Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Tentrax has their built YJ at the show.



It's a Sahara edition, which has factory seat-back pockets and door pockets.







Last year I designed a strap for TJ seats following the inspiration of the YJ Sahara and I also made a bag following the Sahara design. I did it in gray because my LJ's interior is gray:





I made my strap with a Zip & Go zipper and MOLLE so any Molle or Zip & Go bags can hang there.



The Tentrax YJ was an opportunity to test the Grab Bar Pockets on the YJ's dash grab bar:



Works great in the YJ. And the day before the show I made up a quick display for OO to show the Grab Bar Pockets on their display table; I used a factory leather-wrapped CJ Laredo Grab bar I had from back when I had a Scrambler, so the pockets will work great in a CJ too.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I've been researching various ways to implement the slide-out function for storing the solar panel underneath a roof rack and I think I'm going to try v-slot extrusions. Bearings, bearing guide plates and other hardware that connects to the v-rail is available off-the shelf so it might be easy to assemble a slide with the necessary features.



Also, at the Smokey show I talked to a company looking to implement slides for solar panels for their racks so they'll be part of my design process and if the design works out maybe they'll pick it up as a product.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
In addition to their trailers, Tentrax was showing their new roof top tent at the Smokey show. It's a very nice unit with quick setup. I didn't take any photos of it at the show but here's one from their web site:



It's got a unique rain fly with windows and a skylight in it to let more light in - very nice. More info here: https://www.tentrax.com/rooftop-tent

It also has a ladder that's much nicer than the one that came with my Mobasa RTT, and Brent (owner of Tentrax) was nice enough to make one available to me. I installed it on my tent this morning; it's a bit wider than my original ladder so I had to relocate the brackets that it attaches to on the tent.



My original ladder was in 3 parts - two long parts that slide against each other for the main ladder and a short extension that was necessary because at the height my RTT mounts on top of my rack the ladder was a bit short. The new Tentrax telescoping ladder is plenty long enough, in the photo above it's not even fully extended.
 

Jurfie

Adventurer
Oh man, I’d be all over that 2-door modular hardtop, but I bet shipping would kill me!

Someone is gonna be super happy to snag that! :cool:
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Oh man, I’d be all over that 2-door modular hardtop, but I bet shipping would kill me!

Someone is gonna be super happy to snag that! :cool:
Robert tells me he's got someone who wants to buy the flat fenders, but nobody has expressed serious interest in the hardtop.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Moved Robert from Philadelphia to Hoboken today.

Early morning loading in PHL:



Afternoon in Hoboken, getting ready to unload and carry things up 3 floors :(.



The pop-top on the trailer sure is handy for tall guys like me when loading and unloading.

I'm tired of towing the trailer, I did 1800 miles last week to and from the Smokey Mountain Jeep Invasion in Tennesee and about 600 miles yesterday and today to move Robert.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Back to the solar project - the v-slot extrusions and rollers (they seem to be called "gantries") I want to experiment with for making a mechanism for sliding the solar panel out from under the roof rack arrived yesterday. They're surprisingly sturdy, there's virtually no play in the extrusion when it's in the rollers. Seems plenty rigid enough to make a practical slide mechanism.





One concern - the bearings in the rollers appear to be bare steel so these may not be suitable for outdoor use. I don't know if stainless versions exist.

I'll knock together a rough proof-of-concept for the parts, photos to come.

I also found stainless full-extension drawer slides in a suitable size and weight capacity for the solar panel, so I'll be doing a proof-of-concept with those too when they arrive.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I assembled a very rough proof-of-concept using the v-slot extrusions and rollers as a slide. In this pair of photos the solar panel is stowed and deployed:



Video demonstration:


I only used one set of rollers for this proof-of-concept. What it showed was that three sets are probably needed. The set a "A" would be to provide better support when the panel is deployed, and the set at "B" would be to provide support when the panel is stowed. The v-slot extrusions would be cut so that when deployed the end of the extrusions would be supported by the front set of rollers and the "A" set; the end of the extrusion would actually be pulled out of the "B" set. When stowing, the end of the extrusions would reengage with the "B" set of rollers. All three sets could be only two rollers, I don't think 4 are necessary at each position if rollers are in all three positions as described above.



Roller tires without bearings are available and I'm betting stainless bearings could be found, so this slide concept would be practical.

Brackets to support the roller plates to the bottom of the rack need to be designed and a method for keeping the stowed panel from sliding out needs to be implemented (straps with snaps would be adequate and very cost effective).

This design would be more expensive than using stainless drawer slides but it may possibly be more reliable in extreme outdoor environments (dust/dirt/rain) - drawer slides might possibly be compromised by dirt. But that has to be tested.

