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 Post subject: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:47 am 
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I decided to start a thread to share some of my ideas for expedition style travel. I have spent a good number of years camping under the stars. In my early years, most of my camping was “car camping”. Once I got into college, I was introduced to backpacking. In the last 10 years, I have turned many overnight stays into RV camping. I suppose many of you wouldn’t associate an “RV” with camping, but to an extent, it’s still very much like camping, just with a different focus point. For me, it’s all about getting in the outdoors.

I’m now ready to introduce the next phase of outdoor adventure into my life. One benefit to owning a Jeep is the idea of expedition style of travel. At first, I had planned to use the KJ as an independent unit for expedition travel. After stuffing the KJ with camping supplies, I soon realized that I wanted more room to carry food, supplies, equipment, etc. This experience quickly led me to decide to add a trailer to the planning. I’m glad that I made this decision. I think adding a trailer to the expedition style of travel will be a better long term solution.

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:39 pm 
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I'm setting up my 05 CRD for expedition travel too, but the trailer is for hauling dirt bikes :mrgreen: Plus, all of my past camping experience is either survivalist, backpacking or bike camping, so the Jeep has WAY more room inside than the missus and I will ever need/use... even if we bring the 90lb mutt.

Really like the idea of fabbing up a roof rack large enough for a 2-person tent, but think it would look odd; a size 8 rack on a size 3 trucklet. Probably just fab an proportionately-sized rack and stick with my old Kelty, since I won't feel like unload/reloading the yaks at lighty anyway...

I've tasked a woodworker friend to build (2) 8" tall drawers for the cargo area. Similar to what a few others have done to store all the tools, recovery gear, parts, first aid kit, pipe tobacco, small children, etc. Putting some tie-down points in the top to lash a cooler, camp stove, and... saw an idea on ADVrider for using a divided-up Pelican-type case to store all the utensils/cookware/spices.

My CRD already has the factory skid plates, so I'm 'covered' 8) there. Got the token OME lift installed with UCAs, 31" MTRs, yadda, yadda. Planning on ditching the front bumper and fabbing my own pre-runner/front skid/winch mount with the faux-Wrangler nose. Pulling the plastic rocker covers off and building some slider bars too; been there, mashed that.

Check Expedition Portal and Horizons Unlimited for some cool ideas

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:56 am 
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Rig Specs:
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Rock Lizard Komodo Dragon Light Duty Rear Bumper (85lbs)
Mopar Front Differential and Engine skid plate
Mopar Transfer Case Skid Plate
Mopar Transmission Skid Plate
Mopar Gas Tank Skid Plate
Transgo Shift Kit
PML Aluminum Transmission Pan
Crane Rear Differential Cover
DieHard Platinum P-1 Battery
Mopar Heavy Duty Mechanical and Electrical Fan Kit


Yet to come:
4:10 Gears
ARB Front Air Locker
ARB Rear Air Locker
ARB Compressor
Customized Rock Lizard Roof Rack
(2) Lights for the Front Bumper
(4) Long Range Lights on the front of the Roof Rack
(2) Reverse lights on the rear of the Roof Rack
Mopar Trailer Wire Harness
Tail Light guards
Muffler and cat back

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:07 am 
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I consciously try to set up my KJ in the same way. But I'm very minimalistic when I camp/backpack, so I don't bring a lot of extras anyway. The way we've built my Libby thus far has proven to be pretty efficient for the type of overland/car camping we've done. The permanent removal of the back seats was a huge improvement in above deck space, but also in storage room below. Most of my gear/tools/extras for the Jeep go there now, and you'd never know anything is there. Once I'm able to get the spare tire back outside the vehicle (where it should be), I'll be golden. :D Then it's just a matter of lockers, onboard air, lights for the roof, and maybe a winch setup.

You need something for the doggies though don't you, Rhett?

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:29 pm 
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As a backpacker, I am a minimalist because I have no other choice. With expedition travel I do have a choice. I have the choice to have nothing more than my backpacking gear or I have the choice to bring along a cooking grill, lantern, laptop, video camera, solar panels, cooler, extra battery power, more luxury food, etc. At this point, I’m not sure what type of trailer we are going to choose. I know that I want an off-road trailer, but that could be something fairly simple (gear trailer) or something a little more complex (tent trailer).

