trying to work out how to Jeep camp with my 5 year old and 8 month old

ZONE ZERO

Member
Talking to my wife tonight shes interested in trying 2 to 3 small trips this summer in a ground tent like we use to before the kids. She thinks a small trailer would be a good fit keeping the budget around 10k. we’re like a pile of monkeys half the time. It seems like every other night it’s us the girls and our Vizsla in our bed anyway so being a bit cramped is fine for awhile. As the kids get bigger we can add a ground tent.

im thinking building a trailer is probably the way to go ill Have to do a bunch of research .
 

pith helmet

Well-known member
Somewhere for the girls to be able to stand and change clothes and go to the bathroom/cleanup in privacy is enough to get them comfortable. An OZ tent and a toilet Is what I might do if nothing else.
That is what I am working on. My wife needs a hard side sleeping arrangement in the windy western states, otherwise that is what I’d do.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
My ideal overlanding trailer is a very small teardrop. I don't mind setting up a small bathroom tent, but my wife might be more inclined to join me if I had a small teardrop.

Too bad they're not in the budget anytime soon. The one I spec'd out and want came to around $25,000 (Timberleaf Pika model). I could pull it behind my 4-cylinder TJ though.

The Pika Teardrop Trailer | Small Camping Trailers, Camping Trailers (timberleaftrailers.com)

Wanna build one(?):

Big Woody Teardrop Campers (bigwoodycampers.com)
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
I don’t mean to hate on Toyotas my wife’s toyota camerey is flawless I’ve only done brakes since 2010 . My experience with Toyota trucks in New England has been poor, the salt on the roads kills them so fast. And the 2 i had were money pits.
By the way I see you've been around quite a bit, and more places than me that's fir sure. My comments on clothes fir space saving was written before I read the while thread. Clearly you probably already know that. I just know for me (ahem...and my girlfriend) clothes become an issue. More that we expect. And you mentioned extra clothes so I bit into that. No offense.
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
I don’t mean to hate on Toyotas my wife’s toyota camerey is flawless I’ve only done brakes since 2010 . My experience with Toyota trucks in New England has been poor, the salt on the roads kills them so fast. And the 2 i had were money pits.
We hear so much of Toyota reliability. I've always wanted one but prefer a larger truck. Hearing of Toyota's poor fuel economy and frame issues was a surprise to me. I fluid filmed my truck frame a couple years ago. Time to do it again.
 

jeventures

New member
With our two kids currently (4 and 7) we’ve camped out of a minivan, 4Runner, and currently a gladiator. My suggestion for using a JKU is to treat it like backpacking to keep payload in a safe place. We went with a gladiator recently because it has the payload and tow rating for multiple setups..sometimes borrow a 3,700 lb camper, sometimes car camp at a campground, and sometimes backcountry on trails where the jeeps capability shines. When we go trail camping we try to pack a little more like we are backpacking. My last input is to get stackable boxes that fit your trunk well, and handful of compression sacks and get organized. It makes life much easier before, during, and after camping.
 

smlobx

Wanderer
We have a Dinoot trailer that can be built from scratch with minimal experience.


Here’s a couple of pictures of ours…

one thing I would also add is to use the same wheel and tires you have on your Jeep so that you eliminate the need for an additional spare.

09D36D4B-1487-4059-A987-7C7EE19D4596.jpeg54FF09F1-E7B2-400D-877E-4713B47373A2.jpeg
 

shays4me

Adventurer
My ideal overlanding trailer is a very small teardrop. I don't mind setting up a small bathroom tent, but my wife might be more inclined to join me if I had a small teardrop.

Too bad they're not in the budget anytime soon. The one I spec'd out and want came to around $25,000 (Timberleaf Pika model). I could pull it behind my 4-cylinder TJ though.

The Pika Teardrop Trailer | Small Camping Trailers, Camping Trailers (timberleaftrailers.com)

Wanna build one(?):

Big Woody Teardrop Campers (bigwoodycampers.com)
My brother built his own and has had many great adventures in it! I'm not going to tell you it was easy but if you set your mind to it you can do it too! I'm extremely impressed with his talent and took a couple shots of it while it's parked in my field. I just gotta show them off and brag on him!
IMG-1827.JPGIMG-1829.JPGIMG-1830.JPG
 

ZONE ZERO

Member
We hear so much of Toyota reliability. I've always wanted one but prefer a larger truck. Hearing of Toyota's poor fuel economy and frame issues was a surprise to me. I fluid filmed my truck frame a couple years ago. Time to do it again.
It’s funny because my 30 year old rang rover classic was a better wheeler more comfortable and cost me less over a 6 year period than my 4 runner cost me in 3 years.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
We have a Dinoot trailer that can be built from scratch with minimal experience.


Here’s a couple of pictures of ours…

one thing I would also add is to use the same wheel and tires you have on your Jeep so that you eliminate the need for an additional spare.

View attachment 719275View attachment 719276
Nice Dinoot trailer! They always seem to come out nicely.

"One thing I would also add is to use the same wheel and tires you have on your Jeep so that you eliminate the need for an additional spare."

Yes and no. Something to consider....

I just put new 33" tires (LT285/75/16") on my Jeep TJ to replace the previous same-size tires which were worn out. These are "E" rated, three-ply sidewalls, and they are heavy (very heavy) Mickey Thompson Baja Boss AT tires. And they were expensive (buy once, cry once). My Jeep only has the 2.5 four cylinder engine (but is geared properly). If I put those same sized tires on my trailer, it would be just that much more work for my Jeep to pull (and it is already working hard to pull the trailer as-is).

My Jeep TJ has a bolt pattern of 5 on 4.5". My trailer has a bolt pattern of 5 on 4.5", so we're good there. With a wider axle I think I would have enough clearance under the fenders to run them. However, sometimes I pull my trailer behind my truck (96 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4). It has the same size tires as the TJ (different brand though), but the truck's bolt pattern is a 5 on 5.5". I also hope to take my little Willys Jeep on an overlanding trip someday. It has a 5 on 5.5" bolt pattern, but the Willys runs a 31x10.5x15" tire. So if I pulled the trailer behind either one of these other vehicles, the vehicle's spare would not be an option for my lil' trailer. And I might want to pull it behind my wife's 2017 Subaru Crosstrek someday, and I don't even know what the bolt pattern is for her car.

Many new 4x4s come with rims that don't have a large enough hole in the center of the rim to go over the trailer's axle hub (check before you buy rims!). Or they have too much offset so the axle would have to extend quite far from the spring perch for the tire to clear the tub (increased risk of bending the axle). The axle companies will usually state what their recommended maximum distance from the axle's spring perch to hubface is.

Currently my trailer is running LT235/75/15" tires. These rims/tires are not that heavy, are more than adequate for the trailer's weight, and the tires are a common size and relatively inexpensive. The trailer sits level with all three of the above vehicles (the hitch is pretty much at the same height on each vehicle, and the trailer's axle is mounted under the springs). I don't have a tailgate on my trailer's tub, so it is just bolted to the tub's back panel using a factory take-off Jeep TJ spare tire carrier.

Overland Adventure.1.jpg

Willys and trailer.7 (2).jpg

So while having trailer tires and rims that match your tow vehicle has its merits, it might not always be the best solution or even an option.
 
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