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Unread 01-20-2008, 08:32 PM   #1
waterboarder
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Alternatives to roof rack or hitch rack

I have only seen one roof rack that has a design I would be willing to accept for my JK:

http://store.wildboarproducts.com/Pr...uctCode=CRS510
4-Door Squareback Rack System: 4-Door JKL 07+ Our Price: $1,395.00

$1400 is pretty pricey, esp. considering that I would no doubt have to pay a few hundred for shipping, and even more for various "accessory mounts" to make it as useful as it needs to be.

I have a hitch rack - and it's fine for carrying small amounts of stuff - but I'd like an option for carrying more.

As an alternative to either a roof rack or a hitch rack, I am considering turning my little utility trailer into a sort of camping trailer. I'm not really a trailer guy, but this trailer is so small and light, it is easy to roll around manually and such, in the event I get into a tight space and can't backup or whatever. My goal is NOT to turn it into some kind of massively beefy trailer for hard-core off-roading or anything along those lines. It's also not to enable it to carry a lot more weight. The goals are:
1). Turn it into something that is little better suited to highway and off-road travel,
2). Allow me to carry camping stuff a bit more securely than I can do with a soft top Jeep.

To this end, the trailer needs two kinds of mods:
1). Replace axle with something that uses normal-sized tires.
2). Modify the trailer bed with storage compartments.

I'm not worried about modifying the trailer bed at the moment - that's really its own project. My focus is on issues involved with replacing the axle. I'd like to put an axle on it that is suitable for normal sized tires. Ideally, I'd get two 18" rims so I could use the stock Sahara tires I took of my Jeep. Actually, I'd probably get three rims, so I could give my trailer a spare too. However, if it is more economically viable, I would buy three of rims and tires that would give me sufficient height. I guess I'd need to put new fenders of some kind on there too - shouldn't be too expensive.

Assuming I can get three 18" rims at a cost that lets me use my existing tires that are sitting around doing nothing - how much do we think an axle and appropriate springs would run me? How hard would this mod be? How expensive? Any thoughts or ideas?

Thanks!
td

trailer.jpg   dirty_rack.jpg  
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Unread 01-20-2008, 08:56 PM   #2
Hot Sauce
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www.northerntool.com

do a search for "trailer axle"

they have axle and spring assemblies for a few hundred bucks with standard hub sizes. Shipping might be a killer though.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 08:42 AM   #3
igofshn
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Gretting a hub with 5on5 is oing to be tough. Most are 5on4.5 or 5on 5.5. You could alway get a new axle and hub, then get spcer adapters to make them work, but it woud probably be easier to get new rims.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 12:15 PM   #4
tin
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u could go to the wreckers and find a truck bed that has an axel that would fit with your trailer. usually the guys working there could tell u what axel would fit. Wouldn't cost u more than a couple hundred dollars for an axel, springs amd mounting hardware.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 01:53 PM   #5
tin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdog
I have only seen one roof rack that has a design I would be willing to accept for my JK:

http://store.wildboarproducts.com/Pr...uctCode=CRS510
4-Door Squareback Rack System: 4-Door JKL 07+ Our Price: $1,395.00

$1400 is pretty pricey, esp. considering that I would no doubt have to pay a few hundred for shipping, and even more for various "accessory mounts" to make it as useful as it needs to be.

I have a hitch rack - and it's fine for carrying small amounts of stuff - but I'd like an option for carrying more.

As an alternative to either a roof rack or a hitch rack, I am considering turning my little utility trailer into a sort of camping trailer. I'm not really a trailer guy, but this trailer is so small and light, it is easy to roll around manually and such, in the event I get into a tight space and can't backup or whatever. My goal is NOT to turn it into some kind of massively beefy trailer for hard-core off-roading or anything along those lines. It's also not to enable it to carry a lot more weight. The goals are:
1). Turn it into something that is little better suited to highway and off-road travel,
2). Allow me to carry camping stuff a bit more securely than I can do with a soft top Jeep.

To this end, the trailer needs two kinds of mods:
1). Replace axle with something that uses normal-sized tires.
2). Modify the trailer bed with storage compartments.

I'm not worried about modifying the trailer bed at the moment - that's really its own project. My focus is on issues involved with replacing the axle. I'd like to put an axle on it that is suitable for normal sized tires. Ideally, I'd get two 18" rims so I could use the stock Sahara tires I took of my Jeep. Actually, I'd probably get three rims, so I could give my trailer a spare too. However, if it is more economically viable, I would buy three of rims and tires that would give me sufficient height. I guess I'd need to put new fenders of some kind on there too - shouldn't be too expensive.

Assuming I can get three 18" rims at a cost that lets me use my existing tires that are sitting around doing nothing - how much do we think an axle and appropriate springs would run me? How hard would this mod be? How expensive? Any thoughts or ideas?

Thanks!
td
off topic sry but, a set of mud flaps might help stop some of that dirt from spraying up onto your soft top and sides. the hitch rack comes down lower than the flaps would so it wouldn't be a low point. just a thought but maybe u aren't a mud flap person, alot of jeep owners aren't.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 02:12 PM   #6
waterboarder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tin
off topic sry but, a set of mud flaps might help stop some of that dirt from spraying up onto your soft top and sides. the hitch rack comes down lower than the flaps would so it wouldn't be a low point. just a thought but maybe u aren't a mud flap person, alot of jeep owners aren't.
Thanks for the tip (:

On that particular picture - it was after driving some 400 miles on very dusty dirt and gravel road. Driving along, dust kicked up everywhere from all sides. Not sure any mudflaps would make a difference, esp. considering the amount of dust & dirt that got INSIDE the Jeep (:
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Unread 01-21-2008, 02:58 PM   #7
tin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdog
Thanks for the tip (:

On that particular picture - it was after driving some 400 miles on very dusty dirt and gravel road. Driving along, dust kicked up everywhere from all sides. Not sure any mudflaps would make a difference, esp. considering the amount of dust & dirt that got INSIDE the Jeep (:
yes that is dust isn't it, well dust is a different animal, nothing would stop that.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 05:06 PM   #8
gpwpat
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I like that rack too. but has anybody actually gotten one?

