Duramax Diesels Forum Truck of the Week
  #1  
Old 06-14-2017, 11:56 PM
2004LB7's Avatar
2004LB7 2004LB7 is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norcal
Posts: 1,120

Default Horse Trailer Camper

I am planning on picking up a gooseneck horse trailer to convert into a camper / boondock trailer

I am not a fan of the conventional or mass produced travel trailers. cheaply built, weak batteries, crappy plumbing, etc. i think i can put together a simple design that would out last any commercially build one. plus it would be a gooseneck trailer as opposed to the normally used 5th wheel so i could utilize the B&W hitch i already have. better articulation or rough roads

i plan on making it completely an off-the-grid style trailer. 150~200 gallon water tanks, composting toilet, 48 volt forklift battery, not sure yet if i will break battery into two 24 volt units wired in parallel or keep it 48 volts. two 24 volt packs will allow me to do better weight distribution by placing each one on opposite sides and not in the middle where i want walking space

i also want to pack the roof full of solar panels. i calculated out a max of 2000 watts of solar best case and 1200 watts worse case. my math seems to indicate i would need a minimum of 1200 watts of solar with something like 3 solar hours in the winter to keep the batteries topped off each day.

i also want to make it completely electric with no permanent gas or propane cooking, cooling heating or whatever most use the propane for. i was thinking of using a counter top single induction cook top and microwave for the times i couldn't cook everything outdoors over a fire. i would store food in a 5 cf chest freezer and 5cf chest cooler.

charging would be controlled via a Morningstar’s TriStar MPPT solar controller off of the solar panels. i was also thinking of either using a step up DC to DC converter to charge from the truck if needed or perhaps converting or purchasing a dedicated 24 or 48 volt alternator.

120/240 AC would come from a large pure sinewave inverter. haven't settled on a wattage yet. minimum of 2k watt but maybe a 3 or 4 kw but these can get pricing and inefficient at that range. i would install outlets around the inside all powered by the inverter. plus maybe some on the outside too.

i will insulate all of the walls, ceiling and floor with as high R value as i can afford. i am looking at doing a 4" spray in insulation right now but am afraid of it putting pressure on the panels and creating a bowed out or ballooning affect on the skin of the trailer.

attached is a quick mockup of what i was planing on doing

let me know if any of you have experience in doing something like this or have any pointers or suggestions.
Attached Images
File Type: png Horse Trailer 4.png (128.5 KB, 119 views)
__________________
2008 Chevrolet 3500HD DRW LTZ
285/75/17 Nitto Dura Grapplers, 4.56 gears, Front and rear ARB lockers, Efi Live tuning by me, Raptor 160 LP, Cognito 4-6 NTB Lift, 4" Exhaust, Built Trans by Mike L.

2006 BRM Jetta TDI. Injectors, turbo, Malone custom tuning on ecm and tcm
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-15-2017, 12:43 AM
cjb2283 cjb2283 is offline
Gearhead
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Utah/wherever the AF sends me
Posts: 40
Default

Seems like a sweet setup. If its just you, looks like it will be nice. Couple things I see right off the bat are; you don't have any black or grey water holding tanks. Having the composting toilet will do away with the black tank but you still need grey for your sinks and shower. The problem coming from that could be that there may not be enough room below the trailer for a holding tank and then you need to enclose it and heat the underbelly if you plan on camping in colder months...but I am not very familiar with horse trailers...just what I have seen on the road. That brings up a question...where is your heater and venting going to go? AC? Having an all electric system will alleviate the need for propane but even RV boondockers still carry propane for their stove and fridges...my opinion is that propane fridges are more economical and get cooler quicker and are colder when operated off of propane instead of electricity, at least in my RV. IDK about freezers tho...or if they make standalone propane freezers. Obviously they make propane fridge/freezers. As far as your solar setup...I will not say anything about it as I don't know crap about them...but if you want/need more info or help with that I would turn to any RV Forum...there are a lot of very solar smart dudes out there. For the roof, you will want to leave room for at least one if not two roof vents with vent covers...one def in the bathroom and the other possibly over your kitchen/living area. Your batteries will need to be vented as well I believe. If I had the time, ability, and money to build my own amazing RV, I would do it in a heartbeat. I would love to see your finished project.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-15-2017, 11:47 AM
2004LB7's Avatar
2004LB7 2004LB7 is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norcal
Posts: 1,120

Default

Thanks,

Yes, i want to eliminate the black tank. For gray water, i was thinking of building a raised floor of 4 or 6 inches and putting the tank in there next to one on of the doors. Since not all trailers have their doors in the exact same place i will have to make some adjustments as to the placment and size.

