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Old 12-27-2011, 08:38 PM   #1
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Fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit

phritchey has built an awesome Jeep tub trailer, and documented it in this build thread: (My Tub Trailer Build).

People following that thread started talking about the idea of offering a kit for similar trailers, and I made a post about a fiberglass tub kit soon to be on the market. That subject has taken on a life of it's own, so with sincere apologies to phritchey, I'm starting a new thread just for the fiberglass kit, so I can answer any questions people have about it without continuing the unintentional thread hijack.

So here's the first post I made, and I'll follow it up by copying my responses to questions here as well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
Here's a trailer tub kit may be available soon:



I assembled this one on a Harbor Freight trailer frame, but it could any frame of your choice:








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Old 12-27-2011, 08:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mikekaz1 View Post
I'll buy it! And ...whoa whoa whoa. Please explain your hardtop....
Sorry, I don't mean to hijack the thread with the hardtop, so just one post on the hardtop. If there are more questions, PM me or I'll start a separate thread.

I built it last year. It's modular, designed for TJ's and LJ's, and there's a half cab version of it too.





Because it's modular, the hard sides are removable, and roll-up side curtains can be installed in their place:



I have licensed the design to a hardtop company, hopefully they'll offer it for sale soon.

Now back to the trailer thread, sorry for the interruption...

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Old 12-27-2011, 08:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikekaz1 View Post
Very very cool. One more question. Is that the fiberglass bolt together trailer? If so do they make a metal one?
The tub parts for the trailer kit are fiberglass; they're modular and bolt together. By modular, I mean you can mix and match components, such as longer side panels, or perhaps tailgates on both ends, to build a trailer to suit your particular needs - like the one below, which has a 7.5' long tub but can easily carry a 16' extension ladder



Making the tubs from metal would be heavier, and much more expensive.

BTW, the Safari Cab hardtop parts can also be configured as a camper top for the trailer, here are a couple of proof-of-concept prototype photos (no windows yet):



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Old 12-27-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JeepinCpt View Post
Do you have an idea of when the tub parts will be available and how much they will be selling for?
I'm pretty sure the company I've licensed the tub kit design to will be on a fast track to get them to market, so probably spring.

As for the price, one of my main design goals all along was that a basic trailer could be assembled using the fiberglass tub kit, a Harbor Freight trailer frame, plus a few other bits and pieces for a total in the neighborhood of $1000 to result in a no-frills entry-level trailer. I've done everything I can to achieve that goal while still resulting in a design that's very compatible with the Jeep (factory tailgates bolt right on, for example), but it will depend on manufacturing and other costs the company will incur getting the kits to market, but if things go well between here and production, hopefully the end result won't be too far off my goal.

That's for a very basic trailer, your ultimate cost depends on how you finish and outfit the trailer (how about a trailer-top tent? ), but the entry level price will be far below any other trailer option I'm aware of that's on the market today, except I suppose a complete homebuilt.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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Such nice work. I skimmed through a few pages of the links your PMed me. Truly amazing. Is this company also going to be selling your hardtop?
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepinCpt View Post
Does your design have a floor for the tub or did you fab a floor?
To keep costs down (both purchase cost and shipping cost), I've designed the tub kit to use a plywood floor. Here's a photo of an assembled but unfinished tub kit, you can see the plywood floor:



Properly finished, you won't be able to tell that the floor is plywood:



Or, if you want to go hi-end, you could do a floor like I did in the Retro Wrangler pickup:



The Retro Wrangler has a traditional "wood" pickup floor, except that the "wood" is TimberTech composite ("plastic") decking material.

But I expect most people to use 3/4" plywood, it's in expensive, easily available, easy to work with and finishes up very nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepinCpt View Post
What frame from harbor freight did you put it on? Did you have to replace the axle to fit the tires on?
I used the HF #94565 "Heavy Duty" 1720-lb. capacity 4x8 frame, and I modified it down to 4x4 size, using the "leftover" pieces from shortening it to build a backbone running the length of the frame:



The frame comes with a 2000-lb.-type axle with 5 on 4 1/2 bolt circle, so the same bolt circle as the Wrangler. With the frame mods I did, I was able to mount 31" tires on Jeep Wrangler Moab 16" rims on the trailer. I did not have to replace the axle.

