Results 1 to 15 of 15
Share |

Thread: Pop-Up Tent Trailer Modifications

  1. #1
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401

    Pop-Up Tent Trailer Modifications

    Pop-Up tent trailers make a great alternative to the higher priced off road trailers. While they aren't and never will be as capable as a trailer designed for off road use they do offer a nice cost effective compromise. One that might even get the more finicky member of the house into the outdoors. You could pay a lot extra for an "off road" version of one of the popular brands but after looking at the ones available I have come to the conclusion that for the most part they are nothing more than the stock version with a SOA and larger hubs.
    There is an alternative, we got this used pop-up for a fraction of the cost of a new trailer;


  2. #2
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401
    The first order of business was an SOA.
    First pull the axle


    The axle has camber built into it so you can't simply flip it over new perches must be welded on the top.


    The new spring perches welded on


    New U bolts are always a good idea when modifying leaf springs



    All done, the whole job took one afternoon



  3. #3
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401
    The next thing to go were the wheel barrow size tires. With out doing a lot of modification to the body these are the largest tires I could fit.
    The big deal is I went rom a 4 lug hub to a 5 lug hub doubling the strength.



    You may notice I also removed the factory pin striping, we have since added Nevada pin stripping.

    All done



    The trailer does remarkably well off road.

    Other additions include
    swapping the single step for a double step, which was needed with the extra height
    adding glue and screws to a lot of the cabinets

  4. #4
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401
    We tested the limits fairly early in the trailers life, you CANNOT get it over Steel pass via Dedeckera Canyon


    I think getting the trailer out of there is what gave locrwln a hernia.


    There are a lot of places we did go though

  5. #5
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401
    A month later we were back this time at Panamint springs.


  6. #6
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401
    Since then we have covered hundreds of miles of dirt and paved roads in Nevada.

    This is near I-5 heading north toward Caliente via Rainbow canyon



    The mods we did were enough to make the difference between literally dragging the trailer behind us and cruising dirt roads hardly noticing it back there. You can't do the most extreme routes but you can definitely get off the beaten track. Set up takes 10 or 15 minutes so it's a lot less work than a tent, and more comfortable. But most important my better half is much happier and enjoys our trips a lot more.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Inc's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    243
    Real Name
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by rusty_tlc View Post
    But most important my better half is much happier and enjoys our trips a lot more.
    This is the rout I'm going to have to take to get my wife and little girls to join me more.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Papasxj's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 Aug 2011
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    Age
    55
    Posts
    17
    Real Name
    Steve
    I'm considering plans to build one. Build up the frame, probably get the tub from Sierra 4x4 and have the tent sewn by a professional. Colleen's onboard with the project which is an important first step.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401
    Here are a couple of vintage designs that would adapt well to Chris' tub

    http://www.apacheowners.com/Chief.html

    http://www.apacheowners.com/Eagle.html

    $ for $ I think it cost less to adapt than build from scratch.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Papasxj's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 Aug 2011
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    Age
    55
    Posts
    17
    Real Name
    Steve
    I enjoy building some things from scratch and this is one that I can put my own spin on. Also, having a rig built like mine, I want a trailer that can go anywhere my jeep can pull it.

    My idea is to model it after the military M416 1/4 ton trailer which is nearly impossible to find and if you can the owner want WAY too much for them. So, the current thinking is: build the frame with wheels to match the jeep and brakes, add a tub from Chris and take a tent design to a local upholstery shop for sewing. Dave and Barbara's tent will be the base design for that.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401
    Dave and Barbara?

  12. #12
    Junior Member Papasxj's Avatar
    Join Date
    17 Aug 2011
    Location
    Reno, Nevada
    Age
    55
    Posts
    17
    Real Name
    Steve
    Quote Originally Posted by rusty_tlc View Post
    Dave and Barbara?
    "Dave's 70 CJ6" and "Reno Rocks" over on Reno4x4.com

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2012
    Location
    Spanish Springs, NV
    Posts
    60
    I dig the pop up, I have an old pop up, love it, sits up pretty high in stock form...............Chris, may pick your brain on it eventually, take some of your trailer ideas and incorporate them into the old pop up, I think an off highway friendly hitch and suspension with my trailer would be a good base for a buildup.....one day one day

  14. #14
    Senior Member rusty_tlc's Avatar
    Join Date
    05 Oct 2011
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    401
    Quote Originally Posted by Special K View Post
    I dig the pop up, I have an old pop up, love it, sits up pretty high in stock form...............Chris, may pick your brain on it eventually, take some of your trailer ideas and incorporate them into the old pop up, I think an off highway friendly hitch and suspension with my trailer would be a good base for a buildup.....one day one day
    Actually the simple mods we did to our trailer were enough to get it into some very remote areas. One thing the suspension needs is shocks, it get pretty bouncy on wash board roads.

    The problem with some of the offroad hitches is they allow to much rotation, if you hit a pot hole or bump with a single tire at speed the whole trailer can flip. IMHO a pop-up trailer is so wide and has such a crappy departure angle you really don't need the excessive atriculation an "off road" hitch provides.

    A couple of other mods I would recommend based on tearing up RV trailers off road in the past;
    Gusset the frame, the body is supported pretty far from the main trailer structure and the framse tends to flex a lot the factory weld usually break.
    Screw and glue the cabinets as much as you can, add inside corner blocking if possible. Most RV cabinets are stapled together and shake apart pretty fast off road.
    1975 FJ40, Orion, toy box, ARB lockers, Warn 8274, Metal tech family roll cage and some other stuff
    1984 FJ60, Detroit lockers F&R, custom Dr Smash rear bumper, Aussie Bull Bar front bumper, Warn 9000 winch
    1998 UZJ100, first gen Spressomon sliders, ARB front locker factory rear.
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquise <Sesame Street>One of these things is not like the others........</Sesame Street>

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Feb 2012
    Location
    Spanish Springs, NV
    Posts
    60
    I was wondering that with the hitch, good info...I thought about a pintle hitch too, but, they are pretty loud and clunky (the only real reason the hitch is on my mind is because previous owner jacknifed it a bit backing up, kinda put a kink in it........still goes down the road fine at 70 though)....so, I'll prolly just rework the hitch and keep a ball style.....I've drug a lot of various bumper pull horse trailers, dump trailers and wood cutting trailers through spots they weren't suppose to go with no issues, so, I think your prolly right, as big and bulky as the pop ups are, I'd never see a real benifit of other hitches....only the downside

    ya, the cabinets (and their 30 year old glue) can barely make it down the highway, much less off road....I've just been tackling this on a 'as needed' basis, slowly but surely, cabinets are getting reworked

    all and all, I can't complain, the whole thing cost me $100 cause my buddy said the pop up wouldn't go up anymore. it's got 4 year old canvis, ..cost me like $35 in hardware to fix a cable, hah, I finally scored for once

Similar Threads

  1. Coleman Instant Tent
    By TroubleShooter in forum Tents
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: October 5th, 2011, 01:36 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: August 31st, 2011, 11:01 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •