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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:29 pm 
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I got out the soldering iron today and fabricated an adaptor to connect the military trailer's 12 pole receptacle to my Jeep's 4 pole connector. My adaptor consists of a vehicle-side military receptacle and a trailer-side 4 pin adaptor (so I can just plug it into then existing vehicle-side 4 pin on my receiver hitch).

Image

Image

In case anyone would like to make one:
From Texas TT on FJcruiserforums:
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/trailers-towing-tech/118774-military-civilian-trailer-adapter.html

Civilian......Military.....Function
Green........J.............RH stop and turn
Yellow.......B.............LH stop and turn
Brown........E............Tail/Running lights
White........D & L.......Ground

I verified the above using the trailer's technical manual, downloaded at:
http://www.hummerknowledgebase.com/acc/m101a.pdf
I used D for the ground, after looking at the wiring diagram in the technical manual.

I don't have a pic yet of this on the Jeep, as it is too dark out. I will snap a photo tomorrow. The pintle hitch looks badass in the Jeep's receiver.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:37 pm 
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Bmxer524 wrote:
I haven't checked out the other site yet, and late to the party(I know :dead: ), but I can't wait to see how this comes out. Pintle hitches are great for heavy duty purposes, and I'm pretty sure the military tailors are set up for them already.

Are you planning on swapping out the 37s? It's a military tire, so it should be a 16.5" rim, correct? I know you could probably sell them off if they're in good shape. Then it might pay off to try and swap the bolt pattern to line up with the Jeep(extra full size spare or 2...) Might also free up space and let you rework the wheel wells for more room.

Hi Bmxer! For now, I'm planning on keeping the military axle and tires, and I'll see how well it works in its current configuration. The trailer has surge brakes, as well as manual parking brakes, which I would lose if I swapped the axle for something else. Also, if I went for 30.5 inch tires to match the Jeep, I'd have to cut and shorten the fold-down stabilizer feet that are on the front and rear of the trailer so it would sit level when parked. That is not to say I might not eventually go that route. It would be cool to be able to swap tires with the Jeep if they all matched. Somehow I'd also have to convert from 8 lugs to 5 on 4.5... Either a new axle or Spidertrax, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:36 pm 
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I think most go from 5 lug to 6-8 lug. It might be hard to find an 8 to 5 lug. I don't think spidertrax makes one. It might have to be custom. Or as you said, swap in a new axle. You might be able to swap surge brakes onto an axle, but I think electric would just make life easier(both axle swap purposes and ease of driving, ie reverse).

When do you pick it up? I saw on the other site you mentioned having to get it in 10 days from the end of the auction.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:21 pm 
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The trailer I bought at government auction, it turns out, is parked in a highly secure installation in Virginia. That means I need security clearance to go pick it up, which puts project on pause for another week. Next step is a criminal background check! :shock: They will waive the storage fee while we get this sorted out.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:19 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
The trailer I bought at government auction, it turns out, is parked in a highly secure installation in Virginia. That means I need security clearance to go pick it up, which puts project on pause for another week. Next step is a criminal background check! :shock: They will waive the storage fee while we get this sorted out.

Couldn't they just tow the thing to the front gate when you show up to get it?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:00 am 
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profdlp wrote:
lfhoward wrote:
The trailer I bought at government auction, it turns out, is parked in a highly secure installation in Virginia. That means I need security clearance to go pick it up, which puts project on pause for another week. Next step is a criminal background check! :shock: They will waive the storage fee while we get this sorted out.

Couldn't they just tow the thing to the front gate when you show up to get it?


No way. Didn't you know that Lauren guy can't be trusted? :jester: God knows what he's done before getting into the Liberty life lol

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:13 pm 
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Well, I finally have my trailer! I drove down to the Navy Yard at Portsmouth, VA t pick it up, and then towed it back to PA. I stopped first at a Virginia DMV to get a "Prospective Purchaser's Trip Permit" for $5, which was good for three days. The next step is to get it registered. Pennsylvania has some interesting hoops to jump through for registering trailers, so I'm not sure whether I will end up with PA or Maine plates. (Non-residents can register utility trailers in ME for very little $$, which is why so many semi trailers have permanent ME plates.)

Here is the KK towing the new (to me) 1991 M116A3 generator trailer.
Image

Another view:
Image

And a close-up of the pintle hitch and military electrical hookup:
Image

It towed quite nicely, except for a vibration at 57-62 mph. I just drove 55, 65, or 70, depending on the speed limit. I bet the vibration comes from having imperfectly balanced military tires (which are 37's I believe!), and an unloaded trailer.

The electrical worked great too. All I needed to do was to swap out the military 24 volt bulbs for civillian 12 volt bulbs (which required only a screwdriver).

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:20 pm 
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That looks great! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:59 pm 
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profdlp wrote:
That looks great! :D

Thanks! :twisted: Can't wait to mod it.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 2:10 pm 
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There has been progress!

