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Old Oct 31, 2009, 07:00 PM
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Killingworth CT
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Setting Up a New Sailplane Trailer. Custom Build

Well, As with everything in life, I have out grown my 12' Carmate trailer and have purchased a new Covenent 14' dual axle trailer as its replacement. The Carmate trailer has been with me for 8 years and unfortunately sat around while I build my full scale airplane, patiently waiting for me to use her again. It was a good summer, but its time to step up.

The primary concern for this new trailer was to have a little larger size and dual axle. Traveling across the country this summer, I found out what I need in a trailer and how I want it set up. The Carmate worked well and is for sale if someone needs a real nice unit. The new trailer is going to incorporate a well thought out design and some custom metal fabrication. Most of the metal has already been fabricated to my drawings and there will be a few other pieces made as we see how it all fits.

This trailer has a drop down gate, which will prove helpful for me since I have a large glider box on wheels. It can now be rolled down the ramp vs having to be lifted and lowered. ( thanks to all that helped me with it this year )

I will post as many pictures as I can to show the progress. I started out today with grinding down the welds and cleaning up the pieces first. After getting them ready, a coat of primer and then topcoat paint was sprayed on. I used gloss black.

This trailer is divided into area's. There is a raised platform at 29" off the floor. This is for the two tow planes I carry, along with a home for the 8 meter Duo Discus when it arrives. This platform is mounted on 1" square thick wall steel tube, welded to a Jr Channel which acts as a leg, runs down the wall and sits on the floor. The tube is very strong and there are three running across the trailer to make up the 8' platform from the rear to tword the front. This is considered a 6' wide trailer, inside dimensions are 14'3 long and 5'9 wide by 6' high.
The quirk about the drop down rear door is that it leaves a 3" space on each side where the rear of trailer meets the drop door. This space limits the clear door opening to 5'3 wide, but more importantly, the space virtually unusable unless you slide in the box and then push it over t the wall. This is not what I wanted to do. The initial problem for me worked out to be a blessing. I was able to design a space on each side where the wings for the tow planes will store. Access is from the top and the front.
Construction started today. The paint was dry enough to handle and I once again, dragged out my dad and dusted him off. I love to work with him and cherish the time I get to spend together. From the photo's you can see the progress made in a half day. The center panel has cutouts so I can access the area if I need to. The area to the left under the platform will have an 8' full out shelf / platform which will store tow sailplanes in cradles and two more will be in the front section of the same shelf, access from the front side door.

The space on the left will also have a 3' wide x 14' long compartment for the Duo Discus wings, or whatever I need to store there.

There will be an area in the front accessed from the side door, this area will house steel tube framed shelves on the front wall of the trailer along with some drawers and bins for spare parts and accessories needed, Chargers, batteries, transmitters, etc.
There will also be room for the chairs and tent.
All said and done. I should get 11 large sailplanes and tow planes onboard with everything secure and safely mounted for travel.
I may need to mount some granite slabs on the floor, under the big box in order to get the weight up on the trailer for a smooth ride. Time will tell.

What about the wings???? where will they store???? ,
More on that later.

thanks for looking.

LEN

.
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Last edited by Lbuff1; Oct 31, 2009 at 07:24 PM.
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Old Oct 31, 2009, 07:26 PM
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Corner Ketch, DE
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Is this the Nascar forum!!!

Next Year You will need a bigger trailor so dont go crazy
I think Jeff Gordon's is for sale!!
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Old Oct 31, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Killingworth CT
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I figured the first response would be from you. Don't forget, I've been to your house, I've seen your garage and shop. You make me seem like a newbie, Remember, those that live in glass houses, should not walk naked.

LEN
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Old Oct 31, 2009, 07:36 PM
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Corner Ketch, DE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lbuff1 View Post
I figured the first response would be from you. Don't forget, I've been to your house, I've seen your garage and shop. You make me seem like a newbie, Remember, those that live in glass houses, should not walk naked.

LEN
That would be scary

Signed on, Look forward to see the progress
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Old Oct 31, 2009, 08:30 PM
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New York
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Len's trailer is so big it's got its own zip code!
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Old Oct 31, 2009, 08:40 PM
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Corner Ketch, DE
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Should weigh in around 18,000 lbs loaded

He should put retrac's in and spoiler's maybe flaps like them there Nascar Folks

Len will whip it into Cumberland 50mph around the hairpin turns slide into that parking spot , Door opens automaticly and all those awesome planes fold out put togther and ready to burn up the sky!

Sorry Len , Steve started it!!!
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Old Oct 31, 2009, 08:52 PM
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Killingworth CT
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I would love to have a trailer where the planes could be kept all together. I think at that point we need to look into a tandem tractor unit.
See you tomorrow at the field Steve.
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Old Oct 31, 2009, 11:02 PM
No substitute for aspect ratio
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Norwalk, CT aka the Nutmeg State -- I just can't seem to find any %$#@! nutmeg here?
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I've already booked space for the JR aerotow. Only third class was still available.
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Old Nov 01, 2009, 06:37 AM
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I have you on Standby Steve, It might be an overbook situation,

len
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Old Nov 01, 2009, 07:25 AM
No substitute for aspect ratio
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Norwalk, CT aka the Nutmeg State -- I just can't seem to find any %$#@! nutmeg here?
Joined Nov 2003
2,250 Posts
Story of my life. I'll be in a hog trailer connecting through Tulsa.

Back to the serious side, the trailer looks FANTASTIC! Can't wait to see the next round of photos of the racking and progress. Len & Len do nice work!
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Old Nov 01, 2009, 10:17 AM
Nothing like a good WOODIE!
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USA, DE, Newark
Joined Jun 2005
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First class work Len & Len, definitely the way to travel with the sailplanes.
Any consideration to adding in a portable generator? When I was drag racing motorcycles back in the 80's I shared a 14" trailer with a friend and we fabricated a small door to the bottom right of the side door just for a portable generator. We set it up on a slide out shelf so we could run it and gas it up without having to carry it around, I'll look to see if I can find some pictures,

Tony
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Old Nov 02, 2009, 01:27 PM
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Len,
What are you asking for the replaced (old) trailer?
Gordon
PM me at gordonpearson@chartermi.net
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Old Nov 02, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Killingworth CT
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Hi Tony.
Great Idea. I am absolutely going to go with a generator. I have looked at the little Honda units, they're nice and small. The big issue I discovered this year is having a place to anchor everything in that works every time. As you know, I bring out many gliders and tow planes for the events. I wanted something that can carry the planes and not worry about damage. Or spend an hour packing it up. With the slide out platform and the forward access, it should be easy to secure the planes for travel. The other thing I plan to do next year is make all the batteries in the planes easy to access and label them clearly for each plane. When the plane gets taken apart at the end of the day. I can pull the battery packs out and charge them without taking out all the fuselages. This will be a MAJOR help. Same with the Tow planes, although that will prove to be a little more difficult due to where they are in the body.

LEN
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 06:39 AM
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Corner Ketch, DE
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Len , Do you have charge plugs on the outside of the fuse in the tow planes
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Old Nov 03, 2009, 05:09 PM
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Killingworth CT
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No, I keep all that stuff internal. I am to nervous to charge the batteries in a plane and REAL nervous to charge them in a plane and in a Trailer. I did some arithmetic and found it would not be wise to have a trailer fire.

len
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