SS getting rockguard/sliders/bumpers

retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
edited April 2017 in Conversions & Upgrades
thinking about this for a while now, finally pulled the trigger.   kinda think it should have been something that all rough riders came with from the factory.   this is currently a work in progress.  as of the photos its about 75 percent complete.   although it looks like it is being welded on, actually this is a bolt on solution.  bolted the custom bracket/frame to the bottom of trailer, then weld in pipes.   once done, it will be unbolted and sent to the power coater for a semi gloss black finish. 

the goal was not to create something that would stop a rear end accident, but more to be a warning thud if backing into a campsite or get to close to a rock/tree when slowly driving a dirt trail.  basically keeping me from doing something stupid. 

Although the concept was of my making, the solution came from Charles and Hitch 2 Hitch who took my ideas and ran with it.  his fulfillment of my vision was way better than i had come up with.   very happy so far.

end of day one.   mostly planning and cutting lots of pipes.

lots of under the TD planning. 

started on rear bumper/guard first.    
scrap paper on the ground was the tons of paper patterns made to figure this out

rear still not finished, but starting to take shape.   still have end supports to create and install

starting the sides   opps... too short  although it was my plan, didnt like as it made it hard to get into door.  
need to try again - tomorrow.   end of day one, 


  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    Day two
    started the sides again, came up with different solution for the front of fenders, which will become a small step getting into the trailer.  (with the larger rims, the trailer door is much higher and difficult to get into)

    my plan was to have a strait pipe from out from under the body to hold the side pipes.  Charles (hitch 2 hitch) suggested a downward J pipe to mount the pipes to the frame.  cant believe i fought him on this.  he mocked something up to show me his concept.  what can i say, he was totally correct.  

    rethought and remeasured wheel fender guard on the front of fender.  this makes a "little" toe step to get into trailer.   once again Charles (hitch to hitch) came thru with a solution that was doable.  there will be a small filler panel in the triangle that creates the step the size of the ball of your foot.  

    there will be a pipe on the back side of the angle in front of the fender that will run from right side side to the left side of the trailer that will be capable of holding weight.  based upon our discussions, it will also serve as a jack point for a highlift and a mounting point for a future rock guard.

  • stargazer7467stargazer7467 Member Posts: 269 ✭✭✭
    Now these are camper mods! Love it keep it coming!
  • d0bhrand0bhran Member Posts: 42
    Reminds me of a Youtube video of the mods a guy did to his Rough Rider to beef it up a bit...he ended up naming it the Honey Badger.  
    Makes my stock Rough Rider feel...inadequate.  :disappointed:
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    Yep followed the build on expedition portal.  Have thoughts on that that I'll keep to myself. But it's one of the reasons I used 1.25 for the guards and 1 inch pipe not to take away or overwhelm the trailer design. 
  • WildcatWildcat Member Posts: 657 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    I'd need a step stool to get in something like a honey badger, and I'm not exactly short.  I like the fenders, but I wonder how much rocks and crud gets thrown up on the trailer because I'm at least careful with mine.  I go quite slow on our gravel road, and in winter, it can really get bad for mud. I fear the number of times he said basically detracted from what he was saying, but it's still cool looking.  The galley on my RR is slightly high for me, but I'm used to it.  I can see why he wouldn't want to cook back there.  I assume he added support under where the batteries are. After looking at another of his videos, I'm not sure why he didn't just build one from scratch because almost everything"has to go."  I'm still waiting to see if I really want/need an awning on both sides, and don't know if I can turn the trailer by myself to get it on the proper side.  My Xterra off road only has, I think 10.5 inches of clearance, so raising my RR wouldn't do much for me.  That's a neat bumper, retrofit.
  • d0bhrand0bhran Member Posts: 42
    I ran across that video when I was doing my initial research before buying my Rough Rider.  Interesting, fun to watch, but not something I would ever try to do.  I get along just fine with the stock set up.  For the areas that I'm usually in, the ground clearance is good, but I don't typically need sliders of any kind.
    Like Wildcat said too, why not just build from the ground up on that one since you had to strip it down so far (again, fun to watch though)?  There is also the fact that I AM short (5'6") so raising the RR galley up anymore would require a step stool to keep it functional.  
  • WildcatWildcat Member Posts: 657 ✭✭✭
    Yes, you know the RR when I brought it home, I thought I would need a step stool at the galley and could see myself falling off it.  But the dummies that hooked it up had the trailer pointing down so far and had the hitch upside down, I got the husband to level it up quite a bit which made all the difference.  Before that, I couldn't even reach the water pump switch.  The service department that got me ready to go is the worst I've seen.
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    The only "lift" i did was rims and tires.   oddly my TD already had the offroad axle which remained the same.   my rock guards / bumpers are not intended to slide the TD over when it hits a rock off road, but more a  warning thump instead of a crunch.   as i said before, keeps me from doing something stupid - or maybe protecting the trailer when i do?.    the galley is without kitchen sink or stove, not worried about height as much and there are no upper cabinets only lower drawers,  2+inches of height due to TV matching rims and tires actually makes it easier for me - less bending to get things out of lower storage areas (getting old sucks).    

