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The ‘RAITH Party Cart….


sgtsandman

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Since you will need jack for the front of the trailer for parking purposes anyway, why not get a set where the foot is held in with a pin and have an extra set of feet with the wheels attached to them? That probably won't enable you to use the wheels you are thinking about but it would make the jacks dual use and possibly minimize the size of the parts you need to store when not in use.
 


Rick W

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Since you will need jack for the front of the trailer for parking purposes anyway, why not get a set where the foot is held in with a pin and have an extra set of feet with the wheels attached to them? That probably won't enable you to use the wheels you are thinking about but it would make the jacks dual use and possibly minimize the size of the parts you need to store when not in use.
I do like the idea of an interchangeable foot and wheel. But let me expand, maybe better explain my dilemma.

I did this drawing with an engineers scale, so it is proportionally accurate +/- 6”

IMG_1747.jpeg


If you look on the right, when the Raith is loaded, the tongue extends about 2 feet over the upper deck of the step trailer. That still leaves about 3 1/2 feet for the winch operation.

The problem is not “will it fit.” The problem is the front of the Raith will not clear the back of the step trailer as you pull it up. Before the Raith wheels start to rise on the ramps, the tongue would hit the back of the big trailer. The pink line kind of shows the travel of the nose of the Raith. It will hit the back of the step trailer instead of riding over it.

I put the casket on the trailer yesterday, just strapped down so it wouldn’t slip off when I was moving it. As I had figured, since it is pretty much centered over the two axles, it didn’t really change the tongue weight. I could pick up the tongue off the ground and put it on the hitch, which is about 19 - 20 inches high. It was heavy, but manageable. Remember that I am old and decrepit.

IMG_1727.jpeg
IMG_1742.jpeg


Then I put a couple of full propane tanks under the grill temporarily. I could just barely pick up the tongue at that point, and there would be more weight in the tongue box, etc. I’m guessing it was about 200 pounds. I would not want to do that unless I had to, it’s at my limit. I don’t know if I could do it on one of my bed health days, so I will need some kind of a tongue jack.

Back to the diagram, if I put a tongue jack in the typical location right on the nose, it will actually make the problem of pulling the Raith up on the step trailer worse. More at the end.

The idea I mentioned the other day was putting some light weight wheels at the same track width as the main axles (65”), but something I could retract or remove pretty easily. They would never be used on the road, just for moving the trailer around or loading it. I took my baby carriage apart, and the back wheel assembly is certainly heavy enough for this kind of use.

IMG_1725.jpeg
IMG_1722.jpeg
IMG_1723.jpeg


Obviously, I would split it, and make some kind of a frame, probably out of the aluminum. Think of the mechanism under a folding table.

While it looks wide in the third picture, keep in mind that the gas grill still has to have the two side pieces installed, and, on the sides between the gas grill and the fenders, I’m going to put some kind of step/running board to climb on and off this thing.

If I put those wheels centered under the gas grill (pink shaded area on drawing), so they hit the ramps before the nose hits the back of the step trailer, I think it would work.

I wouldn’t pull the trailer up by the hitch. I would put some kind of winch hook up ring, probably about where the frame tapers in. I already had the idea of making two connection points, and having two chains or cables come to a single connection point, so it doesn’t interfere with tongue, and also acts as a safety, having two connections

Keep in mind that those small wheels would have to be a maximum of about 10 1/2 feet from the back of the trailer so they are still on the lower deck of the step trailer when loaded. I’m thinking of making a strong enough side to side bracket to hold them, and load on the trailer, and also to move it around on the trailer when it’s parked. I’m thinking of making it where they will hinge up towards to the back, with some kind of a locking strut. If it hinges to the back, and it ever broke loose while I was pulling it, it might destroy those wheels, but they would just bounce, not lock down and dislodge the trailer from the hitch.

For flipping those wheels up and down, I thought of making the bracket strong enough that I could put a long handle on it, so I could basically flip it up and down with the long handle. The handle would probably be removable, unless I thought it looked cool to leave it. When I put the wheels down, I would make the centerpoint a little forward, so they would stay in place until I locked the strut.

I also had the thought of putting a couple of 8 inch hard wheels on either side of my receiver tube, inside the frame, so when I pulled the trailer up and it got to the upper deck, the tongue could roll on those wheels instead of sliding on the diamond plate.

