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New Off-Road Trailer w/Pictures

67523 Views 159 Replies 47 Participants Last post by  grogie
Off-Road Trailer w/Pictures

First, I have to give props to Scott Morris at Sunfire Off-road (Sunman, IN - 812-623-3473). Last December I had asked him if he had an interest in building me an off-road box trailer. Scott has worked on my Jeep on several earlier occasions, and he's always done great work. Well fortunately he did agree to build the trailer, and I just returned home with it.

The build included tires to match my TJ (32" MT/Rs), black Eagle alloy wheels, 3' x 5' x 20" box, hydraulic assisted lid, tailgate, custom built 3500# axle with ultra-lube hubs, leaf springs and shocks, electric trailer brakes with 7-way plug, battery box with cigarette lighter plug-in, gas can holder, and painted with a bed-liner. I also asked to have plenty of tie-downs.

Last fall I had installed a 7-way wiring harness for an LJ. (Which for my '06 TJ, the harness had to be hooked into the drivers side tail light, and as well to switch the left and right blinker wires at the harness 7-way plug to work… As otherwise the left-right blinkers were crossed... And again thanks to Scott for helping with this :D.) I also had installed a Prodigy P2 brake controller, and I bought a cushioned long ball mount with a 4" drop to clear my TJ's spare tire.

So towing it about 90 miles home, my TJ didn't seem to feel it at all on the highway (other then when I hit a few hard bumps or just a bouncy road surface). I don't know what the weight is, but I can easily unhook it and push it around so it's pretty light weight. Yet it is very solid built. :thumbsup:

And now for the pictures...

Shows up fine in my rear mirrors:

Easily pushed it into my garage.

My long term objective with this trailer is tow it out west for camping trips (as camping with a TJ is otherwise rather minimalistic).

I'll update this thread from time to time with modifications and trips. Once I get it licensed I'll tow it out to the Badlands and give it a try off-road.

Thanks for looking. :wave:

EDIT: A couple of pictures I had on my iPhone from when picking it up.

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That is awesome! I have been considering building one myself, thanks for the pictures. Great job!
Nice trailer.
Looks awesome. Someday I'll build one for myself along those lines.
Nice trailer.
nice looking trailer!! When is the first trip? Is it weather proof?
Uhhh, what type of hitch connection do you have???
nice looking trailer!! When is the first trip? Is it weather proof?
As far as being rain proof, yes! Probably as well for pulling it through a river that's up to the fenders, I think it would be fine. The top is fairly heavy, so is the tailgate and they both have a 1" lip. I think I may add a thin rubber gasket on the bottom of the tailgate for added tightness, but once it warms up I'll take a pressure washer to it and see. Scott/Sunfire Off-road did a great job fitting everything together as it's all tight!

Here is the tailgate lip and then of the top.

As far as trips, I have to get it tagged and licensed. Scott sent off a request to the state to get it tagged, then I'll have to get a LEO to stop by and sign off on it, then I can go get it licensed. I'll then take it to a local off-road park and give it a try. I also have to consider keeping it secure. :)

Uhhh, what type of hitch connection do you have???
It's a standard 2" receiver hitch. I based this build off of the Pikes Peak trailer, which the guy that builds those thought that the standard 2" hitch was quieter for general towing. I'll tow mine to Colorado/out west which is about a 3k mile round trip. He also thought that it did fine for off-road towing and he's done some decent towing with his (see his videos here). I do have a cushioned long ball mount with a 4" drop to clear the spare tire (as I have an AtoZ rear bumper with a built in tow receiver).

I don't intend to tow this over boulders as I only have a 3.5" lift and 32" MTRs anyway. I wanted this trailer to tow to a backwoods camping spot, park it and leave it. This picture below was a camping spot last summer at 11k ft. elevation. It was quiet at night! (No one was around but maybe Bigfoot?!)

As far as the first modifications, I've ordered a 3' x 6' rubber mat that I'll cut to fit the inside floor. I'm also looking at a battery, a basic power inverter and some inside lighting.
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Looks pretty tight. Your camp sight looks like a lot of fun. That is my next goal get a jeep into the mountians and do some primitive camping.
Here is a short video showing how easy it is to move around.

Love that trailer.

