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Old 09-01-2011, 12:47 AM
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Default Snowmobile Trailer -> Snowmobile Camper

Start with a decent trailer. I think this helps a lot.



Some rust on the frame... go figure. Steel trailer, that happens.
Scotch-locks on the electrical... ugh. Yea, that's gotta go.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:51 AM
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Some rust on the externally-visible steel. Mostly cosmetic, the rust isn't terrible.

4" angle grinder, wire wheel from Harbor Freight, masking tape and some undercoat. Also need some paper towels, wire brush helps to knock off some of the delicate areas I don't want to hit with the grinder, WD40, impact/sockets/bits to remove some in-the-way parts, and some drinking water.

The factory coating flakes off, looks like it's just flat black rattle-can paint. I'm sure it looked nice new.


Hmm, more rust.


Not grinding down to bare metal... just knocking the big stuff off.
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:58 AM
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Bought 4 cans of undercoating. Used the rust-o-leum stuff the local Auto Zone had. Bought everything they had in stock. This stuff's super-sticky, goes on like glue. Wear old clothes you don't mind destroying, because it does not wash out.

With the frame of the trailer clean, mask off what you don't want rubberized undercoating on, shake the can well and start sprayin the stuff on.
Went pretty heavy on the visible stuff, don't want that flaking off. Used most of a can on the front and rear door hinges.






There's a can and a half of undercoating gone.

Looks pretty sharp, hopefully it'll be durable enough to withstand the winter conditions. Squirted some grease into the hinges while I had everything cleaned up.

Coated the underside of the V-nose sunday afternoon. There's a lot of steel under the rest of the trailer... I'd love to get it all ground/coated, but man that's a lot of miserable work. Might be easier if I pulled the floor up and could get to it from teh top side instead of crawling on the asphalt on my back. Since I don't think I need to pull up the floor for anything, I'm not going to take the time to do it.

I'm estimating I'll need another 3-4 cans of undercoat in addition to the 1.5 I have left to spray the rest of the underside of the trailer.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:13 AM
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Insulation...

Last year a co-worker remodeled his house. He opted for closed-cell spray-foam insulation. This winter, he was raving about how the whole house maintained one comfortable temperature and wasn't drafty, and how because the closed-cell foam won't absorb water he found a few small water leaks from water between the foam and siding. This stuff's mold-free, has a really high R-value for its thickness, sprays on and contours to odd shapes. Sounds like the ticket for a trailer!

Called one company, they ranted and raved about how their spray foam is the best for trailers and it's a real popular option for campers. Gave them dimensions/photos, they came back with a quote for over $700 for their kits plus shipping. Uhh, no thank you.... that's a little high. Plus I have to do it myself? No thanks.

Called the company my co-worker went through, and these guys sounded genuinely interested in getting good results, not selling me foam. Because it's difficult to control how much the foam expands, and I've only got an inch or so to work with in the walls, he said you have to cut the foam once it's cured to the thickness of the wall. Doing that usually bows out the tin exterior. Of the four trailers in his company, two were done with spray foam. The first was like he described, the 2nd one he welded 1x2 steel tubing in the ribs of the trailer giving him 3" of wall space to spray the foam in. Insulates well, but you lose 4" of width and 2" of headroom.

The other two trailers he used foil-backed ISO board, filled in the gaps with Great Stuff foam sealer, and they came out great.

Home Depot carries this stuff for about $10 per sheet.

I think this is the route I'm going to take.

Helped XC with his trailer last year and we used the ISO board in his. It helped, but when the temps got cold at night the furnace was on 100% duty cycle that night and it was all it could do to keep the trailer liveable. Insulating the floor may help, as would sealing some of the gaps in the doors/floor where the drafts come in.

I'm not going to worry about the floor right now, i'll give it a shot without and see if it really needs it.
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Last edited by Mule; 09-01-2011 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:28 AM
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Furnace!

Gotta have something to keep the inside comfortable.

Scoped out furnaces on ebay/craigslist. Atwood makes a few varieties that usually go for $600-ish. Occasionally you'll see one that sells for $300-400.

I saw one come up with 0 bids, starting at $100, brand new, still in the box. Bid $100 with two days to go.
Two days later, I won the auction for $100+$20 shipping.

It's an Atwood Excalibur 8525-IV furnace; 25k BTU input, 7.6 amps @ 12V.
12V powers the blower, propane fires the burner.

So I'll need some electricity to run the thing.... I'd like to get a generator with 12v charging outlet, then have a deep-cycle marine battery in the trailer that charges off the generator and powers the furnace/lights/12v accessories. Since I'll be packing a genset and have the walls of the trailer off for insulation anyways, I'll throw some 120v outlets in there.

Battery box will sit inside on the floor. I've got plenty of room underneath the trailer, but I'd like to keep the battery warm and not expose it to freezing temperatures. If I put it on a connector, I can pull it out and keep it in my garage/on a charger so it doesn't freeze during the week.
An electrical junction box to house the connectors sits just above the battery, room for fuses/relays/breakers, probably throw a terminal strip in there to make connections easy. If I decide to geek out I can throw a voltmeter or indicators on the box.
Wiring will come up behind the shelves and run along the top edge of the trailer back to the furnace. Propane will run along this edge too.


Hopefully I'll have enough clearance in the back to stuff the furnace. Wanted it somewhere out of the way. Might have to scoot it over more towards center so it doesn't hang below the door spring. The furnace should arrive Friday so we'll find out this weekend. Too much activity goes on in the front of the trailer, and whacking your forehead on a furnace is no fun.


More to come this weekend.
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Last edited by Mule; 10-29-2012 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Moving photo hosts
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:37 AM
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Nice thread Mule.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:52 PM
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You may want to consider mounting your furnace vertically instead of horizonatally. By mounting the furnace vertically you will save headroom and the furnace will only stick out the depth of it. I mounted mine this way as I didn't want the furnace hanging down, nor having most of the furnace weight supported by the roof bows. Another thing that may play into your proposed location is where your furnace exhaust will come out as compared to the curve in your roof. When I played with installing mine, I found that mounting it horizonatally put the furnace lower in the trailer. This was due to the fact that to make the exhaust and intake vent holes below the roof curve and roof support would have had the furnace a considerable distance from the ceiling. Not saying this is the right way to mount your furnace, but this worked for me. Also, my furnace is supported with brackets from the floor to the roof support so there is no weight on the roof bows.
Just some food for thought.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:46 PM
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Skibreeze mounted his underneath with floor vents...works sweet and you can feel the heat quickly rising up from the floor. Also made it almost silent when operating....something to think about if your making it into a "csmper"

They are quite loud coming on and off all night
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:31 AM
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Awsome Thread Mule
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:20 PM
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very helpfull Mule i have a 27' mirage that i have been looking at doing the same thing, we use ours year round for camping hunting sledding you name it so to have the insulated walls and a 110 in the walls will be very usefull
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Back Country Rebels - Forums > SUMMER RECREATION > AUTOMOTIVE > REC TRAILERS / TOY HAULERS / MOTOR HOMES

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