Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Getting ready for our road trips, yesterday I installed the roof top tent on the Jeep. I've posted this idea before, but for people new to this thread here's how I put the heavy RTT on top of the Jeep by myself, maybe this idea will help someone.

I start with 2 10' 2x6's (top left photo); they've got two screws in one end which straddle the rack to keep the board from sliding off (bottom right photo). I set the tent on the boards (top center photo) and then I slide it up the boards until it slides off the top ends of the boards onto the roof rack.



One little detail that might not be noticeable - in the top right photo where I'm pushing the tent up, clamped to the board in front of my leg is a vise-grip pliers (look closely, it's right in front of my right leg). I keep this in my pocket as I'm pushing the tent up the slope - in case I need to stop before the tent is all the way up I clamp the vise-grip to the board and it serves as a stop to prevent the tent from sliding back.

I keep these boards in the garage on top of the garage door rails so they don't take up any space and they're always on hand for installing or removing the tent (removing is the reverse procedure of installing, I slide the tent down the boards).

Turns the RTT installation into a one-person operation.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Ready to go.





An important thing to know, which I forget between trips, is what the overall height of the Jeep is with all this stuff on top - can I fit in a parking deck? In a self-serve car wash? Today I solved the problem with my Dymo labelmaker. I measured three heights - the height with nothing but the XJ Cherokee rack which is always on the roof; the height with just the Garvin rack basket; and the height with the RTT. I put these on a label and stuck it over the driver's side visor:



One other tip - if you're planning your trip and you know where you want to park but don't know if you'll have the clearance, try Google Maps street view. A few years ago MORryde was using my Jeep in Las Vegas at the SEMA Show and I needed to park the Jeep at the hotel before and after the show. I used Google maps street view to look at the entrance to the MGM Grand parking deck and saw that clearance was 8'8" - plenty for the RTT-equipped Jeep.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
My travels in the last two weeks have found me in Manhattan a few times. A few days ago, on the way out of the Lincoln Tunnel, I spotted a JKU parked at the tunnel exit in New Jersey with what appeared to be a homemade snorkel. Where it was parked suggested it belonged to a construction worker; work was going on at the tunnel approach. Two days later on the way out of the city I had my phone ready to shoot because I thought the Jeep might be there again. It was, and incurring the horn-honking wrath of a BMW behind be because I slowed a bit to take the photo, here's the snorkel:



With no apparent means of support, I would worry about a tree limb smacking the vertical tube. Or even the tube loosening and falling off on a rough trail from all the bouncing. And now that I think about it, the same thing could happen on the rough Manhattan streets :).

I used the same air cap a few years back when I designed and made molds for what became known as the TJ "Cool Cowl", a replacement TJ cowl panel with a provision for snorkel induction. In this first photo, a factory cowl panel compared to a Cool Cowl:







The upward bulge in the panel contains integrated ducting to make it easy to connect the air inlet/snorkel to the factory air box. I also did a prototype snorkel for the Cool Cowl, but it wasn't free-standing like the one above, it attached to the windshield frame for support.

Until now I haven't thought much about doing a Cool Cowl for the JK, but I do have a spare cowl panel I could use as a base for constructing a mold master for a JK Cool Cowl in fiberglass. Might be a fun project, maybe that should be my next fiberglass project.
 

BradS

Member
My travels in the last two weeks have found me in Manhattan a few times. A few days ago, on the way out of the Lincoln Tunnel, I spotted a JKU parked at the tunnel exit in New Jersey with what appeared to be a homemade snorkel. Where it was parked suggested it belonged to a construction worker; work was going on at the tunnel approach. Two days later on the way out of the city I had my phone ready to shoot because I thought the Jeep might be there again. It was, and incurring the horn-honking wrath of a BMW behind be because I slowed a bit to take the photo, here's the snorkel:



With no apparent means of support, I would worry about a tree limb smacking the vertical tube. Or even the tube loosening and falling off on a rough trail from all the bouncing. And now that I think about it, the same thing could happen on the rough Manhattan streets :).

I used the same air cap a few years back when I designed and made molds for what became known as the TJ "Cool Cowl", a replacement TJ cowl panel with a provision for snorkel induction. In this first photo, a factory cowl panel compared to a Cool Cowl:







The upward bulge in the panel contains integrated ducting to make it easy to connect the air inlet/snorkel to the factory air box. I also did a prototype snorkel for the Cool Cowl, but it wasn't free-standing like the one above, it attached to the windshield frame for support.

