"Serenity" - My M101A2 expedition trailer build


Gorilla Wrangler
Been a lurker here for a looooong time, and it's about time I start pulling my weight.

When I got her:


I found a $4500 work topper for $300 and decided it would be perfect for my expedition build idea.

Bringing it home:

The interior is bigger than I hoped, given the side cabinets.

Then came the hand tools, cutters, grinders, hardware, and LOTS of rattlecan paint:

I didn't like the weaknesses inherent with the double doors, so I've decided to go another way:

This way, the integrity of the trailer is maintained, security increased, and much less work to do to make it weathertight.

Homemade rear hatch:


Gorilla Wrangler

RTT, nosebox housing electrics, etc...


Rest stop somewhere in Alabama:

First time above 10,000ft:

At the Ouray KOA:

At the 2013 FJ Summit:

Owl Creek Pass:

Swamp rat:

Aaaaand, I just picked up a sister for Serenity:

It's a M116A3 with a M101A2-ish bed that I picked up for $500.00. I put the sides & ribs from my A2 restore on it.

More to follow as soon as I find the other images...

With a short hitch, it tows like it was on rails, and it tracked directly behind the rear tires of the FJ. Ive taken it through the better part of 250 miles off-road, including swamps. No worries.

In fact, it's even much more watertight than my FJ & even floats... sort of. Long story. I don't want to talk about it. Needless to say, learning occurred.

I towed it from the West Palm Beach area all the way to Ouray, through the Owl Creek Pass, twice over the Continental Divide, to Denver, St. Louis, Lexington, Atlanta, and then back home inside of three weeks time. Over 5000 miles.

Of course, my truck was averaging ~11-13 MPG. With a good tailwind.
Nice build. They do tend to multiply. I may or may not have three of them in my driveway as I type :)

For your new one, I would just swap the axle for one with a shorter hub face or keep your eye out for a take off.


Gorilla Wrangler
Nope. Adapters, Mark. It's about cost & compatibility; I want to run the same tires/wheels on the A3 as I do the A2 & my FJ. Problem I see is that I don't want the A3 any wider than it is now... Wider stance = more stable, though, too, I know. Too much wider and I fear not only will it look clownshoes stupid, but I'll just be begging a tree or an errant BFR to tear a tire & wheel off.

Still not sure how I'll proceed with purposing the new A3. I'm contemplating making a drop in camper out of glassed plywood, or maybe just swapping the metal topper from the A2 onto the A3 for a "Serenity Mk02" camper.

Regardless, though - one of them must be a hauler, per orders from She Who Must Be Obeyed. :)


Gorilla Wrangler

Being in South Florida means it gets frakking HOT and WET. You've seen a housefly, a donkey fly, but never a SUPERFLY. :victory:

20x30 12mil tarp supported by milspec camo netting poles. the long sides of the tarp are re-enforced with 1/2" fiberglass tent poles; gives some structure & rigidity. It'll withstand up 40MPH sustained with higher gusts a possibility. I've redone the stock shiite plastic grommets with genuine brass ones.

I can orient the trailer lengthwise (shown), or, perpendicular; I can get a Safari-style tent and my FJ under it then.

I can collect rainwater off of the ends, too. :)

I've since re-waterproofed all tents, awnings & the like, so the superfly will only get set up for long stays. gotta keep the UV off of the fabric gear.
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Gorilla Wrangler
Great build....wondering if you know who makes the top....anymore where that came from??

About the topper - it's made by Knapheide - that's the brand of top you see on work trucks. I got it locally off of Craigslist. Looked for one for a loooooong time.

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