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New Ideas Have a new idea for your Ford Ranger? General discussion of new ideas for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 01-01-2008
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Camping Trailer

I am building a camper out of a pickup bed "trailer" and had a couple questions. Would it be fesiable to put a dual battery setup in the trailer itself and run some kind of electrical to the truck as a plug in, meaning use the truck as a plug in for elctric to the trailer in primitive camping situations. Also, would just adding a circuit off the battery and connecting a couple 12V plug ins be ok, or would the batterys over load the circuit? I am building a platform like a few others have done with storage under it. I will be adding a storage box to the tounge of the trailer for the battery and water tank
( sealed in seperate compartments) Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 01-01-2008
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As long as you are careful with your wire gauges and fuses, it sounds plausible to me. How do you intend to use the truck to charge the batteries?
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Old 01-01-2008
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still trying to figure that out....the truck I am doing this with is a 79 F150....I was thinking of some sort of generator under the hood for nite time use and shut it off during the day, as there is plenty of room under the hood of those trucks, but the truck will also be my off road rig, so I have to be careful on placement and use. Still in the planning and pricing stages though


Also, forgot to add that the trailer will have a basket on the roof, along with 2 lights off each side of it, a awning off one side, and a spare on the roof. Through the course of this build I will be putting it in the project log portion and taking lots of pics and including prices of everything so everyone has a general idea of what is going into it

Last edited by cowboy63645; 01-01-2008 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 01-01-2008
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If youíre planning on adding a generator I'd put a small unit on the trailer frame or a stand alone rather than under the hood of the truck (replacing the stock Alt with the highest output factory Alt you can find). They make some nice .5-1kw units that have small footprints. The key to the power needs is to keep the power requirements as low as possible. Use track mount LED's for lighting in the trailer. Use deep cycle batteries on the trailer with a rectifier/isolator for the generator. You could also add another battery under hood with an isolator and run a power feed with a fusible link to the rear trailer connector for charging the trailer batteries on the road (this would give you three batteries total. You could also add solar cells on top of the trailer to supplement the trailer battery charging.
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Old 01-01-2008
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You can use the truck alt. to charge the trailer battery during travel time by running a hot wire from the alt output lug. You will need to put a higher output alt on the trk. maybe 75 to 100 amp.

I would use a 40 amp breaker mounted near the alt. and run #6 wire from the breaker to the rear end of the trk. You should be able to find a 40 or 50 amp automive two prong plug and receptacle to use similar to the ones used on booster cables on service trks..

Use the frame of the trk for the neg side of this. Run two wires, neg. and pos. from the plug to the battery on the trailer. You can plug it in when driving but unplug it when parked or you will discharge the truck battery unless you put a motor home type of relay disconnect motor homes use to keep the trk battery from discharging.

Be sure to protect the wiring from rubbing and shorting out.

Do as suggested and use a portable gen when trailer is parked and in use.

Last edited by Ranger Carl; 01-01-2008 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 01-01-2008
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thank you guys, I appreciate the advice. I will be running LED lights on the interior of the trailer, and small 55 watt lights with a flood pattern on the outside. I like the idea of running a relay to charge the battery while driving. I will have to plan out a diagram for my wiring and see how many of what I will be running on one circuit i.e. all the flood lights on one circuit, all the interior lights on another.... and then any additional comforts I want inside the trailer. Also, I will try to locate the largest alt. available and will probably run a dual battery setup on the truck for my winch, off road lights, etc.
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2008
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ok, or I could just skip the battery idea, and just hook everything up on a breaker box, with a single plug in for the generator. Then mount a switch inside the trailer to cut all power off. Would this be a better plan? or should I mount a battery as a back up?
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Old 01-01-2008
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It may be handy to have the battery so you don't have to use the portable gen. all the time. One thing about the gen. you'll have to get a 12 volt gen or use a converter to convert the 120 v to 12 v. for the trailer.
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Old 01-02-2008
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the generator will be a 12v compatible gen. It just seems easier to not have the battery but it also reminded me what if I take it on a hunting trip and something happens and I cant get out to get to town, i.e. no fuel, no food, no water, etc. So the trailer will be set up with emergency needs as well.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2008
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Good idea as stuff happens and things don't go as planed.

