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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I really like the way you have the trailer open.
Thanks!
I find it really makes loading and unloading stuff a lot easier.

I have been toying with ideas for a built in or slide out galley, but not sure yet...at this point I may just stay with a separate camp-kitchen table and cooking gear instead of committing/losing space to a permanent installation....but ?


-Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
The PFC: updates and our second camping trip

After a crazy busy end of the summer and fall, I finally got back to working on the PFC, then packed up and bugged out for another family camp out.

Every year, my wife's employer takes her department to Orlando for a weekend...and they do it up right! Over 750 employees went, not including family or spouses....there was close to 2k people in the group this year! They put us up at Loews Portofino Bay resort (5th time for us; Disney the other 4 times since my wife has been with the company); There was a major blowout welcome party Friday night (open bar, food, characters visits for the kids, etc), then park hopper passes for Universal on Sat.

This year, we decided to get a couple days of camping in before luxuriating at a resort...so I got busy putting some finishing touches on the trailer build.

The first task was to install the trailer jacks/levelers and the spare tire. Got the jacks from Trailerdepot.com and the spare carrier from a seller on E-bay. I still need to get an adapter for the third brake light...the trailer lights have common turn and brake wires in the common flat 4-way connector



Next, I scored a couple ALICE packs and a pair of Entrenching Tools (tri-fold shovels) from various surplus websites:





Next I added a 16" drawbar to the receiver so that the tailgate will open without hitting the hitch; Also bolted down the 120 quart cooler to the tongue:



After picking up a couple of dufflebags and storage boxes, we loaded and were ready to hit the road...our destination was Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, FL. There were over 110 manatees in the spring run over the weekend.







I have the camp set-up pretty dialed in for 'glamping'....since the FL State Parks have sites with water and electricity, I added some modern comforts to the 'kit'. Picked up a folding Camp Kitchen from Bass Pro/Outdoor World and added a Walmart convection-toaster-rotisserie oven ($50) and an electric two burner hotplate:





But of course still used the fire pit for roasting corn, burgers, and smoors!



These are the times that are priceless!






After a couple of awesome days 'roughing it', we headed to Orlando and totall chill-laxed. There is something to be said about sitting in your own private grotto between the pool and the hot tub, sipping mojitos :)






Now it's back to work...but definitely recharged!!!!
Next up: Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine between Xmas and NYE....
 

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This is awesome. Very inspirational to get in on the trailer thing and build my own!! Yours looks great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Black Friday Bug out!

Thanks Tanks!

The PFC is really earning it's stripes! On a whim, we managed to get a reservation in the keys last Friday night, so threw some ice, food, bevs, the family, the dog and a neighbor kid in the rig and bugged-out to Long Key State Park for an overnighter.

The weather was mid 70's in the day and low 50's at night; the wind was blowing pretty good, but the campground is on the lee side of the Key..so wasn't bad.

The site was amazing! 20' of sand separated the campsite from the Atlantic. Much better way to spend Black Friday as far as I am concerned!

Plus my youngest caught her first fish~ Priceless!
 

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Thanks Tanks! The PFC is really earning it's stripes! On a whim, we managed to get a reservation in the keys last Friday night, so threw some ice, food, bevs, the family, the dog and a neighbor kid in the rig and bugged-out to Long Key State Park for an overnighter. The weather was mid 70's in the day and low 50's at night; the wind was blowing pretty good, but the campground is on the lee side of the Key..so wasn't bad. The site was amazing! 20' of sand separated the campsite from the Atlantic. Much better way to spend Black Friday as far as I am concerned! Plus my youngest caught her first fish~ Priceless!
I love the keys. I lived in Key Largo for a bunch of years teaching SCUBA. Miss it terribly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Phase 3....Bling!

Phase three is now complete!

I spent this weekend installing a Kargo Master Congo Cage on the Jeep and then went to Nautical Ventures in Ft. Lauderdale to 'browse'.

The shop was eager to move some inventory (excellent discount)...so Santa come a little early :) 2x Hobie Odyssey kayaks :drinks:

Santa is bringing the kids some new bicycles too. Headed back to the Keys after Xmas, this time loaded with all the new toys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Long Key State Park; Bugout 12/28 - 12/31

Loaded the toys and headed back to Long Key State Park for three nights between Xmas and NYE. Had a great time and great weather; Campfires overlooking the ocean; the prerequisite hot dogs and S'mores; and spent an afternoon paddling out to Indian Key (the island in the background of the picture below) which is a really cool historic site that was the original Dade County seat before Miami was settled.

