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Exogate / MORryde Tailgate Reinforcement + Savvy Tail Lights

OP
jscherb

jscherb

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
652
Location
Elmira, NY
excellent work sir.

Thank you very much.

I’m in love with this trailer

You could have built one from a kit... if Gr8Tops had decided to market it. Here's the history...

The trailer camper top was part of my original design plan for the LJ/TJ Safari Cab hardtop, I did this concept image in 2010:

Camper2.jpg


In 2011 when Gr8Tops licensed the Safari Cab design from me and was making their first set of preproduction parts, I assembled a prototype camper top for my Jeep-tub trailer using some of their early parts and a few parts that I made. They displayed it alongside their first LJ Safari Cab at the York, PA All-Breeds Jeep Show in 2011. After that show, I disassembled the top and the parts have been sitting here for 11 years, until a few weeks ago when I decided to complete the assembly. This photo was taken at the show in 2011:

York4a.jpg


Also in that photo is Gr8Tops first LJ Safari Cab out of their molds (the red one) and my LJ with my homemade Safari Cab made from my molds (this was before I built the CJ Grille Kit that's on the LJ now). I do still have the original Safari Cab molds and more trailer camper tops could be made in those molds if there was enough interest and someone wanted to make them.

As for the bottom half (the Jeep tub), I made my yellow trailer out of the back half of the LJ I cut in half to make my pickup and the back half of a YJ tub I got from a friend.

Assembly13.jpg


Tonneau6.jpg


It was so much work to make a nice trailer out of those parts that I thought there had to be a market for an easy-to-assemble fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit, so I made molds for a kit. The prototype fiberglass trailer kit:

TubFloor2.jpg


The first trailer I built from those molds:

STTKwSafari5.jpg


It is designed so that it can be built on an affordable Harbor Freight frame.

The trailer kit was licensed by Compact Camping Concepts and has been marketed ever since under the name Dinoot (www.dinoot.com), so you can build the base trailer from a kit. They sell them in two lengths - the "Compact" pictured above and a longer version called the "Extended".

After that, and since Gr8Tops wasn't going to offer the camper top parts for sale, I decided that there needed to be a way for people to easily build toppers for trailers that matched the curves of the Jeep tub, so I designed a line of fiberglass parts I called "TrailTop" parts...

partssofar1_zps6677c2ae-jpg.159486


They can be assembled, along with 1/4" plywood, into a number of camper configurations. Like this proof of concept teardrop:

assemblydone3_zps92834b7f-jpg.159488


I used those parts to build this proof of concept pop-top camper shell, which I pictured earlier in this thread:

tiltup2_zps8rjkiejo-jpg.159491


A few photos of the pop-top shell under construction, you can see how the fiberglass parts form the curved corners and the sides are simple 1/4" plywood.

WorkInProgress_zps0b8hmra3.jpg



A couple of years ago a company licensed those parts and they sell them under the name Trailtop: https://trailtopcampers.com/. They don't offer the complete selection of parts yet but they do offer the parts needed to build the pop-top above.

Probably way more history than you wanted to know, but if you really love the trailer as you say you do, you can build a pretty close version of it using parts from Dinoot and Trailtop :).
 

Noslo65

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
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Feb 24, 2019
Messages
277
Location
Central Illinois
I feel like someone (company) is missing an opportunity to manufacture a complete camper that looks Jeep like. No kit, but a completed camper/trailer.
 
Last edited:

Nickgsjeep

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
1,504
Location
Southern California
Thank you very much.



You could have built one from a kit... if Gr8Tops had decided to market it. Here's the history...

The trailer camper top was part of my original design plan for the LJ/TJ Safari Cab hardtop, I did this concept image in 2010:

View attachment 341113

In 2011 when Gr8Tops licensed the Safari Cab design from me and was making their first set of preproduction parts, I assembled a prototype camper top for my Jeep-tub trailer using some of their early parts and a few parts that I made. They displayed it alongside their first LJ Safari Cab at the York, PA All-Breeds Jeep Show in 2011. After that show, I disassembled the top and the parts have been sitting here for 11 years, until a few weeks ago when I decided to complete the assembly. This photo was taken at the show in 2011:

View attachment 341114

Also in that photo is Gr8Tops first LJ Safari Cab out of their molds (the red one) and my LJ with my homemade Safari Cab made from my molds (this was before I built the CJ Grille Kit that's on the LJ now). I do still have the original Safari Cab molds and more trailer camper tops could be made in those molds if there was enough interest and someone wanted to make them.

