Outdoor kitchen/storage box - Fiberglass RV



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Old 04-14-2019, 09:30 AM   #1
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Bigfoot 17'
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Outdoor kitchen/storage box

I built a bumper mounted, fibreglass coated storage box/outdoor kitchen for the back of my Bigfoot. The box is 1/2" plywood covered in 3 layers of polyester resin and chopped strand, gelcoat and then marine enamel. The whole thing fits in a hitch cargo carrier that's mounted to the bumper. Now I don't have to haul my BBQ in the box of my truck or inside my trailer. Also fits my generator, firewood and propane firepit nicely, or firewood during burning season.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:27 AM   #2
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That's a great looking container!
I really need something like that on the back of my little 5th wheel.
Fred
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:19 PM   #3
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I would be interested in how well the trailer tows with the box mounted?

I tried something similar a few years ago... which almost caused me to loose control on the highway. Reduced tongue weight made the rig unsafe. If I hadn't had an 'equalizer' hitch we would have been spread all over the road.

Be cautious it this is a new addition.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:56 PM   #4
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It looks great. But, have you weighed that kitchen box and have you weighed your tongue, with and without the box mounted?
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BMack View Post
I would be interested in how well the trailer tows with the box mounted?

I tried something similar a few years ago... which almost caused me to loose control on the highway. Reduced tongue weight made the rig unsafe. If I hadn't had an 'equalizer' hitch we would have been spread all over the road.

Be cautious it this is a new addition.
The first time I towed the trailer after I added this (last year) I was towing with no equalizer hitch and no counter weight for the front. I was on the highway for a few minutes before it started going squirrelly on me. Scary scary times.

The second time I towed it I added an equalizer hitch, it towed beautifully with no issues.

The third time was this year after I cut off the battery and propane trays, while I was on my way to get my new tray welded on. It was quite bouncy without the extra tongue weight.

Since then I've added two 6v batteries and a heavier tray on the tongue , plus my propane (all lower weight too as the battery tray has been dropped 5") and I'll be towing with my equalizer hitch. I predict no problems but I'll keep everyone posted as to any issues I may have.

Thanks for the comments, it was a bit of work building this set up.
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:46 PM   #6
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It looks great. But, have you weighed that kitchen box and have you weighed your tongue, with and without the box mounted?
The box fully loaded is about 150lbs. I've added about 120 pounds to the tongue with my latest modification. And I tow with an equalizer hitch.

Where do you weigh your trailer tongue? Truck weigh stations?
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:22 PM   #7
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A bathroom scale will work also Tim.
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Old 04-14-2019, 04:44 PM   #8
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Where do you weigh your trailer tongue? Truck weigh stations?

I have a Sherline tongue weight scale with the 1,000 lb. gauge. You don't want the 2,000 lb. gauge because they are most accurate in the middle of the range and the 1,000 is easier to read.
https://www.sherline.com/product/she...-weight-scale/
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:23 PM   #9
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I have a Sherline tongue weight scale with the 1,000 lb. gauge. You don't want the 2,000 lb. gauge because they are most accurate in the middle of the range and the 1,000 is easier to read.
https://www.sherline.com/product/she...-weight-scale/
Glenn,

Honest question: How often are you weighing the tongue of your trailer to justify the purchase of a (not cheap) dedicated scale? And why would you need to weigh the tongue of your trailer this often?
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:24 PM   #10
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A bathroom scale will work also Tim.
Thanks! I tried it but our scale maxes out at 330lbs, so it wouldn't work.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:21 PM   #11
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Glenn,

Honest question: How often are you weighing the tongue of your trailer to justify the purchase of a (not cheap) dedicated scale? And why would you need to weigh the tongue of your trailer this often?

I weigh it often enough to know that I'm maintaining a proper ratio of tongue weight to trailer weight and to know that the box I have on the back isn't a problem.

I don't weigh it every time I hook up, it's true. I find I can adjust the tongue weight by shifting cases of Okanagan Spring Pale Ale forward and aft. I keep at least six cases aboard for fine tuning.
There is a method for using a bath scale to weigh the tongue. It involves the bath scale, a brick and a 2X4. Maybe somebody can post a link to it.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:41 PM   #12
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I weigh it often enough to know that I'm maintaining a proper ratio of tongue weight to trailer weight and to know that the box I have on the back isn't a problem.

I don't weigh it every time I hook up, it's true. I find I can adjust the tongue weight by shifting cases of Okanagan Spring Pale Ale forward and aft. I keep at least six cases aboard for fine tuning.
There is a method for using a bath scale to weigh the tongue. It involves the bath scale, a brick and a 2X4. Maybe somebody can post a link to it.
Glenn,
Thanks for the info! I'm curious to see the tongue weight, I found the method you referred to and will try it very soon.

I'll have to let the wife know I need a few cases of beer available at all times for safe towing

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer weight? So in order to know if the trailer tongue weight is sufficient one would have to know the total weight of their rig, right?

Also what sort of box do you have on the back of your trailer? Similar to mine?

Cheers
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Timwiltshire View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer weight? So in order to know if the trailer tongue weight is sufficient one would have to know the total weight of their rig, right?

Also what sort of box do you have on the back of your trailer? Similar to mine?

Cheers

10-15% is what I understand as the target.
My box is aluminum. I'm storing it for the company that I retired from seven years ago. They bought 20 boxes for securing camera equipment in the company cars. Not sure how many of those company cars ( 2000 Neon) they still have, but I think there are only three photographers left.

The shipping weight of the rack I'm using was 75 lbs. Box sits on top of it. I store water hoses, garbage bags, a camp axe and extension cord in it. I've considered removing it and storing that stuff elsewhere. I will remove it next time I take the ferry to reduce my over all length by two feet and the ferry fare by $18 each way.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timwiltshire View Post
I built a bumper mounted, fibreglass coated storage box/outdoor kitchen for the back of my Bigfoot. The box is 1/2" plywood covered in 3 layers of polyester resin and chopped strand, gelcoat and then marine enamel....


phew, that sounds heavy. have you weighed it? those rear bumper hitches usually have a 100 lb limit.
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