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Time for a New Trailer

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  • Time for a New Trailer

    Well, I have had a great run with my CarMate trailer for the past 3 or so years (a 4 x 4 x 10 Custom Cargo HD), but it has come to a point that I needed something a bit larger to hold my sailplanes. The new addition of the Duo Discus made it necessary to have a longer trailer.

    I think it would be hard to hold the planes in my car.......seems like it gets a little packed when I try:

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    (Many thanks you to Jeff Duhaime for the picture)

    I have been very pleased with my Custom Cargo HD and talked with the local dealer about having one made with custom dimensions. I was able to design it with the people at the dealership and have it made over the past couple months and I will be outfitting it this coming weekend.

    The new trailer is a CarMate Custom Cargo HD as my last. The dimensions for this one are 4' wide x 5' tall x 12' long.I had a tongue box put on the front as well for holding misc. equipment.

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    The idea for outfitting it is to have a sliding/rolling base where the majority of the fuselages will be and then an upper shelf where the wing sections, tip sections, and horizontal stabs will be placed.

    I think the extra height at 5' will be very helpful as I can probably put a fuselage or two up top if i need to. Easy enough to make a couple narrow ply planks that hold them and can lock into place for travel (thank you Scot for sharing pictures of your trailer and designs...very helpful !).

    I had a door put on the right side again and with the added length and height I should be able to have a larger equipment/parts compartment for my bins that I use to keep everything in when traveling.

    I'll be starting everything this Friday and have more information and pictures to share over the weekend.


  • #2
    The extra foot of height will be a blessing. And, you won't bump your head!
    Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.


    • #3
      its so cute
      Len Buffinton
      Team Horizon Hobby


      • #4
        What would soaring be without feeling the pain....... of smacking the back of your head on the trailer. It just won't be the same, though I have noticed that Steve's landings have gotten better with his taller trailer. Hmmm...


        My thoughts would be to consider the pull-out part for the wing and tip shelf before the fuselage shelf. For me the space management revolves around how to use the area in line with where you store the tips or anything that is around half the length of the trailer. The items that are close to full trailer length, like fuselages and main wing panels, lend themselves easily to just access from the end of the trailer.

        Looking forward to what you do here, it is always great to see your woodworking.


        • #5
          IMHO, Stew2 holds the record for maximum use of space in a Bob, the standard has been placed...but we have been impressed with your past efforts so I would say Stew2's place in the record may not be that secure. lol

          For those that do not yet have a trailer, you are missing out on one of the fun things in this hobby. Figuring out how to finish a trailer and then making it happen is a blast...just say'n, you might want to give it a try yourself.
          A Site for Soar Eyes


          • #6
            Originally posted by Stew2 View Post
            It just won't be the same, though I have noticed that Steve's landings have gotten better with his taller trailer. Hmmm.
            With my limited volume of brain cells I need to minimize daily concussions. It helps to land without cross eyed neurological damage.
            Team PowerBox Systems Americas ............You can't buy happiness. But, you can buy a sailplane and that's pretty darn close.


            • #7
              Many thanks for the thoughts by everyone.

              Scot....the idea of a sliding tray or drawer for the horizontal stabs and tips is excellent. There are a couple ways I can accomplish that easily.....easy to make a long drawer lined with dividers and lined with foam that can slide in and out easily on one of the edges of the top shelf.......this should work well with the wing panels set in leading edge down and trailing edge up side by side.

              I always work out a couple ideas....well, maybe more than a couple ideas.......before starting the actual work, then using all the various parts...........the actual fuselages, wing panels, and horizontal stabs..............I fine tune the construction in the process during the build.

              To Steve's point the additional height is very helpful as I have already lost way too many brain cells at this point in my life lol


              • #8
                I picked up the trailer on the way home from a week long course.

                It pulls extremely well, very similar to how my other trailer felt when driving. Admitedly it is rather empty right now and will have a bit more weight once it is completed.

                I was able to spend the day working on the start of the outfitting. First step was to set up the sliding bed for the base of the trailer.

                I thought this would be pretty straight forward and only take a couple hours...........hmmmmmm..........a bit longer than that.

                The slding rack is from SlideMaster, it is a 24" wide by 9' long extension rack that is very substantial. It can slide out to very close to its full length. It is set inside the trailer in the picture below. I spent some tim deciding on how I will use the right side access door and the slide is positioned to the left so there is space for a 15" deep cabinet that will be constructed to hold various equipment and supplies (very similar to the previous trailer, but this will be fully enclosed this time).

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                I attached the slding rack to the trailer floor using 3/8" bolts through the floor, with fender and standard washers and nylon insert stainless steel lock nuts. It should stay in place well.

                The next step is to make the plywood bed for the sliding rack. I decided to use 3/4" ply instead of 1/2" or 5/8" based on the overhang on the right for the cabinet spacing.

                The trailer has an inside length of about 11' 8" so 2 sheets of plywood were used. The long sheet (8' length) is in the forward position and the shorter 3' 7" section is in the back.

                These were cut to about 41 1/2" to fit through the rear door with about 1/4" spacing on each side. The plywood is attached with 5/16" machine bolts that are flush with the surface when screwed down. I drilled and tapped into the metal framework of the slding rack at the attachment points. There are 4 rails spaced from the front to the rear for this, with 2 bolts per rail.

                So, here is what it looks like with the base installed, both locked in place inside as it would be for travel and also extended for getting things in and out of the trailer: (the cutout in the upper right corner is for the equipment and parts cabinet that will be installed once I figure out how to fit everything in place).

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                I started trying some ideas of having 5 of my fuselages on the base. I'm not sure that is the way that will work best, but I can move things around and see what might be the best fit for everything (the faom is only for setting the fuselages down for an idea of sied by side spacing, this is not how they will be set for travel):

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                Ultimately I want to be able to bring along 4 - 6 sailplanes and also a towplane. My thought is to have an upper area where the wing panels, tip panels, stabs, and the Bidule 170 fuselage. Keeping the lower area for the sailplane fuselages.

                Ultimately the sailplane fuselages will be put on their own holders similar to what Len has done with his. I found various diameters of PVC pipe form 2' up to 12". I plan on making 6" to 12" sections of the various diameters and have a dense foam bed attached to the section. The sections are then attached to the plywood base and set for each of the sailplanes individually. They will use velcro straps to secure the fuselage. This should eb secure and also minimize the amount of space required for each airframe in the end.

                At this point I am still thinking about many possible ways of getting everything in. There is quite a bit of space and I want to utilize it as effectively as possible.

                It will probably be a couple days for me to try some ideas out before finalizing the configuration.
                Last edited by BobM; 07-10-2016, 03:10 AM.


                • #9
                  One thought that comes to mind Bob, the Bidule is heavier and harder to lift than some of those sailplane fuselages. I typically have to load my trailer single handed and the thought of lifting the Bidule to a second level makes me pause, not only for the weight, but for the awkwardness of lifting points on the Bidule. But, that is just a quick knee jerk reaction, so don't take it to seriously. Looking forward to seeing how it progresses. Thanks for taking the time to post the progress.



                  • #10
                    Hi Scot, your right about the Bidule.

                    I was down looking inside the trailer this morning already and thinking about some ideas.

                    Your work with the boards that hold individual parts and are able to be secured to the base is excellent.

                    I am starting to think 3 dimensionally about the space requirements and I think the Bidule and a couple of the heaviest sailplane fuselages would be best on the bottom sliding base, along with a long box that has sides but is open on the top. This can serve to hold the wingtips and also the horizontal stabs.......I'm thiking the box would be along the right side somehow..........likely raised to allow the main wheels of the Bidule underneath.

                    Wing panels can be held along the sides of the trailer as well as an upper shelf. Still have to sort that out as well.

                    The trick for me is to utilize the space as effectively as possible........having removable bases for the individual models and components would allow for resetting the trailer for events and selecting the models and equipment that will be traveling for the specific event.


                    • #11
                      Making progress here. The storage shelves for the side door compartment are all set. Just about everything fits that is supposed to. I'll have to make a few monor adjustments here and there, but overall I am really pleased with how this is working out.

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                      The sliding base will have fuselages for the Bidule 170, the Duo Discus X, the ASH 31mi, and the Ventus 2c. There wil also be a box for the wing tips I think. The MDM Fox and the Arcus fuselages will be on ply planks in the upper shelf.

                      I am going to finish up the upper storage tomorrow for the main wing panels. It is an interesting situation with this trailer as I can enter into the main trailer with the base rolled out. It is making me think about how to configure the section where the main wing panels will be stored and secured for travel.

