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Old 01-19-2011, 06:34 PM   #1
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Off-road camping trailer advice needed....

Well I am looking to put together a trailer for weekend trips camping. There are quite a few companies that I could buy the complete pakage from but Im not looking to spend anywhere close to what they want. I fave found two some what local and cant decide which would be a better choice.

#1 The classic M416



Or slightly larger



I plant to eventually make a platform for a roof top tent but thats down the road. I dont really plan on taking it on trails with me (just to haul my gear and eventually sleep in tent). Do you think the larger one is too big?>

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Old 01-19-2011, 06:35 PM   #2
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I would pick the smaller one.

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Old 01-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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The larger one is way too heavy for your needs. The M 416 is the way to go. Hate to see em get converted though...I have a bone stock Canadian M101. They pull AWESOME behind a Wrangler. Also, I would stay with the Pintle hook hitch. It is great offroad. Many convert to a standard ball hitch and offroad, they bind alot. It has a pivot sleave that will let it twist and move so the trailer can articulate with your rig. Here's my pull behind pig...[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:44 PM   #4
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^^^^I wish I could find something like that around here.......
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:56 PM   #5
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Hey Cavediver...You might luck out on this site to find one...this site usually has them all over the place, not just a certain area, plus the prices are decent as compared to others I've seen. I only paid $500 for mine, and everything on it works. It even has the original Michelin tires that are issued to military Unimogs on it in great shape...Jeep Trailer - Yakaz For sale
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
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Here's a nice (and quiet) alternative to the pintle.

Lock N' Roll Trailer Hitches
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:06 PM   #7
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That's pretty damn sweet!! Can't say I've seen that set up.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:10 AM   #8
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If you really want to go the cheap route you can get one of those little 4' Harbor Freight type trailers. They are light and pull very easily (especially behind a four-cylinder Jeep). Of course you have to make your own sides (I used regular 1x4 pine boards from Home Depot and took my time to make it look nice), and you'll need a large tarp to wrap everything to keep it "mostly" dry. I have about $450 total in this set up as you see it with 12" rims and 4.80 x 12" tires. (Yeah, save me your "I bought an M416 trailer in mint condition for $300..." stories. I'm happy for you. Bordering on jealous.)

You can actually put a LOT of camping gear in one of these little 4' trailers, and when not in use it doesn't take up too much space in your garage.

Currently I have about 9" of clearance under the trailer axle. I have about 9.5" clearance under my Dana 44 rear axle pumpkin on my TJ with 285/75/16" tires.

I plan on getting a slightly wider trailer axle with a 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern and some 205/75/15" trailer tires on 15x5" rims (so adds about another $400 to my trailer costs). This will give me about 13" clearance under the trailer axle, along with better quality hub/bearing unit (and it'll just look better).
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:14 PM   #9
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"Yeah, save me your "I bought an M416 trailer in mint condition for $300..." stories. I'm happy for you. Bordering on jealous."

Nah...Cost $500...lol...and it's CDN M101, eh (had to get that Canadian lingo in there...).
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:49 PM   #10
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GO CANADA! lol and armyRN lovin ur jeep. mind me askin ur setup?
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:50 PM   #11
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GO CANADA! lol and armyRN lovin ur jeep. mind me askin ur setup?
Since you asked:

1998 Jeep TJ with 2.5 four cylinder/5 speed. RE 3.5" superflex (4.5" kit with 3.5" springs), RE shocks & steering stabilizer, extended front brake lines, RE f/r adjustable trackbars, Currie AntiRock & Currie steering system. Dana 30 front with Alloy USA 27 spine axles, 4.88 gears, axle tube seals, welded skids on LCAs, & Aussie locker; Dana 44 rear with Alloy USA 33 spline axles, 4.88 gears, Detroit Softlocker. AA SYE with Tom Wood's CV rear driveshaft. Both axles with U-bolt pinion "things" (the exact term escapes me) instead of the factory ones with straps. Rockmen gas tank skid, steering box skid, and rear bumper frame tie-ins. A-Z rocker guards. Gen-Right rear corner guards. Rubicon fender flares. ProComp/Genuine Steel front/rear bumpers. Rough Country winch plate with Warn M-8000 winch. Homemade plate to raise factory spare tire carrier 2.25". 285/75/16" Dick Cepek FC IIs with 16x8" black spoke wheels.

