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Thread: Welding a Trailer

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    Welding a Trailer

    Okay, looking for info on what I need for welding a 4x8 trailer (for teardrop camper project) for a beginner. What type of machine/torch? I do know I need a mask, gloves, apron, etc. Looking into those now. I want to build either an aluminum trailer or steel. Prefer lighter because of tow weight. Cutting corners is NOT an option here.
    I don't want my camper to break off & roll passed me at a stop or down a hill. Heard stories of tires doing this (happened to my ex-father-in-law, his tire passed him at a stop sign). Also, a friend's trailer did this when they were on their way back, down a hill. That was a big mass produced camper...
    Videos & books recommendations will be accepted & looked into. No clue which to watch or what to read.
    On a fixed income, so I am saving up money for what I need as I go along.
    Thank you in advance for any info!

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    It's not good to post the same question in more than 1 forum. I responded to your introductory post. A trailer is not in the cards for you at this time. Too much liability and you don't have enough experience no matter what you read or watch online.

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by new_to_welding View Post
    Okay, looking for info on what I need for welding a 4x8 trailer (for teardrop camper project) for a beginner. What type of machine/torch? I do know I need a mask, gloves, apron, etc. Looking into those now. I want to build either an aluminum trailer or steel. Prefer lighter because of tow weight. Cutting corners is NOT an option here.
    I don't want my camper to break off & roll passed me at a stop or down a hill. Heard stories of tires doing this (happened to my ex-father-in-law, his tire passed him at a stop sign). Also, a friend's trailer did this when they were on their way back, down a hill. That was a big mass produced camper...
    Videos & books recommendations will be accepted & looked into. No clue which to watch or what to read.
    On a fixed income, so I am saving up money for what I need as I go along.
    Thank you in advance for any info!
    So where the heck do you hail from? Classic newbie blunder not to disclose this. There are many members on this site that may be close enough to meet with and mentor you. Se my location opposite of my screen name?

    Anyway steel is the way to go for the trailer frame, alum for the cabin. Personally I would go tig and get every inch of weld inspected. If you are close enough I will do it for you.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by new_to_welding View Post
    Okay, looking for info on what I need for welding a 4x8 trailer (for teardrop camper project) for a beginner. What type of machine/torch?

    I don't want my camper to break off & roll passed me at a stop or down a hill..

    On a fixed income, so I am saving up money for what I need as I go along.
    You are biting off WAY more than you can chew.
    BUY A TRAILER. then take some welding courses and practice practice practice.

    Trying to build a trailer right now is foolish and dangerous.
    lots of bad things can happen when welds fail.
    No need to put other peoples lives in danger needlessly.

    make a welding cart or some other small non critical project... not a trailer.... for crying out loud.
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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    You are biting off WAY more than you can chew.
    BUY A TRAILER. then take some welding courses and practice practice practice.

    Trying to build a trailer right now is foolish and dangerous.
    lots of bad things can happen when welds fail.
    No need to put other peoples lives in danger needlessly.

    make a welding cart or some other small non critical project... not a trailer.... for crying out loud.
    Baby steps!
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Alright. Thanks. I'll buy a new trailer. Won't be back.

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by new_to_welding View Post
    Alright. Thanks. I'll buy a new trailer. Won't be back.
    Ta ta, we won’t miss you.

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    I just heard the screen door slam


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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by new_to_welding View Post
    Alright. Thanks. I'll buy a new trailer. Won't be back.
    Take a step back....nobody said don't start welding, they just said that what you're asking about is simply an unrealistic project now and in the near future. There's a lot more to something like a trailer than just laying down some beads....and I'm not talking about the engineering or specs. There are all sorts of things to learn when starting out, like fit up, holding angles, keeping stuff straight, etc, etc. None of that matters much if you're welding up a gate or a cart for your welder, but it matters a lot for something going down the road.

    If you don't come back....okay then.
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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    I ,, on the other hand, say build the trailer,,
    I bought the cheapest 225 amp stick welder the local supply had,, and built a woodsplitter,,
    sure, the wedge broke off,, but, it was a good lesson on how not to use 6013 rod to weld the wedge to the beam.

    I see DIY 4X8 trailers hauling trash almost EVERY time I go to the local landfill on Saturdays,,
    AND,, I am POSITIVE those trailers were first time DIY projects,,

    As long as you are reasonable in your expectations,, that Lincoln welder at Lowes,, and some 7018AC rod,, you will be building soon,,,

    Good luck.

