Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

Got the July issue of Four Wheeler in the mail today; it's always fun to be surprised by something like this in a magazine...

Hi Jeff,
Congratulations! Do you know when MORryde will be taking orders for the Trail Kitchen? I'm interested in the base and side table options. Also will the Trail Kitchen be offered as pictured with the wood grain table?
 
Hi Jeff,
Congratulations! Do you know when MORryde will be taking orders for the Trail Kitchen? I'm interested in the base and side table options. Also will the Trail Kitchen be offered as pictured with the wood grain table?
Thank you.

I was at dinner with the MORryde crew that's attending Overland West when I got the email informing me of your post so I asked them. According to the head of MORryde sales and the lead engineer on the project, both of whom were at the table, they told me I should say the kitchen will be available by July 1.

Initially the tabletops will be black like the more recent photos I've posted of the preproduction unit in my Jeep (and I'll post more photos from the show over the next few days). Earlier today I discussed other tabletop possibilities with the lead engineer so there may be something other than black at some point but nothing definite on that at this point.
 
Hi Jeff
I know you might be busy right now but had to ask.
How much weight do you think the factory xj roof rails can take before they give up.
I've installed them on my Tj's hard top (with some inside aluminum bars reinforcement and bolt through the top,but what
worries me is the little (factory) size bolts that hold the bar to each side ''D'' shaped ends(if i describe it right).
I see you have no second thoughts putting some heavy stuff on top,so i guess you can share if you've done something differently...
Thanks and enjoy.
 
The Jeep set up in the MORryde area at the Overland West vendor show.





MORryde created this window sticker to describe all of the things installed on the Jeep...



For lunch I cooked hot dogs in the kitchen for myself and the MORryde crew; they caught me washing the frying pan in the kitchen sink after. In this photo you can see the water running...

 
Hi Jeff
I know you might be busy right now but had to ask.
How much weight do you think the factory xj roof rails can take before they give up.
I've installed them on my Tj's hard top (with some inside aluminum bars reinforcement and bolt through the top,but what
worries me is the little (factory) size bolts that hold the bar to each side ''D'' shaped ends(if i describe it right).
I see you have no second thoughts putting some heavy stuff on top,so i guess you can share if you've done something differently...
Thanks and enjoy.
I don't have any reservations about the XJ roof tracks themselves holding weight, I carry all kinds on things up there, including the roof top tent you can see in my post above.

I do have two reservations about the rest of the installation though.

1. The XJ rack crossbars are not especially strong, so I wouldn't put heavy weights on those. I use Surco brackets mounted to the roof tracks for heavy things - I use them to mount my RTT crossbars to the tracks. In this photo you can see the RTT crossbars mounted to the tracks using the Surco brackets. I use the same brackets to mount the Garvin rack basket to the tracks.



My other concern is more important - the factory hardtops aren't structurally strong enough for carrying heavy weights. In both my LJ and JK Safari Cab designs there is structure inside the roof to support the full length of the tracks, and there are brackets that transfer the any weight on the tracks to the roll bars so no weight is borne by the fiberglass.

So my answer is that I'm comfortable with heavy weights on the XJ rack tracks but not on the XJ crossbars; and I'm not comfortable with heavy weights being borne by the fiberglass of the hardtop.
 
I haven't had much time to get around and take photos at Overland West yet, but here are a two I snapped yesterday. In November I posted photos from the SEMA show of AEV's camper project; at SEMA it wasn't finished to the point where they could open it up. It is now. I took these quickly as I was walking past, I'll try to get better photos today.



 
American Safari had a few JXL JKs at the show, here's one:



I've done some design work on stretching a JKU to this length, here's an anim I created using parts from my factory hardtop modular conversion project. The sides of the hardtop can be stretched by substituting the side panels/windows from a 2-door, and a longer roof panel would be made by splicing the roof panels from a JKU and a JK hardtop together.



This would result in the correct length hardtop, but not the camper pop-top that the American Safari has. The pop-top would be a separate project, but it would be pretty straightforward using TrailTop parts like I did for my Jeep-tub pop-top.



Making a mold for a tub extension would be a fairly straightforward project; I've also done some design on the structure necessary to support the extension, the bumper and the tailgate.

Here's an interior view of the American Safari tub extension...



A concept drawing I did a while back.



This would be an interesting project, and very possible based on things I've already done. And of course my version would have a barn door instead of a hatch ;).
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Hi Jeff,
Great job with the videos! That is one complete setup. I did notice the Overhead Molle Panel. Any news about it being released as a product?
Thank you. Reaction to the Trail Kitchen at this event has been very positive. Product update: the lead engineer on the project tells me they'll be releasing the base kitchen to manufacturing within the next two weeks. Also the company reviewed their preliminary pricing with me and they hit the target I asked them to ;).

Reaction to the Overhead Molle Panel at the event was also great - mostly "wow, what a great way to use wasted space!" It looks like it will be going into production.