Lister 5/1 Diesel

Drawbar Trailer Design & Build

Designing & Building Our 6-Wheel Drawbar Trailer Page 11


Because of the weight of the ramp, we thought about a small cheap winch, housed inside the top of the rear body so that we could raise and lower it like a drawbridge, but to date we have managed without it. It's on the cards to be fitted at some time, but we have various safeguards to sort out, just in case the battery goes dead and we cannot use the winch to release the ramp and lower it.

Power for the winch(s) and the lighting etc was to come from a 12V 110AH battery set. These were put down by the central bulkhead, in front of the wheelbox. All of the electrical stuff went up on the bulkhead on the offside of the trailer. We fitted a standard Wylex RCD distribution with 3 MCB's and 2 spare positions, a 24-way low-voltage fuse/distribution board and a 26A power supply that we used for a charger/shore supply.

Pair of sealed 12V 55AH batteries for the trailer power.

Batteries and winch wiring.

Electrical system as first built. 240V distribution box, low voltage fusebox and 26A charger.

Side door hinges and lock had been a problem, the lock was the wrong hand, which was our fault and a replacement ordered. The hinges had one out of the three with the arms assembled back to front, and as they were angled out from the mounting face, we couldn't use that hinge. The suppliers got us a replacement fairly quickly, but it was 2nd June now and just over a week before the Nuenen trip.

Next job was the mudguards for the front axle. Although it is covered by the body at all times, the axle still generates a lot of spray, so individual mudguards were bought some months ago for the job. Looking through the metal rack I found a piece of 30mm X 6mm flat bar, horribly dirty and greasy but brand new under the gunge. 4 bits were cut on the Rapidor, then a quick trip to the factory for a session on the bender, which meant that we had four identical brackets rather than four bits of bent steel that looked similar! Brought them back and after a session with blocks and G-clamps, worked out holes etc., drilled them and fitted to the mudguards. It was gone 9pm when I finished that and too late to start drilling holes in the chassis.


Front mudguards with brackets fitted..

Another view of the mudguards.

Mudguards in place on the trailer front axle.

Had to take them off again to paint the brackets!

Meantimes, the rear door/ramp was up in place and finished, and looked fine. We still had to fit the sealing foam round where it closed up to on the rear panel, but it looked good and it all worked well. The safety cables were about to be put in place as well, so we couldn't accidentally release the ramp and have it fall down and hurt someone behind. From inside it looked pretty good too.

Interior view of the rear door/ramp.


6th June, the windows that we had ordered turned up. That was just about the right time for me, as I had a wait for brake cables. It took half a day to mark out and cut the apertures, the fit the windows in place with Sikaflex221. The weight of the windows wasn't helped by the fact that we had laminated glass in the frames, but we preferred that to makrolon or toughened glass.

The windows had top vents that opened inwards, so were fairly weather proof. The design was one used on canal narrow boats, they were made by Caldwells Windows in Wigan, and their service was excellent. We asked for obscure glass in the bathroom window, but other than that they were standard units.

Off-side view of the windows, bathroom has obscure glass.

Near-side view of the windows.

Bathroom window and obscure glass.

Interior was much brighter now.

Things coming together fairly quickly now, the mains inlet socket was fitted and the cabling tidied up in mini-trunking, the seats and cushions that had been away to have the backs renewed were due back the next day. The drawbar A-frame had been away to rectify a distortion that stopped it being fitted easily, that was back now and we were able to fit a triangular frame with towball so the drawbar could be swung up out of the way and locked in place,

Tidied-up electrics. Mini-trunking is self-adhesive, very useful.

Trailer A-frame locked in the parking position.

As we approached the sailing date for Nuenen, we had a few major things to sort out. Brake linkage from the coupling back to three axles had to be made, and we had three or four false starts before we eventually found a manufacturer who could make what we needed on a less than 24 hour turn-round. Even then, we had three goes before we had the final arrangement.

The kitchen and bathroom hadn't been touched, we hadn't had the time, so we resolved to leave that side until we returned, which released more time to get on with the other jobs.

The rear lighting hadn't been sorted out, so to save time, we bolted our trailer lighting board to the back door and ran with that for the first trip.

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