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The Goal


This project was born out of necessity,as most are. The problem was our new Lance overhead camper, a spouse that sails (2X gear)....well, let me back up...the spouse was the reason for the camper. Don't get me wrong, the Deb_Dog has squatted behind her fair share of sagebrush in the Baja,Mexico and many other windblown locales. She's definitely not what one would refer to as "high maintenance". It's a little bit harder for womenfolk to relieve themselves outdoors in broad daylight, so an indoor toilet and shower seemed like a reasonable request after, oh so many years, of "roughing it". The outdoor shower is nice too, after a long day surfing, kiting, and sailing, and so is the queen size Serta mattress.

High Maintenance Wife

The Prize
OK, back to the problem at hand. How to transport these wind/wave toys to the wind/wave infected areas that exist from time to time on the West Coast of North America with the above mentioned Lance camper. Schlepping boards and gear in and out is not an option.....been there and done that. Part of the joy of having a camper like this is being able to get out of the freakin' wind when you are not sailing, so you don't need a bunch of boards and stuff in the way when you are trying to "chill out" inside. Putting sailboards on top is also not an option as we go to venues that have "real wind". I don't mind putting a few surfboards up there, because if it's surfing weather, it's not windy and you can safely lower a surfboard , while standing on top of this puppy.


Stuff

More Stuff
Wheeled trailers...they are a great way to transport gear to certain venues...ones that have paved roads...we like to get off of the asphalt from time to time, but when it rains and you are 3 hours offroad, the 4X4 becomes a necessity, and it's not fun pulling a trailer. I've pulled several flavors of trailers over the years, from homegrown to gucci, so I know about flats, wheel bearing, parking and jack knife issues that are inherent in that mode of gear transport, not to mention, that it legally lowers your speed to 55mph in the state of California, where we reside. So I decided to go wheeless. But how? After searching for ready made solutions on the internet, it became obvious that this was going to have to be a custom job.

Trailers Offroad in the Baja

WARDOG's Wheelless Trailer / Vertical Board Rack

Rear View

Side View Camper Access
Stowing boards vertically off of the back of the camper made a lot of sense to me. I needed easy access to the camper and I didn't want to drill into it with through bolts. So I got some 2" square tubing to extend off of my Draw Tite trailer hitch on my truck. This had to be offset upwards for ground clearance. This was done by making two 6" tapered offsets. The extension is supported on the bottom of the camper bumper. The platform is a standard 2'X 4' gear hauler tray, available from HR Northern or Cabelas. This seemed like the easiest way to go, pre-fabbed...time and materials would have cost more if I had built one myself. It turns out that this was the right size, so that the camper tail lights were not blocked and it provided good access to the rear door of the camper.


Vertical Offsets

Draw Tite Connection
I built a frame out of 3/4" square tubing which is removable and plugs into female receiver tubing welded to the four corners of the platform. The middle cross member of the frame is held in place by a one piece articulating, lockable, bike rack that I already had. The beauty of this , is that the frame can be removed in the Baja or wherever you are set up for a few days, and used as a big table if laid horizontal or an outdoor shower/privacy stall with a tarp wrapped around it, for outdoor showering wind protection. I also used square tubing to weld to the aluminum lock box which also slides into 2 female receivers on the bottom of the camper. I use 2 motorcyle tiedowns for side to side sway, of which there is very little motoring down the road. The trailer lighting package makes it all street legal. The rack can hold 3 boards on each side, plus masts in mast bags. We also have a 6" tube on top for transporting new masts. There is a bed over our dinette in the camper that holds most of our sails. The rest go in a quiver bag that we store under the camper covered with a tarp or vertically off the back when we are camping. I also made a stainless rack for hauling booms, that is attached to the ladder.


Removable Frame Connection

Loooong Extension
The vertical board rack is nice, because we never worry about boards flying off of the top as they are out of the wind. It also makes for quick and easy, out of the wind packing, as the rear of the camper is always oriented away from the wind. Originally, I was going to build this puppy out of stainless steel, but the cost was substantially more and I was going to have to wait on materials. These pics were taken after several years of use. Can't locate the pics when she was new. So there is a little rust that I will have to knock off when I get a chance. I wish I had a dollar for every person that has approached me to take measurements and sketch the layout of the wheeless trailer / vertical board rack because they had the same dilemma of transporting gear with an overhead camper or RV...;-)
Regardless, this unit has paid itself out many times over with ease of use and safety of not climbing on top to strap gear down in the wind.

Integrated Bike Rack Support

Trailer Trash









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