^A Turbo Tent at the moment. (3 man tent, pops up in about a minute, then takes a couple of minutes to put on the second layer. It's the best tent I've owned. It also has the front awning which is nice for those afternoon rainstorms.)
I might consider a RTT for the trailer? But the Turbo Tent is fairly new and very easy to setup. I should probably spend that money on the Jeep yet...
1) The rubber mat I order still stinks! I read to soak it in hot soapy water with a cup of vinegar, which helped some. It left some oil in the bath tub, which my wife told me that I get to scrub the tub. I have it sitting outside again, hoping the sun cures it! But so far we've had very little sunshine.
2) I'm still waiting for the VIN number to show up so I can get a LEO to drop by to sign off on it, and I can pickup a license plate for it. I really want to tow it out to the local Badlands and give it a try off-road...
3) I did a test fit of what camping gear fits in it. What fit:
-Two sleeping pads
-Two cots (which are awesome... good buy... sits 8" off the ground which will help)
-Fold up table
-Two large chairs (which will actually get strapped to the top in a duffle bag... so even more available room inside!)
-Plastic tub of misc. camping supplies
-And there is still room for the camping stove, and more. Inside my Jeep will go a cooler (I'm looking for a larger one), tools, duffle bags for food and clothes. Sleeping bags would be good too. And maybe the dogs as we'll actually have room!
5) I looked at some over the kitchen counter lighting at Lowes. I'm considering this to wire into a battery box, or should I just go with AA battery powered lights? Amazon has some that are motion activated.
6) I bought a really good coupler lock, and I'm looking at some other locks for locking the top and tailgate. Oh, and a heavy duty chain to go through a wheel to the axle for when parked.
7) I towed it around my neighborhood last weekend. It tows so good with a SWB Jeep! Ha! The brake controller is awesome as I can easily adjust the trailer brakes on how easy they lock up. I think my Jeep actually brakes better with the trailer then without.
Well I finally have the trailer titled! I first had to visit the BMV for directions as the process wasn't clear online. I then had a LEO stop by and sign off on the trailer that it really existed, then I was able to apply for the VIN through the state. Six days later the VIN arrived and I had a trophy shop print the VIN on a brass plate, and again had a LEO sign off that the VIN was on the trailer. The LEOs were both impressed and stood around in my garage and talked about it. (One is even a Jeep guy too!)
I also had to show that I paid sales tax on the parts, and that was it. I towed it to the BMV this morning, and then went shopping and it holds a lot! It does get a bit of attention, which I'm not sure if it's a good thing? The local fire department specifically drove by when I was parked at Lowes and took pictures of it.
And it tows great! I was doing 75 mph down the highway and it's like it's even there. And as I've mentioned, my Jeep brakes better with the trailer. It's also easy to backup as long as I can look out the back of my Jeep and see it.
Other then that, the original rubber mat I ordered is still sitting outside as it STILL STINKS!! So I found another 3'x6' treadmill mat on Amazon for $40. I just cut off a foot on one end and it fits perfectly on the floor. I trimmed out the battery box tie-downs and it's in place.
I've also ordered some tough locks that I'm having keyed alike, and a very heavy duty chain if needed. On my immediate list is also a propane bottle, jerry cans (water and gas), power inverter when I get a battery and inside lights. I'm also looking at some other similar trailers for additional ideas...
As far as summer plans, I won't be driving to Colorado this summer as I try and do every summer (last year's trip) or so as I can't get the time off from work. But I instead have a camping trip planed to the Michigan UP for September, and I've been buying a few more camping items now that my available space has at least doubled!
So I towed the trailer out to my mom's garage to park it in, about 45 miles from home. I filed up each time to check mpg, and I had 13.25 with the trailer, and 15.25 on the return trip. Speed was doing 60 to 75 mph. I almost think my Jeep is a little more stable on the road with the trailer behind it? (Not that my Jeep is unstable, just that it gets pushed around by wind easily.)
The box is about 3' x 5' x 20". I'll have to keep the $ figure to myself. If you're interested in Scott building you one, I'd ask that you talk to him. It's a custom built trailer. Plus I think he did a great job as it's so well built, and for the work they put in it I think it was a fair price, especially considering I could not build it myself.
1) Yes, it could have a tailgate in front as well, but that wouldn't allow for a rack in front. I have purchased a real red Jerry can for my front rack. I have also purchased a similar sized Igloo water container for the rack when I don't think I'm going to need the gas can.
