Boat Design Forums  |  Boat Design Directory  |  Boat Design Gallery  |  Boat Design Book Store  |  Thanks to Our Site Sponsors

Go Back   Boat Design Forums > Design > Boat Design
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Most Recent Posts Gallery Images Search

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-01-2010, 08:10 PM
RonKMiller RonKMiller is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Rep: 10 Posts: 19
Location: Tucson, AZ
A folding travel trailer on top of a pontoon boat~

Hi folks:

I've spent a bit of time searching, but found no interesting threads so throwing it out there for discussion. I have this (probably) insane idea of taking my Chalet folding travel trailer - wheels and all - and simply parking it on top of a pontoon boat deck. An instant house boat.

I intend on using it at Lake Powell. I envision literally backing it on to the platform with extension ramps, unhitch and tie it down with chain binders or some 10K lb. heavy duty ratcheting straps at all four corners. Obviously the wheels would need to be well chocked front and rear, or a "locater slot" for each wheel built into the deck. On a level surface this trailer can easily be pushed by two people with a "nose wheel" inserted in the crank up jack on the hitch.

1. My trailer weights 1950 lbs. dry, so I figure another 200 lbs. or so for water, propane, food, BEER, etc.

2. My max occupancy will be four passengers, so I'm using 800 lbs. for that figure including personal gear.

3. I'm now up to 3,000 lbs. of "cargo "

4. It looks like I'll be into twin 28' by 24" pontoons to accommodate everything comfortably (yes, I've done some homework) including a 150 hp engine, fuel, etc. I specifically want 24" pontoons to keep the loading ramp angle for the trailer as low as possible.

Attached is a picture of my trailer opened and closed. The body of the trailer is 16' long, and 19' over all to the tip of the hitch. 73" tall when folded.

Be gentle on me, I've spent the last 28 years in the air as a Commercial Pilot, so even though I've sailed a few times I'm relatively new to water.

OK, as a newb I'm an easy target. Tell me why this wouldn't work!
Attached Thumbnails
A folding travel trailer on top of a pontoon boat~-folded.jpg  
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote


  #2  
Old 09-01-2010, 08:44 PM
AnalogKid AnalogKid is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Rep: 10 Posts: 26
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
No reason at all, in fact its been done already, apart from the folding bit about the trailer.

What the photos show is that the difficulty lies in making it look like a coherent boat rather than a lash up (although it looks like the creators of the boats shown didn't even try).



Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-01-2010, 09:26 PM
RonKMiller RonKMiller is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Rep: 10 Posts: 19
Location: Tucson, AZ
LOL - yep, saw those pics on the net - but I'm not talking about ghetto engineering here.

My trailer is one year old and equipped with a flat screen hdtv, fridge and freezer, swamp cooler AND ac, an inverter and 90 watts of solar panels. Oh yeah, it also has a memory foam queen bed. Life is good.

I'm not too concerned with how it will look - any way you slice it this is going to be one strange looking rig. As long as it will do 15 knots I'll be happy.

Although, there might be a certain allure to one of those setups with "Dueling Banjos" playing on the box.

SUUUUEeeeee!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-01-2010, 11:40 PM
philSweet's Avatar
philSweet philSweet is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Rep: 938 Posts: 1,296
Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC
Why unhitch? Take the car along too. Use drive wheels to run prop. I thought they had something like this on Lake Powell. Maybe it was Lake Mead.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-02-2010, 05:39 AM
yipster's Avatar
yipster yipster is offline
designer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Rep: 1148 Posts: 3,484
Location: netherlands
on a big enough platform it would work but not all marinas may welcome you

