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Thread: M101A2 Expo camping trailer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sykesville, MD
    Posts
    27

    Default M101A2 Expo camping trailer

    I have had some difficultly locating any info on anyone using this trailer as a expo trailer or any camping trailer but others have converted the military generator trailer and the older 416 series trailers which are very popular. Here is my project and I would like to hear any suggestions or ideas the community here has to offer.

    The goal: To free up space in my tow vehicle for my significant other and the 2yr old and I am sure will be a dog down the road. So with that said the camping gear and anything else either needs to be roof rack mounted or in the trailer. I am in the process of converting and building my 1983 Grand Wagoneer for long term excursion duties only but in the mean time my 2000 WJ will be filling in.

    Rig: 2000 WJ, I6, 223K miles, 4'' RC Lift, 32'' MTR's.

    Trailer: 1990 surplus M101A2

    I just purchased a ARE aluminum contractors utility cap. I drove a 100 miles with the M101 to get it and put it on top and drove back at normal speeds with it through the mountains of western MD (I know they are small but its what we have here) and with high winds, I was surprised at how well it towed in all conditions and with little effort. 10 years Army so far but towing with a WJ vs HMMWV is like night and day.

    The utility cap has 4 individual locking compartments on the outside that are hydro lift doors for easy access to what will be a kitchen area (stove, sink, ect) and not sure with the rest of it yet. It has a ladder rack on the top and dual barn doors at the rear. The doors will need to be trimmed a little to fit the trailer depth and the trailer modified to fill the open space at the tail gate but other wise a near perfect fit.

    I will be adding a RTT to the top of this utility cap after I build a boxed cage to tie the trailer to the cap and provide a heavy duty frame to attach the RTT. I just don't think the aluminum ladder rack is up the the task of the weight. Anyone think this will be too tall? the cap is 36'' above the lip of the trailer and all other weight will be at the base of the trailer which is already kinda heavy, so I don't anticipate any issues yet. There will also be a fuel and water storage tanks mounted to the floor of the trailer (later on for long travel capability).

    Other items to be installed propane stove and tank, dual optima top batteries (already have and not used) with solar recharge capability. LED lighting inside trailer, cabinets and roof top parameter lighting. Ect, ect, ect, I have been reading up on here and other sites and you all are a great wealth of knowledge and experience that is giving me so many ideas to tap.

    Thanks for reading and sorry I will get some pictures up soon and will update as I progress through this build. The plan is to go to the Grand Tetons later this year and pass through Yellowstone. I am so use to backpacking and going so very light that with the extra distance, longer camping duration and not wanting to go for supplies all the time and with extra people and a child I needed to rethink my space and equipment, hope this works.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Arizona Territories
    Posts
    428
    One of the reasons you see less about the (US) 101 is it is a little too much trailer for small jeeps and pickups. The 416 is light and very nimble, easy for tight trails, and very tough. Keep in mind that usually mil trailers gross out before they bulk out, thus they tend to be overloaded easily. The conservative load ratings are due to the off-road nature of the beast (axles and frames are overbuilt compared to road trailers).

    I would not use it for off-road towing with a jeep or light pickup. There are those who will disagree, but they may have something invested in their opinions. I have both 416 and (US) 101. Other than transit (empty) I wont use the 101 for lengthy off-road.

    Upgrade the springs by adding a leaf to increase load, but it doesnt really change rating due to axle/bearings/tires/wheels/frame. I have overloaded the 101 to 4000 lb, but that is on highway, nearly stopping for turns or tracks, it is about 1" from the bumps. Niagra Military Parts is your go-to guy for parts.

    I would be careful to stay within the rated load on anything but highway driving, and your vehicle is gonna hate you. Too much trailer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sykesville, MD
    Posts
    27
    Very good points and your right it is a larger trailer but not bad behind even my WJ now this is not via trails has I haven't done anything with it yet in that aspect. The primary vehicle that I am building this for is a full size 83 grand Wagoneer with a 6BT and 1ton axles so it should handle much more weight then my WJ. I am also considering converting the military axle to a lighter civilian version with electric braking and remove the hydro brake system from the trailer. The trailer is also only very slightly wider then my WJ and I haven't measure it to my Wagoneer yet but its either the same or smaller.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sykesville, MD
    Posts
    27
    Wow, I thought there would have been more comments on this either crazy or cool idea or something. I will get some pics up this weekend and see where the project goes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Chevy Chase, MD
    Posts
    675
    I own an M101A1 and an M101A2. I like 'em!