                      Looking at it from inside it is possible to have a section to the left with a platform that has a base and two sides. I can run hanging straps down to cross braces under the ply floor to support the wing panels. This would allow me to walk back into the trailer for both putting in the panels and securing them as well as removing them for assembly of the sailplanes.

                      I like this idea, but on the otehr side of my thought process is that having the shelf panel be full width may be more secure and safe in the long run. This would make both sides of the shelf floor securely attached to the trailer walls with 1" steel angle iron as cross supports in a couple different places from the front to the rear.

                      Any suggestions or thoughts on this are appreciated. I won't be deciding until tomorrow in the morning at some point, then I will commit to the final design and get it completed tomorrow.

                      I should be ready to take the trailer out for a test ride later this week if I get things completed in the next couple days........then off to Cumberland next week.


                      • #12

                        I'm curious how you will arrange all of those fuselages on the lower shelf around the Bidule gear. I think your trailer is the same width as mine and the Bidule gear about span the entire width of the trailer.... Looking forward to watching this come together. See you in Cumberland.



                        • #13
                          Scot, I found that having both the Duo X and the ASH 31mi face forward on the left long side of the sliding base would allow both the booms to be safely underneath the right main gear leg of the Bidule. I have the Bidule facing back to the rear door. The Ventus also faces forward and the boom goes under the left main gear leg of the Bidule.

                          I have been making attachment blocks for each of the sailplanes and also the Bidule that support the fuselages and also hold them securely without raising their height very much off the deck of the sliding base.

                          As I was sorting out placement on the sliding base I had to fight my desire for straight lines and symmetry that I usually fall into. Angling the fuselages carefully and designing fuselage bases that will hold them securely made it possible to get all of them on the sliding base and maximize the space. It also helps quite a bit to have about 2 more feet in length than the previous trailer for spacing.

                          The Bidule 170 is now all set with its wheel chocks and velcro isn't going to move.

                          The sailplane fuselage bases are being made out of wood block with sections of PVC pipe of the appropriate diameter for different placement along the fuselages. The section of PVC pipe will have a layer of high density soft foam between it and the fuselage and the base underneath will be a wood block that is cut to the correct angle to hold the fuselage at each individual hold point.

                          I thought of making my bases this way as I thought it may be a little quicker than Len's method of laying up the bases using the fuselage. The fit won't be quite as good, but with the different sizes of PVC pipe it should be close. I was able to find a source for sections of pipe up to 12" diameter and at lengths starting at 1 ft.......makes it much easier to purchase several diameters and not have to buy full 10' or 20' lengths of PVC that would be very costly at those diameters. I was able to purchase diameters of 4" to 12" in even numbers (4", 6", 8", 10", and 12").

                          Len makes custom bases by laying up glass cloth on the fuselage while it is turned upside down. The fuselage is covered appropriately so the resin and cloth won't damage it and will release from the surface and several layers are built up so it will have strength when completed. This is then "popped" of the fuselage and cleaned up and a wood base is made for it to be attached to. The glass base has a layer of foam between it and the fuselage and then velcro straps are used with the base to secure the fuselage to the base. He showed how he has done this in some of his previous threads. It works extremely well.

                          I am thinking 3 supports for each fuselage should do the in the nose forward of the main gear, one at the wing root where I'll have a velcro strap go through for securing, and then one on the tail boom with a velcro strap to keep the tail wheel slightly raised off the deck.

                          The support under the wing root will be the main point for securing the fuselage, keeping it from rolling right or left as well as keeping it from sliding forward or rearward. The front and rear will keep it from lifting up or down and also distribute the weight more evenly to reduce any chances of damage.

                          I'll post pictures later this week when I have things more wrapped up on the project and have it close to road worthy.
                          Last edited by BobM; 07-12-2016, 01:14 PM.


                          • #14
                            Bob, you've got us all watching with great interest...but then you post text with NO PICTURES...this is cruel to your audience! Have a heart man! We need pictures!

                            What good is this popcorn without pictures to view while consuming it????
                            A Site for Soar Eyes


                            • #15
                              Hi Jim, my apologies for not having pictures to share yet.......tomorrow I should have some that show the progress.

                              Upper shelf is in place now and making the dividers for the wing panels and also a fuselage plank that will hold my Arcus and the Citizen Fox fuselages.

                              I should have the majority of the construction done tomorrow other than the final fuselage holders, just waiting on the PVC pipe to arrive to finalize the holders. The holders should only take a few hours to finish up after the pipe arrives.