blank banner

Bugout Trailer


Improvements to the Weekender Design

Improvements to the 4x8 Weekender The first thing that comes to mind is the weight. At 75 pounds a sheet, and 8 sheets for the body, the Weekender body will weigh approx 600 pounds. Add another 150 pounds for the trailer and 100 pounds for the axle and we’re already up to 850 pounds. So it’s clear that something has to be done to reduce the weight, especially if you are planning on pulling it with a smaller car. The first thing we can do is go with a thinner floor. You can build a ½” thick floor and glue 1x3 pine boards underneath, to give yourself something to glue and screw the sides into. Building the floor like this yields a floor that weighs 65 pounds.

The side panels can be made thinner. Go with ½” thick side panels, built up from a 4x8 and a 4’ by 2’ piece. You can use a biscuit joiner, or a router and make a lap joint like Steve Fredrick did. Doing this yields a wall that weighs 53 pounds.

The balance of the body and the hatch weigh 144 pounds before any modification.

If you take a circular saw and cut out the two front panels and the top panel you reduce the weight by 45 pounds. The corners can be cleaned up with a jig saw. So now the body and hatch weighs 99 pounds. This picture shows how 2 ½” was left all around for structural support.

All that is left is to cover the 3 front panels with luan. Those three panels have a total weight of 20 pounds and looks like this…

So here are the totals:
Qty Desc Weight Total
1 Floor 65 65
2 Wall 53 106
1 Body 99 99
1 Skin 20 20
Total 290
And a mass analysis of the solid model confirms our weights…

All Contents Copyright 2004 by Mike Schneider

This document maintained by