    Tire Rim upgrade.   

  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    Rear tack welded in final stage
  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 224 ✭✭✭
    Retro,  I worked for many years as a builder/fabricator of custom cars and the photos of the elegant tubing on your trailer get me all nostalgic!  It's VERY nice work and obvious you two are in cahoots on the project.  It looks well thought out, which is a step that many people miss.  I used to say that by the time I got to the work of bending metal and welding, the hardest part was already finished.  The design was firmly affixed in my head.  I like the fact that you have chosen to take the additional (difficult) step of making the sliders removable.  A nice touch.  It will make them easier to clean/paint/maintain for the duration.  I'd love to see a closeup of the mounting points.  I'm also wondering what the gauge of the tubing is that you are using.  The radiuses and miters all look spot on.  Nice design....and nice work.  Do you plan to cap the tubing on the ends or leave it open?  

    I (as many others) also saw the Honey Badger build on youtube and watched it a couple of times.  While the design isn't my cup of tea, I always appreciate folks who aren't afraid of drilling a couple (thousand?) holes and adding stuff to make it more functional for their needs.  As to raising the working height of the trailer:  I'm tall (6'5") and when I added the lift kit and larger tires/wheels, it made my trailer just about perfect for me.  It's easy to see that it might be a little too tall for the vertically challenged.  I'm glad that I didn't go with the tires I'd originally selected.  It would have been taller yet.  I was looking at your photo of the trailer with both tire sizes mounted and it comically occurred to me that you've got a "his and hers" now!  Seriously though, I have been wondering how mine might pull should I need to put the stock spare on.  Now I can see it should be fine for a short tow to the tire shop.  

    I've been toying with adding a small generator.  I might just need to go back up to the shop and do a little fabrication of my own.  Who was it that said: "Inspiration is the sincerest form of flattery".

    More photos and details please...... Keep it coming...

  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    WilliamA. Thank you for your comments and feedback.  Based upon the lack of responses on this I was wondering if I've gone down a rabbit hole on this project and almost given up posting any additional info.   Your feedback was timely and appreciated 

    the mounts are L brackets that bolt both in the bottom of the frame but also the side.  (Sorry don't have a photo)

    speaking of "taking the step". Here is my last two fabrication shots.  (As the entire thing is finished and has been sent for power coat)

    Below is the mini step built into the fender guard.  It's not intended as a standing point but just a small little place to put the toes/ ball of your foot to get into the cabin if needed, yet out of the way for those that don't need it or hinder getting out.

    Unseen is a rear tube on the step goes all the way to the other side with multi mount points on frame and can be used as a jack point. (Also the same in the front of the trailer that goes under the tongue box to add additional strength boxing the entire section of the TD. (Not that anyone will ever notice)

    I forget what the tubing is for the guard but know that I've had two guys standing on one side by the door with no movement what so ever.  It's heavy and the piece going across the center of the trailer for the step is even heavier.  

  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 224 ✭✭✭
    Very nice.  The full-width pieces will really add to the strength of the steps.  More excellent planning.  I like the tubing below the doors and can see myself sitting in the door scratching various things with my bare feet propped on the rail.  Nice.  

    Now I've got to go get some welding shield gas and get to work, or as my son says to me daily:  
    "putz, putz, putz".  Cretin.....

    Love to see the photos once it's all powdercoated.  

