Update – M101A2 Mods, Issues, and More

We have had the M101A2 trailer for a while now and I thought it was a good time for an update.

For a trailer that is over 20 years old, it has performed above expectations but there were a few minor issues. These mostly stem from previous owners adding things to the trailer making it harder to use some of the factory features.

Problem 1:

I could not get the dump bed to release. The spare tire is mounted to the front of the trailer using a simple hook and spindle. It works really well for securing the spare outside of the cargo area. It works less well for everything else. The spare tire where it was mounted made it impossible to access the dump bed release pins. They had to pull inward towards the tire and the tire was directly in line with them. So try as you might you were not using the dump feature without taking off the spare.

Not exactly convenient. It was less convenient when I learned about this particular design feature trying to dump a load of dirt.

Problem 2:

Another great addition to the trailer was an ammo can that was mounted to the A-frame directly behind the brake master cylinder. It was a larger 5.56MM ammo can that held straps, gloves, a Come-Along hand winch, and extra bits and baubles for trailering.

Because the trailer was converted to a swivel wheel and pivoting jack before our purchase it was another item that wasn’t noticed as a potential issue until later.

The original jack broke. The wheel decided to snap in half one day as I was trying to move the trailer around by hand. The jack was apparently the wrong weight rating. So I went and purchased a new swivel jack and bolted it on. It was then I figured out why the trailer had a smaller one.

The ammo can mount was in line with the jack mount on the frame. So in order to make both fit, you either needed to mount the smaller jack assembly, mount the larger jack cattywampus, or remove the ammo can.

After trying the jack mounted a little bit redneck engineered I eventually opted to remove the very handy ammo can. So I am currently in search of a new home for the ammo can to hold all the extras you need to have an easy and safe trailer experience.

Problem 3:

Weight. The trailer is approximately 1100 pounds and while the Jeep Wrangler JL can handle 3200 pounds as rated, it doesn’t like to. I have said it before and I will repeat it here. Horsepower ratings are pointless for off-road vehicles. Torque is king for towing, for crawling, and pretty much everything except for racing. The 3.6 Pentastar V6 just doesn’t have sufficient grunt down low.

M101A2 Final Thoughts

Despite those three issues the trailer is awesome. Easy to move around by hand with that new swivel wheel. The dump bed makes unloading a breeze, and despite the heft, it would be hard to trade the load capacity of a bit over 2000 pounds. Fully loaded that would be touching the JL’s maximum tow rating, thankfully the 4WAAM fleet now includes our Nissan Titan Pro-4X rated at just shy of 10,000 pounds.

2 thoughts on “Update – M101A2 Mods, Issues, and More

  1. None of the M101 series of trailers are DUMP beds. They have that feature so that they can be stored more compactly inside of structures or ships with other vehicles or trailers. They were not designed to dump their loads.

    1. I have used the feature as a dump many times, it may not have been designed that way but it works very well. Either way, having the spare tire cover the release pins was a giant pain.

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4 Wheels and a Motor