How to Install a Jeep Wrangler JL Tailgate Table
The Trailgater is one of the must-add modifications to any Jeep Wrangler JL.
One of the most underrated modifications for any Jeep Wrangler is the addition of a tailgate table. From holding sandwiches and cooking gear to protecting the tailgate from errant cargo on the trail, tailgate tables add a lot of utility to your Jeep.
One of our favorite tailgate tables is the Outback Adventures Trailgater. We've had these on a couple of these on our Wrangler JK projects and they dutifully served us for years on just about every trail imaginable, holding countless sandwiches and drinks at lunchtime, lanterns at night, and even the occasional tool, all without exhibiting one squeak or rattle.
Because we loved the Trailgater so much on our JKs, one of our first calls when we picked up our Wrangler JL was to Doug Horne at Outback Adventure Products to see if he'd be interested in sending a JL version our way to test.
When our package arrived, the first thing we noticed was how hefty the stainless steel table was. We were in awe of the quality of materials from the moment we pulled it out of the box, especially the removeable dark-stained bamboo cutting board that looks like it was liberated from a high-end kitchen. Overall the table's design and operation will be familiar to anyone who has used a Wrangler JK version, but there are a couple of differences that benefit Wrangler JL owners.
For example, the table, when installed, is better integrated into the JL tailgate, looking more incorporated into the JL than the JK version. The JL Trailgater also seems to have tighter tolerances, as everything fits perfectly and the table itself just looks great. Installation is still similar, but there is no longer any cutting of trim or any drilling require, meaning you will have no issues with corrosion down the line. Installation is as easy as popping out the factory tailgate trim panel and installing the new Trailgater in its place.
The Trailgater is made in the USA from 14-gauge food-grade 304 stainless steel on the fold-down table portion and is designed to hold up to the heat of stoves or other cooking implements on the tabletop. The backsplash is made from 0.120-inch laser-cut, CNC bent and deburred aluminum that is covered in a protective layer of powdercoat. The Trailgater has 425 square inches of horizontal space from its 25 x 14.5-inch dimensions and can hold up to 65 pounds on the main table. Sliding out the 20 x 12-inch bamboo cutting board brings the total to 600 square inches, and it can handle about 20 pounds.
There are other tables on the market, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one with the same quality or fit and finish as the Trailgater, making it one of our favorite Wrangler mods. We can't wait to put it to good use on our Wrangler JL.