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Old 04-26-2013, 05:19 PM   #91
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I hope you can find someone to pick this up and start making it. I wonder what the retail cost might end up being.
Discussions about getting this kit to market are moving along very well .

I've designed this kit to be as simple as possible to mold, so it can be manufactured at the lowest cost possible. I've also designed it to ship UPS Ground to keep shipping costs as low as possible. But the price depends on the company that's going to bring it to market. And of course the cost depends on how you're going to outfit it, what frame you put under it (Harbor Freight frame or welded frame?), what wheels and tires, etc.

Pricing for my fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit project (pictured below), which was licensed by a company and has been on the market for a year now, is at Dinoot Trailers - Dinoot Jeep Trailers. The pricing of that one doesn't necessarily say what the pricing of this one will be, but just for comparison, the Jeep-tub kit consists of 6 fiberglass parts (7 if you also buy a tailgate with the kit), while the military tub kit consists of only 4 fiberglass parts (5 if you buy a tailgate with the kit), so even if each part of the new kit costs the same to make as each part of the old kit, there are 2 less of them...


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Old 04-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #92
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I like the military trailer. When placed on a harbor freight frame, how does it hold up with gear? Is there any flexing that might be bad? Did you do anything to shore it up?
I wish I had one

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Old 04-26-2013, 08:46 PM   #93
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I like the military trailer. When placed on a harbor freight frame, how does it hold up with gear? Is there any flexing that might be bad? Did you do anything to shore it up?
I wish I had one
The military trailer is still a prototype, so there isn't any usage data on it yet, but my other fiberglass tub kit has been on the market for over a year now... there are dozens of them in the field and probably thousands of miles on them, and to my knowledge, no stress-related issues have been reported.

The Harbor Freight frame I recommend is the #94564 1720-lb. capacity model, it's much stronger than the rest of their line, especially if you modify it by using the "leftover" parts from making it smaller to strengthen it. Here's how it can be done to strengthen that frame for the military tub: Fiberglass M416/M100 Military-style Trailer Tub Kit.

I've got lots of miles on my fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer, here's a photo of it carrying about 1000 pounds of topsoil for a yard project, it's on a Harbor Freight frame:



Scott Chaney, who owns the company that markets that trailer tub kit, has hundreds of off-road miles on his demo trailer, pretty much always fully outfitted with camping gear.

I've done a lot of testing of the strength of the military tub kit, and I'm confident that it's strong enough for real-world usage. Example below, the 225-lb. gorilla test sitting on the fender that's bolted to the fiberglass side panel of the tub...

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Old 04-26-2013, 08:52 PM   #94
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Impressive
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:26 AM   #95
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Another drawing showing what the fiberglass hard tonneau design looks like:



Any comments on the fiberglass cover design?

And the unretouched photo with the soft tonneau...



What's your preference? Fiberglass hard cover or soft tonneau?
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:58 PM   #96
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A few more concept drawings of the hard cover design...





In the drawings below, the two halves are bolted together to form a one-piece cover, and configured to open from the side:



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Old 04-28-2013, 03:59 PM   #97
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Here are some drawings showing how the cover could open in halves:





Both sides could open, but only one side would open at a time.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:51 PM   #98
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So far all of the photos of the prototype tub have been with an aftermarket fiberglass Jeep CJ-style tailgate with no logo:



Any Jeep CJ/YJ/TJ tailgate can be fitted to this tub, and this past weekend before I disassembled the tub for painting, I decided to try on a bunch of different tailgates to see how they might look.

Some people might want a Jeep logo, this is a factory Jeep CJ tailgate:



Or if you don't want something that looks like a Jeep tailgate at all, the Dinoot smooth tailgate can be installed:



It's painted gloss black because it was installed on the prototype Dinoot trailer. In the photo above it's configured as a drop-down, but the Dinoot smooth tailgate can also be installed as a side-swing.

And speaking of side-swing tailgates, a YJ/TJ side-swing tailgate could be installed...



