My Build Has Begun


SE Expedition Society
I remember when you first talked about this build and it sure seemed you had thought of everything and I can feel your frustration about how it is working out. One of the big pitches they do in their video is talk about the battery storage in the back. It almost seems like the batteries were added as an afterthought.
I know that they moved the battery to the front for some trailers, the ones with the bigger batteries. That's why I brought it up during the order.
If that were to be an issue, I had planned to nix the sink in favor of batteries in the galley. The sink was a pretty expensive piece of bling...
But he never brought it up again so I figured it was a non-issue. I kept looking for signs of the batteries in the build pics --- but there were very very few build pics and the ones I got didn't show the battery boxes, didn't show the tail lights, didn't show much detail. If I had gotten better pics I could have caught this right away.

I can see how most of his customers would prefer the sink to battery storage though and he might have misconstrued the conversation that way.
But that wasn't the case. When I said, "can you fit the batteries down there and still fit a sink?" I meant it from the bias of the batteries.

Those battery boxes just scream "steal me". It's a flashy trailer and they are so naked out there.
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SE Expedition Society
The Overlanding demographic is a new market for them and there's a learning curve. They seem to be catching on though and are willing to listen.
I'm sure they'll master it quickly.

Not sure about the awning. I'll be bumping my head on it.
Anybody have experience with the legless variety? Will it work or will it sag?



SE Expedition Society
Chris is back at his shop with his McGuyver tech and they're cramming the batteries into the galley.
That's great! It's good to know that they are very willing to meet your expectations. I hope he sees that you may influence a few others to check out his work. I know I will be looking at it as an upgrade.

I'm sure you feel better about things than you did this morning. As for the awning, I think that might be a place to sit in the rain or at least keep the door dry. I think you will miss the expanse you used to have. I see a lot of pictures of tear drops that use a pop up cover (like my 10x10) to cover the galley. With the racks you might be able to rig something else that will do even better.

Did he say anything about the tail lights. With your history on your light plug ... :ylsmoke:


SE Expedition Society
Wow... sorry about all the issues Bill. That sucks, but it seems as though he is working with ya on it. Good luck getting it all worked out. I wouldn't budge until it was just like I wanted it...

Other than the affore mentioned issues, it does look great!!

One other thing that you will absolutely hate is the fact that the fenders dont cover the tires. Thats something I would change ASAP, you know how this Georgia clay is. It will be EVERYWHERE. No point in putting a fender on at all if it doesnt cover the tire...right?

~ Stump


looks great. digging the color. will look great behind your jeep. you now have me thinking that "glamping" is the way to go. seems the older i get the harder the ground is. once again looking forward to your full report after delivery.


Tail-End Charlie
I'm just buiding a set up for the CDN M101 and I'm torn between going with a Deep cycle to run the fridge, or a starting battery that I can use to jump start the Jeep if needed.
You can jump off deep cycle batteries. You can even use them for starting batteries.

The difference is that the same size deep cycle will have slightly lower CA and CCA ratings - but they do have those ratings even if the spec sheet doesn't show it. The reason is because the thicker lead plates aren't designed to dump amps as fast as possible like a thin plate "starting" battery would.

But even so, they'll still dump a hell of a lot of amps pretty quickly.


SE Expedition Society
I didn't even notice the fenders, Stump.
That's not even legal in some (most?) states, besides the mess...

I'm sure Chris will read this, make a pair, and send them to you to help me install.

I'll contact TruckLite about the tail lights.


SE Expedition Society
I'll install some fenders if need be. Thats no problem...

Ideally they would be welded/bolted/attached directly to the main frame rail and then build them off of that, that way you could stand on them when you are securing stuff on the rack up top. I LOVED being able to stand on my fenders for securing stuff...

I actually have a similar set of those aluminum fenders in the attic, they aint made out of much.

We could make some nice ones out of steel....

Either way, it'll work itself out. Good luck tomorrow with the transaction.

~ Stump


SE Expedition Society
Looks like a good start, Bill. It does look a bit tight to hook up the gas for the stove but maybe it is just the picture. Dual blue tops - what's that, about 300 AH. I would think that would give you 4-5 days at least. I use 1 and the only trick I have to deal with is running the fridge off that battery during driving. Trick is, I guess, is to stay ahead of things to keep charged up.

I know you are excited to see it today. I hope it is everything you are after.


Optima data

It is a common mistake to think that Optima batteries have "high" amp-hour ratings. the D31Ms are rated for only 75Ah each.

They are fantastic batteries, I am sure. But they are "low" when compared to other Group 31 deep cycle batteries. Other AGM group 31 batteries can be in the 85-105Ah range.

But to defend the Optima, note that the D31M is a "dual purpose" deep cycle & starting battery, rather than a dedicated deep cycle battery. this is where they sacrifice a bit of Amp-hours for better CCA for starting. it is all about the battery's design, lead plate thickness, etc.
If you plan on needing to start your main engine battery a lot, then go for dual purpose. If you are looking for max AH, and only emergency starting, then go for the true deep cycle.

I have seen some deep cycle Group 31s can get as high as 125 A-hrs. If it is AGM you will definitely pay the price ($250-350 each!). A quality grade wet cell Group 31 will go for $85-120.

as with any of our "toys" it is a question of budget, performance, life expectancy, ruggedness (for off road) and what we want the battery to do for us.

For me, I ended up being a cheap builder and went for two Group 27 wet cell Johnson controls (AutoCraft) batteries with a total of 2x90ah=180. on sale at $67 each. If they don't work out then I can go for the AGMs later.

my 2 cents.



SE Expedition Society

Chris went the extra mile in the past couple of days. Although he's still learning our demographic, he's a quick study.

This is one sick trailer.