Trailer Frequently Asked Questions
1. What size trailer will the tent fit on?
The tent has a steel frame underneath that has been designed to fit a number of different sized trailers. It will fit both a 7x4 and a 7x5 trailer, a 6x4 trailer (see below), and can also fit an 8x5 trailer with some trailer adaptation (see below for more details). If buying a new trailer we recommend 7x4 trailers as it is quicker to fit the tent, however if another size suits your needs better than that is fine.
2. How can I fit the tent to my 8x5 trailer?
You would need to mount the tent to the back of your trailer so that the annex can be used (this opens up behind the trailer). This would leave a gap of about 1 foot at the front of your trailer You could build a simple steel cover 1 foot wide to cover this area. If you wished this could be hinged on one side to make it easier to access the area underneath - although as it is not very wide this is not really necessary. A number of our clients have successfully mounted our tents to their 8x5 trailers.
3. What are the dimensions of the steel frame that attaches to the trailer?
The following diagram shows the dimensions of the steel frame that is fixed to the tent baseboard (shown as the outer rectangle). This is designed to attach to your trailer. The inner rectangular frame is for a 7x4 trailer, the outriggers are designed for a 7x5 trailer. When attaching to a 7x5 trailer a 20mm thick piece of steel or timber should be fitted at either end between the main frame and the outriggers, this will stop dust from entering the trailer.
4. My trailer is an unusual size (e.g. 7x4½) will this fit?
The trailer camper tent has a frame underneath it to attach to your trailer. This is designed for 7x4 or 7x5 trailers, although it can be adapted to other sizes with a bit of modification. The modifications necessary would depend on how you wish to attach the tent to your trailer. If you want to bolt the tent onto your trailer, you could just add some steel square section or wood to the appropriate places underneath the bed base so that the frame is extended and seals to your trailer so the dust doesn’t get in – this would be quite straightforward.
If you wish to hinge the tent on one side (and put gas struts on the other) so it can be lifted, then the modification is going to need to be a bit more rigorous as the frame will be taking the tent weight. In this case you could either mount the tent so that the existing 4 foot frame is over the side that you wish to hinge, you can then add some steel or wood to the other side to seal the trailer interior – this however would result in the tent being slightly off centre on the trailer. The alternative for hinge mounting would be to add new steel “outriggers” at the appropriate point for a 4.5 foot trailer, these would need to be welded to the original frame.
5. How do I fit the tent to my 6x4 trailer?
You would need to mount the tent with the back of the frame over the trailer tailgate so that the annex can be used (this opens up behind the trailer). On a 6x4 trailer the steel frame will overhang the front of the trailer by about one foot. You will need to add in a piece of 20mm thick steel or timber as shown in the following diagram.
6. What height does the trailer need to be?
We recommend that your trailer be within the range 100 to 110cm high. The ideal height for the trailer is 105cm (1050mm), measured over the wheel when the trailer is level on flat ground. We have had customers fit the tent to trailers outside this height range, however this will involve compromises.
7. My trailer is too low, what can I do?
Often the sides of the trailer can be built up fairly simply with either some rectangular hollow steel, steel sheet or even timber. Often the solution will depend on what tools you have access to, or whether you have a mate who can help you out. Sometimes it is also possible to get some more height by changing the wheels and/or springs. If you are unable to get your tent to the required height, then it is possible to fit the tent to your trailer and we have had clients do this. However the tent will not gain its proper shape, and its operation may be compromised.
8. My trailer is too high, what will happen if I put the tent on it?
If your trailer is higher than the ideal height, then it will pull the tent floor up next to the trailer wheel. This will make it more difficult to peg down the tent next to the trailer, and will cause the floor to be pulled up next to the trailer. We have had clients fit the tent to higher trailers, but you need to realise that this will compromise the tent a bit.
9. How do I mount the tent onto my trailer?
There are two different methods that can be used to mount the tent to the trailer. The one you choose will depend on how you want to use your Trailer Camper, and how easy you want to make the fitting. The methods are as follows.
- Bolt On Method.
This is a quick and simple method. You position the tent on your trailer and then open it up so that you can get inside and drill down through the tent baseboard (under the mattress) and into the tops of your trailer wall. You can then bolt the tent down onto the trailer.
- Hinge & Gas Strut Method
In this method you are able to install the tent without opening it up. If you have a 7x4 trailer, you can use the hinge mounting points already installed on the trailer (more information in our installation guide). Otherwise you will need to install hinges on your trailer and the frame at appropriate positions, you can use gate hinges, heavy duty piano hinge, or any other suitable heavy duty hinge. On the opposite side you will need to install over-centre latches (or similar) to hold the tent down on the trailer. Gas struts can also be installed to lift the tent.
10. Can you send me more details on how to install the tent?
All our customers receive our illustrated installation guide which goes into more detail on how to install the tent on your trailer.
11. Do hinges, gas struts and latches come with the tent?
No, as our customers have many different types and sizes of trailer, and use different attachment methods, there is no one solution that we can include. These parts can be readily sourced from automotive retailers and hardware stores.
12. Can I remove the tent from my trailer?
Yes, if you install it in a way that supports this. If you use the bolt on method, then it is a simple as undoing the bolts and then taking the tent off. If you use the hinge & strut method, then you will need to use a hinge type that allows removal (our hinge mounting points for 7x4 trailers support this). You then unclip the gas struts and can slide the tent off your trailer.
Some of our customers have gone a few steps further. One has installed brackets on the side of his garage so he can slide the tent over, clip the hinges into the brackets, and then use a pulley system to lift the other side of the tent so it tilts up vertically against the garage wall. Other clients have installed a winch in their shed (if you have sufficient height) so that they can lift the tent straight up and off the trailer.
13. What size gas struts do I use?
This depends on the size of your trailer, and where you mount your struts (which will in turn depend on your trailer design). On a 7x4 trailer, we use a gas strut with a total length of 700mm (mount to mount) with a force of around 800N. The force needed will depend on the direction the struts are mounted in, and the angles they develop when pushing the tent up.
14. Is it possible to mount the tent with the drawbar inside the annex?
Yes, this is possible. The 6004 model tent only has a door on one side, so this will be on the drawbar side, the 6008B model tent is identical on each side. Here is a photo showing how one of our clients mounted their 6004 tent backwards.
15. Can I have a local manufacturer make a trailer for this tent?
Yes, certainly. We can ship the tent directly to their business if they have a forklift and they can mount the tent on to the trailer they make for you.
16. I don’t have a trailer, can you help me?
Yes, often we can. We produce our own trailers in Sydney and Hobart, and have resellers who put our tents on trailers they manufacture in a number of other areas. See our website TrailerCampers.com for current details.
17. Can I have boat racks on my trailer?
Yes, however you will need to design these so that they don’t interfere with the tent operation. The tent hinges on the drivers side, so boat racks are usually arranged to hinge on the passenger side. Just make sure you have sufficient clearance for the tent baseboard (and a bit extra) between the uprights.