As for the bottom half (the Jeep tub), I made my yellow trailer out of the back half of the LJ I cut in half to make my pickup and the back half of a YJ tub I got from a friend.

View attachment 341115

View attachment 341116

It was so much work to make a nice trailer out of those parts that I thought there had to be a market for an easy-to-assemble fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit, so I made molds for a kit. The prototype fiberglass trailer kit:

View attachment 341117

The first trailer I built from those molds:

View attachment 341118

It is designed so that it can be built on an affordable Harbor Freight frame.

The trailer kit was licensed by Compact Camping Concepts and has been marketed ever since under the name Dinoot (www.dinoot.com), so you can build the base trailer from a kit. They sell them in two lengths - the "Compact" pictured above and a longer version called the "Extended".

After that, and since Gr8Tops wasn't going to offer the camper top parts for sale, I decided that there needed to be a way for people to easily build toppers for trailers that matched the curves of the Jeep tub, so I designed a line of fiberglass parts I called "TrailTop" parts...

partssofar1_zps6677c2ae-jpg.159486


They can be assembled, along with 1/4" plywood, into a number of camper configurations. Like this proof of concept teardrop:

assemblydone3_zps92834b7f-jpg.159488


I used those parts to build this proof of concept pop-top camper shell, which I pictured earlier in this thread:

tiltup2_zps8rjkiejo-jpg.159491


A few photos of the pop-top shell under construction, you can see how the fiberglass parts form the curved corners and the sides are simple 1/4" plywood.

View attachment 341119


A couple of years ago a company licensed those parts and they sell them under the name Trailtop: https://trailtopcampers.com/. They don't offer the complete selection of parts yet but they do offer the parts needed to build the pop-top above.

Probably way more history than you wanted to know, but if you really love the trailer as you say you do, you can build a pretty close version of it using parts from Dinoot and Trailtop :).

Wow thanks @jscherb . I had known about dinoot for quite some time from following your various threads here and a while back on a different jeep forum. Great stuff!!!
 

Nickgsjeep

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
1,504
Location
Southern California
Thank you very much.



You could have built one from a kit... if Gr8Tops had decided to market it. Here's the history...

The trailer camper top was part of my original design plan for the LJ/TJ Safari Cab hardtop, I did this concept image in 2010:

View attachment 341113

In 2011 when Gr8Tops licensed the Safari Cab design from me and was making their first set of preproduction parts, I assembled a prototype camper top for my Jeep-tub trailer using some of their early parts and a few parts that I made. They displayed it alongside their first LJ Safari Cab at the York, PA All-Breeds Jeep Show in 2011. After that show, I disassembled the top and the parts have been sitting here for 11 years, until a few weeks ago when I decided to complete the assembly. This photo was taken at the show in 2011:

View attachment 341114

Also in that photo is Gr8Tops first LJ Safari Cab out of their molds (the red one) and my LJ with my homemade Safari Cab made from my molds (this was before I built the CJ Grille Kit that's on the LJ now). I do still have the original Safari Cab molds and more trailer camper tops could be made in those molds if there was enough interest and someone wanted to make them.

As for the bottom half (the Jeep tub), I made my yellow trailer out of the back half of the LJ I cut in half to make my pickup and the back half of a YJ tub I got from a friend.

View attachment 341115

View attachment 341116

It was so much work to make a nice trailer out of those parts that I thought there had to be a market for an easy-to-assemble fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer kit, so I made molds for a kit. The prototype fiberglass trailer kit:

View attachment 341117

The first trailer I built from those molds:

View attachment 341118

It is designed so that it can be built on an affordable Harbor Freight frame.

The trailer kit was licensed by Compact Camping Concepts and has been marketed ever since under the name Dinoot (www.dinoot.com), so you can build the base trailer from a kit. They sell them in two lengths - the "Compact" pictured above and a longer version called the "Extended".

