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Unread 06-30-2013, 01:17 PM   #1
silvergreentj
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Harbor Freight Tent Trailer

So my wife and I love camping. We've been camping all over the place, and have seen our share of tent problems. Back when we had our silver TJ, we were camping at Gulches ORV park in SC years ago when the area received a ridiculous amount of rain. The local wheelers were all camping, and like us, had setup their tents/campgrounds during the day before the rain came.

After offroading all day, we were heading back in the dark to our campground, knowing we had to cross two extremely low spots and the river to get to where we were. My wife and I helped clear this campsite, so we knew the area well. I should have turned around when the 35s were quickly eaten up by the water...none the less we continued. We got to the spot and our tent was wet, but the rain fly had held up. Phew.

Fast forward 4 more hours of continuous rain and camping by the river. We awoke in the weeee hours of the morning/darkness to find ourselves floating on our air mattress with our belongings floating around us. Since then, we decided we would do our best to outright build something off the ground for us to camp in.

Now that we are in another TJ with 33s currently, I was left to build something streetable for the 4cyl TJ to pull around that I could expand later on down the line. We have an 8 month old boy who also camped for the first time.

Bought the foldable "heavy duty" trailer from Harbor Freight


Started building the frame(with locking nuts supplied)


Drove to Lowes, had my 48x96 3/4 Treated plywood cut, bought hardware, and brought my drill to install in the parking lot


Got it back in the garage to clean up some edges and started measuring


Started building a box that would hold coolers/totes/bikes, but could be removed for a table in remote areas.


Looked through our camping gear to find a 4 man(small men maybe) tent that would fit from our three tent collection...saves money


Put the kiddo in the tent to get an idea of his living quarters. We fit a queen size air mattress in here for sleeping.


Packed everything up on Thursday after work to head out. TJ towed the trailer better when carrying some weight.


Setup camp while it started to rain. Neighbor and his son came over and talked the entire time I was trying to setup, then asked me why we just didn't camp on the ground. IT MONSOONED while we went out to meet my family for dinner. We came back to find them in the car wet. They had one tent float away and could find pieces, and their canopy frame broke in half. We were fortunate, and had NO water anywhere thanks to my giant base camp tarp.


Next morning, I cooked and made cowboy coffee while the kiddo slept in.


This is how I shut things down when we left to go hiking/fishing. You couldn't see anything. We had multiple RVers walk back to our campsite and ask what we were camping in. They hadn't seen anything like it, and could only see wheels from the road.


We timed ourselves this morning on breaking down camp. It took 45 minutes from start to driving away.


Soooo easy to get it back on the road and loaded up. Baby even got a quick diaper change. Thats what I call utility!


Thanks for reading. I have about $500 in all between wiring the TJ, hitches, stabilizers, and wood.

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Unread 07-01-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
MPond
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That's pretty cool! Glad to see you're getting your son out there early too.

Do you have any intentions of making this into an off-road trailer?
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Unread 07-03-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
silvergreentj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPond
That's pretty cool! Glad to see you're getting your son out there early too. Do you have any intentions of making this into an off-road trailer?
Eventually, I'll make if offroad capable by installing a new rear axle with matching bolt pattern and welding up parts of the chassis for strength. It was super fun to camp in.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 03:40 PM   #4
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OP, great stories. It's cool that you and your wife are getting your son already out into the woods. That is also a nice build and a smart way to get your tent off of the ground.

I've had wet camping, but never to where things were floating away. Once I did have a stream running under a tent, and after a long night, it was the only time I've ever pulled up everything and left at 4 am.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 06:18 PM   #5
silvergreentj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grogie
OP, great stories. It's cool that you and your wife are getting your son already out into the woods. That is also a nice build and a smart way to get your tent off of the ground. I've had wet camping, but never to where things were floating away. Once I did have a stream running under a tent, and after a long night, it was the only time I've ever pulled up everything and left at 4 am.
Thanks grogie. It was either camping at 8 months or turkey season trip which my wife wasn't okay for at 5 months. Lol.

We've been blessed to be raised in the outdoors and I really want to pass that down to my kids. Jase(my son) already responds to game calls and enjoys listening to music while being outdoors.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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Looks like you make it work pretty well.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #7
silvergreentj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NUTKINS
Looks like you make it work pretty well.
Thanks man!
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Unread 08-06-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
Theogriff15
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Very cool. I stumbled upon this on harborfrieght.com today. Glad to see someone has also modded one. Couple questions.

How did you attach the wood (floor) to the frame of the trailer?
Where did you get the black wheels?

Thanks man looks awesome!
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Unread 08-09-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
silvergreentj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theogriff15
Very cool. I stumbled upon this on harborfrieght.com today. Glad to see someone has also modded one. Couple questions. How did you attach the wood (floor) to the frame of the trailer? Where did you get the black wheels? Thanks man looks awesome!
Thanks! Wood is bolted down to the trailer via holes pre drilled in trailers chassis

Black wheels are just white wheels that were rattled can with GLOSS black.
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Unread 08-10-2013, 07:16 AM   #10
Theogriff15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvergreentj

Thanks! Wood is bolted down to the trailer via holes pre drilled in trailers chassis

Black wheels are just white wheels that were rattled can with GLOSS black.
Oh awesome, seeing that welding is not my thing good to know that wood is bolted! Thanks man!
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Unread 08-12-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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Welding wood takes a long time to learn
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Unread 03-03-2014, 11:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOISERUNNER
Welding wood takes a long time to learn
haha
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