All of the holes in the deck are filled. Well, they will be soon. :D
Image

I replaced the front support leg with one that has a built-in jack.
1991-era front support leg:
Image

Newer adjustable support leg with built-in jack; It was a direct swap:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 2:14 pm 
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After taking into account the great advice from folks on the Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers forum (http://www.tnttt.com), and my own wants & needs for a trailer, here is the near-final mockup of the trailer. I need a camping trailer that can easily convert to haul cargo, but that is also off-road capable. The gross trailer weight should be under control because I am using a sandwich of 1/4 plywood and 1x2's/1x3's, rather than 2x4 wall studs. The walls and ceiling will be insulated, and I plan to use a gym mat over the metal floor.

Image

Image

The trailer cabin is 5 feet tall, so headroom will no longer be an issue. The footprint is 8 feet long and 6 feet wide, taking advantage of the full dimensions of the trailer chassis. This gives me room for a queen mattress as well as a portable air conditioner or heater. Interior space is maximized by moving the storage / battery compartment from the front of the trailer to the sides. There will be two utility cabinets up front with outside access (for battery, charger, tools, etc.) and two storage cubbies in the rear with interior access.

Image

The interior will have two benches that run the length of the trailer. These benches can be converted into a bed by laying boards across, from side to side, or possibly by folding a bed frame down from the side walls (I will work that one out later). There will be 1 foot of room under the bed for storage, and I could build a corner cabinet on the right side to match the air conditioner in the corner on the left.

I am looking at having 4 windows, 15 inches tall x 30 long, and a Fantastic Vent fan. The rear door will be hinged on the right side. The front window will have a protective awning that covers it while driving.

Am I forgetting anything? Thanks! It is almost time to let the sawdust fly.
Lauren

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M116A3 Trailer build thread: viewtopic.php?f=72&t=77997


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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 2:33 pm 
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I really like where you're going with this. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 6:00 pm 
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It's going to be a nice camper. Did you have any trouble with Title & tags in PA? I was told 4-6 weeks after jumping through the hoops.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 8:30 pm 
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John3:17 wrote:
It's going to be a nice camper. Did you have any trouble with Title & tags in PA? I was told 4-6 weeks after jumping through the hoops.

Thanks, John & Prof.
No trouble registering and titling the trailer in PA. The auto tags place knew what to do, and I had all the necessary paperwork from the military to give them as well as a bill of sale. They gave me a plate and temporary registration on the spot. I applied to Harrisburg for a title and it came in the mail within 2 weeks, along with a registration sticker. Later, I wired up side marker lights (which the trailer lacked) and got it inspected. It was a regular trailer inspection, not one of the more expensive enhanced inspections that are needed when assembling a new trailer from a kit. Definitely more expensive than a Maine out of state registration all told, but I am glad to have PA plates to match my Jeep.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 11:12 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
John3:17 wrote:
It's going to be a nice camper. Did you have any trouble with Title & tags in PA? I was told 4-6 weeks after jumping through the hoops.

Thanks, John & Prof.
No trouble registering and titling the trailer in PA. The auto tags place knew what to do, and I had all the necessary paperwork from the military to give them as well as a bill of sale. They gave me a plate and temporary registration on the spot. I applied to Harrisburg for a title and it came in the mail within 2 weeks, along with a registration sticker. Later, I wired up side marker lights (which the trailer lacked) and got it inspected. It was a regular trailer inspection, not one of the more expensive enhanced inspections that are needed when assembling a new trailer from a kit. Definitely more expensive than a Maine out of state registration all told, but I am glad to have PA plates to match my Jeep.


Nice! They ran me through the new construction. $100 inspection etc. etc. new vin tag, title and tags were another $160 +. Mine didn't have a title as it was never registered, all that I had was a bill of sale. Glad your on the road . Looking forward to more pics. I wanted to build a teardrop but the wife said she wouldn't sleep in one of those little things! :ROTFL:

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 12:04 am 
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John3:17 wrote:
...I wanted to build a teardrop but the wife said she wouldn't sleep in one of those little things! :ROTFL:

You sure it wasn't that she wouldn't sleep in one of those little things with you? :SOMBRERO:

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 1:13 am 
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profdlp wrote:
John3:17 wrote:
...I wanted to build a teardrop but the wife said she wouldn't sleep in one of those little things! :ROTFL:

You sure it wasn't that she wouldn't sleep in one of those little things with you? :SOMBRERO:

Just had to go there didn't ya? :SOMBRERO: Yes on the with me! Some kind of a noise issue something about reverberation and the walls rattling. :ROTFL:

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 2:41 am 
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Watch ya gonna nickname that thing? The Dutch Oven? :goink:

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:04 pm 
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Well, I finally created some sawdust this weekend! I built the wooden foundation/sills that my walls will be built on. The sills are bolted to the steel trailer deck with 22, grade 5, 3/8 diameter bolts, washers, and lock nuts. (Probably overkill, but I am ok with that. The sills are on temporarily, as I will take them off and waterproof seal underneath when the wall is all constructed and ready to reattach for good.)

A closeup of the bolts.
Image

I left 1/4 inch margins for the exterior plywood, which will come right down to the steel deck over the outside of the wall sills.
Image

I drilled out the wood to lay flat over the ridges in the steel deck.
Image

The big picture as of today.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:17 pm 
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not sure if you've gotten this far, but as far as insulation goes, ridged foam board is your best bet versus bat insulation. its lighter by far and has superior insulation properties. for the electrical compartments, DO NOT insulate them! regardless of battery type and electrical low and high temp capacity. just the living space needs the insulation.

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