I have another, completely different idea, that goes back to a normal tongue jack. If I put a tongue jack up near the nose, with the wheel underneath it, I could use a piece of channel between the two ramps to load the trailer. The tongue jack wheel could ride up the channel, and then on top of the trailer, and the rear wheels would ride up the ramps. I’m pretty sure the aluminum channel ramp would be strong enough, but it would be easy to reinforce if not. But that would also be light enough that it would be easy to move around.

So, other than every detail of this project and the whole concept in general, what am I missing? Or what could I do differently?
 

sgtsandman

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Would putting the tongue jacks on the very front of the trailer frame before it tapers give enough clearance for the step up? If so, that eliminate the need of a separate ramp for the tongue. But the approach angle for the tongue itself may be an issue unless you are able to lift the front of the trailer up enough, putting the trailer pointing at an upwards angle.
 

Rick W

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Would putting the tongue jacks on the very front of the trailer frame before it tapers give enough clearance for the step up? If so, that eliminate the need of a separate ramp for the tongue. But the approach angle for the tongue itself may be an issue unless you are able to lift the front of the trailer up enough, putting the trailer pointing at an upwards angle.
That parallels my main thinking. Have a front set of wheels that will lift the tongue over the tail as they start up the main ramps.

If I do my baby wheels, there is no steering, unless I do a lot more work. If I use traditional, crank down tongue jacks, but mount them astride the gas grill, it will work, but I’m not sure I like the way they’ll look.
 

Rick W

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Is this what you’re talking about? I’ve got one of these:

IMG_1749.jpeg


That’s about where I would mount it. And again, I would have to space it out, so it is on the same wheel track as the axles.

Coincidentally, Harbor freight has a very similar one on sale for 25 bucks right now for the other side.

IMG_1751.jpeg


if I paint them the same, I doubt anybody would notice that they’re not exactly the same. That would make life easy. And if I do it now, I can make it all blend with whatever I do for running boards.

I’m thinking of putting one of these casters on the bottom of the receiver tube, so I can move it around when it’s sitting on the upper deck.

IMG_1753.jpeg


I like the idea of the swivel wheel on all of these things, but I’m worried the small diameter wheel on the two main jacks may not want to roll up the ramps cooperatively.

IMG_1060.jpeg


I’m thinking I could modify them, and put on a bigger diameter wheel. I’m also liking the idea of the crank down where I can set it at all different heights. I can use that to balance the deck when I’m using the thing, and I can use it to balance the trailer when it’s sitting on top of the step trailer.

On a different note, after thinking about this forever, and not wanting to move the casket more than once, I realized I’d probably do better with it turned around. That wasn’t too bad because I haven’t done any finish painting on the trailer part so far.

IMG_1750.jpeg


Actually only took a few minutes, but now I can’t find one of my balls
 

sgtsandman

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The position is indeed what I had in mind.

The side crank would give more flexibility on where the o mount them.

I've seen others modify the jacks inorder to put different wheels on them. Bigger wheels could make it harder for the casters to turn, maybe. But would allow them the roll up the ramps easier. Perhaps the wheels you were originally thinking about might work, assuming they can take the weight.
 

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Retractable loading & support front wheels questions:

I’ve already mentioned, I’d like to load this thing on the back of the step trailer from time to time. Not because it makes any sense or I have a great need, I just think it’s another cool thing to do with all this junk.

I’m thinking of putting a set of wheels on the front end, about even with where the frame bends in for the tongue. In my original vision/delusion they were simply there to allow the front of the trailer to roll up the ramps without scraping the bottom anywhere while I winch it up. Of course, they would be have to be sitting at the width of the main wheels and tires to line up with the ramp.

I picked up my $15 ramps a while ago, and the tread pattern is such that I don’t need a real large diameter wheel to roll on them. So I have a lot of flexibility on the front wheels.

They don’t have to be level with the rear tires since this ramp activity is their only use, but of course they can’t be in the way when I’m towing the trailer. So I could mount them higher off the ground, but they’d still be sticking out a ways if I mount them solid.

So then I had the thought of making a simple retraction mechanism like a Grumman World War II Duck. They could fold out and down when I need them, and fold in and up when not in use. Mine would not have to tuck in, it would simply be a matter of practicality to have them go down and lock, and come up and lock.

