Let's face it; there's only so much you can fit in the back of a Jeep, even with the rear seat removed. Some folks get pretty creative with Rubbermaid tubs and receiver hitch trays and such (see picture below - pray it doesn't rain!), but bottom line space is limited.
One option is to get a trailer. My goal for this thread is to discuss how a little 4' Harbor Freight-type trailer can be used and improved upon to be pulled behind a Jeep. I will provide pictures, part numbers, prices (to the best of my ability), measurements, internet links, suggestions (etc.), and will be using my little trailer as an example. Let's have fun with this.
A couple of disclaimers:
1. I am an Army Nurse - not a trailer salesman. I have no financial interests in any companies I may mention or provide links to other than I may have purchased from them.
2. The owner of the trailer assumes any risk that may result from modifying their little trailer from how it came from the factory.
3. Sometimes over time, the links I've posted stop working. You'll have to try googling it, then. If you've got a question about a link and you can't get to it, send me a PM.
Subsequent postings on this thread will include the following:
Define and give examples of a little trailer.
What other options are out there besides these little trailers?
What needs to be done to a little trailer after I buy it?
Tires - going larger - how big?
Axle - going wider - how wide do I need?
Raising or changing out fenders.
Spare tire mounts.
Options for the hitch mount.
Gas can mounts.
Cargo box options and ideas.
Modifying the suspension.
Modifying the frame.
Off we go!
Safety video regarding trailer weight distribution (please watch - it is less than 30 seconds long):
How To Request Your Own Safe Trailering Demonstrator | U-Haul
Table of Contents
Edit 1 September 2014
: Since this thread had become quite long, I have made a sort-of "Table of Contents" to break it down into subjects. This is not all-inclusive, nor does it imply that the way I did things is the only way to do it. When it gives a page number, there may be more than one post on that page related to the topic. A couple of times, I give a "Post" number - that probably means there's a link on that post for you to go to. And definitely read through the first few pages first.
There are 15 posts per page. So if I refer to a page (i.e., this is page one, post #1), you need to go to that page and then scroll through the posts on that page to find the post I'm referring to. And sometimes, I refer to a post #.
Note: When JeepForum did their last "upgrade", they changed from 15 posts per page to 20. So it has thrown off pretty much all the page numbers below. Sorry. You'll have to do the math to figure out what page the post(s) are on now.
Spare tire mount: Page 1
Mounting a wider axle: Page 2, 172, 173
Wider wheel option: Page 109, 112, 113, Post #1625
Ammo can mount: Page 8
Kolpin can mount: Page 1, 8, 9, 106
2" front receiver mount: Page 9, 10, 15, 43, 67, 68
2" receiver tongue bolt: Page 11, 43
Vinyl tub liner: Page 11
How much stuff can a little 4' trailer hold: Page 19 (Post #273)
Suspension swap (longer springs with shackles): Page 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 74, 152 (parts list)
Using factory Jeep rims on an HF trailer (and hub related stuff): Post #306, #704, #719, Page 47
Home made 3-axis coupler: Post #328
Bear box: Page 28
Calculating axle width for your trailer's wheels/tires: Page 29
Shortening/narrowing an HF 4x8' trailer: Post #459 on page 31 (thanks, jscherb)
Diamond plate trailer tub: Page 36, 37, 46, 80, 81, 85, 86, 89, 92, 94, 96, 97, 98, 100, 101, 105, 106, 121
Epic fail (and fix): Page 51, 59
Tongue extension/frame reinforcement: Page 62, 83, 84, 86, 87, 88, 90, 105, 112, 118
Trailer tongue (cooler) tray: Page 68, 70, 104, 112
Mud flaps: Page 112
Quick fists: Page 114, 119
Shock absorber mounts: Page 141, 142
Electric Brakes (and 3500lb axle): Page 172, 173, 196
RTT (really a tent cot): page 186, 187
Thanks, AuburnTiger92, for the picture! This is why he got a little trailer; check out post #2355 for a picture of his trailer.
If this looks like you on your last camping trip, then this is why you need a little trailer.