M416 Military Trailer Rooftop Tent Rack

Having just purchased an ARB rooftop tent to evaluate I needed a place to mount it. I had thought about using the rack on top of the FJ but that would have require relocating a number of items. I also want to be able to setup base camp and leave the tent in place while we use the FJ.

P8143520

ARB Touring Rooftop Tent and Annex

This led me to mounting the tent on the M416 Military trailer that I have modified for off road use. I also purchased the ARB Tent Annex which requires the tent to be at head height to be of any use. One option was to build a rack that the permanently held the tent at the correct height. However, this would create problems with the trailer becoming to top heavy and also would increase wind drag.

To solve the height problem I came up with a very simple and low cost solution.  With $50.00 worth of steel and afternoons time I created the following rack.

The rack is designed to be lifted additional 18 or so inches when the tent needs to be setup. Using 1 ¾ inch square tubing as the base and 1 5/8” tubing as the sliders I was able to create a system where I can simply lift the tent rack.  When one end is lifted the other end needs to tilt in to allow for the decreased distance. To allow the poles to tilt I mounted them to the trailer bed corners with  U brackets. I had considered using pins to hold the poles in vertical position but the more elegant solution ended up with the poles being held vertical by the trailer bed.

Rack in lowered position

I built a “U” bracket at the top of the inner pole that holds the main cross members with a single bolt so they can pivot.

Cross member mount and pins

To make the rack more ridged I added smaller cross members from one side to the other that are welded in place. These cross members are also used to lift the rack.

Rack from the rear of the trailer

With the rack bolted in place and the top slides in I jacked each side up and drilled holes for the pins in each pole.

With the rack down I drilled out the holes for the pins in that location.

With the rear raised

Showing the rear raised from the side

Rack in raised position

To stabilize the rack when lifted and using the tent I use a simple tie down strap that holds the rack tight in place. The tent can also be used in the lowered position with out the addition of the annex.  I still need to add a little paint and plan to do so this winter when I am reworking the trailer.

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tomas

Tomas has lived in Colorado since age 5. Having grown up on the Western Slope of Colorado lots of time was spent in the Desert Southwest. Tomas' father introduced him to the love of 4 wheeling at an early age in the high mountains around Aspen, Colorado. While an avid Mountain Biker, Tomas and his Family enjoy adventures in the mountains and desert in the remote locations that can only be reached by 4wd. Day hikes are always a must when on the family trips. While enjoying outdoor activities he wants to share his love as a certified 4wd trainer and ski instructor. Tomas also enjoys caving and cave exploration. Tomas currently resides in Colorado Springs. 

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  9 comments for “M416 Military Trailer Rooftop Tent Rack

  1. Lonnie Thompson
    September 24, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    I love your Trailer tent Idea. I just purchased the same trailer and was wondering if I could consult with you in the future to copy your mods. I live in Las Vegas and Own a built CJ-7 am looking to do Moab soon and the trailer addition would be the ticket. Anyway nice job and happy wheelin….. Lonnie

  2. CHRIS
    May 3, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    How did you mount the rack to the bed of the trailer? DO you have any close up pics of that??

  3. CHRIS
    May 10, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    What gauge steel did you use on the rack. Did you just get it at Lowes or HD??

    THanks

    • May 11, 2010 at 9:19 PM

      I purchased it at HD. Not sure of the gauge.

      • CHRIS
        May 12, 2010 at 10:17 AM

        Thanks

  4. Justin
    February 16, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    Nice build. I about to purchase a military this weekend. I bought an ARB RTT last summer and found it to be a pain setting up came and tearing it down every time we want to go out. Do you have any trouble with the trailer wanting to tip back? And does the wheel well take up space in the annex? I was thinking of having the tent come off the back. Please let me know what you have found out.

    Thanks
    Justin Grubb
    I4WDTA

  5. Justin
    February 16, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Nice build. I about to purchase a military trailer this weekend. I bought an ARB RTT last summer and found it to be a pain setting up camp and tearing it down every time we want to go out. Do you have any trouble with the trailer wanting to tip back? And does the wheel well take up space in the annex? I was thinking of having the tent come off the back. Please let me know what you have found out.

    Thanks
    Justin Grubb
    I4WDTA

  6. DHAUL
    October 8, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Nice build ! Where did you get the tent, or who did you have fab the tent ?

    • October 10, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      The tent is from Eezi-Awn. Check out equipt1.com

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