Notice though that the lower hinge sticks out past the tub side, if anyone's interested I can post a simple solution for that. I doubt many people would want to install TJ/YJ side/swing tailgates on a tub like this though.

This last one is a custom Jeep-logo drop-down tailgate with an external lock and latch; it's designed to go on a TJ/LJ/YJ Wrangler:

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Old 05-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #99
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What did it take to convert from the stock small wheels n tires to the larger jeep wheels n tires?
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:45 PM   #100
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What did it take to convert from the stock small wheels n tires to the larger jeep wheels n tires?
A couple of things...

1. The stock axle isn't long enough to provide clearance between the frame and larger tires. You could get a wider axle, but it's easy and cheaper to narrow the frame, which is what I did for this trailer. I needed to narrow it anyway because the tub is narrower than the stock frame. If you're running Jeep steel wheels, then that's all you need to do.

2. If you want to run Jeep alloy wheels, as I'm doing, the center hole in the alloy wheels is too small to fit over a trailer hub. Spacers solve that problem nicely, I used 1 1/4" spacers.

Here's a thread with a bunch more info on fitting Jeep wheels on trailer axles: Fitting Jeep factory wheels on typical trailer hubs
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:11 PM   #101
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Bravo Jeff, bravo! *slow claps*

I'm very anxious too see this come to market. I'll be all over one of these trailers.

I'm very much enjoying your work.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:44 AM   #102
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Bravo Jeff, bravo! *slow claps*

I'm very anxious too see this come to market. I'll be all over one of these trailers.

I'm very much enjoying your work.
Thank you very much. Things are looking good for this to come to market, a company is working on their molding plans right now, so if the costs for manufacturing are in line with what they expect, these kits will probably hit the market sometime this summer.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:45 AM   #103
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I've disassembled the tub so I can begin the paint prep and paint process. While I've got it apart I'll take a few photos...

Over the last week or so I've been finishing up the details of the frame, like the lighting and the rear stabilizer jacks, so now that the tub is off I can show the completed frame. The only thing not yet installed is the wiring harness. The harness is already done, and it just plugs into all of the lights that are installed, but I won't actually install it until after the frame is painted.





There are more photos of the bare frame in the main build thread at the Trailer Adventuring Forum:
Fiberglass M416/M100 Military-style Trailer Tub Kit
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:18 AM   #104
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As a suggestion, paint the tub "Olive Drab" matte finish, and add stenciled "M-72" logo in black. The chassis could be either OD or black, OD would be more authentic looking, and black would work better for multiple trailer prototypes.

Also although I like the Moab rims, for this trailer I would use a pair of military non-directional treads (from Coker Tire) on 16" reproduction steel Jeep wheels, with the wheels also painted OD color. The wheels will be 5x5.5" bolt pattern, so you will need adapters rather than wheel spacers.
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:35 AM   #105
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As a suggestion, paint the tub "Olive Drab" matte finish, and add stenciled "M-72" logo in black. The chassis could be either OD or black, OD would be more authentic looking, and black would work better for multiple trailer prototypes.
I plan to paint both the tub and frame in matte olive drab. The paint has been ordered and will arrive next week. I've got everything apart now doing the paint prep.

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Also although I like the Moab rims, for this trailer I would use a pair of military non-directional treads (from Coker Tire) on 16" reproduction steel Jeep wheels, with the wheels also painted OD color. The wheels will be 5x5.5" bolt pattern, so you will need adapters rather than wheel spacers.
If my goal was to do a fully correct military replica, I'd do exactly what you suggest with the wheels and tires. But I'm doing this one as a prototype to show the different possibilities, which is why I've done both M416-style wide angular fenders and M100-style wide round fenders to fully cover the Jeep wheels and tires, and why I've got NOS M416 fenders to cover the 15x6 steel wheels I've got as alternates. I've set up all three sets of fenders to bolt up to the same mounting holes so they're easy to switch over when I need to show the trailer in a different way. I'll be painting the steel wheels o.d. as well, although I don't have plans to put NDT tires on them.

