Phase One of the Mule's Refit nears completion

The last of the painting was finished up last week. The body, tailgate, and lid now rest under an easy to touch-up, semi-gloss bedliner. For the first time in over two years The Mule is rehitched to the Disco (and riding almost perfectly level). There’s nowhere near enough time to tick off all the wishlist items and still have the trailer ready for the next Overland Expo, so our focus has been on getting the trailer lighted, legal, and liveable.


Stainless hardware supports and secures the tailgate and lid, and a simple chain allows the tailgate height to be easily adjusted as needed. Tie-down track now runs the length of the lid to provide convenient mounting points for the tent bars, bike racks, and canoe carrier. One of the fenders will serve kitchen duty until a suitable box is built and installed.


125-pound rated gas struts (250 pounds total) have been fitted inside the lid to handle the weight of the lid, tent, and any other trailer-top cargo. The location of the propane tank allows for easy cooking from the side or tailgate of the trailer.


And just in time for Overland Expo, the Frenchy is mounted, loose bits re-rivited, cracks sealed, insides cleaned, and ready to go. I had intended to load our Yakima bike racks on either side of the tent, but they really aren’t designed to hold that much weight that high up on that bouncy of a pivot. A more solid carrier will need to be fabricated before we can bring the bikes along. More details on the somewhat unusual “stealth tent” can be found at