Thread: Bolt-together fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit

  1. #301
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    HB, Thanks ...

    Squint, the tent floor is a sandwich construction, starts with a ~1x1 square tube framework, then foam panels are added between the framework, on top of that are vinyl coated aluminum sheets on both sides. All that is finished off with aluminum extrusions around the edges.

    For a home-built tent platforms, plywood edged/supported with 1x2 strips is a strong and straightforward DIY way to go. I have a PDF format guide available online that details how I Build Plywood Tent Platforms, all you'll need to do is adjust the platform size to your project.
    Scott
    1992 Suzuki Sidekick
    2006 Subaru Outback Sport
    Camping, The Compact Way

  2. #302
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    Fantastic. Thanks Jeff and Scott!

  3. #303
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    Dec 2011
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    Now the question is: (If I overlooked the answer somewhere, I am sorry.) Who is going to build these tops, for the tub kits? Is this still under development? I am trying to get all the pieces together.
    Thanks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
    Another option I've designed for the trailer is a hard tonneau cover, here are a few views of it.

    The upper left shows the cover closed. The tonneau would be strong enough to support a roof top tent and two people. For cargo, you could use an XJ rack, although the XJ rack is only rated for about 150 pounds, so if you need more carrying capacity on top of the tonneau, you might mount a rack basket on there (upper right). The gas struts would probably be sized to support 150 pounds, so if more cargo was on the tonneau than that, you wouldn't expect to open the tonneau.

    The tent is also shown, both folded up with the cover on it, and opened. It's mounted to open over the side.



    The way I would plan on doing the mold design, the same basic molds could make hard tonneaus for either the Safari Half cab or the current Gr8Tops half cabs as well.


  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by RareSS View Post
    Now the question is: (If I overlooked the answer somewhere, I am sorry.) Who is going to build these tops, for the tub kits? Is this still under development? I am trying to get all the pieces together.
    Thanks again.
    If the companies (CompactCamping for the trailer tub kits and/or Gr8Tops for the Safari Cab hardtops) decide that hard tonneau covers should be part of their product offering, then they'll likely get built. I'm just a guy who designs this stuff for fun and the guy who probably would do the initial prototype/mold master work - I don't make product decisions for either company since I'm not an employee of either one. Since the engineering and mold work for the trailer tonneau and the half cab Jeep tonneau is 90% the same work, it would be nice if both companies wanted to offer a version of the tonneau, then there could possibly be some additional economy of scale.
    Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
    • Retro Wrangler pickup
    • Gaucho CJ pickup
    • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
    • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
    • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
    • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit

  5. #305
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    This is like having a baby. :/ It is going to seem like a loooong time to see it all. LOL

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by RareSS View Post
    This is like having a baby. :/ It is going to seem like a loooong time to see it all. LOL
    Maybe it seems that way, but compared to the development cycle for products of similar complexity, I think this one is going pretty quickly. The company's timetable calls for preproduction test units getting into the hands of users in March/April, and general availability in May, so if they are able to stick to that timetable, that's a very fast cycle from first prototype to production.

    The big difference between what's going on here and what happens with traditional commercial products is that you usually don't see or hear anything about a product until just before it's ready to hit the market - but in this case you're seeing every step from the completed design through the building of the first prototypes. And another big difference is that the feedback you guys give me during the build thread has an influence on the final design and a huge influence on the accessories and different configurations I design along the way - many of the options and configurations you've seen here were initiated by forum input. With this project you're almost in on the beginning, so it may seem like it's a long time but it's really quite speedy .
    Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
    • Retro Wrangler pickup
    • Gaucho CJ pickup
    • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
    • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
    • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
    • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit

  7. #307
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    Abilene, Texas
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    I understand. It is called 'anxiety' on my behalf. LOL
    I will give you all of my opinions, as you do things, but I think you have already gotten a lot of my thoughts already in motion.
    I will be waiting on the release of the 'tub' and the 'camper'. I have already gotten my paint and body guy ready to help do this. When I showed him your drawings, he made the comment of helping, before I even asked him.
    Now, I need to start thinking about accessories to build into it.
    ( I am just glad that it isn't a nine month wait. LOL)
    Thanks for all of your work and planning of the trailers.

