Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

jscherb

Expedition Leader
It's only 12" square and 3 1/2" thick but it holds a surprising amount. In this first photo, 4 32-oz. drink bottles plus 4 cold packs.



And in this photo, 4 20-oz. Diet Coke bottles plus a couple of larger water bottles and the same 4 cold packs.



I think this one will be handy on the trail and on the road.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Sometimes it takes a while...

In January 2020 I put the finishing touches on a design I called the Gladiator Storage System. It's a storage panel that goes behind the rear seat in a Gladiator. Not having a Gladiator, I did all the measurements in the dealer showroom, went home and sewed a prototype and then back to the dealer to test fit and photograph the prototype. Once that was done, I turned it over to Overland Outfitters.

Slowed down by the pandemic, it took them until August to send me a preproduction prototype. I went back to the dealer showroom to verify the prototype fit.



Having done that, I installed the preproduction sample in my LJ Retro Wrangler pickup; it fit very nicely behind the seats in that cab.



The Quadratec Summer JL/JT catalog just showed up in the mailbox and OO got a half page, leading with the Gladiator Storage System.



Only took 16 months (!) from the time I turned it over until it showed up in a catalog in my mailbox. It always takes longer than expected, but the pandemic really slowed this one down. It's a good thing I do these designs mostly for my own enjoyment because seeing them in production is almost always an exercise in delayed gratification :).
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
And sometimes it takes a long time and then something goes wrong...

Back in May 2019 I started working on a lockbox version of the Overhead Molle panel; it mounts above the cargo area and swings down for access just like the Molle version and has a lockable storage compartment. I posted about the project here: https://expeditionportal.com/forum/...factory-hardtops.127687/page-259#post-2623774

MORryde picked up the design and it's in production now and finally reached the Quadratec web site, but unfortunately QT listed it for both the 2dr JL and the 4dr JLU. It fits neither of those, it's only for the JKU. I emailed both MORryde and Quadratec informing them of the error.

I did a design for the JLU but didn't build a prototype; I also turned over that design to MORryde and I expect they'll produce both the Overhead Molle and the Overhead Lockbox for the JL at some point.

Last July they sent me a preproduction sample to test, I posted this video at the time:


The pandemic really slowed this one down too. As I said in my last post It's a good thing I do these designs mostly for my own enjoyment because seeing them in production is almost always an exercise in delayed gratification (and sometimes frustration when someone gets something wrong) :).
 

pith helmet

Well-known member
And sometimes it takes a long time and then something goes wrong...

Back in May 2019 I started working on a lockbox version of the Overhead Molle panel; it mounts above the cargo area and swings down for access just like the Molle version and has a lockable storage compartment. I posted about the project here: https://expeditionportal.com/forum/...factory-hardtops.127687/page-259#post-2623774

MORryde picked up the design and it's in production now and finally reached the Quadratec web site, but unfortunately QT listed it for both the 2dr JL and the 4dr JLU. It fits neither of those, it's only for the JKU. I emailed both MORryde and Quadratec informing them of the error.

I did a design for the JLU but didn't build a prototype; I also turned over that design to MORryde and I expect they'll produce both the Overhead Molle and the Overhead Lockbox for the JL at some point.

Last July they sent me a preproduction sample to test, I posted this video at the time:


The pandemic really slowed this one down too. As I said in my last post It's a good thing I do these designs mostly for my own enjoyment because seeing them in production is almost always an exercise in delayed gratification (and sometimes frustration when someone gets something wrong) :).
delayed gratification is underrated. i love the design, probably one of the best uses of seen of all the underutilized areas in the JKU.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Wasn't there a company talking of putting the Barn Door into production or was that just wishful thinking on my part?
A few years ago I was approached by a company about it. The company was (is) well qualified to take on the product - they manufacture and sell fiberglass products for Jeeps and a few other vehicles and the barn door would be a perfect complement to a JKU product they sell. Unfortunately nothing came of their interest after that first contact, although a year after that they approached me again at the SEMA Show and expressed interest once more. And once more nothing came of it. I think they got very busy with other new products (the JL was just launching) and didn't have the time for the barn door.

I still have the molds; I've made a few barn doors for friends and more can be made in the molds so if a company or person is interested in turning it into a product I'd be happy to discuss it with them.

One of the barn doors I made for a friend... Donny uses it with his Ursa Minor, here posed next to my JKU Safari Cab...

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
delayed gratification is underrated. i love the design, probably one of the best uses of seen of all the underutilized areas in the JKU.
Thank you very much. I've got the Molle panel version in both my JKU and my LJ and they really do increase usable storage space. It's also a fun product at Jeep shows - MORryde borrows my JKU regularly for their booth at shows and when people are looking at the Trail Kitchen in the back we pull down the Molle panel and watch their jaws drop - nobody ever notices that it's there until it's pulled down and they're very surprised to see what can be stored up there.

This video doesn't do it justice because the lighting isn't very good but in addition to the Rotopax and the large Molle bag there's a military shovel and another Molle pouch up there:

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
It was a beautiful day in upstate NY today so we decided to test the Zip & Go Picnic bag with a short trip to Taughannock Falls State Park for a picnic by the falls. About 15 minutes north of Ithaca on the west shore of Cayuga Lake, Taughannock Falls is 48 feet higher than Niagara Falls (215 ft. vs. 167 ft.). There's a 1.9 mile out and back hiking trail from the lakefront to the falls and we thought a hike with our lunch in the picnic bag carried as a backpack would be a great test.