Sent from my iPad using JeepForum
:thumbsup: Very nice! Light enough that an old man can move around by his lonesome. I be lovin', it...
:thumbsup: Very nice! Light enough that an old man can move around by his lonesome. I be lovin', it...
LOL... Me or you being the old guy?! :cheers2:


  1. I have received in the mail the 3' x 6' rubber mat for the floor that I ordered. It's just a little bit larger then needed so I'll trim it to size. However it has a hell of strong smell to it so I have it sitting outside at the moment. It stinks!
  2. The trailer has had a smell as well, being that the bed liner was applied two days before I picked it up. I've rolled it out of the garage on several sunny days, but it's been generally cold and nasty out.
  3. I also noticed that the bottom of the tailgate was a little light in paint, so took some Rustoleum to it.
  4. I order two nice tent sized Bryer cots for camping. I'll probably still use the sleeping pads I have, but sleeping off of the ground should be an improvement. Someday having a roof-top tent would be sweet, but I'd risk further wrath from my wife with that purchase!
  5. As mentioned, I am considering a battery for the battery box and a power inverter. I don't think I need a lot of power (lights, and that kind of thing), so I may just go with something like a yellow top deep cycle? There are larger 200 amp deep cycle batteries, but their much larger and heavy. If anyone has any opinions on this, let me know.
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LOL... Me or you being the old guy?! :cheers2:
After watching that video my impression is we're both are getting a bit long in the tooth... :(
What do you have for a tent?
^A Turbo Tent at the moment. (3 man tent, pops up in about a minute, then takes a couple of minutes to put on the second layer. It's the best tent I've owned. It also has the front awning which is nice for those afternoon rainstorms.)

I might consider a RTT for the trailer? But the Turbo Tent is fairly new and very easy to setup. I should probably spend that money on the Jeep yet... :confused:


1) The rubber mat I order still stinks! I read to soak it in hot soapy water with a cup of vinegar, which helped some. It left some oil in the bath tub, which my wife told me that I get to scrub the tub. :mad: I have it sitting outside again, hoping the sun cures it! But so far we've had very little sunshine.
2) I'm still waiting for the VIN number to show up so I can get a LEO to drop by to sign off on it, and I can pickup a license plate for it. I really want to tow it out to the local Badlands and give it a try off-road...
3) I did a test fit of what camping gear fits in it. What fit:
-Two sleeping pads
-Two cots (which are awesome... good buy... sits 8" off the ground which will help)
-Fold up table
-Two large chairs (which will actually get strapped to the top in a duffle bag... so even more available room inside!)
-Plastic tub of misc. camping supplies
-Battery box
-And there is still room for the camping stove, and more. Inside my Jeep will go a cooler (I'm looking for a larger one), tools, duffle bags for food and clothes. Sleeping bags would be good too. And maybe the dogs as we'll actually have room!

5) I looked at some over the kitchen counter lighting at Lowes. I'm considering this to wire into a battery box, or should I just go with AA battery powered lights? Amazon has some that are motion activated.
6) I bought a really good coupler lock, and I'm looking at some other locks for locking the top and tailgate. Oh, and a heavy duty chain to go through a wheel to the axle for when parked.
7) I towed it around my neighborhood last weekend. It tows so good with a SWB Jeep! Ha! The brake controller is awesome as I can easily adjust the trailer brakes on how easy they lock up. I think my Jeep actually brakes better with the trailer then without. :rtft:
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Well I finally have the trailer titled! I first had to visit the BMV for directions as the process wasn't clear online. I then had a LEO stop by and sign off on the trailer that it really existed, then I was able to apply for the VIN through the state. Six days later the VIN arrived and I had a trophy shop print the VIN on a brass plate, and again had a LEO sign off that the VIN was on the trailer. The LEOs were both impressed and stood around in my garage and talked about it. (One is even a Jeep guy too!)

I also had to show that I paid sales tax on the parts, and that was it. I towed it to the BMV this morning, and then went shopping and it holds a lot! It does get a bit of attention, which I'm not sure if it's a good thing? The local fire department specifically drove by when I was parked at Lowes and took pictures of it.

And it tows great! I was doing 75 mph down the highway and it's like it's even there. And as I've mentioned, my Jeep brakes better with the trailer. It's also easy to backup as long as I can look out the back of my Jeep and see it.

Other then that, the original rubber mat I ordered is still sitting outside as it STILL STINKS!! So I found another 3'x6' treadmill mat on Amazon for $40. I just cut off a foot on one end and it fits perfectly on the floor. I trimmed out the battery box tie-downs and it's in place.

I've also ordered some tough locks that I'm having keyed alike, and a very heavy duty chain if needed. On my immediate list is also a propane bottle, jerry cans (water and gas), power inverter when I get a battery and inside lights. I'm also looking at some other similar trailers for additional ideas...

As far as summer plans, I won't be driving to Colorado this summer as I try and do every summer (last year's trip) or so as I can't get the time off from work. But I instead have a camping trip planed to the Michigan UP for September, and I've been buying a few more camping items now that my available space has at least doubled! :thumbsup:
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