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Aluminum tongue tool box


Trainman
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Just wondered if any of you out there have added a aluminum tool box to the tongue. I just want one to carry a small grille and the trailer levelers, etc., nothing heavy. Something like this,  https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200620947_200620947  Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.

 

 

 

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Trainman -

 

Two things:

 

First: wasn't it on this date that the "golden spike" was driven?

 

Second: I did a quick "search" and could not find it, but, if my memory serves me well I think that Mike & Carol have a front storage box and they even did a post about it.  You might want to PM them.  I know that they are on the road to the Rally but with a PM Mike & Carol would be sure to see your question.

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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That Northern Tool box looks pretty well constructed, but I did not see a gauge or thickness. Many of the aluminum tool boxes are way too thin, they are flimsy, bend easily and offer zero security. Many are made from dead-soft aluminum which has minimal strength. (Your trailer frame is high-strength tempered aircraft aluminum, like 6061T6.) Unfortunately there are so many horrible aluminum boxes out there that it is risky to order one sight unseen. Maybe go to a ranch supply store and look for a good heavy commercial one.... don’t buy one from a box store.

 

OTH I think you should consider a plastic box. This one is the same size, has a lifetime warranty and won’t look nasty after a few years of stones chips and road spray. And it has no diamond plate to slash your fingers. Being plastic it will keep the tongue weight down. A spritz with 303 Protectant annually should keep it looking decent, or if faded you can use a “back to black” car trim product to restore the color.

 

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Cargo-Organizers/DeeZee/DZ91717P.html

 

I have not seen that one, but it gets a 4.7 star rating, you won’t find ANY affordable alloy box that gets that kind of score. Read the reviews and look at the pics here to see what NOT to get in an aluminum box. .... https://www.amazon.com/Better-Built-73010284-Truck-Tool/dp/B00JHMYINC/ref=zg_bs_15737921_9?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WVHNG57BTCSRKT8SXGNX

 

Finally, consider what will happen the day you screw up and jackknife the trailer into your truck when backing. Which box would you rather have making an intimate contact with your new Ram’s sheet metal? This is one reason I moved my Oliver tray to the back, I could not stop worrying about jackknifing. Sooner or later, it happens to everybody.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John, you’ve described my box accurately. Thin aluminum, lightweight, not secure. It has a lock but I have never locked it. If some wants my homemade blocks, cheap Camco blocks and Costco leather gloves they can have them. It’s perfect for what I want it to do. I wouldn’t carry anything heavy in it, or anything of value. Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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Like Mike said, he doesn't lock his box and I probably won't either as what will be carried in there with the exception of the gas grill the other stuff has little value and its been carried in the bed of the pickup for years without incident. I've considered both boxes, aluminum and plastic, both offer there pros and cons. I see I will not be able to lower my tailgate with a box installed, but I carry nothing in the pickup box that can't be lifted over the side. I would also like to mount the box with a U-Bolt and not drill holes in the trailer frame, I would also put a hard rubber pad on the frame rails so that there would be no rubbing on the box or the frame. John, moving your storage tray to the rear is also another good idea, I wish I would have built my own rack as I have the know how and tools to do the job, but my wife wanted that bike rack ready to go when we get the trailer, so I opted to get the bargain price one from Oliver, HaHa. I will also replace the 1 1/4" receiver with a 2" one on the factory bike rack, I think it's just too unstable in the 1 1/4" size, what's your thought on that. Thanks for your input on this.

 

 

 

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Trainman, you should be able to open your tailgate if the trailer is lined up with your Ram. It kind of depends on how far back you are able to mount it, without interfering with the jack. If you are buying an Andersen hitch, you can ask the factory if they have an extended shank available. They used to have these listed under Accessories but may have discontinued them because they are so busy. I added a plus 3” one to my Land Cruiser so the tailgate would not contact the hitch coupler latch. I never came close to hitting it (or the factory tray) with the tailgate on the Ram 3500, which was much further from the hitch than my LC.