a frend had an old caravan once he wanted to fit on his open sloop
made some sketches for a simple cabin that could fit kitchen seating windows the lot
and looked much better but no he wanted his caravan on
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-02-2010, 11:04 AM
thedutchtouch thedutchtouch is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Rep: 39 Posts: 90
Location: baltimore. MD
I like it a lot, super jealous of your location- i've been to lake powell 3 tiles, stayed on a houseboat for a week each time, great place... but i digress. I think it looks like a quite easy thing to do, If i were you i'd give yourself enough room on deck to back the trailer on, and then spin it sideways by hand. if you really wanted to make sure the trailer was secure you could also take off the wheels entirely, and either have something that supports the trailer by the frame (it should bolt together) or a nice thick plate of steel/alu, with the trailer bolt pattern drilled into it. make this plate either hinged so it can fold flat when not in use or removable/ bolt down... that way you bolt your trailer to the deck when in use, and you have a completely flat deck when not using it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-02-2010, 11:34 AM
Wavewacker Wavewacker is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Rep: 220 Posts: 608
Location: Springfield, Mo.
Hi, as to using the drive wheels to power the craft, there is a patent on that. A guy parked a motorhome on a pontoon. The front wheels were parked on disks that were linked to the rudder, the drive wheels were on rollers. There are several travel trailers on boats in my neck of the woods, mostly by ozarkian engineering.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-21-2010, 06:11 AM
graydawg graydawg is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Rep: 10 Posts: 1
Location: shreveport,La
I thought I had a original idea using pontoones, a cabover truck camper 11 or 12 ft with small bath and toilet and a small 4 cylinder diesel motor, standard tranny, using the rearend with padles welded on truck rims, a rear rudderfor steering, and have a cabin area under the overhead bed area with all controls and also a small say 10hp outboard with electric start in the front area for getting into tight marinas and also as a back-up motor in case of problems with main engine setup. I wanted to run it on the red river near shreveport, La and travel a little with it, of coarse was planning to have a small street/dirt bike for land transportation. Others are welcome to use my idea, for I may never get to build it, for all the other projects I have going. James in da GRAYDAWG
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-21-2010, 07:40 AM
SamSam SamSam is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Rep: 856 Posts: 2,743
Location: Coastal Georgia
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller View Post
LOL - yep, saw those pics on the net - but I'm not talking about ghetto engineering here.

My trailer is one year old and equipped with a flat screen hdtv, fridge and freezer, swamp cooler AND ac, an inverter and 90 watts of solar panels. Oh yeah, it also has a memory foam queen bed. Life is good.

I'm not too concerned with how it will look - any way you slice it this is going to be one strange looking rig. As long as it will do 15 knots I'll be happy.

Although, there might be a certain allure to one of those setups with "Dueling Banjos" playing on the box.

SUUUUEeeeee!
Yeah, what you describe looks nothing like this. If you have a security gate and wear nice clothes, who could possibly think other!?

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-21-2010, 07:57 AM
SamSam SamSam is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Rep: 856 Posts: 2,743
Location: Coastal Georgia
How about this?

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-21-2010, 08:00 AM
SamSam SamSam is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Rep: 856 Posts: 2,743
Location: Coastal Georgia
And the ya gots yer basic....

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-21-2010, 09:36 PM
cthippo's Avatar
cthippo cthippo is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Rep: 465 Posts: 735
Location: Bellingham WA
I think if it were me I'd put four padeyes on deck so you can bolt the trailer down to it to prevent shifting.

Whit the trailer you've got you could put a lightweight screen around the chassis and it would actually look like a real houseboat.

Somewhere I have pictures (the paper kind) of a towboat on the Columbia that had a travel trailer dropped on her superstructure behind the bridge for crews quarters.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-06-2012, 11:04 AM
RonKMiller RonKMiller is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Rep: 10 Posts: 19
Location: Tucson, AZ
My Trailer on a Toon is done!

Well, it only took a little over a year to complete - but here's the updated story: Links to video and pictures are below the post, enjoy.

(If anyone would like me to build one for them using a NEW tritoon and motor I'm game.)

My Trailer-on-a-Toon was created out of sheer whimsy one evening while my wife and I discussed vacations we’d enjoyed over the years. We identified two memorable trips. One was renting a houseboat and floating through the canals of southern France. The other favorite was camping with our 16-foot Chalet XL hard-sided folding camping trailer in the incredibly scenic and wild Chiricahua National Monument.

We agreed that water and wilderness, along with sublime comfort, would be the ideal combination. The 1.2-million-acre Lake Powell is only an 8-hour drive from our home, and the Y-Knot? was born. I started with a salvaged 1988 Party-Hut 28-foot tritoon and a broken 90-horsepower Yamaha outboard motor. The project was finished in just over a year. I had no game plan – this was a “build it as you go and figure out how to make it work” project.

Upon completion, the Y-Knot? passed a rigorous inspection, with zero deficiencies, and was awarded a Coast Guard safety sticker. We christened the Y- Knot? in May of 2011 with a bottle of $2.99 Andre sparkling wine – and saved the Dom Perignon for drinking.