View attachment 109627View attachment 109628

When I was working on the grille on the trailer yesterday, with a single point holding up the front, the trailer can weeble wobble wiggle. I don’t know if this is a matter of the aluminum frame, or just the play in the spring connections, but it dawned on me having two front legs instead of one is going to be desirable for when I’m using it. Obviously these two wheels could serve that purpose, but then I would need them to go down further, so the deck would be level. I am not opposed to installing fold up wheels, and also installing a couple drop down legs if the wheel mechanism gets too complex or too heavy

So, while I was thinking of all of that, I had the thought that when it’s sitting on the ground, and not connected to anything, there still may be a need to move it a little bit, and with two wheels in front, the wheels would need to steer.

That lead me to 15 minutes of research back to the Ackerman steering geometry I studied in engineering school.

View attachment 109632

That gave me a headache, and I did a little more research on how a fancy Radio Flyer wagon steers.

View attachment 109633

To keep my planning and design reasonable, I walked through the shed of miracles to see what equipment and parts were available, and I remembered that I picked up one of those high end, three wheel, jog behind, canvas, baby strollers at Goodwill a while back ($15). The wheels are like bicycle wheels, but they’re only about 16 inches in diameter, and the pair is rated for 250 pounds more or less.

That triggered the sparkles and funny colors and loud noises in my head when I think of these things, and I said, if I use those wheels, this thing will look like a top fuel dragster with a casket on top like the Munsters drag casket Drag U. La:

View attachment 109626

That led me to thinking about Yvonne De Carlo (Lily Munster), which was great, but really didn’t help my productivity on the trailer at all.

Soooo, here’s the question. It’s easy enough to do the wagon steering, and it’s easy enough to do the fold up wheels. Is there a good SIMPLE way to be able to do both?
Why did I remember that car as being black? Was there another black coffin car, or is my memory being thrown off due to black and white pictures?

I don't think your idea for the radio flyer steering is too far off the path. You could build a build a frame similar to the radio flyer frame. Attach it with hinges under the party cart. At the front use a pair of jacks to raise and lower it. In the up position it would work fine for rolling up the ramps, and in the down position it would work for stability and steering. You could use a pair camper stability jacks for raising and lowering. I've even seen some of the camper jacks linked together to do both at once. Considering the stuff you've built you could probably build a similar setup out of a pair of car emergency scissor jacks. Since it would be used for very low (hand pushed) speed manuvering I don't think steering geometery will be too much of an issue outside of toe. Unless you're going to mount an engine on this think like some of those hotroded wagons.

Bicycle/wagon type wheels would work, but I think I'd use a set of wheels that match what's already on the party cart. When up and not in use they would just look like a set of spares and, since not an absolute necessity for use of the party cart, they could be used for that if needed.

My poor attempts at a drawing to demonstrate what I'm saying. I'll leave the fine tuning and engineering to the engineer.

cart steering.jpg

Red is the added wagon frame and axle, I didn't attempt to draw the steering. Green being the scissor jacks. One centered would do for raising and lowering, but two spaced apart would be better for stability. Blue being a hinge point for the raising and lowering. Position the axle where you need it, needs to be far enough forward to be stable, but far enough back that it doesn't cause a problem when atached to the tow vehicle. Since clearance wouldn't really be an issue when wheels are down, use a drop axle type setup (like the wagon and drag-u-la) to get the tires higher when stowed.
 

Rick W

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Why did I remember that car as being black? Was there another black coffin car, or is my memory being thrown off due to black and white pictures?

I don't think your idea for the radio flyer steering is too far off the path. You could build a build a frame similar to the radio flyer frame. Attach it with hinges under the party cart. At the front use a pair of jacks to raise and lower it. In the up position it would work fine for rolling up the ramps, and in the down position it would work for stability and steering. You could use a pair camper stability jacks for raising and lowering. I've even seen some of the camper jacks linked together to do both at once. Considering the stuff you've built you could probably build a similar setup out of a pair of car emergency scissor jacks. Since it would be used for very low (hand pushed) speed manuvering I don't think steering geometery will be too much of an issue outside of toe. Unless you're going to mount an engine on this think like some of those hotroded wagons.

Bicycle/wagon type wheels would work, but I think I'd use a set of wheels that match what's already on the party cart. When up and not in use they would just look like a set of spares and, since not an absolute necessity for use of the party cart, they could be used for that if needed.

