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Mike

Roof Rack or Trailer?

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Starting to feel some growing pains with the Jeep and having a family of 5.  I am weighing the pros and cons of adding a roof rack or a tow behind trailer to get all of our crap down the road.  Sure, getting another vehicle would work, but what fun is that?

And basically with this, 98% of the time I'm not going to need this extra space.  Only for one or two trips a year will I be maxing out my cargo capabilities.  So, I'd like to make sure whatever solution I go with will have alternative uses as well.

So, what are some ideas?

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I personally like trailers. They are so versatile and they aren't a permanent attachment on the vehicle. A 5x10 open trailer would give you all the space you need for camping and trips and can be used for anything else you may need to move without having to lift it 7' up. A quality single axle 5x10 can be had for $700-1000 all day.

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I'd go with the trailer too. Who knows what you might want to try in the future and you could always build the trailer to your liking as you go. 

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Mike I still have my trailer I built, I'll sell it to you for 800.00 and that's with the max coupler. f27560df0cc41bdd7b1a06e9e320a0e9.jpg

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I don't have a recent pic but it has a lid on it and a tongue box on it also.

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A Gobi safari rack was one of the first mods I did to the JK.  Very solid, great looks, easy to open and close, even relatively easy to take the top rack part off and put back on (with help).  Noisy as hell, caused the soft top to drum and flap, wind rushing and whistling.  The extra wind resistance cut my MPG. I couldn't fit in most parking garages anymore.  Used it a few times on off-roading/camping trips and it was a pain.  If you're driving to a trailhead you have to unload all the crap off the roof rack before you head off-road.  On the trails it would get hung-up on trees.  When you get back from wheeling you have to load it all back on.  Then you drive to the campsite and repeat. Go on a multi-day trip where you're camping someplace different each night and you spend almost as much time loading and unloading as you do wheeling. With a trailer you just drop it, go wheeling, the hook back up and go to the campsite; then unload and load once. And with a trailer you're not climbing on your tires (and falling-off) trying to get stuff off the rack.

I sold the rack to a guy in PA.  He asked me why I was selling and I told him the truth.  He still bought it.  Two months later he put it up for sale.  

You can get a utility trailer from Harbor Freight for $400.  Add $200-250 worth of wood, hardware and paint.  That's less than half the price of a Gobi system.  Spend a few hundred more and you can even make something (crude) you can sleep in.  And when you're not using it for camping you can haul other stuff around.

They do look sexy though.  But unless I was building a show jeep I'd never get another.

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I had a roof rack before, and had the exact same feelings as @Bump about it 

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That's what my thoughts are about roof racks as well, but was starting to consider it as an option simply because a trailer would add $20 - $25 additional each way just in tolls for my September-October trip and I just despise spending money on tolls.  The Bay Bridge-Tunnel goes up to $22 one way if you're towing.

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Something like this would be perfect.

Carry-On Trailer 5 ft. x 8 ft. Open Mesh-Floor Trailer - For Life Out Here

http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/carry-on-trailer-mesh-floor-utility-trailer-5-ft-x-8-ft-2-000-gvwr?cm_vc=-10005

400lbs empty with a 1600lb cargo carrying capacity. Axle, bearings and tires are all common also.

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I love my M1101. Bought it for $600 and I've had 0 problems with it. I can barely even tell it's back there. I bought it specifically for our first trip to OBX with the baby. But I've used it countless times since then. With the stabilizers I fold the tailgate down and it doubles as a table / work bench. When we went camping it was my kitchen, where I set up our camp stove, coffee pot, etc.

Two big cons are storage, because it takes up an entire spot in the driveway, and a spare tire. It doesn't have a spare, and I'm considering either manufacturing a bracket for one or getting adapters to run JK 5.5 lug pattern.

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Swapping out the axle is a common mod and there a ton of threads on overland expo. Totally agree regarding taking up a spot in the driveway

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I've read a bunch about the axel swap but it's above my current skill level, and I don't want to lose the brakes, so I'd end up dropping money on an electronic brake kit.

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Mike my trailer is nice, doesn't leak and tows great.

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I definitely like yours, I like Iron Mikes too but that's pricy.

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I definitely like yours, I like Iron Mikes too but that's pricy.

The receiver was 300 by itself, the trailer is a steal at that price.

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5 hours ago, rich6700 said:

Mike my trailer is nice, doesn't leak and tows great.

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Thanks Rich, I'll keep it in mind.  I'm still a ways away from making a decision.  And, realistically, it's looking like a one trip use.  I might have another more capable family vehicle by then as I keep planning things out.

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Trailer! You can leave it as a base camp. Gear is easier to access. Lower center of gravity for the Jeep. More aerodynamic (sometimes).

 

I really like my lowered and enclosed m101. It has trailer brakes which is also nice.

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3 minutes ago, HEAVYMETAL said:

Damn. emoji20.png

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2 minutes ago, HEAVYMETAL said:

emoji12.png

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Like I've said before, if Autoguide wants to offer me $300k, I'll never talk to any of you fuckers again :thefinger:

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Like I've said before, if Autoguide wants to offer me $300k, I'll never talk to any of you fuckers again :thefinger:

I don't blame ya, Lance!

I'd be out too! Lmao

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7 minutes ago, HEAVYMETAL said:

I don't blame ya, Lance!

I'd be out too! Lmao

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Lance actually has an account here.  In the first month or so of the site he signed up and made a post, I think in the shoutbox.

Now, back on topic.  

In an ideal world, I'd have a off road capable teardrop, with a roof top tent, attached awnings, and other goodies.  But, my Internet shopping carts trend to be more imaginative than my wallet will allow.

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Lance actually has an account here.  In the first month or so of the site he signed up and made a post, I think in the shoutbox.

Now, back on topic.  

In an ideal world, I'd have a off road capable teardrop, with a roof top tent, attached awnings, and other goodies.  But, my Internet shopping carts trend to be more imaginative than my wallet will allow.

Concept to reality always cost more than expected.

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Lance actually has an account here.  In the first month or so of the site he signed up and made a post, I think in the shoutbox.

Now, back on topic.  

In an ideal world, I'd have a off road capable teardrop, with a roof top tent, attached awnings, and other goodies.  But, my Internet shopping carts trend to be more imaginative than my wallet will allow.

That's what I've researched and come to the same conclusion. I figured it would end up being my son and I in the tent up top and my wife and daughter in the teardrop.

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