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Unread 05-22-2008, 07:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: NNJ
Posts: 92
Trailers to pull...

I am looking for a trailer to use behind my JK. I am considering an old Willy WW2 trailer as a restoration project but I was wondering what other new trailers might be available. I have looked at the Tentrax ones but they are a little to expensive for my budget. Any suggestions? I would prefer something along the lines of the open top with solid sides for highway and some off road use, but anything similar would be of interest. Thanks.


2007 redrock auto JK 4dr(Hers), 2007 rescue green stick JK 4dr (His)
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Unread 05-23-2008, 11:32 AM   #2
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Location: Canada
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I went to a local cargo trailer manufacturer and priced out a utility trailer. They had experience building 4' x 4' trailers to tow behind Jeeps off road. I was ready to buy until the sailsman recommended electric breaks for offroad use and added $600 to the total cost. He gave a tour through his facilty and after seeing how basic the manufacturing process was it gave me the idea to buy an old trailer and beef it up myself.
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Unread 05-23-2008, 12:40 PM   #3
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2007 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Belfast
Posts: 6,369
I wanted a trailer for off-road use and something to give my stuff security when I went camping with a soft top jeep. I did a lot of looking around - anything I was interested in was really expensive. This includes the Chaser, Horizon, Tentrax, E1, etc. Way, way too much money as far as I was concerned. Then I started looking at these old WW2 trailers like you are talking about. Between the restoration and modifications to get it to where I wanted it to be, we decided that for the same or less amount of work, we might as well build something from scratch and make more or less exactly what I wanted. Originally, I wanted to build something for $2K or less - but that was a fantasy. It's now looking like a $4000 project, but I think that's the upper limit. A lot of that cost is the tool boxes and the upgrade to electric brakes. A fair portion of it will be in painting/powder-coating too - that's the cost I'm really trying to get down in some way.

Design Goals:
Create an off-road trailer, suitable for camping with a soft-top Jeep, that makes the process of going camping and returning from camping as painless as possible. This will encourage us to actually GO camping. Having a trailer on the ready, pre-packed with everything necessary except food and water will allow us to get out of the house and out of town much faster Friday after work, and also minimize the "put away time" when we return from a trip.

Design Requirements:
1). Heavy duty, for off-road use and abuse.
2). Small-ish, for trail use. No wider than Jeep, should track Jeep perfectly.
3). Jack-knifeable when backing up (I stuck driving a trailer)
4). Security boxes for camping with soft top Jeep (this is a big point of building something)
5). Enough capacity to go camping for 2 for a week, with all food, gas, water, equipment and supplies.
6). Adjustable axle - so I can put my scooter on a hitch rack and still have proper center of mass
7). Flat top, suitable for sleeping if necessary, carrying 4 wheeler, or other additional cargo
8). Low profile - should not block up the rear window - I want to see out the back of the Jeep

Design Specifications:
Trailer bed is 6.5' x 4' (2" square steel tubing)
Axle and Hubs is rated for 3500 pounds, and has electric brakes
Has 3 48"x18"x18" Buyer's steel toolboxes, all lockable ($1000, right there)
Has new 31" tires (3, 2+spare) - which I got in trade for the 5 take-off tires from my Sahara
16" white wagon-wheel rims ($150 or so - not precisely what I wanted, but this will do for now)
Rear bumper with 4.5" LED tail lights (4) and 4.5" backup lights (2)
Rear receiver hitch for cargo rack or other utility uses
Various compartments for stuff, accessible via multiple doors
Aluminum sheeting skin and floor. No wood in this trailer.
Trying to keep the trailer weight under 1000 pounds - don't know if that will happen (the tool boxes are 320 pounds total).

I think you get the idea. One of the toolboxes will be used a a galley. Will have a cook stove in there, hooked up to a propane bottle, plates, forks, cups, spices, various cooking utensils, etc. A second toolbox will be used for storing expensive camping gear (tents, sleeping bags, flashlights and electronics, etc. etc.). The third toolbox will be used for storing expensive tools (guns, axes, jacks, and whatever else. Also can be used to store soft top windows. It will have a couple of storage cubbies up front, which are accessible from other side of the trailer, and one large central space, accessible from the back, for coolers, folding chairs, folding tables, etc. It will also have a cubbie for holding at least 6 5 gallon jugs of gas or water (the mix depending on the trip).

To some degree, this will look a lot like a horizon - except it will not have a tent or lift-top, it will have three toolboxes (one facing front) and will have more capacity and a higher weight limit. It will also have all the little tie-down points and other small features that make it just perfect for what I want. I'm also going to try to make it so the rear bumper is bolt on and JK compatible. That way, if I want to at some point in the future, I can put a JK bumper on it (either new, or get a new bumper for my JK and put the bumper I have on there now on the trailer).

Trailer is now under construction in garage. This morning's pictures are attached (:


Last edited by waterboarder; 08-11-2008 at 01:25 AM..
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Unread 05-24-2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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That is quite a project. I would consider doing that but I really dont have the skill to undertake a big project like that. I can handle restoring a military jeep trailer if I can get my hands on one. I found a few at a couple military truck shows I attended, but they are getting up in the $900 for a rusty but solid type and well up into the $2k region for restored, ready to roll trailers...

2007 redrock auto JK 4dr(Hers), 2007 rescue green stick JK 4dr (His)
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