Exterior Storage box ideas - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-05-2006, 07:27 PM   #1
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When I bought my Surfside, it had a large plywood box in the front of the trailer. The propane tank had been moved into it. The box is weathered, and I originally thought I would remove it immediately... but then I used the trailer a few times, and found out how handly it is. I could sand, fibreglass, and paint, but I was wondering what others had done - there seem to be quite a few large plastic boxes out there. While I am rambling here, should this box be on the front or rear of the trailer? What say the collective wisdom?
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Old 05-05-2006, 08:41 PM   #2
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I would vote for keeping your box on the front. Too much additional weight on the rear could adversly affect towing characteristics, and introduce sway problems.
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Old 05-07-2006, 12:10 PM   #3
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I used this box that they have at Home Depot and Lowes among other places.
They are cheap first of all and seem strong enough.
I almost used a Diamond Plate box made for the tounge but it was 6 times the price and much smaller too.

So I used Uni-Strut to sandwich the box to the frame.
It has worked well,is light weight and so far there have been no problems with it.
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:59 PM   #4
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I second Frederick's observation: the net effect to weight distribution of adding storage to front or back should be carefully considered. Adding to the back is likely bad, and adding lots to the front is cannot be assumed to be safe, either.

Ed's Uni-Strut idea is interesting. This specialized channel is normally used to mount electrical equipment, but has all sorts of custom bracketing possibilities. Thanks, Ed.

In addition to the custom-built wooden, fiberglass, and aluminum boxes, plus outdoor storage boxes like Ed's and various things intended to be used in pickup trucks, there are also boat bow boxes. These are tapered to fit in the bow area of a boat, so they naturally sort of fit on an A-frame tongue. A discussion a few months ago showed a lot of these, but I haven't looked for a link yet.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:07 PM   #5
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Ed, I really like your set up. A couple of questions: Is your propane tank mounted at one end in the box? If it is, how do you have it anchored down? Lastly, if so, how do you run the propane hoses out and is the box vented in the bottom?

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:54 PM   #6
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Ed, I really like your set up. A couple of questions: Is your propane tank mounted at one end in the box? If it is, how do you have it anchored down? Lastly, if so, how do you run the propane hoses out and is the box vented in the bottom?

Thanks,
Bob
Bob
I did not have the tank mounted when I took the Pics but it is now.
I used the Uni-strut to anchor the tank. That is the beauty of the strut. There are many parts available to attach almost anything in a strong and flexible manor.

There is a hole for the hose and a few vent holes with marine vents plugs drilled into the box.
I also had to make an "inscision" to allow the jack's foot to rest inside the box when it is folded for travel.
This was not planned but needed and it also provides some ventilation.
The box will also hold my little generator next to the tank but I try to avoid this if possible.

The box is not really watertight but very handy for what it is.
I can also stand on it to reach the roof which can be handy!

Ed
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:19 PM   #7
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A couple of aluminum alternatives:Now that I'm looking for the marine version, I haven't been able to find one. They are the same shape as the trailer boxes above, and I don't think it was my imagination!
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:57 PM   #8
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A couple of aluminum alternatives:Now that I'm looking for the marine version, I haven't been able to find one. They are the same shape as the trailer boxes above, and I don't think it was my imagination!
I have certainly seen them at West marine among other marine stores.
I also was looking at more substantial boxes but they were soooooo! much pricier I went plastic as I already had two sitting in the driveway.

It works better than I thought it would.
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Old 05-09-2006, 07:21 PM   #9
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I have certainly seen them at West marine among other marine stores...
All I have found on the West Marine web site are dock boxes, which are rectangular - none of the shape to fit the A-frame tongue, which one of those aluminum trailer box makers calls "keystone" shaped. It's especially frustrating to not be able to find something when you know it is out there! But seriously, it's not a big deal - hundreds of kilometers from the nearest ocean, marine supply stores are not a great source for me anyway.
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:40 AM   #10
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Came across this site when I was looking for a similar product. Didn't buy so no first hand experience.

http://www.cheyennemfg.com/DockBoxes...eDockBoxes.htm



Al
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:40 PM   #11
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Ed, I liked your idea so much that I borrowed (stole?) it. I got the same box and uni-struts at Lowe's. However, I have a fairly tall vertical jack post and the box has to fit between that and the front of the camper. It is such a tight squeeze that the lid will not open all of the way because it hits against the camper. To make it work, I turned the box around so that the hinges are toward the trailer hitch. It opens fine now. The only catch is that while I can easily press the latch to release and open the lid, it is a little too tight to get the key in there. Fortunately, the box has a hole for locks on both corners and I'm using one of those. (I believe I saw a lock there in one of your pictures.) Also, Lowe's had some "Plastic Enamel" paint especially for painting plastics and it adheres really well to the box, so I'm painting it white to match the Burro.

Thanks for the great ideas and pictures, Ed.

Bob
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Old 05-12-2006, 12:32 PM   #12
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Does anyone have a box mounted on the back? The one at Lowes seems a little to big to put on the back so we have been looking for something a little smaller.
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Old 05-12-2006, 02:23 PM   #13
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I posted my exterior storage solution a while back under the following post:

Bumper mods

I built it using a sheet of 22-gauge sheet metal, bent into shape and riveted together. It is worth pointing out two things: first, that I don't keep a great deal of weight in the box, and, second, that the UHaul's frame is substantially heavier than most of the rest of the 13 footers. This prevents the rear-mounted box from substantially reducing the tongue weight of the trailer and creating sway problems. For the record, I haven't noticed any difference in towing the trailer since I installed the box.
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:09 PM   #14
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I copied Ed's idea from this thread. I had to turn the box backwards to get it to open as it was such a tight fit between the camper and the tongue jack post.

Bob
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