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We are now on the home stretch! Bedlining of the trailer went smooth. I used six bottles to get good coverage. I used two to three coats to make sure it would help up for a while.
I let it sit for about a week to give the Raptor Liner time to cure fully. Then I got to work remounting the RoadShower and the Rooftop tent. I also installed the key cam locks for the drawers.
I started wiring up the inside of the tongue box which houses the Goal Zero Yeti for off-grid power as well as the ability to be plugged into 110V, for charging the GZ and running all DC electrics.
Now that I had 90% of it done, I started test fitting the fenders, and tack welding on the steps, so I could make templates for the top plates to send to my buddy and have them plasma cut out. I also marked and drilled the holes for the fenders to bolt to the tub.
If you notice in the below pic, I also mounted a Daystar Cam-Can I happened to win in a raffle at a Jeep event, on the tongue of the trailer. I figured it would be better used on the trailer than the Jeep, and it makes a nice, easy-access place for me to store the impact wrench that I use for lowering and raising the jacks. While I was waiting for the step plates to be cut, I couldn’t pass up the chance to pull it out of the garage and test fit it on the Jeep! I also added a little vinyl graphic to the side of it.
I finally was able to get the step plates from my buddy, get them welded up, test fit one last time, then shoot them with raptor liner. As soon as they were cured, I bolted them up on the trailer.
Now what I don’t have pictures of, is the electrical. I ran power wires from the tongue box, back through the tub so I could power up the LED lights in the tent. I also have a switch under the lid that lights up an LED light in the bed, and one under the RoadShower so I can see when washing dishes as well as under the tent and ladder since I have it set up to open to this side!
Stay tuned, for the last part of this series, where I show the trailer completely set up, and in use, as well as a first review on what I like and don’t what I would do differently next time!
There comes a time in every man’s life, when he does something so stupid, he can’t help but laugh. This is not one of those times. This time, I cried. While out on the boat with family, I jumped into the lake with my phone in my pocket. My phone decided to swim to the bottom in 20′ deep water. So needless to say, I lose every picture of my build along with with a TON of other pictures and $2000 in cryptocurrency. Live and learn, I guess. Luckily, I had posted some on Facebook, so I was able to get enough to at least finish this series!
Anyways, back to the article!
So my tubing bender from Rogue Fab arrived. It took me a couple of days to put it together; then I started in on bending some of the tubing for my fenders. It took me a few (read: like 20) tries to get the right bends, but it was easy from there on out.
After getting the bends the way I wanted, I made a template for a mounting plate, converted it to CADD and had the backing plates laser cut. I then tack welded everything together and was able to test fit the fenders. I will be adding steps to them at a later date!
I took a break from the fenders and started fabbing up the racks for the top of the trailer. I made one larger one to hold the rooftop tent, and a smaller one to hold my axe and shovel. Originally I had planned to make plates and bolt the rack to the top, but I opted for welding the rack on, mostly just because it was easier and it allowed me to have a little wider footprint.
After the rack was done, I test fit my RoadShower 4s to make sure it would fit, and it fit near perfectly!
Next, with the help of my wife and mother-in-law, I fabbed a small awning for over top of the cooking area. It was pretty simple to make from some conduit, and in the end, my cost was about $50 for materials. I made it so the whole thing could roll up and store inside the trailer. It is a really simple design, and hopefully, I can draw up some plans for others to make it in the future.
I did a TON of grinding, welding, grinding, smoothing, seam sealing that I didn’t get pictures of. When I felt it was ready, I primed all the bare metal, any spots that I had ground down, and prepped the trail for Bedliner. I wore a full Tyvek suit, mask, gloves, etc. while I was sanding the trailer down. Guess the paint from the ’60s isn’t quite as healthy as the paint used today. After a few hours of mess, it was ready to be bedlined.
I bedlined the tongue box and fenders separate so I could make sure to get good coverage under and behind them. And technically the fenders weren’t done yet. In the next part of the series, I will begin the final assembly!
I finally got my sheet metal I was waiting for and was able to make some good progress over the weekend. Until my body reminded me, I’m not 20 anymore, and my back decided to give out, lol. I started working on the top and tacking all the sheet metal in place. It went pretty quick.
I decided to remove the top and start on the drawers. This was a little scary, cutting into the side of my trailer, but it went relatively smooth. I cut out both sides just a hair smaller, then welded in the pre-cut drawer panels I had made. From there, I welded the drawer face on with some small piano hinges I picked up off eBay.
I wanted to enclose the drawers inside, so other gear isn’t getting in the way, so I built a simple frame from 1/2 square tubing. I welded in the walls but ended up screwing on the top sheet in case I ever needed to get in there to fix something. I also plan to mount my solar panel to this panel to keep it from bouncing around.