RE lift, shocks, AA SYE/TW CV shaft, RC winch plate, rear track bar, Currie AntiRock purchased from 4x4groupbuy.com (they have awsome package deals)
New rear Dana 44 built, and front Dana 30 axle work (axles/lockers/gears/axle tube seals) & Currie steering by Northridge 4x4 (a great guy to deal with).
Wheels and tires from Desert Rat.
All other parts either bought directly from the manufacturer (ie: Rockmen, A-Z) or on-line from where I could get it the cheapest at the time.
Trailer from Harbor Freight (I needed a project).
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:56 PM   #12
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Hey Cavediver...You might luck out on this site to find one...this site usually has them all over the place, not just a certain area, plus the prices are decent as compared to others I've seen. I only paid $500 for mine, and everything on it works. It even has the original Michelin tires that are issued to military Unimogs on it in great shape...Jeep Trailer - Yakaz For sale
Thanks!! I've saved it to my favorites so when the time comes to buy one, I know where to look first!
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:56 PM   #13
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mines a 97 same stocks specs...another gunmetal now i got somethin to look forward to? how bad was the d44 swap?
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:37 AM   #14
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Smaller one but I would build one instead
do a search start with a frame 4x 6 ish or
smaller add sides build in drawers then a platform
and a tent see pic avatar
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:13 AM   #15
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go with the classic M416 size. good luck finding one. In Colorado, honestly, its actually cheaper to build the shape with brand new steel than it is to buy one. I've looked at a few, and they've all been hammer bad or way over priced.

The M101 (m416 clone) was made for the Canadian military up until about 1992, but they stopped production for the USA a long time before that. Some military surplus retainers occassionally have new old stock M101's, but they go for around $1800-2500. Most of the remaining oldies I've seen around here are mid to late 1940s or 1950s models, and beat bad enough to need a complete rebuild and frame repair. In the midwest, I've seen some as cheap as $200-250, but they were all rusted out bad. Notice the paint & rust treatment back in the 40s/50s wasn't what it is today, so the floors of these trailers rust out quickly.

I've been looking for one in reasonable shape for about 4 years now, so I wouldn't have to send it in pieces to a sandblaster, and then rebuild everything. I can't find one under $1000. You can buy the steel and weld one together for that, I've priced it out.

My suggestion is look for an M416, M101 or Bantam civilian trailer for about 3 months. Go look at any that you can find. If you can't find something that will work for your needs, buy a Hobart/Lincoln/Miller 220V welder, a bunch of steel, a new trailer axle and build one. Brand new trailer axles of this size run less than $200 ready to bolt in, with the springs.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:26 AM   #16
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I also bought that 4x4 from Harbor freight but I have yet to put it together. Are those the stock tires for the trailer?
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:29 AM   #17
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Thanks guys! I am hoping to head out and look at the smaller one later today. He is asking $1500 but depending on the condition and details I am going to offer $900 cash in hand and see what he says.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:45 AM   #18
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mines a 97 same stocks specs...another gunmetal now i got somethin to look forward to? how bad was the d44 swap?
The Dana 44 swap is fairly easy to do. Short version (not necessarily in this order): disconnect the rear driveshaft from the Dana 35, disconnect the upper and lower control arms where they mount to the Dana 35, disconnect the shocks at the axle, disconnect the sway bar links, disconnect the track bar, disconnect the brake line at the "T" and at the rear wheel cylinders, remove the brake drum assembly from the Dana 35 (keep connected to the emergency brake cable) and the axle is now free of the Jeep. I don't remember if I had to slide the axles out of the housing before I could remove the brake assembly or not. If you do, you have to take the rear diff cover off (have a pan underneath to catch the gear oil) to remove a pin so you can pull the C-clips so the axles will separate from the differential so you can slide them out.

Remove the brake line from the Dana 35 and place it on the Dana 44 housing. If you're adding a lift at this time and have a track bar bracket (to raise the mount on the axle) install this now on the new axle (or if already on the Dana 35, remove it and place it on the Dana 44). Slide the new axle under the Jeep and connect the four control arms to the axle. connect the brake line at the "T". Connect the track bar. Connect the driveshaft. Connect the sway bar links. Reattach the brake drums to the new axle (I'm assuming the axle comes with the axle shafts needing to be slid into the new housing and reusing the old brake drums). Reconnect the brake lines to the wheel cylinders. Slide the axles in to where the splines align. Bolt the axle plate to secure the axle in place, reconnect the shocks. Fill the diff with gear oil. Bleed the brakes.

