(disclaimer: i use the term "ghetto" in the most affectionate manner possible...no offense is meant...it's just what i've called our rig from the get-go.)
this website is so awesome! ya'll got some sweet rigs, ideas and motivations...it definitely helps me to convince my wife that i'm not insane,
that we're not the only ones with camper's and trailer's in the drive-way and that projects and motivations come and go.
thanks for sharing, thought i would do the same...so here't goes:
i convinced my lovely wife last year that we should buy a camper for multiple reasons:
-my work required me to live at a remote duty station during the summer...i could pay bunkhouse rent or buy a cheap camper for the same amount.
-we could put a truck bed camper into the back of our utility trailer and still have the trailer for "utility" usage.
-the possibility of winter camping...or at least extended shoulder seasons.
i found a decent deal on a mid-80's Four Wheel Camper (non-cabover) which would work well for us...she was very resistant...defiant even...
but i persevered through her negativism, and brought it home.
it took me a while to "ghetto-fy" our little utility trailer because of the unique dimensions of the old-school FWC frame. we use the trailer for dump runs, yard materials, hauling, etc...so i didn't want to lose that ability. i ended up lowering the sides and cutting the rear section to clear camper's rear end. i was able to remove the rear gate hinge-pins for removal as well...i didn't want to lose the sides of the trailer completely so i built a 4' X 8' X 8" box for the camper to sit up on in the trailer. here's a picture of the end product:
my poor little trailer was a little overburdened with the FWC on it's back...
but it went down the road and up the hill to my summer living quarters:
that fall, my wife and i decided to take up elk hunting for the first time...
we weren't successful during our first colorado hunting season but the camper was a big hit with both my wife and dog:
(especially when the friends we went hunting with were waking up in a cold-*** tent every morning and we were in the heated camper making coffee at 4am)
my better half looking for which way the elk tracks went:
i made a few modifications to the interior of the camper: new wiring & gas lines, removed the water tank & pump in favor of extra cabinet space. will post pictures of those on another post...since hunting season, the camper has sat in our drive-way...i spend the moments before sleep most evenings pondering it's future:
-a roof that sheds snow.
-hinged, hard-sides that are insulated to replace the worn canvas.
-a 2' cab-over for extra storage & single bed space.
-removal of the original fridge in favor of an updated cooler.
-re-modeled interior with possible side door & front dinette.
during these pondering's, i also schemed up various options for my camper's ride...a new trailer was needed, but my options were limited:
-a completely new custom trailer build (expensive and time intensive...plus i would need to buy a welder as opposed to borrowing one)
-an early model full-size truck-bed trailer (i've looked and looked...hard to come by in decent shape...i wanted a chevy with 6-lug axle/wheels)
-a military M101A2/3 or something akin (heavy, but well built, mostly together & only "minor" mods to make work)
which brings me to today...and my new-to-me M116 (i think?):
i think i got a good deal on it. driving it home, i received a quick, hard lesson on mechanical surge brakes. those have got to go before i pull it around again.
for the camper to fit, the wheel wells need to be widened to 48". After measuring the rear of the camper, it should fit well front to back, without modification. my plan is to build removable stake-sides for the trailer and figure out a quick mount/dismount for the camper. (i used chain & turn buckles for the previous camper/trailer, i may do the same here). additional modifications will include:
-an adjustable channel coupler, as seen on some of the other M101 builds.
-axle mods for electric brakes and 6 on 5 1/2 wheel lugs.
-corner stabilizer's to aid in camper leveling.
-tongue box for extra storage
if you've made it this far, thanks for reading! i will certainly appreciate any suggestions and/or comments. as with most people, we have no shortage of projects and time-sucks...so this will certainly not all happen in short-order. however, i do need to get the "new" trailer put together enough to be utilized and the old trailer put back together enough to sell. i will certainly do my best to update this thread as the build and usage proceed. and thanks again for sharing your motivations, visions and projects!