Trailer mounted WK systems

How many folks here have attempted and successfully mounted a WK to a small trailer to use as a vehicle gasifier? The reason that I ask is that I have a 1994 E150 van with a multi-port fuel injected 351 engine that is a 7 passenger. I would like to build a trailer mounted gasifier to connect to the van.


Hey Scott,
I know someone has an Econoline with a trailer. I’m not sure if it’s a WK but I’m sure it can be done.


Trailers can be a practical solution, particularly for sedans and vehicles which have no room for a gasifier.

However I will caution you on the large van - the weight of van + trailer + fuel, along with the large aerodynamic profile, is going to make this a slow rig. The 351 is a fine mill, but you’re asking a lot out of it to pull that van with woodgas. It depends on what you need… for a wood-powered people mover, that’s the right choice. For just getting to town and back, you might look at a lighter rig.

Bill is correct, Chris Seymour did a charcoal powered V10 Ford van, and it did OK (link here). I would contact him for details on that.

I believe John Stout also did a van but cut out part of the back and sealed up the front to keep the unit on the vehicle itself. Many ways to be creative.

I’m thinking about a trailer unit. With that said for my van I think I would prefer a bumper mount unit with the cooler up front. Just my opinion.

IIRC, back in the late 1930’s, when Great Britain was belatedly getting on the woodgas bandwagon, I think they designed a gasifier that clamped on to the rear bumper of the vehicle with its tail end supported by a single caster wheel. That way there would be no special problems with backing up the car. Also, there’d be minimal problems with tubing and wiring having to twist and bend at every turn in the road. I think it was their version of the FEMA idea, eg: an emergency automobile fuel system. Not sure how many were built.

Pete Stanaitis

Most of today’s cars are unibody and have very poor shock absorbing bumpers so it is tough to put any hitch on them let alone 2. The key is to build a lightweight gasifier and mount close to the car and then put the cooling and filtering on the roof “rack” … With a trailer you just need pipework and a mixing valve. So far my 97 cavalier was my favorite car with the trailer.
The 55 gallon drum in the first pics was just a tool box and a place for a couple of sacks of wood to keep them out of the rain. I used to keep a chainsaw in there as well.
Mike L

Hey MikeL
Your picture sets download just fine.
The last one is the best! ALL in one shot!
Shows the wide open Road.
The whole gasifisr trailer system and the car as the your road FREEDOM machine.
And the simplest wood prepping set-up. With prepped wood displayed. Your tree surround.
Then your in the shade sitting chair. For contemplating it all.
FREE to stay and snooze. FREE to travel out by choice and just look around at the world around.

“Everything does’t have to be such a big deal.” Paul Grooms (my passed on father-in-law)

Steve Unruh

I like the trailer idea too. If the vehicle poops out, then it’s just a matter of running plumbing to the back bumper. Or if one wants to drive the car instead of the truck.

Bill, Just a cautionary note … The trailer needs to fly down the highway at the highway speeds we like to go. In other words 80+ mph on occasion so it has to have an axle and wheels and tires that can do that. The pair of tires I have on now have done two argos trips and a few thousand other miles but one of the tires I drove there three years ago just about fell apart. I don’t know if it was bouncing back there all the way or what. Hard to balance. One of the tires has been to Argos 3 times. If anyone builds on one of the cheap Chinese trailers be sure to plan to weld it all up and add extra bracing. I would recommend using a small pickup rear end with a real frame, suspension, and real tires and wheels … Just chuck the rotten bed … M

I opted for going home via Des Moines due to the road conditions through WI on my way down to Argos.

Bill, I typed you a big long thing but lost it all … My thanks go out to Ted Carbone who gave me the hose I use to hook up in Kansas … I hit some friggin button on the keyboard and the whole post vaporized … God’s will I guess … Time for bed :o) … Mike

Hello, Mike. You are certainly right about the bumper mounting these days. But I have noticed that many people put substantial devices into their class 3 hitch receivers. I could see a 3 or 4 foot long tube welded to the tube that goes into that receiver. That would give you a place to mount the connectors/hinges that the single-caster-wheel trailer would connect to. I see the ability to back up without special training as a big plus. As you know, the longer the vehicle and the shorter the trailer, the harder it is to back up easily.

Pete Stanaitis