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Opening comments from Stu: One of the great aspects of owning a TJ is the great camping opportunities it affords you (assuming you enjoy camping). Imagine waking up in your tent, after a hard day on the trail, and the below view greets you as you step out of your tent. It was dark the night before when you picked the camp spot and set up your tent in the headlights of the TJ. Little did you know what awaited you the next morning. Such was one of many great landscapes I witnessed when I ran the Rubicon Trail back in August of 2001.
When Doug Simon asked me if I wanted to host a camp kitchen write-up on the site, I reflected on several of the many camping trips my TJ got me through. Cooking was always one of those things you had to set up "over there by that flat rock". When Doug said he could build a fully functional camp kitchen and tuck it into the back of his TJ, I told him I would help share his project with others in the Jeep community.
Without any further delay, here is Doug's write-up on how to build a camp kitchen in the back of your TJ....and let me be the first to pass along my thanks to Doug for the write-up.
Several weeks ago we retraced a portion of the Mojave Road from Needles, CA.
to Afton Canyon, CA. It has been a few years since I've had the pleasure
of tent camping and packing up the essential items to prepare meals.
I made this run about twenty years ago in a 4-wheel drive pickup with a shell on it. I had built a small camp kitchen to hold everything all together instead of living out of boxes for several days and it worked out really well. This trip prompted me to design a camp kitchen for my Jeep TJ which, as we all know, is limited in extra space. I think it can be done if you do some good planning.
The first item on the agenda was to pull out the rear seat and the rear seat belt buckles/bracket on the TJ floor area. This threaded hole is what I'll use to secure the camp kitchen from moving around.
I then measured between the seat brackets to see the maximum
width I could build the kitchen without removing any additional hardware. The
overall width came out to 2 foot 9 3/4". I then cut out a small peace of carpet
to allow access to the bolt hole.
I then took the width measurement and laid it out on a workbench
with all the proposed gear I thought I might need for a few days. This would
determine the depth of the camp kitchen, which for me came out to an interior
dimension of 13".
After determining the final size I needed, I moved forward and made the base and the top of the kitchen using the table saw. The base needed two grooves cut on the bottom so it would fit over the tie down brackets. It also needed a counter sunk hole to anchor the kitchen with the bolt hole for the seat belt bracket as was previously mentioned.
Today's time was spent at the table saw making dado joints on
the top, bottom, sides and back of all components. Vertical partitions were laid
out for the equipment I wanted to take along and dado joints were made for all
horizontal shelves that needed to be constructed.
More TJ Camp Kitchen