It's not a difficult job, and it should be obvious to you what you need to do once you get under the Jeep. But it is a dirty/messy job. The axle is heavy and bulky, so getting it in position for stuff to line up takes a little grunt work. It's also not something that can be done quickly, especially when doing it at home (which I did).

If you're changing gear ratios in the rear at this time don't forget you also need to get the front axle ratio changed to match the rear.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:52 AM   #19
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I also bought that 4x4 from Harbor freight but I have yet to put it together. Are those the stock tires for the trailer?
This is way more than you asked for, but here goes...

You can get the 4' x 4' trailer from Harbor Freight (and other places such as Northern Tool and Equipment) in two versions. They are the same frame and all except for the tire size. They come with either an eight inch wheel/tire combo, or a twelve inch wheel/tire combo (12" costs a little more than the 8" tire/wheel version - usually about $30). I'm assuming the springs are the same between the two. Mine pictured is with the 12" wheel/tire combo.

The "factory" rims are a four-on-four inch bolt pattern with either the 8" or 12" rims. The spring-center to spring-center for the axle is 38.5", and the hubface-to-hubface measurement is 47.5". So with the 12" (& 4" wide) rims/4.80 tires (about 20" tall overall) that came with my trailer, I have about one inch of clearance between the tire sidewalls and the trailer frame. So if you're thinking of changing the factory hubs to a hub with a 5 on 4.5" pattern and putting larger (and wider) tires on it, it won't work - the tires will be up against the frame.

You can buy a replacement trailer axle (and more heavy-duty) with the proper spring center measurements but is wider overall with a 51.25" hubface-to-hubface measurement with a 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern (same as a TJ/YJ) that will easily take a taller tire (175/80/13" [24" tall] on a 4.5" wide trailer wheel). Walmart sells this wheel/tire combo for about $75 each - it looks huge when put side-by-side with a 4.8/12" tire/wheel combo. I was at Walmart and actually did this (put them side-by-side; they sell both of these sizes already mounted on rims). I believe this axle combo will also handle a 205/75/15" tire (about 27" tall) on a 15x5" trailer wheel and still give just over an inch of clearance betwen the tire sidewall and trailer frame (I don't think any larger than a 205/75/15" will work if you went with the loadrite axle referenced above & below). With taller tires remember you'll have to raise the trailer fenders.

And with the 12" tires currently on the trailer my trailer axle clearance (9") is within a half-inch of my Dana 44 pumpkin on 33" tires (about 9.5"). So with 205 tires I'll be up around 13" clearance under the trailer axle, and I won't need so much of a dropped trailer hitch.

Trailer Parts Superstore - 1.5" Square (1800 lb.) LOADRITE Trailer Axle #6090.70
Trailer Parts Superstore - LOADSTAR ST175/80D-13" Tire & Painted Rim, Load Range C
Trailer Parts Superstore - LOADSTAR ST205/75D-15" Tire & Painted Rim, Load Range C

You can also buy even wider axles that you have to weld the spring perches on but would work if you wanted to go with an even "wider" wheel/tire combo. But "my opinion" is if you go much bigger than like a 235/75/15" tire on one of these little trailers the trailer might start looking like a freak, and you might reach a point to where the tire/wheel combo overpowers the integrity of the trailer frame/spring set-up (think leverage). So (my opinion) I wouldn't recommend going crazy and putting a matching 33" wheel/tire combo on one of these little trailers. If someone does, post some pictures and let us know how it worked for you.

Trailer Parts Superstore - 52" Round Tube Straight Trailer Axle (2200 lb.)
Trailer Parts Superstore - 54" Round Tube Straight Trailer Axle (2200 lb.)

There are other places to get trailer tires and rims, along with trailer axles. I just pulled these to use as an example. Google "trailer axles" and you'll get all sorts of hits. I plan on going with the Loadrite axle as above, and a pair of 205/75/15" trailer tires on a 15x5" trailer rim as above.

