M1101 Adventure Base Camp AKA "ABC" Formally "College Adventure Build"

Hi everyone, I"m new here and relatively new to the overlanding world. I am a college student who love to camp, hunt, fish, hike, etc. I am an animal science major hoping to go to vet school. I am hoping to use this time in my life where I have relatively little responsibilities to explore and enjoy the outdoors on a bigger level than I have before. I have some decent fab skills, including knowing how to held and owning a MIG. My goal is to build a trailer that I can keep most of my gear in and be ready to go in less than an hour of prep. I recently bought an M1101 from another member on here. He had bought lots of parts for it but had yet to put it all together. I will be using some of his ideas and also adapting many to my needs. I already have a RTT and the trailer came with one so my old one will be for sale soon.

Here are some of my ideas for the trailer:
1. Arrange water tank, heater etc on side to facilitate better gear arrangement.
2. Install plenty of dry and lockable storage space for gear.
My initial plan for this is to move the RTT all the way to the side and mount my Thule Roof Carrier box on the other side.
3. Build bed slide out. This is something I came up with and please let me know if you think it would be a bad idea but build something like a truck bed slideout for the trailer. That way it would be easier to access totes, coolers, etc in trailer when setting up camp. It would also serve the dual purpose of a table once trailer was unloaded. I would obviosly put jacks on the back of the trailer in order to keep the tongue from coming up when the slide out is deployed.
4. Paint, I would like to paint it a color other than tan. I've applied bedliner to my jeep tub so maybe something like that to at least the inside.

Stuff I have pertaining to build:
'04 Suburban
'99 Wrangler 4.0 straight 6
ARB Simpson III with annex
Yakima Skyrise 3 (FOR SALE)
Thule Roof Box
16 gallon H20 tank with pump.
Propane powered tankless H20 heater


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Paul, glad to see you got the trailer in good shape and already have multiple plans for improvements. I hated not being able to finish it, but seeing your plans tells me that it's in good hands!

I had originally placed the water tank to make room for the slide out kitchen, and never planned to have all that much room for storage. Your take on that is smart to make room for more storage. Installation of generator and batteries was also going to be key, but I'd planned to most of that up front (front of centerline, anyway) for tongue balance. I love the idea of a slide out bed for storage boxes - very smart. Jack stands are a good idea (and, of course, they are already included with the trailer - mounted over the tongue), but I'd still consider putting batteries/genset up front to take some of the weight off the jack stands for when you slide out the bed.

Really interested how a bed liner works out. Great idea, but not sure how well it stands up to the torture moving stuff around. Any special prep required?

Good luck! Very interested to watch your progress.


A little update. I got the water tank situated on top of the fender well. This allows more cargo room and in the case of a dead battery it can still be drained since it is elevated. I also bought a bed slide. My plan was to build one but then I came across one on Craigslist for dirt cheap. It works really nice. It allows me to load the trailer in a way that is evenly distributed but still have everything accessible during the trip and after. It also gives me a sort of food prep and table space for long term camping and base camp trips. I do have the jacks to keep the trailer from flipping up.

#1-2 The water tank in its new location
#3,5,9,10 The trailer arrangement with the bed slide pushed in.
#4 My wonderful shop. It's a little rough, but I'll take what I can get. The price is right.
#6,7,8 The bedslide extended out.

Let me know any questions. I have not seen anyone use a bedslide on a trailer so feel free to ask questions. Also let me know if you have a concern that I may not have seen.

