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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:40 pm 
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As part of my disaster recovery plan I acquired an offroad capable trailer. It was a one-off first article from a company that was going out of business. There is nothing in it that cannot be easily repaired or replaced. Whether my house is destroyed in a quake or I bug out, the trailer gives me extended range and load carrying abilities. Worse case is that I transfer cargo to the 4x4 and abandon the trailer when necessary. I'll share more photos on how I've modified and upgraded it as well as photos of off-road overlanding trips.

Dexter axle, spring over, electric brakes, Rancho shocks
Tail gate, removeable
Camping Labs 8'x6' tent
Lid, hinged and removeable
19 gallon stainless steel water tank
Kyocera 65 Watt Solar panel on retractable slides, detachable for optimum placement
cheap-ass Harbor Freight solar charge controller
dual Optima blue top batteriess in a lockable nose box
1500 watt Xantrex DC to AC inverter
Lock N Roll multi-axis hitch
Powder coated paint almost everywhere
Leaf Springs with Poly bushings, Procomp front YJ springs with 2'' of lift
Integrated rear hitch receiver

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The truck is a 2005 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 that I bought new

4.0L V6, 5 speed automatic, center locking Torsion Differential
Overland Warehouse full suspension: 2.5" coilovers up front, 2.5" rear shocks and taller high load springs in the back
Rock sliders instead of running boards
Secondary battery system to run accessories
ARB rear differential air locker
ARB air compressor installed under the hood
Engel 46 quart Freezer Fridge, 12volt DC or 117VAC
African Outback full length aluminum rack, easily removeable
3/16" steel engine skid plate
Heavy duty rear lower control arms

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 Post subject: more trailer pictures
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:44 pm 
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Mounting point for tent rack
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Lid hinge pin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Three tires and rims ready to roll; two for the wheels and one full spare, all compatible with the 4Runner's tires.
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I picked up the new 6 x 5.5" brake drums and Spidertrax spacers.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:53 pm 
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Changing out the drums, bearings, seals, adding Spidertrax spacers and an OEM Toyota rim with a BFG tire
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Matching rims and tire size all the way around
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Trailer is still a bit nose down with the standard ball mount
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So I bought this 6" drop mount and flipped it over. Later on I shortened up the shank
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:53 pm 
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A few pictures of the CampingLabs roof top tent
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Installed the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 brake controller in the 4Runner. The 4Runner's factory connector is just above the kick panel by the driver's left foot. I noticed a nice spot to mount the controller but I had to fab up a simple bracket out of scrap aluminum to hold the P2's bracket and attach to a small panel brace in the truck.
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Then I "exploded" the truck's panels to mount the new bracket combo and route the control & power cable for the controller.
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Next I had to tweak my brackets to line it up and wah-lah! Tucked right in down on the left
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Close up. It is actually sitting pretty level but the camera angle makes it seem to be pointing down a little.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:58 pm 
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One area where the builder of my trailer came up a bit short is in the wiring in the nose box. There are no fuses or breakers whatsoever and wire routing is lackluster.
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I started to mock up a panel for mounting a breaker for the inverter, fuses for the cig lighter outlets, marine battery tender, relay for backup lights and a solar charge controller. The panel will mount on the back of the nose box above the batteries.
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The battery charger is a 6 Amp unit to maintain the batteries when the trailer is garaged.

The 30 Amp solar charge controller is a little overkill for capacity but has a nice LCD monitor for amps and volts. If my 65 watt Kyocera rigid panel cannot keep up with charging the batteries I can parallel my foldable 65 watt panel and the controller can handle the extra amps quite easily.

The fuse box will feed the 12 volt outlets, reverse lights, work lights and possibly the two-way radio.

I added a weatherproof port for the charger's AC cord and a bulkhead connector for the solar panel to feed the nose box when the lid is closed and locked.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:59 pm 
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I also mounted up the Blitz fuel can holders and new LED brake/turn lights

Bunch of photos of the work....
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New stoplight roughly in place compared to old oval stoplight
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Fuel can holder with half size Scepter fuel can
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It was getting dark so the flash photos are not the best. Stoplight installed with fuel can holder
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Last edited by teotwaki on Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:00 pm 
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The new rear LED stop/turn lights all wired up
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I turned my attention to the overall electrical wiring, in particular what was in the nose box. There were no fuses or breakers of any sort and with two big batteries in there almost any short circuit would be cause for a meltdown. I also wanted to add a better solar panel controller with a current/voltage meter, a marine style battery charger and a relay to be able to switch on the new backup lights manually.

It took a bit to figure out how to mount the panel between the two big bolts that fasten the nose box and water tank together. I also wanted to avoid nuts on the back of the panel so I went with drilling and tapping all of the mounting holes. When I start a project I pull everything out and spread it out in the garage. It was cold enough last night that I set up a small heater too.

