So I've been wanting a camp rig for quite a while now and I have been looking out for trailers that would be suitable. I wanted something that I could customize and build as my own. I was looking M101a's but all the ones I could find were pretty beat up or modified. In my research I came across the M1101's they were built for HMMWV. They only weigh 100 lbs. more than the M101's and are MUCH bigger. I kept watching govliquidation.com for upcoming auctions. I lost some that were close by. They went for way more than I wanted to pay (around $1200) I found these at Ft. Bliss, TX (500 miles away) I threw down a one time bid for $750 and let it go because I didn't want to get in to a bidding war. The auction ended with me winning this one for $660!!!! After buyers premium of 10% it ended up being exactly $726. It's a lot of trailer for that price. Fortunately I didn't have to apply for a EUC but I had to get it off the base in 10 days from the paid in full date. I looked into what I needed for recovery. This trailer was listed as very good condition (B code) but many people have showed up to get these and had issues with dragging brakes and wiring issues and tire problems so I packed up a bunch of tools, my air compressor, some zip ties, some temporary HF magnetic trailer lights, brand new pintle hitch, extra chain, and a couple locks for the hitch and headed the 425 miles down to El Paso (I live in Phoenix)
I was a little nervous about getting this trailer back because of the unknowns....Is it mechanically sound? Will the truck be able to pull it back?
I drive down the night before pick up day so I could be on base nice and early. Found the location of the yard. There was a huge yard full of trailers, trucks, and equipment all going for auction and it was kinda cool to walk around and look. I waited a 30 minutes for this guy to show up to work so he can direct me to my trailer. When he gets there, he leads me over to around 30 other M1101's. Some of them look pretty beat up. Even though I had seen pictures of the trailer I bought, I started getting a little nervous. We walked all the way to the end of the line and he points out my trailer..........It looks brand new and never used!!!! WooHoo! I pull it out by hand and it rolls easy, that's the first win. I get out my tools and go to work with all the checks and wiring the temporary lights. Everything looks brand new on it, even the tires. Ok now I'm excited. It hitches up just fine and off I went. Stopped by the Texas DMV and got a one-way registration so I could get it out of state. I got it back to my hotel and changed out the 24v bulbs in the rear to 12v. I started to pull out marker bulbs and realized that they are all LED's. This is awesome because they work just fine on 12V. Wired in something more permanent. All looks good for transport.
Now I had never pulled anything long distance with the Taco so this was going to be an adventure. I wake up early the next morning with a headache from being out in the sun and dehydrated from going through this trailer all day. I walk out the door and the wind is absolutely obnoxious. We're talking about 30 MPH with 40-50 MPH gusts. To make it worse, it's a headwind. I prepped for the worst and hit the road. So this trailer pulls beautifully. Even with all the headwinds, crosswinds, and dust storms, it always felt solid. The truck easily did 65-70 with the winds pushing back. All fears relieved. 160 miles later I filled up the tank for 10.5 MPG. Not too bad considering the re-cock-u-lous head wind. After crossing the New Mexico border the winds calmed down and I just cruised at 75 and if I didn't watch it I was doing 85. Trailer felt solid and I almost forgot it's back there. Next tank got me 13.5 MPG. That's not too bad considering 75 MPH with a trailer in tow. So I'm home safe and the trailer definitely gets attention. I've already had a few of the neighbors stop by to ask questions.
I took it this AM to get it titled and registered. The MVD had no idea what to do with it. We finally decided that I need to get an SF-97 form from the government stating the release of ownership. It takes 30 days. So I asked them what I do since I drove it here? They inspect it, applied an Arizona VIN plate to the trailer and gave me a 90 day registration. When I get the paperwork, I can go back and get the title and permanent registration.
So future plans are:
1. Telescoping rack for a RTT
2. 20gal. water tank with pump.
3. A couple deep cycle batteries.
4. Propane bottle and lines run for a gas stove.
5. RTT of course
6. LED lighting in the tent and around the trailer, solar for keeping the batteries charged
7. Possible small generator down the road.
I'm going to try to update this thread as I go. It's going to be a long process due to work, school, life, etc. but I'm hoping for getting this done within a year.