Emerballs' Army Trailer Build


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EmersonHart13

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West for sure. I think the key is time. I feel like thats a more than 1 week trip. I do need a rip in that SXS
 
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EmersonHart13

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We need lights in the annex for sure. Red and white. Red is great at night. We had them on our headlamps and used them a bunch.

We need some light above the bed and below. I'm thinking led strip lights.

We rolled the dice and no spare. Need to work on that.

Power system worked good but really need another panel that I can put in the sun. Most sites we were at were very shaded.

My tarp was our biggest issue. We stopped 5 times in the first two hours. It catches air and the back was flapping and got completely destroyed.

I'll ponder more
 
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EmersonHart13

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Can you get a net type material and put that over the tarp to anchor it down better?
Originally I did a bungee around the outside. We ended up with three ratchet straps front the back and the bungee.

Net would be nice and have pondered that.
 
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EmersonHart13

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M muskie - tagging you so you are sure to see this.


Our trip was a full week. Saturday to the next Sunday. Things I did wrong was we moved every night except the three nights at my buddy's place. That was a lot of setup and tear down. I planned for short driving days but they always took longer than I planned so we were racing to get in before dark and then we would try to leave by 10 so we had limited enjoyment at our camp sites. First night it was pitch black backing this thing in for the first time. I don't know how but I did it first try. We did get a pretty good system for setting up and tearing down and we can do it pretty fast now. We ended up re organizing the trailer then taking a picture and using that to repack each day.

One major challenge for us that we didn't plan for was bears. So either you need a campsite with a bear locker or you need to put your food in the truck. We have a giant Yeti style cooler that barely fits in the extended cab and that was a pain in the dick to deal with. So for our next trip I need to plan on that better.

Lighting was the thing that needs the most improvement. We learned that night one setting up in the dark. We were very thankful for the headlamps and the fact they also had red leds, but that wasn't really enough. I put lights in the tent which were amazing but we need something outside. Heather wants me to add some ambient lighting under the trailer so when you are walking around it you can see but it isn't so bright that it is affecting other camp sites. I would also like something that glows down into the trailer so you can find stuff. Finally we need a light in the annex which needs to be red and white. I piss at least once a night so when I get up I need a light.

I bought the unlimited data package for the trip in the truck so we at ATT data that way and we use Google FI which has US Cellular, Sprint, and TMobile and we still spent a nearly 24 hour period where we had nothing. I never saw that coming and that was a bit of a difficulty. I didn't think anywhere we were going would be that far off the reservation so we relied on the trucks built in GPS and winged it. We got low on gas at one point so that was a little hairy but in the end it worked out.

Our Stanley cook set is great but the pan that comes with is the complete opposite of non stick. Heather would complain about it daily. Our oven was cool and garnered some attention, but not near as much as the trailer. I discussed mpg with Bub Bub and Yaj Yak Yaj Yak and Bob Hope ilikemtb999 and I don't recall what it was but we decided it was within expectations. I know at first it was rough and kept getting a little better. I did decide the trailer is too light to use two mode though and MPGs improved once I turned it off.

It was much colder at night that I expected when I planned it. Cooler weather came in just as we were leaving and of course the forecasters are never right. First night setting up in the dark didn't realize a tent window was open since it was so dark so woke up and went DOH. Our first 3 nights were all sub 40 and the coldest was about 36. The mornings were crisp but otherwise we weren't uncomfortable. We brought our bikes but unfortunately due to my planning there wasn't a lot of opportunity to use them. Heather really wanted to see some starts but as I previously mentioned I went for wooded sites, whoops. We had plenty of power since the Goal Zero charged off the truck during the day and we don't use much power but the solar needs improvement if we keep to wooded sites.

Firewood, oh man, what a PITA that was. You aren't supposed to bring it with you and some of these camp sites don't have it and when you get in late finding it isn't easy. Wifey was not pleased a couple nights because of that. I think I am going to throw a few emergency 2x4 chunks in the trailer for the next trip to avoid any meltdowns.

Water system was super handy for all our cleaning. We went the whole week and I think only used like half the water. We had a Gatorade cooler for drinking water and had to fill that up twice. uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I think that concludes my rambling for now. I'll be happy to answer any questions.
 
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EmersonHart13

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Yeah that sounds familiar to me. I remember first day being more towards 12-13. I didn't care about the MPGs but the rang was rough. First day we had to fill twice. #toomanystops #KJlikesthis
 

muskie

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I bought the unlimited data package for the trip in the truck so we at ATT data that way and we use Google FI which has US Cellular, Sprint, and TMobile and we still spent a nearly 24 hour period where we had nothing. I never saw that coming and that was a bit of a difficulty. I didn't think anywhere we were going would be that far off the reservation so we relied on the trucks built in GPS and winged it. We got low on gas at one point so that was a little hairy but in the end it worked out.
Have you looked into an iPad with Gaia at all for maps and nav? I picked up an LTE enabled iPad Mini 4 and did the premium Gaia sub ($40/yr sometimes on sale) last summer when I did my trip up to the Apostle Islands / part of the TWAT. Gaia has all sorts of overlays like the MVUM from the forestry service as well as recommendations for trails, bike paths, forestry roads etc. I know you can download regions via WiFi so you don't need the cellular service. It can even record routes so you can find cool spots again in the future.

I also am on GoogleFi and ran into some service problems up north for sure, even in the towns. The LTE iPad Minis have a GPS chip in them so I at least always had a fairly accurate map where I could at least get back out to a main road. I believe you can do the same with the non LTE iPads if you purchase a bluetooth GPS receiver. That is honestly something I might look into for myself anyway as it is much more accurate, not that I noticed any issues.
 

Bob Hope

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We are primitive camping Memorial Day weekend so I bought a water heater so we can shower. Shopping for a shower tent.

Also we bought kayaks so I need to see about hanging those on the trailer.
Wait you bought one? Which one did you get?
 
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EmersonHart13

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Memorial Day Weekend Trip to Chain O Lakes State Park in Albion IN. They have 9 lakes and something called a paddle trail that goes through all of them. It was an unexpected huge plus. Really nice campground with a well stocked general store that had reasonable prices. Several good trails, sand beach, rentals for water sports, etc... Not a bad drive from the south side, though traffic was an adventure due to all the MI folks.

New wheels are on the trailer so now we can interchange with the truck. aka we actually have a spare tire.

Shower tent worked out great, hot water worked well, just have to work out a few kinks and refine the system.

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EmersonHart13

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On the way out we hit some roads that caused porpoising... We never experienced this when we did our long trip last fall. I run 35 in the truck tires and 30 in the trailer tires and 5 psi in the air bags on the truck. For the way home I tried to put all the heavy stuff towards the tongue and I took all the air out of the truck air bags. We didn't have the same issue though we went back on different roads... I was talking to an old timer who was familiar with the trailer and he thinks I just don't haul enough weigh and I should pull a leaf or two and see how it reacts, as well as lower tire pressure some more. The trailer has 6 leaf springs with a military wrap so if spring breaks the second one picks up the slack and you can keep going...

I think this is going to be a lot of trial and error because I don't know which springs to pull, he was thinking start with one of the bottom three and might have to pull two.

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EmersonHart13

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Looking good! What did you end up going with for hot water? Running from the tank you picked up from me?
Yes still using your tank. 15 gallons used for just showers and dishes. We showered twice and likely could have showered 2 more times. Washing out shampoo is the big water user for me. I just plan to use a bucket and get well water if we run out.


The water can get crazy hot. We use it well under halfway on both knobs.
 

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