"TrailTop" modular trailer building components

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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:59 am

I'll be painting the topper tan to more or less match the Safari Cab hardtop on the Jeep. I'm using Deckover acrylic deck coating from Home Depot, "Wrangler Brown" is fairly close to the color of the Jeep hardtop - Here's the color chart compared to the Safari Top and a colorized image.

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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:00 am

I'm now in the process of final assembly and finishing of the panels. The finished rear door:

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I'm putting the finish on the side panels now, they're on the workbench in the background. Photos soon.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:00 am

Side panels painted and windows and hatches installed.

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Still need to glue together and paint the end panels.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:12 pm

I put the finish on the end panels today.

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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:16 am

All of the panels are now painted, assembled and ready to install on the trailer.


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Last edited by jscherb on Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:00 am

Installed the camper/cargo top this morning. Everything fits as designed.

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More photos to come.

Next I have to install the hardware for the lid - hinges on the front, latch catches on the back, and hook up the gas struts.
Last edited by jscherb on Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:13 am

An anim of the installation...

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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:25 pm

A few more photos.

Since the Trail Kitchen is taller than the Jeep tailgate, I added a door on the front to raise the height of the tailgate opening. It's on lift-off hinges so it can be moved out of the way. Plenty of room now to install the trail kitchen:

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This is the photo-edit I did earlier in the project showing what the Trail Kitchen and front pantry will look like:

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I've got the hardware installed for the lid; in this photo it's raised partway up and supported by a piece of wood at the back. All of the hardware to mount the gas struts is installed, but since it's easier to install them when the lid is all the way up and I don't have to compress the struts, I'll wait until I roll the trailer out of the garage to install them. Since it's about zero degrees outside, I didn't do that today :(.

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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:57 am

I'm hoping it gets at least 15 degrees warmer this afternoon so I can roll the trailer out of the garage, tilt the lid all the way up and snap the canvas in place. Since I won't be camping in this thing until the sumemr at least, there's no point in punishing myself by working outside when it's 11 degrees.

In the meantime, I installed mini-blinds on the side windows. When I'm using the trailer for cargo, it'll help keep curious people from seeing what's inside. When in use as a camper, it'll provide some privacy for the occupants.

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To keep the blinds under control, I make some holders for the bottom rail with snaps.

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Blind down and snapped in place:

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Unsnapped and open:

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The blinds were the correct width but over five feet long so I had to shorten them over 3 feet to make them the right length. Haven't shortened the adjusting "wand" yet (that's what it's called in the instructions), but probably will shorten that to 6" or so.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:29 pm

Today is the first day it's really been above 20 degrees so it's finally warm enough to roll the trailer out of the garage to hook up the gas struts and snap the canvas in place.

Since I installed all the hardware a week ago, connecting the struts took about 30 seconds, and the canvas just snaps into place on the lid so installation didn't take long. This shot shows the headroom that's available when the top is up, I'm 6'6"...

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Canvas in place:

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BTW it's hooked to the Jeep because the trailer doesn't have stabilizer jacks yet. Haven't needed them so far because I've never used this trailer as a camper. Next week I'll be in Elkhart, Indiana, where there are some very good RV surplus shops, so I'll get some jacks while I'm there.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:29 pm

A few more photos.

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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:31 pm

It's hard to show the interior space but there's a lot of it with the pop-top up.

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When the top is down, the sides stow up against the underside of the lid.

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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby greygoos » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:36 pm

Great work as always
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:58 pm

greygoos wrote:Great work as always

Thank you very much. Still a bunch of work to do - got to install the slide-out Trail Kitchen, build the sleeping platform, etc., but I'm happy with how it's coming along.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:43 pm

Next in the plan is installing the Trail Kitchen. There's plenty of room for the kitchen behind the front tailgate and room for a pantry behind the front hatch.

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Other upcoming tasks:

- Install stabilizer jacks on the trailer frame
- Build the pantry box inside the front hatch. It'll be removable for when I want to use the trailer for cargo.
- Install gas struts on all 3 hatches
- Build the sleeping platform and mattress

After I install the kitchen I'll be able to finalize the design of the sleeping platform. It'll be positioned just above the kitchen and will have plenty of storage underneath. The platform will be sectional so the back end of it can be hinged or removed to allow standing space when not sleeping.

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The platform will be basically the same size as a queen bed, which is 60 x 80 although the platform will be a little narrower because the Jeep tub is only 59" wide.

I stopped by one of my favorite surplus stores the other day because they carry foam; they have 60x80 sheets in 1", 2", 3" and 4" thickness for $30 per inch of thickness. I'll probably go with a 2" sheet for $60 but I'll decide that as I finalize the sleeping platform design.

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I've got a lot of travel coming up that will get in the way of this project so progress will be a little slow over the next few months.
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