    I pull with with either a Suburban or a Hemi JKU and you forget they're back there.

    Big trailer for tight trails, but plenty of room and capacity for a camping trailer. I almost went aluminum cap and over head ladder rack for a rtt on my M101A2 but decided on a tear drop trailer in the end.

    BTW, I'm from MD and I think the M101 would be fine trailer for where I've seen that we can oull a camping trailer in the MD parks and forests.

    JPK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cali
    Posts
    14
    I have a m101A2 that I am cutting down, re-axling, and welding back up for an expedition type trailer. I found about 240lbs of weight can be removed by cutting out the bed bracing and welding the bed directly to the trailer. Also by removing the hydraulic brakes and jack leg.

    Here is where mine sits right now, waiting on an axle, wheels, and some tubing to fab up rock slider/brush deflectors before putting the box on and finishing it up.

    I'm also planning to weigh the axle and brake/hub components to see what I'm saving with a new axle.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sykesville, MD
    Posts
    27
    Awesome guys, I was talking with my GF's father who has been the master of camper motor homes for years and he thinks he might have a light and better axle for my trailer. I have thinking the last few days about removing the hydro brake system for an electric brake setup. He also thinks I should go to 6 lugs over the 8 it has now. I have no real preference but with the plan for 1 ton axles on the tow vehicle (once fully built) I would think my only real option is 8 lug but I guess I can change them over or rethink my axle options. I have also been thinking of cutting the trailer to either reduce weight and or lower teh center of gravity and lower the over all height.

    JPK where in MD are you? I am am Thurmont but always in Frederick or Reisterstown as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cali
    Posts
    14
    Depending on what you are pulling it with and where should dictate what you do to it. I would have left mine alone if pulling it with a tahoe or truck, but for a jeep up narrow canyons I wanted something small enough to go there.

    I ordered 4" LED lights and now am thinking they may be a little big. We'll see when they show up this week.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    SW Va, USA
    Posts
    72
    The trailer sounds like a good idea to me. You'd be taking it off to ride any real trails anyways.

    As for the 6lug vs 8 lug, depending on tire size, you may want to consider having the trailer's wheels/tires match your Wagoneer's. Gives you an extra spare if the Waggy and trailer both carry one spare (or two on the trailer) and could be handy. I have considered a trailer to carry my camping gear as both of our off-road SUV's are two doors. Having 3 kids EATS space in them when we go somewhere and carrying my tools, spare tires, and general truck spares takes alot of space. A trailer I could just leave stuff like the tent and camping grill and chairs in would be nice. I'd probably have it match the tire size and lug count of the K5 since it will be going the more extreme places.

    Just a thought.
    Terry
    1999 K1500 Suburban
    1984 K5 Blazer

    Wanna-be explorer living vicariously through the travels of others.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cali
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by TerryD View Post
    The trailer sounds like a good idea to me. You'd be taking it off to ride any real trails anyways.

    As for the 6lug vs 8 lug, depending on tire size, you may want to consider having the trailer's wheels/tires match your Wagoneer's. Gives you an extra spare if the Waggy and trailer both carry one spare (or two on the trailer) and could be handy. I have considered a trailer to carry my camping gear as both of our off-road SUV's are two doors. Having 3 kids EATS space in them when we go somewhere and carrying my tools, spare tires, and general truck spares takes alot of space. A trailer I could just leave stuff like the tent and camping grill and chairs in would be nice. I'd probably have it match the tire size and lug count of the K5 since it will be going the more extreme places.

    Just a thought.
    x2

    Also, make sure if you do this that you get the same back-spacing for the trailer wheels as for your tow vehicle.

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