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TJ storage / packing solutions?


Rock Toy

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So I'm on my 3rd TJ and this time, i want to do it right. My goal is to have everything set up so that I can pack the Jeep and be out the door in less than a half hour. I also just picked up a Dometic fridge so I would like to integrate that into the back of the TJ. I have been searching online but it seems like just about everyone that has a "system" of some sort is driving a JK or LJ. I'm not sure how to do it quite yet but I was thinking about the fridge on a pull-out on the driver's side with an action packer or some kind of storage bin for all the camping gear on the right. The a rack above those with another 2 action packers strapped down on there for tools and camp kitchen. And that's pretty much all that I need. Anyone have pictures of their set-ups? The more I see, the better my decisions should be....right? :ROFLMAO:
 

jscherb

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This is in my LJ but the same would fit in the TJ.

Stowed:

ProductionKitchenLJ1_zpsuvkikchn.jpg


Deployed:

ProductionKitchenLJ2_zpsmmic8lbw.jpg


Don't have a photo of this in the Jeep but there are tie-downs on top of the fridge and drawer cabinet that allow me to store things on top:

CargoNet4_zps7flmqqpd.jpg


The fridge side bolts to the floor very quickly with two bolts and the drawer unit bolts to the side of the fridge unit so it's quick to install/remove the entire setup.
 

Steel City 06

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I keep my rear seat for the most part, so most everything has to be strapped to the outside. I can do quite a bit. Things I've added:
  • Garvin Expedition Rack - 54 by 78 inch basket style rack. Works with any top, good for 300 lbs. Often install 72" crossbars for use with 17' expedition canoes and 18' touring kayaks. Could easily fit 8+ action packers or larger 38-gallon HDX tubs. I can fit four 38-gallon totes and a bunch of long items (paddles, fishing poles, etc.) under my two Grumman canoes simultaneously.
  • Rock Hard 4x4 Rock Rack: 18 by 38 inch basket style rack. Almost perfectly fits a Pelican 1615 case. Good for 100 lbs.
  • Rock Hard 4x4 jerry can mounts. Fit a total of 2 full size 20L fuel or water cans.
  • Front and rear hitch receivers for cargo racks, bicycle carriers, etc. Also act as extra recovery points.
Long term, I'd like to build a trailer and have it use the same time and tires as the TJ. A 3500 lbs axle hub has the same bolt pattern as a TJ, and is very common. The Timbren Axle-Less 1-tonne suspension could match the height and double the ground clearance of the TJ, use 3500 lbs hubs, survive 35" tires, and still have a compliant ride. That should be able to follow behind on moderate terrain without much issue. That would also give me several extra spare tires I could use on the car or the trailer.

The other advantage of a trailer is that it can be packed long in advance, and could be dumped at a trailhead or campsite in minutes if not needed on the trail. It could also fit a much larger refrigerator, a full size propane tank and camping stove, and much more cargo. Perhaps even a built in solar and inverter setup and a 50 gallon water tank.
 
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jscherb

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If you don't mind, I have a few questions:

  • How is your fridge secured? Did you throw some screws/bolts up through the bottom of it?
  • Where did you get that pull-out sink? Do you have a pump that goes with it?
  • What did you make that frame out of? Is it all wood with steel straps?
It looks awesome. Can't wait to build something that nice for mine ;)
On the road, the fridge sits in the tray and I've never had trouble with it moving. On the trail the fridge gets strapped to the tray. The entire setup has been well-tested on the trail, here are some trail shots from Moab:

KlondikeBluffs2_zpshtdzhkir.jpg


The main unit is the MORryde Trail Kitchen (https://www.morryde.com/products/jeep-trail-kitchen-kit/); the sink is a preproduction prototype which they expect to release soon. There's a demand pump that's part of the sink option, it runs when the tap is opened and stops when the tap is closed.

The drawer unit is all wood. The case around the top of the fridge is also a preproduction prototype MORryde plans to offer soon, it's 16-gauge sheet metal although it would be easy to DIY build something similar out of plywood.
 
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Mr. Bills

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Here is what I do, using Front Runner boxes and bags of various sorts from Blue Ridge Overland Gear. Cooler rather than fridge. Perhaps some of it could be adapted to your concept.

Since everything has an assigned spot I can go from empty to packed in 15 minutes and unpack in 5. However I generally leave most gear inside so I only have to throw in food and ice and my clothes duffel.


Packed and ready to go 05 05 19.jpg
 
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Goatman

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There are some awesome ideas here! And I thought I was clever by using milk crates in the back to hold separate categories of stuff.
 
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jscherb

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One other thing I find very useful in the back is an overhead/swing-down Molle panel. It goes in space that's typically not used - it's level with the bottom of the roll bars and uses the space between the bottom of the roll bars and the underside of the hardtop, and swings down for access. Here are a few photos; top left the panel is empty but stowed, top right empty and swung down, and in the bottom two photos it's swung down with different gear attached.

1593524999941.png


It's not a TJ/LJ product, it's a JKU product that I adapted to mount in the LJ. No drilling in the Jeep was required. It could be fitted to a TJ as well, but shouldn't be installed if the TJ's back seat is going to be in place - while most people could sit in the back seat of a TJ without hitting their head on the Molle panel, if the road was rough a back seat passenger could bounce up and hit their head, so I'd only recommend this in a TJ with no back seat. Works fine in the LJ because it's behind the back seat due to the extra length of the LJ.
 

Mr. Bills

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^^ I like that swing down panel. Is that your design? Link to seller?