Ron and Amy Miller live in Tucson AZ. Ron is a Commercial Pilot and Amy is an RN. In their spare time, they enjoy exploring the western US by air, land and water with their adopted “child”, KoKo (a 13-lb. toy poodle).
The Y-Knot? is their first boat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0IwHewPvEg

https://picasaweb.google.com/MillerR...ildingTheYKnot
Attached Thumbnails
A folding travel trailer on top of a pontoon boat~-toon-reflection-canyon.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-06-2012, 12:20 PM
Wavewacker Wavewacker is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Rep: 220 Posts: 608
Location: Springfield, Mo.
As you all know, I'm not an engineer, but that won't stop an Ozarkian Hillbilly from designing something. Looking at the pics, I'm not seeing a standard toon boat, they appear to have been built for that task to me.

Down at the lake, a guy put a travel trailer on a toon, but he took the axel and wheels off and set the frame on the deck. I think this solved various problems having to scotch the wheels and the consentration of weight on the deck where the tires meet the deck.

Production toons are not really designed to take a heavy load within a dew square inches like the floor of a house. The connections on the tubes are aluminum and when spreading the load across all of them they are sufficient, but I would not trust 800 pounds concentrated on basically one cross frame member with a 1/2 inch ply deck.

You might consider additional joists and blocking over the tubes IMO or setting the trailer flat and secure it spreading the load more equally on deck.

Powell is a large lake, never been on it, but I bet you have plenty of wakes and chop at times, I would think that this would be a problem for the concerns I pointed out, might be fine on still waters, but I wouldn't count on still waters, especially trying to cruise.

Just think the deck connections will not hold up and the deck will take a beating from stress.
Reply With Quote


  #15  
Old 02-06-2012, 04:14 PM
RonKMiller RonKMiller is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Rep: 10 Posts: 19
Location: Tucson, AZ
Valid points, but a few things to keep in mind:

1. This is not a pontoon - but a tritoon - which changes the equation dramatically when you bring a third weight bearing surface into the mix. The trailer weights roughly 2,000 lbs, with about 250 of that on the hitch. That leaves 1750 lbs. or 583 lbs. for each tritoon to support. I'm not sure how much of that the center toon takes, but it is significant.

2. The weight is distributed over three horizontal "stringers" - not centered over one - the stringers are located 24" apart. That further decrease the loading to 194 lbs. each or roughly equal to 9 hoomin' beans standing equidistant around a 6 X 8 foot rectangle.

3. The flawless Meranti plywood floor connects everything together so it is acting only in tension, it is not weight bearing at all.

I'm certainly no engineer either, but as a commercial pilot I have learned a few things about weight and balance over the years.

Once you take a look at the "platform" and clamps that I built for the wheels below I think you'll have a better handle on the loading. The load is transferred directly to the 3 trusses underneath. The two straps that go over the wheels and capture the tires are 12,000 lb. test each, the ratcheting clamps and bolts all Grade 8, commercial duty. The front cradle pivots and provides a secure "catch" for the tire - trapping it and avoiding any lateral movement during a roll. The rear cradle is fixed.

I considered taking the wheels off, but that would have been way too easy. Any Ozarkian hillbilly can do THAT. Besides, I can currently roll the Chalet on and off the front at will with 16 foot detachable ramps and the on board 12 volt winch. There are temporary extensions of the tracks the wheels currently sit in to keep it rolling straight and avoid running off the edges until it gets to the ramps. It takes about 20 minutes on/off with one person, about 10 with two, one opening the beer. All 'ya gotta do is move some furniture and press a button. A true amphibian!
Attached Thumbnails
A folding travel trailer on top of a pontoon boat~-toon-tie-down.jpg  A folding travel trailer on top of a pontoon boat~-toon-wheel-tie-downs-2.jpg  
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Folding T-Top? Captain Craig Boat Design 7 05-11-2008 03:12 PM
cabin top going from power boat to trailer sailer mattoc Boat Design 2 04-25-2006 05:55 PM
Convert Travel Trailer to Houseboat killerd Boat Design 8 06-24-2004 09:24 PM
Mainsheets - to travel or not to travel... ErikG Sailboats 11 05-14-2004 12:24 AM
folding boat wyomoose Wooden Boat Building and Restoration 3 04-18-2004 11:22 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:12 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Web Site Design and Content Copyright ©1999 - 2014 Boat Design Net