Jayme, you are correct. We have to take our dogs into consideration. Even without dogs, I would probably choose to have some type of tent trailer.

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:20 pm 
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If I had to choose a trailer today, I would probaby choose the Tentrax.

Image

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Trailer Weight: Tub and frame without wheels: 450 pounds. With tent and bed and both front racks: Approximately 600 pounds.

Cargo Space: Two side compartments measure: 45”L x 11”W x 25”H each (without tent/bed). One center compartment: 45”L x 33”W x 25”H (without tent/bed). Providing 35 cubic feet of storage.

Dimensions: Length: 8 feet 6 inches. Width: 5 feet 4 inches. Height: varies depending upon tire size and lift kit.

Frame: Constructed of steel 1/4 inch thick walled 2" x 2" square tubing. The rear bumper is formed 3/16 inch plate steel. All metal CAD-designed and machined, using CNC equipment, then mig-welded and powder-coated.

Body: Fiberglass reinforced with 3/4 inch plywood. The gel-coated tub can be painted white or can be painted to match any vehicle.

Lid: Fiberglass reinforced with 1/4 inch plywood. Lifted by gas struts. Five raised ribs add strength, and a powder-coated steel top rack is bolted all the way through the lid.

Axle: 3,500-pound hubs and bearings on 1,400 lb., or 2,200 lb. Torflex axles are available.

Wheels and Tires: Usually matched to vehicle, though we stock All-Terrain tires w/ Aluminum Alloy Wheels

Tent Material: Tent fabric is urethane-coated polyester and is both fire-retardant and waterproof.

Tent and Bed: Tent opens to a 5' x 8' sleeping area with a 2" thick mattress.

Tongue Jack: Adjustable height tongue jack that swivels up during travel.

Tail Lights: Recessed 4-inch round tail lights and Jeep lights are available.

Receivers: 2" x 2" receiver is standard on rear of the trailer for step, bicycle rack, etc.

Rain Fly: Large Heavy Duty Awning/Rain Fly 10’ x 14’ covers tent and porch area and is supported by extreme weather Easton 7075 collapsible aluminum poles with over 80,000 PSI of tensile strength.

Coupler: All trailers can use the Easy-Hitch 2 inch coupler for use with 2" ball.

Lockable Dry Box: Measures 28” L x 18” W x 13” H

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:31 pm 
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I've been thinking about getting a big pickup truck with a truck camper and flat towing the CRD behind it for day trips/excursions/grocery runs. We would probably be 4-6 people plus dogs, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Teardrops and Tiny trailers has a section on offroad
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=29395

http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?p=882342#p882342

one of the builds (not mine - I'm still looking)
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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:01 am 
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ATXKJ, thanks for the link. Keep us posted on your progress. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:44 am 
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yellocoyote wrote:
The permanent removal of the back seats was a huge improvement in above deck space, but also in storage room below. Most of my gear/tools/extras for the Jeep go there now, and you'd never know anything is there.


Good idea, especially considering the back seat in the KJ is nothing more than a poorly-designed afterthought. Did you build some boxes with a deck to house everything?

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:10 pm 
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sailwa66 wrote:
I've tasked a woodworker friend to build (2) 8" tall drawers for the cargo area.


A forum member by the username 2006 KJ built this one:

Image

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:16 am 
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Ooh, ooh! Glad I stumbled on this thread. I'm subscribed. :POPCORN:

A buddy of mine at work and I have been killing time on and off for about a year now dreaming of expedition style setups. The lucky bum just stumbled upon a m416 trailer on craigslist and snatched it up. Seller didn't know what he had and let it go for $175. Unbelievable but that's the luck my buddy has. He's looking at doing something like this to it. http://www.wranglerforum.com/f118/m416- ... 98539.html Custom welded rack and roof top tent.

A YouTube video I found that's a little long winded but has some cool ideas along the lines of that type of setup is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSwDXj3pG6Y

I myself unfortunately live in a community with HOA rules so strict I can't have a trailer parked within view of the house but that hasn't stopped my scheming. I found a used once-sold-by-Thule aluminum/galvanized steel little trailer. This place re-brands them and still sells 'em but without all the bells and whistles you used to be able to get. http://www.redtrailers.com/ThuleEasylin ... od=SJTP205

You'll note the trailer stood up on end on the floor. I have just enough clearance to do that (and will do so after I get a motorcycle fixed up and sold). My scheme is to have some sort of pinned-connection rack I can add to the trailer and then add a roof top tent to such that everything can come apart in the winter and go back in the garage. During the camping season, I'll wheel it behind the house out of view. I've got a 16 month old so I've learned that coming through on any plans I have will take at least double if not triple my time estimate. If I make any progress, I'll update this thread.

