Latest trailer mods: outboard storage & power outlets

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Latest trailer mods: outboard storage & power outlets

Postby working on it » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:08 pm

    As I've stated many times before,
  • 1) I can never leave my trailer as-is, following a trip...I must modify something
  • 2) I'm always trying to make camping life easier/faster/better (i.e. cooking, packing-up, lighting... among others)
  • 3) try out-of-the box ways to do things, not usually found on most trailers, and
  • 4) use re-purposed items to accomplish those goals.

* Today, I installed side-mounted racks (load trays?) to carry excess items that I've found little or no room for inside my small 4x8 squareback, and instead have to sleep beside some, while most of it fills the passenger seat of my regular-cab pickup (items that I need to keep dry, and not in the open bed of my truck, since it always T-storms when I camp). I used stainless/zinc pantry-type shelves to make a folding tray to carry two semi-waterproof Plano 1719 storage boxes (pretty much the same as the 1819 model, but smaller, and I've carried one in the bed of my truck in all weather for years).

* The 30" long, 14" wide shelves are turned upside-down, and the 30" long x 15" wide boxes fit into them nicely (the boxes are tapered-down from the given measurements, for a good fit!). Bungee cords, cable locks, and a locking bracket (to hold the rack in folded-up position) will be added later.
box & rack dimensions, streetside (curbside identical).jpg
tapered-down from top to bottom, the 1719 fits into a "smaller" footprint than the nominal size listed would indicate
box & rack dimensions, streetside (curbside identical).jpg (108.62 KiB) Viewed 458 times


  • 157957157958 streetside rack, with Plano 1719 box onboard
  • 157959157960 curbside rack without box, and in temporary folded-up position

* The other install I did today was to make an all-weather-usable GFCI outlet for my new camp cooking favorite item (a 25+ year-old West Bend electric skillet), and with a plug-in for my new removable/repositionable LED "porch light". Of course, it had to be a GFCI, and with an in-use cover, so I paired a GFCI with a regular outlet (making it a GFCI, also), and put them in a weatherproof Hubbell PVC 2-gang box (surface-mounted with stainless bolts & PL adhesive), with a Taymac 2-gang in-use (expandable) cover. I configured it to plug into my main ac source, a wall-mounted distribution block powered from either a park pedestal, or my onboard generator.

* I had a little trouble somewhere along the way, with solder-sealing heat-shrinkable wire connectors (too many splices, joining leftover wires), so I finally quit trying to back-probe everything to find the "open hot", and went ahead and used an intact power cord replacement I had on hand. Should'a done that in the first place. The circuits work fine, now.

  • 157961157962 I surface-mounted the new outlets under my "bungee box", in a tight spot that wasn't easy to work in (my onboard generator lives there), but the best spot available.

* MORE TO COME.... added 4/18
* I'm a great fan of 1)bungee cords / 2)padlocks / 3)steel cables to secure my gear, i.e.:
  • 1) I use 15-20 bungees at camp for my canopy, 10 inside the trailer, and 10 to secure my truck bed tarp covering,
  • 2) there are 8 padlocks in the bed of my truck, 10 currently on my trailer, and more to come, and
  • 3) I use 3 steel cables to secure gear inside the truck bed, and a really strong one to thread thru a trailer wheel to lock it to the trailer spring for theft prevention. And two chains to lockup my spare tire, with another padlock....

* Surely, that's plenty, but the two new side-mounted cargo boxes will require 8 more bungees, and at least two more cables, and 4 more padlocks, to satisfy my "secure gear" mania. I guess I lived in too many apartments early-on, then had theft problems while my gear sat exposed at some sketchy dragstrips, then didn't have enough enclosed storage at my semi-rural home for too long...you get the drift...I hate thieves and am sure that whatever isn't strapped & locked down will eventually get away. Or blown out of the open truck bed....