 

You will have to drill holes in the fiberglass A frame cover regardless of what type of hardware you use, but I agree that drilling holes in a frame member should be avoided if possible. The long squared off U bolts they use to mount the cargo tray are probably hard to source, I would buy some when you pick up the trailer.

 

I think the smaller receiver will be OK if you add a “slopper stopper” at the connection and also support the two ends of the bike rack with straps going to the bumper or side of the frame. Regardless of the receiver size, you need to stop the motion as much as possible. A pair of Mac’s Tiedowns anchors through-bolted to the side of the frame would work great for the straps and would not hinder lowering the bumper. .... http://www.macscustomtiedowns.com/product/versatie-anchor-plate-assembly/Anchor-Plates

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I can open the tailgate on my Ram with no issues. I drilled 3 holes in the fiberglass to bolt the box on. I used some dense foam under the box.  Works well. On our way to the rally so I can do a show and tell. Mike

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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  • 9 months later...

I picked up one of the DeeZee plastic molded boxes. Like others, not interested in carry much weight up here...just chocks and stuff. The box is bigger than I expected and when I placed it on the tongue to check fitment I don't think I'm comfortable using just the self-tapping screws to drill through the glass and into the Al frame. I'd much rather prefer to put together a metal "platform" and then U-bolt that platform to the frame for a more rattle-proof setup.

 

Anyone been able to put some sort of trustworthy attachment together using off-the-shelf stuff from Fastenal/Graybar/etc etc? I'd prefer not to custom fabricate anything just out of lack of time as well as interest in making this "field serviceable" via most hardware stores.

 

Thx

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1 hour ago, nrvale0 said:

Anyone been able to put some sort of trustworthy attachment together using off-the-shelf stuff from Fastenal/Graybar/etc etc? I'd prefer not to custom fabricate anything just out of lack of time as well as interest in making this "field serviceable" via most hardware stores.

I personally would not expect anything from the hardware store to be even remotely trustworthy..... plus it might not be very attractive.

Oliver installs the front trays with a couple of really long stainless "square top" ubolts, 5/16" diameter I THINK, one at the front and one at the back of the center frame tube. It seems a little light duty to me but I asked Service quite a while back and they have had no problems with this method. OTH they do add reinforcing angles to the sides to prevent rocking. Here is my tray, before I moved it to the back (the two rubber strips are not in their original locations):

IMG_7836A.jpg.c605f40792d401a8d8df4253ec853e17.thumb.jpg.6cfc2150e678958f8372a79dc2a79054.jpg

You could pick up a nice 6061T6 1/4" thick aluminum plate of appropriate dimensions at your local metals supplier, or order from here: ...  https://alcobrametals.com/product/1-4-6061-t651-alum-plate/ ... but a local supplier would probably be way cheaper plus no shipping. A local supplier will have a scrap bin with odd sizes for you to look through, much cheaper.

Attach the plate to the tongue using the ubolts, attach the box to the plate using stainless 1/4" bolts and self locking nuts. You will need a couple of thick plates at the bottom of the ubolts to "pinch" the frame. In a really severe jack knife the box would hopefully shear right off the plate without hurting anything else.

I am not sure about the strength of u-bolts sourced online, getting them from a bolt supplier would be more trustworthy. Or you could ask Oliver Service to sell you some.

Good luck, post pictures.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Not totally "off the shelf" components', but close. Brackets are uni-strut fasteners from Home Depot (pre drilled/zinc coated, .250 x 1.00 flat bar and angle). 1/2" bolts/nuts/washers from the local Fastenal supplier and the short piece of grip-strut was a drop from the local steel supplier. All in, the multi-purpose tongue step/genset platform cost me $30. If I would have had to purchase the usual minimum length (10') of grip-strut, the project would have been much more expensive. I isolated the brackets/bolts from contacting the AL OTT frame with simple spacers made from some HDPE sheet stock and PEX tubing I had lying around from previous projects.

https://www.unistrutohio.com/general-unistrut-fittings

Depending on what I carry on the rack, the tail gate clears as long as the truck/trailer is straightened out. But, I use an extended length hitch. No Anderson stuff required. TV is a Ford F350 and the tailgate is higher above the ground than most rigs.

