M116A3 Build

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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby Da'engineer » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:05 am

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:



what base is it on? I know some people based at Langely air force base.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby titanpat57 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:37 am

Hi...glad my build was a help to you.

Just a few observations.

That trailer in its present state, will be immense behind your Jeep. The first thing I would do is cut off all the military crap (axle, hummer wheels, surge brake, axle, lights, etc.) and start fresh. I'd also get rid of those flares and get the right size axle to try to match the the Jeep axle width. Sell all the parts on Steel Soliders. You'll see what I mean once you get it hooked up...take it slow on the way home.

Hopefully that is an aluminum deck, but if it's not, and you don't get that on a diet, you're going to be looking at more like 2200-2500 lbs with your current design.

Good luck, Pat
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:51 am

Da'engineer 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:



what base is it on? I know some people based at Langely air force base.

It's in Portsmouth, VA, across the water from Norfolk. I think it's a Navy or Marines base, as a few of the trailer pics show "USMC" printed on the back of the trailer.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby Da'engineer » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:58 am

I wish i could be more of help but normally all you should have to do is call the person selling it and all they have to do is sponsor you onto base then they will give you a pass then you can drive on and do what you need to do
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:02 am

titanpat57 wrote:Hi...glad my build was a help to you.

Just a few observations.

That trailer in its present state, will be immense behind your Jeep. The first thing I would do is cut off all the military crap (axle, hummer wheels, surge brake, axle, lights, etc.) and start fresh. I'd also get rid of those flares and get the right size axle to try to match the the Jeep axle width. Sell all the parts on Steel Soliders. You'll see what I mean once you get it hooked up...take it slow on the way home.

Hopefully that is an aluminum deck, but if it's not, and you don't get that on a diet, you're going to be looking at more like 2200-2500 lbs with your current design.

Good luck, Pat

Thanks, Pat. It will be interesting to see the trailer once I pick it up, and see how well it actually tows. I am no longer planning on using 2x4's to frame the cabin, thanks to some good suggestions on here. I am planning instead to use 1x2's or 1x3's inside a 3/8 or 1/4 inch plywood sandwich for the walls and floor, with maybe a 5/8 ply for the floor. That should make it significantly lighter (and am not planning to have to support a rooftop tent). But yes, the trailer chassis itself is pretty heavy as is. I do want the trailer to be offroad-capable, so if I do end up swapping out the military axle and brakes, I'd want a good strong axle with shocks and electric brakes to replace it. And I can see how it would be good to have matching rims and tires to the Jeep on the trailer. I'd like the final trailer to be under 2000 lbs if possible.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:07 am

Da'engineer wrote:I wish i could be more of help but normally all you should have to do is call the person selling it and all they have to do is sponsor you onto base then they will give you a pass then you can drive on and do what you need to do

Yeah, GovPlanet said background checks are not usually needed, but this place where my trailer is parked is somehow "special." If I knew someone in the military with security clearance who would be willing to pick it up for me, that would speed up the process.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby Vedette » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:40 am

Sounds like a "Process"?? :shock:
Hope you got that trailer for $1.00 at auction. :roll:
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:31 pm

Yes, getting the trailer is turning out to be an adventure. But luckily I got a really good deal.

I revised the camper blueprint and want to see what you think. Please suggest improvements.

The floor, wall and ceiling skeletons will be built out of 1x3's and 1x2's. This will provide significant weight savings and 3/4 inches of interior space for foam insulation. The skeletons will support a sandwich of plywood on both sides, that will be glued in place. The interior floor and exterior roof will be 1/2 inch ply for strength, with 3/8 inch ply for the interior ceiling. The walls will have 1/4 inch ply on the outside and 3/8 inch ply on the inside. The camper box will be wide enough for a 60 inch width queen mattress on the inside, plus 2 inches to spare on each side. The length is 96 inches at the floor and 75 inches at the ceiling.

Image

Image
(Only floor and ceiling 1/2 inch plywood is shown; wall plywood is invisible in this view.)

Specific questions:
1. Should there be a bottom ply to the floor, or will the metal trailer floor suffice?
2. Is 1/2 inch ply a good width for the floor and roof? Does it need to be thicker or not? I would like to use the trailer for cargo also, and the roof may support a solar panel.
3. I use triangular pieces of wood in some corners for stability. Will that be enough?

