The Wrangler JKU and the M1101 trailer

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Bud, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. Bud

    Bud Monkey++

    I don't post that often but I am often here reading.

    I am retired Army (med retired in 1999) and used the HUMVEEs and trailers (M1101 and M1101) as an Infantry soldier from the mid-eighties until I retired. I was always very impressed with how tough the M1101 was. I have also wanted to mod one into an off road camper. When GovPlanet took over the wheeled vehicle portion of DoD surplus sales, I bid and won a 2010 Silver Eagle M1101. If anyone wants to know about the process and what it entailed, i can write a separate post on that:
    GovPlanet - Surplus Military and Government Vehicles, Trailers and Equipment

    I bought this trailer in the Spring off 2014 while at my Missouri BOL. It was assigned to the Kansas Army National Guard so I had to pick it up at the KS Guard's Topeka headquarters. At the time, I had a 2014 2dr Wrangler Sport. As the trailer is wired for 24v to match the Hummers, I brought an adapter to change the voltage to 12v . As all of the trailer lights ar LED they are multi voltage with the exception of the taillights. Once I hooked up, the taillights were dim but visable. There was an immediate problem:


    The trailers clevis is 29 1/2 inches off the ground while my pintle was only 22 inches. The rear end of the trailer was so high, i couldn't use the rear view mirror. As a matter of fact, the trailer is eight feet wide so I really couldn't see behind me with the side mirrors either.

    But, got it home. Ran 70 mph with absolutely no problem with the trailer other than other motorists slowly drifting into me as they stared at the trailer as they were passing. Bought some replacement LED lights and they match the military sets:

    and then decided to work on the height problem. I really hated to remove the wheels and tires. The 37" high run flats were brand new as the trailer had never been issued to a unit. I could have replaced them with any GM 8 bolt x 6.5 rims and smaller tires but I decided to see if the pintle could be extended down. But first, I dumped the 2 dr Wrangler for a four door and of course, got one colored in "Tank" to match the trailer. I raised the Wrangler 2 inches with a lift kit but I was still way short of where I needed to be. I had used a hitch adapter that raised the pintle up 12" but I really didn't want to use that off road. I think the stress would have been excessive.

    I found a local fabricator who was pretty sure he could do the work and he was right:

    [​IMG] .

    And it seems to match up with the Jeep too:


    The next problem though, was a little harder. The emptry tongue weight of the trailer is 225 pounds. The Wrangler suspension didn't like that although it did enable me to blind oncoming drivers with my headlights and illuminate the tops of passing trees.

    So, I added Coil Rite air bags to the real springs, pumped those bad boys up to 30 pounds and suddenly the trailer was riding at the same height as the Jeep and the lights were back down on the road.

    So, we're in the process of moving from the confines of Communist run Illinoistan to SW Missouri. I load up the M1101 with about 2,000 pounds of household crap and headed back to Missouri, 600 miles away.

    I think I averaged just over 10 mpg on the trip. The trailer pulled fine but cruising speed (70 mph) meant the engine was pulling another 500 rpm on the flats and going well over 3,000 rpm going uphill. The Jeep has plenty of power but I don't want it to start puking oil out of the exhaust.

    I think my really neat trailer is going to be just to heavy to change to an off road camper. Actually, I don't think I will be using it for anything that isn't local.

    But, it was a real good idea except it wasn't.
    ditch witch, HK_User, stg58 and 5 others like this.
  2. Pineknot

    Pineknot Concrete Monkey Site Supporter+++

    I too like the idea of a heavy duty trailer for just what you are speaking of. but i found that the weight empty alone was a haul for the old c j 7, so i have opted to just keep using the old deuce. May start a build for an offered jeep camper.
    HK_User likes this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    You need a bigger rig and that trailer can be whatever you want it to be. ;)
    HK_User and Homer Simpson like this.
  4. Bud

    Bud Monkey++

    But....but...I'm a Jeep person!

