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Old 04-09-2018, 06:49 PM   #1
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Tool box

We have a 2014 E21 that I am going to build a aluminum tongue box for to carry the rv stuff in so I don't have to carry it in the TV vehicle.

Dimensions will be 60" wide at the camper end, 30" wide at the tongue end and 30" deep with a height of 20". We are going to also mount the propane bottles here with a divider and ventilation. Anyone see a problem with this?

One concern is paint color, I'm going to paint the box to match the camper. Does anyone have a color code that will match the gelcoat on the 2014 trailers or at least come close?
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:03 PM   #2
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We have a 2014 E21 that I am going to build a aluminum tongue box for to carry the rv stuff in so I don't have to carry it in the TV vehicle.

Dimensions will be 60" wide at the camper end, 30" wide at the tongue end and 30" deep with a height of 20". We are going to also mount the propane bottles here with a divider and ventilation. Anyone see a problem with this?

One concern is paint color, I'm going to paint the box to match the camper. Does anyone have a color code that will match the gelcoat on the 2014 trailers or at least come close?
I see nothing wrong with your plan, as long as it does not create more tongue weight that your vehicle can handle.

I would recommend getting it powder coated as opposed to painting it though, it will be way tougher, but will be pricier than painting it yourself. That's what I did with my cargo box build.

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Old 04-09-2018, 07:16 PM   #3
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Krylon Fusion Dover White is what I used on my propane tank cover.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:26 PM   #4
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I've made two aluminum tongue boxes, one for my Scamp and one for my Escape 19. My Scamp box included both two batteries and my propane tank. But you know what they call a metal box with electrical connections and a propane tank inside and I didn't see any reason to make it an all in one box for the E19.

I followed the front slope of the trailer front. Definitely gives more volume.

I've painted a lot of aluminum. For marine stuff, like a boat mast, I've sprayed two part epoxy primer and two part epoxy. As expected it lasts a long time without any problems.

But I've also painted a lot of aluminum with good old Tremclad with very good results. The key to longevity is; solvent wash, light abrasion and a wipe with solvent again and paint fairly soon afterwards. Instead of solvent I use something called "Tumbler" an automotive paint product but solvent probably works as well. I have things like a generator sound shield, painted with Tremclad over 20 years ago, and the paint is still perfect.

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Old 04-09-2018, 08:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I've made two aluminum tongue boxes, one for my Scamp and one for my Escape 19. My Scamp box included both two batteries and my propane tank. But you know what they call a metal box with electrical connections and a propane tank inside and I didn't see any reason to make it an all in one box for the E19.

I followed the front slope of the trailer front. Definitely gives more volume.

I've painted a lot of aluminum. For marine stuff, like a boat mast, I've sprayed two part epoxy primer and two part epoxy. As expected it lasts a long time without any problems.

But I've also painted a lot of aluminum with good old Tremclad with very good results. The key to longevity is; solvent wash, light abrasion and a wipe with solvent again and paint fairly soon afterwards. Instead of solvent I use something called "Tumbler" an automotive paint product but solvent probably works as well. I have things like a generator sound shield, painted with Tremclad over 20 years ago, and the paint is still perfect.

Ron
That is one nice looking box if I do say so ! Pat
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:20 PM   #6
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Very nice indeed and like the aluminum as is. Do people ask if you previoisly had an Airstream? Also, knowing a little of Ron's background it is apparant he is highly skilled to be able to craft an impressive storage box.

Ron- whaddya think it would cost someone to have this made by someone as capable as you?
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:23 PM   #7
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Will the tanks fit inside a 20" box?
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:29 PM   #8
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Very nice indeed and like the aluminum as is. Do people ask if you previoisly had an Airstream? Also, knowing a little of Ron's background it is apparant he is highly skilled to be able to craft an impressive storage box.

Ron- whaddya think it would cost someone to have this made by someone as capable as you?
Thanks for your kind words. No, I've not had that question but similar ones. I just say that I built an aluminum body for my car and I had leftover material.

I like natural aluminum also and I left my car natural.

Cost? Let me just say that if I'd had to make my living as an estimator I'd have gone bankrupt. But it is a very easy project, well within the abilities of most people.

I should have mentioned, before anyone else does, that I'm aware that using Metalprep is also an option pre-painting. I used to use it but then one day I just starting doing the wash, abrade, wash prep, got good results and have keep on doing it that way.