Oh, and that's not me in the picture - that's a buddy of mine. We took the Jeep and trailer (loaded with camping gear) on a four-day trip around the Olympic Penninsula after I got back from Iraq.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:30 PM   #20
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where can you find these iv looked but have never seen one for a reasonable price. i have a 95 yj 4 cyl. wrangler so it cant be that big/heavy
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:02 PM   #21
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where can you find these iv looked but have never seen one for a reasonable price. i have a 95 yj 4 cyl. wrangler so it cant be that big/heavy
Are you asking about the Military trailers or the little Harbor Freight type trailers?

1090 Lb. Capacity 40-1/2" x 48" Mini Utility Trailer with 12" Four-Lug Wheels and Tires - Trailer & Trailer Accessories - Automotive & Motorcycle

They have them on sale all the time too for around $199 (with the 12" tires)
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:57 PM   #22
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Well I went to see it and liked what I saw. Made an offer and he accepted. Now I just need to get it registered and go pick it up. It needs paint but I didnt see a spot of rust, has a 3" lift, 35x12.5x15 BFG AT tires, huge custom stainless flares, and a bunch of other goodies.

Ill post up some pics when I pick it up.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:33 PM   #23
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Did some research and the tents that are on the market that are used on these trailers sell for >$1k. Im thinking about going a much cheaper route. Found a guy that made a foldable platform for his that he just mounts a basic tent on.

Here is a pic.

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Old 01-21-2011, 05:48 PM   #24
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trailer

check out jumping jack trailers there sweet.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:38 PM   #25
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Yes sweet but way too expensive! If I had the $ Id get the Jeep brand camper ttrailer.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:31 PM   #26
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Did some research and the tents that are on the market that are used on these trailers sell for >$1k. Im thinking about going a much cheaper route. Found a guy that made a foldable platform for his that he just mounts a basic tent on.

Here is a pic.

That's crazy spending >$1000 for a relatively small tent - for me anyway.

I've looked on-line at the products by companies like Tentrax, Sierra4x4trailers, Adventure Trailers, etc. They all look really nice, super heavy duty, and if you've got the money go for it. But I can't justify spending thousands and thousands on a tent trailer, especially if I'm not really taking it seriously off-road. Here's my cheaper route that I'll put out there for consideration:

$450.00 in the trailer as you see it (that includes buying a spare tire - don't take your trailer on a trip without one)
$55.00 tent from Walmart 10'x13' (compare that to the size of those trailer-top tents).
$100 for two oversized Army-type folding cots (already had, along with the rest of my camping gear).
I can stand up in this tent, & store my luggage, gear, food, coolers, etc. inside the tent (the oversized cots are tall enough we can put a lot of our gear underneath them saving floor space). I can set up a small table in the tent and we can sit on our cots and eat a meal at the table. The floor of the tent can be wet but we're still dry in/on our cots. And I don't have to crawl into the tent - I can walk in.

On our trip we kept our luggage (one softsided suitcase each), sleeping bags, pillows, and jackets in the Jeep figuring they'd be more apt to stay dry (the back seat was removed for the trip). Otherwise, the tent, ground tarp, two cots, two folding camping chairs, folding camp table, cooler, two large containers for food & cooking utensils, coleman stove with extra propane cylinders, two flats of bottled water, one of those flat 4 gallon fuel containers (spare gasoline), coleman lantern, ax, a bundle or two of split firewood (like they sell at stores), kindling, and a jackstand all fit inside the little trailer.

So I'll just put my tent inside the trailer and think of what I can do with all the money I didn't spend for one of those expensive (although very nice - don't get me wrong) set-ups that have the (much smaller) tent on top of the trailer.

Here's another place that sells little trailers. They also sell metal sides and floors to go with them.

Utility Tlr Kits
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:58 PM   #27
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Thanks for taking the time to write the great responses so far in this thread. Your idea is great but I just wouldnt feel all that comfortable lugging the amount of grear I have in a tiny trailer like that. When I go off roading not only do I pack my camping gear, but a decent size tool box, spare parts, cooler, grill, food, the list goes on. Also I may not be taking it on serious trails but it will see the occasional off road situation getting to certain camp sites we visit on private land. I would just feel much more comfortable having a trailer that I know has a ton of room and can take the abuse. Also great advice on the spare tire. Thats another reason that I went with this trailer. It comes with 35x12.5x15 tires so if I have a blowout I can use the spare on my jeep for the trailer as well.

But here is a basic idea of my goal (same jeep, same base trailer)

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:02 PM   #28
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That's crazy spending >$1000 for a relatively small tent - for me anyway.