Thanks!
Lauren
Last edited by lfhoward on Sun May 13, 2018 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lrrowe » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:04 pm

I suspect you are going to have one nice and bulletproof trailer there. A little on the heavy side, but should serve you very well.
Bob

First Post on Purchase of Trailer: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=60722
Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby KCStudly » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:40 pm

Is there a reason to have a wooden floor at all? Plug those holes in the floor and use automotive seam sealer to seal any metal seams. Screw your wall footers to the deck with sheet metal tech screws and PL. Why build up what is already there? If you want the floor insulated, investigate adding foam board under the deck, or slap some down on top; maybe those interlocking exercise mats. You could even slap some foam board down and put the exercise mats over that.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:13 pm

KCStudly wrote:Is there a reason to have a wooden floor at all? Plug those holes in the floor and use automotive seam sealer to seal any metal seams. Screw your wall footers to the deck with sheet metal tech screws and PL. Why build up what is already there? If you want the floor insulated, investigate adding foam board under the deck, or slap some down on top; maybe those interlocking exercise mats. You could even slap some foam board down and put the exercise mats over that.

The reason was for insulation, but your idea of foam board or exercise mats would take care of that. This is a good idea.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby skinnedknuckles » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:11 pm

Insulation is a good thing to have on top of the steel floor you would be surprised how much cold can come from that iron ( I have slept m105 trailers before and it can get mighty chilly ). Are you planning on using small brackets to attach the framing to the bed? If I decide to build a camper on a m105 I plan on just welding thin wall square tubing directly to the floor but I am also not concerned about weight, pulling it with a deuce and a half, you might want to look into small right angle bent brackets to attach wood to the steel deck. You may want to put this trailer on a diet, see what you can remove ,especially toward the rear. I like the idea that you have about swapping out the unsprung weight items ( wheels, tires and axle beam). You can go lighter here as the army has probably overbuilt these items to make the strength to load margin wide. Meaning that they build these things to carry quite a bit of weight off road with different driver styles off abuse ;) How about your tow vehicle, does the hitch bolt to a frame or is it unibody? Might want to make sure things are sturdy there too, while offroad things can get pulled ,twisted, banged every which way. I still think it is an interesting build. I know it was fun and frustrating trying to go thru the paperwork and waiting for along time for everything to be ok'ed in different states but it went pretty smoothly when I picked up my trucks, trailers, engines, etc. when things were being sold thru Govliquidation. If Govplanet wants to sell items they have to provide for pickup of said items once all the proper channels are satisfied, its all part of it. Back when I bought things thru Govliquidation you had papers to fill out and you could not have any blank spaces left, if it did not apply to you, you had to write not applicable ( not just N/A ) in the blanks otherwise it would be rejected. The same goes for pictures on your drivers license when you e-mailed them a copy, I had to get a new one just because it had a couple of scratches on it. But like I said once the proper channels are satisfied everything went smooth.
Have fun,
Paul
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:36 pm

KCStudly has pretty much convinced me I don't need a wood floor if I can lay some exercise mats on top of the metal floor for insulation. I was thinking of running horizontal wooden rails down the insides of the trailer walls that could hold up the bed boards. The bed boards could span the width of the trailer and hold up the IKEA mattress. There would be space under the bed to pack gear. The bed boards and mattress would also be removable if I wanted to use the trailer to transport cargo.

In terms of the process to pick it up, today I heard back from the contact person who will get my background check started. After I provide my information, it should take about 5 work days to come back, but then I would be able to schedule a pickup down at the base. I am looking forward to it.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:46 pm

I am thinking of building a tongue box to house a small air conditioning and heating unit, like this: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=26988&start=720

The "PetCool" unit the Silver Beatle used is designed for a doghouse but would be perfect for a tiny trailer. I like how it supplies air to and from the trailer using ductwork.

The extra weight of the HVAC unit on the tongue might also be helpful for stability, since the axle is dead center in the middle of the trailer chassis. I will also have batteries for DC power that will be located at the front of the trailer cabin, and provide a little weight at the forward end of the trailer. I am shooting for a 60:40 weight distribution, correct?
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:09 pm

skinnedknuckles wrote:How about your tow vehicle, does the hitch bolt to a frame or is it unibody? Might want to make sure things are sturdy there too, while offroad things can get pulled ,twisted, banged every which way.

Paul, I forgot to answer your questions about the tow vehicle. It's a Jeep Liberty, which is a unibody SUV with a solid rear axle. The 2 inch receiver hitch is rated for 5000 lbs with the tow package (which mine has).
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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