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THE STORY OF ONE MAN'S EFFORT
TO BUILD A TEARDROP TRAILER

 
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BUILDING DIARY - PHASE 6
RUNNING LIGHTS, CROCODILE DRAWING, AND LICENSE PLATES   
 < Phase 5 | Modifications >
09/27/06

(129) Located license plate holes and made/installed license plate light. Installed broom clamps to hold aluminum hatch supports during travel. Installed and wired 4 clearance lights. Wired taillights. Tested BROWN-BLACK light circuit successfully. (6 hr/422 hr tot)

09/28/06

(130) Ran trailer running lights wiring through garden hose and put 4-prong plug on end. YELLOW-BLACK and GREEN-BLACK light circuits tested successfully. Riveted left blue panel to left white panel. Installed inside door fame, trim around inside right window, and white metal on both rear access doors. (5 hr/427 hr tot)

09/29/06

(131) Bought wood trim for inside windows and 1/8” steel rod for rear door locks. Rear door locks work by drilling long 3/16” hole vertically through countertop and trailer framework into top of compartment door, then inserting 1/8” steel rod into the hole.  Rod can be removed and door unlocked only when hatch is open.

Put wood trim around inside door window and inside left window. Made and installed lock plate in doorframe. Installed left and right rear doors and 1/8” lock pins. (Cost 9.06; tot cost 571.81; 5 hr/432 hr tot)

10/03/06

(132) Added last blue metal trim under doors. (2 hr/434 hr tot)

10/04/06

(133) Enlarged “Crocodile” drawing on cardboard. (2 hr/436 hr tot)

10/05/06

(134) Cut out crocodile stencil.  (1 hr/437 hr tot)

10/06/06

(135) Cut out crocodile stencil. Sprayed lt. green, med. green, lt. green, yellow, pink, red on sides of trailer. (5 hr/442 hr tot)

10/07/06

(136) Made and installed splash guard over trailer door. Made six hinged bungee hook holders for inside of trailer and put them in. Troubleshot electrical systems and got everything working but small dual exhaust fans. (4 hr/446 hr tot)

10/16/06

(137) Laid out “IT’S A CROCODILE TEAR!” on cardboard, twice, then cut out letters. Painted black lines on stenciled crocodile. Painted words above crocodile in American Colonial type face. (4 hr/450 hr tot)

10/17/06 (138) Replaced inside wood trim over left window. Designed and cut screen for window. (2 hr/452 hr tot)
10/18/06 (139) Cut, drilled, and pop-riveted splashguard onto outer edges of hatch. (2 hr/454 hr tot)
10/19/06

(140) Varnished interior trim and inside of door, three coats. Installed screen in left window. (3 hr/460 hr tot)
----- Contacted Texas Dept. of Public Safety, Motor Vehicle Theft. State Trooper Lindsay Ray arranged to come to my home 57/20 to do trailer inspection.

10/20/06

----- State Trooper Anti-Theft unit inspected trailer and determined that it was not stolen. The 8’6” length became a 10’8” length with the tongue added. After that, sent paperwork to TXDOT in Longview TX to get a vehicle number. Paperwork included:

  • Texas DOT Form 68A, on which the State Trooper filled out the bottom half.
  • Texas DOT Form 68A, the top half of which I filled out and got notarized at the bank.
  • Picture of the trailer.
  • $2 money order made out to Texas DOT Vehicle Titles and Registration.
  • All of the above mailed to TX DOT Longview Regional Office, 1301 Karnes Road, Longview TX 75604.
10/23/06 (141) Used aluminum tape to put flexible, waterproof edging on roof/side edges of trailer. Need to find a better way. This will do temporarily. (2 hr/462 hr tot)
10/24/06 (142) Put waterproofing inside doorframe and cut hatch cover latch from 1/8” thick aluminum channel. Annealed two latches to harden them, and installed them. (3 hr/465 hr tot)
10/25/06

(143) Bought locking doorknob with keys. Put caulking compound in all rivet holes on white-metal portion of trailer. Modified latches and installed bottom hasps. Installed better doorknob. Cost 21.63; tot cost 593.44;4 hr/469 hr tot)

10/26/06

Texas DOT in Longview sent me a new Vehicle Number: HT109711

  • I stamped the vehicle number on the trailer frame on the right front side.
  • I took the trailer to Fuller’s Towing in Canton and got it weighed for $6 = 1,260 lbs w/battery. They made out an empty weight slip.
  • I took the following to the Van Zandt County Tax Assessor’s Office:
    • Completed, notarized TX DOT Form 68A, with the assigned Vehicle Number HT109711
    • Empty weight slip from certified scale.
    • Another photo of the trailer
    • Completed TX DOT Form 130-U, “Application for Texas Certificate of Title.”
    • Completed TX DOT Form VTR-305-A “Prescribed Form for Statement of Fact for Ownership of Momemade/Shopmade Trailer, Semitrailer, or Travel Trailer.”
    • Completed TX DOT Form VTR-141, “Travel Trailer or Park Model Trailer Verification.”
  • I had kept a record of the cost of materials to make the trailer, $571.81. This was not needed at the Tax Assessor’s Office. The trailer was exempt from sales tax because I did not buy the trailer.
    • Sales Tax Category: Exempt
    • Sales Price $ 0
    • Less Trade In Allowance $0
    • Taxable Amount $0
    • Sales Tax Paid $0
    • Less Other State Tax Paid $0
    • Tax Penalty $0
    • TOTAL Tax Paid $0
  • The trailer weight was rounded up to 1,300 lbs., and I added another 300 lbs for carrying capacity. Gross weight is 1,600 lbs. The 10’8” length was rounded up to 11’.
  •  Here is the list of fees assessed:
    • Title Application Fee $13.00
    • TERP Fee $15.00
    • Sales Tax Fee $0
    • Plate Sticker $30.28
    • Reflectorization fee $0.30
    • City Road Bridge Add-on Fee $10.00
    • Automation Fee (Large City) $1.00
    • TOTAL FEES ASSESSED  $69.58
10/26/06 I now have a legal travel trailer in Texas. Total cost $593.44. Building time 469 hours.

 


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