Aliner Scout Tongue Storage Box

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by Chris I, Sep 14, 2020 at 2:06 PM.

  1. Chris I

    Chris I New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2020
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I searched threads and didn't see anything on this one yet, but I have seen a few ideas online. Has anyone here modified the tongue of their Aliner to add a storage box? My 2016 Scout just has a battery up front, so there is a lot of real estate there, and it would be nice to store additional items, including items needed to park and level the camper. What have you done with the extra room on your tongue?

    This idea came from a Youtube video:
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Bzvkr5rOZ4Q/hqdefault.jpg
     
  2. Bartolino

    Bartolino New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    17
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2020
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    I have a small space on the front tongue that the previous owner would store stuff in some sort of box that was latched onto it. That makes lots of sense to find some lockable / water-tight box to store set-up items. Would free up space in my only exterior storage door area.
     

    Attached Files:

    DiamondGirl and Chris I like this.
  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,380
    Likes Received:
    4,769
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Milk crate would go nicely there, and put your leveling stuff, chocks in it. Or water hoses. Or gray water hoses.
     
    DiamondGirl likes this.
  4. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    797
    Likes Received:
    393
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2019
    Location:
    Deep South
    1) Depends on how much weight you add.
    2) It would drive up tongue weight. Depends what it is now and how much you increase it.
    3) It would effect handling on curvy roads.
    4) That said I am making a battery box/storage for mine right now.
    5) I have weighed my tongue, have you?
     
    DiamondGirl likes this.
  5. Chris I

    Chris I New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2020
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I'll check the weight this weekend, but it should be about 130lbs. I'm leaning towards something plastic, as shown in the picture above, so it doesn't add too much weight. The battery would move inside, which would shift that weight back slightly.
     
    DiamondGirl likes this.
  6. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    797
    Likes Received:
    393
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2019
    Location:
    Deep South
    I'm over 350 pounds.

    The new battery box, 50' of solar extension cord, charge controller, distilled water, tools, and the 66 pound battery is up to 83 pounds. Still designing the top so havent weighed it. The battery is in the 80% zone so the Tongue weigh effect will be 66.4 plus lid. Subtract 50 lb*80% = 40 pound TW effect for the old battery so I'm increasing my TW by 26 pounds. The new battery is 130 AH. The most I can pick up with one arm.
     
  7. Wakita46

    Wakita46 Active Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    73
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    I got a nice box that fit perfectly from Northern Tool and used it for 4 years. It worked great. (hoffsalinertravels.net)
    I mostly kept light stuff in there. It was still very useful because bulky light items have to go somewhere.
     
    Econ and DiamondGirl like this.
  8. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    624
    Likes Received:
    372
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Location:
    AZ Aliner
    Definitely sounds like a good idea if you can spare weight on the tongue. Store lightweight items to be on the safe side. Items that get dirty and you don’t want to store inside or in the cargo hatches. We have two 20pd. propane tanks and a group 31 battery. DH was thinking of adding a second battery. But now we’re possibly going to the dark side before next summer if the right trailer comes along.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
    Econ likes this.
  9. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    797
    Likes Received:
    393
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2019
    Location:
    Deep South
    We're building the box because couldn't find a plastic battery box big enough and it solves the where to put the charge controller problem. It also hides the new battery that has "I'm expensive, steal me" written on the side. <GG>

    The battery has to stay on the tongue as the intention is to load it into the vehicle every morning when we go hiking. The camp sites are communal water only. Plan on recharging battery at the only sunny place around, parking lots. Park the vehicle at the trailhead and comeback in a few hours.

    Heard an old saying that describes solar charging in the south. "A squirrel could go from the Atlantic to the Mississippi river without ever touching the ground." Nowadays he would have to detour around major cities.
     
    Chris I likes this.
  10. igam

    igam New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2020
    Farm supply and utility trailer sellers sell a very durable near triangular poly box with watertight hinged lid that might fit your Aliner. I have one. The only problem is that the 20lb propane tank is too tall to fit inside, so I will either build a platform for the tank to the side of the storage box or look for a different configuration tank.
    Home Depot and Walmart sell some large plastic boxes with removable lids, i.e., not hinged. This would save a few inches by not having to have space for the lid to clear the front of the Aliner when you open it. Mounting the box "backwards" as in your pic helps but you still need room to access the latch/padlock. With a loose lid, the downside is that you must secure the lid with straps or locks while driving as it will blow off.
    Removable lids are not usually watertight!

    You will need a base to mount your box on. One way to mount whatever box you decide on is to mount the box on a piece of diamond plate aluminum cut to the tongue shape. You would only need 4 self-tapping screws to hold it. If you do not want to drill the frame, you can clamp the plate to the frame without drilling the frame. Just drill the plate. This would be very secure and last many years.Treated plywood as a base would work for a few seasons, depending on exposure.

    Once your box is installed, you can attach your battery box inside, but be SURE you totally insulate the terminals and or use a battery box cover that can be secured. You don't want any stored metal item shorting across the battery terminals! Don't rely on poly rope carrying straps that come on some batteries. They deteriorate and can break, dropping your battery unexpectedly. A sturdy battery lifting strap is less than $5 at your auto parts store.

    Be sure to check the clearance of your jack screw handle.

    I hope this gives you some ideas.

    Kind thoughts to al!
     
    Econ and Chris I like this.
  11. Chris I

    Chris I New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2020
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Looks like this box, perhaps?
    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/p...te-poly-trailer-tongue-truck-box?cm_vc=-10005

    Looks like Home Depot has that diamond plate aluminum in stock, so this seems like a pretty quick/easy install.
     
  12. igam

    igam New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2020
    Yes! That's the box I have. I lucked out and bought mine used on Craig's List for $25.

    Take a tape measure to TS, back the box up to a wall and measure the required distance from the front of the ALiner with the lid opened straight up.. Be sure to check jack-screw clearance. Also, clearance to propane regulator if it is mounted in the way of the box. Check out dimensions and material of their other tongue boxes. I'm still looking for one that my regular propane tank will fit into.

    Buying at HD is handy but you will have to do your own cutting.
    A metal fabrication shop might cut it to size for about the HD price with waste.
    I'm in a medium large city and a 4 x 8 sheet of diamond plate is $100 if I cut mine or they will cut to size only for $65.

    If you have two rails that your propane normally sits on you will need to create a new flat plane so that the plate sits very close to flat all across the tongue. You can grind the vertical lip off, leaving the flat bars for frame stability or you can mount the pate on top of the rails as they are, using washers on the mounting bolts to fill the gap between the bottom of the plate and the top of the frame.

    Best wishes!
     
    Chris I likes this.
  13. Tait

    Tait Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    May 1, 2020
    That sounds like it might be a bit light to me.

    Here's my thinking: I've heard 10-15% is about right. GMC discusses it on their website at https://www.gmc.com/gmc-life/trucks/why-tongue-weight-is-important-for-safe-towing.

    If I am doing the math right, 130lbs is 10% of 1300lbs. If your trailer weight more than that, it might be worth taking a closer look...
     
    Econ likes this.
  14. Chris I

    Chris I New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2020
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    2016 Scout, so the dry weight is 1130lbs (stamped on the side). No propane, no water tank, etc. I wouldn't consider this with a heavier Aliner, since I need to keep the tongue weight under 200lbs.
     
  15. Tait

    Tait Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    May 1, 2020
    Sounds like 130 isn't far off then - great, and thanks for taking the time to reply.
     
  16. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    142
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa

Share This Page