M116A3 Build

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

Re: M116A3 Build

Postby S. Heisley » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:47 am

KCStudly wrote:I think it is reality check time. If you think the radio shack will fit your long range goal/needs and will get you where you want to be quicker and for less money, then it should be an obvious choice.

If you think that it is a compromise to what you really want, or is just a stop gap measure that will distract you from your true end goal, then I would think that you should just focus on the plan and not get distracted.

Like I said, reality check. Do you have what it takes to see the original plan thru and will you not ever truly be satisfied unless you follow that path, or is having shelter and getting it done quickly more important to you?

Speaking from the perspective of someone who has over 3 years in designing and building my vision, sometimes I wish I had kept things simple. On the other hand, when I look at where I am now in my build I wouldn't change much.

I know this probably sounds wishy-washy and doesn't help you decide much, but it is not an easy choice to make. Consider wisely, grasshopper.


:thumbsup: ...Good advice. Personally, I would want more than a military box; but, that's me, not you.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:14 am

Thanks KC and Sharon.

Good advice. I have been thinking to over and actually... The enjoyment I get from building things myself is a big reason why I wanted to make a TTT in the first place. Thanks for the reminder. While using a prefabbed shelter seemed like a good idea to me yesterday, I don't think it would be nearly as satisfying as building the trailer shell myself. And KC is right that if I build it myself I can make it exactly the way I want, rather than having to settle for the design of the premade military shelter, which has some drawbacks.

Ok, so I am back on task. :) Thank you!
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 KCStudly » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:39 am

Your are welcome, but you may curse me later, and I'm okay with that. :D
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My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:05 pm

Bondo-in' holes...

19 down, 5 more to go. (9 more at the time of this photo)

Quitting for the day.

Image
Last edited by lfhoward on Sun May 13, 2018 2:43 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 lfhoward » Fri May 01, 2015 9:11 pm

Today I picked up a front support leg for my trailer that has a jack incorporated into it. This will make hitching and unhitching the trailer from the Jeep easier, as well as helping to level it out when it's parked on uneven ground. My trailer came with a non-adjustable leg of a fixed length, which just swings down and locks into position. This new leg is an OEM upgrade that comes on newer M101's and 116's, and is a direct swap for the old one. I got the part from Eastern Military Surplus in Philly. http://www.easternsurplus.net I considered using a civilian bolt-on jack, but with the lunette (hitch ring) sitting at 25 inches, none were really tall enough to get the job done. Pics tomorrow.
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 » Sat May 02, 2015 12:28 pm

1991-era front support leg:
Image

Newer adjustable support leg with built-in jack:
Image

Side by side for comparison:
Image

Installed. It is a direct swap:
Image
Last edited by lfhoward on Sun May 13, 2018 2:44 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 S. Heisley » Sun May 03, 2015 4:06 pm

You may ultimately find that you will be happier with a wheelie jack. Wheelie jacks make small moving adjustments so-o-o-o very much easier.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Tue May 05, 2015 11:30 am

After taking into account the great advice on here, 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, and it will be insulated. I am using Steve Frederick's rabbiting method for the roof.

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
Last edited by lfhoward on Sun May 13, 2018 2:44 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 KCStudly » Tue May 05, 2015 2:19 pm

I like it. I would advise that you work out the bed details now; it is a lot easier to change electrons on a screen that it is to change wood... cheaper, too.

This actually parallels my thoughts for a 2nd build very closely. However, your benches look to be a little too narrow to be comfortable. With a straight back and no pitch to the seating surface you will probably want a little more seat for slouching and lumbar pillow allowance. If in doubt, do a mock-up.
Last edited by KCStudly on Wed May 06, 2015 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

Poet Creek Or Bust
Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
TnTTT ORIGINAL 200A LANTERN CLUB = "The 200A Gang"
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed May 06, 2015 2:14 pm

You've got me thinking again. Time to measure the height and depth of a comfortable chair...

I was using the term "benches" loosely, as I was originally thinking of simply enclosing the utility cabinets, covering the wheel wells, and creating a platform to support bed rails all at the same time. I had in mind maximizing floor space and cargo space inside the trailer. But now, you have me thinking, why not make them comfortable to sit on too? Got to take some measurements to see how much of a trade-off I am looking at with the loss of floor space and headroom above the bed if I do go the route of making the benches taller and deeper...

My folding bed idea is to have approx. 3-foot wide by 5-foot long 3/4 plywood boards hinged along where the benches meet the wall. When using the trailer for cargo, the plywood could fold up along the walls and be secured in place. When a bed is needed for camping, they could fold down flat over the benches and meet in the center of the trailer, supported there by legs that fold down to the floor. Because of the angled roof in the front interfering with the folding up of rectangular side boards, a third 1.5-foot plywood section that folds up against the front wall would complete the bed frame. Thus, the bed frame would be composed of three folding sections.
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 KCStudly » Wed May 06, 2015 2:53 pm

As I was reading your last post about wanting to maximize cargo space in cargo mode I was having the same thoughts as you, then I read them. Deja vu.

