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Has anyone ever built a homemade overhead camper for a TJ?

mrblaine

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If I were tasked with the project, the first thing I would do is cut and extend the wheelbase and tub out to something tolerable like 120" or so for 35's.

Then I would learn how to do composite lay-up and joints using Kevlar CF cloth and roving for exceptional strength to weight ratios. Nothing would be thicker than 3/8" to keep the weight down. There are few conventional methods that work as well as a honeycomb core between two layers of FRP.

Something that mimics this type or construction.
https://www.rockwestcomposites.com/plates-panels-angles/sandwich-panels/honeycomb-core-sandwich-panels
 

Quigley

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How many people would you be building for? If one you could remove the passenger seat and rear seat and build a flat platform with an over hanging self I suppose for gear. I could see building out of aluminum to keep weight down if you can fab it yourself.

A moron on YouTube lived in a yj for a year this way. Living in a wrangler.

Cool idea! Good luck in your searching
 

billiebob

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How many people would you be building for? If one you could remove the passenger seat and rear seat and build a flat platform with an over hanging self I suppose for gear. I could see building out of aluminum to keep weight down if you can fab it yourself.

A moron on YouTube lived in a yj for a year this way. Living in a wrangler.

Cool idea! Good luck in your searching
That is just way too much stuff.
 

InfamousCanadian

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The problem with Jakes build is that it isn't meant for being away long term from civilisation. Since he is bringing his entire life with him it's not practical to store food for days of end. Unless you wanna just go canned life.
 

billiebob

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There's a simple solution, though: carry less.
THIS ^^^^^

a good guide for "How big should I go?"
is keep it narrow enough that the stock mirrors will work.
don't let the rear overhang exceed the depth of the tailgate if it could drop down.
and if you add height... keep it no higher than a thule on the stock roof.
build it real light, outfit with back packer gear,
don't pack the kitchen sink.
 
Last edited:

Willys LJ

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Lot's of ideas here. The main reason I was looking at LJs (& CJ6s) was more room for road trips and the increased tow capacity for some kind of small camper/trailer.
 

Sundowner

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Lot's of ideas here. The main reason I was looking at LJs (& CJ6s) was more room for road trips and the increased tow capacity for some kind of small camper/trailer.
If you're staying on known trails and/or pavement, proceed with all due despatch in your trailering. If you don't know where the other end of the road lies, or if you don't know what shape the road will take, keep everything in one vehicle.
 

Willys LJ

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If you're staying on known trails and/or pavement, proceed with all due despatch in your trailering. If you don't know where the other end of the road lies, or if you don't know what shape the road will take, keep everything in one vehicle.

Yep, never pull a trailer anywhere you don't know the roads.
 

Willys LJ

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Had a couple of close scrapes in my young and wild days in a CJ5 pulling various utility trailers (and pulling a '66 Cadillac with a tow bar).
 

Sundowner

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Had a couple of close scrapes in my young and wild days in a CJ5 pulling various utility trailers (and pulling a '66 Cadillac with a tow bar).
I was fifteen miles down a sand track that served as a road when it decided to do this...

Pictured: ...for a half a mile...

i-WtnT3Gk-L.jpg



...and that's about as trailer-unfriendly as it gets, boys and girls.
 

billiebob

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increased tow capacity
Honestly unless your hauling quads or dirt bikes, the 2000# TJ capacity should be plenty.

Heres mine, not built light, OSB walls, fully loaded for a week out it scales 1400#.
DSC_0075 2.jpeg


But if you are doing a camper on a Jeep, the extra 16" in an LJ is a great idea...
especially if you want to sleep in it.
 
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Willys LJ

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I like that trailer. Although I'd do it a little different in the top area, it's about the right size too with good ground clearance.

One of my uncles years ago had an old boat trailer that used a torsion bar between a couple of swing arms with no axle between the wheels to reduce the ground clearance. He'd hook it up to his tractor and take off through the woods with it, over stumps and everything.
 

Sundowner

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If you can drive in, you can back out. If you can't do it, ..........
Just giving an option.
You can often back out if you can drive in; sometimes, however, you either cannot do so in a timely fashion, or you cannot do so at all.

In the picture you posted, backing is possible; likewise, the drop-and-pick maneuver depicted is a very good option, because the room to do either option is present. Now, refer to the picture I posted: 30" of water, a solid track about 7' wide, and totally unknown terrain ahead and to either side. You can neither back out of that road, nor can you drop, maneuver and re-hitch a trailer; you can drag it in, but until you hit a clear patch that allows maneuvering, you cannot maneuver the trailer in any other way.

So, let's be accurate: backing is sometimes possible, and maneuvering is sometimes possible. At other times, neither can be accomplished; as a result, unknown roads - and what I posted is about as bad as it normally gets - are no place for trailers, and they should not be taken into those areas.