I did read through a bunch of other sites, rv forums, off the grid forums, etc. I know enough about electrical and solar sizing but wanted to double check my numbers.

I wanted to get away from propane because when/if that runs out everything stops that depends on it. No fridge, no cooking, no heat. Bit the sun always shines. I dont want to try and heat with electricity as it will burn up more power then i could generate. I was thinking perhaps a small wood stove or ???.

Yes the battery will be vented. I was planning on connecting the vent tubes from each cell and routing it out the side or back. The toilet and shower could probably be vented through a window on the side. I would either line it up with an existing window or add one. I dont think it will be a steamy shower as it doesn't have heated water. The water tanks will be indoors so it would be whatever temp that is.

If i have the room on the roof i may run some pipe up there to heat the water but in the winter it may just freeze so maybe not the best idea. Still in the works. Maybe some valves to divert the water

I am still debating on the ventilation. I want to maximize the solar on the roof and just one vent can throw it out of wack. The solar panels need to be hooked up with equal number of panels in series/parallel so if one panel goes away then you have a string of panels that wont equal the rest and cant be hooked up. If i wired them all in series then the voltage is very high and i would need to purchase a very expensive high voltage change controller.

I want to use the chest freezers as they are the most efficient electrical fridge or freezer. Propane is certainly the most efficient but no propane for me. Plus, as it sits in my driveway it could double as a second or backup fridge/freezer running continuously without any electrical bill or gas refills.
__________________
2008 Chevrolet 3500HD DRW LTZ
285/75/17 Nitto Dura Grapplers, 4.56 gears, Front and rear ARB lockers, Efi Live tuning by me, Raptor 160 LP, Cognito 4-6 NTB Lift, 4" Exhaust, Built Trans by Mike L.

2006 BRM Jetta TDI. Injectors, turbo, Malone custom tuning on ecm and tcm
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:10 PM
2004LB7's Avatar
2004LB7 2004LB7 is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norcal
Posts: 1,120

Default

One thing i wanted to ask you guys who are versed in California's messed up DMV regulations is should i register the trailer as a travel trailer or camper or should i keep it as a horse trailer.

My thinking is that as a camper/travel trailer or what ever they are legally​ calling now, it affords some leeway as to the license requirements, weight, etc. But as a horse trailer i am not sure what the laws are for this. Is it elegable for "permanent" plates? Is one cheaper then the other?

How do other states treat travel trailers vs horse trailers if i was to travel to them?

Also. Attached is the trailer i have on my radar to purchase soon. Just shy of $7k
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 00W0W_9hL0uL2EISD_600x450.jpg (22.7 KB, 92 views)
__________________
2008 Chevrolet 3500HD DRW LTZ
285/75/17 Nitto Dura Grapplers, 4.56 gears, Front and rear ARB lockers, Efi Live tuning by me, Raptor 160 LP, Cognito 4-6 NTB Lift, 4" Exhaust, Built Trans by Mike L.

2006 BRM Jetta TDI. Injectors, turbo, Malone custom tuning on ecm and tcm
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:22 PM
chevor's Avatar
chevor chevor is offline
Highway hauler.
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: On the Road
Posts: 194

Default

Sounds like a fun project
__________________
2010 Gmc 2500 Duramax over 845,000 Odometer miles
50% towing miles,Counteract balancing beads,Rancho 9000 shocks,89 Gallon RDS in box tank, 1 ton rear leaf springs,Curt 20k Fifth Wheel,Curt 18K Rear Mount hitch,Firestone ride-rite air bags,NUC Motorsports Bypass oil Filtration,Edge Insight CTS,Fass 95HD

New 2013 LT CCSB bought with 508,000 miles

2013 LT CC & Chassis with 9' Hillsboro Aluminum flatbed - over 80,000 miles
chevor-2010-gmc-2500-maintenance-log
Dually Flatbed

Favorite book : The Richest Man in Babylon
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-15-2017, 10:39 PM
cjb2283 cjb2283 is offline
Gearhead
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Utah/wherever the AF sends me
Posts: 40
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004LB7 View Post
Thanks,

Yes, i want to eliminate the black tank. For gray water, i was thinking of building a raised floor of 4 or 6 inches and putting the tank in there next to one on of the doors. Since not all trailers have their doors in the exact same place i will have to make some adjustments as to the placment and size.

I did read through a bunch of other sites, rv forums, off the grid forums, etc. I know enough about electrical and solar sizing but wanted to double check my numbers.

I wanted to get away from propane because when/if that runs out everything stops that depends on it. No fridge, no cooking, no heat. Bit the sun always shines. I dont want to try and heat with electricity as it will burn up more power then i could generate. I was thinking perhaps a small wood stove or ???.