My poor attempts at a drawing to demonstrate what I'm saying. I'll leave the fine tuning and engineering to the engineer.

View attachment 109931
Red is the added wagon frame and axle, I didn't attempt to draw the steering. Green being the scissor jacks. One centered would do for raising and lowering, but two spaced apart would be better for stability. Blue being a hinge point for the raising and lowering. Position the axle where you need it, needs to be far enough forward to be stable, but far enough back that it doesn't cause a problem when atached to the tow vehicle. Since clearance wouldn't really be an issue when wheels are down, use a drop axle type setup (like the wagon and drag-u-la) to get the tires higher when stowed.
That’s kind of an idea I did have, but you are doing it totally differently. I didn’t think of the scissor jacks, and mounting the wheels on a solid hinge down frame. I like that. I’ve also been thinking that if I have some kind of fold down frame in any fashion, I can mount the wheels like casters on a center pin, so they pivot on the bottom of the frame, and I can push the thing around.

A lot of these design issues I’m suffering from are because I would like to be able to put it on top of the step trailer. But the reality is the majority of the time I will just be towing it behind a truck. With that in mind, I don’t like hinging it down from the back. If, for whatever reasons, it ever came loose, it would be working to knock the trailer off the hitch. If it’s a hinged in the front, it would just bounce if it came loose.

I don’t think that sub frame would have to be that long either. It could pivot down over 24 or 30 inches, so I could hinge it under the tongue. Again, picture a folding table leg assembly.

I am planning on a spare tire already, I’m just fiddling around with where to put it, so the front wheels don’t have to be that big by a long shot. The baby carriage wheels definitely can hold the tongue weight, and I have been thinking about how to mount them where they can turn.

Later today or tomorrow, I’m going to go out and fiddle with a lot of the stuff. I think the solution is going to become obvious with a little trial and error. The nice thing about bolting everything together, is I could use a couple clamps without drilling holes in something that will be permanent, and try something out. Then, if it doesn’t work, I just scrap it and try something else.

On the colors, when I got the casket, it was like a dark bronzie brown. I repainted it to match the Missing Linc, black and regal red. I mixed some of the black paint and red paint to make a dark maroon, which is the color of the handles. On the trailer, I’m going to leave 99% of the aluminum and stainless unpainted, and then duplicate those colors on things that are painted.
 

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With that in mind, I don’t like hinging it down from the back. If, for whatever reasons, it ever came loose, it would be working to knock the trailer off the hitch. If it’s a hinged in the front, it would just bounce if it came loose.
Like I said, I'll leave the engineering to the engineer. I was trying to think of ideas that would fit your build style, can't recall how you described it previously.

In my mind, hinged at the back would work similar to the radius arm suspension on the Rangers and many old trucks & hot rods. Unlike those, it isn't a suspension that the trailer is riding on while going down the road.

If using casters you could also make them removable, like the trailer jack castor wheels, so they aren't there and standing out when not needed. Wouldn;t be difficult to attach a piece of pipe on a hinged subframe to clip them into. Would just need a piece of 2" pipe with a hole drilled through it.


I was talking about the colors on the drag-u-la, not on the party cart. I remembered the drag-u-la as being black, but I may have been getting it mixed up with some other coffin themed car I've seen pictures of in the past.
 
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Rick W

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@JoshT
@sgtsandman

Thanks for the help and insight on this. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do, but I don’t want to get bogged down on this detail. I have a lot I still have to do on the casket, the grill, etc. etc.

I’m balancing health issues (I am much better, but far from good) and some family stuff (mostly I’m getting old and I’m far away) and in the grand scheme of things, these toys shouldn’t be the priority, but I love tinkering with them.

My point is, it’s less than four months to Carlisle, which is my self imposed deadline to have this casket kitchen functional, party tested, test driven, and there are still things I have to do to the Road Ranger and step trailer. And I don’t want to do what I did last year, finish it up at 5 o’clock, and then drive all night.

Like last year, I am probably going to make a couple stops at friends on the way up, and after, go through Jersey, and down through Delaware to see my family and friends.

On the front loading wheels, a few more thoughts. I’ve had a few different ideas on things that I can put on and takeoff relatively easily and quickly to load it and unload it. It’s already going to be a production, and I actually want to minimize all of that kind of stuff, so I can just use it and enjoy it, instead of taking half the day to put it together, and then half the day to take it apart. Too old for that stuff! I’ve been down that road, and my old body can’t handle it anymore!

