"TrailTop" modular trailer topper building components

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I wrote the other day that several parties have contacted me recently with interest in bringing the TrailTop parts to market. I've had some discussions but I'm reluctant to devote much more time to the idea because I really don't know what the market demand might be or what the market might be willing to pay for kits or parts.

Before I go any further with either party, I'd like to get a better idea of what people might be interested in.

A kit of TrailTop parts would basically form the framework for the shape of the trailer and provide factory-looking curves, which for many DIY-ers are hard to build from scratch. Completing a trailer using these parts would require additional framing with lumber, plywood for the sides and roof, any necessary windows and doors, interior fitments and of course a trailer frame. The construction and framing are detailed in three builds earlier in this thread - the teardrop, the pop-top box camper, and the Jeep-tub trailer lid. Construction of other shapes would be similar. A few kit possibilities follow...

First up, the TrailDog. This was one of the more popular concepts I showed earlier in the thread.





A TrailTop kit for the TrailDog would consist of:

  • 6 - 60-degree corners
  • 2 - 30-degree corners
  • 4 - Curved fiberglass panels to match the corners above so the only panels the builder would supply would be flat 1/4" plywood
  • Enough straight sections to complete the side frames
Teardrop

This example was built on a Jeep-tub trailer, but the kit could be used to build either a Jeep-tub trailer topper or a complete teardrop.





The TrailTop teardrop kit would consist of:

  • 2 - 12" radius corners for the front
  • 1 - 12" radius curved panel to match the above curves
  • 2 - large radius curves for the rear
  • Curved ribs for making the rear hatch (the builder would supply the plywood)
  • Enough straight sections to complete the side frames
Box Camper

This example was built on a Jeep-tub trailer, but the kit could be used to build either a Jeep-tub trailer topper or a complete camper.



This one could be built with a fixed roof, or with a tilt-up top:



The TrailTop box camper kit would consist of:

  • 4 - top corner small radius pieces
  • Enough straight sections to complete the roof and side frames
Individual Parts

Parts could also be available separately.



The above photo shows large radius curves, 12" radius curves, small radius top corners, and some straight sections. The mold for straight sections is 8' long, so perhaps they would be sold in 8' lengths. Other parts not shown include 30-degree curves, 60-degree curves, small radius/square corners (could be used to make a lid for an M416 trailer) and a few others.

Would people be interested in kits of parts like this or would people want to pick the parts individually to build their own designs? If you'd want to use TrailTop parts to build your own design, can you describe what you'd be interested in building?
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
I like the idea of the trail dog too. I like the idea of building from the frame up, vs. building a tub on the frame, and then building something on top of the tub (if that makes sense). I might want it a little taller than 4' though. But something like the trail dog built on a 4x8' trailer frame would be nice to pull behind my four cylinder Jeep TJ.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
I third the above votes for the trail dog. ( I think)

I’ll have to go back in this thread and look at the interior drawings. Anything I’d ultimately build needs a place to sit where you can put on your boots as if you’re sitting on the bed at home.

Also I’d be willing to pay for a “how to” manual included with the kit. The more info and dimensioned drawings the better. I know the tips and tricks have been well documented in this exceptional thread but they are scattered through out 62 pages.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Why not make your framing parts have an inner and outer layer like these https://www.google.com/search?q=extruded+double+angle&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjevdCeuuvdAhVKRK0KHWxrCO0Q_AUIDigB&biw=1366&bih=637

it would make assembly simple, you just cut the plywood and slide in.
That shape is easy to do in extruded aluminum but very difficult and probably prohibitively expensive in fiberglass.

The TrailTop parts are designed so they assemble easily and the plywood skin can be bolted and/or epoxied to recessed flanges designed into the parts, assembly is very simple and very structurally sound.





 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Also I’d be willing to pay for a “how to” manual included with the kit. The more info and dimensioned drawings the better. I know the tips and tricks have been well documented in this exceptional thread but they are scattered through out 62 pages.
A how-to manual should definitely be part of the kits, as you said all of the necessary material is already located throughout this thread so it would be a pretty simple project to edit it together into a step-by-step book.
 

john61ct

Adventurer
I want to be able to pick and choose parts, especially radius / corners.

Would likely use for DIY PMFs based on these designs, but maybe going a bit larger - nothing to do with "Jeeps" here, more like expo rigs
 

jgaz

Adventurer
I might have to change my vote. I just quickly “thumbed” thru the whole thread and didn’t see an X-ray for the trail dog that showed a raised bed platform. I’ll have to look at your concepts a bit closer.

Your teardrop on a dinoot tub has possibilities. This would allow use of the dinoot frame

But Dang! I love the look of the trail dog.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I might have to change my vote. I just quickly “thumbed” thru the whole thread and didn’t see an X-ray for the trail dog that showed a raised bed platform. I’ll have to look at your concepts a bit closer.

Your teardrop on a dinoot tub has possibilities. This would allow use of the dinoot frame

But Dang! I love the look of the trail dog.
The TrailDog as I've drawn it is has the basic configuration of a teardrop, with sleeping on the floor and a galley accessible from a rear hatch.



But the same shape in perhaps a slightly taller size could provide room for a raised sleeping platform if that's what you wanted.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I want to be able to pick and choose parts, especially radius / corners.

Would likely use for DIY PMFs based on these designs, but maybe going a bit larger - nothing to do with "Jeeps" here, more like expo rigs
The TrailTop system is designed for a 1/4" plywood skin, so you could do PMF over the plywood and the TrailTop fiberglass parts, but that seems like more work than a simple acrylic finish applied with a roller like I did on the box camper and on the Jeep-tub trailer lid (which is also the roof of the box camper):







But PMF would work fine on a TrailTop assembly too.
 

Matt.H

Adventurer
Along with your concept-to-finished-product documenting I have followed this part of your build in hopes that the corners would some day become available. So "corners and 8' straight sections" would be my interest.

Thanks for continuing your threads in such detail! (y)

Matt
 

rudee13

Member
corners & 8' footers would be my first preference but also being able to incorporate 30° and 60° angles would be great too. so for me being able to custom design around separate pieces would be awesome. I'm more interested in the trail dog type ground up vs. a tub start

thanks again for keeping this moving for us dyi'ers.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Why not both options?
One of the parties that expressed interest seemed to be mostly interested in only providing kits of parts so I'm trying to find out if that's what most people are interested in or if parts should also be offered individually.
 
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