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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:42 am 
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Don't they have a sealer tape for installing under RV vent covers?

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:47 am 
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lfhoward wrote:
The only other waterproofing measure I can think of is to remove all the exterior screws, shoot Sikaflex caulk into the holes, then reinstall the screws. The screw holes didn't get this treatment before, although screws usually went into the wood through a line of caulk sealer under the aluminum. Overkill? I may do it just for peace of mind.
Also, can anyone recommend a good waterproof sealer tape for under my solar panel rails? I want to make sure the places where I bolt my solar panel to the roof is good and watertight also. Are there best practices for sealing bolt holes for roof-mounted equipment like solar panels?
Thanks all!

Have you ever considered using the specialized sheet metal roofing screws, the ones with the small convex metal washers with rubber seals? They come in different colors and lengths, are designed to screw into a wood base and do a great job of sealing when used on metal roofs... :idea: see picture:

Another excellent sealer used on campers and mobile home construction is Butyl RV Putty Tape, (nickname: "dumb dumb") it comes in rolls of different widths, never fully hardens, remains pliable and is an excellent sealer. I have used it on several upgrades and replacement projects on my travel trailer.... :wink:
It is available at most builder supply centers like Lowes & Home Depot and on line at: >http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/Butyl-Putty-Tape-p/vts-419.htm

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:24 am 
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Thanks for the ideas. I actually used butyl tape under the roof edge moldings, which worked great in that application. I'm worried if I put it under the solar panel feet, the weight of the panel will compress the butyl tape over time leading to loose bolts, movement, and possible leaks. I'm looking for something thinner, relatively non compressible, and waterproof. Currently I'm entertaining the idea of using 3M automotive exterior molding tape under the panel rails/feet, bolting them down through the tape and the roof, and slathering the whole thing with Sikaflex caulk.

I had about an hour to work on it today, so i measured, cut out, and installed some more foam insulation pieces that go between the beams in the ceiling. Chipping away little by little... hoping to do some winter camping in December.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:33 am 
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I would use Dicor sealer to put over all the screws in the roof. That's what my RV dealer used when they installed my solar panel. He said you need to check once per year to see if you need to add more. Once a year is a little overkill, but it will greatly reduce the chances of leaks. As for screw holes elsewhere, I'm not sure what to tell you. There are very few screw holes on a RV. RV manufactures try to make it seamless as much as possible with very little need for screws. When there is a screw holding a latch, etc., the screw is usually recessed and the latch is heavy caulked.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:01 pm 
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Thanks Diesel. I've never owned an RV or had an opportunity to poke around on one's roof, so this is good info. I read many threads on RVing forums comparing Dicor with Sikaflex and it looks like both companies make versions that are self leveling as well as firm. It seems like the Sikaflex 221 I have should be comparable to Dicor in terms of quality. I will definitely cover over the roof screws with that. Thanks for the suggestion.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:39 pm 
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Dicor is amazing stuff. It doesn't have the neatest application or the cleanest appearance, but it seals and seals very well. Even in my harsh environment, it holds up to the UV rays and extreme temperatures pretty well. It's when you see Dicor start to develop cracks is when you need reapply the product. The professionals say never remove the old stuff, just keep covering the old sealant with the new sealant. Besides windows and storage hatches, there are very little holes in the side of an RV. On top, I have several holes (A/C unit, two fantastic fans, two skylights, bathroom exhaust, antenna, solar panel brackets, and roof rack with ladder).

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:24 am 
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Great job on the build. Can't wait to see it person someday
Been following along but don't think I ever posted

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Thanks Tom! It's nice to know you are following.

The day before Thanksgiving I wired up a 12 volt power outlet near the back door for easy phone-charging without having to climb inside.

Today I did about 4 hours of driving with the trailer, two trips back and forth to NJ to pick up a bedroom set for my sister in law. The trailer handled really well even fully loaded. The first trip we picked up the dressers & end tables and the second trip we got the box spring, mattress, a big mirror, and the bed rails. :JEEPIN:

Thinking ahead to needed maintenance, a few things are going to need attention.

1) I should lube the bushings in the leaf springs (they have grease zerks) because the trailer suspension creaks quite a bit going down the road.

