Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast

Thread: M416 Build - Phase II - Addition of Hardsided Folding Camper Top

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Conifer, Colorado
    Posts
    78

    Default M416 Build - Phase II - Addition of Hardsided Folding Camper Top

    Phase I was the original build completed a few years ago and can be seen here:
    http://offroadtrailer.blogspot.com/

    This is what I am starting with:
    IMG_3314.jpg

    Phase II will consist of the following:
    - Replace gas struts on lid
    - Extend lid platform
    - Extend tongue to allow jeep tailgate & Spare to open with trailer attached.
    - Add hard sided folding camper top for family of 4
    - switch tires and wheels to match jeep bolt pattern to share spare

    Phase III next winter or if I get extra time before camping season this winter:
    - Add kitchen side box
    - mount propane tank to outside of trailer. plumb hose connection to stove in kitchen.
    - Add water tank under trailer
    - Add awning off side of camper
    - add awing side walls & wood stove

    I pulled the trailer into the shop and disassembled it.
    - removed spare and carrier
    - removed tongue dry box
    - removed AT jerry can holders from tongue
    - cut off luggage rack
    - removed all accessories (hi-lift, shovels, extinguisher, bike racks, etc)

    I cut the tongue off last night, and fabricated an extension with internal tube sleeve. I also tested my new mattress. Its going to consist of three layers that total 2.5" thick.
    - 1/2" thick EPE foam (very flexible, very tough, very dense)
    - 1" memory foam topper (from amazon.com)
    - 1" high density urethane foam (from upholstery shop)

    I tested it, you cannot feel the floor with your hips. We can always add our air camping mats (like thermarests) inside on top of the permanent bedding if necessary. But I don't think we'll need it, it was pretty comfortable and my wife and I prefer firm mattresses anyway.

    Here are a look at some of my plans:
    trailer2.jpgtrailer1.jpg

    The new camper top will be a welded steel frame with an outer skin of PVC sheet. Inside will be 1/8" baltic birch plywood. XPS insulation in the walls. Top of the camper will have a huge hatch that can be opened, so we can sleep under the starts (under a screen to keep bugs out). The camper will work like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuK47--luPY

    I pondered a cable operated system but its too complicated. I also considered pneumatic cylinders in each corner, but I only saw one person who did it successfully, and it was slow and jerky. This is going to be a very lightweight camper top I hope, so opening shouldn't be too tough, especially with gas spring assist.

    I want hardsided camper so we can use it on roadtrips in parking lots, or up in Alaska in parks where they don't allow tents etc. I also hope that it will be quicker to setup than a rooftop tent, and no pvc rainjacket to put on and off. Also, being insulated, I hope it will extend our camping season by a few months. Here in CO at high altitude, its pretty chilly. I know the camper top will make my trailer even more top heavy, but some of this will be offset by underbelly water tank. Also, we don't do any extreme trails with the trailer on. We generally make camp, then take the jeep out for more fun. But, its nice to have a 4x4 camper to get to some better camping spots. Anyway, stay tuned.... more to come.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Banning, California
    Posts
    335
    Same idea as the Chalet pop. I have thought about doing the same thing, but in the Chalet form. Actually discussed buying one and making a stronger frame for it. Hard wall campers like that are very good for the other half. We loved ours. Great idea, hope it turns out like you plan. I am anxious to see the finished product.

    Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Conifer, Colorado
    Posts
    78
    yeah, I saw the Chalet pops, but need more headroom to fit 4 people.. Plus a box seems more straightforward to fabricate than a bunch of angles. I wasn't sure about how water tight my seam along the ridgetop would turn out in that scenario.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Banning, California
    Posts
    335
    Actually the Chalets have a lot of head room, their roof windows(not really) give adequate space for a 6 foot tall person to stand and set down at the table. I was amazed by this the first time I saw one.

    I think you are right on the seal part. The flat top vs the sloped angle would be easier to seal. I know on the Chalet we had, I had to really watch the top seal area. But they were warm and up in an instant. But with four great danes, it was just not big enough. Tried one summer to use it with the dogs, and it was a nightmare. Sold the trailer, the dogs died and the wife decided we needed a 45 foot fifth wheel with 4 weiner dogs. Makes you wonder on planning for sure.

    I think you are on to a great idea, I think I would try to do an aluminum top frame if possible, save the weight, but I doubt it would weigh that much, 100 pounds at the most, spread over the whole top. Only draw back is getting in and out I would guess, or have you figured away to make a door in the rear?

    Bob

    www.aspenXtrails.com
    951 692 0958

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Conifer, Colorado
    Posts
    78
    door will be on the side. Fold down ladder. Basically, its just like a RTT, only with foldup hardsides. That's what I meant by headroom. You will sleep/sit on the top platform, on top of the lid. Not tall enough to stand. So, if it sloped like a chalet down to the front and back, you would not be able to situp if you were unlucky enough to get one of the bed positions along those sides. I drew a guy in and scaled him so he is the same height as me sitting. Plenty of height this way, even with him levitating off the floor 4 inches.... hahha
    trailer with adult sitting.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Banning, California
    Posts
    335
    I was thinking you would use the base as a standing area, with some type of shelf around it for a stove or sink or the like. I see it is just for sleeping now. Yea it would get a little close with the top sloping no question.

    Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Conifer, Colorado
    Posts
    78
    original setup remains intact. Just adding camper to top. Want to maintain my cargo area. What you were thinking would be an interesting idea though! Like and old school pop up camper I used to sleep in as a kid.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Orange County, Ca.
    Posts
    537
    How are you fitting four in there? - subscribed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Conifer, CO
    Posts
    2,068
    I totally saw this trailer when out driving! Good luck with the build. This will be fun to watch.
    '92 Range Rover
    '93 Range Rover LWB
    '71 Mercedes 220 Diesel - The daily Beast

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Conifer, Colorado
    Posts
    78
    Quote Originally Posted by Woods View Post
    How are you fitting four in there? - subscribed.
    By no means roomy, but maybe about the same space you have in a small 4-man backpacking tent. That's the style tent we are used to sleeping in, so we are used to being piled in... I don't want this trailer to get too huge or we won't be able to make it up narrow trails etc... The room per person is enough for "regular" sized thermarests..... like this

    http://www.rei.com/product/778148/re...-inflating-pad''

    But, I just went and tested it out laying on my living rm floor, it would be pretty cramped. I am adding a few inches of width to give my wife and some shoulder room. Its really as wide as I want to go though, since it matches my new trailer track width, and the width of the jeep from outside of fender to fender (my wheels stick out a few inches beyond that, so I know this way, if my jeep fits between two obstacles, like trees, my trailer will too). Once the boys get older and want to sleep in their own tent, we'll either add a RTT to my jeep's roof rack, or they can pitch a tent.

    Here is the sleeping arrangement:
    TRAILERINSIDE.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •