Suggestions on a build

DCH109

Adventurer
So I bought this trailer over the summer for something like $600. It is a M101a2. The PO had removed the hydraulics and lunette and put on a 2" coupler. Nice thing is nothing was done that cannot be reverted if needed and I have all of the parts. It tracks straight as I hauled it 1200 miles to pickup some stuff at my mother inlaws.
He also added an ARE aluminum cap. This has the single door in the back and the two side doors open. the inside is bare (no shelving or anything like that). In the picture the cap does not fit right, I have since fixed that and it is more flush on the back (I removed the tailgate and the mounts) .
Currently it is running on 16" wheel with new rubber and siting in my garage.It has no damage, rust or anything like that. Overall it is in great shape.
At this time it will be towed by my LR3. I will need to lower it a bit for that as it sits very high as you can see on my old F150 (now sold)

I was thinking on removing the bed and building a teardrop style trailer out of it. Some things I would want, Toilet, stove, somewhere to sit, ideally a shower.

Knowing that is a tall order, what do you suggest. Build from scratch using the frame? Or keep it as is and build it the way it is with a platform and outside everything else.

Ideas are helpful.
 

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old_CWO

Active member
That is a tall order.

Teardrop style generally implies crawl in sleeping quarters only and an outside galley.

I think a good way to get all the amenities you are after would be to slap a 4 Wheel or Alaskan camper in it, or perhaps straight on the chassis in a flatbed configuration with tool boxes under the sides.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
That is a tall order.

Teardrop style generally implies crawl in sleeping quarters only and an outside galley.

I think a good way to get all the amenities you are after would be to slap a 4 Wheel or Alaskan camper in it, or perhaps straight on the chassis in a flatbed configuration with tool boxes under the sides.
I was thinking the same thing as well. I was wondering what others thought. I know building one will be interesting and thinking how to lay it all out will be the challenge.
Something like what you suggested certainly cuts down time. I do not want it just as a sleeping platform. For that i could just build one inside now (it is waterproof now).

I like the idea of the camper as I could remove it if I ever need just a trailer. Hmmmmmm.........other ideas?
 

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4lowdean

Observer
Very similar to my trailer. I actually had a bed frame inside the trailer along with a 12v fridge now. So it works as a teardrop, I just enter the back.

That said, I have had similar thoughts to you with doing a more traditional teardrop but use the m101 frame. I really like @andrew22ha's build.
 

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DCH109

Adventurer
Very similar to my trailer. I actually had a bed frame inside the trailer along with a 12v fridge now. So it works as a teardrop, I just enter the back.

That said, I have had similar thoughts to you with doing a more traditional teardrop but use the m101 frame. I really like @andrew22ha's build.
Did you do a spring under on that?


I will check out that build., thanks!
 

4lowdean

Observer
Did you do a spring under on that?
The axle actually has two sets of perches so it can be easily swapped between spring over or spring under depending on the trip I'm taking and what I'm towing with it.

In that photo it's spring-under with 31" tall tires because I was driving out from PA to CO/UT/AZ. I do have a set of 33's for it, and then I can set it up as spring-over for maximum clearance.

Right now it's back to being spring under with 30's on it because I've been towing it behind a Grand Cherokee while the LJ is in the shop.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
Thanks!
I will have to look at mine. I do find it sits to high. But if you have ever seen in person the M715 that was suppose to tow it, you would see why it is so high.

Now something fun to do is see how to spring under it.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
The axle actually has two sets of perches so it can be easily swapped between spring over or spring under depending on the trip I'm taking and what I'm towing with it.

In that photo it's spring-under with 31" tall tires because I was driving out from PA to CO/UT/AZ. I do have a set of 33's for it, and then I can set it up as spring-over for maximum clearance.

Right now it's back to being spring under with 30's on it because I've been towing it behind a Grand Cherokee while the LJ is in the shop.
So I looked at your build thread. Interesting Your truck cap sits flush to the bed of the truck.
Mine does not. it hangs down back of the bed to I would guess where the bumper would be. It hangs down about another 2-3 inches. It forced me to remove the tailgate hinge mounts and cut to small slits in the frame (of the cap) to fit flush to the body where the tow mounts are.
If I lifted it and moved it more forward I think it would be to far at that point and hang over the front ( I would need to look again tonight).

Either way it make it feel larger inside.

So many decisions. Right now I need to clean it out (it is half full of my father in laws workshop tools) and start stripping it down and cleaning it up.

My wife wants to keep the military green paint so yay for that. Although will pain the inner bed a sand color (which it is now) as it will make it easier to see things.