2) The trailer brakes work great but the shock absorber in the surge brake housing is blown. This means there is quite a clunk when I first put the Jeep's brakes on, or when I take off from a dead stop. Here's the link to the replacement shock ($79.95), so I don't forget: http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Toledo/1844-2.html?feed=npn&gclid=CKWou66ZxdACFZZMDQodHyoONA
Image

3) I'd like to replace the master cylinder filler top, which currently has an ugly rubber breather hose, with a simple metal cap. The military used different versions of the cap, some with hoses and some without. I found one on eBay for $25. http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/131790159456?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
Image

4) I have a set of used A/T tires I want to swap on, because the ones I have on there now have very little tread left. The new-to-me tires have been sitting next to the shed under a tarp since summer, but it would be nice to have the extra traction on the trailer before the snow flies.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:28 pm 
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Today I got around to some much needed maintenance.

1. The bald tires are being swapped for some used A/T's that have a bit more tread. Just in time for the first snow flurries today!
Image

2. I got to work changing out that shock absorber in the surge brake housing. The shock is for Toledo brake actuators and is available on E-trailer.com.
Image

Here's a closer look at all the parts that had to come off. E-trailer has a good video of how to make the swap.
Image

What a difference! The old shock was indeed blown.
Image

3. I also ordered a cap to replace this:
Image

The vent hose has seen better days.
Image

The cap I ordered, from an Ebay seller:
Image

4. Here is the big surprise of the day:
Image

Yes, that is the inside of the master cylinder.
Yes, there is no brake fluid.
Yes, that's a ton of rust.

How do "the brakes work great," you ask? Must be my Jeep's brakes work great! This trailer hasn't stopped under its own power in years!

Sigh. Well, I think I have a complete rebuild ahead. Or an axle swap. I actually prefer to keep the trailer as stock as I can, because the Army builds them tough. I also like having the hand brakes there for parking.

Option 1: Rebuild.
The master cylinder will need replacing, and I'm sure the wheel cylinders will as well. Most likely the brake line has interior rust too, so I might need to remake that too. The military Technical Manual has all of the measurements and angles for making replacement brake lines, so it wouldn't be making it by trial and error. I've made double flared brake lines before, and have the tools to do that, so it isn't a deal killer. While I'm at it I might as well do the wheel bearings too and check the brake shoes. (I'm guessing the brake shoes are fine because the manual parking brakes DO work really well.) This could be a fun little (big) project.

Option 2: Axle Swap.
If there was ever a chance to swap to a Dexter axle with electric brakes, this is it.
Pros: weight savings, could get 5-lug hubs that match the tow vehicle
Cons: I'll lose the parking brakes, I still need a 1-1/2 ton axle, need to re-wire my Jeep with a brake controller and 7-pin wire harness, need new wheels and tires on the trailer
This is probably the more expensive option, although I haven't priced it out yet to compare.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:29 am 
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I'm going to post these links here so I don't lose them. I've been searching over on SteelSoldiers and elsewhere to locate civilian equivalent part numbers for the brakes and bearings on my M116A3 military trailer and have a half a dozen threads saved. Useful links that apply to the M101/M116 trailer are condensed below:

Download of the M101/M116 trailer technical manual:
http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?119178-TM-9-2330-202-13P-M101-Trailer-Dec-30-2011-revision

Toledo Surge Brake Actuator:
Shock absorber: http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Toledo/1844-2.html
Master cylinder: http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Toledo/10614.html
Pivot shaft: http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Toledo/1829.html
Pivot bushing: http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Toledo/1745.html
Push rod kit: http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Toledo/34850590.html
Complete Toledo Actuator assembly: http://www.etrailer.com/A-Frame-Trailer-Coupler/Toledo/16039.html

Brakes:
RH wheel cylinder: http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Redline/BP17-020.html
LH wheel cylinder: http://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Redline/BP17-030.html
Brake shoes: http://www.etrailer.com/p-BP04-160/12-x-2-Hydraulic-Trailer-Brake-Shoe-and-Lining-One-Wheel.html
RH complete brake assembly (without parking brake): http://www.etrailer.com/p-23510.html
LH complete brake assembly (without parking brake): http://www.etrailer.com/p-23510.html

