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Old 03-07-2018, 01:31 PM   #1
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5.0TA Cargo Box

While the 5.0TA has quite a bit of storage space inside, of which I maximized that as much as I could, I found we lacked storage for a few larger items we wanted to take along, especially on longer trips. Due to being a fifth wheel trailer, we lost a lot of use of the bed of the truck, though it is utilized a fair bit too. The rear seat of our Ford SuperCrew has lots of space available, most of which was spoken for by our dog, Jasper.

So, I decided to build a rear cargo box for my 5.0TA. The dimensions of it are 66"W x 22"D x 24"H. I kept it narrower than the bumper and trailer to aid in turning clearance. I would also add roof mount type bike racks on it, which I sourced from 1UP, having loved using their hitch mounted rack for a few years.

There were a few concerns I had.
  • I had to consider weight added to the rear even though this trailer has a fairly high pin weight of 600 lbs dry.
  • I was also concerned with the overall length, not wanting to add to it too much.
  • As well, the stock 2" receiver is only rated for 150 lbs, an a single mount like that would to be very stable for a wider box.

To deal with the first two concerns I decided to relocate the spare tire. I looked at lots of options, and decided on mounting it under the trailer with a spare tire winch from Lippert Components. LINK. I chose to mount the winch to a 2"x2" angle iron cross member a couple feet back of the front frame. I reused one of the two mounting bolts, and added another, the head of which is under the stairs to the loft.



I ordered this winch with a 21 3/4" welded extension, which takes it to near the frame. In hindsight I should have ordered one a few inches shorter, as this is right near the side frame, but still can get a wrench on. It has a 3/4" head which is perfect as the wrench for our X-chocks is the same size. You can see the wrench on the end of the extension here.



Right now I use a couple 2" spacers (not shown in these photos) between the tire and the underside of the trailer, the same thickness as the cross member, in order to hold it tight and flat. I intend to put a layer of 2" rigid Styrofoam under the entire area in the future. One concern of this location wast the ground clearance, but it is not too bad, no worse than the axles. I have watched it close on some undulating ground surface and it was never an issue. If I am ever concerned a lot, I would just add the 2 5/8" lift kit to the axles.



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Old 03-07-2018, 01:31 PM   #2
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Another thing I decided to do to keep the weight forward was to mount the box on top of the rear bumper, and flush with the front of it. This put the rear of the box only 20" behind the bumper, way less than my previous 2 bike rack extended.

I hired out the construction of the box and the frame it sat on to a local welder I use. They welded two 2" receivers hard to each side of the trailer frame. Each one of these receivers is a lot stronger than the center mounted one Escape installs, so there was no concern of the trailer frame handling the extra weight.

The box is built out of 1/8" aluminum. I had considered thinner material for weight savings, but opted for adding a few pounds to gain a much stronger box.

Here are some photos from my welder from when the box was first roughed out, and they were building the steel support under it, getting everything set up just right.







After this they added the door hardware including hinges and latches. I also had them add a shelf inside. It was then sent to the powdercoaters to get a nice finish.

Here are a few photos showing the support frame taken while the box was getting powdercoated.







I bolted the 1UP racks to the top through cross members added inside the box. The bikes are very stable on there. The one thing I did not consider was how tight the front bike handle bars would be to the trailer, but with 22" bars they are about 2" away. A tennis ball is used on it to protect the trailer should some really bad bumps be hit. Hey, at least the weight is as forward as possible.

I never did weigh it, maybe I will some day, but empty we estimate it to be just over 200 lbs with the bike racks on.
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:32 PM   #3
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Anyway, here are some photos the finished product, taken on the Arizona desert shorty after sunset. I will get some better ones and add them later, these are a bit grainy due to high ISO in low light. This was just after we got there, and all the gear is just tossed in. Since that we picked up different storage bins and I organized it much better.

I am extremely pleased with the end product. It serves us as well as expected.









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Old 03-07-2018, 01:50 PM   #4
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Wow! Very classy - a perfect addition.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:00 PM   #5
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If I had a need, Jim's would be the one to copy. Saw it a couple weeks ago, it's a beaut.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:06 PM   #6
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Jim, have you had a chance to weight your 5.0? I'd be curious of the pin as well as the axle weights....
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:30 PM   #7
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Love this idea. Might be worth a trip to Alberta!
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Jim, have you had a chance to weight your 5.0? I'd be curious of the pin as well as the axle weights....
Not yet, but I do plan to...... sometime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grape_escape View Post
Love this idea. Might be worth a trip to Alberta!
Well, come on over.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:42 PM   #9
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I had considered this cargo box too, fairly light and tough being fibreglass. I did not like their bike rack though, or the fact it used a single receiver nor do I have need for it to swing out. The cost is over $3k CAD, which is near what it cost me for a much stronger solution.

http://nicova.ca/en/product/

The cargo box I built is rock solid. Absolutely no give to it at all.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:49 PM   #10
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really nice place to store a the outside stuff!
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