    Having been a forum junkie for many years, I can also say with confidence that you needn't worry about non-response.  Information is power and it's hard to get too much of it, for whether or not people respond the folks that the information you post applies to will appreciate it and it will feed their own creativity in ways you can't predict.  I post on sites constantly (mostly car-builders stuff) where the response ranges widely from no response to open hostility and the internet  equivalent of a bar fight over details and ideas.  It's all information just the same.  I leave it up to the reader to pick through and use what they want.  For me, posting is sharing.  As one of my car-building buddies says often on another forum:  "you don't like it?  Don't read it.  Problem solved."
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017
    Too funny about the feet on rail.  I saw that too.  
  • grnH3grnH3 Member Posts: 161 ✭✭✭
    Very nice job. Can't wait to see the finished product. You also have good tie down spots!
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
  • phrelcophrelco Member Posts: 379 ✭✭✭
    Super sweet mods retrofit. Thought about going into biz? How about manufacturing DIY bolt on kits?
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    Done.    Next step is the rear led taillight of the newer models. 

  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
  • MahojinMahojin Member Posts: 96
  • jo11ymonjo11ymon Member Posts: 71 ✭✭
  • lightningdonlightningdon Member Posts: 119 ✭✭✭
    Hey Retro, awesome job! Have you considered doing bars out from the sliders and following the contour of the fenders to protect your fenders in the brush? I see Jeep guys do the full exo-skeleton for protection.
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭

    Hey Retro, awesome job! Have you considered doing bars out from the sliders and following the contour of the fenders to protect your fenders in the brush? I see Jeep guys do the full exo-skeleton for protection.

    i had,  considered lots of stuff.   the project started as a simple bumper just protect the rear end when backing up when i almost wiped out the back end from a black railroad tie that was dug into the back end of a camp site.   realized that the rear hatch and deck were totally exposed and a minor hit there would create a significant repair problem.  

    the first design was just a simple double pipe loop that included light guards.   while i thinking about it figured why not also do a step for the cabin,  then what about....  then scope creep set in.   as stated above, i didnt want this to overpower the look of the trailer.  

    heck the shop owner even suggest he could build a bar that came from the front frame, over the roof and back down the rear that would have a rack in the middle that wouldnt touch the roof, that would mimic the tear drop shape.  kinda like the exo-skeleton in your post. 

    in the end i bailed on the step-able jeep style fenders,   recessed running lights, rear fender protection, heavier steel sliders, double rear end bars and square tubing.   some was for price others were for style.   couple of minor things i would change if doing again, but im not so im happy with how it turned out.  

    ive ordered the more recent led on body brake lights to replace the older style boxes that hang off the rear sides.  (hence why they are sticking out un protected and the rear didnt get a double bar / over ride as planned)
  • CuffsCuffs Member Posts: 59 ✭✭
    Do you know how much weight this has added to the TD? 

    Injust had sliders installed on my truck, and this looks great on the TD, especially for the back end! 
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    my random guess is 30 or less pounds   wasnt that heavy.   
  • CuffsCuffs Member Posts: 59 ✭✭
    good investment for protection! not nearly as heavy as I thought they would be.
  • stargazer7467stargazer7467 Member Posts: 269 ✭✭✭
    oh man, this is great, love the metal work filling in the peak in front of the bumper. 
  • LuckyJLuckyJ Member Posts: 90
    Thank you for sharing!

    I'm new to this site and to the TD world, but not the offroad trailer side.  GF and I are in the processe of getting a [email protected] outback, but even so, I want to go with protection like you did on your SS since the pupose of getting a TD is the travel abywhere w/o limitation and protection is something I really want.

    Again, good job and thank you for sharing! :)

    I will try to come back with pick once we get ours and I start working on it.
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Member Posts: 8,776 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well done RF!  I LOVE these custom tweaks and believe the black paint looks sweet!  The only thing (and this is a stretch) that would be even sweeter would be if that piece were chromed up.  Nonetheless you have a one of a kind shadow and the mods make it stand out like a star!  Good looking sled!  smilie

  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    Thought about chrome.   but in SoCal chrome cost $$$ due to all the clean air regulations/fees.    looked at chrome like power coat, but just didnt seem to look more like Chrome Spraypaint.   finally went with black powercoating as it matched the trailer and kept from having one more media type on the trailer.  
  • duvinclunkduvinclunk Member Posts: 3
    Really like what you did here. I'm really thinking about doing the SS instead of the Rough Rider but will be wanting to take it on a few trails, nothing major though, and something like this would help. I'll also lift it and put large tires on it but the kitchen setup on the SS is just more ideal in our opinion. I may copy you on some of these modifications. :)
  • retrofitretrofit Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    Really like what you did here. ....I may copy you on some of these modifications. :)
    copy away.  
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