incorporating Jeep parts into build

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incorporating Jeep parts into build

Postby Yuri4x4 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:25 am

I'm in the planning stages of building my own teardrop. It will be towed behind a lifted Jeep Wrangler TJ. But for the most part, the trailer won't see very much trail. It will be parked at the campground for the day while we go out playing. Because of this, I'd like to incorporate as much 'Jeep' into the trailer as possible. Extra parts and tool storage would need to be incorporated into the design. But I have some other things I want to do:

1. It needs to have a queen sized bed. We were on the brink of being 'empty nesters' until a stork brought us a new baby last year. (the older boys are just about out of the house now)

2. In place of regular doors, I'd like to use Jeep doors. This would give me a place to store my hard doors while out wheelin, and lock-up the camper in the process. I have a spare set of soft doors that would be used while travelling between home/camp, and I planned to make wooden 'blanks' for when it's stored.

3. I'd like to be able to store four 35" mud tires inside while in storage (I trade-out my street tires and mud tires for wheelin')

4. For a mattress, I plan to use my queen-sized blow-up 'coleman'. But will eventually pick up a futon mattress. We love each other, but not enough to be crammed together like sardines... so queen or larger :)

5. I'll use stock Jeep rims/225-75-15 tires and TJ flares as fenders. But I don't want to impede into the cabin. Is that possible?

My design at this point is to angle-up the front edge to follow the rake of a TJ windshield. Toward the rear, I wanted to round it down like a normal tear. But now I've been seeing some other designs, I may do an angled rear too.

One more idea, I'd like input on... In a moving truck, they make the roof out of white plastic. This lets in light, but you can't see through it. How would a roof like this be on a TD? I've never had a problem with too much light in my tents, and I kind-of like waking up to the daylight. What do y'all think of this?

Well, thanks for the input.
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Postby Steve F » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:46 pm

1. Queen size bed is no problem, just over 5ft wide would fit one.

2. Jeep doors will be heavier than a fiberglass or wooden door and will take some mucking about to get the door opening shape correct etc but anything is possible. They'll also be thicker than the typical tear drop door so you'll have to take that into account in overall width with the queen size bed.

3. Check they fit through a Jeep door ;)

4. Futons are heavy, might be better to look at a foam mattress

5. It's possible but with a queen size bed the track on the tear will be wider than the jeep, not really an issue if you don't plan to take it offroad.

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Postby Endo » Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:42 pm

I tow with a lifted TJ as well.
Jeeps and teardrops go well together!

Using the Jeep doors is an interesting idea.
Trying to get the fit/door seal correct could be a challenge.

I look forward to seeing your design.
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Postby Yuri4x4 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:05 pm

The doors are pretty flat, but taper inward at the top. So the TD would be an inch or so wider at the bottom than the top. The full-soft doors give a little bit, so they would work even if I kept it flat. I've been checking Craigslist for a trailer to start with... But I've got a little time. The Jeep is getting a new front axle, steering, and long arms starting next week. :D

The TD is my NEXT project... in the design phase right now.
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Postby Ageless » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:00 pm

If we are talking about a spare set of doors, remove as much of the steel on the inside of the door and brace with aluminum. Much of that steel is there for side impact protection.
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Postby starleen2 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:41 pm

I can tell you from experience with a transverse queen size bed in a six foot wide camper - you WILL need extension mirrors on a Wrangler! Also from experience - ditch the inflatable coleman. We also tried that and settled for a foam mattress - it was too hard to inflate inside and always seemeda little soft ;)
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Postby Steve F » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:05 pm

Yuri4x4 wrote:..... The Jeep is getting a new front axle, steering, and long arms starting next week. :D

The TD is my NEXT project... in the design phase right now.


Nice, I have lockers coming from the US to Aus at the moment along with 4.56 ratios and drop brackets for the front control arms. Also have a rear D44 sitting in the garage for some of this stuff to go into. Jeeps are just as addictive as TDs :)

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Postby Yuri4x4 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:16 am

starleen2 wrote:I can tell you from experience with a transverse queen size bed in a six foot wide camper - you WILL need extension mirrors on a Wrangler! Also from experience - ditch the inflatable coleman. We also tried that and settled for a foam mattress - it was too hard to inflate inside and always seemeda little soft ;)


Thanks for the info! Now that you mention it, I can see where it would be difficult to air-up a mattress. Now I know to keep my eye out for another plan.

I wasn't planning to install the mattress TRANSVERSLY... just the conventional way, front to back.
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Postby oldtamiyaphile » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:12 am

I'm also planing out a trailer to match my TJ.

I looked at using Jeep parts too, but came to the conclusion that it's not the best route practically or stylistically.