After that, and since Gr8Tops wasn't going to offer the camper top parts for sale, I decided that there needed to be a way for people to easily build toppers for trailers that matched the curves of the Jeep tub, so I designed a line of fiberglass parts I called "TrailTop" parts...

partssofar1_zps6677c2ae-jpg.159486


They can be assembled, along with 1/4" plywood, into a number of camper configurations. Like this proof of concept teardrop:

assemblydone3_zps92834b7f-jpg.159488


I used those parts to build this proof of concept pop-top camper shell, which I pictured earlier in this thread:

tiltup2_zps8rjkiejo-jpg.159491


A few photos of the pop-top shell under construction, you can see how the fiberglass parts form the curved corners and the sides are simple 1/4" plywood.

View attachment 341119


A couple of years ago a company licensed those parts and they sell them under the name Trailtop: https://trailtopcampers.com/. They don't offer the complete selection of parts yet but they do offer the parts needed to build the pop-top above.

Probably way more history than you wanted to know, but if you really love the trailer as you say you do, you can build a pretty close version of it using parts from Dinoot and Trailtop :).

@Midnight LJR look at that teardrop 😍
 
OP
jscherb

jscherb

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
652
Location
Elmira, NY
It wouldn't be good to be sleeping inside the camper with the rear door closed and not be able to open it from the inside, so adding an inside latch release to the stock TJ tailgate is a must. Inside latch releases are easy to add to the TJ tailgate and I'll show two ways to do it.

A simple way is to use a short length of paracord. A hole is drilled in the release lever and the paracord is tied to the hole. Then a hole is made in the latch cover for the paracord to exit:

ParacordLatchRelease.jpg


A downward pull on the cord will release that latch as long as the tailgate is unlocked. An inside lock/unlock rod also wouldn't be difficult to add, but I don't think that's necessary for this camper so I'm only adding the latch release.

I takes a good amount of force to open the latch so some sort of handle tied to the end of the paracord would be needed to make it easier, but I didn't put on one for these photos because using paracord wasn't my planned implementation.

A piece of paracord sticking out of the bottom of the latch cover isn't appealing to me so I implemented a release with a little more finished look. Instead of a string, I used a piece of 1/8" steel rod. I put a z-bend in the end of the rod so it stays in the lever.

RodLatchRelease.jpg


To finish off the hole in the latch cover I enlarged the hole into an oval shape so a round grommet could be installed as an oval to provide a slot in the angled latch cover. For the bottom end of the rod I used a knob I found in my parts drawer. It had a hole all the way through it so I threaded the end of the rod with a 6-32 die so I could use nuts on both ends of the knob to hold it in place.

RodLatchRelease2.jpg


All of the above photos were done on a test tailgate on my workbench. The rod is a bit longer than I want it to be so I shortened it before installing it in the trailer. Installed:

LatchReleaseDone.jpg


It turned out that the small knob pictured above is too hard to grab and apply the right amount of force to open the latch, so I made a T-handle:

LatchReleaseTHandle.jpg



Done. Works just fine.

——

One more accessory to finish off the camper tailgate:

TailgatePockets1.jpg


TailgatePockets2.jpg


TailgatePockets3.jpg


The pockets slip into a channel across the top and have snaps on the bottom so they remove/reinstall in seconds if I don't want them on the tailgate for some trip.

TailgatePockets4(1).jpg


——

Related topic... the MORryde HD hinges I've got on the LJ are preproduction samples from 2015. Preproduction samples sometimes don't go through the full production powder coat process, like zinc primer as a first layer under the powder coat so in 7 years of use they've started showing a few very small rust spots. I asked MORryde to send me a current production set to replace them and they arrived yesterday. I'll be installing them to replace the hinges on my ever-evolving tailgate reinforcement - it's part Gr8Tops v1 Exogate, part MORryde reinforcement, a few home fabricated parts plus some useful options that never made it into production like the cargo carrier receivers add-on.

NewHingesForLJ.jpg
 
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jscherb

jscherb

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
652
Location
Elmira, NY
This thread started out being about the MORryde/Gr8Tops tailgate reinforcement and how to easily make Savvy low profile tail lights work with it, and covered a few other things for that setup, like the prop to hold the tailgate open. In my last post I wrote about planning to replace the MORryde hinges on the LJ with new ones, I've installed them the other day and in this post I'll show a few more things about my setup.

