With the trailer purchased, our plan in place, and the material list compiled; It was finally time to start working on the Legendary R.U.T. (Recreational Utility Trailer) and make our vision come to life!
To give you a scope of the project, here are a few of the raw trailer specs:
- 2017 7’ X 14’ CargoPro Stealth Trailer
- 6’ 7” Ceiling Height
- Rear Barn Doors
- 32″ x 66″ Side Access Door
- 3/4″ OSB Water Resistant Decking
- 3/8″ OSB Water Resistant Interior Walls
- Ultimate Contractor Package:
- Rear Stowable Ramp Kit
- 16′ Catwalk System Upgrade with 4 Ladder Racks
- Front V-Nose Ladder
Phase 1 of Project R.U.T. was slow-going and visually uninteresting, but still incredibly important. Just like your average house, most of the functioning infrastructure lies behind the walls. For the trailer, this included insulation, electrical, and framing in a window – all of which required the removal of the interior trim and OSB wall panels to access the aluminum stud walls.
R.U.T. with one wall removed.
R.U.T. completely stripped down and ready for insulation.
Cutting the R- Tech insulation board to size.
Putting up the OSB panels after the insulation was installed.
As you can see in the photo, we stripped the inside of the trailer down and insulated the cab with 1” and 1 ½” thick R-Tech foam board insulation. The reason for having two thicknesses of insulation was because the ceiling studs were turned, which gave it greater depth than the walls. Overall, the insulation process was quite simple – cut and stick in place. One note: We didn’t insulate the floor at this time (not sure if we ever will), mainly because we don’t plan on doing a ton of winter hunts/camps. Regardless, having the ceiling and walls insulated should retain plenty of heat if we fired up a portable heater, or we’ll just have to sleep in our super warm HuntGuard.
Before we buttoned up the walls, we installed the electrical. We are running all the lighting and accessory ports off two deep-cell marine batteries (to keep things quiet). There will be a Briggs & Stratton P2200 PowerSmart Series generator as well, for powering the freezer, charging batteries, and any other higher-energy draw equipment. Currently, the generator will feed a 7-gang power strip located in the front v-nose, which will be powered via an extension cord running up through a hole we drilled in the floor. The hole gets plugged with a turn-style plug when in transit.
Back to the exterior LED lighting system…With the two deep-cell marine batteries sitting in the front v-nose cabinets, we drilled and dropped down all the wires for the LED lights through one single hole in the roof (ran through conduit). We chose to run two lights per switch according to the side they were mounted on (2 on the driver’s side, 2 off the rear, and 2 off the passenger side). One quick note on the lights: they are Mictuning Off-Road LED Flood lights meant to go on off-road vehicles. They work perfectly for this scenario given our 12V battery power bank system. The floodlights are incredibly bright and will be perfect for any after-dark butchering sessions (fingers crossed!).
Drilling a hole in the roof rack to mount the off-road lights.
Up on top, we ran all the wiring through PVC conduit fastened to the frame of the roof rack, which worked out quite well.
Here you can see the Mictuning lights up close, along with how the conduit was run across the roof.
Two bright strips of LED’s run down the center of each side, along with the two standard dome lights.
Inside, we ran two rows of 3 LED connectable tube lights, which as it turns out, is probably overkill for the relatively small cabin space. Luckily, we have the two small dome lights that came stock with the trailer, which will help to avoid morning blindness. The lights were very lightweight and easy to mount using the brackets provided. They will be powered by plugging into a power inverter to run off the battery system.
This was definitely the scariest part of the project…who cuts open a brand new trailer?? We do! And now that it’s done, we’ve found that the window was a great addition and lets in some much needed natural light when things are closed up (not to mention a little air flow). The installation process was a bit slow-going, but not too difficult when you have the right tools – mainly a grinder and a good jigsaw with a new blade. Once you have those, it’s just a matter of measuring, measuring again, cutting, framing, and inserting the window.
We pulled a couple windows from an old RV that was being scrapped out. Want that flannel?
Using the window frame, we measured and traced our line to cut. Need that shirt?
Here comes the scary part, cutting into a perfectly good trailer with a jigsaw.
View from the inside.
We also cut a hole through the roof to place a powered roof fan/vent into the trailer.
Phase 1 Wrap Up
Now that the walls are back in place, we will start building out the interior along with some custom add-ons. Check out all the concepts in the virtual R.U.T. below.
Build Phases & Future Blogs
Phase 2: Full Trailer Wrap Graphics Installation w/Wild West Studios
Phase 3: V-Nose Cabinets, Flooring, Freezer, Game Hoist
Phase 4: D-I-Y Roof Mounted PVC Pressurized Water Tanks
Phase 5: Extendable L-Shaped Kitchen Build
Finale: The FULL TOUR