Look forward to seeing what others are working on.

PS. I had not previously run across Tentrax. Those look nice and their sample invoice shows you can get one for under $10K which is better than other companies I have looked into.

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:26 am 
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sailwa66 wrote:
yellocoyote wrote:
The permanent removal of the back seats was a huge improvement in above deck space, but also in storage room below. Most of my gear/tools/extras for the Jeep go there now, and you'd never know anything is there.


Good idea, especially considering the back seat in the KJ is nothing more than a poorly-designed afterthought. Did you build some boxes with a deck to house everything?


No, but I already have things in smaller plastic containers... which all fit well underneath.

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Beer_me wrote:
If I make any progress, I'll update this thread.


Please do!

Beer_me wrote:
PS. I had not previously run across Tentrax. Those look nice and their sample invoice shows you can get one for under $10K which is better than other companies I have looked into.


You can also do a free estimate on their website. With all the options that I wanted, including electric brakes, my total cost was $5,500 dollars. The Tentrax is honestly looking more and more attractive all the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:58 am 
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With all the options that I wanted, including electric brakes, my total cost was $5,500 dollars. The Tentrax is honestly looking more and more attractive all the time.

That is a very attractive price. Some will balk at that kind of money for a trailer but as soon as you start researching it, you realize that's reasonable.

Regarding:
Quote:
Really like the idea of fabbing up a roof rack large enough for a 2-person tent, but think it would look odd; a size 8 rack on a size 3 trucklet.


Is this what you mean?
Image

Actually, it doesn't look too bad and it "only" weighs 120lbs, so the Liberty's stock roof rails will work. You just need crossbars. Company that makes 'em is CVT which my buddy at work just told me about and now I see on the top of that custom trailer posted by ATXKJ. Here's a link. http://www.cascadiatents.com/Roof_Top_Tents.htm?m=94 I think it's the "Mt Bachelor" on top of that Samurai.

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:39 am 
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Beer_me wrote:
Quote:
With all the options that I wanted, including electric brakes, my total cost was $5,500 dollars. The Tentrax is honestly looking more and more attractive all the time.

That is a very attractive price. Some will balk at that kind of money for a trailer but as soon as you start researching it, you realize that's reasonable.

Regarding:
Quote:
Really like the idea of fabbing up a roof rack large enough for a 2-person tent, but think it would look odd; a size 8 rack on a size 3 trucklet.


Is this what you mean?
Image

Actually, it doesn't look too bad and it "only" weighs 120lbs, so the Liberty's stock roof rails will work. You just need crossbars. Company that makes 'em is CVT which my buddy at work just told me about and now I see on the top of that custom trailer posted by ATXKJ. Here's a link. http://www.cascadiatents.com/Roof_Top_Tents.htm?m=94 I think it's the "Mt Bachelor" on top of that Samurai.


Dont forget to add your weight to that calculation, id overload those factory crossrails ina hurry

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:53 am 
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Oh yeah. Duh...didn't have my full coffee intake when I wrote that. Waking in the night because of broken rails would not be fun.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:54 am 
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Subscribed! (Even if you don't have a diesel with +500 mile range)

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:48 am 
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So here's an interesting option:
http://www.gizmag.com/teal-modular-shel ... ers/24809/
http://www.tealinternational.com/TealCamper/index.html
Image

I ran across this product last year when gizmag first profiled it; good to hear that the American dream isn't totally dead. Still the original hoped-for price point of $5K would've made it a more attractive option. At $7.5K and upwards, he's into custom expedition trailer prices.

Here's another cool trailer for those like me that grew up with Transformers and like the idea of anything real world with such attributes.
http://www.sylvansport.com/
Image

My trailer project is still in the works. I'll post here with updates when I finally get to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Building an Expedition Style KJ
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:55 pm 
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Have you ever checked out expedition portal?

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