I usually have a short Pelican case, through bolted to the platform, caring blocks/gloves/misc stuff or don't care anything on the tongue.  I prefer to leave it open and use it as a step when transitioning from the bed of the truck to the ground. Most of the crap I think I need to drag along is in the bed of the truck in Pelican cases or stored in the rear passenger area.

I originally intended to re-purpose a Pelican 1660 case for a tongue box...didn't like the look.

I purchased the propane powered genset specifically for the OTT and have yet to use it, except in testing. Solar meets most of our boon-docking/back country trip needs. I plan to fabricated a plate for the genset which will allow me to directly attach and lock it to the tongue platform. For now, a couple of Mac's straps do the job.  A simple draw string bag covers the genset during travels. Tie down straps

I had a detailed installation posted but it, along with other postings, disappeared after the website "upgrade".

Mark

Genset mount on OTT.jpg

OTT tongue mounted step (2).jpg

OTT tongue mounted step (1).jpg

Edited by MontanaOliver
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@MontanaOliver There we go. I was thinking about some sort of wire mesh just to keep the platform/tray from collecting dirt. Those fasteners look pretty perfect. That grip looks like it would eat the Dee Zee in no time but I can put some horse mat or similar between the mesh and the box or just find some less aggressive grip. Thanks for the link to the fasteners!

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FWIW, I found the Dee Zee linked from somewhere here on the forum and it looks a LOT smaller in the pictures than it does in real life. Thing is huge. I'm going to roll today and when I do I'm going to jack knife the rig in a parking lot so I can set the DZ up on the tongue to check fitment/clearance. I might have to return the darn thing tbh.

As near as I can tell, they don't make a smaller box : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OCTKEA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I tow with a 3500 Express van so I don't have to worry about tailgate though even the doors might be an issue with the size of that box.

Edited by nrvale0
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16 minutes ago, nrvale0 said:

@MontanaOliver There we go. I was thinking about some sort of wire mesh just to keep the platform/tray from collecting dirt. Those fasteners look pretty perfect. That grip looks like it would eat the Dee Zee in no time but I can put some horse mat or similar between the mesh and the box or just find some less aggressive grip. Thanks for the link to the fasteners!

FYI...Home Depot bounces around at times with product offerings. Uni-Strut was in stock for years and now they stock a Thomas & Betts (now called ABB) product. The stocked product (last I checked) is called Superstrut. http://www-public.tnb.com/pub/en/brands/superstrut.

Hope this helps.

Mark

 

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20 minutes ago, nrvale0 said:

FWIW, I found the Dee Zee linked from somewhere here on the forum and it looks a LOT smaller in the pictures than it does in real life. Thing is huge. I'm going to roll today and when I do I'm going to jack knife the rig in a parking lot so I can set the DZ up on the tongue to check fitment/clearance. I might have to return the darn thing tbh.

As near as I can tell, they don't make a smaller box : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001OCTKEA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I tow with a 3500 express van so I don't have to worry about tailgate though even the doors might be an issue with the size of that box.

Another option, although it looks to be the same size. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lund-34-White-Aluminum-Trailer-Tongue-Truck-Tool-Box-6220/100592784

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Steel pieces work fine, but in the long run there are continual problems maintaining the looks. Especially on the tongue due to erosion by road spray and gravel strikes. Is there some reason you want to avoid aluminum? It is actually easier to work with, and better matches the Ollie construction.. and it is sexy looking. The only thing not easy about it is welding, you can’t do it well at home with a budget stick welder, it is a little bit of an art and requires a specialist.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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  • 1 year later...
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I used stainless steel nuts, bolts and washers along with neoprene washers against the aluminum box.  I also used pieces I cut from one of those puzzle floor mats.  On thickness under the box that sits on the fiberglass and two thickness under the part that hangs over onto the frame.  Nothing fancy, I just drilled three holes up from the bottom through the fiberglass after clamping the box where I wanted it.  Yes, if I ever remove it I will have three holes in the tongue fiberglass, but I don’t see that happening.  It’s very secure and does exactly what we wanted.  These are the only pictures I have right now.