Bearings:
Inner bearing: http://www.etrailer.com/p-25580.html
Inner race: http://www.etrailer.com/p-25520.html
Outer bearing: http://www.etrailer.com/p-2585.html
Outer race: http://www.etrailer.com/p-2520.html
Seals:http://www.etrailer.com/p-RG06-070.html

Timken part numbers for bearings:
Inner Bearing 25580
Inner Race 25520
Outer Bearing 2585
Outer Race 2520
Grease seal 10-36 (double Lip)

Many thanks to the following posters on SteelSoldiers.com for the above info:
ncdeerejeep
xonetruthcrewx
swbradley1
juanprado

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:30 am 
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Some advise; if you decide to do an axle swap, strongly consider a Torflex or Flexiride type axle suspension.
Having owned several travel trailers with leaf springs and the current 30 footer having the Flexride axle system, I can attest to the huge difference between the two types of suspensions. With the leaf spring type, items get bounced around in the camper while with the Flexride, items do not hardly ever even move. With the latter, we have even left items setting on the table and counters while in transit and they stay in place; could not ever do this with the leaf spring trailers. :roll:

I was totally amazed at what a difference they make!!!
If I were to purchase newer camper, I would not even consider it if it did not have the Torflex or Flexiride systems... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:38 pm 
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Thanks for the recommendation, WWDiesel. I'll look into the Flexride axles if I decide to go the route of an axle swap.

I got the new shoes on the trailer today.

Image

These treads will be better in winter conditions than the nearly bald tires that were on it before.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:03 am 
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Did you want to keep the surge brake? Or are the parking brakes the only perk of the factory axle(aside from durability and cost)?

Obviously matching lug pattern is a HUGE pro for an aftermarket axle. It allows you to run matching tires and wheels and easily keep an extra spare or two. Idk much about trailer axles, is it possible to add a parking brake to a newer axle with electric brakes?

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:17 pm 
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Bmxer524 wrote:
Did you want to keep the surge brake? Or are the parking brakes the only perk of the factory axle(aside from durability and cost)?

I am leaning towards keeping the military axle and repairing the surge brakes. I like how overbuilt and tough it is. This is a bada$$ trailer in its current military configuration! I do like to be able to turn on the manual parking brakes because it makes camping, hitching, and unhitching easier especially on terrain that isn't totally flat. I also only have a flat four electrical hookup in my Jeep, so if I went to a new axle with electric brakes I would need to upgrade to the 7 pin and add a brake controller too. So we're definitely getting into $$ there for the tow vehicle as well as the trailer.

Bmxer524 wrote:
Obviously matching lug pattern is a HUGE pro for an aftermarket axle. It allows you to run matching tires and wheels and easily keep an extra spare or two. Idk much about trailer axles, is it possible to add a parking brake to a newer axle with electric brakes?

I know! It would be great to have 5 on 4.5 lug pattern so I could run a pair of KK rims with Duratracs back there. And my Jeep spare tire would cover the trailer too. (Right now I keep an 8-lug spare under the bed in the trailer, which does use up cargo room. In the summer I had it on the Jeep's roof, which ate into my fuel mileage.)

I'm sure there is a 3500# axle out there with electric brakes and parking brakes, but it depends on how much I am willing to spend. It's looking like I can get parts for repairing the surge brake system for about $350, which would be hard to beat if I were to replace the axle and go to electric brakes. $350 would get me an axle kit, but I'd also need a new coupler/pintle, new wheels and tires, a brake controller, and 7-pin... Yup, leaning toward surge brakes!

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:18 pm 
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My first experience winter camping was very chilly because the heat stratified-- the top foot up by the roof was super hot, but it was really cold down by the mattress. Airflow is needed! (And I didn't want to run my ceiling fan because that would have been way overkill, either drawing outside cold air in or blowing all the warm air out.)

Here's my idea: Use a pair of 6" audio/visual cabinet fans (basically big computer fans) to create air circulation in the trailer when the ceiling fan is not running. That should mix up the heat so that some of it blows down to sleeping level.

A sketch:
Image

On the top is a schematic of how things are now.
Beneath that is a side view and a front view of a little book/glasses/iPhone shelf that I could build up above the front windows. It would have a cabinet fan integrated on each side to blow warm air from the ceiling area down.
On the bottom is a 3D view looking towards the front of the trailer.

