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Old 12-28-2010, 08:12 PM   #1
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hitch storage boxes

Hi --

I have a hitch haul type of storage rack for the rear -- 24"x 60". Any storage needs to be <18" tall to avoid blocking the license plate.

I'm having a hard time finding appropriate storage boxes (RubberMaid Action Packers are the closest bet -- one 24 gal and one 35 gal, which would cost about $100) so I might build some boxes from wood (3/8" ply), well coated in exterior latex enamel.

Assuming that they're basic chests with hinged tops, how should I make the top so that they're waterproof? Is there some sort of gasket I should use?

Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:03 PM   #2
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Re: hitch storage boxes

Not what your asking, but have you tried The Container Store? I found many various size boxes for my SMB storage solution.

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Old 12-29-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
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Re: hitch storage boxes

Can you move the license plate to the box when in use? Or mount it somewhere besides the door, like the rear bumper?
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:35 AM   #4
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Re: hitch storage boxes

Steve -- unfortunately the Container Store doesn't have boxes that will stand up to being on the hitch-haul for 2-3 months in all kinds of weather. Their boxes work well in the interior.

Jage -- yes, moving the license plate is a possiblity; I'll have to check Texas laws.

Sorry for the unclear post. Let me try again:

if I build very basic plywood wooden boxes for storage, to carry on the hitch haul, they will need to be more-or-less waterproof. If the lid is just a piece of plywood, hinged on the back so it lifts up and down and sits on the rim of the box body, how do I make the seal around the lid lip secure against rain, etc? Is there a gasket that should be used?


Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: hitch storage boxes

I may have answered my own question: photos of LenS' rig show that he build a wooden rim around the lid top on his storage boxes.

LenS' gallery has some great stuff -- the answer to my box question, photos of a 1937 proto-Sportsmobile, a traveling cat ....
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:29 AM   #6
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Re: hitch storage boxes

We mounted a Stowaway 2 box in a 24 x 60 rack. Took it to Alaska and back. It blocked the plate, but nobody ever said anything. You could always move the plate to the back of the box.

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Old 12-29-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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Re: hitch storage boxes

Thanks for the compliment Greydawg. I am a woodworker and it helps to have LOTS of woodworking tools!

My storage boxes (sides and top) are made out of 1/4" exterior grade plywood. The bottom is made out of 3/4" exterior grade plywood. Used 1/4 inch for weight. Because 1/4" can move around and not hold it shape the top cover has a "track" in it to force the sides in place and keep their shape.

Here are some detail pics. Maybe they will give you some ideas as you design yours. Mine have stayed 100% water tight. We carry cast iron dutch ovens in one box and any moisture getting in would rust them is short order.





Have fun and great travels!!!!
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:14 PM   #8
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Re: hitch storage boxes

I would think some angled aluminum might be an alternative rim material, but after that I'm guessing about sealing as much as you are!
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:29 PM   #9
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Re: hitch storage boxes

Maybe you are looking for what is comonly known as "Bulb Seal" or "Edge Seal" A.K.A. "Door Seal" Sorry about these part #'s they are for a Canadian Supplier and most likely won't do you any good. It comes in various sizes, those shown will grip 1/8" material, like a piece of angle iron or chanel iron. Also comes in 90 dergee or straight. Found at places that make Truck tool boxes or indutrial supply people like maybe Grainger?
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Bulb seal 3.jpg   Bulb seal 2.jpg   Bulb seal 1.jpg  
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:58 PM   #10
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Re: hitch storage boxes

Yes! Thank you so much!

LenS, this is exactly the sort of detail I need, so now I'll tackle building boxes with confidence, if not competence. I see that your lids are not hinged, but lift off like a shoe box, right? I hadn't thought of that design, but in fact it will work better with the bikes: just lift up the lid and set it aside, rather than swinging it up on its hinges and whacking the bike wheels. But one more question: how are they locked/secured? Have you put hasps or latches on the boxes?

Silver350 -- "door seal." Yep, either that or the closed cell foam weather-stripping that LenS used should fit the bill. It should be easy to get at Napa or a similar store.

Since I am putting the storage boxes on a HitchHaul, I could secure them using square u-bolts, nuts inside. Id like to figure out some semi-permanent way to secure them, rather than straps, since I'll be opening at least one box daily (it will have the Coleman stove and fuel in it).

Here, by the way, are photos of the basic setup that Im working with:



The Hitch Hauler with another receiver piggybacked onto it.




Close up of piggy-backed receiver. Note bolts tapped into top and side to prevent wobble (idea gotten from another thread on this forum!)




My road bike and mountain bike, with clearances to license plate, rear tire, and front fork noted.
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