Thinking of OFF ROAD

Thinking about a meaner bean teardrop for next yr. https://beantrailer.com/meaner-bean-off-road/ Has 17” of ground space. I hit my axle this year in my [email protected] I live nearby, will have to take a look. If I were to go through with it and get permission from the boss, I’d give my [email protected] away to another fellow disabled veteran. Will see what the boss says (DW) and check my 2020 taxes to see how hard I’m going to be hit.

2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

Comments

  • zgfiredudezgfiredude Member Posts: 114
    edited December 2020

    I can relate to the off-road use of a camper...I offer one suggestion. Source and design for you real needs not your hoped for needs. Not to be a downer, but if the [email protected] has been getting the job done and has only hit the axle once, is that enough reason? Only you can answer that. Take a look at Timbren axle-less suspensions....perhaps they could solve the issue.

    Just suggestions, ;) I have been focusing on the 90 to 95% side of needs vs the 5% of wants/hopes, and it's a lot cheaper, LOL.

    '21 [email protected] 5w Boondock, 2014 Jeep JKUR B)

  • WayneWWayneW Member Posts: 20

    The meaner bean looks like a very nice trailer. It has some cool features- I like the ground clearance, the stand-on fenders and the pass-through galley hatch.

    A few things to consider. What’s the ground clearance of your tow vehicle? My F150 has 9” at the bottom of the rear differential and 13” at the axles. Ground clearance of the tow vehicle may be as much of a limiting factor as gc of the trailer.

    Also, I often find entry/exit angle of my trailer (2018 Boondock xl) is often more of a concern than ground clearance. It’s those dips I need to get through or that short steep pitch where I might scrape the rear of the trailer that I worry about. Clearing a boulder in the road is great, but if I end up ripping up the rear of the trailer going through a sharp dip ....

    Not to discourage you about the meaner bean because it has some very nice features. As zgfiredude said, only you can make that decision.

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123

    Times are changing and the good people that camp seem to be disappearing. I always off grid camp and like to stay away from campgrounds. Places that I camp are isolated, but have been discovered by others and have destroyed what once was—-peaceful, beautiful, clean. Have discovered new places to go, but there are no roads. A spotter helps with the truck, but hard to do towing anything. Need articulation and ground clearance and can take a beating. My Tacoma is not stock suspension and tires are larger LT tires. As everyone knows, that own a Tacoma, there are a million and one mods you can do to it. Anyway, final decision is up to DW. She wants a [email protected], but that means most likely, we’ll have to go campgrounds or grated dirt roads out of the way. She is retiring next year, so this would most likely be our last shot at buying a new camper. Thanks for your input.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • HikinMikeHikinMike Member Posts: 336

    https://www.blackseriescamper.com/travel-trailers/

    I saw an HQ17 the other day. Very nice looking.

    2019 [email protected] Boondock Edge 5W
    2017 4Runner TRD Pro
    2013 Wrangler Rubicon

  • beakybeaky Member Posts: 284

    we are looking at the Opus 15 and the Black Series HQ 12. You need a robust tow vehicle. just 2 of us

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123

    Don’t expect a response on this soon. Thanks for your input. Didn’t know these campers were out there. DW has a month next year she plans on retiring, however, her workplace doesn't want her to leave (she’s a nurse) Also, we live debt free in retirement, so whatever our decision is gonna be—the camper would have to be paid in full at time of sale! NO financing! She looked at the campers, but nothing stood out to her. If there is something we both like, the sale can be quick. She is expecting the worst next year for $$$. Like what happened this year—-our property taxes tripled.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123
    edited January 9

    @zgfiredude said:
    I can relate to the off-road use of a camper...I offer one suggestion. Source and design for you real needs not your hoped for needs. Not to be a downer, but if the [email protected] has been getting the job done and has only hit the axle once, is that enough reason? Only you can answer that. Take a look at Timbren axle-less suspensions....perhaps they could solve the issue.

    Just suggestions, ;) I have been focusing on the 90 to 95% side of needs vs the 5% of wants/hopes, and it's a lot cheaper, LOL.

