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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been having a think about making a camper/trailer out of a P38. Maybe start with one that has been in a 'frontal' or has a blown engine/trans; preferably one that is the same colour as mine; then cut it off in front of the firewall; gut it inside; and remove all the driveline/unnecessary underbody stuff.

With 10 minutes in PaintShop, I came up with:
[attachment=0:20zfpkse]idea.jpg[/attachment:20zfpkse]

Of the original 2,300kg, how much do you reckon the list below would weigh, all added togethor:
- two wings
- engine
- engine bay components
- engine bay panelling
- gearbox
- transfer box
- prop-shafts
- front axle and two wheels
- rear diff-head and rear half shafts
- exhaust system
- fuel tank
- EAS tank
- steering column
- dash
- all computers
- seats
Basically just keeping: the shell from the firewall backwards, with all doors/tailgate; rear axle/axle-housing; rear 3/4 of chassis-rails, maybe try to re-use the bonnet to 're finish' the nose. How much weight do you think would be remaining?

What do you reckon re the 'trailer balance' - nose weight may be high. I think a lot/most trailers try to have a hitch weight of ~10% of total trailer weight. Could the rear axle be moved forward at all/much/easily to help with the 'balance' issue?

Would probably need to put a spring conversion kit on the rear axle.

Cheers,
Paul.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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Not a clue regards the weight of the remaining parts, maybe Scotty could weigh the shell he has for a little beer money?
Tongue weight can be adjusted by making the tongue longer or shorter. Closer the "trailer" wheels are to the tow rig, the more weight will be on the "trailer" wheels. Spread them apart and that will transfer more weight to the tow rig.
I would think that the uneven floor inside A P38 would make it far from ideal to use as a general trailer myself.
If you need me to, I can measure my car trailer in total length, tongue length, wheel center line to tongue, etc etc etc.

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking of making an 'artificial floor' at the height of the rear-loadspace/under-the-rear-seats, running that all the way forward to the firewall, and re-carpetting it. That would give storage underneath that could be accessed from the open doors and a 'one level' surface onto which the 'bed/mattress' could go (at the front end). In the rear loadspace area, you could put an LPG stove/sink/kitchen/fridge, that could all be accessed when the tailgate is open. Maybe some sort of 'awning' that could attach to the open tail gate to give you an 'all weather' cooking/dining/seating area.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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So, how much is a small caravan again? :lol:
I hear ye mate, and we do see quite a few of them over here too that are made out of the rear end of cars etc. But junking a 1980's Ford is a whole lot easier and cheaper than a P38 isn't it?
One thing though, you could mount the brackets, kind of like the ones I make for the bumpers, into the frame rails for a super strong setup.

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This isn't about 'buying a caravan' - it's about 'doing something cool'. One of a kind/etc. Something that would get 2nd/3rd/4th/etc looks when people see it. And also be somewhere functional to sleep/camp/stay in. :)

Anyway, back to the weight/balance questions - what does everyone think?
 

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I think you are clinically insane. `)

So by all means do it!!!

Looks like you are removing most of the heavy mechanical stuff save for the rear axle. Couldn't do much other than hazard a total guess perhaps slightly less than half of the original weight is coming off? Still have the boxed frame and all the window glass, that's heavy stuff.

It would be cool to keep the bags on the rear for leveling out the trailer a little when loaded or when trying to position it flat for sleeping.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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Showing a curb weight of just under 5,000lbs on what I found.
I would guess that the trailer would end up being @1000lbs myself.
Perfectly doable with the GVW rating and tongue rating we have on the P38's IMHO.

Martin
 

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Paul, when you're next at Top of the Range, have a look at Brett's Disco 1 trailer. It's a bodge job but has bbq on the front, fridge in tyrewell etc etc.
Balance seems fine. Yes it draws looks but rather him than me

I might be up there today. If so will take a pic of it
 

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At the VW shows we see the rear end of bugs regularly converted into a trailer, but they are a lot lighter. Not sure about laws over there, but in UK over 750kg the trailer must be braked - so might need to rig up something to do this. Now if the RR had a normal cable handbrake on each rear wheel that would be easy, but with all the trans gone the braking system is gone as well.