BTW, I hope your going to put adjustable stands at all four corners for when it's parked.
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2008
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I am planning on building 4 removable stands for all 4 corners, so they dont drag while I am on the trail with the trailer. I am also thinking about putting a pump on the fuel tank to keep the fuel tank on there and use it as an aux. fuel tank. There will also be a water tank and a back up battery system. Under the sleeping platform there will be storage for extra clothes, food, drinking water, sleeping bags, first aid kit, and recovery equipment such as straps, hi-lift jack, clevis's, etc.

I guess now that I have it all planned out, I need to start drawing up my plans and put it all down on paper, and start my price list. Also, does anyone have a diagram program, where I could draw my wiring diagrams....
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Old 01-02-2008
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That sounds like an awesome idea. I've been working on like like that for awhile now, but haven't been all that motivated to finish it because of other projects.

My opinion, and how mine will work... I will have two marine, deep cycle batteries in the trailer, and they will be charged from the truck while the engine is running. This setup is stock on most 1/2ton or larger trucks with a trailer package. I will also have a small 120V circuit that will be used when parking near an outlet, or at home. This will be connected to the 12V circuits with a battery charger, so whenever your hooked up, you'll be charging the batteries, and still have use of all the 12v circuits. As long as you protect everything with fuses and proper wire sizing, it will be fine. Here is pic of mine as it stands now... I have most everything I need to finish it, but just need the time. I have 3 jacks, one for the front, 2 for the back corners. A truck box for up front, and a drawer system that I'll use for a table. The cabinets will hold all the camping, electronics, gear, and the top will be a fold out style with canvas tent material... Let me know if you have any questions, I've been thinking about and planning this for about 2 years.... :o)



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  #13  
Old 01-02-2008
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the reading bed is a very nice setup!! I am buying the truck cheap, so I couldn't pass up the deal. I like the idea of having the "camper" matching the truck, for my particular application. I really like your idea of using the bed for storage and adding the tent to the top. I will be using a regular camper shell for the top of mine and insulating it somehow. As far as the batteries go, the bed I am using for the trailer portion of the pfoject has the toolbox built into the side of the bed, and that is where my battery set up will go. I also like the idea of having a 120V plug in for regular camping applications. Thanks for all the ideas guys
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  #14  
Old 01-02-2008
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I was actually going to be using a camper top for mine too so it would match the truck better, but I figured that I wanted more space inside incase it was bad weather. This way I'll be able to have a table, and be able to stand inside. There are a couple of companies that will make something like a cap, or bed cover that convert into a camper too. Do a quick search for "wilderness campers" and you'll see what I'm talking about. There is even someone on here that has one on his Ranger. If you going to be taking this off road, be sure to look at something like this: www.locknroll.com

Don

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  #15  
Old 01-02-2008
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thanks for the heads up. Yes, this will be taken off road, as the truck is and will be my hunting, fishing, off road vehicle so the trailer will follow LOL. I will be setting it up for every situation I can think of, including recovery and rescue for the local fire department.
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2008
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Maby you could get a smaller generator and put it in place of the gas tank under the bed of the trailer. I dont know how much room is under there but its a idea.
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  #17  
Old 01-02-2008
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it is a good idea, and I like the idea, but the fuel tank is staying in place to use as a aux. fuel tank for the truck, and my ATV when I take it
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  #18  
Old 01-02-2008
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Not a good idea to have the gen to close to the trailer. Fumes and noise are two that come to mind.
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  #19  
Old 01-12-2008
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trailers

Take a look at these trailers to see how they did the wiring:

My personal fav is: www.adventuretrailers.com

They put a 12v DC battery in the tongue box. This is enough to run the fridge for 3 days. You could run other 12v accessories, such as flourescent lights, or such. It charges from the truck alternator via 7 pin connector.

If you need 110v AC service on this rig, depending on the power draw, either a small invertor, or a generator is necessary.

The other trailer is: www.campausa.com


A 12v deep cycle should run two 55 watt lights for about 5-6 hours before it dies. If you can find lights that use less power, you should pick those instead.

Last edited by AeroDoc; 01-12-2008 at 11:50 AM.
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2008
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Thanks for the heads up, that is what I have been looking for. I appreciate it!!
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