How to build a truck camper dolly?
In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to build a truck camper dolly?” We will discuss the steps to build a truck camper dolly from scratch. We will touch upon the required materials and essentials to complete this project. At the end of this post, you will learn to build a truck camper dolly within one day.
How to build a truck camper dolly?
To build a truck camper dolly, follow the steps described below.
- Determine the measurements
- Determine the weight
- Design the frame
- Gather the materials
- Construct the frame
- Add cross supports
- Build the platform
- Fix the wheels or casters
- Paint the dolly
- Test the dolly
Determine the measurements
- To build a truck camper dolly, you will first need to determine the measurements of the camper. Building a truck camper dolly can be an interesting project and save you a lot of money. Truck camper dollies are pretty expensive, but with a few materials and basic skills, you will be able to build a truck camper dolly with ease.
- The most crucial part is to determine the measurements of the camper. When measuring the camper, ensure to measure the base. This step might require some extra help from another person. Measure the camper base to all the points of contact with the Earth.
- With the help of a measuring tape, measure the length and width of the camper. Note down the measurements and add a couple of extra inches on each side.
Determine the weight
- The camper’s weight is equally important since the dolly must withstand the entire weight. Try to get the weight distribution of the camper or get the overall weight to understand better. Consider the stability of the camper and ensure that you have a basic idea of the weight distribution.
Design the frame
- Next, it’s time to design the frame of the truck camper dolly. Based on the dimensions, you will be required to design the frame. The size is the most crucial part of the truck camper dolly. Draw the design on a piece of paper or use software to get the design complete.
- The design has to be simple, and be sure to stick to the dimensions. Consider the clearance of the camper. A truck camper dolly design is simple as it follows the camper dimensions.
Gather the materials
- Having the right materials is important to build a truck camper dolly. Make sure to gather all the right materials for this project. Decide on the type of material that you plan on building the truck camper dolly. Steel, aluminium, and wood are the basic components used for this process. However, it is recommended to avoid using wood.
- Steel and aluminium are important, along with all the other essential hardware. Purchase a minimum of four wheels or four casters. Make sure to get enough bolts and nuts for this project.
- The most important part is to consider using strong and durable materials. These materials will need to support the weight of the camper. Hence it is important to choose wisely.
Construct the frame
- The next step is to construct the frame of the truck camper dolly. To build the frame, you will need to cut the steel or aluminium tubing as per the length and width of the camper. Use the right safety equipment while working on this step.
- Cut the steel to the right measurements and weld them together. Weld all four sides of the frame properly and double-check the strength. The frame should be in the shape of a box, depending on the camper’s size. Consider using hard steel since it needs to withstand the camper’s weight. Ensure that it is strong and rigid.
- Do not hesitate to get help for a professional if you are not aware of working with steel and welding equipment. It is also recommended to get this task done under the supervision of an expert.
Add cross supports
- Now that the frame is constructed, it is crucial to add cross supports. Cross supports provide extra stability and increase the strength of the frame overall. Most truck camper dollies have cross supports or braces to enhance their strength.
- Cross supports can either be built with the same steel or aluminium. These supports also increase the overall load-bearing capacity of the truck camper dolly. Hence, this cannot be avoided. By distributing the camper’s weight, the cross supports reinforce the structure of the frame. It will also prevent the frame from bending due to the weight.
- Weld the cross supports to the truck camper frame or use bolts to secure them properly. Ensure that they are welded in the right manner.
Build the platform
- Next, it’s time to build the platform on the frame of the truck camper dolly. Some camper owners tend to build the platform with plywood. However, it is recommended to avoid using plywood for this purpose. Plywood is not as durable as steel and can get worn over time.
- The best option would be to use steel sheets. Use thick steel sheets that can be placed inside the frame on the crossbeams. Cut the steel sheets to ensure it rests correctly on the frame.
- The steel platform must be secured thoroughly to the base with the help of bolts and nuts. Another option to consider is welding the steel sheet to the cross beams.
- You might need help from another person to weld the steel sheets to the frame. Ensure that the platform provides a stable surface for the camper.
Fix the wheels or casters
- A dolly is not complete without wheels or casters. Install the wheels or casters as per your preference. The wheels must be attached to the under of the dolly frame.
- While selecting the wheels, ensure they are stable, strong, and capable of bearing the camper’s weight. The camper must be moved around, so get wheels with a locking system.
- The wheels must be installed securely to the frame. You can either use bolts or weld the wheels to the frame. Double-check the wheels to ensure free and smooth movement. There are plenty of options when it comes to purchasing wheels. Be sure to get heavy-duty wheels for the dolly to avoid future problems.
Paint the dolly
- Now that you are done with building the truck camper dolly, it’s time to give it a good paint job. Select a colour of your choice to paint the dolly. Most people use black, while some choose to use the colour of the camper. There are no restrictions when it comes to choosing the colour. Feel free to paint the dolly with a colour of your choice.
- Since the dolly is welded, it is important to paint it. Use sandpaper to eliminate any unwanted debris or other things like welding marks.
Test the dolly
- Finally, it’s time to test the truck camper dolly. Ensure that the dolly is stable and functioning properly once assembled. Check the stability after placing the truck camper on the dolly. Look carefully for any strain or lack of balance.
- Slowly push the dolly to ensure it is smooth and not wobbling. Make the required adjustments if the dolly is not stable. Add a “T” rod made of steel in front if required to pull the dolly around. It is always good to seek professional help when building a truck camper dolly, especially if you are uncomfortable working on this project.
In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to build a truck camper dolly?” We have discussed the steps to build a truck camper dolly from scratch. We have touched upon the required materials and essentials to complete this project.