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R/C Modeling Logo
Build Your Own R/C Trailer
By Randy Blackstock, Austin, Tx USA

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My idea to build this trailer derived from the fact that I no longer have to carry planes from the house to the vehicle any longer. My design is very simular to Alan Hewson's design as it was his that aided me in my planing and design.

I started this project off with a simple 4' X 8' flat bed trailer, I was lucky enough to pick it up for $50 used. The trailer came with a sheet of treated 4'X 8' ply board. I first prepped the trailer with rust inhibitor then went to one of the local steel yards and picked up 80' of 1/8"x2"x2" angle iron for the structure at a cost of $72.00, With the help of my Dad "expert welder at the age of 69" we constructed a frame 8'X5'X4' using the 2" angle iron. Once the frame was complete it was welded to the frame of the Trailer with three 6" welds on each side. We decided to make the frame simple by not adding any type of wind break on the front of the trailer. I don't really see any problem pulling it with a nice size pickup.

Once the frame was welded onto the trailer it was time to add the wood to the frame. I went to the local home improvement store and purchased 5 4'X8' sheets of 5/8 ply board untreated to be painted. In order to make the front sturdy we had to place the sheets of ply in just right so as to support the front from high winds while traveling. We removed the floor and placed the front sheet on first it was cut to fit 4' X 5" Next the sides went up cut to fit inside the frame butting up against the front sheet. Notice the seam a foot below the top angle, instead of cutting the ply so that the seams went from top to bottom we optioned to leave one full sheet and strip another to make up the 1' difference, the fit was nice. Using two saw horses, The cuts were made by way of using a straight edge, a "C" Clamp clamped on both ends of the straight edge to the saw horses so as to hold straight edge sturdy. The circular saw was measured from the out side of the saw to the blade then marks on the board were made accordingly so that the edge of the saw butted up against the straight edge giving us a straight cut. The floor and then the roof were last. The front is now well supported, and all seams were calked. All sheets of plyboard were mounted to the angle iron using liquid nail as a bonder/sealer and 1/4" galvanized wood screws measured every 8" apart.

On the inside of the trailer I measured and cut three 2x4's for each side to support the roof and tie the two halves on the side together. I used nickel plated bolts to secure the boards to the walls. The reason the boards are staggered they way they are was so that I could keep them in line with the bolts on the frame itself for appearance. I then came back with 2x4's cut to fit in between the vertical 2x4's to cover up the seams. I then purchased 40' of 1/8"x1" angle for both the interior frame and also to frame the door with. The door stop was welded inside of the trailer all the way around. A cutting torch was used to cut the slots on the ends of the angle to get the proper fit. The rest of the angle was used to build the door frame. The door was by far the hardest part of this project. We laid out each piece and measured the cuts. The angle was tacked and then hung to make sure all was fitting right. This took a couple tries before it was a perfect match, once the frame was complete we cut the last piece of ply to fit the door frame, unfortunately the wood had warped over time before I got a chance to use it. I had to measure and cut a piece of 2x4 and secure it with wood screws down the middle of the door in order to bring out the bow in the wood. The door was then hung with three heavy duty barn door hinges welded to the frame and bolted to the door. I used a back plate for support on the wood portion of the door and lock nuts for security. The locking device is called a cam lock purchased at a local trailer hitch shop for $35.00 it was also installed with locking nuts to help secure any tampering. After this was all and done I came out a bit tail heavy with all the hardware on the rear of the trailer, I was able to solve this problem in which is later to come.

I located a local camper supply and purchased two vents, they were installed at opposite ends of either other on both sides of the trailer. Since the tongue was to short for a swing away jack I found a stationary jack with wheel at academy. It was now time to silicone, calk and paint the trailer I used clear silicone on all areas and cracks, then a good primer coat was used on the wood. I came back over it with a couple of coats of oil based paint to complete the seal on the wood. On the roof I did the same but later came back with several coats of Kool Seal to help protect the roof from the weather. The interior door frame was sealed with 3/4" weather striping.

Configuring the inside took some planing. I built the trailer high enough so that I would be able get up in it with out any problems, but not to high as to make it unstable. I used 1" PVC for the plane racks and used wood screws drilled through the pipe to secure them to the 2x4's. two sections of 1" pvc was secured to the 2x4's for the over head wing rack. For the tie downs I used the soft nylon rope that comes on the inside of interduct used to pull fiber optic cable through it with. This rope will not tangle or knot up no matter what.

The trailer started taking new and different looks. If you noticed in the first pictures I placed in this page, the external view of the trailer has small 8" 4 lug wheels on the trailer, I later replaced these with 12" 4 lug wheels purchased through Pro Bass for $160 including the third wheel as a spare in which I mounted under the rear of the trailer using 5/8" bolts large washers and lock nuts. I also drilled small holes through the bolts just under the nuts large enough to place small carter keys in. I next constructed a 29"x11"x15"x13" box to mount on the tongue of the trailer. The lid has a 2" drop for rain run off. The box was lined with 1" aluminum angle to help seal the seams. I used silicone to fill all cracks around the angle. The box was then bolted to the tongue and to the main trailer box with 1/4" bolts. Remember I mentioned the tail being heavy due to the hardware and such on the door. This box with a battery sitting it made up for the rear weight. I then wired the trailer for driving lights.

Other special features added to the trailer. Inside of the box that was mounted on the tongue I purchased a 600 amp deep cycle marine battery for on board field charging, On the out side of the box I mounted an AC receptacle so that I could plug an extension cord from the house, note: the plug is plugged into a GFI on the house. I also installed two receptacle's inside the trailer one in the tongue box and one inside the trailer, for wall wart charging and running the AC fan.

These pictures above show the receptacle, DC adapters, fuse block, power strip and the fan that were installed. I later installed a second fan that ran strictly from DC so as to have the better of both worlds. I took a computer power supply, rigged it up and installed it inside the trailer for DC charging.

The last thing I did was to install a DC light inside of the trailer with a switch mounted just inside the door. The total cost I have invested into this trailer in material is around $450.00. The time it took to put it together was around three weeks. If you have any questions about any of this please don't hesitate to contact me via email.
Randy Blackstock
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Updated November 10, 2002