Barn Door for JK factory hardtops


Expedition Leader
Here's something I designed and sewed last summer and they've been in use in all 3 of my Jeeps since then. My significant other says it's her favorite thing of all of my sewing projects, she uses it every time she's a passenger. It's got 4 pockets - the 3 you can see in the front and one larger pocket behind the grab bar.

In my LJ:

In my JKU:

I checked it out in a JL at the dealer:

At Quadratec's suggestion, I also did a black one with red stitching:

I took this shot on a recent trip to Florida, it's very well used by my significant other. In it, left to right - some kind of spicy snack, I'm not sure what she has in the pocket with the flap, her sunglasses on the right, and in the back pocket is a mask, some hand lotion and a receipt for something.

She really likes these.


Expedition Leader
In between travel and other projects I'm still working on the canopy. The fabric wasn't wide enough for one piece to cover the entire space, so I sewed two pieces together with a waterproof "full flat felled" seam. I also decided that tension alone wouldn't be enough to keep the canvas from sagging in the middle so I made two intermediate bows.

The intermediate bows are made from standard 9mm (3/8") fiberglass tent poles plus some 3/8" aluminum rod for the curves at the ends plus some custom bow sockets I made. When I fit the canvas and decide on the exact length of the intermediate bows I'll string have elastic cord running through them so the sections (including the curved aluminum ends) will pull apart and fold up but stay together like ordinary tent poles.

Everything knocks down to about 3 1/2 feet long. The main end bows fold in the middle using factory Sunrider top hinges, the side rails come apart in the middle and the intermediate bows disassemble like ordinary tent poles.

All that's really left to do is to finish sewing the main canvas - sew the end panel to the main panel and sew the webbing reinforcements along each edge to the main canvas, check the fit of everything, make any tailoring adjustments needed and then set it up to test it.


Expedition Leader
First check of the canvas fit. I sewed the end panel on, set the canvas in place and held it tight with clamps. Hopefully I'll have time to finish the sewing over the next few days - the webbing laying on the floor gets sewn around the bottom of all 4 sides; that will secure it to the frame and hold it tight and also includes velcro along the entire length for attaching side walls. The canopy is sitting on temporary supports to give me some room to work around the bottom of the side rails.



Expedition Leader
Back when I made the quick-install front receivers part of the project was to adapt a tow bar to them in case some day I had to tow one of the Jeeps.

Today was that day. Yesterday while out doing an errand the JKU took several tries for the starter to engage; when I got it home and tried to start it the starter motor spun but it would not engage.

I can do almost all mechanical work myself but I'd rather spend my time on creative projects so first thing this morning I installed the front receiver on the JKU (takes about 3 minutes) and towed it to the dealer.



Expedition Leader
A big package of preproduction samples arrived from Overland Outfitters today; they want me to verify that they've gotten the designs correct and test the products to see if any tweaks are necessary before they go into production. I haven't had time to unwrap anything yet, all I did was take everything out of the shipping box.

According to the packing list, what's included in the package is:

- Compressor Bag
- First Responder Bag
- Camp Cabinet toiletry bag
- Kitchen Keeper cutlery/condiment organizer bag
- Three JKU/JK different door pocket designs
- JK/JKU Tailgate Access Grid Molle Panel

I should have time this evening to start unwrapping stuff.


Expedition Leader
^^^ Those, plus your prototypes, add up to a lot of gear!
There's more stuff here than you can imagine. My prototypes, new samples, one or more examples of each of their production products, prototypes I haven't done anything with yet, I could open a store :).

Yesterday's shipment unpacked.

First photo: Kitchen Keeper bag, Compressor Bags (3!), JK/JKU Tailgate Access Grid Molle Panel (2), TJ/LJ Seat Back Molle/Zip & Go/Grab & Go strap, First Responder Bag, Camp Cabinet (vanity) bag.

Three different styles of JK/JKU Door Panel Pockets/Molle Panels.

They want me to review all of the details (I'll compare them to my prototypes), install them (door panels, tailgate Molle, TJ/LJ seat sband) or fill them with gear (the bags), test them and report on the testing, and take photos. Lots of work.

Since I have to do photos for them I'll post photos here as I get to each product.


Expedition Leader
I checked out the sample compressor bags today. They're very close to production ready, I only had a few comments to send back to the company.

The production bag may have the leather handle pictured or it may be webbing, they haven't decided yet. The other two samples they sent me have webbing handles and they're very nice.

It's also not clear at this point if the production bag will include the 'Keep Calm and Air Down" patch.

The bag designed to fit all of the popular portable compressors, plus the power cord and an air hose (my 25' Flexzilla hose fits in just fine) and it's got pockets for assorted tools and tire repair supplies.

A draft flyer, this was done before they had their own samples so it's got photos of my prototype. It's all a draft subject to change but I don't think they'll mind if I share.

Next on their priority list is the Camp Cabinet vanity bag, they asked me to have comments on that one by tomorrow.


New member
It would be nice to combine my tire plug kit with compressor in one Mary Poppins bag. What are the dimensions of that inside pocket?