Page 1

This is the story of how I converted a new 7x14 foot Lark cargo trailer into a self-contained travel trailer.  The text below is an edited, and expanded version of that which was posted on the Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers web site with the title “TheTrailerShowroom 7X14”

I have chosen to delete much of the conversation of the forum and stay with the material that is relevant to the conversion.  Additionally I have expanded on much of the posted information.

Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject: TheTrailerShowroom 7X14

This is the beginning of a 7X14 cargo conversion that has been in the planning stage for a year.

Actually the story goes back much farther, several years in fact.  I weighed the possibility of converting a school bus or purchasing a small motor home, both of which would require a towed vehicle for local transportation.

I searched for a small travel trailer to purchase but found none that met my needs. 

I am single with two small dogs.  Our needs are simple and I wanted to keep it that way. 

I did not want a pop-up trailer with its canvas sides because I wanted to be able to lock up my stuff and not worry about someone cutting through the canvas.  I also did not want have the set up issues of a pop-up, especially when I only wanted to catch a few winks in a road side rest area.

I then considered building a small travel trailer from scratch.  I could then build exactly what I wanted in both overall size and interior accommodations.  I began to focus on a trailer small enough in height to fit into my garage with a standard seven foot tall garage door.

The ability to park the trailer in the garage would solve two major issues I had. The first was what to do with my TT in the very likely event of a hurricane here in Florida.  Parked outside in the driveway, the TT was vulnerable to storm damage. The second was would the local town do-gooders someday convince the town council to ban parking RV’s and TT’s in the driveway?  If so I would then be forced to find a storage lot along with its rental fees.  A bonus to inside storage is that my garage is very large (24ft by 31ft) and is air-conditioned which makes for a superior construction environment. 

While surfing the internet I stumbled across the Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers web site and the Cargo Trailer Conversion Forum.  Converting a cargo trailer seemed like the way to go.

I looked at a lot of the cargo trailers sold our in the area.  I also spent a lot of time on line researching CT’s.

Because I had specific ideas of what I wanted, I would need a supplier that would work with me on design and structural changes.

I selected TheTrailerShowroom to purchase my trailer from because of the personal interest they showed on my project. Their web site allowed me to "build" a trailer on line with all of the options I could think of and have the cost of the trailer priced as I went.

I had a couple of questions that the sales person at TheTrailerShowroom could not answer.  She referred me to the manufacturer of the trailer, Lark Industries in Douglas, Georgia.

As I chatted with the factory I mentioned I would be returning to Florida from a Tennessee fly fishing trip. I was invited to tour the factory in Douglas, Georgia and to bring in my scaled drawings to review at the factory.

Getting the trailer short enough to fit thru the standard garage door height of 82-inches was my primary concern. 

Standard interior heights are either 5-feet or 6-feet.  I had mine built at 5 ½-feet.

The standard leaf spring axel was replaced with a torsion axel.  In addition the torsion axel was special ordered with a 22-degree upstart.

These two construction changes got us within 3-inches (too tall) of entering the garage.  Read on to see how I solved this dilemma.

In addition to the special side door and windows, I had them frame out for a future front picture window. A welding shop I work with would fabricate the window frame and I will be using impact- resistant glass. This is the same type of glass used in car windshields and is hurricane-resistant rated here in Florida.