I didn’t get any good pictures of the drawer slide setup, so I will explain it as best I can. I got a couple of pieces of thin, 2″x1″ angle steel from Home depot. It already had a bunch of slots and holes drilled in it, so it made it easy to mount. I welded these in place, then used two pieces of wood 2×4 attached to them to mount the drawer slides. I chose to go this route, so if I ever needed to remove them, I could easily do so, and it also lets me use longer screws to hold everything together solid. I used two long, heavy-duty drawer slides. I can’t remember exactly where I picked them up from online.
For the actual drawer, I used two pieces of pine that I had laying around. I believe 1″ x 10″ or 12″ wide. I wanted my stove to be able to swivel, so I used a boat seat swivel in between the two pieces of wood. I screwed it to one piece of wood. I had to drill some holes in the bottom of my stove to be able to attach it to the other side of the top part of wood. I drilled holes in the bottom piece of wood for some 1/4″-20 bolts to drop through to be able to bolt the seat base too. I will try and do a future article explaining this process in more depth.
I had set the tub on the floor to make the drawers easier to build. Nobody was around to give me a hand, so I tried lifting the tub back onto the table by myself, which is what destroyed my back. I guess it had gotten heavier, lol. That ended my day at about 4 pm on Saturday.
I was feeling a bit better on Monday, so I decided to do some more welding on the top since it was removed from the tub. I decided to forgo trying to lift this tub again, and instead opted for four ratchet straps, and little by little I got the tub high enough to roll the frame back under it. Once the tub was back in place, I manhandled the top, which has to weigh over 100lbs by now, onto the tub. I got it lined up and checked fitment and decided to weld my hinges into place. I picked up two heavy-duty hinges from eBay. Once those were done, I lifted the top and set two 100lb struts in place to see if they would hold. I could push it down with a little force, so it should be just about perfect when I get the rack and rooftop tent on top. My goal is for the top to stay down and just use the struts for assisted lifting.
Next, I need to make some brackets for mounting the struts. Still trying to figure out the placement I like the best, that will give the most lift and still be out of the way. I need to design a latch system for the top and drawers, then a bunch of welding and grinding to clean the top and tub up and get it to read for a bed liner. I am waiting for my tubing bender to arrive to start on my fenders and steps on the side of the frame. I still need to finalize lighting placement as well. To be continued.
The warmer weather is gone, and the cold and snow are back again, but that didn’t stop me from spending a couple of days in the shop. I was able to get quite a bit done over the weekend.
My buddy dropped off some of the brackets I had him cut for me, so I was able to get started on the scissor jack mounts. A bunch of adjusting got them in the best spot I could find where they were accessible but out of the way. I used four, one in each corner that I can run up and down with my impact and a 3/4″ socket. It wasn’t quite as stable as I had expected, but overall it is about 80% sturdier than the old setup of tires and an old pipe jack. I just need to uninstall them for paint, then reinstall with all new bolts.
I decided to spend some time working on the tongue box. The holes and u-bolts that came with it would work, but I either had to re-drill the holes or make supports in the right spot. I decided to use some 1.5″ square I had sitting around and make some braces for underneath the box. The tongue box is just a cheapy from Harbor Freight, but it’s decent quality.
I decided to start cutting some of the holes for the tongue box electrical. I mounted two 12v cigarette lighters and one two-port USB plug on the side of the box. I will be adding two 110v receptacles with waterproof covers below them.
My buddy had also dropped off a 4×4′ piece of 16 gauge for me, so I decided why not start on the top for the trailer. Nothing super special yet, but I have the frame about 90% done and started skinning the top and hoping to have the rest of my skin steel next week.
I am still waiting on yet more parts. I have hinges on the way for the top. I am waiting on 4x4x1/4″ plates for the base of the rack on top. I also bought a tubing bender so I can build my own, stronger, tube fenders for the trailer. Stay tuned, should be able to get moving on this soon!
We had some warm weather over the weekend, so I was able to get quite a bit done. I started out cutting the new steel for the new tongue. I got the new 2×3, and 2.5×2.5 welded in, drilled for the new articulating lunette, got the chains welded on, and got it all put in place. I set the tongue box in place as well to try and get an idea of how I plan to mount it.
I started working on the tailgate again. I got the hinges attached (bolted to tailgate, welded to the frame. I made some pieces inside the tub that the tailgate can close against. It is working pretty well now. I am going to use the factory latches for the tailgate, and a lock on the top. This will keep the tailgate locked and make it easier than building a latch system for the tailgate.
Next, I need to cap off the ends of the tub where I cut it. That should clean it up a bit. I will be welding in the 1.5″ square bar that I am using to hold the sides of the bed in place since they keep wanting to bend inwards. When I cut out the tailgate piece, they moved in about an inch. Thinking I want to build a rear bumper for the trailer too instead of the hitch that is there.