I have the Trailer!

The trailer is beautiful!  OK, maybe not for most people, but for me, it is.  It represents countless hours of design work, dreaming, and tons of research.  I don’t even want to think about the number of hours I had to work to pay for it either.  But now, after talking about it for quite a while, it’s finally here!

On my way down to Becker Custom Trailers, the winds were blowing a perpendicular angle to the route, and at around 20mph, which made me very concerned about the return trip.  The trailer is basically a giant sail if the wind is aimed in the right (or, rather, wrong) direction, and that’s exactly the conditions I had today.  I guess if there was ever a test of whether or not I could survive without proper anti-sway mechanisms in place, this would prove it.  If I got it home in one piece, I’d have a lot more experience about how critical the anti-sway gear would be.

When I arrived, my trailer was pulled out from the others and had lots of clearance around it.  It’s almost like they knew I was coming!

Here we can see the rear cargo doors.  Everything about the trailer lined up to the pre-arranged blueprints.  It’s like they just took the blueprints, hit “print”, and out popped a trailer.

I haven’t had much time to to take pictures of the inside, but here’s one.  The dark window on the left is being covered by its protective shield right now.  The window on the right is partially blocked by the open door.  The trim between the ceiling and the walls, although you can’t see it well here, is actually very nicely done.

Here’s a shot of the protective metal covering over one of the front windows in the “up” position.  The black strap that’s blowing in the wind is just that: a handy strap so you can pull the cover back down in place when needed.  There’s a latching mechanism in the bottom center of the image which is easy to operate and locks the cover in place for travel.

Quick shot of the truck and trailer combo.  The tongue of the trailer is sitting just a little bit lower than I’d like for long distance travel, but for today it worked out fine.

The back end of the truck is sitting lower than I’d like as well, but it was within reasonable limits.  The weight distribution system just got put up higher in the priority list.

Here’s a shot of the pull-out aluminum step.  It actually has a gas shock (or two?) that help it stay in either the in or out positions.  It sort of snaps into either position when pulled/pushed.  Very cool, had no idea it would do that, but still haven’t had much time to play with it yet.

Here it is at night back in Shoreview, with all of its lights lit up.  All LED, of course.  I really like the clearance/running lights, I just think they’re cool.

I’ll be taking more pictures as I spend more time with the trailer.  Tomorrow morning it has an appointment to be dropped off at the holding facility for the next week or so until I start my next adventure.

Speaking of adventures, getting the trailer home was certainly exciting.  Remember the winds I mentioned earlier?  Yep, those were fun.  Combine random winds with semi-truck trailers passing, and there were some white-knuckle conditions for a while until I got used to it.  It takes a while to get comfortable with the trailer pushing the truck around.

The truck weighs approximately 4,500 pounds.  The trailer weighs 3,910 pounds (according to the manufacturer).  When the trailer has the draft of a semi pushing on its left side, it moves to the right.  When the front of the trailer moves to the right, the front of the truck moves to the left.  When you’re being shoved to the left and a semi is coming up on your left, it’s not pleasant!  That took a while to get used to, and I’m handling it better now after a good number of events.

Then there’s random wind gusts.  Driving along and things are going well, nobody’s passing and traffic is light and then suddenly the whole rig wobbles about!  Yep, high crosswinds are no fun.

I kept my speed low (generally, 55mph), and that certainly helped.  It seemed that if I accidentally got up to 60mph, it just felt more unstable.  Once traffic and wind died down a bit, and I got a bit more experience, I was able to start using the cruise control, and for a while, when on good roads, it was quite a pleasant ride!  After the white-knuckle experiences earlier, I also had times were I could turn on the radio, relax a bit, and just cruise down the road in my new mobile experience.  By the end of the trip, I was getting much more comfortable driving the rig, and I think after a couple weeks I doubt I’ll even need to think twice about it.

4 thoughts on “I have the Trailer!”

  1. Looks great! A couple of questions…

    Are those two vents on the roof above the rear doors?
    Why the low window driver side?
    Are the windows double-pane?
    Did you have Becker insulate the walls/roof/floor? If so, with what?

    1. There’s actually 3 roof vents. You can see their placement in the blueprints here: http://rvtrek.org/2016/10/26/lastest-prints/

      The low window on the drivers side is supposed to be an egress (emergency escape) window. Right now it isn’t, but it’s scheduled to be swapped out on February 2nd, 2017. It’s low because regulations say it can’t be more than 36″ off the floor (or some figure like that) so children can use it. I’m planning on having a murphy bed mounted just above it, so it’ll still be accessible if needed.

      Regarding the windows, I have no idea if they’re double paned or not. They look like very standard RV windows. I’ll try to take a closer look at them this morning and take some more photos.

      I had ATC (the company that manufactures for Becker) insulate the roof. They used closed-cell insulation to do it. I didn’t have them insulate the walls or floor because of the cost involved, and I wanted to stay under $20k for the build of the trailer. I did have them do the ceiling because their price for that was reasonable and I really wanted to avoid as much ceiling work as possible.

    2. The windows appear to be single-pane. Not a huge issue for me, I was anticipating a lot of heat loss/gain around the front of the trailer where all the windows are.

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