The fans I am looking at are only 23 decibels (quiet enough for audio/visual cabinets) and move 52 cubic feet per minute of air. My trailer is 8x6 so that's roughly circulating the entire top two feet of air (out of 4 total) every minute. That seems more than enough. They are also 5V USB and take 0.3 amps, which is a pretty low draw. They also have 3 speeds that can be manually adjusted.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:54 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
My first experience winter camping was very chilly because the heat stratified-- the top foot up by the roof was super hot, but it was really cold down by the mattress. Airflow is needed! (And I didn't want to run my ceiling fan because that would have been way overkill, either drawing outside cold air in or blowing all the warm air out.)

Here's my idea: Use a pair of 6" audio/visual cabinet fans (basically big computer fans) to create air circulation in the trailer when the ceiling fan is not running. That should mix up the heat so that some of it blows down to sleeping level.

A sketch:
Image

On the top is a schematic of how things are now.
Beneath that is a side view and a front view of a little book/glasses/iPhone shelf that I could build up above the front windows. It would have a cabinet fan integrated on each side to blow warm air from the ceiling area down.
On the bottom is a 3D view looking towards the front of the trailer.

The fans I am looking at are only 23 decibels (quiet enough for audio/visual cabinets) and move 52 cubic feet per minute of air. My trailer is 8x6 so that's roughly circulating the entire top two feet of air (out of 4 total) every minute. That seems more than enough. They are also 5V USB and take 0.3 amps, which is a pretty low draw. They also have 3 speeds that can be manually adjusted.

Image


You could make a small return air duct running from ceiling to floor with one of those small fans either pushing or pulling.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:33 pm 
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John3:17 wrote:
You could make a small return air duct running from ceiling to floor with one of those small fans either pushing or pulling.

That's an interesting idea. I may design that into my next build! I'm not sure of a good place to build a ceiling-to-floor air duct in this trailer because the interior is mostly finished and the places where I would put a duct are interrupted by electrical raceways and shelving units.

Wish it weren't as cold outside! I want to go out and work on it but the idea of freezing my toes off is keeping me indoors. :-) I have some more cedar paneling to install on the interior as well as birch plywood on the ceiling. And I want to build the computer fan/shelf unit I diagrammed above.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:56 am 
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Great progress man!

My brake actuator shaft was bent in half when I recieved it. Im swaping in an electric over hydraulic actuator. The surge breaks really dont do much unless the trailer is really loaded down. Plus you get to keep the parking breaks and have the option of higher break control on and off road. You certianly have the right idea with staying stock as once you swap in another part, thats the weakest link in the trailer. Besides the surge breaks. They do suck.

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Finally finished scrubbing off the sticky goo on the roof!!!!

Image

I also ordered a small electric baseboard heater and thermostat for when I'm connected to 120VAC shore power. It's 750 watts so it should keep things nice and toasty warm inside for a 4 day camping trip I'm doing at the end of February.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: M116A3 off-road camper build
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:15 pm 
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Today I have heat in my camper!

It's a Cadet 750 watt, 120 volt AC unit that I installed at the base of the back door.
Image

The heater and thermostat are made in USA. It's a high quality unit.
Image

The cord is a 14 gauge tool cord that plugs into an outlet inside the trailer. It matches the AWG of the heater wires and of the 120VAC of the trailer itself. There is a 15 amp fuse and GFCI upstream of the heater, where all the electrical enters into the trailer from shore power.
Image

There is still plenty of sitting room and space for safety between the heater and the foot of the bed.
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I'm hoping that the heat stratification issues I had with the space heater on the shelf will be less with this new heater. It heats by convection but it starts heating a lot lower in the cabin, near floor level. I think if the heat needed to move around more, I could always put a fan on this shelf to circulate the air around.
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Looking forward to trying a field test of the new heating system before my 4 day camping trip at the end of February. :D

_________________
2008 Liberty Sport 4x4 Automatic
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Jeepin By Al 4" Lift Kit
Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs 245/75/R16
Full MOPAR skid plates
Rock Lizard Skink Super Sliders
AtTheHelm Front Recovery System

Trailer build thread: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=77997


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