Custom Hitch Mounted Tray for a TJ - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Wrangler Forums > TJ Wrangler Technical Forum > Custom Hitch Mounted Tray for a TJ

Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineNEW!! HMF 50"-52" light bar mounting brackets!! Year End Clearance Sale! Save 20%

Reply
Unread 07-18-2011, 02:10 PM   #1
GotLime
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 772
Custom Hitch Mounted Tray for a TJ

Here was my dilemna:
I have a 2004 TJ.
I have a girlfriend
I have 2 kids
We like to go wheeling
We'd like to go camping
We like to take the Jeep to the boat
With the back seat in, I'd have to ask other folks to carry my cooler on the trail. No storage!! That little bit of space behind the rear seat is almost useless. The lack of storage limited what I could and would do with the Jeep.
I had one of those trays that slides in the receiver. With the spare tire hanging down, it limited what you could put on the tray and I didn't like how low to the ground it was.
My buddy Chris is a pretty talented guy. He has a full time job, but it trying to get his company, Blue Note Fab, off the ground. We were at his house Saturday playing with the Jeeps and I asked if he could make me an extension that would take the tray out past the spare and make the tray more usable. "Sure, come by tomorrow morning, pick me up and we'll take it over to my shop."
So I pick him up, we get some Subway for breakfast and off to the shop we go. It was a long day, but so worth it. I'm in the doghouse with the GF, but this tray is so useful now. He learned a thing or two that he might do different next time. Nothing major, just cuttting some holes in the tube to run wires and little stuff like that. I can't wait to sue this thing!
On to the pics.
Disclaimer: In some shots, it may appear tubes are not square. They aren't. My Jeep is not square so we made the tray fit the Jeep instead of making it squarwe. And I've never noticed it before, but the Warn rear tire carrier does not center the spare. It is to the left. I'm not sure why.
Who knew we'd use jackstands? Mocking it up.






Chris replaced everything on the tray except the frame and the mesh floor. This is the new center support.


__________________
08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon: lift, wheels/tires, bumpers, skids, sliders, winch, lights, cb. All the normal stuff, plus some.......
Build thread: Here
Lake Norman Crawlers
GotLime is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-18-2011, 02:11 PM   #2
GotLime
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 772

Chris even gave me a quick lesson and allowed me to weld a little bit. To you guys that know how to do it, I'm sure it doesn't seem exciting, but it was fun for me!!

We struggled with what to do with the plate. It would be covered if there was anything on the tray. Chris came up with an idea to mount the plate on the tray. It can easliy be moved from the mount in the spare to the tray now. With an extension to the wiring, the license plate light and integrated 3rd brake light will also work!

Chris added these supports under the mesh to help keep the tray rigid and support the weight of the cargo.

Shot from underneath:

Chris fabricated this piece that goes AROUND the receiver. It can be used to attach straps to the tray or chains if I was towing a trailer. It can be removed when not in use. Super cool!


Chris fabricated these tabs and welded them to the tray. If I want to use a ratchet strap to further secure the tray to the Jeep, I can attach them here and to the piece he made that is attached to the receiver (see above). These look really cool.


The almost finished project. We realized that if the tray was being used, the taillights would be blocked. So I'm going to buy some trailer lights and mount them to the tray. Chris drilled holes in the tube so we can run the wiring internally. We'll have it ste up so I can move the plate and connect the lights for it and the tail lights very quickly and easily when using the tray and it will look very clean.
__________________
08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon: lift, wheels/tires, bumpers, skids, sliders, winch, lights, cb. All the normal stuff, plus some.......
Build thread: Here
Lake Norman Crawlers
GotLime is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-18-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
Xlr8n
Registered User
1986 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: midwest
Posts: 2,923
Nice fab. I need the same for my tray. I was going to give this a whirl: http://www.harborfreight.com/hitch-e...tep-97685.html
I figured if I supported the load with a couple ratchet straps up to the spare carrier it should hold up fine for simple hauling, but your design gets a bunch more clearance for offroad use.
Xlr8n is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-18-2011, 03:03 PM   #4
GotLime
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xlr8n View Post
Nice fab. I need the same for my tray. I was going to give this a whirl: http://www.harborfreight.com/hitch-e...tep-97685.html
I figured if I supported the load with a couple ratchet straps up to the spare carrier it should hold up fine for simple hauling, but your design gets a bunch more clearance for offroad use.
We measured clearnace. 45 without the tray. 25 with the tray and a "flat" extender. 35 the way it sits now. The idea is not really to wheel it with this on. Just to get to the campsite, unload, remove it and wheel. But I think you could wheel MOST places around here with it in place if you wanted/needed to though. .
__________________
08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon: lift, wheels/tires, bumpers, skids, sliders, winch, lights, cb. All the normal stuff, plus some.......
Build thread: Here
Lake Norman Crawlers
GotLime is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-21-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
GotLime
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 772
Lights still need to be wired up. I'd like to find a set of stock taillights, but these will do for now:
__________________
08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon: lift, wheels/tires, bumpers, skids, sliders, winch, lights, cb. All the normal stuff, plus some.......
Build thread: Here
Lake Norman Crawlers
GotLime is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-21-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
Ross
Registered User
2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: BUM****, MO
Posts: 10,570
I had a cross bar and receiver welded between my roll bars in the rear and can slide in a hitch tray up there. Only down side is you cannot zip up the window when it is installed, but it is out of the way.
__________________
Schitzangiggles: We used to teach our children to fight evil, now we teach them that fighting is evil.