I guess I’m leaning towards getting some kind of legs under it right now, and then, focusing on the more important parts (more important to me). I’ve got an idea for using the regular tongue jacks on each side, but installing them in such a way that I could use the same brackets for some variation of a flip up undercarriage with cooler wheels and appearance. My weird projects turn out to be ongoing projects, so this is not necessarily a negative.

But keep the cards and letters coming in, please, and thanks. I guess I really do with somebody suggests, but an awful lot of the suggestions inspired me to come to the final design, and usually pieces are incorporated.
 
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Rick W

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I made some brackets to hold the tongue jacks on the sides of the gas grill, just temporary, so I can move on with other aspects of the project.

IMG_1763.jpeg

IMG_1764.jpeg


The centerline of the wheel track is about 7 inches out from the channel frame. Using my aluminum drops, I just made a little box from the 4 inch channel. A piece that bolts on top and bottom, and one across the two that actually holds the jack. I got it 1/2 installed before it got dark last night. I already don’t like them.

But I realized that it’s a great mounting point to check all different kinds of options, different wheels, or tires and such.. Whatever I do, it has to be strong enough to take the weight of the trailer as I winch it up onto the big trailer, and it has to stick out that far. I can strengthen it front to back, simply by using a little chain to keep the legs from folding up, but the mechanism that sticks it out from the frame will have to be pretty stout.

Then I had this idea….

IMG_1766.jpeg


Still in development….
 

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The front supports and wheels on this thing have got my project on oxygen……

I couldn’t resist.

From the picture above, I thought of using the tops of the bottles to make support pivots. My thinking was to cut them and notch them where they fit inside the channel, and then do something where I could pivot where the regulator used to be.

When I got to playing with him, I realized I could just kind of duplicate the way the traditional jack stands work. So I modified my brackets (amazingly no waste), so I have a pivot mount like the jack stands. Then I used the bottle as the main leg, and then I bolted the carriage wheels through the side of the tank underneath.

IMG_1775.jpeg
IMG_1769.jpeg
IMG_1770.jpeg


I like the carriage wheels because of their diameter, which will make it easier to pull this thing up a ramp. The carriage wheels also have a locking mechanism on the axle, so you can lock the wheel from spinning. I also just like the way they look for my crazy project.

The frame from the carriage wheels are just bolted through the outside aluminum cylinder wall. I did do it all so that the wheels end up at the right tracking width. I’m thinking that later I can modify them to spin like casters, but for right now they roll straight. They actually tilt slightly backwards, so the carriage could track easily. I maintained that feature, it’s only a few degrees.

The downside of this result is I don’t have any up-and-down adjustment. On the up and down, I think I can still use these to put the trailer on and off the hitch. With the back wheels chocked, so the whole trailer doesn’t roll, when I pivot down these front legs, I can use the wheel like a steering wheel to roll the leg forward or backward into the position I want. I haven’t put them in yet, but of course I’m going to have locking pins. I can’t imagine where I would ever use this that wasn’t pretty level ground, so if I can work the hitch up and down just 2 or 3 inches, that gives me the adjustment I need to mount it. Maybe I’m nuts.

AnyWho, done for now, suits the heck out of me, onto the next step. BTW, I have several options for the position when not in use.

Perhaps the obvious one is just to tilt the wheel back 90°. The problem with that is the wheel ends up being where I have to step on and off the trailer to grill.

IMG_1773.jpeg


The top fuel option would be to tilt the legs up 90° to the front instead. I think this look is actually pretty cool, but the wheel is so outboard, I would worry about catching it on something.

IMG_1771.jpeg


The next option, which I also like, would be to simply tilt it backwards, but not all the way horizontal. It’s out-of-the-way for road travel, but it’s not in the way to step on and off the trailer.

IMG_1774.jpeg


The final decision will be made after I get the grill put together, get the floor put in, and make the step/running boards.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Pivot it a full 180°. Then it looks like a steering wheel...
 

Rick W

Lil Big Rig
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Pivot it a full 180°. Then it looks like a steering wheel...
I think it might hit the side attachments of the grill, but not a bad idea. Also, I haven’t figured out what I’m going to stick in the threads where the regulators were. If it’s a flag, I don’t want it pointing totally down.
 

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