January 20, 2012

First Snow

Last night Providence finally had its first real snow!  An inch and a half of white fluffy stuff now coats our little trailer and it finally feels like winter.  Luckily we have been able to do some of the build in the garage with a tiny space heater chugging away and the door closed.  It helps a little but its still cold!

As you can see there has been more work done on the trailer since the last post.  To date we are 90% done with the base of of the trailer and have bought some beautiful material for the sides and roof.  More on that soon :)

January 19, 2012

Test drive

We were sure ready for the first ride after the wiring headache. We took the trailer around the block, which was a nice test overall due to all of the pot holes, the trailer proved sturdy enough. It also proved to be quite the learning experience for both of us. I've towed things before, but never with a 4 cylinder car which has absolutely no tow rating. Everything looked quite well when the trailer wasn't loaded as you can see.

One thing that I should add, before I took the trailer on the first test drive I dismantled the wheels and packed them tight with wheel bearing grease, this is a very important step that I should have elaborated on earlier.

And after loading it up with stuff, things didn't look quite as good. It appears that my car was not made for towing just as the car manual says. I estimated that I had at least 100 lbs of tongue weight which still isn't much and it caused the car to droop in the back. Oh well... we took our things back to our parents house even with a droopy car.

It rode alright at highway speeds, but was a bit tough going up hill. You could hear my car struggling.

Guess we'll have to add another expense to our trailer budget (A new car). Rebecca's car is due for an upgrade, and we need something with a bit lower mileage for our trip anyway.

January 13, 2012

The wiring, dream? or nightmare? you decide...

Since our last post I was able to finally sort-out the wiring on the trailer. The trailer came with a set of lights and had the easiest to read instructions (Being very sarcastic here). I layed it out and set up the trailer exactly per the instructions, you know, the nice instructions of attach green wire to yellow, etc. I think there was something lost in translation.

So at the end of what should have been a simple wiring job I had a wired car, a wired trailer and the final connection was ready. Away we go right? WRONG! The blinkers worked, but every time I hit the brakes the blinker stopped, or something else randomly lit-up.

A bit of research later on the internet and I made a determining factor that there was a grounding issue with the trailer.

This is me giving up on the first night, wiring just isn't my calling apparently...

Night 2 ended up being a bit more productive, sort of... I re-wired the entire trailer again, scraped off all the paint around each bolt holding the lights together, it turns out that each light uses the bolt which holds it to the frame as the grounding location. Would that do the trick? Nope! I gave up, we went back to our parents house for Christmas as failures in our own eyes. It was a good holiday though, lots of construction items which I'll talk about later on.

Before we left the next day I ordered a wiring kit offline which would just connect into my brake lights on the car, I figured my hack wiring job on the car would probably be the issue all along.

After ordering this we came back to our home from Christmas vacation and attempted to hook it up, all was smooth running except the trailer still didn't want to work!

I was absolutely amazed at how easy it was to connect, the hardest part was running the wire directly from my battery to the light controller.

Solution #12,345. I ran a ground cable from each light individually back to a single point on the trailer, and voila! We have lights! It just goes to show you how the simplest thing can become such a chore!

Lights done, now for a test drive!