The stainless drawer slides I ordered will arrive in a few days and I'll implement a proof-of-concept with them when they arrive.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
When I made the cover for my kitchen battery I added PALS grids (MOLLE) to the top. I knew the grid would come in handy in the future but at the time I didn't have a specific plan for it. So far all I've done is hang a power panel on the cover when the full kitchen isn't installed (the full kitchen has a power panel mounted to it). The power panel in the photo has a tool belt clip on the back for hanging on the battery cover:



Today I sewed a MOLLE holder for the HF Solar Controller; it attaches to the top of the battery cover:



It holds the controller with elastic and has MOLLE straps on the back.



Why did I mount the controller this way? I don't want to mount the controller permanently because a) I'll only have the solar system installed when I need it and b) I use the kitchen in both the JKU and the LJ so I move the kitchen battery between Jeeps as needed. The MOLLE mount makes it easy to use the controller when and in which Jeep I need it.

View from the outside through the window:



I need to wire an extension to reach from the solar panel under the roof rack to the controller but since I haven't finished the roof rack mount/slide yet that's not urgent.

On a related note, the stainless slides I ordered should be arriving today so I'll be doing a proof-of-concept for the solar panel slide using them in the next few days.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
The stainless drawer slides I ordered arrived today. They've got plenty of extension to bring the solar panel out, and they're rated at 100 lbs./pair so they should be plenty strong enough for this application.



What needs to be discovered is whether or not the slide mechanism is affected by dirt and weather. The slides move on fairly small ball bearings:



I'll put together a proof-of-concept with these slides over the next few days; I'll post photos when I do. I'll probably install this version on the Jeep and leave it installed at least through Overland East to see how it does in the elements.

After some testing, I can decide whether I'll keep the drawer slide version or I'll finish the v-slot/roller version. The slides and the v-slot version:

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Overland Outfitters was showing a preproduction "Tailgate Accessory Panel" on a tailgate at the recent Smokey Mountain Jeep Invasion, it replaces the factory snap-in plastic grille/access panel:



They told me Thursday that production of these panels is now underway and they should be available within the next few weeks.

I've had a preproduction sample from them on my JKU tailgate for since March and I use it to hang my fire extinguisher. I figure a fire is much more likely while cooking at the Trail Kitchen than anywhere else so the extinguisher is there to be very quickly accessible.



It's also a good place to hang a Molle pouch and in most cases hanging a pouch there won't interfere with a tailgate table (or the MORryde Storegate, which is on my tailgate).

 

Matt.H

Adventurer
Moved Robert from Philadelphia to Hoboken today.

Early morning loading in PHL:



Afternoon in Hoboken, getting ready to unload and carry things up 3 floors :(.



The pop-top on the trailer sure is handy for tall guys like me when loading and unloading.

I'm tired of towing the trailer, I did 1800 miles last week to and from the Smokey Mountain Jeep Invasion in Tennesee and about 600 miles yesterday and today to move Robert.

The streets of Boston have felt their absence. :(, :giggle: Matt
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A while back I sewed Molle attachments for the roll bars in my JKU and LJ. They secure to the roll bars with Velcro straps, and I made them for the front bars over the doors, the rear bars and the center main hoop. They turned out to be very handy, I hang a lot of stuff on them.

An empty roll bar Molle:



With some small military surplus pouches:



Molle isn't always the most efficient way to store a bunch of small things, so I sewed a couple of other variations. Top left, Molle. Bottom: pouches, a good size for sunglasses, etc. Top right I'll call a Tactical version, it's got two pistol magazine size pouches (a multitool is in the open one in the photo), a place for a tactical flashlight and places for two pen-sized items.



The pouch version on the passenger side:



The tactical version on the driver's side. Flashlight, tire pressure gauge, pen, multitool and one pouch is free.



I think these will be more useful above the front doors than the Molle version.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I'm still experimenting with two versions of the solar slide - one with drawer sliders and the other with v-slot extrusions and rollers. Today I did some work on the v-slot version. It just needs a few more details to be complete, I should finish those details within a day or two. And it needs stainless bearings and other stainless hardware, the current bearings and some of the bolts are bare steel or zinc plated.

It works very well with only 4 rollers but for fail-safe reasons I'll probably add two more sets of rollers.


The panel tucks closely under the bottom of the rack; minimum distance required between the bottom of the rack and the roof is about 1 3/4".



Some views of the rollers/tracks:





End view of the tracks. Top and bottom rollers are visible. Some of the bolts are too long and many aren't stainless; I used what I had on hand so I'll be replacing everything with the proper stainless hardware.

 

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