Cargo Trailer 5x8 Overland Conversion - Cherokee XJ Content

thatsagiven

Member
I love these little cargo trailer conversions. Yours is coming together really well. Glad to see you went with the bigger, 105 Ah battery. Only be sure you're charging it correctly and it will last years.

I'll be checking your thread here from time to time as I've started my own project using a 5 X 10 like yours but newer. Same stuff, different day is all.

Thanks for taking the time to post for the rest of us! Again, looking good!

Thanks @228B ! Looking forward to seeing your build as well! Hoping I am charging right I have a charger /maintainer wired direct to the battery and a shore plug. Not going below 12.4 on the battery, and topping it up/keeping it plugged in regularly. Any thoughts or recommendations on that setup?

Having fun and happy to post and maybe I'll be an inspiration or ideas for others.
 

228B

Observer
I just read two pages back in your thread here, to refresh my memory of your 12V setup. As long as you can stay on top of the battery voltage, you're going to be fine. That 1100 watt inverter is the most I would go with one battery. Do you have a transfer switch for your shore power (120V)? so that if you get to plug in at a powered camp site you can send that directly to your 120V outlets inside the trailer...

I00 watts of solar panel (PV, for "photovoltaic") is the minimum for that size battery; 150 watts would be better if you want to charge from a 50% state of charge. 12.4 resting voltage (after 4 hours) represents a 70-80% State of Charge so a 100W panel would be mostly for the absorption phase of charging where inbound amps aren't as important as seeing at least 14.4 volts for a few hours to 100% SoC. Renogy makes good panels. Don't need MPPT at this level; a good PWM charge controller will work just fine *if* you can make sure the battery sees the 14.4 volts that the charge controller is sending to it. This is where you want the proper size copper stranded wire gauge, and you want the battery as close as possible to the solar charge controller. blah blah blah
 

thatsagiven

Member
I just read two pages back in your thread here, to refresh my memory of your 12V setup. As long as you can stay on top of the battery voltage, you're going to be fine. That 1100 watt inverter is the most I would go with one battery. Do you have a transfer switch for your shore power (120V)? so that if you get to plug in at a powered camp site you can send that directly to your 120V outlets inside the trailer...

I00 watts of solar panel (PV, for "photovoltaic") is the minimum for that size battery; 150 watts would be better if you want to charge from a 50% state of charge. 12.4 resting voltage (after 4 hours) represents a 70-80% State of Charge so a 100W panel would be mostly for the absorption phase of charging where inbound amps aren't as important as seeing at least 14.4 volts for a few hours to 100% SoC. Renogy makes good panels. Don't need MPPT at this level; a good PWM charge controller will work just fine *if* you can make sure the battery sees the 14.4 volts that the charge controller is sending to it. This is where you want the proper size copper stranded wire gauge, and you want the battery as close as possible to the solar charge controller. blah blah blah
Thanks! Really appreciate the info, I'll look into this and might bug you if I have more questions. I don't have the transfer switch now, but I was going to swap the plugs to a 120 power bar manually for now.
 

thatsagiven

Member
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Made some progress today, got the bed frame painted.

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Cut some plexiglass for the lights on both sides and the interior is getting close to being finished.

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Finished adding eternabond to the front and back finally and sealed with lap sealant. No longer need a tarp on the roof.
 
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thatsagiven

Member
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Got the front basket cut and mounted, for now using 4 u-bolts but will likely weld this up in the future. I have an extension for the tongue to a 2 inch receiver and am planning on using a lock and roll hitch with two receiver ends for a little added security and I have read they are great on and off road.

Not 100% on the configuration I'll end up with but might put the battery in the front toolbox so it's lockable and have a vent on the side.

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Going to swap the shock holding the lid to the other side. This could work well and just need to find a way to mount the propane tank and gas cans so they won't get stolen and are secure on the road.
 
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AeroNautiCal

Explorer
What a transformation!

The interior is beautiful, clean and uncluttered, a really nice place to be.

I think the 5' x 8' enclosed cargo trailer is the best compromise of internal living space, relatively small footprint and ease of towing and manoeuvring.

You've significantly transformed your trailer and I look forward to seeing you complete it.
 

thatsagiven

Member
Ended up pulling the trigger on a solar setup, went with 200w Renogy setup with a 30a PWM controller as a kit. It has good reviews and should Looking forward to installing this on the trailer and seeing how well it will charge where we are. I have heard from a few people that 100w isn't enough and this kit was on sale for ~$250cdn after discount code.

Ill post more as it arrives and I get things installed.

 

thatsagiven

Member
What a transformation!

The interior is beautiful, clean and uncluttered, a really nice place to be.

I think the 5' x 8' enclosed cargo trailer is the best compromise of internal living space, relatively small footprint and ease of towing and manoeuvring.

You've significantly transformed your trailer and I look forward to seeing you complete it.
Thanks so much! Been a bit of a journey but its coming together.
 

thatsagiven

Member
I hate doing bodywork but there were some holes in the aluminum and I figured I would try my hand and filling them and trying to make them as hidden as possible. I am not too worried about how this looks up close because the worst center one will be covered by the cam door latch.

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getting pretty smooth

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Finally removed the vinyl sticker on the door. It was kind of growing on me. but happy its gone.

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Sealed up and painted the rear.

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Time for some creative masking for paint.

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A first coat

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Some additional coats on the passenger side.

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Decided on the black door. I like the way it looks on some other trailers, here goes nothing..
 
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thatsagiven

Member
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So once I removed all the tape after a few coats of Dark Gloss Machine Grey I am pretty happy with the end result.


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Still need to mount the door but I am no longer looking at such a scratched and beat up surface.

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Came up with an easy way to lock the bed down when driving and on a trail I can lock the two front legs and two back legs below.

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Ill try and get a better picture of where these are mounted if anyone is interested. I am still thinking of putting some storage under the bed with sliders.. I want to check on my weight soon before adding more inside.

And with an amazingly fast delivery time I have some Solar! Thanks Renogy, bought directly from their site instead of amazon and saved some money.

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thatsagiven

Member
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Added some diamond plate to finish the bottom edge.
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Got the door finished and put back together. Liking the black and it's better positioned with the window.

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Finished the rear corners by bending the diamond plate.

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Added black trim to the metal edge of the diamond plate.

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Found some matching led tails to replace the tired lights that came in the trailer.


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Rain gutter attached and sealed. Cam door hinge where the corrosion was the worst looks great. Really happy with how this came out.
 
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thatsagiven

Member
I like what you’ve done but I’d think the cargo rack on the front would affect how much you can turn the tow vehicle?

It will yes, I have a two foot extension I plan on welding to the tongue that will connect to a lock and roll hitch.

Should gain more than what I have lost with the basket. Until that is done, I will be using just the toolbox centered.
 

thatsagiven

Member
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Cut a hole to install one of the small vent vans I am using instead of a roof vent. Might go to one in the future but if I can avoid it I will.

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Fairly clean cut hole.

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Wired up a small PC Case Fan I had around to one of the switches and will have one fan push air out and the other push air in.

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Found these interior vents on Amazon a while back. Finished things nicely inside and allows me to open and close it for less or more air.

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Finished the outside vent, got a little messy with the silicone but I'll clean that up once it's all dry. (I hate silicone)
 
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