* So, I'm gonna use 4 straps per box (probably 15" EPDM-type), and one steel cable thru a padlock on each box, and another padlock on the other end of each box to keep the lid from coming off.
securing the box.jpg
more straps, more locks....
securing the box.jpg (119.74 KiB) Viewed 462 times


* Call me obsessive, which I can be, but it's not that I don't trust my fellow campers (I camp with a core group, that I've known for years now), but sometimes at gas stations there are snoopers, and sometimes passers-by at state parks get a little touchy-feely with loose gear (what they do when I'm away from my site?, I don't know). It is what it is.
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", rugged, 4x8 TTT, 2150+ lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube braked axle, 3000 lb.springs, active-progressive bumpstop suspension
  • *27 x 8.5-14LT AT tires (x 3) *Weight Distribution system for single-beam tongue
  • *100% LED's & GFCI outlets, 3x fans, AM/FM/CD/Aux. *A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill, vintage skillet
  • *zinc/stainless front & side racks *98"L x 6" diameter rod & reel carrier tube on roof
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Re: Latest trailer mods: outboard storage & power outlets

Postby aggie79 » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:46 am

:thumbsup: :applause: :thumbsup:
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Re: Latest trailer mods: outboard storage & power outlets

Postby swoody126 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:41 am

hey Pard, you're gonna be kneadin' to re-re-inforce your tongue AGAIN ;-)

sw
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Re: Latest trailer mods: outboard storage & power outlets

Postby working on it » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:01 am

swoody126 wrote:hey Pard, you're gonna be kneadin' to re-re-inforce your tongue AGAIN ;-)

sw

* Those two side-mounted boxes are 68 quarts capacity each, so I figure that if I was able to pack them solid enough to fill entirely (for instance, with water), then the added total weight would only come to 320 lbs (160 lbs per side).

* Calculations: (142 lbs water weight) + (7 lbs box) + (2 lbs padlocks + bungees + cable lock) + (8 lbs rack +pad + hinges) = 160 lbs

* Of course, they will not be packed that solidly, but instead packed with expendable supplies in box #1: trash bags, "Double Doodies", TP, kitchen wipes, paper towels, emergency "drying towels" (worn-out bath towels from home-), inside-cabin boot storage (small plastic trash can), etc...., and in box #2: tackle box, fish basket (IKEA collapsible-mesh clothes hamper), catfish stink bait (in tightly sealed jars), minnow bucket, small 8" electric fan (used for when I'm sitting outside the trailer, on a hot day), container with various small gadgets and tools I use at camp.

* The weight of all those listed items is relatively negligible (total estimated, offhand, as under 45 lbs per side), and the weight will be centered just slightly rear of the axle, so the tongue weight might decrease by a couple of %, and the tongue itself will not be negatively affected. Besides, at 3" square x 3/16" thick, it would take a lot of extra weight to make any detrimental effect happen.

* The tongue is strong, but the suspension is even stronger, having been retrofitted with a 3500 lb axle, 3000 lb springs (yes, I knew I would continue to modify/make heavier the trailer, beforehand!), and with 2" x 1/4" steel angle added to the framerails. I've been thinking about welding that same steel to make my single beam tongue into a true A-frame tongue, for ultimate strengthening, but it probably won't be needed, since my future plans no longer call for true-offroading capability (too old to begin now). Plenty strong as-is for State Park use.

* I failed to mention that each fender is pretty strong, with a 16 gauge backing plate firmly welded on, then welded to the frame, and has additional stiffening brackets front and rear. I have stood on each fender before, and there's no give, so each can easily support the side-boxes.
fender assembly items, 16 gauge.JPG
fender assembly items, 16 gauge.JPG (28.42 KiB) Viewed 354 times
extra strong fender support.jpg
extra strong fender support.jpg (91.74 KiB) Viewed 354 times
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", rugged, 4x8 TTT, 2150+ lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube braked axle, 3000 lb.springs, active-progressive bumpstop suspension
  • *27 x 8.5-14LT AT tires (x 3) *Weight Distribution system for single-beam tongue
  • *100% LED's & GFCI outlets, 3x fans, AM/FM/CD/Aux. *A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill, vintage skillet
  • *zinc/stainless front & side racks *98"L x 6" diameter rod & reel carrier tube on roof
156215157958148599
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