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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    124

    Default Trailer / Buggy Frame Engineering Questions.

    Greetings,

    I am currently contemplating a couple of projects that are related. Basically I am looking to build both a trailer and a sort of dune buggy that is built more for carrying than speed for hunting. The problem is that I am trying to understand some of the engineering questions without going back and trading my Masters in Computer Science for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering.

    When it comes to a trailer, I am wondering whether there are general guidelines of how many cross members the trailer should have, how much flex it needs and so on. This question also has come up on a repair job where the trailer frame in an RV needs to be strenghtned to carry more capacity. Now one inclination is to err on the side of caution and overengineer the trailer and buggy. The problem is that this is obviously a waste.

    So if you had a trailer frame to repair and wanted to strengthen it from its designed capacity of 6000# to 9000#, how would you go about doing it? Consider the trailer is 33' in length and made out of c channel steel. (its really old trailer)

    If you were designing a trailer for utility reasons or to carry a dune buggy, how would you know how many cross members and the size of the steel to use for the main members and tongue?

    Finally, I suspect that frames for things like dune bugies, ATVs and cars have to be designed by pros in the CAD department to be correct. Would you say that is true? If so how can I know a properly designed frame for a dune buggy from one dreamed up by some guy with too much time on his hands but no training?

    Thanks in advance
    -- Robert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    45

    Default My trailer

    The way I did my trailer was with 3" channel and 5 cross members. Through some research and information from people in this forum I learned that it is better to run the cross member across the trailer and not lengthwise. If they are put lengthwise the trailer will twist.
    The way I placed the members was one at either end of the spring mounts and split the difference to the front and put one in the middle.
    I just finished doing my roof and had 2200lbs. on it (legal limit) and I saw no flexing or distorting at all.
    The tongue I just used the angle of the A frame hitch and made sure I hit the second cross member. I would have liked to make the tongue longer now that I have used it a little.

    Just a thought though, why not just make the buggy itself a trailer? Lock a tongue onto the front, picking up the front wheels and roll it on the back ones.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,831

    Default

    When going from 6000# to 9000# the first thing you need to look at is the weight rating of your axles & tires. Most trailers in the 6000# range have axles that are rated at 3500# each.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    124

    Default

    I already had plans to beef up the axles and springs. That is the easy part. The question becomes, "is the frame itself strong and stiff enough to handle the extra weight." That is the one I need to answer. If it simply involves enclosing the C channel iron into a BOX then that is not that hard. The question is when will I know it is enough. Of course it could be that the axles are more critical and the frame can take a lot more than the axles can right now and in that case, i dont need to do anything except repair.

  5. #5

    Default

    Are you using the trailer for a buggy only? It would take a monster to weigh more than 3-4000 lbs. For buggy cage ideas,try looking at some of the sanctioning bodies such as WEROC or XRRA.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    812

    Default

    Other than the axles and tires, the difference between a lighter duty and a heavier duty trailer is going to be the height of the frame members (C-Chanel). I do not believe that boxing in- your existing frame will add any significant strenght to the GVW capacity of your trailer.
    Last edited by nocheepgas; 12-19-2009 at 03:50 PM.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    49

    Wink dune buggy trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by kraythe View Post
    Greetings,

    I am currently contemplating a couple of projects that are related. Basically I am looking to build both a trailer and a sort of dune buggy that is built more for carrying than speed for hunting. The problem is that I am trying to understand some of the engineering questions without going back and trading my Masters in Computer Science for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering.

    When it comes to a trailer, I am wondering whether there are general guidelines of how many cross members the trailer should have, how much flex it needs and so on. This question also has come up on a repair job where the trailer frame in an RV needs to be strenghtned to carry more capacity. Now one inclination is to err on the side of caution and overengineer the trailer and buggy. The problem is that this is obviously a waste.

    So if you had a trailer frame to repair and wanted to strengthen it from its designed capacity of 6000# to 9000#, how would you go about doing it? Consider the trailer is 33' in length and made out of c channel steel. (its really old trailer)

    If you were designing a trailer for utility reasons or to carry a dune buggy, how would you know how many cross members and the size of the steel to use for the main members and tongue?

    Finally, I suspect that frames for things like dune bugies, ATVs and cars have to be designed by pros in the CAD department to be correct. Would you say that is true? If so how can I know a properly designed frame for a dune buggy from one dreamed up by some guy with too much time on his hands but no training?

    Thanks in advance
    -- Robert
    a dont no if it's gonna help, but a built this trailer for dune buggy few years ago and becose the weigth of the motor at the the back of the buggy, a have just built a frame at the top of axles and a pole long enoufh to EXCEED the front and attach to the hitch, the weigth was very good balance and have no problem hitch it whit my honda accord
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ricau View Post
    a dont no if it's gonna help, but a built this trailer for dune buggy few years ago and becose the weigth of the motor at the the back of the buggy, a have just built a frame at the top of axles and a pole long enoufh to EXCEED the front and attach to the hitch, the weigth was very good balance and have no problem hitch it whit my honda accord
    A forgot the picture
    Attached Images Attached Images
    XMT 304 cc/cv 208/480 volts
    Lincoln wire feeder LN-25 w/Contactor and Gas Solenoid, w/magnum 400 and 200 gun's (12 ft)
    Spoolmatic 30a w/Flex Head tube 10'' XRA
    Flexible Head Tig Torch w/Gas Valve (25 ft)
    Foot Control RFCS-14HD
    Side-to-side rotary-motion fingertip Current Control
    Miller process Selector Control w/external solenoid valve
    Stainless steel welding cart
    Makita LC1230 Dry cut saw

    www.ricau.ca

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Actually I live in Colorado and I have never seen a restriction that says "no buggies" on any national forest trail but I will have to do some research. I was thinking of the buggy as something of a more safe and capable ATV but perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree here. Might still be a fun project just for the heck of it though.

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