That being said, as Jim mentioned, powder coating is an option and being in an exposed position up front, likely more durable than just plain paint.

Ron
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:41 AM   #9
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Will the tanks fit inside a 20" box?
A 20-pound capacity common propane cylinder (such as those from Manchester Tank) is typically 18" tall (and 12" in diameter), although steel tanks vary a bit by brand, and other types (aluminum, composite) can be very different.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Snuffy2 View Post
We have a 2014 E21 that I am going to build a aluminum tongue box for to carry the rv stuff in so I don't have to carry it in the TV vehicle.

We are going to also mount the propane bottles here with a divider and ventilation. Anyone see a problem with this?
I assume you want to lock your box. I believe that propane tanks should not be behind a locked door/lid in case of emergency, i.e. they must be accessible. If you are doing a divider, maybe the lid of that section could be made non lockable.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I've made two aluminum tongue boxes, one for my Scamp and one for my Escape 19. My Scamp box included both two batteries and my propane tank. But you know what they call a metal box with electrical connections and a propane tank inside and I didn't see any reason to make it an all in one box for the E19.

I followed the front slope of the trailer front. Definitely gives more volume.

I've painted a lot of aluminum. For marine stuff, like a boat mast, I've sprayed two part epoxy primer and two part epoxy. As expected it lasts a long time without any problems.

But I've also painted a lot of aluminum with good old Tremclad with very good results. The key to longevity is; solvent wash, light abrasion and a wipe with solvent again and paint fairly soon afterwards. Instead of solvent I use something called "Tumbler" an automotive paint product but solvent probably works as well. I have things like a generator sound shield, painted with Tremclad over 20 years ago, and the paint is still perfect.

Ron
Nice job Ron, and thanks for the information about painting aluminum. I am sure that it will come in handy for me at some point.

I will be making a box for our 21 as well. I am interested in whether, and if so, how you keep the aluminum so nice and shiny. Do you coat it with anything? Just wax it?

Thanks,

Allan Edie
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:53 PM   #12
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Well the truth is that the photo was taken when it was new and very shiny. It's not as shiny now but it's had a lot of use. This is a current photo. No, I just wash it. I do use a spray furniture polish on the aluminum and f.g. parts of my car. Over time it gives a nice soft luster. In my youth I spent hours on the tarmac polishing planes to a mirror finish. Haven't felt the need to do that lately.

Now, as a result of, well, let's just say there's a small dent on one corner, no need for details I'm thinking that I might repair the dent and paint it Dover White to match the propane tank cover. Or leave it as is and put some vinyl rock guards over the front corners. We'll see.

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Old 04-10-2018, 05:24 PM   #13
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Ditto, Ron....One piece of advice I would give is when designing the size, be aware of damage to the box possible the tow bumper can do, when you're hooked up and doing a jack knife turn.

Mine's made of wood and plastic so, if I ever I get around to it, the fix isn't that awful.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:41 PM   #14
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Thanks

Thanks for the replies. One reason I wanted to include the propane tanks is to just have one thing in view.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:28 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies. One reason I wanted to include the propane tanks is to just have one thing in view.
I could envision a triangular design similar to the Bigfoot’s that encloses almost the entire tongue
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:48 PM   #16
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I like that style tongue box best too.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:06 PM   #17
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I could envision a triangular design similar to the Bigfoot’s that encloses almost the entire tongue
Me too. I would like to see Escape do a redesign of the box and fully enclose the tanks similar to Bigfoot or Oliver. It's a very sharp look as well as practical.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:11 PM   #18
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Guess I'm in the minority again. I've never liked the big tongue box on the Bigfoot. The first time I saw one on a 25', it reminded me of a medieval cod piece. Trust me, once you get that in your head that's all you 'see,' from that point forward....
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:18 PM   #19
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I recall, maybe here or maybe on FGRV, a similar discussion where a member who actually had the Bigfoot codpiece pointed out what a pain in the butt it was to refill a propane tank. He had no use for it.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:26 PM   #20
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Perhaps the one on the Bigfoot is a bit awkward looking. But I do like the one on the Oliver. Smaller and cleaner. Of course, not much storage in that one - it's mainly just to enclose the tanks. And since much of the cover comes off, tank changes are easy.Oliver-Legacy-Elite-2-10.jpg
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