Yes, it comes off. I didn't know if the raised roof could handle the weight of just the rack, so thought better safe than sorry. Initially, I built it as one piece, but then cut the 2x4's in half and use a clasp to put them together on the roof because it was too bulky to remove by myself and awkward even if I recruited my 16 year old to help because it had to be lifted over the AC.
Basically, it is 2-2x4's, 2-1x4s, 2 electrical tracks, 2 fence posts, 2 fold up wall hangers and 2 kayak stackers. I used the 2x4's along the side edges to connect the posts and track to. I use the fold up hangers to prevent the kayaks from sliding around when I'm trying to load them. The kayak stackers are intended to keep the kayaks off the AC. There is a post and track at the front and back secured with grade 8 bolts and washers through the 2x4s. The posts are strong enough to support the kayaks, and I use the track slots to run the connecting straps. I created custom length 1/4" cables so that a spring clip will secure them. I still use traditional tie downs to keep them from sliding side to side. I put PVC Ts on the ends of the posts because initially I had ratchet straps through the posts and didn't want the rough edges to cut the strap. Doubt that's an issue with the cable, but I left them on anyway.
I weaved cable (3/8" or 1/2" ... can't remember now) through the holes on the under side of the popup, connected turnbuckles to the track with links. The cables are then attached to the turnbuckle and I tighten the cables that way. I also have cables running through the fence posts that connect front and back as a double safety measure in the event the side to side cables failed (and it's got like a 1400 pound tolerance, so HOPE it is highly unlikely, but that doesn't rule out failure at one of the other connection points). So there are 8 connection points on the rack...plus the straps for the kayaks. Sounds like it might take a long time to connect, but all of them are either quick links or spring loaded. I also put plastic feet on the 2x4s so they slide easier across the roof and don't scratch it as easily, but I do put a micro cloth under the side sliding. The clasps that connect the front and back pieces not only turn, but I put a spring loaded link through the lock hole. It is likely overkill as Thule and Yakima racks are not nearly as secure, but I wanted to avoid drilling into the roof and something strong enough to span the popup and not sag when all 3 boats are loaded. Initially, I just used the electrical track and put pool noodles under, but feared it too much bounce on the roof. The fence posts don't flex at all. I have pictures taken and detailed this process at this link: s401.photobucket.com/albums/pp96/rcjsmom/Kayak%20rack/
I can tell a lot of thought went into this mod. The fence post are ridged enough that they don't flex "Good idea". I have had a few members tell me they have been trying to figure out a way to haul a canoe/kayak on top of their PUP with the air-conditioner on the roof. Looks like you figured it out, great mod. Looking forward to checking it out when we camp with you guys.
Yes, thanks. I spent hours staring and ciphering and looking at home depot and lowes for ideas ... buying pieces, returning pieces, etc. The first trip we took with it as a single unit, we were fortunate to have a huge side campsite. At some places, there just wouldn't have been any place to set it out of the way. Now it fits almost completely under my slide out dinette.
My pup has a side mounted AC, which allows for 3 across (maybe 4 if so motivated). If the AC were in the center, I'm not sure I'd be able to fit 3 stacked on their sides as I do. I don't know about a canoe. Depends upon how wide it is and how much space there is on either side of the AC. I also have a 12' pup, so there is little to hang over the ends (my longest boat is 12'). There would be additional calculations needed for a 10' pup, I'd think, to make sure there was plenty of clearance to turn and not hit the boat with the tow vehicle. But it works for me as it is.
We had pretty much the same problem when we had our 2003 Jeep and pulled our box trailer with camping/backpacking gear in it. I was afraid when turning the canoe would clip the trailer. So what we did was install another 2" receiver/hitch on the front of the Jeep. Then I could pull the canoe forward over the hood of the Jeep.
Now with the new Jeep and Tentrax the trailer low/profile, the canoe can be placed evenly on the roof rack. We could do donuts ;D with the Jeep and trailer and not clip anything. Its always fun to make those mods to meet your needs.