Until now I haven't thought much about doing a Cool Cowl for the JK, but I do have a spare cowl panel I could use as a base for constructing a mold master for a JK Cool Cowl in fiberglass. Might be a fun project, maybe that should be my next fiberglass project.
Love it Jeff,
I'd certainly keep an eye out for something like this. Like this, I always liked the modularity of the Rugged Ridge snorkel, but after dealing with their customer service (apparently because I live in Canada), I swore I'd never buy anything from them again. The Cool Cowl looks to fit the bill perfectly.
 

mog

Kodiak Wrangler
Love it Jeff,
I'd certainly keep an eye out for something like this. Like this, I always liked the modularity of the Rugged Ridge snorkel, but after dealing with their customer service (apparently because I live in Canada), I swore I'd never buy anything from them again. The Cool Cowl looks to fit the bill perfectly.
Hauk Offroad makes a snorkel similar to the Cool Cowl.
Snorkel_Cap__49266.1632848469.jpg
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Hauk Offroad makes a snorkel similar to the Cool Cowl.
View attachment 719311
Yes, I'm aware of their product. They require that you drill a 3 1/4" hole through the cowl panel and the cowl side panel. My TJ Cool Cowl is a bolt-in replacement for the factory cowl, no drilling exterior body panels required, and I would design a JK Cool Cowl the same way - no drilling like the Hauk product requires. From their instructions:



I don't like the idea of requiring large holes be drilled in body panels - you can't undo that. A bolt-on panel can be swapped out for the stock panel if the need ever arises.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
The JKU spent the last 3 days in the hot sun at Jeep Beach in Daytona- Overland Outfitters borrowed it for the vendor show. The fridge was running the whole time and normally in that weather the kitchen battery would be out of charge by sometime the second day, but the solar kept up with the charge just fine. Because of the way the Jeep was positioned relative to the sun, in the morning the solar panel didn't get direct sun due to the RTT being in the way, but by mid-day the panel was generating full current. If charging in the morning had been critical I would pulled the solar panel out of the slides and set it on the ground in full view of the sun but that wasn't necessary.







This was the first non-test use of the solar charging system and it worked great. The next use will be at Overland West.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
Very cool to see so many of your designs displayed for sale.
When is Overland Outfitters going to get you a Bronco so you can start working your magic?
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Very cool to see so many of your designs displayed for sale.
When is Overland Outfitters going to get you a Bronco so you can start working your magic?
Thanks. I'm already on it, I've been able to do some measuring and testing at the local Ford dealer and there are already two pages in the OO catalog with Bronco gear. The MOLLE tailgate panel and the door pockets are new development; the roll bar bags, seat-back bags and hearest MOLLE are existing products I was able to test in a Bronco at the dealer. As for them providing me with my own Bronco, I won't hold my breath for that one :).

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
OK, call me compulsive, but when I'm on trips like this one where lots of water and soft drinks in plastic bottles will be consumed, I just can't bring myself to throw them in the trash. At home my recycling bin has more in it each week than my trash bin does, and I don't want to slack off when I'm on the road, so I've got my recycling bin on the spare...





When I'm generating a lot of real trash in the wild, I'll also put a standard kitchen size trash bag in there, but there were many convenient trash bins at the show so I only needed to save recycling.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
After Jeep Beach we're spending a few days on the Florida west coast with family; the Jeep isn't doing much driving but the sun is hot and the fridge is running a lot to keep up with the heat so the solar panel is keeping the kitchen battery charged while the Jeep is parked.



This trip, including the Jeep sitting for 3 days without the engine running at the Jeep Beach vendor expo plus the time in southwest Florida visiting family is the first real use of the solar system since doing the exhaustive testing, analysis and implementation last summer. The system is performing exactly as my tests and calculations indicated and I'm very pleased with it and consider it a complete success.

There is one issue with the fridge in Florida that I haven't had anywhere else - if the Jeep is sitting outside in the sun with all the windows and doors closed, it gets so hot inside that eventually the fridge shuts down - it can't cool when the ambient temperature around it is too high. It's the same temperature here at my sister's that it was at Daytona, but at Daytona the rear door was open all day in the show so the interior of the Jeep didn't get higher than the outside temp; here the Jeep sat all day closed. I'll have to see if I can come up with a cabin ventilation solution for times when the Jeep is parked and closed up in very hot weather.
 

Jupiter58

Active member
I leave my windows cracked and use a windshield shade over here in Jupiter. Makes huge difference on the internal temps. I am not worried about crime or such here. I can see where it may be an issue elsewhere.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
Agree on cracking the windows.

My truck sits outside in full sun here in Phoenix when I’m working in the garage.
Sunshield with the driver’s window down about 1/2” makes a huge difference.
I only crack the window when it’s parked at the house
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Opening the windows this much on each side made a big difference. Fridge kept to 37 degrees all day. Maybe they could be open less but I wasn't shooting for a final answer today.



Now I have to decide if I want to devise something more secure than open windows. I've got a few ideas.
 

JDaPP

Adventurer
I have used something like these on every vehicle I have ever owned and have never had an issue. Keeps rain out and unless you look closely you can't even tell the window is open.

 

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