I broke out the "mod" hat and finally got back on the "tongue box" project.
The box came from eTrailer and is the DZ91717. It has a gas tube to hold up the lid and a locking lid release. They shipped DZ91717P but quickly got the right one to me. It is a competitively priced box, so the diamond plate is a little thin - 1/16". You can find them in 1/8" for a little over twice the price.
The size of the box is almost perfect to fit inside the A frame; and the lower you place it the better it fits and the higher the lid will open; and the better the access. The lid does hit on the tongue light, and I might add a rubber bumper.
I added ventilation to the box by attaching aluminum louvers from Lowes which I pop riveted and cut holes in the box for.
I did coat the box with Duplicolor bed liner paint (O'Reilly's with a discount... $55). I really didn't want to take the time to have it professionally coated, but this would have been ideal. In case someone hasn't worked with it, the liner paint is very thick, is hard to work with and you have to work VERY quickly. The key is having a good narrow roller; foam won't work. It cleans up with lacquer thinner, but like I eluded to it dries quickly to the touch but still has a tendency to stick to things after 2 days.
I had to make rails to support it, since it holds the box with 6 volt batteries and whatever else I can fit inside the remaining space (above the lift-out panels). The rails are 1-1/2" angle iron welded into a unit then bolted through the frame (didn't want to weld on the frame) with 3/8" grade 5 bolts.
The box is also bolted to the rails.
The lift-out panels are made from 15/32" plywood (two because you can't get a single one in and out) sits on aluminum angle bolted to the box. I added 2" holes to assist in picking them up and to provide ventilation. The space below for batteries is 11-1/2" high. With the big 6 volt batteries sitting in plastic battery boxes (holes drilled through to let out any water that could get in there), the panels clear the batteries, but the battery box lids won't work with the taller golf cart batteries anyway; plus I wanted to maximize the space above for storage.
The hardest part was moving the J-box from inside the trailer A-frame to inside the new box. I also had to route the gas line (hose) through the box since I didn't want it below the box, which could in extreme case hit something while driving.
The most expensive part (beside the box itself) was upgrading to 230 AH 6 volt golf cart batteries. I got them at Batteries plus for $95 each (plus tax and core charges).
Something to be aware of is putting something metallic in the storage area above the batteries and having it fall through and short out a battery. Tent pegs, nails, screwdrivers, wrenches have no place in the box. I will probably store power cord, protector, chocks, plastic pads, etc. in there... nothing metallic that could possibly fall through the crack or vent holes.
The box was $289 with free shipping; the batteries $250 total, all the rest (angle iroon, aluminum angle, bolts, bed liner paint) came in around $140.
I left off the LP tank cover for clarity.
So, what do you think?
XLR Hyperlite 29HFS
Ram 2500 6.7L CTD
A Modder's work is never done!