The 'yaks rode perfectly fine on the Congo Cage..the Yakima Mako Saddles and Hully Rollers make loading the 14', 70# yaks a snap.

With the trailer, the addition of the Congo Cage, the yaks on top and all the other gear loaded for three days of camping, my hwy mileage to a hit...I was averaging around 14-15mpg. Not too bad, but am certainly appreciating the lower fuel prices these days!

I hung a 2 bike carrier on the PFC's spare tire and carried my kids' new mountain bikes on it; however found that on the way back, with an empty cooler, this added too much weight aft of the axle; the trailer got very 'squirrely' and wanted to fish tail. :( I was able to strap them down on the front of the trailer and it pulled fine. Unfortunately, I realize that I should have built the trailer with the axle further back....the original plan did not include hanging a full size spare back there; but I like the look so will have to adapt!

I think I may simply put four bicycle brackets, (the kind that you take the front wheel off bike and clamp the forks on to the bracket), on the top of the trailer lid towards the front. That'll allow me to carry four bikes upright, with their weight forward of the trailer axle and in a fore/aft orientation rather than crosswise with the wheels sticking out wider than the rig.

Another thing I may add to my wish list is a rooftop awning system for the trailer and for the Jeep. I have been using a cheap HF tarp, and it works well, but it would be nice to have a quick and easy to deploy shade :)
 

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really enjoyed reading this and made a few notes for when i make mine. Would it be possible for you to provide a link of where you got the 2" wheel spacers. I really want to run matching wheels also. thanks
 

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Did I miss some building information? How did you waterproof the contact edge of the hatch to keep the rain out? Is there anything other than paint to water proof the top of the trailer?

Sorry if I missed this info. Late to the story and skimmed it pretty fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Sorry, I have not been on the forum for a while...just changed jobs and have been giving my boat some long overdue attention. Besides, it is just too dang hot and rainy in the summer to get much tent camping in...although I still find myself thinking about air conditioning the tent.

really enjoyed reading this and made a few notes for when i make mine. Would it be possible for you to provide a link of where you got the 2" wheel spacers. I really want to run matching wheels also. thanks
Thanks! If you haven't found them by now, I ordered my spacers from A-DAPT-IT USA Wheel Adapters

Did I miss some building information? How did you waterproof the contact edge of the hatch to keep the rain out? Is there anything other than paint to water proof the top of the trailer?

Sorry if I missed this info. Late to the story and skimmed it pretty fast.
I kept it ghetto..simply used the thick foam window insulation strips from the local home improvement store. The self-stick strips did not hold really well, so shot a bunch of stainless steel staples into the foam to help hold them.

There is actually a little gap between the lid and front panel on the one side...(working with lumber wasn't an exacting science for me) but even with that, I have yet to get anything wet inside the box; and I have towed it thru some pretty torrential FL rain. Even if a little dampness got in, everything inside is either in a dufflebag, storage box, or can get wet, but hasn't happened yet.

I may just start looking for the large diameter "tube" gasket stuff the auto manufacture's use around car doors, but for now, it's not real broken. :)
 

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awesome build. I have bookmarked this one as I was looking for a nice and simple build for a trailer and yours works nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I haven't posted here in a while, and thought I would show some add'l stuff I have added to the PFC and Jeep...

1) Added two SmittyBilt awnings (one on each side) and cargo basket:


2) Added a front bumper hitch receiver for kid's bikes:


3) added extra gas struts and realigned them for better holding strength:


4) added a tie down rail (made out of EMT), a hi-lift jack and lug wrench. Also added an extra receiver extention so the hitchball is now 24" back, allowing the gate to open fully:




5) added a deep cycle battery with a solar charger. When disconnected from the Jeep, the wiring plug plugs into a pigtail on the battery...there are two toggle switches on the battery case that switch on the interior LED strips or the running/brake lights for camp lighting




6) added another pair of tail lights higher up since anything in the rear cargo basket would obstruct the lower turn/brake lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Summertime Camping, Long Key State Park

Tried "Hot-Sop" camping last 4th of July weekend....worked out great~

The waterfront sites at Long Key SP allowed a nice cross breeze; the cammo netting provided great shade, and the window shaker a/c cooled the tents sufficiently for a good night's sleep :) Really roughing it!