Here's an earlier view with the NOS M416 fenders and the steel wheels...



Compared to the wider M416-style fenders and wider M100-style fenders:

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Old 05-03-2013, 09:41 AM   #106
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I didn't mention it in my post on Wednesday, but I'm another vote for the angled fenders. They match up with the lines of the trailer much better IMO.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:18 AM   #107
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I didn't mention it in my post on Wednesday, but I'm another vote for the angled fenders. They match up with the lines of the trailer much better IMO.
I wonder if that's why the military changed from the M100 round fenders to the M416 angular ones?

Seriously though, most people who have commented seem to like the angular ones better, so that's what I'll normally run on this trailer. I still plan to paint the round ones to match for demo purposes though.

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:53 PM   #108
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Lots of fender choices...

If you're building an M48 4'-long version of this tub on a Harbor Freight 90153 40-1/2" x 48" 1090 Lb. Capacity Utility Trailer and you're running the stock HF tires and wheels, then the stock HF fenders will work just fine. This 1/4 scale M48 model was built with the stock wheel/tire size and the stock fenders:



If you're running 14-15" steel wheels and tires up to say 235/75-15, then you'll need 9" or 10" wide fenders, which are usually pretty easy to find at places like Tractor Supply, Northern Tool, etrailer.com, or KMT Service Parts (Single Axle Fenders).

Original military styles were either round (M100) or angular (M416):



Round fenders like the M100 style are easily available at many places in widths up to 13" (the ones in the bottom left photo in the group above are 13", so are my custom ones at lower right). Or, you could run original M416 fenders, they show up from time to time on eBay and at military surplus places, they're 9.75" wide:



If you plan to run alloy wheels with Jeep-sized tires that have a small center hole that doesn't fit over the trailer hub, you'll need to run spacers on the hub for center hole clearance, and that increases the fender width required, as shown in the two lower photos in the group of four photos above. Depending on wheel and tire size, you'll likely need 12" or 13" wide fenders (the ones above are 13").

Round 13"-wide fenders can be found at etrailer.com, KMT, or a place called Fenders n More (Fenders N' More), they can make them in a bunch of widths up to 13"



If round fenders aren't what you plan, you might use "Jeep-style" fenders like the ones that Sierra4x4 and Manley use on their trailers:



Fenders n More offers Jeep-style fenders in up to 12" widths, which are wide enough to cover most reasonable sizes of tires you might put in this trailer:

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Old 05-10-2013, 07:55 AM   #109
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Beautiful work!

Can you comment on the relative strength and weight differences between your fiberglass sides compared to alluminum? Stronger, lighter, less durable type broad info. I know it would depend on gauge, type, etc...

Also, I might have missed it mentioned someplace, but if you buy two front panels, will it mount to the back so you don't have a tailgate to provide more strength?

Wouldn't need to be considered in your design, but it would be nice to have drain plugs in the floor to hose it out.

Good luck with your endeavor. I'm jealous!
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:30 AM   #110
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Beautiful work!

Can you comment on the relative strength and weight differences between your fiberglass sides compared to alluminum? Stronger, lighter, less durable type broad info. I know it would depend on gauge, type, etc...
Thank you!

I don't really know about aluminum, but fiberglass parts are generally 50% lighter than steel, although that varies based on a number of factors. This tub is quite lightweight, it's easy for one person to lift (no floor to get in the way of my legs in this photo):



But it's also very strong. I've designed the tub to handle the stresses I expect it to be subjected to, including mounting a roof-top tent or rack bars with a load on top of the tub. I do a lot of "225-lb. gorilla testing", in the photos below I'm testing the end panel to ensure it can support heavy loads on the tailgate through the tailgate cables (no deflection of the end panel at all), and I'm sitting on the fender testing whether the sides or end panel deflect at all under the load (they didn't):



Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyMike View Post
Also, I might have missed it mentioned someplace, but if you buy two front panels, will it mount to the back so you don't have a tailgate to provide more strength?
Yes, the end panels are swappable, you can use any combination:



But the tailgate end panel is designed to be strong enough to handle the loads of a tailgate or stresses pulling out on the sides as I showed above.