The old hinges were preproduction samples and still 100% functional but were showing some signs of 7 years of hard use and the wear and tear of lots of prototype accessories being bolted to them so I decided it was time to upgrade to an actual production set. The old ones:

OldHinges.jpg


The new ones, installed:

NewMORrydeHinges.jpg


While I had the spare off I took this photo to show the entire assembly. The tailgate side is mostly a Gr8Tops V1 Exogate reinforcement; the tub side is the more recent MORryde/Exogate V2 reinforcement and HD wide-swing hinges. There are a few homemade bits to make the parts from the two versions work together and a few other changes and additions. The spare carrier has been redrilled so it can mount 1" towards the drivers side; this allows more space on the passenger side so larger things to be bolted to the hinges there.

HybridTailgateReinforcement.jpg


Also there are 1 1/4" receivers on either side of the spare carrier - these are for the the prototype tailgate cargo system.

The most fully developed prototype accessory for the cargo system is the bicycle carrier. It folds up small enough to fit under the back seat and can carry two bicycles (the spare tire bag must be removed to fit two bikes; one bike will fit without removing the bag).

BikeRack.jpg


How it works:


The cargo system receivers bolt up to either the TJ/LJ or the JK tailgate reinforcement; some photos of it in use on the JKU.

BikeRack6_zpse4gu9zat.jpg


BikeRack7_zpsu8fjrca9.jpg


Another idea I'm working on are mounts for over-the-spare racks or other accessories that could be carried there. These are rough prototype mounts that a rack or something could be mounted to (HiLift plus sand ladders, for example).

RackBrackets1.jpg


I've also prototyped Rotopax and jerry can carriers that slip into the receivers and a cargo rack that mounts either above the spare or below it, if people are interested I can post photos of those.

The cargo system is something I've been developing and testing for a while. I don't know if any of it will ever make it into production.
 
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jscherb

jscherb

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Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
652
Location
Elmira, NY
More about the tailgate cargo receiver system I've been working on; I showed the prototype bicycle rack that slips into the receivers in my last post. Yesterday I assembled an "over the spare" rack for the system from "salvage parts".

Back in 2017 I picked up a Garvin rack that I adapted for use on both my LJ and my JKU. The guy selling it threw in this partial tailgate rack, brand unknown and probably from the YJ or early TJ era. It bolts behind the spare carrier as shown in the right photo.

TJTailgateRack_zpssyeogiq6.jpg


I didn't have a use for it so it sat in the yard since then (I even offered it for free to some people but nobody wanted it) but while cleaning up the yard a few months ago I decided to cut it up and get rid of all of it except the arms, because those were the right size to be used with the cargo receiver project (this photo was in my last post, it's included here for completeness).

RackBrackets1.jpg


In 2019, I picked up another partial rack for I think $15 on Craigslist, I was in the design process for the cargo receiver system at the time and figured it might come in handy for prototyping. I think it's a YJ or early TJ era product but there's no company info on it so I really don't know. I got rid of the supports but kept the rack.

CLRack.jpg


Yesterday I put the "salvage parts" together. The result is a rack that works in the cargo receiver system on either Jeep, and will serve as a prototype in the event the cargo receiver system ever sees production.

On the LJ:

CargoRcvrRackLJ.jpg


On the JKU:

CargoRcvrRackJK.jpg


Hitch pins keep it in place.

CargoRcvrRackJKHitchPin.jpg


So far I've prototyped the bicycle rack, this over-the-spare rack and jerry can and Rotopax carriers that slip into the receivers. In 2020 I also did a different set of rack arms that place the same rack in a lower position behind the spare. These next photos are from a while ago:

RackLow1_zpsyt70bnpa.jpg


Rotopax and Jerry:

RotoJerry1_zpsmtmcljdw.jpg


All of the above work on the both LJ and the JK.

I've got ideas for a few more slip-in accessories for the system like a HiLift carrier but I probably won't build any more prototype accessories unless it looks like the system might make it into production.
 

sab

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Jun 12, 2021
Messages
671
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DITHOT
Having recently made a tailgate prop using Jeff's plans, I have a bag of the plastic bushings left because McMaster-Carr sells them in large bags:

1658754919524.png


If any forum members are building their own prop and want a pair of these, let me know. I'm happy to send 'em.
 

voodooridr

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Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2020
Messages
1,331
Location
North Idaho
Having recently made a tailgate prop using Jeff's plans, I have a bag of the plastic bushings left because McMaster-Carr sells them in large bags:

View attachment 345722

If any forum members are building their own prop and want a pair of these, let me know. I'm happy to send 'em.

I would be in for a couple
Let me know what you want for them