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That bed slide is slick! Does it lock in place when in either the open or closed position? Manufacturer?
Sorry for such a late response. I've been plowing snow 24/7 it seems like for the last week. The bed slide locks in the closed, 1/2 open and fully open positions. It is a Bed Slide brand bed slide. I think it is the standard model made to fit a 6.5' bed.
It's been a little while. I have been busy working on the jeep and truck the last few weekends. Next steps are remount the RTT (took it off to store in heated space), then make battery box and sort out electrical. I plan on running some 12V rope lights around the RTT rack and wiring them into a battery box. The box will probably be an old ammo can and will have a 100AH deep-cycle battery, inverter, tender, and switches. It will also have a bank of 12v sockets for compressor, chargers etc. I am going to leave the option open for solar power down the road. I will probably order parts next week and begin construction. I'll keep you posted.
I'm trying to have everything ready for spring break.
Small Update:
I've been really busy working on the vehicles and feel I have neglected the M1101 a little recently but I got some updates coming. I have replaced the jeep radiator, front and rear bumpers, and the suburban got new shocks, and a front hitch.
I got a new pintle hitch which raises the tongue height 5" which is nice because it does not look near so nose down now. The pictures are before I replaced the truck's shocks so it sits even a little higher now.
Trailer height
Coming soon:
I have electrical components trickling in all this week and this weekend will hopefully get the portable house electric built. And as an aside if anyone wants to speed up this build, you can buy my old RTT, a Yakima Skyrise.
Edit: I apologize for all the pictures coming out weird. I have no idea how that happens.
The tanks are from Northern Tool. You can buy the tank and pump separately or together. It is just an old ATV sprayer tank. It is the 16 gallon tank and 2.2 GPM pump. I like this tank because it has a drain on the bottom (like most) but it kind of sticks out and I put it over the fender well so I can have gravity working for me so the pump is not totally needed. Everything on the trailer is designed to be run electricity free if need be.
The setup as I am using it.
It was abig weekend of progress on the trailer. We got the perfect storm of available time, funds, and decent weather. And the fact it is going on it's first adventure to the smokies next week for spring break.
What I did:

-Wired up battery box.
A 20MM ammo can with a 110 AH deep cycle battery. I have a charge controller on it that splits to a bank of 12 plugs all this is protected by a 20A fuse. It is very simple, with the possibility to add an inverter and solar panels later. So far it has worked great for working on the trailer at night. I'll report back how it does camping. The box will power the lights, water pump and maybe charge some electronics. I calculated that I should be able to last 12 days on this load. We are only going for 5 though. Also if you see any issues please let me know so I can fix them.

-Plumbed tankless water heater and sprayer tank. I had to make several adaptations and fittings to get everything to the correct sizes but it all works as it should and it will be really nice for dishes, cooking and maybe some showers even.

-Remounted RTT. I had taken it off to do some work on the trailer and so we got it back up and bolted in.

-RTT insulation. I have read about issues with condensation on the bottom of RTTs and I could not find any hardware store condensation mats so I got some space bubble wrap and put it under the mattress which should give us a little more heat in there and also help alleviate some of that potential condensation.

-Plumbed propane. I split the propane to send one end to the heater and send another line back to the bedslide where I imaging we will set up the kitchen.

-The capstone. I mounted a Coleman bottle opener on one of the uprights of the tent rack because I didn't feel right calling it an adventure rig without that amenity.

Still to come:
Paint -> I will likely paint the whole thing black with some kind of bedliner this summer.
New rack -> I want to weld a new RTT rack that is the entire footprint of the trailer to give space for more gear and also add some gas struts to take it up and down.
I am sure as it gets used I will find new improvements to make so stay tuned.

Here's the pics!









We got back Saturday night, a thousand miles, a million laughs and an emergency alternator replacement later. We had a great time. I learned a lot about camping with the trailer and have some ideas coming soon for mods. I am going to try to download pics of SD cards soon and then do some writing. I just finished a calc test and my brain is fried so that's all for now!
I finally got some of them together. Trailer worked out great but there are lots of things I learned about using it.
#1 I need to bring a hose to fill the water tank. Duh, but I didn't bring one.
#2 I am going to cut some tyvek to go under the annex to keep it out of the dirt.
#3 I need to air down a little so it is not quite so bouncy on the gravel roads.

We had a great time camping at Lake Santeelah the first two nights. Free sites, on the beautiful lake. We climbed Mt. Le Conte on the third day and had a great climb and view. It was still very snowy up there even though it was 60 degrees further down. We stayed the third night at Smokemont and hated it. Rvs, yuppies, and it costs $21. Would not recommend. NF are the way to go. The last day we did a little off roading on Hurricane Creek. It was not too bad, a little tight with the trailer but once we dumped it we were good. Then on the way back the alternator went out. A stop at Autozone and an hour later we were back on the road. I may find some more photos and post some more up but in the meantime enjoy.



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