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Idle Hands and Terminal Boredom

This time of year is absolute hell for me.  I am not a work fanatic by any means but I do like to stay busy.  If it is not real work work going on, I like to piddle around the Old Girl.  When the weather gets raw, the work dries up and the outside activities are minimal.  The 200 or so square feet of inside space get smaller by the day.  This is nothing new and honestly, I don’t know how Miss Kathy puts up with me when I get whiny and pitiful.  Well, yeah I do.  She ignores me to a large degree.  I would ignore me too.

One of the pressing issues in the last 6 months has been lack of storage space in the Old Girl.  We don’t have much stuff combined but there is just no room for the stuff we do need.  All the superfluous stuff is scattered in 3 storage rooms from Terlingua ot South Dallas.   One of the things I have been seriously considering is an enclosed trailer.  I had  a 28′ Pace enclosed trailer for years  —  until a Peterbilt rear-ended it up in Oklahoma a few years back.   Miss Kathy and I have been discussing the benefits of a trailer for months now.  We just need a little one to store the stuff in that is not used on a daily basis.

So for months now,  I have been perusing CraigsList and eBay and front yards for a good cheap trailer.   Unfortunately, good and cheap are mutually exclusive.  Used trailers of any type retain a high resale value.  Not many moving parts,  solid construction and generally only occasional use mean they will last for years in good shape.  So they depreciate a tad when first purchased and then the value levels out and they just sorta stay at the same level.  Enclosed trailers are usually the highest priced models in the trailer world and they retain their value really well.

Dodge 4500 Crewcab

So the Winter downtime is when we have time to fix equipment, replace equipment and get the house in order. My Bro showed up the other day with this monster; he said he had to buy some equipment to reduce his taxes. I wish I had that problem. The new service truck is a Dodge 4500 Crewcab with a Cummins diesel and a 6 speed Allison with an engine brake. First Dodge he has owned since 1987 and only the second non-GM vehicle in the fleet.  It will flat jerk that big gooseneck  flatbed down the road.

As the enclosed trailer research continued on my end, it was becoming more and more apparent that limited hard dollars spent on an expensive storage trailer might not be the smartest thing to do.   The first part of December, I ran across an interesting listing for a military surplus cargo trailer on CraigsList.   I researched them  thoroughly and thought one of them might fill the bill.  Even though not enclosed some of them did come with a canvas top and they were undoubtedly built to last.  It took me awhile to find where they put the trailers up for auction and even longer to manage to win one at a good price.

Picking up the trailer in OKC

Once you win the auction, then you have to wait for all the paperwork to clear. It took a month.

One day last week, I received notice the paper wprk had cleared and my traielr was ready to pick up at Oklahoma City. It is always a risk buying something sight unseen except for a few pictures. I gotta tell you I am well pleased. The trailer was better than the pictures. It has little rust, a top in good shape and almost new Goodyear Wrangler 10 ply tires. The invoice shows the trailer new was a little over $3900.00.

M101A2 trailer

It is a stout rascal. The designation is M101A2 military cargo trailer. The bed is 8′ long X 5’wide and it hooks to the Suburban with a heavy duty pintle hitch. The trailer has a 24v electric system and surge brakes. I brought a set of magnetic tow lights and the Suburban already has a pintle hook that fits in my receiver hitch. I made sure the cover was tied down good and hooked the lights up and was ready to head back to Tejas in short order.

I stopped every 20-30 miles to check on the trailer and make sure the hubs were running cool.  It was an uneventful trip.

M101A2 trailer

The plan is to use it to store tools and buckets and equipment footlockers and such that can stand the heat, cold and humidity but don’t need to be out in the rain. I can also see where the trailer is going to be invaluable when we start the Terlingua Project.

A tough little trailer with thick tires and high ground clearance will be perfectly suited to that rough country. Who knows, I may even try to pick up another one or two now that I know the ropes. It seems these trailers are very popular with the off road set. They call them ‘expedition trailers’ and they are used to haul camping equipment and such on rough 4X4 trails. Works for me.

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