How about a variation? Have the swing down platforms be the comfortable bench length, perhaps with another hinged block underneath that props them up a bit and gives them some tilt back; then in bed mode fold the small blocks up out of the way so the seat base lays flat; then add a filler piece (or pieces) that lock into or rest on the edge of the seat bases and make up the platform for the bed. If you did it right you could store the bed panels (with cushions) hanging on the wall behind the bench, maybe even with a little slope to them so that they can double as a seat back.

You might even be able to conjure up a design like a futon (where the seat and back slide down and out flat), but make it so the seat can also fold up no wider than the fender base cabinet to clear the cargo bay. If need be have a prop leg that folds down at the center and a cleat on the center of the front wall to support the parting line down the middle when in bed mode.
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My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

Poet Creek Or Bust
Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
TnTTT ORIGINAL 200A LANTERN CLUB = "The 200A Gang"
Green Lantern Corpsmen
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:39 pm

M116A3 Update:

This project must be happening! I ordered windows, trim, door latches and hinges, batteries, a fantastic fan, and some other goodies. Stuff should begin arriving this coming week! :thumbsup:

The holes in the steel deck are filled and painted, so the chassis is ready to be built on.

Next is a trip to Home Depot for some wood.

Unfortunately I am in physical therapy right now to treat a painful overuse injury to my dominant elbow... So the building part might be slow for a bit until that injury heals. I don't think I can lift 4x8 plywood sheets very easily right now. But, I can probably work with 1x3's to put together the wall skeletons in the meantime.

Questions about fastening wall sills down to the trailer deck:
How beefy should the bolts be that hold the wall sills to the deck? Any particular grade?
And do you recommend stainless or zinc plated bolts & lock nuts or does it matter?
Finally, how many would do the trick? A bolt every foot, or every 2-3 feet along the sill?

Thanks a lot! :D
Last edited by lfhoward on Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:50 pm, edited 1 time 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 noseoil » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:49 pm

Here's the info I used for mine. Basically, a 1/4" grade 2 bolt (cheap) has about a 2000# shear value, so 4 would be 8000#. A 5/16" bolt jumps up to 3400# (what I used on my build). Think of shear as cutting with scissors, so a bolt to the frame gives that much strength. I have more than 4 on my 5' X 9' build, plenty.

https://www.nucor-fastener.com/Files/PD ... rength.pdf
Build log: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=60248
The time you spend planning is more important than the time you spend building.........

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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby aggie79 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:59 pm

I like your design. The 6' width really gives you some options for storage and layout.

lfhoward wrote:You've got me thinking again. Time to measure the height and depth of a comfortable chair...

I was using the term "benches" loosely, as I was originally thinking of simply enclosing the utility cabinets, covering the wheel wells, and creating a platform to support bed rails all at the same time. I had in mind maximizing floor space and cargo space inside the trailer. But now, you have me thinking, why not make them comfortable to sit on too? Got to take some measurements to see how much of a trade-off I am looking at with the loss of floor space and headroom above the bed if I do go the route of making the benches taller and deeper...

My folding bed idea is to have approx. 3-foot wide by 5-foot long 3/4 plywood boards hinged along where the benches meet the wall. When using the trailer for cargo, the plywood could fold up along the walls and be secured in place. When a bed is needed for camping, they could fold down flat over the benches and meet in the center of the trailer, supported there by legs that fold down to the floor. Because of the angled roof in the front interfering with the folding up of rectangular side boards, a third 1.5-foot plywood section that folds up against the front wall would complete the bed frame. Thus, the bed frame would be composed of three folding sections.


I'd recommending testing the 3/4" plywood for a bed platform. Even at 5' length, I think you will get too much sag/deflection.

For few ideas, take a look at Dale's Squidget with the tri-fold bench, that pulls out to make a gaucho bed.
http://www.thesquidget.com/gallery.html

Here's another way that gaucho sofa/beds were made:
http://vintageairstream.com/sofa-beds-gauchos/
Tom (& Linda)
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:41 pm

noseoil wrote:Here's the info I used for mine. Basically, a 1/4" grade 2 bolt (cheap) has about a 2000# shear value, so 4 would be 8000#. A 5/16" bolt jumps up to 3400# (what I used on my build). Think of shear as cutting with scissors, so a bolt to the frame gives that much strength. I have more than 4 on my 5' X 9' build, plenty.

https://www.nucor-fastener.com/Files/PD ... rength.pdf

Thanks for the info! I guess it needs fewer fasteners than I was originally thinking. This is good, as I was not looking forward to drilling that many holes in the 1/8" thick steel deck!
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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