Instead I plan on using some of the Jeep's curve radii and reproducing them in ply/aly. I do plan on using TJ tail lights (if I can find a place to put them) and TJ flares, they'll have to be wider than stock or widened with spacers (maybe out of ply).

Keep in mind that TJ locks will keep a theif out for all of 30 seconds. I want to use TJ half door door handles, but I'm going to use something more substantial for the actual locks.
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Postby Yuri4x4 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:04 am

Something I also am looking into: An XJ (Cherokee) tailgate is pretty light weight, and would be even lighter with something else instead of glass. So that may be a good way to build a pre-fabbed kitchenette hatch. This goes vertical for about 2 feet, than tapers in a couple inches on each side. The taillights would also work-out nicely too. The only issue is that the mattress couldn't be queen-sized.
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Re: incorporating Jeep parts into build

Postby 07 Black FJ » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:06 am

what ever happen to this build? it seemed so original when reading
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Re:

Postby Nobodyhome1313 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:10 pm

Yuri4x4 wrote:Something I also am looking into: An XJ (Cherokee) tailgate is pretty light weight, and would be even lighter with something else instead of glass. So that may be a good way to build a pre-fabbed kitchenette hatch. This goes vertical for about 2 feet, than tapers in a couple inches on each side. The taillights would also work-out nicely too. The only issue is that the mattress couldn't be queen-sized.


Hey Yuri,

Love your ideas! Using the trailer to store hard doors while wheeling is outstanding! Anything you can do with a TD that is multi-purpose is always a bonus. In terms of light weight tailgates and other jeep looking tailer stuff, have you checked out www.dinoot.com ? He fabs all kinds of cool stuff in fiberglass, including tailgates.
Also, regarding rear shape. If the structure overhangs the frame of the trailer in the rear, it would be a great idea to put a bevel in that back area to give a decent departure angle. My buddy does that with his, works well in case you need to go a little further into the trailhead.

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Good luck!
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Re: incorporating Jeep parts into build

Postby Yuri4x4 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:53 am

07 Black FJ wrote:what ever happen to this build? it seemed so original when reading

To make a long story short: I lost my job, lost my home, the wife had medical issues (and also lost her job), we blew through all our savings/retirement, and I lost all initiative (and funding) to build anything. We ended up moving out west for a year, which didn't work-out. Then we moved all the way back to the East coast for a job. With every move, we sold (or just left) quite a bit of our 'stuff'. After working 'a job' for half a year, I finally got a call from a 'good job', took it, and moved again. Today, I enjoy my job and have a whole-new outlook on life. It's like I've been given a fresh start... We're finally starting to get back on our feet after 3+years of struggling.

All of my hobbies were also on a 3-year hiatus... and now I'm wondering if maybe I've out-grown some of them. So honestly, I no longer know if I want to proceed with a teardrop build. I still find teardrops interesting, just focused on getting life together again before devoting resources to hobbies. This might also be my mid-life crisis talking... I don't know :R

If a teardrop is in my future, it will take time and I would probably just buy one. If I did build, it would follow a more-traditional plan. This project is dead, as far as I am concerned. I'm just not the same guy I was four years ago.

Wish there was better news for ya, Black FJ.
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Re: incorporating Jeep parts into build

Postby Nobodyhome1313 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:58 am

Yuri4x4 wrote:
07 Black FJ wrote:what ever happen to this build? it seemed so original when reading

To make a long story short: I lost my job, lost my home, the wife had medical issues (and also lost her job), we blew through all our savings/retirement, and I lost all initiative (and funding) to build anything. We ended up moving out west for a year, which didn't work-out. Then we moved all the way back to the East coast for a job. With every move, we sold (or just left) quite a bit of our 'stuff'. After working 'a job' for half a year, I finally got a call from a 'good job', took it, and moved again. Today, I enjoy my job and have a whole-new outlook on life. It's like I've been given a fresh start... We're finally starting to get back on our feet after 3+years of struggling.

All of my hobbies were also on a 3-year hiatus... and now I'm wondering if maybe I've out-grown some of them. So honestly, I no longer know if I want to proceed with a teardrop build. I still find teardrops interesting, just focused on getting life together again before devoting resources to hobbies. This might also be my mid-life crisis talking... I don't know :R

If a teardrop is in my future, it will take time and I would probably just buy one. If I did build, it would follow a more-traditional plan. This project is dead, as far as I am concerned. I'm just not the same guy I was four years ago.

Wish there was better news for ya, Black FJ.


Sorry to hear you had such a rough time with things, glad to see it picking up. I shared your Jeep door/ TD idea with a few folks and it sparked definate interest. Its something many of us deal with and that is a clever solution, so thanks for the inspiration. Hope things continue to move in a good direction.
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