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Economical Off-Road Trailer Build - Part IV

Posted in How To on July 1, 2012
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Photographers: Scott Paccie

The Harbor Freight off-road trailer project is rolling but with so many ideas still swarming in my head, it's far from complete (isn't that the case with every project?). I'll continue to make modifications and add items to improve its capability and usefulness as needed and will provide updates in the magazine and on the blog.

The trailer project is nearly complete. This month I finished up the upper deck structure, built a new axle, mounted the tires and wheels, and test fit the ARB Simpson III rooftop tent.

My chief goal in building an off-road-capable trailer was to have a mobile residence on the trail, as well as a camp kitchen and mini toy hauler. Though there are many excellent ready-made, off-road trailers available, they come with a bit of sticker shock when it comes to price. With this in mind, I wanted to build the trailer without breaking the bank. The ARB Simpson III rooftop tent topped the list of luxury items, but it can also be mounted to my tow rig should I decide to leave the trailer at home, making it somewhat of a dual purpose item.

With the build nearly complete the trailer is almost ready for the trail. This month I finished up the upper deck structure, built a new axle, and mounted up a set of 31x10.50R15 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM tires on Rugged Ridge wheels. There is still more to come though; including a tie-down anchor system from Mac's Custom Tie-Downs, a fold-down aluminum table from PitPal Products, and the Durabak coating once all is said and done. Check out the pics for the details.

PhotosView Slideshow
PhotosView Slideshow
Pleased with my work so far I test fit the ARB Simpson III rooftop tent on the trailer. It’s perfect! I’ll likely flip it around so the tent opens to the passenger side but it sure looks good as is. I’ll continue making modifications to the trailer over time so check for updates in the magazine as well as at


Rugged Ridge
Industrial Metal Supply
Irvine, CA 92606
Durabak Company
Aurora, CO 80014
Hobart Welders
Mac's Custom Tie-Downs
Sagle, ID 83860
Suwanee, GA 30024
Swag Off Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
Mechanix Gloves
PitPal Products
Zion, IL 60099
Northern Tool & Equipment
Burnsville, MN 55306

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