2. More Coach Planning

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With the basic Royal Mail Coach as a foundation, I proceeded to translate this form into something that would work as a camping trailer. One of my early decisions was to have side entrances even though the design utilizes ledges that go out over the wheels. I have never seen another ledged trailer that doesn’t have the door in back or in front. This requires steps in front of the door, but I figured hey, I needed something to hide the trailer wheels anyway.

Another unusual decision was to have a door on each side just like a real coach. Since there isn’t a kitchen inside I could afford the wall space. On the other hand, the second door contains another window. My final Coach has a total of nine windows and is very light inside. Also, the Coach is truly ambidextrous and I can have either side as the entrance depending on the campsite.

Like almost all small campers the bed converts from something else. In this case, we just have a full size futon that works as a couch or a bed as needed, with moveable boards to provide the support where needed.

One of the biggest commitments I made to truly disguise the fact that the Coach is really just a trailer was to build BIG three-dimensional wheels. These are a pain in the ass to build and to transport, but the Coach wouldn’t be the same without them. More on them later.

Another feature that contributes to the Coach’s coachiness is a driver’s seat and footboard up front. Along with the wheels, the broken roofline, the boot (back end) and decoration, these features keep the trailer from looking like a plywood box. And the front end latches closed to provide a reasonably aerodynamic profile.

All that remained was to find a suitable trailer as the foundation, and this eventually turned  up on Craigslist. I found a medium duty ATV trailer with a 3500 lb. axle, measuring 5 feet between the wheels by 9 feet long. Wheels were 12″ rims by 5.80 tires, which is a step up in size from the Harbor Freight trailer wheels. It was time to begin!

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