Renault 4 Camper
:::: TRAILER TENT ::::
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First position of running lights under the indicator units, so you see why I moved them to the door mirrors
I bought my 1977  Spitfire 1500 in August 1981. The company I worked for paid my insurance as part of a promotion pay deal.  So one of my first additions was a tow bar and a trailer to make a two seater sports car a sensible proposition for a service manager in a refrigeration business.
Both items I designed and built myself, the tow bar later brought my six berth caravan home 180 miles from Portlaoise to Raphoe.
The trailer was designed to later be converted as a trailer tent. It was a plywood box about 18 inches deep, 4 feet wide and 5 feet long with a one piece lid hinged at the front. I used Indespension suspension units mounted on top of the chassis rails instead of underneath so that the ground clearance ended up at about 5 inches, this all ment that the trailer was lower than the boot lid,- perfect for air resistance and rearward vision.
Two years later when the company had folded and I had a summer of spare time at home I started the second part of the plan. I made up three frame sections of 1 inch steel square hollow section, each was like three sides of a square. These were fitted to two brackets fixed to the underside of the lid, so when the lid of the trailer is opened to lie on top of the boot lid of the spitfire the frames can swing up to become the supports for the fabric which forms the tent. Two wires fixed at the back edge of the trailer run up and over the frames keeping them spaced correctly and supporting the lid, even when it is being used as a bed. The fabric is permanently fixed around the sides of the lid and when erected it is clipped around the sides of the trailer itself. The whole effect is of being under a pram hood that comes all the way down.
Entry is by a slit at the back in the form of an upside down T closed by a long vertical zip fastener and two short horizontal ones. As I said earlier the trailer is only 5 feet long so the 6ft. 6ins. sleeping area is made up of the lid of the trailer plus the 18 inch tail board which lifts out of vertical slide rails and clips in place at the front of the trailer level with the lid. This also makes a useful area for making breakfast with storage space underneath. The fabric I decided on was red leatherette which has lasted well even though it has at times been folded up when not completely dry.
When it comes time to move out I can be mobile in about 50 seconds. The foam mattress (from the caravan I had) sleeping bag and pillow are placed at the front of the trailer, the fabric un-clipped around the sides and back, the tail board removed and the whole lot-framework and fabric- folds down into the trailer as the lid is swung up from the protective pads on the boot lid and closed down on the tail board which in now slotted down into its grooves.
The lights visible on the wing mirrors are Swedish style running lights, with 21 or 18 watt bulbs (18w lasted longer) Each light had a relay to switch it off when that side indicator came on, so it also acted as a repeater, higher and more visible than the indicator itself.

   I did this in the mid eighty's --so where did Mercedes get the idea?
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