You know that buddy, family member, co worker that you can call any time day or night no matter what they are doing they will drop it and come help you out or fix your problem even if your problem really is someone else’s problem you were just there when it happened. Yea that guy, that’s ME!
I have been put in so many call for help situations that when I get there they have no tools or parts that I spent last spring/summer outfitting my 2wd 06 GMC ｽ ton extended cab with an extensive set of all the time and seasonal tool/parts bags. I have check sheets and a load plan that include a full set of mechanics tools although the majority of the tools are Craftsman (open nights and weekends Nation Wide little hassle exchange)the packing list closely follows GearWrenchｮ Set 83091 (more than just wrenches, sockets and a few screw drivers and pliers thrown in). I love Camping, ATV’s, Bicycling, Hiking, canoeing, weekend trips to visit family out of town, and it never fails that I help fix or build something on almost every one of the trips.
Around Christmas 2010 my buddy was out wheeling with 2 passengers in his H2 SUT 8” lift with 35’s and he got stuck, REALLY STUCK! We had about 4” of new snow so he went out to play. He drove down a service road and hit a soft spot a small stream and sank; the 35’s were below the ground level on the driver’s side. Yes he does have a winch front or rear mount, tree savers, shackles, shovel (E-Tool), hi-lift, coveralls, hat, gloves and 2 30’x4” snatch straps but he couldn’t get out. He was 2 miles off the paved road and needed another 100’ of line to get to a big enough trees to anchor to. My 2WD wouldn’t make it out there (and my ｾ ton Ford 4x4 wasn’t road or trail ready) so I called a friend with a 4WD to take me and 100’ of line out to him, we got him out had some laughs and made some memories. This was the turning point that made me decide to get a compact 4x4 so I wasn’t dependant on others when I got “The Call”. Wanted late 90’s early 00’s Cherokee Sport 4d. In March 2011 I ended up with a 01 Wrangler. When I started equipping the Wrangler and found out you can’t fit much in them and still keep the back seat and I love towing trailers so AT is the way to go for me.
AT Requirements; Track behind Wrangler, same spare, jack, wheel wrench, light, compact, lockable, weather resistant, 10 gallons of fuel (Super Charged H2’s are thirsty), under 500 lbs dry, and worth 2 times the $$ in parts that it takes to build. I wasn’t worried about man hours because I’m doing all the fabrication and I like working/building. 2 hours at the movies cost me 40 bucks 2 hours working on AT is more fun and more relaxing. I can always RedBox the “Must See Movie of the Sumer” in the winter when there is too much snow and below 0 wind chill. I figured The Wrangler frame is about 44” wide so the trailer frame should be the same. Double that for length 88” was to long so ｽ the double = 44”Wx66”LX18”D box and 22”s for the tongue angle with 2” receiver tube to adjust hitch length or swap out with a Lock and Roll later. Axel should match hub face measurement of the Wrangler.
“The Deal” Free late 60’s early 70’s pop up early April. “The Hang UP” free pop up was in the back field beyond mowed lawn NO RUTS! So began the waiting, and waiting for the yard to dry out. July was HOT and rainy then the land/pop up owner says “I forgot about the pasture gate you won’t even be in the yard” so we air up the tires and drag it out of the field through the gate. I tow it home down the back roads and put it in the driveway and it sits for 2 more weeks because of work and travel. I tear it down to the plywood deck in 1 night. Burn the wood, prep the metal for the scrap yard on night 2, junk yard run night 3, drop the fiberglass roof off and remove plywood deck night 4, few days later I start cutting off the excess metal and welding up the new hitch.
1st Junk yard run + $58
12” receiver - $18
5 on 4.5 Hubs - $41 for the pair
Hubs are for 1” straight spindle PN H150 from Axis out of Elkhart, Indiana. 574 266 8282 they make a lot of the axels that are available retail they do custom orders by hub face and spring perch center measurements, they also have over runs, miss measures or seconds they offer at a deep discount, Dock manager said he has seen a 3500lb axel with hubs go for 100 bucks.
At this point I can still stand the trailer on end and lift it off the ground alone but after I get the full size tires on it I doubt I will be able to lift it alone. The Goal is under 500 lbs total trailer weight, 500 lbs recovery gear, tools, parts and 10 gallons of fuel. I want to be less than 1000 lbs loaded for a few reasons 1. It’s silly to take that much crap on a recovery mission. 2. The axel is only 2000 lb. 3. If I ever get a RTT and switch from recovery/support to camping I don’t want to have to have to do an axel swap first. 4. it’s a Wrangler yes it will tow 3500 lbs but at what cost, do I want to find out that trail had a soft spot and I could have made it with 1000 lbs but 3500 lbs sinks.