 

These show where the bolts are.

D7E10343-CCFB-4A0B-B0F6-83DD4B67F7AF.jpeg

660D7F50-13D2-45F1-BEEA-406126036BEA.jpeg

Shot from underneath.

2CE9B5CC-A0B7-4EA6-9699-B555A043D052.jpegSho

 

Another blurry shot from underneath.

629F1643-B63D-45ED-AF63-86226F60FFA6.jpeg

 

This is an attempt to show the foam padding underneath.  One layer between the box and fiberglass and one between the box and tongue.

70F97187-E402-4137-8E6A-BB4494B98CC8.jpeg

 

I cut another piece of foam to sit in the bottom of the box to cover the bolts.

ADACFFDA-B311-4163-9D51-F7D60FCAEA36.jpeg

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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  • 3 weeks later...

I couldn't recommend a Tongue Storage Box more! We adapted the Stock Oliver Basket into a Storage Box and store our Leveling Ramps/Chocks and a few other Tools used during the Hitching process. Additionally, we store our Water Hose/Filter as well as our Shore Power Cables/Adapters. We secure this Box with Pad Locks, that are keyed the same as the Hitch Latch Lock as well as our two Electric Bikes Locks. I would estimate the total weight of items to be around 10-15 lbs.

I've given the "After Market Aluminum Boxes" some serious consideration also, but because they are a little wider than the Stock Oliver Basket, (I think by 4 inches,) I am worried that they can causing a problem when you making very shape turn with the Trailer. I've come close to hitting our Stock Oliver Basket with our TV during Shape U-Turns in Parking Lots.

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I’ve never had an issue with turning and my storage box.  I also don’t lock it because I only carry my homemade blocks, Camco legos and rubber chocks. If I had the power cord in there I’d lock it too - it lives in the basement when not in use.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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3 hours ago, dewdev said:

Pat- Can you post a picture of your storage box?

This is the second version of the our Storage Box.

I find it interesting that when we were considering an Oliver, we ruled out the Storage Basket Option, because we thought it would add to much weight to the Tongue. The used 2019 Oliver we bought already had it so we took advantage of it, after we measured the Tongue Weight to make sure it was within our TV's Specs, Loaded 580 LBS.

The Box is simply 1/2 Plywood inserted inside the Aluminum Basket. Note, the Piano Hinge Top and it's Drain Tube underneath the Hinge to keep water out. The Marine Cleat is part of out "Land Yacht" theme, We lock out E Bikes to them. 

Note we hook the Safety Chains to the eyelet on the front when not in use. Also a Trailer Level Gauge and Electrical Cord is stored in it's holder mounted to the front.

The third pic, show inside the Box. I mounted the Tools/Items we use again and again! Also on the Back panel are Stainless Steel Vents to reduce condensation  build up, which they do.

Finally, note the Lock/Key which are Color Coded (Yellow) to the 2 locks on the Storage Box/Tailer Hitch/E Bikes/and everything else I can think of. The Latches are from the Marine Industry, again a Nautical Theme.

IMG_0742.JPG.a9cd9b85d036eaf04004bf4dd91b980f.JPG

 IMG_0740.JPG.dc7977a873e90b2a5e9e27951c8c7e22.JPG 

IMG_0739.JPG.0ff691a5ee34eb0fd5211316c86318da.JPG 

Note we hook the Safety Chains to the eyelet on the front when not in use. Also a Trailer IMG_0741.JPG.b2a7bca045f51d8b59a9e76b384aab22.JPG 

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Pat:

How did you attach the pllywood box to the aluminium basket?

What kind of paint did you use on the plywood?

Is that a cleat on the left side of the box?

2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4, 5.7 Hemi

 

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