2) Yes, kayaks could be mounted (I thought about that as well). I'm thinking to spend the money next year on a roof top tent instead (as I'm going to Moab in 2014).
3) I haven't weighed it, but check out my video link on page one as it's easy enough for me to move it around by myself. I hardly notice it behind my TJ.
4) I don't know what you're driving, but with a lifted TJ and having weight in it, and going up and down hills I'd prefer brakes. Having brakes on it and a brake control is just cool. I can easily adjust the brake controller and lock up the trailer's tires to where they chirp! I think that will be helpful in the mountains.
Other then that, here are my latest two purchases:
Last Friday UPS dropped off the Blue-Top battery, and then today I received a power inverter. I really don't think I have a great need for extra power, but why not? This will run some extra lights, charge the iPhone, etc., etc. The battery will be hooked up to the Jeep through the 7-way wiring harness. I've been thinking about how to vent the battery for safety, being that it's going to be in an enclosed box. I found a chromed brass gas tank vent fitting for a boat that I think will work. With this I'll run a tube from the battery box up and out the side of the trailer (I'll have to drill a small hole for the vent fitting).
I was also thinking about building a wood kitchen box that would slide out the back of the tailgate, however a hard sided box just doesn't conform to available space (as we all know from packing the back of a Jeep ), so I found a really nice large compartment soft sided case that has three modular storage cases that fit inside (it's built for the back of an SUV). This will serve as my misc. camping gear and kitchen box.
I've also bought a small carrying case for security stuff. My keyed alike locks showed up, one heavy duty chain, and the coupler lock.
I've bought some other trailer/camping stuff that is currently hiding in boxes under my Jeep, away from my wife's eyes.
Anyway, I'll take some more pictures as I further get stuff in place.
Here is the Blue-Top battery that is now installed There was already a positive wire running from the 7-way plug into the box, so I connected that. I also drilled a screw into the floor (above the tongue) to ground the battery. I then hooked up an 800 watt power inverter. I may mount the inverter directly on top of the battery box. The inverter has two outlets, plus a USB outlet to charge my iPhone/ iPad. In the second picture, here is what I'm going to use to vent the battery.
And an Igloo water container in the same shape as a Jerry can to sit in the front rack. (I'll probably use this more then the red Jerry can I bought.)
I also found some decent battery powered lights at Lowes that I stuck onto the inside of the top.
So after work yesterday I took the trailer for a drive. Again, it just tows great! The brake controller is really kind of cool. It's got an emergency handle on it to engage the trailer's brakes without touching the Jeep's brake peddle.
I also checked the blue-top battery's voltage before hooking up the trailer to the Jeep, and it read 12.1 volts. I then hooked up the trailer and turned the Jeep on, and the volts went up to 13.2, so there is power coming back from the Jeep. After I towed it around for about a half an hour, after unplugging the trailer, the battery was at 13.3 volts.
I'm still considering my battery venting options. I've read a lot of opinions about venting batteries, which is a good thing of course, even with an Optima/AGM battery. I kind of hate the thought of putting holes in the side of my trailer for vent tubes, as it's an airtight box. This trailer will see plenty of dusty, dirt roads... so I'm now thinking about moving the battery box to the tongue like most trailers?
Also, I was just looking at jscherb's thread on his fiberglass Jeep tub trailer, and I really like his larger rack on the front. So I may have to modify mine...
I have installed a trailer battery charging module. This is pretty cool! Not only will it isolate the trailer and vehicle batteries when not charging, but it also won't start charging the trailer's battery until the vehicle's battery is fully charged, and then it will cut off charging the trailer's battery once it's fully charged. Nice! (I mounted it on the side of the battery box.)
Secondly, I had a battery switch that I had bought sometime ago for my Jeep that I never installed. The above module of course should do it's job, but I decided to go ahead and also install this switch on my trailer as just a backup to manually isolate the batteries. (It's mounted on top of the battery box.)
The trailer is NOW trail rated.
I also found this cool net for the top of the trailer. I will probably place a large duffle bag on top with outdoor chairs, etc. I'll also use some other straps, but this net will be nice to have. It has plastic clips, that fit perfectly with the tie down loops on the lid. Another nice!
Next month I'm off the Michigan U.P. for a camping trip, including to visit Drummond Island. The trailer is mostly packed and ready to go. It's awesome having all that extra room as I'll be living big in the woods.