Would certainly have the cool factor though 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
rogan said:
Paul, when you're next at Top of the Range, have a look at Brett's Disco 1 trailer. It's a bodge job but has bbq on the front, fridge in tyrewell etc etc.
Balance seems fine. Yes it draws looks but rather him than me

I might be up there today. If so will take a pic of it
Ye, I was up in Albany yesterday, and passed by TotR. That's what got me thinking about it again and to make up the Paintshop image. One thing I don't like about Bretts Disco trailer is he has cut off the floor in front of the B pillar, but left ALL of the roof intact, just cutting off the A pillars! This means that the roof preceeds most of the trailer by several feet just sticking into mid air and looks daft, IMHO. Also, the plywood across between the B pillars has the aerodynamics of a house and looks of, well, something. It is essentially just a 'back seat and a boot' (with the fuel tank used as a drink cooler!!). :) A pic of it to show what I'm trying to describe would be useful.

As long as the balance issue can be resolved (on the P38), I think keeping ALL of the cabin intact is a far, far, far, better solution (- weather proofing; looks; coolness; interior space; etc etc). Regarding the balance issue, then could even weld some really heavy duty steel section between the frame rails just behind the rear bumper - that would help with the nose weight at the expense of increasing overall trailer weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
AMcK said:
At the VW shows we see the rear end of bugs regularly converted into a trailer, but they are a lot lighter. Not sure about laws over there, but in UK over 750kg the trailer must be braked - so might need to rig up something to do this. Now if the RR had a normal cable handbrake on each rear wheel that would be easy, but with all the trans gone the braking system is gone as well.
That should be easy. Over here we have both hydraulic** and mechanical** (=cable) over-run brake systems available for trailers (my boat trailer has hydraulic over-run disk brakes with stainless components). Would just need to get the correct coupling (= correct over-run-spring strength) and link the hydraulic output from the coupling into the brake lines going to the Rangie rear axle! :) :)

** = Go to http://www.trojan.co.nz and choose "TRAILER COUPLINGS" > "Disk or Drum Braked" in the menu on the left.


AMcK said:
Would certainly have the cool factor though 8)
I know, sounds cool eh.
 

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I'm pretty sure its been done before by someone who used to post here. I remember seeing a photo of it and it really looked great.

Your biggest problem will be tongue weight, as above the braking is easily doable. I'm also pretty sure there is a maximum allowable weight for a single axle trailer in most countries too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
SpudH said:
Your biggest problem will be tongue weight, as above the braking is easily doable. I'm also pretty sure there is a maximum allowable weight for a single axle trailer in most countries too.
If you look at the User Manual and/or radiator panel on your rangie, it should list the max axle weights. I believe the rear is 1840kg which should be more than plenty, strengthwise. Need to investigate local regs, re max trailer axle weights though, as these could be lower, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ronron said:
Hey man, what the f- have you done with my car!?! :lol: :lol:
Sorry mate, it was the first side pic of a p38 to come up on google images! Thanks for the roofrack - it'll go well on my car though! :) :)
 

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For extra bonus points you should power the rear axle...
 

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I dont know how you oculd do this and keep the hitch weight down, the rear axle is simply too far back, and unless you are putting in a new false firewall you will have some serious panel work to do as the bulkhead is in front of the front doors considerably. Once the petrol tank is out I would put in a lowered floor personally, then you could inlay a mattress and possibly have a slide out hard floor over it. Wouldn't be inpossible to rig up a PIC system to simply read the height sensors of the back of the main car and then using height sensors on the converted trailer to emulate the height.

Again you could put some nice big heavy batteries as far back as possible, but all this makes the thing pretty unweildy at 100K's an hour plus, and also painfull to move around a bit when not hitched.

If you had the thing loaded up with camping gear its also going to put most of that weight infront of the axle and hence load up the hitch, let alone if your sleeping in it, then again your probably not an elephant like me ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
jsp said:
you could put some nice big heavy batteries as far back as possible, but all this makes the thing pretty unweildy at 100K's an hour plus, and also painfull to move around a bit when not hitched.
Hadn't thought about adding batteries. A couple of big 'marine' grade batteries (30-40kg each), in a very sturdy steel mounting box, just behind the rear bumper/chassis would help a lot with tongue weight! :thumb:
Trailer speed limit here is 90kmh. Boat trailer is about 1300kg and the rangie copes pretty well. :) I'd expect the 'camper' would come in at about 1000-1100kg - it would hopefully pull it easily enough - moving it around manually could be fun though....
 

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Get the balance right and moving it is no more than the weight, if you really want to you could fit a caravan mover on the axle.

The weight of soembody in the bed is hopefully irrelevant, hopefully nobody would be sleeping in it while towing?
 
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