My tired old eyes have having difficulty with your adaptations to the LJ rollbar. Are they detailed in another thread?
 

jscherb

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Got this in a PM but since others may be interested I'll answer it here:

@Shwiftypickle said:

Hi, I saw your post in that storage thread and was curious if you had brand or part numbers from your setup. To include the fridge. That's a pretty good setup. Thanks, chase
Chase,

It's based on the MORryde Trail Kitchen (https://www.morryde.com/products/jeep-trail-kitchen-kit/, JP54-038), plus the clip-on counter (JP56-024). The sink option isn't available yet but it's based on the fold-out counter (JP54-040) in which a hole is cut for the sink. They tell me the sink option will be a production option soon, but it could be DIY built if someone wanted it before then, the sink, pump and other parts are easily obtainable - I can help with those details if people want to build their own sink. The shell around the fridge is also a soon-to-be option, but it could be DIY built from plywood.

The fridge is a Dometic 35-quart.

The drawer unit was DIY-built from plywood.

I've been using this kitchen setup for a couple of years with a small butane stove, the stove can be seen in this photo taken when MORryde borrowed my Jeep to use in the Easter Jeep Safari vendor expo last year.

MORryde1_zpse4bjwfq8.jpg


Another option MORryde will be releasing is a kitchen power/charging kit that allows the use of a separate battery for the kitchen so you don't discharge the main Jeep battery at a campsite. It charges the kitchen battery when the Jeep is running and provides power outlets for the fridge and other accessories. I've been using prototype charging kits in both my LJ and my JKU and they work great.

Another option that MORryde is considering is a propane stove, this is what the prototype looks like. They haven't committed to offering the stove yet, partly because putting a stove on the counter as I've been doing works very well.

WindGuard1_zps9gax3bf1.jpg
 

jscherb

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^^ I like that swing down panel. Is that your design? Link to seller?

My tired old eyes have having difficulty with your adaptations to the LJ rollbar. Are they detailed in another thread?
The swing-down panel is also a MORryde product, here's a link to it at Retrofit Offroad's site (they also sell all the MORryde Trail Kitchen components): https://www.retrofitoffroad.com/shop/jk-jeep-wrangler-2007-2015/overhead-swing-down-molle-panel/

I have not documented the mods required to install it in an LJ but if someone buys one and wants guidance I can provide photos of several ways to adapt it.
 

Mr. Bills

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I have not documented the mods required to install it in an LJ but if someone buys one and wants guidance I can provide photos of several ways to adapt it.
This may work well with some of the soft 12x12x3 zipper bags I use and depending upon how and exactly where it drops down perhaps the molle zipper bags for my camp kitchen as well. All lightweight stuff.

Do you know if it would block vision using the factory LJ hardtop or is the bottom of the rack up high enough?

One more question, Can they be made rattle proof?
 

kmq102

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These are all really great ideas! I'm interested to see more TJ storage ideas that I can use while wheeling with wife and kids. I'm working on ideas to stow the soft doors and windows so I have them with me on the trail.
 

jscherb

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This may work well with some of the soft 12x12x3 zipper bags I use and depending upon how and exactly where it drops down perhaps the molle zipper bags for my camp kitchen as well. All lightweight stuff.

Do you know if it would block vision using the factory LJ hardtop or is the bottom of the rack up high enough?

One more question, Can they be made rattle proof?
When stowed the bottom of the panel is level with the bottom of the roll bars so they don't block vision.

I've had them in both my LJ and my JKU (photo below) for over a year and neither one rattles. Sometimes if I don't tighten the Rotopax knob the container will rattle against the panel, but tightening it solves that.

SEMAPrep_zpsrop8zzzp.jpg
 
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billiebob

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While planning a project I look around for free used shit. Once ready to commit for things like camping storage the best wood product to use is Baltic Birch. I if I had the ability to build with sheet metal, and the tools, I'd go that way but I've worked with wood and epoxy for 45 years so.... Baltic Birch is my go to.

Planning the project is the fun part. Pick the components you NEED. Cooler, stove, tent and stuff, line it up and figure where to put it, draw/sketch the plan and start mocking it up with free, left over stuff from previous projects. In my case all too often the mock up ends up being the finished project..... but it was free.

This is my dog shelf built from scraps and bolted to the seat belt anchors.

DSC_0018.jpeg


This guy loves it.

 
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jscherb

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... Once ready to commit for things like camping storage the best wood product to use is Baltic Birch. I if I had the ability to build with sheet metal, and the tools, I'd go that way but I've worked with wood and epoxy for 45 years so.... Baltic Birch is my go to.
The drawer unit in the photos of my LJ earlier in this thread is made from 1/2" birch plywood. This photo shows it almost completed, in my JKU:

DrawersDone3_zpsvsadwfty.jpg


After putting a textured finish on it...

FinishDone1_zpslxz2ivd7.jpg


BTW a very good way to assemble things like this is with biscuits. Here's an under construction shot showing the biscuits used to secure the top. Using biscuits eliminates the need for other fasteners and creates a joint that's much stronger than one done with nails or screws. Biscuit joiners start at less than $50 (Harbor Freight) and go up to a hundred bucks or so (name brand) and are a great investment for woodworking projects.

CaseAssembly4_zpssrfblq8l.jpg
 

Goatman

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Also, to work with Jsherb idea, a cargo net, molle webbing, or even a net made from that elastic bungie cord could be attached up high to stick some stuff up and out of the way. Would want only light weight items (jackets, sleeping bags, etc) up there.
 

Mr. Bills

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I've tried nets and webbing, including some nice stuff from Raingler.com. The problem with all of those is that they sag when loaded and impair vision out the rear window - no matter how light the gear.

That's why I am intrigued by @jscherb 's steel drop down molle panel over the area behind the rear seat - no sag. I'm not even going to bother trying to get a net tight enough when stretched over the rear portion of the factory sport bar. It could be as tight as a violin string and it won't matter.