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Wouldn't need to be considered in your design, but it would be nice to have drain plugs in the floor to hose it out.
Yes, those would be easy to do, and would be up to the kit builder to decide what he needs. There are multiple ways to install a floor in this kit, the way I installed a floor in this one, the tailgate opening is flush with the floor, so I can just tip the trailer up in the front to let any water run out.



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Good luck with your endeavor. I'm jealous!
Thank you.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:43 PM   #111
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Wow. Wow.

I just stumbled upon this thread and I'm blown away!

I've been throwing around an idea for a trailer that looks just like this, but I have no skills or equipment to be able to bring it to fruition.

In my plans, though, I'd have a charcoal smoker similar to a Brinkman Smoke 'n Pit



with the legs and "table" removed, mounted on a swing arm similar to a tire carrier and mounted to the front side of the trailer over the tongue. That way, when you get to your destination, you swing out the grill and commence to cooking. That fender mounted table you showed in one of the pics would be a perfect compliment!
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:01 PM   #112
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The last few days I've been working on painting, everything is done now except the tub itself. Here are some photos, I'm doing olive drab for a military theme...





I'm doing the inside of the tub and the bottom of the floor in color-matched Raptor bed liner. The color match to the paint is pretty much perfect. The wheel is in more direct light in this photo so it looks slightly lighter than the bed floor, compare the darker parts of the rim in shadows to the bed floor.



Tomorrow I'll get the frame reassembled so I can roll it out of the garage, I need the work space so I can paint the tub.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:31 AM   #113
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Here are a few photos of the final assembly of the frame. Hard to tell that it's a Harbor Freight frame now that it's no longer red .









Next up: priming/painting/bed lining the tub. Then final assembly of the complete trailer.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:44 AM   #114
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Wow great color. That would be killer with my commando green jeep.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:18 AM   #115
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The tub is painted, and this morning I shot the tub and the inside of the tailgate with Raptor bed liner, so now the tub is done. Final assembly tomorrow.







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Old 05-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #116
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Your work is incredible. I can't wait to hear about the marketing of it this summer! I'll be one of the first in line...
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:48 PM   #117
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Your work is incredible. I can't wait to hear about the marketing of it this summer! I'll be one of the first in line...
Thank you. I'm probably two weeks away from finalizing an arrangement with a company that is interested in marketing the tub kit, I'll post news about that as I'm permitted to (they may not want me to pre-announce anything).
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:55 PM   #118
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The collection of fenders for this project, I painted them all to match... left to right:

- Original NOS M416 fenders, 9.75" wide. Covers "normal" sized wheels/tires, like the 235/75-15's the frame is wearing in this photo.

- Wide M416-style fenders, 13" wide. Covers Jeep-sized tires on Jeep ally wheels, up to 35" or so.

- Wide M100-style round fenders, 13" wide. Covers Jeep-sized tires on Jeep ally wheels, up to 35" or so.

All of these fenders are set up to mount to the same bolt pattern on the tub, so any pair can be swapped on depending on what size tires/wheels I want to run.





Normally one wouldn't have three sets of fenders for a trailer, but this is a prototype trailer, designed to show different configurations and options, so I went for all three . Photos of all three with different wheels and tires to come this week.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:07 PM   #119
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!Magnificent!!!

Just long is that tongue out in front of the box?

You've got MY color on there NOW!!!
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:19 PM   #120
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!Magnificent!!!

Just long is that tongue out in front of the box?

You've got MY color on there NOW!!!
The way I've assembled this frame, the tongue is roughly 48" from the tub to the end of the front receiver. The rack on the front takes up about 24" of that. You could make it shorter, but if it were much shorter than that, you'd have trouble opening the swing-out tailgate of a Wrangler if there was stuff in the rack .

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