I sold my camper in August and two weeks ago bought this trailer:
Alan, I called the guy you gave me. He said he charged $1000 plus cost of supplies to customize a trailer any way you wanted. When I told him what all had already been done to this one, he said it already had nearly 60% of what he would do to it. I don't think I'll use him, but he did give me some good ideas that I'll take advantage. Since I'm going to hang the kayaks inside, I wouldn't put up overhead cabinets and that is likely the only thing I would have wanted someone to do ... since he makes the cabinets to fit each trailer. He thought I got a good deal on the trailer.
This one came with 30 amp service already wired, lights, and outlets installed. Has the flooring and RV door with screen door. And windows! It is pretty bright inside even when closed up. Has 2 roof vents with a thermostat controlled fan. I'm going to buy a portable AC unit rather than a roof unit so I don't have to take it if it's not hot. (and 25% of the cost)
I've already started personalizing this one. I've put up some wall paper and painted the trim again. I am going to put a little insulation in the ceiling and hang some fabric I think just to finish it off a bit. I'll try to take a few pictures this weekend of the progress. It's been raining here so haven't taken many outside shots yet.
Wow, you found a GREAT trailer! I think your right on track with that trailer, your going to be able to customize it just the way you want it. Please keep us in the loop on your progress, I'm really looking forward to seeing your photo's.
The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.
This is the 'galley'. I found these shelves and a microwave at a garage sale, the rest of the items were already part of my 'camping gear'. The previous owners built the center shelf for a tv/dvd player. I think it's too high for that purpose for me, but I've put a clear plastic shelf bin on top that has my clock and a radio. I have put a bungee over the top to keep them from bouncing around during travel. I also hung some pegboard on the left side over the breaker box and hooks for the 30 amp cable. There is a port through the floor for the cable to run out to a power post.
I found this really cool 'futon'. Each end folds up like the old style chaise chairs. It clicks up, or you can fold it down and it's about the size of a twin bed. It's very light weight, and you can slide stuff underneath for storage. It will also be a nice lounger if it's raining and we hang out inside.
Of course, I hung up my kayak party lights after I put some wall paper up. Can't tell very well, but the bottom is a wainscott look.
I built this sink base/counter. Was going to put it up front with the 'galley', but opted to put it in the back in case I ever really wanted to put water in.
This is the sink base. Underneath is the propane/electric cooler and where I'm stashing the propane tank for travel (I know not to use it inside ;D) I do have a drain pipe running down and a bucket will be under there or eventually an outside drain if I decide to put water to it. To the right of the sink base is plastic shelves and plastic drawers. I also have the easy up canopy.
Next to the futon, I put in this credenza. It is actually half of a captains bed I picked up years ago at Penny's outlet. I set it out from the wall and for travel am stashing the folding chairs and another cot behind it. There is also a board that is the same length as the platform.
When the board is up, I plan on having a foam topper/mattress for one of the boys to sleep on. There is a support brace attached to the wall and the back of the credenza to support it.
For 'decor', I laminated pictures from an old paddling.net calendar. I also laminated an Ozark Scenic Riverway map. I have used reflex insulation in the ceiling and intend to use fabric for ceiling material when I get to it.
The last piece I didn't get to before the weather turned awful was to finish the kayak rack. I am going to use the same pieces that I had on top of my pop-up, but have slots on the wall for it to slide into, then just secure the kayaks on top. I can also hang them from the walls or ceiling. There is plenty of space. The easy up fits over the rear door and I have the side walls to 'enlarge' the living area. I am going to level the back door and use that as additional 'living' area when needed. I will have to take pictures of that somewhere in the future. After I drove it to storage, I was surprised how little movement of items inside was. I had an extension cord set on top of the plastic shelves that stayed, plus other items on top of the wood bed/platform that didn't move. I even had a box of kleenex up on the metal shelves over the sink, and they didn't fall off either. I liked that. When I got into my shelves in my pup after moving it, things were all over the place. There wasn't even any pressure on the bungees in the 'galley'. I was afraid that the microwave especially might slide, but it didn't. (Yes, the shelves are attached to the wall with conduit brackets.)
For now, it's stored in an old army bunker about 35 miles from home. It was inexpensive, keeps it out of the elements, and I don't have to worry about vandals, tornadoes or nuclear war. Plus it was the least expensive climate-controlled, covered storage I could find at $50 a month. Can't wait to get it out, though, and try it out in reality.