So far I am still looking for a rack. But for a trailer I wuld suggest a real jeep trailer. like a Bantam, a m100, canadian m101 etc. They hold their value so say you find one for 600 bucks. it will never be worth less.

here is my 1945 trailer. except I put a roof top tent on it.


modifying your existing trailer into offroad capability you may quickly find yourself in the cost of what it costs to buy a former military trailer.

Good luck what ever you do.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 05:11 PM   #9
waterboarder
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Nice looking trailer - something like that would make a good base to start from, certainly better than what I have - but it would be a lot of work to modify. I don't want something with solid sides like that. I want to make something that has panels and such that open, with multiple components for different things, rather than one huge pit to dump everything in.

But I'll check around and see what I can find. Options for that kind of thing up here are limited - if I have to ship anything, cost goes through the roof, so I gotta go with what I can find locally.

No interest in a roof-top tent. For what those things cost, I'll gladly sleep on the ground (:
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Unread 01-21-2008, 06:09 PM   #10
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I have one.

It is an earlier version from JKRacks but they have changed to WildBoar.

I love it. It makes my Jeep truely versatile. I can carry more stuff than I could with my F-150 and still have room for the dog inside.

Great product. Super nice people.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 06:19 PM   #11
Kastiron
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I bought a trailer from Snowbear about 6 years ago. Nice trailer, pulls easy and the tires were a bit bigger than the typical utility trailer. I haven't had it behind my JK yet, only had the Jeep since Saturday.

http://www.snowbeartrailers.ca/page/...tility_Trailer
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Unread 01-21-2008, 07:21 PM   #12
teri4lance
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I had the same thoughts and bought a Northern Tool 4'x6' utility trailer for $350 new. It is non-folding, with a steel grate floor, no tailgate, and a 2000' axle that is a 5 x 4.5 bolt pattern, you would need wheel adapters for 5x5. The tires it came with are 12" x 4.80". The first thing I had to do is flip the axle(spring over axle?) It was real easy to do and netted me about 4" more of clearance. I intend to put my TJ spare tire (and aquire another)on it, but even with the axle flip I will have too move the fenders for clearance. We use the trailer for family camping and it works out great. With the little 12" tires it does ok except in deep sand where it tends to wag the dog. On the highway it tows great although I have only had it upto 75mph.
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Unread 01-21-2008, 07:44 PM   #13
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http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f27/off-roadatized-my-hf-trailer-497387/
Quote:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f104/harbor-freight-folding-trailer-modification-write-up-review-463480/

Quote:
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Unread 01-21-2008, 08:54 PM   #14
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T-Dog. Don't know what type of roads you'll take camping in the great white north. In S. Fl (worlds apart) I have towed 6700 lbs (dry weight) boats, homemade canoe trailers, (8 canoes), and small, medium and large sized enclosed trailers for either personal (family) pleasure or Cub Scout Pack/Boy Scout Troop. In my experience open trailers suck, they are a pain to pack and stow gear in. If you can't carry it all in the Jeep and racks that you have, get a small enclosed trailer and customize the inside to your gear. Nowadays with adjustable shelves, racks and boxes it is a cinch! Additionally, better protection from raccoons (here) and bears (up there). A 2 axle trailer is easier to tow and back-up than a single axle. Perhaps a small trailer is in your future...just not open, they suck...
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Unread 01-22-2008, 12:42 AM   #15
waterboarder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiPaco
In my experience open trailers suck, they are a pain to pack and stow gear in. If you can't carry it all in the Jeep and racks that you have, get a small enclosed trailer and customize the inside to your gear. Nowadays with adjustable shelves, racks and boxes it is a cinch!
I think my intentions are unclear (:

I do not plan to have an "open trailer". I have one of those already (: But I don't want a basic enclosed cargo trailer either, even if it is customized on the inside.

What I am aiming to make is a cargo trailer that has various compartments on the sides, with various doors and such, all sized to my specific needs. The idea is that:

a). I go camping with a soft top Jeep. Absolutely no security against humans and animals there.

b). I need a more secure place to store stuff, so that when I want to go camping or otherwise away from site, I have at least SOME chance of my stuff being there when I get back. I realize that if someone wants my stuff bad enough, they will get it, but with some kind of locked trailer, I can at least slow them down or encourage them to move on to easier targets. Also, should work wonders with bears and such (a real problem up here). I'd rather a bear tear into my trailer looking for food and whatever than the Jeep.

c). Need to carry more. Can't easily use cargo hitch rack and bike rack at the same time, trailer solves the problem.

d). Need to carry more. No way to carry more than two people now (with dog and camping stuff). Trailer lets me carry two more passengers.

e). Trailer lets me have something packed up and ready to go, so I can head out on mostly a moment's notice. I don't see any substitute for this.

f). See original post for why no roof rack.

So, all I am aiming for is an outdoorsy cargo trailer for camping, diving, and related gear that can take some off road hits as well.

See attachments to get an idea of what I am going for. I don't want a tent on top - but these things have the right idea, with respect to compartments and such that are accessible "a small amount at a time" as oppose to one big central covered compartment.
1_chaser6.jpg   gecko_l_a.jpg  
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