Thanks for the replies. I didn't think anyone was even reading this thread anymore.
The sides are made from 1x1x1/8" square tube, skinned with 16 gauge sheet metal.
The camping scene will be backed by clear plexy, so dust will not creep into the space behind the cut-out. Good call on your part. I had already thought about that when I got the idea. Otherwise, it would be a catch-all for dust, leaves, wasp nests...
I got the tounge jack mounted, and the top frame roughed out, skinned, and hinged with just enough time to take the trailer on another shake-down trip. This time to the Lost Coast with a bunch of other NorCal jeepers from this forum.
This is a shot of setting up the hinge. It's a piece of 3/4" DOM tube with a 1/2" rod that juuuust fit inside. Cut the DOM into 2" pieces, and it became opposite sides of the hinge for the top.
I used a 6' level to keep all the pieces aligned without drooping, and spaced everything out from the trailer side and top by using 1/2" washers behind the hinge. This keeps the individual hinge pieces from binding on their counterpart's mate. This way the hinge rotates freely.
The trip took the trailer on some nice trail roads, not even close to extreme, but enough to show me some areas to work on. First and second things needed.... shocks and bump stops.
But, the trailer did what it was supposed to do, and hauled a bunch of firewood (a full stack all the way across the front of the cargo compartment), a large cooler full of food, clothes, tent, sleeping bags, chairs, stove, tools, etc, etc. I was throwing stuff in the trailer just to fill it up and add weight. The result? The jeep towed it fine on the sand.
Although, I did pull one brain fart.... I made the mud flaps too long. When I backed up to a large sand berm, the flaps got pushed into the tire and the tires backed right up the flaps, ripping them off the metal supports!
No big deal, and a lesson learned on mud flap length. Ten minutes with a sawzall when I got home, drilled a few new holes, and the flaps were bolted back in place, albeit a few inches shorter so that wouldn't happen again. I included these pics since they show the trailer with the top on. The welds for the top skin were not even finished at that point. The top was simply tacked in place and the edges covered with tape to keep any possible rain out. (told you I got things ready for that trip at the last possible moment) You can see in the last pic that the hinge rod hadn't even been cut to length yet.
Never fear, the top is now welded on. Next up, it's time to start building the fenders, so they won't be an issue before long. The frames are made, but I still have to skin them and then make the skirts that transition from the fenders to the trailer corners.
Thanks for reading.
Updates to follow...