I've looked on-line at the products by companies like Tentrax, Sierra4x4trailers, Adventure Trailers, etc. They all look really nice, super heavy duty, and if you've got the money go for it. But I can't justify spending thousands and thousands on a tent trailer, especially if I'm not really taking it seriously off-road. Here's my cheaper route that I'll put out there for consideration:

$450.00 in the trailer as you see it (that includes buying a spare tire - don't take your trailer on a trip without one)
$55.00 tent from Walmart 10'x13' (compare that to the size of those trailer-top tents).
$100 for two oversized Army-type folding cots (already had, along with the rest of my camping gear).
I can stand up in this tent, & store my luggage, gear, food, coolers, etc. inside the tent (the oversized cots are tall enough we can put a lot of our gear underneath them saving floor space). I can set up a small table in the tent and we can sit on our cots and eat a meal at the table. The floor of the tent can be wet but we're still dry in/on our cots. And I don't have to crawl into the tent - I can walk in.

On our trip we kept our luggage (one softsided suitcase each), sleeping bags, pillows, and jackets in the Jeep figuring they'd be more apt to stay dry (the back seat was removed for the trip). Otherwise, the tent, ground tarp, two cots, two folding camping chairs, folding camp table, cooler, two large containers for food & cooking utensils, coleman stove with extra propane cylinders, two flats of bottled water, one of those flat 4 gallon fuel containers (spare gasoline), coleman lantern, ax, a bundle or two of split firewood (like they sell at stores), kindling, and a jackstand all fit inside the little trailer.

So I'll just put my tent inside the trailer and think of what I can do with all the money I didn't spend for one of those expensive (although very nice - don't get me wrong) set-ups that have the (much smaller) tent on top of the trailer.

Here's another place that sells little trailers. They also sell metal sides and floors to go with them.

Utility Tlr Kits

got i hope ur not in bear country..... even raccoons and such could be a problem if u eat/cook/store food ect in ur tent.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:27 PM   #29
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Very nice looking set-up Jp90Talon.

I agree my little trailer is nowhere near as heavy duty as a military trailer like yours, and has a little less storage space. However, I was able to bring a LOT more camping gear due to my little trailer than if I didn't have it. I can't think of anything I had to leave behind that I wished I had on our trip. If my trip had involved heavy-duty off-roading (even if I was parking the trailer at a campsite to run the trails) I would have wanted to bring a spare axle shaft, more tools, etc. But my little trailer so far has suited my needs and price-range. And once I put a wider axle and taller tires on it (as mentioned in post #19) it will be a little more suited for mild off-road. It's an ongoing project, and I'm enjoying playing with it.

Here's an option for those looking for a military trailer:

Trailer & Pickup Bed Parts - Complete Trailer Assembly Kit <br>Fits 41-45 MB, GPW

It looks like it might be a good starting point; I can't vouch for the quality - I'm just putting it out there for discussion/viewing. Add springs, an axle (with the bolt pattern of your choice), wheels & tires, lights (and I'm sure some more odds-and-ends) and you're ready to go. When you compare it to what some base model trailers cost (like a Sierra4x4 trailer - which I like the looks of) it might be a good option. At least you're starting out rust and dent free. And who knows, by the time I've got my little one all fixed up (new axle, tires, some sort of trailer tub), I might be close to what it would have cost to go this route. But I keep going back to wanting to keep the weight of the trailer down so my 4-cylinder engine isn't working so hard, and not take up so much space in the garage.

Speaking of keeping trailer weight down, I'm currently talking to Varozza Outfitters (they make aluminum frame trailers with aluminum diamond plate boxes) about making a military trailer-type tub (with a lid to keep the bears and racoons out of the food) made of aluminum diamond plate that would fit my little trailer (40" x 50" base). We'll see what he can come out with. I might yet end up with a military looking trailer.

http://varozza4x4.com/default.aspx
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:34 PM   #30
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Am I reading this right?

Trailer & Pickup Bed Parts - Complete Trailer Assembly Kit <br>Fits 41-45 MB, GPW
$1,529.99
Kit includes:
MB Trailer Assembly with Chassis
MB Trailer Eye Lunette
MB Trailer Leg Support
MB Trailer Draw Bar Bracket

Note:
Ships truck freight.
Requires undercarriage. (So it is just the tub, no axles or frame?>)

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