.75 hubs. Axle will not be wide and shipped cheaply by UPS. If I can help you please let me know. We order axles all the time. Takes 2-3 weeks to get one. Reno..
  9. doinbad
    Joined: Sep 17, 2012
    Posts: 324

    from celina tn

    TSC has axles for 100 bucks around here!
  10. 36tbird
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 1,084


    Bob, are you working from some plans? If not, look for a copy of Tex Smith's Hot Rod Mechanix, vol. 5 no. 2 1991.
  11. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 755


    Bob is that a seat on that MC trailer? Is that legal? Just for My FYI!!
  12. hotrod37
    Joined: Aug 8, 2006
    Posts: 118

    from Indiana

    I think he meant to redrill the trailer axle hubs to fit the 4.75" wheel pattern. I purchased a mullins trailer kit, it had hubs for Ford wheels. I can't remember if I lloked for hubs for Chevy or not.
    Assume the trailer bearings were be roughly the same. You might check into that.
  13. i don't think they were talking about redrilling your wheels , rather redrill the hubs

    many years ago ( 1978) i built a small trailer to pull behind my motorcycle. i made the axle and used hubs from a boat trailer. for springs i used the rear coil/shocks from a Honda 90 with small trailing arms to position the axle. pulls nice with or without a few hundred pound load. it has been used a lot , both by me and the countless number of friends i have borrowed to to...i would estimate at least 100,000 miles. 4 pairs of tires so far, i bought the 5th pair last summer but haven't put them on yet
  14. BobF
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 230

    from Poway, CA

    When I built my teardrop I made the axle from 2" thick wall square steel tubing. I had some drums with the correct bolt pattern so I just cut the drum part off the carriers in a lathe. Measured the spindle particulars the drums came off of and made a couple spuds on a lathe, then welded them into the end of the axle. Other than my time it was pretty much free.
  15. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,080

    from Rolla, Mo.

    Rotting, pop-up style campers are plentiful around here. When I decided to build mine, I was fortunate to find one for free. I even got the title and a bill of sale. My home-built is actually titled as a 1985 Jayco. I disassembled everything-narrowed and shortened the chassis. As BobF stated, I removed the axle spuds from the original a axle and welded them into 4"x12" plates. These well my drops. I welded these to 2" square tubing of the right length to complete the axle. My hubs are 5 on 4.5 but 5 on 4.75 are available for about $35.00 each at a Tractor Supply or RV type supply store. I'm cheap and I built my complete trailer for around $700.00. Go to the "Teardrops and Tiny trailers site for information on glues, materials, gallery, etc. Good luck, it will be a fun woodworking project.

    Attached Files:

  16. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,556


    ive built three teardrops tractor supply has axle you need and I believe they have a small trailer frame that might have that bolt pattern as an option. I used harbor frt for the first one but went with tsc twice after that. price vs quality. tsc was better made and about the same price.
  17. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,326


    Good ideas here. I'm gathering ideas for my own.
  18. sailingadventure
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Posts: 280


    This may give you some ideas about how to build yours. This one was built to haul luggage.
    The website is;
    Hdonlybob likes this.
  19. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 4,422

    rusty rocket

    I looked into building a utility trailer and was going to go the mini van axle route. The van axles are big a clunky I think you would be better off buying the trailer kit and ordering the right bolt pattern or have them redrilled.
  20. MO_JUNK
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,080

    from Rolla, Mo.

    I've see very small teardrop style trailers behind bikes. Most used the entire top as the access with the hinges at the front. Piano hinge would work good. You should be able to get about everything you need at Home Depot, Lowes or a farm/Rv supply store.
  21. Handi cap scooter would need a dropped axle and low floor no?
    Or will it have some kind of lift?
  22. There is a ''Vintage Trailers'' social group right here on the HAMB.
  23. ratster
    Joined: Sep 23, 2001
    Posts: 3,536


    i started off with a 4x5' trailer from lowes, moved the axle back and extended the frame to 8'

    Attached Files:

    Hdonlybob likes this.
  24. mikegt4
    Joined: Feb 28, 2011
    Posts: 41

    from SW Ohio

    Getting hubs with the proper bolt pattern is easy, just watch for the center hole diameter in your wheels that is necessary to clear the hub.
    I don't think that I saw it mentioned yet but the Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers forum should help you in your build.
  25. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,974


    BINGO.......Thanks much....pretty much exactly what I plan, but shorter, and with my Torq Thrust Wheels on it !!!

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