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Brainstorm for camping in the TJ

Ejforan

TJ Enthusiast
Jun 5, 2018
105
Washington state
I already made a thread on this for ideas but I have a work in progress build that is barely started. Im planning to make a similar build to @Carvblaster built. Its essentially a box shaped to the bed of the jeep that raises right above the wheel wells with a lip expanding over the wells. My main idea is for the summer and spring anyways to sleep with the top down and fit a huge screen jut to cover the jeep with magnets and some rope to hold it down. Please comment if you guys have any ideas or just want to show off your own builds. I can always use extra inspiration!
 

pagrey

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 10, 2018
810
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Some people find that the TJ isn't an ideal platform for this type of thing. I find it a challenge in an LJ. You might be better off in a Cherokee, Landcruiser, pickup, Taco or a 4runner. That's why trailer comes up so often, they just don't have the room to do it easily. Unless you need short wheelbase with a frame you might be happier with a different wheelbase. It just makes everything so much easier.

I tried the SUV style for awhile and started to damage it to the point I knew I needed a more sturdy platform. If that's not you then I'd look into it. Somebody on this forum spend $$$ building a TJ then realized for what He did a Landcrusier was a better fit. Worth a thought at least before you dive in too deep.
 
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Ejforan

TJ Enthusiast
Jun 5, 2018
105
Washington state
Some people find that the TJ isn't an ideal platform for this type of thing. I find it a challenge in an LJ. You might be better off in a Cherokee, Landcruiser, pickup, Taco or a 4runner. That's why trailer comes up so often, they just don't have the room to do it easily. Unless you need short wheelbase with a frame you might be happier with a different wheelbase. It just makes everything so much easier.

I tried the SUV style for awhile and started to damage it to the point I knew I needed a more sturdy platform. If that's not you then I'd look into it. Somebody on this forum spend $$$ building a TJ then realized for what He did a Landcrusier was a better fit. Worth a thought at least before you dive in too deep.
My concept is to just have a place I'm able to sleep in relatively straight and store stuff below in coolers. Where I camp the coons love to raid stuff But another plus with this idea is it will give me storage thats actually semi secure within the jeep itself.
 

Chief Brohician

Member
Supporting Member
Apr 25, 2019
47
Guntersville, AL
My basically stock 98 sport. Its my daily so for now Im holding back on lifts until Im ready but I love roadtripping.
That's what I have. '98 Sport w/ Hard Top. The build sheet stated it came with the Dana 44 Rear, and the 30" Tire Group. I am still stock except for the sound bar, and Banks Power Pack I installed. Thinking about practicality, function, and looks. I keep seeing how so many members like what they have done but if they could do it all over again, keep it more basic / stock, not so MOD'ed out. Thinking about a 2" - 3" lift with appropriate size sneakers, and if I come across a Dana 44 front pumpkin throw that on. Then just basic safety upgrades on steering and big brakes. Keeping in mind I want it to drive smoothly since it is my 1st daily driver. I am making the 2nd daily driver a Wrangler JLU Sahara Overlander. I look forward to trade ideas and advice. Just like you enjoying the stock ruggedness, and really contemplating the upgrades to make sure I am not wasting money on upgrades I will not like or want down the road.
 
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Kiwi TJ

I don't suffer from insanity I enjoy every minute
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
May 3, 2016
4,227
Auckland New Zealand
From what Im reading it sounds like your raising the floor to just above the wheel well, to give you storage underneath and a bed to lay on.....you may want to take out the passenger front seat and build out where that would have been. At least then you have a longer place to lie down.
 

Flivver250

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Jun 3, 2018
703
Dubai/Florida
Just a small trailer. Roof top tent. You don't need to break down camp to explore. If it's attached to your Jeep, you have to take it all down to just go out and look around. Come back to your base camp and have to set it all up again.View attachment 98818
This is the way to go and it is cool as can be. I will be doing the same. I intend to affix and old TJ grill to the front for looks and camp lighting.
 