We started out from home with the bag zipped to the back seat:



We stopped at the Wegman's (a great regional supermarket) in Ithaca to pick up some sandwiches, a salad, desserts and chips (we had the drinks from home already).

When we got to the park, we discovered that the falls trail was closed for mainenance today, so we had to settle for lunch at the last low falls near the lake.



There was a picnic table there right next to the falls so it was a nice spot for a picnic anyway. Unloading the food, in this photo there are two drinks, two good sized sandwiches, a gooey chocolate chip and caramel dessert, an avocado salad, a bag of chips and a large chocolate chip cookie.



With plates and the collapsible glasses set up:



The tablecloth was in the bag too, it fit nicely in the pocket in the back:



We decided that the bag was a success and it'll be part of our hike adventures in the future.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Another beautiful day, another picnic, another Jeep. We decided to take advantage of another nice day for a quick picnic. This time near home - about 5 miles from home is the top of Harris Hill, billed as the nations soaring capital... https://harrishillsoaring.org/ and https://www.soaringmuseum.org/sailplane-rides.php

I zipped the Zip & Go Cool Bag to the LJ seat and we stopped by the local Byrne Dairy/Deli for a sandwich for me, a wrap for her, a salad, a drink and a large chocolate chip cookie. Her large copper water bottle from home went in an add-on Molle insulated drink holder.





Everything fit just fine; the cold compartment is the same size as the full picnic bag we used yesterday.



After we got back from lunch, continuing to take advantage of the nice day, I did my daily bicycle ride (I try to do 100 miles per week in nice weather) and came across a free Coleman two-burner stove. Someone had put it out to the road for trash with a "free" sign on it. I don't really need it, but couldn't resist picking it up - it'll come in handy for design mockups for Trail Kitchen design options, storage bag designs, etc. Luckily I have big saddlebags on my road bike so it was easy to transport it home.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I cleaned up Friday's trash-find Coleman stove and hooked up some propane to see if it works.



I really don't need it because I've got my trusty butane stove and the prototype Trail Kitchen propane stove, so I've already got two burners when needed, but I'll keep the Coleman around for design projects.

 

jgaz

Adventurer
Another beautiful day, another picnic, another Jeep. We decided to take advantage of another nice day for a quick picnic. This time near home - about 5 miles from home is the top of Harris Hill, billed as the nations soaring capital... https://harrishillsoaring.org/ and https://www.soaringmuseum.org/sailplane-rides.php

I zipped the Zip & Go Cool Bag to the LJ seat and we stopped by the local Byrne Dairy/Deli for a sandwich for me, a wrap for her, a salad, a drink and a large chocolate chip cookie. Her large copper water bottle from home went in an add-on Molle insulated drink holder.





Everything fit just fine; the cold compartment is the same size as the full picnic bag we used yesterday.



After we got back from lunch, continuing to take advantage of the nice day, I did my daily bicycle ride (I try to do 100 miles per week in nice weather) and came across a free Coleman two-burner stove. Someone had put it out to the road for trash with a "free" sign on it. I don't really need it, but couldn't resist picking it up - it'll come in handy for design mockups for Trail Kitchen design options, storage bag designs, etc. Luckily I have big saddlebags on my road bike so it was easy to transport it home.

I‘ve done way more than my share of “dumpster diving” but never from my bicycle.
Well done!
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I‘ve done way more than my share of “dumpster diving” but never from my bicycle.
Well done!
The largest thing I ever brought home on my bicycle was an antique bow back wooden chair. It was rickety, the seat was cracked and there was evidence of at least 3 different colors of paint on it in it's long life. After stripping it down to bare wood, repairing the cracks, reassembling it. stain and varnish, it's a very nice addition to the antique furniture in the house.

Sometimes I have to race home on the bicycle to get the pickup when I find something too large - a few years ago someone threw out a bandsaw, way to big to carry on a bicycle, especially with its floor stand. It needed a new mainshaft, but that wasn't too hard to source and it's been a productive member of my workshop ever since.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Checking out the new jerry can cover on MORryde side mounts. Because of my custom front fenders, the containers sit about 2" higher on my Jeep than thet would on a JK with stock fenders.





I put the Rotopax cover I sewed a while back on the driver's side.



With the MOLLE recovery gear bag:



 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Taughannock Falls, take 2.

I'll apologize in advance for there being no photos of Jeeps in this post :).

Two weeks ago I wrote about a couple of picnics we did, partly for the fun of having a picnic and partly to test the new Picnic Bag and Cool bag designs. I wrote that we went to Taughannock Falls hoping to hike the gorge trail to the bottom of the falls but the trail was closed for maintenance. Went again today and the trail was open. This time we were eating light so I carried the Cool Bag with our lunch and drinks in it.



As I wrote two weeks ago, the falls are taller than Niagara:



A torrent of water is running over the falls today because of all the rain we've had recently.



Getting a little closer to the base of the falls, it's as if it's raining because of all the spray and mist.



My much better half posing with the bag...



I think these two bags are my favorites of all the sewing projects I've done over the years. I designed these for exactly what we did today - taking a hike off the trail (or road in this case) to a scenic spot for a picnic. The ability to hang them on the back of the Jeep seat makes them very convenient and puts them out of the way when traveling. I expect we'll be using these bags at overlooks in the Colorado mountains, the Utah desert and many other places.


Anyone going to the Bantam Jeep Fest next week? Both MORryde and Overland Outfitters are borrowing/sharing my JKU for the show, they've got adjoining booths and the JKU will be outfitted with products from both and sitting between their tents.
 
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