Yes the battery will be vented. I was planning on connecting the vent tubes from each cell and routing it out the side or back. The toilet and shower could probably be vented through a window on the side. I would either line it up with an existing window or add one. I dont think it will be a steamy shower as it doesn't have heated water. The water tanks will be indoors so it would be whatever temp that is.

If i have the room on the roof i may run some pipe up there to heat the water but in the winter it may just freeze so maybe not the best idea. Still in the works. Maybe some valves to divert the water

I am still debating on the ventilation. I want to maximize the solar on the roof and just one vent can throw it out of wack. The solar panels need to be hooked up with equal number of panels in series/parallel so if one panel goes away then you have a string of panels that wont equal the rest and cant be hooked up. If i wired them all in series then the voltage is very high and i would need to purchase a very expensive high voltage change controller.

I want to use the chest freezers as they are the most efficient electrical fridge or freezer. Propane is certainly the most efficient but no propane for me. Plus, as it sits in my driveway it could double as a second or backup fridge/freezer running continuously without any electrical bill or gas refills.


Well done man. Sounds like you have a pretty good idea on what you want and need. Must have had this rattling around in your brain for quite some time. That trailer looks like a good doner trailer. What kind of timeline you looking at once you commit?

Not sure about laws and stuff but I would think if you can live in a trailer it would need to be registered as an RV. But that's just me thinking without researching.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-15-2017, 11:06 PM
2004LB7's Avatar
2004LB7 2004LB7 is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norcal
Posts: 1,120

Default

I have had this on my mind for the better part of a year but put some more serious thought into it for that last few months such as doing the measurements, calculating the loads and charge times, researching mppt charge controllers, doing weight distribution calculations (see me thread on the Excel weight distribution calculator), searching for trailers on the internet, etc
__________________
2008 Chevrolet 3500HD DRW LTZ
285/75/17 Nitto Dura Grapplers, 4.56 gears, Front and rear ARB lockers, Efi Live tuning by me, Raptor 160 LP, Cognito 4-6 NTB Lift, 4" Exhaust, Built Trans by Mike L.

2006 BRM Jetta TDI. Injectors, turbo, Malone custom tuning on ecm and tcm
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-16-2017, 04:49 AM
DMAX Slim's Avatar
DMAX Slim DMAX Slim is offline
Making chips or sparks
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: U.S.
Posts: 870
Default

I have permanent plates on 2 trailers and in N.C. one of the questions for permanent plates is "does it have living quarters"? If so then you can't get them for it here. Wish you could cause I would have them on our camper, it's a big savings over time. My dad has them on his cattle trailer but it doesn't have living quarters in it.
__________________
2003 CC/SB LB7 "The Ole Heifer"
1056-Suncoast internals
Built by SMR Diesel Performance
1993 GMC Sonoma 4WD V6 D.D.
Jesus Is The Only Way!
2002 RC/LB LB7~~Sold~~


Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:53 AM
2004LB7's Avatar
2004LB7 2004LB7 is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norcal
Posts: 1,120

Default

I think it is the same here. Most travel trailers dont qualify for permanent plates. Horse trailers can get them due to the primary purpose is not to live in them but for transportation of the horse. At least that is how i understand it
__________________
2008 Chevrolet 3500HD DRW LTZ
285/75/17 Nitto Dura Grapplers, 4.56 gears, Front and rear ARB lockers, Efi Live tuning by me, Raptor 160 LP, Cognito 4-6 NTB Lift, 4" Exhaust, Built Trans by Mike L.

2006 BRM Jetta TDI. Injectors, turbo, Malone custom tuning on ecm and tcm
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-17-2017, 10:23 PM
2004LB7's Avatar
2004LB7 2004LB7 is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norcal
Posts: 1,120

Default

Picked up the trailer today. Drove 9.5 hours through the night, picked it up, turned around and drove all the way back. First time towing a gooseneck. Towed nicely. Still need to practice backing up but love it so far
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20170617_143152603~01.jpg (131.1 KB, 89 views)
__________________
2008 Chevrolet 3500HD DRW LTZ
285/75/17 Nitto Dura Grapplers, 4.56 gears, Front and rear ARB lockers, Efi Live tuning by me, Raptor 160 LP, Cognito 4-6 NTB Lift, 4" Exhaust, Built Trans by Mike L.

2006 BRM Jetta TDI. Injectors, turbo, Malone custom tuning on ecm and tcm
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-20-2017, 12:26 AM
2004LB7's Avatar
2004LB7 2004LB7 is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norcal
Posts: 1,120

Default

Well i thought i had the trailer weight issue figured out for drivers licensing. Basically any combination of truck and 5th wheel trailer that didn't exceed 26k lbs and not for commercial use was good to go with a basic class C license. But reading California's DMV's regulations on it (https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de...dl648/dl648pt2) now makes me think that the gvwr of the truck can be up to 26k lbs and 5th wheel up to 15k lbs. This would total out to 41k lbs.