2001 TJ, 33 trxus MTs , W, locked, belly up, some armor.

"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." Zig Ziglar
Ross is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-21-2011, 04:12 PM   #7
mattlock1983
Registered User
2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SLT, near the Rubicon trail, California
Posts: 984
looks good.

i have a question about the departure angle though:

with welding skills like that, why didnt you make this into a spare tire rack? (i.e. mounted over the spare tire)

edit: i just saw this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GotLime View Post
The idea is not really to wheel it with this on. Just to get to the campsite, unload, remove it and wheel..
__________________
2004 Rubicon Artic Silver, Automatic
~2.5" Lift, LT285 MTR's, Currie HD steering, Currie Anti-Rock, Nth Oil Pan Skid, Kilby Steering Skid, Warn HS9500, Rockcrusher Diff covers, Nth Slider rear DS skid, custom bumpers, PIAA reverse lights, Tuffy Console, Uniden PC78 elite CB, Nth TT (not installed)

Last edited by mattlock1983; 07-21-2011 at 04:17 PM.. Reason: my stupidity
mattlock1983 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-21-2011, 05:05 PM   #8
Mike_Motorbike
Registered User
2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion Ca.
Posts: 577
http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...cargo+carrier+
__________________
JEEPING .....The art of getting dirty and going broke while slowy heading nowhere and taking all day to do it.....
2001 TJ 31"s 4.0L Auto , Blue , Soft Top , Full Doors. Home made BB 1 3/4" front 1" back...quick discos
Mike_Motorbike is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-21-2011, 08:32 PM   #9
bfewkwa
Member
 
bfewkwa's Avatar
2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 151
I'm interested in a better shot of the piece around the receiver for safety chains/straps. I have the same Warn bumper/tire carrier and have been looking for a simple solution like that. You say it is removable?
bfewkwa is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-21-2011, 09:12 PM   #10
EPrest90
Registered User
2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 39
I had the same dilemma...so I decided that i'm going to mount a hitch receiver up on the front bumper. it'll look goofy, sure, but the exhaust fumes can't bother the luggage, and it wouldn't be used too often
EPrest90 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-21-2011, 09:59 PM   #11
Broncbuster
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Monroe Ga, Tullahoma Tn
Posts: 192
I basically did the same thing. I did drill a hole in the bottom of the receiver and weld a nut on it. I use a bolt to tighten up against the drawbar on the carrier to keep it level and from being wobbly.
Broncbuster is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-22-2011, 01:40 PM   #12
GotLime
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattlock1983 View Post
looks good.

i have a question about the departure angle though:

with welding skills like that, why didnt you make this into a spare tire rack? (i.e. mounted over the spare tire)

edit: i just saw this:
You got it man. It started out as just making an extension for the receiver. Then Chris was like "We can raise it up some. We should add some supoports. We should add soem tim downs. What about your plate?" and here we are. We did come up with some great ideas for a spare tire rack that I hope we can work on soon. I see this as something smaller I can leave on all the time. Throw a boat bag and a small cooler up there and go. And I could use it it conjunction with the3 current rack.

They all have their pros and cons. This rack is lower so it's easy to put stuff up on and you could use it as a workbench or table if you wanted to. But it blocks the plate/lights, tyou can't open the tailgate and it's not practical to elave it on all the time. The spare tire rack you could elave on all the time, but it may not be easy to lift heavy objects up there and it could block what little rearward visibility I have.

I think there is a place for both though. Choices are good.
__________________
08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon: lift, wheels/tires, bumpers, skids, sliders, winch, lights, cb. All the normal stuff, plus some.......
Build thread: Here
Lake Norman Crawlers
GotLime is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-22-2011, 01:44 PM   #13
GotLime
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfewkwa View Post
I'm interested in a better shot of the piece around the receiver for safety chains/straps. I have the same Warn bumper/tire carrier and have been looking for a simple solution like that. You say it is removable?
I'll see if I can take a better pic. Yes, it is removable. It is open at the bottom and slides down over the receiver.

If you're really interested, send me an email at chrisahughesatgmaildotcom and I'll see what he'd charge for one.

It's all custom cut, ground, welded, etc so I have no idea what he'd charge.
__________________
08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon: lift, wheels/tires, bumpers, skids, sliders, winch, lights, cb. All the normal stuff, plus some.......
Build thread: Here
Lake Norman Crawlers
GotLime is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-22-2011, 01:47 PM   #14
GotLime
Registered User
2008 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by EPrest90 View Post
I had the same dilemma...so I decided that i'm going to mount a hitch receiver up on the front bumper. it'll look goofy, sure, but the exhaust fumes can't bother the luggage, and it wouldn't be used too often
I've got enough stuff sticking out the front now:

__________________
08 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon: lift, wheels/tires, bumpers, skids, sliders, winch, lights, cb. All the normal stuff, plus some.......
Build thread: Here
Lake Norman Crawlers
GotLime is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.