I am thinking a few things now without deciding on the camping part

Clean and paint
New LED trailer light kit.
Electric brake conversion (trying to save the oem axle)
Spare tire mount
LED bed lights
Onboard battery
Water storage

That is all I have for now
 

4lowdean

Observer
So I looked at your build thread. Interesting Your truck cap sits flush to the bed of the truck.
Mine does not. it hangs down back of the bed to I would guess where the bumper would be. It hangs down about another 2-3 inches. It forced me to remove the tailgate hinge mounts and cut to small slits in the frame (of the cap) to fit flush to the body where the tow mounts are.
If I lifted it and moved it more forward I think it would be to far at that point and hang over the front ( I would need to look again tonight).
When I got the cap the rear door surround was damaged. At the suggest of my friend (the one welding in the pictures) we spaced the cap up an inch and a half (with a 2x4) giving enough room to recess the doors back so they sat flush with the bottom and sides of the tub. This also meant we didn't have to remove the tailgate or hinges.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
Ahhh thanks! I have to look at mine a little closer to see if it will move forward more. I like that idea and hate the way mine hangs down. I bet this was how they did it as well initally when it was installed on a truck.
 

old_CWO

Active member
I am thinking a few things now without deciding on the camping part

Electric brake conversion (trying to save the oem axle)
I tried this some years ago and couldn't make it work easily. 12" trailer brakes bolted right on the axle flange but the original surge brake drum didn't work with the electric brake magnets. I then bought standard Dexter trailer drums and new magnets to replace the pair I mangled. Alas, standard trailer drums/spindles used a different bearing than the military spindle. No problem, I'm a hot shot who knows how to measure bearings and found one that would mate the trailer drum to the M101A1 spindle (I think they were F100 front wheel bearings, IIRC). Feeling cocky about finding a "solution", I try to slap it together and find the spindle too short to get the lock nut to start. I gave up after that and just bought a 5.2K trailer axle, mounted it to the stock springs (spring under) and stopped bleeding money on the darn thing. Ultimately it was a really good result but I wasted a lot of time and effort fiddling around with it.

Yours might be different, but based on my experience I would recommend you do some investigating before buying parts.

unlike what I did....
 

DCH109

Adventurer
I tried this some years ago and couldn't make it work easily. 12" trailer brakes bolted right on the axle flange but the original surge brake drum didn't work with the electric brake magnets. I then bought standard Dexter trailer drums and new magnets to replace the pair I mangled. Alas, standard trailer drums/spindles used a different bearing than the military spindle. No problem, I'm a hot shot who knows how to measure bearings and found one that would mate the trailer drum to the M101A1 spindle (I think they were F100 front wheel bearings, IIRC). Feeling cocky about finding a "solution", I try to slap it together and find the spindle too short to get the lock nut to start. I gave up after that and just bought a 5.2K trailer axle, mounted it to the stock springs (spring under) and stopped bleeding money on the darn thing. Ultimately it was a really good result but I wasted a lot of time and effort fiddling around with it.

Yours might be different, but based on my experience I would recommend you do some investigating before buying parts.

unlike what I did....
great advise.
I am now rethinking the brakes and after some reading on Steal Solders I decided it may be better to just replace the axle as you and others have.
 

old_CWO

Active member
What's missing, just the brake coupler or are the brakes gone as well?

If your brakes are still there I don't see why you couldn't just slap a regular old surge coupler on it to actuate them. I generally prefer electric but there's nothing "wrong" with surge brakes.
 

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DCH109

Adventurer
Brakes are there
Thr PO just removed the hydralics as in lines to the surge coupler.

I have the coypler, it needs a new master which I found at NAPA. And thr line I can make.

The only issue I have is the weight. But still I wpild have brakes fast and I may just enable them as it is only about a $150 investment as I would rebuild the wheel cylinders or replace when in there.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
So I have not posted in here for a bit and I am getting ready to start kicking off my project. Everything was in Limbo for the last for months due to the Pandemic.

I have been rethinking it and I may either hunt down a reasonably priced non overhang Alaskan camper or build something on my own that may be more suited to what I need.

What I am wondering is this, has anyone seen a strut or crank system available like what the Alaskan uses. Maybe something power driven (hydraulic) that can bleed down when lowering. Obviously there would need to be some sort of locking system when the top is raised.

The idea would be a hard side like the Alaskan type camper, but built the way I want (like with a damn toilet and shower LOL) I was thinking i would also stretch it out so it over hangs slightly front side and back. Really custom made for the M101.
Being able to take it out of the trailer and using the trailer as needed would be the ultimate goal.
I have 1 year to build this.

Thoughts or am I completely crazy.
 
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