I also added receiver tubes both front and back - on the front, so the coupler could be easily swapped from an on-road ball type to an off-road three-axis; and on the rear so receiver mounted accessories, such as a bicycle carrier, could be mounted:



I wrote up some modification instructions, I can post them if people are interested.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastyrider17 View Post
Such nice work. I skimmed through a few pages of the links your PMed me. Truly amazing. Is this company also going to be selling your hardtop?
No, I've licensed the hardtop to a different company - Gr8Tops (GR8TOPS Half Hardtops for Jeeps) is working on bringing the hardtop to market.

The company that's planning to bring the trailer tub kit to market hasn't made an announcement yet.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:52 PM   #8
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That's awesome , this is the type of trailer I was looking for. Will your tub kit have an option for 4x8 as well?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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That's awesome , this is the type of trailer I was looking for. Will your tub kit have an option for 4x8 as well?
I've made the side panel molds 8' long, so any length trailer up to 8' 7" can be made (the curves on the end panels are 3.5" each). The side panel mold is the longest one at the top of the photo:



I've talked with them about three different lengths, but I think for the first releases, they'd do one roughly the same size as the proof-of-concept I've built, and one a bit longer. If they do one in the neighborhood of 8', I suspect that might be a later release.

If you're asking about carrying 4x8 sheets, I do it all the time in my 7' 5" trailer, I don't even have to take the tonneau cover off:

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Old 12-27-2011, 10:37 PM   #10
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Yes because I was also looking to mod a full size tent on top with framing, I saw one in the new jp mag that looked nice and it was about 7 foot long.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:28 AM   #11
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JeepinCpt View Post
Yes because I was also looking to mod a full size tent on top with framing, I saw one in the new jp mag that looked nice and it was about 7 foot long.
Part of my original design was a flip-open tent platform, it would be a hard tonneau cover that opened up and support an ordinary "ground tent", here are a few concept drawings of different sized trailers with flip-open hard tonneau covers:





I've also got a root-top/trailer-top tent on it's way to me so I can experiment with mounting that on top of the trailer.
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:47 PM   #13
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haha these things are pretty neat!
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:51 PM   #14
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That's an awesome drawing....just what I was looking at...
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:07 PM   #15
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Here's another design for a camper version...

I've put a slide-out kitchen in this design, it's got a stove and a sink. I think a small fridge or cooler could go in the slide-out as well, but haven't drawn that in yet. I've also stacked a removable storage module on top of the main trailer tub, the module has swing-down doors/tables on all four sides (a side door is shown open in the drawing). And, since it raises the tent, it allows access to the tongue box. I've stabilized the flip-open part of the tent on the trailer tongue so the entire unit is self-contained.



The storage module stacks on top of the tub like a Lego brick. It's actually made from the same fiberglass parts as the tub, so no new molds are necessary. It's very easy to assemble out of the same parts.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:24 PM   #16
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So the customer could start out buying the most basic trailer then purchase the storage module, tent top, kitchen accessories when the budget allows? Seems like the possibilities are endless as to what you could do for add-ons and personalization.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nastyrider17 View Post
So the customer could start out buying the most basic trailer then purchase the storage module, tent top, kitchen accessories when the budget allows? Seems like the possibilities are endless as to what you could do for add-ons and personalization.
Yes, that's exactly my design goal. You could start out at a very affordable budget level and enhance it as you could afford it until you had the ultimate trailer for your needs.

Here's a little more about the storage module:



And a larger version:



When it wasn't on the trailer, it could also be used as a pod on top of the Jeep:

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Old 12-28-2011, 09:32 PM   #18
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Dam that's awesome, I've been looking into a trailer for my jeep I have to use my cousin now and its a 4x8 trailer that he made but nothing like this
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:35 PM   #19
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The pic including the larger version is it.....these mods to include the slide out kitchen could be added in stages or removed when u need to us the trailer?
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JeepinCpt View Post
The pic including the larger version is it.....these mods to include the slide out kitchen could be added in stages or removed when u need to us the trailer?
Yes, that's the design.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:16 PM   #21
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Very interested in the basic trailer, and more pics of the retro truck wrangler!
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:23 PM   #22
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Woot!!!!

