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Old 07-26-2019, 06:58 PM   #1
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2010 17B Front Box Designs??

We have a 2010 17B that we are renovating and see a need for a front box. It has the two propane tanks on the tongue, and we use a WDH, which complicates things.

I am very interested in what others have done to build a front box for a 17 trailer. Pictures would be very helpful, because so far I have not been able to come up with a design that results in enough storage to be worth the trouble. Have been wondering about a full width box that also protects the trailer some.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:43 PM   #2
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I don't have the box, but I did have the propane tanks rotated 90 degrees so I could use the hard propane tanks shell. That left room for a storage box.
Anyway, here's pix and measurements.
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File Type: jpg Box Measure 1.jpg (213.1 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Box Measure 2.jpg (155.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Box Measure 3.jpg (164.8 KB, 12 views)
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:52 PM   #3
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Thanks. My tanks are crosswise to the tongue, as yours. I am so new to Escape I did not realize they were arranged in any other way. I also have the WBH as you do. I am just trying to figure out how to maximize the storage area in the box.
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:42 PM   #4
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I made one for my 19 and I'll make another one for my coming 21.

Aluminum sheet aluminum over a wood frame. Maximized for volume. WDH brackets are in an "alcove" which allows for more interior volume.

Simple hand tools project. Later sprayed to match the trailer.

Ron
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 28-04-2014 5-19-16 PM4_resize.jpg (146.9 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg 29-04-2014 10-00-35 AM3_resize.JPG (288.6 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg 29-04-2014 10-00-34 AM1_resize.jpg (120.8 KB, 17 views)
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:16 PM   #5
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Does ETI no longer give the front box for free to returning customers?
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:18 PM   #6
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Here's mine (variation of Ron's) when it was a work in progress. Bolts down to same frame holes for batteries. Lesson learned-- be sure it is not no-never going to ever touch the trailer gelcoat.
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File Type: jpg TngBx03.jpg (141.8 KB, 14 views)
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Does ETI no longer give the front box for free to returning customers?

Why do you ask?
What prompted the question?
I wasn't aware they did until a recent post ( Jim N? ). Not sure it was ever a policy. Still don't know if it was.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:03 PM   #8
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You're just full of questions eh? Didn't know it was a policy- didn't get the memo? Why do you ask?
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:16 PM   #9
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Just caught this now.
I was busy searching to find out how far back your animosity toward me goes.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Does ETI no longer give the front box for free to returning customers?
Come to think of it I think that I did hear something about that once. Never offered to us. Don't mind too much because I don't really like the look of it.

Ron
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:52 AM   #11
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Ron
I like the design. Have a few questions:
1. Is the top support of the frame just cut out of plywood? Did you use 3/4 inch?


2. Does the top itself have a plywood frame? It looks like the top is the sheet aluminum with some type of metal edging acting as a weather seal, is that correct? Were there any special techniques to making the top?

3. Did you caulk all the inside seams when finished?
I am impressed with the WBH cutouts. That is a detail that had stumped me. Putting the hinges to the front is also a good idea that I had not considered.


4. What kind of rivets did you use? I have only worked with pop rivets.



I am not sure I have enough room to make it worthwhile, but you have inspired me to pursue it further. Making it full width will probably make it a viable project. I think I will see about expanding the box forward somewhat on the ends after it clears the tanks, but that may cause a WBH problem. Hmmm. If nothing else it may cause me to reconsider using a WBH at all, the 17 probably does not need it with our F150.
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:52 AM   #12
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Nice job Ron. Looks great
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Old 07-27-2019, 02:36 PM   #13
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1. Yes, the top frame is cut from 3/4" plywood and is "U" shaped. A piece of aluminum angle runs across the back. It could be cut the same as the base and then cut out the center leaving about an 1 1/2" frame.

2. The top is aluminum only. It is sheet aluminum with a perimeter frame of 1/8" x 3/4" x 3/4" aluminum angle forming a lip. It could have been weather stripped but I didn't see the need for it. I have a TIG welder so I just put some slits in the bend areas, bent it and welded it up. Angle can be bent without doing this but it needs a bender that I didn't have and didn't want to make. Welding was quicker.

3. No, I didn't caulk the seams. It wasn't necessary and I didn't want it completely sealed as there are two 12 volt batteries in the box and they needed to be able to vent.

4. The rivets, mainly on the top are blind pop rivets. They are sealed on the inner end so that when the shank breaks off there isn't a small hole left to let in water. Most fasteners that you see on the front are 1/2" s/s screws attaching the aluminum sheet to the wood frame.

If I don't decide to put a mini-split A/C on the front of the new 21 I'll likely be making pretty close to the same one again. If I go with a front mounted A/C then the design will change a bit.

You might have noticed that the back wall of the box follows the contour of the trailer front wall. This increases the interior. As Myron says, don't put it too close or it might contact the gelcoat.

Ron
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 28-04-2014 5-19-12 PM1_resize.jpg (127.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg P4250062_resize.jpg (189.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg P4260068 cropped.jpg (157.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg P4280080_resize.jpg (102.6 KB, 9 views)
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:57 PM   #14
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And be cautious you don't make it so wide front to back that when doing a jack-knife backing up the tow bumper makes contact with the lower part of the box. You will note in Ron's picture the bottom half of the box compensates for this possibility by being less proud. I didn't forsee this happening with mine and I smushed the corner. This (current) pix is after I repaired and adjusted.
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File Type: jpg tongue02.jpg (90.8 KB, 11 views)
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Old 07-27-2019, 05:54 PM   #15
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I think that's why the ETI box has a much more acute angle between the sides and the front. Moves the area back a bit to prevent rear bumper contact.

I'll be a bit more conservative on my next one.

Ron
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:09 PM   #16
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I wondered if that would be a problem.

Great information, all. The photos are really helpful.

Looks like a fun project.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marant View Post
I wondered if that would be a problem.

Great information, all. The photos are really helpful.

Looks like a fun project.
It can be a problem even with the Escape design. I've cracked the taillight on both my RAV4 with the 17, and the F 150 with the 21. The lid hold down clamps are the culprits.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:33 PM   #18
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Yes ETI gave me a free front storage box as a returning customer. This was for an order in February 2019 with a completion in June 2019. Don't know if the new owners have changed that. Unfortunately, they do charge a great deal more if you want to add a storage box to the trailer you already have. The most recent quote came in at about $850 CAD.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:43 PM   #19
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I got 3 free front boxes on my Escapes....one at a time ...
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