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Discussion Starter #1
My buddy and I were thinkin, why just have a roof rack when one could with a little square stock and some old sheet metal make a trailer that stores up top as a roof rack for light stuff and taken down for use as a trailer for the heavier stuff. Anyone tried? anyone see any glaring issues? Legal? Nothing like siting around your project (ran out of grinding disks) with a few beers to get ya thinking.
 

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What's the lightest you could build a trailer?
How does that compare to the vehicle's "roof top" weight limitation?

My guess is a roof rack frame sturdy enough to be used as a trailer would exceed the weight limit even before you added the axle & wheels - or - going the other way - a trailer light enough to go on the roof would be pretty flimsy.
 

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harbor freight sold a cheap little colapsable trailer that would probably do what you want. At least give you some ideas. It's not going to haul a heavy load, but it will carry a heavier load than you could carry on your roof and would be a lot safer than carrying a load on your roof.

There have been a few Home Depot trips that I've made with more lumber strapped to my rig than I should have been carrying. If I had carried a little trailer with me to the store then I could have towed the load home and not been so concerned with breaking suspension components and rolling my rig from too much top weight. The trailer is 150 lbs and can carry 1,000 lbs. I wouldn't want to strap much more than the trailers 150lbs on top of the rig though, so using it as a roof rack for anything more than 20 or 30 lbs would probably be out of the question.
 

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The trailer is 150 lbs and can carry 1,000 lbs. I wouldn't want to strap much more than the trailers 150lbs on top of the rig though, so using it as a roof rack for anything more than 20 or 30 lbs would probably be out of the question.
This is exactly where I was coming from - the trailer alone exceeds the roof top loading limits.
 

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roof top trailer ??

Did you consider what that would do to your center of gravity.
Suppose with a driver and passenger the COG is your butts.
Anything above your head will lift the COG significantly.
Anyone who has carried a roof top canoe on their rig on the trail will tell you that trails formerly having low pucker factor off camber become real quenchers with a canoe.
Just saying !
If the tip over point was 50* with no roof top weight, what will it be with a collapsible trailer or some such up above your head.
Just saying .
 

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the most I ever carried strapped to the top was about 400lbs of lumber. I had a 210lb passenger and I weigh 230lbs. Needless to say, the ride home from the lumber store was hair raising. I would be fine carrying a 150 lb trailer up there on it's own, and the only reason I can see putting it up there is to avoid towing an empty light duty trailer behind the rig. Those things get really bouncy when there isn't any weight on them.

The trailer I specified is a 6x4 bed and it's got 2 leaf packs with 3 leafs in each of them. If you don't want to carry a 150 lb trailer on the roof, You could easily make a smaller trailer with no leaf suspension, for trailering lighter loads. You could make a 300lb capacity trailer with a 4x4 bed that weighs in at around 70lbs. I can see carrying the trailer when empty, but If you have the trailer I can't see a reason to strap a load to the roof WITH the trailer....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was thinking of tying down down some light camping gear or something like that when up top and down for really anything more substantial. I think the main benefit of this is you always have the trailer handy when you need it. The wifes Xj came with a good trailer but I never seem to have it hooked up when I find something I want (big bulky stuff or heavy stuff) and have to pass on it.
 

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that makes sense...in this way, you always have your trailer with you on your roof!
i say, do it mate...show us some fotos when your at it....
 

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and you don't necessarily have to have the wheels on it when it's on your roof. Seems like those would be an easily removeable tempting target for theives and vandals. without the wheels it could just appear to be a permanently fixed roof rack.
 
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