It states in the above website: With a Basic Class C license: A 2-axle vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less. And You May Tow... 5th-wheel travel trailer exceeding 10,000 lbs. but not exceeding 15,000 lbs. GVWR, when towing is not for compensation

So is that how you read it? 26k lbs GCVWR is not the limit for class A or B or special license when towing a 5th wheel travel trailer but a possible limit of 41k lbs

So my 14k GVWR one ton truck + 14k GVWR gooseneck/5th wheel travel trailer together with a GCVWR of 28k lbs is ok for a basic class C license?

Dam, the number of threads on this subject are numerous but it is still confusing. Tells you how messed up it all is
__________________
2008 Chevrolet 3500HD DRW LTZ
285/75/17 Nitto Dura Grapplers, 4.56 gears, Front and rear ARB lockers, Efi Live tuning by me, Raptor 160 LP, Cognito 4-6 NTB Lift, 4" Exhaust, Built Trans by Mike L.

2006 BRM Jetta TDI. Injectors, turbo, Malone custom tuning on ecm and tcm
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-20-2017, 03:50 AM
Dozerboy's Avatar
Dozerboy Dozerboy is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: TX of course
Posts: 3,710

Default

That would only apply to the state of CA probably. It's always been best to call your local tranpertation enforcement office. They will ask you the right question so you get the Corection answers.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
__________________

06 GMC 2500 CCSB SLT LBZ 4X4





These views expressed on this post are not my own, but rather randomly generated computer gibberish, and in no way should be used to judge the author's IQ or mental health.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-20-2017, 07:56 AM
BlkMax's Avatar
BlkMax BlkMax is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 666

Default

I was taking a quick look at your layout, and assuming 8#/gallon for water and 7#/gallon for fuel (this is quick math weights, but close), you have 6260# over the gooseneck on that trailer (not including tank weight, etc.). Be careful with weight and balance. That seems like a lot of weight on the truck with the trailer axles all the way in the back. Just a thought...
__________________
Black Max....

Black Max, the fun truck:
'03 2500 4x4 CC/LB
Bent Rods, now under construction, its time to put all the saved up parts in....
Special thanks to Pat & Kat McSwain, MikeL, Guy, Trent, and others from here-thank you for the great ideas!
EPR triples

Emma, my DD:
'04 2500 4x4 EC/SB
HTT T4 366 74 .91, 65% SAC's from LDS, Trans Kit from Evan, tunes by Zach at Starlite
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-20-2017, 12:03 PM
2004LB7's Avatar
2004LB7 2004LB7 is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Norcal
Posts: 1,120

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlkMax View Post
I was taking a quick look at your layout, and assuming 8#/gallon for water and 7#/gallon for fuel (this is quick math weights, but close), you have 6260# over the gooseneck on that trailer (not including tank weight, etc.). Be careful with weight and balance. That seems like a lot of weight on the truck with the trailer axles all the way in the back. Just a thought...
attached is the calculations i come up with using excel. (remove the ".DOC" from the file name)

looks like i am sitting just over 3500 lbs. off course all of the other weights are rough estimates so I may be way off.

so far i have hauled just over 5000 lbs in the bed and it wasn't even on the secondary overloads.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Trailer Weight Distribution Calculator V2.xls.DOC (63.5 KB, 7 views)
__________________
2008 Chevrolet 3500HD DRW LTZ
285/75/17 Nitto Dura Grapplers, 4.56 gears, Front and rear ARB lockers, Efi Live tuning by me, Raptor 160 LP, Cognito 4-6 NTB Lift, 4" Exhaust, Built Trans by Mike L.

2006 BRM Jetta TDI. Injectors, turbo, Malone custom tuning on ecm and tcm
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-20-2017, 12:43 PM
BlkMax's Avatar
BlkMax BlkMax is offline
Hotrodder
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wasilla, AK
Posts: 666

Default

My mistake, When I saw the 450 and 150, I thought that was in gallons, not pounds, I read the units wrong.
__________________
Black Max....

Black Max, the fun truck:
'03 2500 4x4 CC/LB
Bent Rods, now under construction, its time to put all the saved up parts in....
Special thanks to Pat & Kat McSwain, MikeL, Guy, Trent, and others from here-thank you for the great ideas!
EPR triples

Emma, my DD:
'04 2500 4x4 EC/SB
HTT T4 366 74 .91, 65% SAC's from LDS, Trans Kit from Evan, tunes by Zach at Starlite
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vB.Sponsors