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Old 06-04-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Just a box...

What do you do when you have limited storage, want to carry firewood and other items, and have time and junk laying around...you build a carry box for the back.

While sorting stuff in the shop we stumbled on one of those carriers that fit into the trailer hitch and wondered if it would be suitable, plenty of space, but now to secure the wood.

Further looking we found some leftover 1/8 inch sheet aluminum and angle iron pieces so we made the box.

Some stainless steel rails from the salvage yard strengthen the long sides and via the center lid support connecting front to back the structure is rock solid.

Next puzzle was the lid, we had piano hinge but difficult to keep water out, would need to add support to hold it open, and the hinge was a little too short.

We remembered the way the hood opened on the garden tractor, so we made some models to work out the geometry, the lid needed to open up close to vertical, but not quite as there is a ladder on the back of the coach that restricts the vertical range, and it also limits the space the lid can travel.

We finally got the lift arms correct, the lid tilts up and over the side of the box with 3/8 clearance to the ladder, end angle matches the ladder, and it is self supporting.

A couple Southco turn latches secures the lid.

Lid has 1 1/8 angle around all 4 sides, so it is very water resistant from the top, a plastic liner goes on the bottom to allow water to drain but keep everything inside via the expanded steel bottom.

The sheet stock is held together via countersunk screws and angle iron, all surfaces that touch are ground to shiny and epoxied as are the screws and nuts.

These are all then filled with bondo and finished flush.

There are additional stabilizers added that use existing holes in the bottom of the bumber with a nut welded inside the insert.

A custom pin that was machined to fit the pin lock and is also threaded allows the insert to be bolted to the receiver via the pin.

Tail lights are visible from the rear, we have a set of LED tail lights that will be added to insure good visibility of signalling.

It is 24 inches deep, 60 inches wide and 19 1/2 inches front to back with a sliding shelf.

They now have an aluminum carrier for about the same money, so one could build similar, this keeps the firewood and other items that may carry bugs or other critters out of the coach.

A nursery wagon is the same height so removal and transport for storage is one person job.
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Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:42 AM   #2
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WOW! nice carrier. engineer, right? looks like something my FIL would build, very professional indeed. you might also consider moving the licence plate.

1999 Winnebago Minnie 29', Ford V10, Close to stock.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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At this time I do not do that but the plan looks sound.

I do have a mobility scooter, weighs 250 pounds (Shipping weight) my wife uses to tow the laundry over to the washing machines in the park, among other things.

I load it on one of the "Hitch Hauler" (TM) type carriers.. Originally this was mounted on a custom bilt drop hitch, and as a result bottomed out when I turned one corner in S.C. land of "No leveal place less it's man made":. I backed into a stone wall and messed it up (Broke the main support beam which is also the part that goes into the receiver) finally got around to replacing it with one a few inches longer.

The reason for the "longer" is the drop hitch had not onlyh a 2" receiver for the tow bars (From when I towed) But a "Toung" type mount for my bicycle carrier. The new beam does double duty.

Holds 500 Pounds (Rating). (Well holds my 330 plus the scooter on occasion but not going down the road).

Oh, the new beam is heavier than the OEM as well.

WHen I get a towed, Again, I will either do some more mod work on that drop hitch or more likely move the tray to the back of the towed (or just mount it vertically) when towing)

I added a pair of LED tail lights to it as well.

Law IN MY STATE is a cargo tray like that is legal if it does not extend more than FOUR feet (Thought it was 3) beyond the rear of the ride, Or if it does extend over 4 Feet it is legal if it's flaged or lit.

Mine extends about 28-30 inches beyond the back of the RV. AND is lit.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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Looks Good, thanks for the pictures
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:32 AM   #5
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Tony & Lori:

WOW! What a beautiful storage unit you made.

Just wanted to mention something. You indicated one of the purposes for the unit was to "...carry firewood..." You probably already know this, but.... unless you are planning to use your rig in and around your home region (county, state, etc.) many parks further afield around the country have restrictions about bringing in and burning firewood from elsewhere. This is especially true about traveling into and out of Canada.

Steve & Lynette
2014 Newmar 3103 BAYSTAR/Triton V10 w. Banks/05 Honda Element toad
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Very nice storage box. Chickadee is correct, many U.S. areas also have outlawed transport of firewood. You mentioned keeping bugs and critters out of the motorhome, that's the reason for not transporting firewood. Ash boring beetles in Ohio, Pine bark beetles in the Rockies, these pests are causing big problems and have resulted in transporting wood bans. Same issue in trailering boats, introduced species into new areas is a major problem.

Bob & Donna
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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You can get around the firewood issue by using kiln dried scrap lumber in some parts. the kiln gets hot enough to kill bugs apparently, but I don't know about virus.
Martha (AKA RVM45), Bob, and Bess the Border collie
22'Honey Sportscruiser on a 1988 Ford Econoline.
Sometimes towing a powered Parachute.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:55 AM   #8
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Very nice Job, and very well planned. Where do I place my order.
Bruce & Nancy
FMCA F280542
2004 Bounder 35E
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for the good comments.

We are in Ca, and due to the farming here we are very well aware of restrictions transporting anything.

Our planned outings are in local spots within 50 miles or so, and we use local grown wood from the backyard.

We were able to fit a 5 gal bottle and about 4 feed bags full of FW with a 5 gallon bucket also filled with smalls, the bucket is to have full of water near the fire.

Was to go last week, but transmission did not want to shift, so vacation spent working on Allison unit, still not fixed but we have got good at parking in the driveway and pulling the pan..&^^%$%&

Tail lights are now added, could not drive it so had to do something.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by W4MBG View Post
WOW!...you might also consider moving the licence plate.
I second this warning. Since you spend time in Cali please be aware that you're vulnerable for a "fix-it-ticket" for obstructing the plate. I got cited in my SUV for partially blocking the License plate with a permanent bumber rack. I had to move the plate to get the citiation dismissed.

Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance, Samuel Coleridge
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