Campsite walk-thru video here:
https://goo.gl/photos/cdp4bSYWRSR6sDeT8[/video]
 

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Very nice rig! Giving us others some good ideas. Have you weighed the rig fully outfitted?

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Very nice rig! Giving us others some good ideas. Have you weighed the rig fully outfitted?

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
Thanks! No I haven't weighed it...however I can push it around and even up over my garage slab's lip by myself.

I would hazard a guess to around the 900# - 1000# fully loaded with gear, food & bev, ice, etc. Maybe a bit more...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
two nights on a whim, felt like a week away!

I regularly check the Florida State Parks online reservation system; although the campsites are typically booked solid 11 months in advance, there is always the chance of a cancellation. Last weekend a site opened at John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park on Key Largo, so we grabbed that and bugged out on friday for a two night getaway.

Loaded up the 'yaks, fishing poles, food & bev, the family and the dog.....



Had the opportunity to try out our new tents. Before we had a 3-room 20'x10' family tent (Ozark Trail, Walmart) which has served us well for three years, but sometimes was difficult to optimally arrange a campsite around a 20x10 footprint when the site is odd shaped or small.

I came across these tents on Amazon: Standing Room Tents

At this site, we set two up side by side with a third canopy for a sitting area. It took us about an hour-hour and a half to completely set up camp, but this was the first time with these new tents, so will definitely get quicker next time.





They simply attach to a straight leg 10'x10' "instant canopy" and are very easy to set up. I see that Walmart/Ozark Trail now offers a similar tent and at 1/3 of the cost, but there are a couple differences:

-the Walmart/Ozark Trail ones have a screen roof under the canopy, and the canopy acts like the rain fly; the Standing Room tents have a solid material roof with screened vent flaps which effectively double wall insulate the roof. I think the solid material roof will hold in heat or a/c better if we extend our camping season into the colder or hotter seasons.

-the Standing Room Tent has door/windows on all four sides, where as the OT version has only two doors on opposite sides and windows on the other sides. Not a huge distinction, and in fact SRT has a 2 door model as well, but I like having the extra flexibility of where the doors are when setting up the site.

I found a great price in the 10x10 canopies at Northern Tool, they were around $65 each so bought four :)

The tan colored mats are C-Gear mats. They allow sand and dirt to fall through, but the sand cannot come up thru them. I just ordered three more of the 10x10...they fit perfectly under the canopy footprint, have d-rings around the perimeter, and also provide excellent protection/cushioning for under the tent floor.

We had a great time paddling around the mangrove channels of Pennekamp, and met some really nice folks next to us at the campground. I still have an ongoing battle with raccoons...there were a pair that marauded our site nightly..however the trailer kept our food safe and sound. One of the critters actually managed to get into my kids; tent and drag her book outside....? I didn't know raccoons like to read!






Sunday we had brunch at Key Largo Conch House...I had the Eggs Benedict with Panko Crusted Cracked Conch, and topped with lobster & conch ceviche.



Afterwards, struck camp and headed back to the mainland...was home in time for the Super Bowl!

Looking forward to the next bug out opportunity!
 

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Nice build but you are even better at living in Florida and showing your family a good time. Got some more vacation locations from you.

Have you ever done Everglades City? We have done that with the Xmas to NY's a number of times. Glades Haven is conveniently located and pretty casual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Nice build but you are even better at living in Florida and showing your family a good time. Got some more vacation locations from you.

Have you ever done Everglades City? We have done that with the Xmas to NY's a number of times. Glades Haven is conveniently located and pretty casual.
Thanks! Love getting the family out when we can...FL has a lot to offer :)

I have not camped Everglades City, but my fishing club goes to Chokoloskee at least twice a year to get out in the 10,000 islands. One of the members owns a house there.

I will have to check into Glades Haven. Also have Ocala NF on the list, but need to add water to my trailer to get off the grid :)

Don
 

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Thats a awesome camping set up you've got. I noticed the classic mako sticker, still have a mako?
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Thats a awesome camping set up you've got. I noticed the classic mako sticker, still have a mako?
Thanks! Yes, my classic Mako is my other "paycheck vampire" :)

1979 236 IB with a 2001 5.7L MPI Crusader
 

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