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Here is the panel with all of the holes in it
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And here is the panel with all of the components screwed down
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I left space to add one more breaker to the left of the 100 Amp unit.
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This setup will make it easy to add other items such as a two-way radio in the nose box.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:02 pm 
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I bored a big hole in the nose box for the fitting that holds the battery tender's AC plug
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It is right below the two existing DC cig lighter sockets
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Then I plugged in the new LED backup lights to see how they looked
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:21 pm 
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I think you just posted this to make everyone else jealous of your set up :oops:

Neat idea with the back-up lights on the trailer!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:57 pm 
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"Company going out of business"

If I may ask - what was the planed price point for the trailer?

Very nice rig, thanks for the photos.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:22 pm 
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working on the electrical panel and all of the wiring on it.
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Then set it into the nose box for a test fit.
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Then took it back out to finish the wiring.
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The wiring is solid but not as "pretty" as I'd like. But it subsequently survived washboard roads so that's good enough.....

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:25 pm 
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TacAir wrote:
"Company going out of business"

If I may ask - what was the planed price point for the trailer?

Very nice rig, thanks for the photos.


normally $10K to $15K as it sits

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:27 pm 
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Wow, you really did a number on an already impressive trailer - great work! I would love to have half the knowledge that you have.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:30 pm 
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I reworked all of the wiring in the nose box

  1. Extended the trailer harness and wired it into the panel's main "input" terminal strip
  2. Built a new harness for the 7-pin trailer plug with larger gauge wires for the power and ground inputs.
  3. Wired up the cig lighter sockets to the Blue Sea fuse box.
  4. Built new cables to parallel the two batteries and connect them to the panel.
  5. Hooked up the battery charger and tested it.
  6. Tested the solar charge controller.
Here is how the nose box looked when I picked the trailer up.
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A few pictures taken as I worked on it all

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No cables on the batteries yet
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Now cabled
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Solar charge controller works!
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Cleaned up battery cabling
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Last edited by teotwaki on Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:40 pm 
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dukman wrote:
I think you just posted this to make everyone else jealous of your set up :oops:

Neat idea with the back-up lights on the trailer!


The trailer had no backup lights at all and out in the boondocks it was a pain to back the trailer up.
This is a great forum and I am pretty jealous of many of the weapons and BOBs that I have seen! :mrgreen:

I'm definitely just trying to share with the community though.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:57 pm 
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I finished all of this off before I took the trailer to Death Valley for 3 days.
Before photo with a new "after" photo of the nose box.
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After from roughly the same view angle
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This is how I brought the backup light wires, breakaway switch wires and frame ground out of the nose box.
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Wires under the trailer are run and inside split loom
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Cig lighter sockets rewired. Just below the battery tender inlet you can see the entry point for the wires that go out through the plastic elbow on the bottom of the nose box.
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Various shots of labeling. These labels helped me out when I was troubleshooting!
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Backup lights relay and switch. The relay just passes through the voltage from the truck. Flip the switch and local battery power is applied
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Somewhere I had read of another person who had added lights into their RTT by reworking an IKEA LED strip setup that was for lighting under cabinets.

I found the "DIODER" at IKEA, cleanly eliminated the AC transformer and replaced the AC plug with a cig lighter plug.

Here is the finished light cord for power
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The little junction box was for the original four cords to go to four light strips but I only plug in one cord now. The black plug is fused. The on/off switch is the original.

I just snake the cord through the tent's hinge cover and plug one end into the nose box outlet.
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This is all of the junk that you don't need.
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The tiny 12v power supply might be useful for some other low power project. The other cords I'll keep as spares in case the one in the tent gets whacked.

A few low quality night shots out in Death Valley. ;)

Lights on inside the tent with a fuzzy moon up above in Death Valley last Saturday.
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Enough light for s shaky non-flash photo!
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There are 9 white LEDs per strip. I zip tied them to the top pole.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:02 pm 
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I installed the last two marker lights for the trailer. The spot on the angled face of the nose box allows them to be seen from the front when the trailer is unhitched.

holes drilled...
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...and presto!
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Repeated for the other side then wired them, integrating the wires into the split loom and tapping into the terminal blocks.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:08 pm 
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One of my planned mods was to figure out how to mount my Fiamma Pro 35 awning to the trailer. I was lucky enough to be able to buy a used pair of mounts even though I was not sure how I'd mount them I figured there had to be some way.

Here are some photos of the first phases of the project.

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I had some nice pieces of aluminum angle stock, fairly hard alloy about 1/4" thick. This shot is on the trailer's left side, opposite of where the RTT opens. I also chose the corners of the trailer's lid so that I could get some height as well as avoid banging things into each other. This spot also gives good clearance to the zipper of the RTT's cover.

The garage floor home machine shop.
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Starting to take shape!
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Another test fit.
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This time with bolts and not clamps!
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I had to final trim, primer and paint the angle brackets, true up the mounting and also make up some mounting plates for the awning. I also bought some new retainer pins.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Here is the front set of brackets trimmed, painted and mounted

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Some night time shots of the brackets mounted up.
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Extended to full height which is plenty enough to handle any situation.
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Front bracket.
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Rear bracket
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