    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve looked into the Timbren system and is a great way to help solve clearance issues. However, using these would require some frame work and would require someone else to come up with a way to mount them. I don’t have the expertise or welding equipment. I have 14” tires on my 2017 [email protected] w/brakes. ST205/75R14 (D) Good Year Duratracs (oops—that’s ENDURANCE tires) My total lift is an added 3-3/4” body and 1” more ground clearance on axle. Could change from zero (no load) to -22* or -45* on axle giving me more overall lift. Factory spec is set at 0* Cost of what I like is approx $28k (meaner bean) plus TTL.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123

    Bad news today...found out my axle is bent. Hitting big rocks does do damage. Who would have thought? Dah. Not sure where to go from here..... I guess my axle needed more than 1 more inch of ground clearance. For those who thought you couldn’t put 14” tires on a basic [email protected]’s a pic.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 1,296
    edited January 24

    Hmmmmm.....
    I spend a lot of time on the internet watching "overlanding" videos. It's kind of my morni g routine to get up and get a video playing while I start the wood stove. For adventurers, both actual and budding, there's no end to the how-to's. But if one picks the category apart, there's not actually a lot of basic, real world information in those videos. Probably the most accurate of the lot are the zany Australians and their madcap wilderness hijinks. More than any other bunch, these guys take it seriously. Reminds me most of my time in the military: Stuck to the door handles again. Dang it. Tore the axle off the frame....again... no worries. Got some straps... Cross in the crossing (CROCS??????) OKAY. YOU GUYS WIN.
    But the offroad trailer crowd in this country seems to be pretty thin on real info and when there IS some, it's usually a turtleback trailer with an RTT and 7,000 square feet of batwing awnings.
    Manufacturers would love nothing more than to convince us that we actually NEED 7,000 sq ft of awning. We actually don't. Here's what I think are the important things to consider:
    Size.
    Smaller is better. You are going to have a tough time if your trailer is much wider than your tow vehicle. It's a pain in the neck. Not only is the trailer already wider, it's going to make a closer inside track in tight corners. Short trailers and a long hitch help, but you can't fool the physics.
    Weight.
    There are all manner of enormous, tandem axle "offroad" trailers with 14" of air suspension travel and great approach and departure angles. Wonderful. What are you going to pull it with? Perhaps a bulldozer? Nonsense. A trailer that weighs as much as your tow vehicle is going to be as useful offroad as a shiv in a gunfight. If you truly want to go offroad, then you'll quickly discover all the junk that you don't need. What's the point of a/c, microwaves, giant batteries and generators if you can't actually GET to the campsite. At best, you'll be more comfy while you wait for the tow truck.
    Suspension.
    Regardless of the trailer size and weight, the primary thing that makes a vehicle or trailer offroad worthy is the suspension/running gear. The Dexter folks make good axles. They're light, simple and inexpensive. Offroad, they are pretty close to useless. You want to do The Mojave Road? You need 4-6" of REAL suspension travel. It must be soft and compliant, not buckboard-stiff. Of that 6" of travel, you should use up more than half of it just sitting in the driveway. If you've got 6" of travel and when you set the trailer down on it, it only sags an inch, it's way too stiff. I like to see trailer sag in the range of half or a little more of total travel just sitting. Remember, what goes up, must come down. Bumps go in BOTH directions. Also, an offroad-worthy trailer should have a hub/spindle/bearing rating of at least double the trailer weight. Most axles get bent between the axle mount and the tire. They're just not rigid enough to take the additional stress of offroading.
    Brakes: (Sigh...)
    It could be difficult to convince the crowd that you need trailer brakes at 6 miles per hour when so many folks don't think they are necessary at 70, but visualize creeping down a 30 degree gravel slope on a shelf road. Trailer brakes reduce stopping distances by 50%. They reduce the trailers tendency to jack-knife by 80%. Folks will spend thousands on a brace of Battleborn batteries, a controller, a sea of solar panels and all the cabling, but think trailer brake wiring and hardware is too expensive and troublesome. Again.....Sigh....
    I don't make any claim to expertise in the category, but I've dragged "Chuck" (wagon) into a whole lot of places I shouldnt have been and got back out again in, more or less anyway, one piece. Driving skill and experience play a big role in offroadi g, but hardware matters. There's not enough money to do it right the first time, but plenty of cash to do it again....
    That's my generic short-list offroad rant.

    Your results may vary...

    WilliamA

    "When I am in charge, Starburst brand fruit chews will get their own food group....and where are all the freakin laser beams? There should be more laser beams..."

    2018 Jeep Rubicon
    2017 [email protected] XL
    Boyceville, Wi.

  • TomDTomD Member Posts: 359

    William A...you are the greatest. Great Rant!!