  8. #308
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    Mar 2010
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    You may recall I added a pair of receivers to the back of the trailer frame so I could mount stabilizer jacks for use with the tent. These are the ones I ordered on December 30 (this photo is from the company selling them):



    I left for an 8-day trip the day after the tent arrived, so I figured the jacks would come while I was away and I could start in on the tent mounting - I don't want to work on the tent mounting without the jacks, it will be difficult to horse the tent on and off the tub singlehandedly without the jacks to keep the trailer from moving around. Anyway, the jacks still haven't arrived, so I contacted the company I bought them from and they told me some guy in Maine sent them an email telling them he got my jacks. No idea why. They'll be sending me another set of jacks, hopefully they'll arrive later this week, they only have to come from Elkhart, Indiana.

    Since the tent arrived literally hours before I was scheduled to leave on my trip, I didn't have any time to review the mounting provisions on the tent before I left. I knew the tent had four holes in the base platform to attach it to the mounting rails, but it wasn't until yesterday that I got a chance to measure them. The nice surprise is that the bolt holes are symmetrical in all directions - they form a 32" square "bolt circle" (so to speak) exactly in the center of the tent platform. That means that the tent can be mounted in any direction on the tent mount I've designed, using the same holes. If holes in the tent base weren't symmetric, it wouldn't be a big deal, it would just mean multiple sets of holes would be required in the tent mount in order to mount the tent off the side or off the back, but having them be symmetric is a nice bonus.

    For the next couple of days I'll be molding the last few tub parts that I have to deliver to CompactCamping, so by the time that's done hopefully my replacement stabilizer jacks will have arrived.
    Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
    • Retro Wrangler pickup
    • Gaucho CJ pickup
    • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
    • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
    • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
    • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit

  9. #309
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    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    I am very excited about this concept. It certainly makes an expedition trailer more affordable! I was about to order a roof top rack and a RTT within the next couple of weeks but am seriously considering holding off, now.

    I am curious about the fiberglass - will it come ready to be painted or will it need to be sanded?

    Also, maybe this was addressed and I missed it, but, why is the floor plywood? Won't it be more subject to rotting?
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  10. #310
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    Mar 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKJenn View Post
    I am very excited about this concept. It certainly makes an expedition trailer more affordable! I was about to order a roof top rack and a RTT within the next couple of weeks but am seriously considering holding off, now.

    I am curious about the fiberglass - will it come ready to be painted or will it need to be sanded?
    I am told the plan for the fiberglass is for it to have a UV-resistant gelcoat finish like a boat, so it will not need to be painted if you don't want to change the color. The standard color will be white, and there may be an option for black for an extra charge. There may even be a wider range of colors available for a bit more of a charge, I'm not sure if that's been decided yet.

    If you do want to paint it, you'd want to lightly sand the surface for better paint adhesion, as is common when doing automotive finishes on fiberglass or sheet metal.

    Quote Originally Posted by JKJenn View Post
    Also, maybe this was addressed and I missed it, but, why is the floor plywood? Won't it be more subject to rotting?
    The floor is plywood to keep the cost of the kit down. Plywood is less expensive than a fiberglass floor of equivalent strength would be, and by having the plywood be something the buyer acquires himself locally, shipping expense for that large part is avoided.

    Properly sealed, and properly cared for, the plywood should last indefinitely. You'd want to use a marine or exterior grade of plywood, and a quality sealer and topcoat.

    For the proof-of-concept trailer in this thread, I first sealed the wood with epoxy primer, then I painted the underside with a top quality oil-based paint, and I shot the top side with a two-part urethane bed liner (Raptor). The wood is completely sealed from moisture.



    If you're concerned about the durability of the plywood, you could use a composite plastic decking like the Trex material you'd find at Lowes, or the more "realistic" TimberTech I used in the bed of the Retro Wrangler pickup, although a composite decking floor would be a bit more expensive than plywood:

    Visit my Jeep Projects site for info on my custom Jeep projects:
    • Retro Wrangler pickup
    • Gaucho CJ pickup
    • Safari Cab custom modular hardtop
    • Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit
    • CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ
    • Fiberglass Military Replica Trailer Kit

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