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Sundowner

Sheepless Hobo
Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2019
828
Republic of Dave
I'm going to place a vote against an off-road trailer as a possible solution. I like trailers, but the main problem with an off-road trailer is simply going in reverse when you find that you cannot continue to go forwards. I've been pulling trailers for many years - did it as a job for awhile, as a matter of fact - and hardly a trip goes by where I find myself in comparatively mild off-road terrain, realizing that there would be no easy way to extract myself with a trailer should I need to simply back down the road that I just traveled. Trailers are fine for those that are simply pulling up to camp by way of the highway or improved roads because the trailer is never going to be pulled anywhere that would get you in trouble (which also sort of negates the "off-road" thing, but whatever)...but if you're camping further afield, I say to keep it all in one vehicle.

As far as the netting idea goes...

If I was doing a drape-over netting, I would find some heavy-duty screening - like the stuff they use on campers and boats - and I would have someone sew up a Jeep cover that's made from screening and that fits the exact same way as a conventional cover, using the same attachments and tension points. In fact, finding a cheap Jeep cover to use as a pattern would probably save you money in the long run, because the person doing the sewing wouldn't have to do all of the laborious patterning and fitting and testing, which is what costs so much when you have custom canvas/material sewn up: you would already know that it would fit when it was done, so they could just go right to work. I would sew a nice reinforced seam along the bottom edge, and I would pocket in some decently-strong magnets to help keep the seam tight against the body of the Jeep, as you suggested; either that, or I would look into some additional tension/adjustment straps that will help you pull it as tight to the body as is possible to keep out the really small bugs. I think it could work; that said...

The most elegant solution would be something that actually clips into your door/tub surrounds and that allows you to keep your doors in place for easy entry. It will essentially fit like a frameless top, but it's gonna cost you: you'll need said frameless top to salvage parts from, and you'll have to find someone that's good with canvas in order to make the necessary seams. Expect it to cost several hundred dollars plus whatever you spend on the top for the pattern, unless someone owes you a serious-duty favor. So yeah...very pricey (Edit: but less than the cost of a trailer and a rooftop tent) but that's true of most things that are made well.
 
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Goatman

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 23, 2019
507
Upstate NY
There are several U-tubers that have done it with the passengers seat pulled. "IAmJake" did it for like a year living full time in a CJ-7. He has changed his rig a few times. Look at his early vids. A year or two ago. He even was full time in the CJ with a dog 🐶 AND a girlfriend! 😱 Any guesses how that turned out?💔!
 
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moab

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Dec 15, 2018
827
El Segundo, California
There are several U-tubers that have done it with the passengers seat pulled. "IAmJake" did it for like a year living full time in a CJ-7. He has changed his rig a few times. Look at his early vids. A year or two ago. He even was full time in the CJ with a dog 🐶 AND a girlfriend! 😱 Any guesses how that turned out?💔!
I was going to mention this too. His solution was cheap, down and dirty. He put an aluminum folding cot in place of the passenger seat iirc. He had to bend the legs in the passenger seat area to get it to fit. But that guy is also probably no larger than 5'8" I'd guess as well. I doubt anyone taller could make it happen. Without opening the tailgate and somehow placing your feet/legs out the back somehow.

I'd save my money and time and get a tent. And/or spend your money and time on other improvements to your Jeep. That was Iamjakes final solution. He got a big ass tent with cots and inflatable mattress. Although he is rebuilding his Jeep to be long enough to house a bed for him and his gf. A huge undertaking.
 

StG58

Backwoods Amateur
Supporting Member
Oct 29, 2015
6,205
Orygun, the wet side...
This is a bit different line of thought on camping setups for a TJ. It does work well for us though.

We approach it in a way simular to backpacking. Small and light.

Here's the SE packed for travel:
20190525_093600.jpg

Here is camp:
20190527_105710.jpg

We don't suffer from a lack of amenities, restrictions on where we can go, or a lack of space and comfort.

We use this setup year around in rain, snow, sun or whatever. We also get waaaay back in the puckerbrush for extended periods with it. Did I mention the TJ is an SE? Works great for us.