Steve from Fremont, California, spent a good chunk of 2020 building one of our Airbag Trailers. He filmed his progress for his YouTube channel, MCY Industries, which gives a great insight into building a trailer from our detailed fabrication plans.
Steve starts by picking up all his steel supplies and returning them to his shop, where he cuts out the steel plates using the supplied DXF files on his CNC Plasma. The best practice is to get all your steel like this before starting the build. We also recommend purchasing all the components associated with the running gear before building your own trailer.
After spending some time deburring and grinding bevels on the edges, he is ready to start welding the plate together, which constitutes the pivot arms.
Steve continues in Part 2, turning down bearing holders and shafts for the pivot arm assembly. These are one of the more challenging parts of the build, where a lathe is required. The unique design calls for a custom-built part.
Part 3 begins with assembling the four pivot arms, which involves a lot of welding, grinding, and test fitting to ensure an accurate and strong part. As a critical step in the build, it’s essential to use correct weld techniques to keep the components flat and square, doing your best to mitigate deformation from the welding process.
Part 4: Steve is building a custom dimpled deck for his Airbag Trailer, which differs from the 3mm checker plate specified in the plans. The plans we offer are a great starting point, and following them verbatim will yield a great trailer, though you can make all sorts of alterations to better suit your needs.
Part 5: Steve has cut all his rectangular hollow section (RHS) and laid them all on the floor, ready to start welding. This step requires correct weld sequencing to ensure your project remains square and flat. What is weld sequencing? Check out this video by Jason at Fireball Tool.
Part 6: Steve gets the suspension and wheels mounted, ensuring proper alignment. You need to pay close attention to this step, as the alignment of the pivot arm assembly to the chassis will affect the track of the individual wheels and how the trailer tows behind your vehicle. He also makes some custom mudguards out of some 60-gallon drums!
Part 7 of the build sees a few different bits and pieces mounted, including the custom dimple-dyed deck and the tie-down points.
Part 8: Steve gets the airlines, airbags, and compressor set up and mounted in a sealed box. With this part of the build, your imagination can run wild. We have had customers who use remote controls to raise and lower their trailer and have even seen someone use an X-Box controller!
Part 9: Steve runs into trouble with his trailer not lifting. A lot is going on regarding the Airbag trailer; for it to work as designed, everything needs to play nicely together. A few things to look out for; you can use any airbag if the dimensions are the same as those in the plans and have the correct weight rating. You also need to ensure that your compressor/s are up to the task.
Part 10: In this video, Steve tackles the paint job! You can paint your trailer in several ways, from powder coating and hot dip galvanising, to a good old fashion home paint job, which can last for years if you prepare your trailer well.
Part 11: It is time to get stuck into the wiring. Now you don’t need to be an expert; however, getting the wiring right will take some time. It pays to consider the wiring and piping at the start of the build, as it is best to run them all through the chassis, which means you will need to cut holes for this. This is why having all of your components before starting your trailer is a good idea.
Part 12: Steve has done a great job and, as a result, has a tidy trailer to show for it. In the final video, he covers what this DIY project cost him.
Get yourself a set of plans if you’re interested in building your own Airbag Car Trailer. You’ll get 50 metric professional-grade printable drawings and 24 DXF files for lasing cutting the steel and aluminum plate. You’ll also get access to our private Facebook Group to find others who are building or have completed their trailer project.