Impressive!!!!
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:26 PM   #23
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I have to say I like the design And As soon as I get my new Jeep Im going to look for this I like your thinking and the way it is done!

Plus posting here allows me to track the Post
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:50 AM   #24
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Very interested in the basic trailer, and more pics of the retro truck wrangler!
The Retro Wrangler was my first custom project, I built it in 2008 by cutting my 2006 Wrangler Unlimited in half. I lengthened the frame to 126" wheelbase, added a bed made from reproduction sheet metal for a '46 Chevy, a custom "Jeep" tailgate I built, and custom fiberglass rear fenders (this was my first fiberglass project as well). I also made the half cab hardtop.



On the trails at Moab:





And I made a custom half cab soft top for it out of the original factory LJ soft top:



The Retro Wrangler is one of my two daily-driver Jeeps, it's mainly my parts-getter .

Now back to the trailer topic...
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:06 AM   #25
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I just want the panels so I can make one about 7 foot long
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:42 AM   #26
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I just want the panels so I can make one about 7 foot long
The yellow one you've seen throughout this thread is 7' 5":



My understanding is that "the company" plans to start with two lengths, one would be roughly the same as the white one (tub a little more than 4' long), and one a few feet longer. Might not be as long as 7' but maybe close.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:55 AM   #27
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Impressive adaptability...I like that front tail gate idea.
One of the few design changes I'd make in my original Bantam, is that it isn't quite wide enough to lay a sheet of plywood wood down flat.

While I have other means of carrying such if needed, the very size of the Bantam is perfect for my use.

I understand the need to keep build complexity down, but one of the hallmarks of Bantam is the angled-out side wall at the top. And while I'm not too familiar with the long term load-bearing qualities of fiber glass, I really like your design features.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:02 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb
The yellow one you've seen throughout this thread is 7' 5":

My understanding is that "the company" plans to start with two lengths, one would be roughly the same as the white one (tub a little more than 4' long), and one a few feet longer. Might not be as long as 7' but maybe close.
Ive looking into building a trailer from a wrecked jeep using the frame and tub but that's to much work and not long enough for the stuff that I take camping.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:31 PM   #29
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Here is what im using now its my cousins little red wagon, he made it using 2 - 4x8 trailers

Attachment 86212
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:55 AM   #30
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Got these questions in a PM, but since others might be interested I'll answer them here:

Quote:
how much is that jeep tub said and done
I built, painted and equipped mine as you've seen it in this thread for less than $1000, but you won't be able to build it as cheaply as I did. The company that's going to bring these to market yet hasn't set the final price, but I would expect you'd be able to be rolling with a basic trailer for $1000-1200. Depends a lot on what trailer frame you put under it, how you equip it, etc., since it's a kit, you get to decide a lot of stuff.

Quote:
also can you put a stock tailgate on it so u can mount a tire?
The tailgate opening has the exact same dimensions as the Jeep factory tubs, so any factory TJ, YJ or CJ-7/8 tailgate will fit.

The way I designed the tailgate hardware, there's a brace that goes from the upper corners of the tailgate opening down to the floor, and the upper bolt of this brace is in the correct location for the upper inside bolt of the Wrangler tailgate hinges, everything is tied together and tied to the floor so supporting a Wrangler tailgate isn't a problem. Also, in the still-unpainted view below, you can see the plywood reinforcement fiberglassed inside the rear panel where the hinges will mount.



However... I'm not sure if the company will use this brace design or something of their own design, so depending on what they do, if you want to support a heavy tire on a Wrangler tailgate, you might have to add some bracing similar to what I did. I'm pretty sure they'll brace it so it can support a Wrangler tailgate with no tire, but I just don't know at this point if they'll brace it enough to also support a heavy spare, I don't think they've decided on that detail yet.

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