    The whole idea was using the Wrangler for off road camping (I hate RV parks) and we will still do that. But i need to go another route for a trailer. I am looking for one of the old 1/4 tons, the M416 but all i have found recently are beat up but still pricey.
  5. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    I may receive a little "hate" for this , but in my experience, living in the country, you need a truck.. Four wheel drive truck... A big four wheel drive truck... And a flat bed trailer.. Dual axle trailer.. Just my opinion, but an opinion from one who lives the life in the hills..
  6. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I prefer the 1151, unfortunately they aren't available to me and lack of funds. For trailers, mishaps build one out of vehicle beds.
  7. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Congrats on your move out of Illinois. It's one of the states I'd never live in, although most say it's not too bad south of I-80. It's still run basically by the big politics in Chicago that affect the rest of the state in one way or another.
    I moved from the east coast many years ago due to ever encroaching laws that limit this and that activity, or somehow charge you money for the privilege.
    Oh, and I too am a Jeep person. They have their advantages (mine crawls over terrain that's even difficult to walk over and keeps right on going through deep thick gloppy mud) but also have their limitations, and towing weight is one of them.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
    HK_User likes this.
  8. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    The welder proved his worth.

    Give him the specs of what you want and have him bid on it.

    Fore true off road have a spare set of foam filled tires, you'll never regret that deal.
  9. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Bud, while the majority of the trailer weight is likely coming from the frame, axle & wheels/tires (since you need to build Army stuff tough enough to withstand soldiers), I wonder what the weight of that (I assume) steel bed of the trailer is adding? Might it be worth seeing if you could swap it out for a fiberglass tub??
  10. Bud

    Bud Monkey++

    The trailer is actually made of double wall aluminum. The chromalloy steel was used for the frame. Here's the specs for the M1101 and the M1102:

    Maximum Vehicle Weight 3400 lb (1542 kg) 4200 lb (1905 kg)
    Curb Weight 1460 lb ( 662 kg) 1460 lb ( 662 kg)
    Maximum Payload Capacity 1940 lb (880 kg) 2740 lb (1243 kg)
    Hull Unitized body construction using aircraft grade aluminum and chromoly steel
    Overall Length 132 inches (335cm)
    Overall Width 85.6 inches (217 cm)
    Overall Height 52.5 inches (133 cm)
    Track Width 72.5 inches (184 cm)
    Drawbar Length (from axle center to eye center) 93.2 inches (237 cm)
    Drawbar Eye Height 29.5 inches (75 cm)
    Deck Height 34.5 inches (88 cm)
    Ground Clearance (Laden) 16 inches (41 cm)
    Running Gear
    Suspension Type Fully independent progressive rate trailing arm suspension
    Axle Tubular steel
    Spring Media Progressive rate torselastic rubber chords
    Shock Absorbers Telescopic, direct acting, one per wheel, HMMWV compatible
    Wheels 16.5 X 8.25, two piece steel, HMMWV compatible, 8 on 6.5 inch bolt pattern
    Tires 37X12.50R16.5 Goodyear Wrangler M/T, with 30-mile runflat inserts, HMMWV compatible
    Brakes 12 inch x 2 inch free backing hydraulic surge brakes with automatic breakaway actuation. Independent lever-operated left and right side mechanical parking brakes.
    Electrical System 24 Volt DC sealed lighting system with blackout convoy lights, 12 pin connector plug mates with HMMWV
    Max Speed (Primary Roads) 55 mph (88 kph )
    Max Speed (Secondary Roads) 35 mph (56 kph)
    Max Speed (Off Road) 20 mph (32 kph)
    Departure Angle 39 degrees
    Turning Angle 80 degrees
    Fording 60 inches (152 cm)
    natshare likes this.
  11. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Bummer! Oh least you've got a decent trailer, that you might be able to do some, trailer swapping with! Unfortunate, too, the maximum speed ratings listed (though it's likely you could exceed them, and they're just listed for the sake of young soldier's benefit).
  12. Bud

    Bud Monkey++

    Being a retired 1SG, I was pretty sure the max road speed limit of 55 mph was just in keeping with the Army's policy.

    BUT, averaging just over 70 mph from northern Illinois to SW Missouri left the M1101 with boiling grease coming out of the wheel hubs.

    As long as I kept my speed to 60 or so, everything was fine but exceeding that for a prolonged period would be a bad idea.
    natshare likes this.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Wrong type of grease.... You likely can cure that issue with a High Temp Grease....
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