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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tiny Travel Trailer Update: The tongue box in progress

My trailer builder Fred sent a few more pictures to update his progress on my tiny travel trailer's super custom tongue box.

How is it custom? Well, when I was doing my research about trailers I realized some of the most common crimes committed against trailer and rv owners are stolen batteries, propane tanks, beer coolers, and solar showers.

Most teardrop trailers have at least one small 12 volt battery on board to power the cabin lights and electrical outlets. On teardrop trailers the battery is often kept in a battery or tongue box located on the front of the chassis. Thieves simply cut off a padlock with a pair of bolt cutters or drill out the lock with a cordless drill and walk away with your battery. If they hit a trailer storage yard they can take dozens in a matter of minutes.

To combat this problem I read many owners remove their batteries and put them inside the trailer cabin when the trailer is in storage. Some say they're too heavy and it's too big of a pain to do so.

My solution was to design a tongue box that only has access from the inside of the cabin. It would make stealing my battery significantly more difficult.

Here is the box in progress. Fred said he wasn't going to attach the front panel until all of the electrical work is done as he needs to run wiring from the tongue box to the exterior porch lights and switches.

Inside the tongue box will hold all of the electrical I may ever need including a deep cycle battery, a shoreline power connector, and all of the accouterment that comes with a solar panel if I decide to add one later including the inverter, transfer switch, and charger.

LOL I've joked that if anyone over 5' 10" ever goes camping with me they can put their feet in the tongue box at night so they'll fit while lying down.

Here you can see the door frame, tongue box sidewall interior, and the blue rigid foam board Fred is using to insulate my trailer.

Love that aqua blue. I considered the retro lightening bolt streak for my trailer.

And on an aside, last weekend I saw two cool travel trailers out in the wild, so to speak. The first is this little vintage canned ham that I think is for sale as it was parked on a trailer lot we drove past. So cute!

Compared to my tiny travel trailer it's huge. I'd guess it to be 6' wide by 10' long and probably weighs around 1200 lbs before you load it with stuff. Which makes it two and a half times the size of my 4'x6' trailer and three times as heavy.

Fred has estimated the dry weight of my trailer will weigh around 600 lbs. The weight is an important factor since my car is only rated to tow 1000 lbs. Even once I load in my cooler, cooking utensils, clothes, ultra lightweight sleeping pad, porta potty and power supply I can't imagine I'll reach even 700 lbs. There's simply not enough room to add a lot of stuff that will increase my weight significantly.

Later that day we saw an Airstream rolling down the highway. Definitely a sign that spring has sprung. Soon that will be me on the open road. Only much, much smaller.

To follow the entire build thread from beginning to end just click on the "Trailer - Build" category on the side bar or CLICK HERE.

To view all of my trailer gear and decorating posts CLICK HERE.

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