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CA Desert Dog

Building a hatch for your rig.

21 posts in this topic

My buddy Ken finally decided to make the move and have me help him build a hatch for his hunt rig. This Chevy 4 X 4 Suburban used to be his company car but now it has become his dedicated hunt rig. We decided to do the dirty deed this past Thanksgiving weekend and cut in a 36" X 36" roof hatch.The first thing we did was make the frame out of Oak and join all of the ends with mechanical fasteners and West System saturating marine epoxy. This is the same epoxy used to make boat hulls and it is incredible stuff. I have used it to build boats as well as make the hatch on my rig and it is a pleasure to work with. Once saturated, the wood becomes impervious to just about everything. Here is a photo of the basic hatch frame, before any of the rails have been installed.HatchFrame.jpgThe wood blocks on the corners are just to keep it off the carpeting until the corners cure.The next photo shows the gaping hole cut into the roof and the detail work being done to prep for the dry fit of the frame.HatchHole.jpgNext, we have a photo of the frame sitting in place, through the big hole. It fit perfectly and from there we began the construction of the side rails and hatch top. More photos soon. The project is almost done now and I'll have to get more photos from Ken so I can post the progress.Frameinroof.jpgIn the next photo. the oak hatch frame has been coated with two coats of marine epoxy and now Ken is beginning to spray the finish coats of Pewter automotive paint on the exterior of the frame to match his car's color.Hatch2.jpgThe next photo is similar but the two sections of the bi-fold hatch cover is getting an additional coat of marine epoxy after the inside handle fasteners have been attached and the countersunk holes have been plugged. The dark spots on the hatch cover are teak plugs that were used to hide the heads of the countersunk fasteners. Since the hatch is 36 X 36, making it a bifold design simplifies storage when the hatch is removed. Once the final coat of epoxy is cured and sanded fair, we will affix the piano hinge to the hatch cover and give it several coats of finish paint. Once all of the paint cures, we will insert the seals to make the hatch cover weather tight. Hatch.jpgThe project is coming along very well. All of the interior surfaces will be clear coat finished to let the natural beauty of the wood shine through. The last step will be fastening in the quick-release hatch dogs to hold the hatch in place.More photos to come as the job progresses.

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Looking forward to seeing the next set of pictures. Lots of them!

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If you hunt in Arizona or Nevada you can hunt from the vehicle. Great place to stand and light up the countryside.

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If you hunt in Arizona or Nevada you can hunt from the vehicle. Great place to stand and light up the countryside.
Not really. California doesn't allow shooting from the truckArizona doesn't allow NIGHT hunting. PERIODNevada is a bit gray because their regs state that no weapon may be loaded in a vehicle, but the regs only mention game animals when it talks about shooting from the truck except for handicap persons. However in talking with the DFG in Nevada specifically about this issue, they have stated more than once that it is illegal to shoot coyotes at night from the truck.. Hunt at your own risk I guess.

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Wow, thanks for the clarification Tim. I was totally off base on this one. Sorry for the bad info folks.

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Holy dog poop! I stand corrected on the Nevada issue too. I was under the impression that you could:* Legally light from a moving vehicle, through a hatch.* Take coyotes legally from the vehicle while stopped and off a road.Does anybody know when all of this changed?

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Don't let a little thing like legality of use hamper your posting of MORE PICS showing this build. I'm still interested. Ya got a hole in the vehicle either way, may as well finish it up!

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That's for sure Red. Don't say anything until it's finished. Besides he'd make you fix the hole and it's WAY big for a sunroof. :wacko:

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Holy dog poop! I stand corrected on the Nevada issue too. I was under the impression that you could:* Legally light from a moving vehicle, through a hatch.* Take coyotes legally from the vehicle while stopped and off a road.Does anybody know when all of this changed?
Been that way for a long time. Doesn't mean you can't have a hatch on your rig though. They work well for lighting up stuff. The rail around the outside allows you to hold the light real steady and comfortable.

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Not really. California doesn't allow shooting from the truckArizona doesn't allow NIGHT hunting. PERIODNevada is a bit gray because their regs state that no weapon may be loaded in a vehicle, but the regs only mention game animals when it talks about shooting from the truck except for handicap persons. However in talking with the DFG in Nevada specifically about this issue, they have stated more than once that it is illegal to shoot coyotes at night from the truck.. Hunt at your own risk I guess.
Yes and No, only certain Counties allow night hunting....Coyotes are a non game animal, so they really dont care how you take them.

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Somebody needs to create a human brain interface that would enable you to insert a chip and automatically know all these ever changing regulations instantly.

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Yes and No, only certain Counties allow night hunting....Coyotes are a non game animal, so they really dont care how you take them.
Absolutely and those counties that allow Night Hunting are in the post above from the link that John posted.As far as them not caring how you take them??? Again, I've questioned the NV DFG and I won't be doing it any time soon. But as always, others can do as they wish.The no shooting from the rig law is ridiculous no matter where you hunt.

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OK guys...I have added photos (and I will be adding more) to the original post. Ken lost his digital camera (hopefully it will turn up) with the good pics so the ones we just posted came from his cell phone. He is out of town on business until Friday and we will be working on it this weekend. The hatch frame will get fastened into the rig this weekend and it should all be coming together fast after painting the bifold hatch cover. Then, the re-trimming of the headliner to finish everything off. It is coming along very well and I am confident that the finished product will be really nice.

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Ha! Only if you take us and think up some great excuses for work and home. I'd love to go to Texas an slam some predators.

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OK, with the rains about to hit us, Ken and I will install the hatch frame and finish up the entire thing (with the exception of the interior trim, this Saturday morning. I'll be sure to take more photos and I'll post them for all to see. Four days of rain should make for a good leak check too.....LOL

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You should have called Jim. You would have been more than welcome to come over. :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow:

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