Trailer Updates and Improvements

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been working on a few things to improve the usefulness and utility of the trailer I use to haul the Jeep.

First thing I added was a carrier for a second spare tire.

It seems that one is definitely not enough. My last trip to Moab, I had three flat tires on the way out there. I ended up buying a second as a replacement. I bought a simple mount that attached to the tongue to locate it. I wish it as a little higher, though. Perhaps I may build one of my one at some point in the future.

Next was some additional storage. Found this used truck bed box locally.

It fits reasonably well and it gives me a place to store extra straps, the stabilizing jacks and maybe some gear that I’d rather not put in the back of the truck. Bolted it down to the deck.

Next up, was some new tie downs. I wanted to secure the jeep with straps that were parallel with the length of the trailer.

I had previously been crossing the fronts and using axle straps to secure the rears to the rub rail on the rear of the trailer. The front mounts were welded together and I mounted them through the deck. Keeping the straps straight is a safer alternative.

And for the rear, I just welded them to the rear frame. I had trouble with the driver’s side – the wind kept blowing away my shielding gas for the welder. It’s an ugly weld, but it’ll hold. AFter putting these on, I am wondering if I shouldn’t have welded these on some 1/4″ plate and then welding those onto the frame of the trailer. I may end up cutting these off and redoing them. At least I could clean up the welds.

Most trailers don’t come with reverse lights. I’m not sure why. But I wanted them and I wanted something bright, so when I’m backing into my driveway, I have a little more visibility on where the back of the trailer is, and I will lessen my chances of hitting something I don’t want to.

Problem is, the pigtail that came on the trailer was missing the center pin, which is the pin that supplies power to a reverse light. I replaced that with one I bought from Amazon. It also came with a terminal box which made splicing it into the existing wiring rather easy.

That gave me the ability to fish some wires down the inside of the trailer and attach some reverse lights. I welded the brackets for these to the underside of the rear frame.

They certainly brighten up the area.

And in that same vein, I often find it challenging to see the trailer in my side view mirrors at night. My windows are tinted, and then they are up, it’s hard to see where the trailer is tracking. I like to be able to see the tires, to make sure I’m not too far over in the center or towards the shoulder. I added some small lights just in front of the axle to illuminate the ground in front of the tires.

This will solve that problem.

I still have some other improvements to make, most notable is a backup/rear view camera system that can unplug easily from the truck. I have most of the parts I need, I just need to make a bracket to mount it on the Jeep’s spare tire, for when I am towing the Jeep, and something to mount it to the trailer deck when I am not. I had a wireless setup, but it was pretty unreliable.

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