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Cargo camping trailers
Has anyone converted a cargo trailer into a camper? I been looking at a 6x10 to customize for hunting. Alot of youtube videos on them.
Bought a 6' x 12' X 6'6" high single axle Cargo Mate 8 years ago. The options I spec'd when ordering:
---6" extra height to allow the RZR to fit thru the rear door. ---Single Dexter axle with taller shackles for additional ground clearance. ---15" rims and radial tires plus a spare tire/wheel. ---RV man-way door that is 3' wide and has a screen door and lockable door from the inside via a flip lock or outside with a key. ---1" of bead insulation in the walls and ceiling, covered with 3/16" plywood. ---A folding screw jack for additional clearance and no tailgate interference. ---Rear stabilizing jacks. These work well when you walk around in the unit and can be used in combination with the front folding jack to lift the trailer for a tire change. ---Two tinted 30" x 30" sliding windows that open upward and are screened over the lower 1/2...really helps with ventilation in the summer combined with the screen door and standard roof hatch. ---Inside and outside LED lights. ---8 tie downs in the floor.
After purchase I painted the entire inside with two coats of a standard high quality paint, and since have painted it one more time due to wear and tear. I also added 25 large cup hooks for clothes hanging, plus a paper towel rack. For a hunting trailer add a folding cot, folding table, folding chair, camp stove, propane radiant heater..used only in the morning to knock the chill off as it isn't vented. Also built a ATV/UTV ramp holder under the trailer to hold the ramp during travel. Use the ramp off my open deck sled trailer.
I've hauled the trailer to AZ, CO (moved a lot of my taxidermy to BC with it) and northern BC many times. Also used it for most of my local (2-3 hrs from home) spring black bear hunts.
It is on the second set of tires and had to beef up the tiedowns with thru bolts vs large wood screws. Also had a spring shackle failure 1,300 km from home in northern BC, and over 5 hrs from a town. Found a welder/mechanic working for a logging company to patch it up well enough to limp home where I beefed up the design. Otherwise really like it for solo camping, or at the most with one other person during good weather. Wouldn't want two in it for extended periods during the cold, dark season like right now.
I have an unconverted 6x10. It's perfect for 1 hunter and a dog. Two hunters in bags would work too. It's a tent on wheels.
I've owned a few different varieties of trailer and liked none as much as this simple cargo trailer. A cot and a Jet Boil are the only upgrades I want at this point in my life.
Mine is a 7x14, and I keep it pretty simple. I don’t want to “convert” it really just because it serves so many purposes. We use it for moving slab tile for work too, so it’s a company write-off.
In the winter it hauls all my ice fishing stuff and sled, and everything stays clean and decently warm.
I have a couple shelves in the front and that’s all I really find I need. Camped in it off and on for elk this year for 3 weeks. Worked awesome. A million times better than a tent for comfort
I'd add fold-up shelves/bunk and folding pad eyes everywhere to bungee stuff snug. After that, whatever 'comforts' you like.
Our old deer camp was a converted bus that was permanently blocked up. Cozy, a bit tight when full but lots of good memories.
I listened to a podcast with Enzy Campers. They take a cargo trailer and customize them for hunting. Way fancier than most of us would need but pretty cool and some good ideas looking through the photos.
This is something that I have been considering as well. Bring 'em on fellas.
We have led lights on a car battery, heater buddies, inflatable beds and chairs in ours. Add in the generator and a small TV with hdmi cable to watch movies.
I left mine "unconverted" as well. I take a small plastic storage shelf set along and set it up once at camp to put groceries, etc. on it. Saves alot of room. Packing gear in stackable totes saves additional room. A battery operated fan is a nice addition if its hot out. Set up a pop up awning just outside the door and you can use that area for your kitchen.
Nick - wow, those trailers look nice, but they sure are proud of them. Would love to have one of them, but they are about double my budget amount.
Those are some sweet campers Nick
I would like to do this as well. I think I would want at least a 16 footer. Two cots. Wide and tall enough to fit my Polaris Ranger
I have the idea of building a screen wall just inside the back door,so on hot nights,you leave main door open ,and have screen wall,with screen door in the back.. have it so when the temps get cold, you could remove it.. also I been eyeing the Jackery 300 with solar panels for some battery power for lights and fans.. Alot of good ideas out there..
I’ve done it, mine is a 12” single axle. I didn’t go to extremes, don’t use it enough to go over the top, but it’s nice and comfortable for 3 season use. Easy to pull, great for 2 guys, simple and cost effective.
Good thread guys, some fine ideas!
Jim-who makes the bunk bed?
They are called disc-o-bed. By far the most expensive part of my “build”. But they are pretty nice.
Jim that’s perfect…love those beds
Mines in process. 7x16. Any shorter and it gets real tight if you want to haul an atv or side-by-side. Mine will sleep 4 comfortably, with a bathroom and shower and be set to haul 80 gallons of fresh water. After going through 4 other TT rvs, I got tired of how flimsy they are built.
How do you work the side door for exit and entry? Just asking for a friend who got locked in his ;)
When I ordered mine, I had a camper door, a sliding screened window on each side and a roof vent installed.
I bought a new cargo trailer and the manufacturer had a RV style door available for it . Took a few months to get it and I installed it later. I also installed an RV style window on each side . Removed all plywood from inside and insulated all walks and ceiling . Built in fold up bunk on each side ,that will make either bunks or a large bed . Used this for bear hunting and hauled my ATV in it . Upgraded to a side by side and my Pioneer is too tall ,unless I remove the roll cage. Plan to sell the trailer in the spring and go a different route.
Inside view of mine. 2 fold up cots with room to walk between them. As previously mentioned, stackable totes and plastic shelving unit up front. Also kept coolers up front and covered in a sleeping bag for extra insulation.
For those asking about the side door, see my post up toward the top. I found it a lot better to order my camper with the RV side door with screen door and inside flip lock and outside key lock, two trailer windows, 1" insulation in the entire camper except floor plus all the other options noted than to modify a new one bought off the lot or even a used one. The options really were reasonably priced back in 2014.
Nick those trailers are awesome. I'm trying to picture driving my quad inside on the carpet when it is draining mud, swamp water, and blood off of it. At that price range a legitimate toy hauler RV is prob a better bet. Same price you have same capabilities with more comfortable bed and toilet, TV etc.
I just picked up a 7x14 a week ago though. Looking forward to the odd hunting use in it!
Adam, I think the floors are a rubber mat. Might be removable so they can be hosed off.
I talked to some guys in Wyoming who had a toy haulers in the past but the rough forest service roads always twisted up the flimsy framework. If were to buy a cargo trailer to customize, I'd be looking for one with the off road tires and torsion axles like Enzy uses for theirs. All depends on how/where you're going to use it.
Steel frame for the bed will lift so 4 wheeler can still drive in. 6 or 7 of us hung out for some spring bear season snow and it worked out. Also no grizzly bears have torn through and attacked Pam and I. Still don’t always feel like towing it.
Hunting buddy and I did ours with the 5X10 cargo trailers, works great and takes a lot less space to park, set camp, we do wish we had gone with 6' height instead of 5'. And if I need more room/camping for more than 3-days I usually set up the 10X12 Davis wall tent. I use a XL cot with a 4" foam pad, currently a Mr. Heater. Still have a bunch of stuff to do to mine before it's done. Solar, heated shower, LED lighting system and a awning. Buddy has his already done up this way, he even has a water pump for his small sink.