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    You probably can (and should at this stage) buy the trailer base cheaper than you can make it. Trailer talk here gets turned into trailer trash talk really fast here, don't take offense but do consider the advice. The link I'll post is in Canadian $$ so in USD it is probably less than $700 + tax. This type of purchase would remove a lot of liability for you and as I mentioned... save you money. Just use it as a base to build what you need.

    https://www.homedepot.ca/product/mar...ler/1001242090
    ---Meltedmetal

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Welcome.....Um.....Bye.
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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    You probably can (and should at this stage) buy the trailer base cheaper than you can make it. Trailer talk here gets turned into trailer trash talk really fast here, don't take offense but do consider the advice. The link I'll post is in Canadian $$ so in USD it is probably less than $700 + tax. This type of purchase would remove a lot of liability for you and as I mentioned... save you money. Just use it as a base to build what you need.

    https://www.homedepot.ca/product/mar...ler/1001242090
    The problem with that Home Depot trailer, by the time you add the needed lumber to finish it,, you can buy a nice Toyota truck for less,,



    maybe in Canada lumber is cheaper,, but,, here in Virginia,, ALL of my wood containing projects are on hold,,

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    I see DIY 4X8 trailers hauling trash almost EVERY time I go to the local landfill on Saturdays,,
    AND,, I am POSITIVE those trailers were first time DIY projects,,
    When his trailer has a failure it might be the tongue breaking off, not just a wedge on a wood splitter.

    Lots of people do stupid stuff, but it's still stupid stuff. Probably half the time I see someone pulling a trailer it's obviously loaded incorrectly, overloaded, not following laws for tie downs or all of the above....that doesn't make it smart because it's common.

    You're positive about something you can't possibly have any way of confirming? There's a term for that...it's called "guessing".
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  24. #15
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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    The trailer thing always turns into a flame fest. In all honesty most " weld failures" are due to poor design or joint preparation rather than poor welds. I've done enough repair work to know that even a poor weld in the proper configuration is about impossible to break off, often requiring it to be cut almost entirely away. With that being said at least do several test joints and try to break them to check for fusion, penatration, etc.

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    The problem with that Home Depot trailer, by the time you add the needed lumber to finish it,, you can buy a nice Toyota truck for less,,



    maybe in Canada lumber is cheaper,, but,, here in Virginia,, ALL of my wood containing projects are on hold,,
    No, lumber in Canada is stupid expensive. My renovation project also went on hold. Around $105.00 CDN for one sheet of 3/4" plywood if you can find it. The wood cost are sort of immaterial though since he'd have to buy it anyway if he built the trailer from the road dust up.
    ---Meltedmetal

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Plywood jump last summer by 20% to 25% . It has goes up it tornado and hurricane season.
    That true with all lumber suppliers and every tornado and hurricane season.

    Dave

    If need to buy truck load best time by is Christmas .
    Worst time is hurricane season it was starting in fall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meltedmetal View Post
    No, lumber in Canada is stupid expensive. My renovation project also went on hold. Around $105.00 CDN for one sheet of 3/4" plywood if you can find it. The wood cost are sort of immaterial though since he'd have to buy it anyway if he built the trailer from the road dust up.
    Last edited by smithdoor; 05-28-2021 at 10:26 AM.

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    With steel prices the way they are, building your own trailer would probably cost 10X as much -- in materials ALONE, not counting labor -- as buying a Chinese one from HFT or somewhere like that. Buh-bye!

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    I build my own trailers as the light duty from China my let down if hauling steel.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    With steel prices the way they are, building your own trailer would probably cost 10X as much -- in materials ALONE, not counting labor -- as buying a Chinese one from HFT or somewhere like that. Buh-bye!

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by new_to_welding View Post
    Alright. Thanks. I'll buy a new trailer. Won't be back.
    Wow, people are just trying to save you a bunch of possible grief, or maybe some lawsuits, or maybe even someones life or your life, grow up man!
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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Actually, and this isn't in defense of any particular position, the welds on commercial trailers suck. I mean SUCK. But, because there's a lot of redundant weld, it works(shrug)

    Same with most things. I see stuff that I absolutely know was done by certified welders, and I'm amazed at the crap work. Structural stuff subject to inspection.........crap welds. I mean it's depressing, and it's why we're evolving into a 3rd World Country. Be honest, look around out there, and see if I'm not right..........the work product sucks for the most part.

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    why is this thread still going? elvis left the building .

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Dog pile on the trailer builder.

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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    Actually, and this isn't in defense of any particular position, the welds on commercial trailers suck. I mean SUCK. But, because there's a lot of redundant weld, it works(shrug)

    Same with most things. I see stuff that I absolutely know was done by certified welders, and I'm amazed at the crap work. ..
    I was looking at the landscape type trellers at Cabelas the other day... and I thought they looked pretty nice actually.
    decent price too.

    But the OP wanted a teardrop camper so my point is pointless.... (just like the top of my head)

    anyway,
    can you imagine a complete "newbie" attempting to build an aluminum teardrop trailer?

    the guy doesn't even know which machine to buy.... good luck welding aluminum.
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    Re: Welding a Trailer

    If you want to see crap welds explore the RV industry. Most of those welds are “as hot and fast as you can physically move”

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