    Tom
    Aptos, California
    2015 LG Silver Shadow
    2012 Ford Edge Sport TV

  • GigHarborTomGigHarborTom Member Posts: 250

    William A... Sir rant on. I have learned a lot and do enjoy your text/ramblings

    Gig Harbor Tom
    Trl '17 [email protected] Max
    TV 2020 Mazda CX5
    Kicks and giggles '66 Chev C10

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123
    edited January 25

    I also enjoy William A’s input. On my trek DW is all over the place, with simply purchasing 10-40 acres to “get away”, back to more comforts with a bath. IDK, going looking next month. She likes the Lance 1475 now? We are both going in different directions, where we meet is anyone’s guess.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • LuckyJLuckyJ Member Posts: 1,201

    It is nice to be here again. Bod297, I can realy understand your problem. I went thru you post and your link for tge trailer you were looking at. About the 17" clearance that they mentionned, did you watch and anylise the video. From what I can see, no way do they get 17 in of ground clearance.

    If you look at the wheel center (a 15 in rim) you will notice that is is way above the cross beam so in order to get 17 in of clearance, the trailer would need tire that are about 40". Not sure this is what they have.

    Now, base on the last pic, you seem to have a regular [email protected] The boondock has the bigger axle housing with pitch angle and larger fender that allow larger wheels. The axle beam is also larger witch equal beefier or stronger.

    But like a man of wisdome has mentioned here (yep this would be WilliamA), there is so much that you can get from a suspension and trailer shape. It is always a compromise.

    To me, I have founsd some limitation to our outback. Wanted to reach a nice secluded beach area in our neck of the wood. We made it but I did pull a fender in the process from a hidden stump in high herbs. Then, an other rime, I had to back off, the jeep was way past the ditch I was attempting to cross but the rear stabilizer would have stayed on the other side If I would have try to finish the crossing. We have an outback.

    I am personnaly trying to rear the flex that WilliamA was talking about with an air bag suspension. Vesion 1,0 was an enlightment, but was not strong enough. So back to OEM axle.

    I am now planing version 2.0. Thicker trailing arms, bigger rodend and larger subframe to reduce levrage and larger brakes with parking handle option.

    Could I leave well enough alone, of course, but I want my trailer to be like my jeep, so I am chasing that 5%.

    What I am missing is time.

    Luc

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123

    For right now we are both agreeing on buying land in the middle of nowhere. I got a quote from someone local for low $$$ on a Dexter Axle 7613862 . Regardless of whether I keep, sell, or give away the camper, I have to replace the axle anyways.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • beakybeaky Member Posts: 284

    we've been looking for 6 months for 50 acres in Az or Ut. most of the land is either flat brushland or sectioned off ranches with HOA's. Prices are not low. NM has a lot of pretty areas too.

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123
    edited January 31

    @beaky said:
    we've been looking for 6 months for 50 acres in Az or Ut. most of the land is either flat brushland or sectioned off ranches with HOA's. Prices are not low. NM has a lot of pretty areas too.

    I hope you find what you are looking for. I agree land prices have gone to high.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • TomDTomD Member Posts: 359

    Sorry for your regret.

    Tom
    Aptos, California
    2015 LG Silver Shadow
    2012 Ford Edge Sport TV

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123

    After waiting 8 weeks for this axle from Dexter, they sent the wrong one :o The company is looking into it...
    At least I didn’t pay for it ahead of time. Took measurements at the warehouse—all wrong, but they got the brakes right.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123

    Follow up. That bad NuCamp dealer fired the person causing their downfall and hired a great manager. I now have a closer NuCamp dealer to work with, in fact, I ordered the new axle from them for less than direct from Dexter. It will be personally delivered to my home at no costs! =) Will take pics when installed.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • HikinMikeHikinMike Member Posts: 336

    2019 [email protected] Boondock Edge 5W
    2017 4Runner TRD Pro
    2013 Wrangler Rubicon

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123

    This is what DW wants....remember, I’m retired and she is about to and likes the comforts now. Still not a priority as we will continue to look for land first.

    https://www.lancecamper.com/travel-trailers/1475/

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123
    edited June 17

    Follow up
    Received axle from NuCamp dealership finally. They got frustrated with NuCamp and drove direct to them and picked it up. They drove it to my home and helped put it under the camper. Great Dealership! I dropped the old and removed the lift and fenders and cut brake wires. Installed new axle and aligned. That’s it for today…

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123
    edited June 25

    And so it begins…..

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

  • Bob297Bob297 Member Posts: 123

    This is what I was shooting for—ground clearance for the axle. DW was happy I removed the lift kit so she can get in easier. When I can find time for this transformation…I’m having a lot of fun.

    2017 [email protected] XL - Special Edition Outback
    2015 Tacoma TRD 4x4 Off-Road V6

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