- Reader Emails: Homebuilt Off-Road Trailer, Ram Power Wagon Towing, Classic 1977 International Scout II, And More
Reader Emails: Homebuilt Off-Road Trailer, Ram Power Wagon Towing, Classic 1977 International Scout II, And More
Four Wheeler readers share their thoughts, memories, and opinions.
Homemade Off-Road Trailer
My trailer began life as a '70s Sears, Roebuck and Co. car camping trailer. It originally came with 8-inch wheels, hand-truck-sized tires, and it rode about 6 inches off the ground. We stripped the factory suspension, dropped it onto a spare 1965 Ford F-100 chassis that was already turned into a utility trailer, installed a 3,500-pound trailer axle outfitted with a 5-on-5 lug pattern so we could run a factory Jeep Rubicon tire/wheel combo, and bolted it under the F-100 springs with factory-length shocks. We added some rock sliders to protect the sides and cut out the fender areas to add Jeep-style trailer fenders we got from Auto Safety House here in Phoenix. After a bunch of cutting, welding, pop-riveting, floor restoration, and painting, we have one hell of an off-road trailer. It has two bunks and plenty of floor space when the tent is deployed, which doubles as storage space when underway, and its ready to go over the rough stuff, allowing us to sleep in comfort once we get to wherever we're going. My daughter and I just used it last month for two weeks up in the Rockies and northern Arizona, and we slept comfortably.
As you indicated, we have a lot of pride, blood, sweat, and tears wrapped up in our little trailer, and it's my absolute favorite offroad modification to our Jeep and Ram; we pull it with both, depending on terrain.
Thanks for the opportunity to share!
Power Wagon Praise
We use a 2018 Ram Power Wagon to tow our 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. The nature of my job allows me to be off on weekdays, so we often find ourselves without much help on the trails. The use of the Ram Power Wagon as a tow rig has allowed us to recover the Jeep Wrangler without outside assistance. The Ram Power Wagon also handles a trailer that has been upset by terrible highways much better than our Ford Expedition or Ford F-150, our former two rigs. The softer springs and off-road suspension are much more comfortable for the passengers, too.
Manual Systems For The Win
For ultimate reliability, it has to be a manual system for me. If my 1971 Chevy K10 will not engage, it's something mechanical (linkage, hub, etc.) and easy to diagnose/repair. There are no buttons to fail, vacuum lines to be torn off on sage brush, or torque limiting computer algorithms; just twist the hubs, throw the transfer case lever into position, hit the skinny pedal and go power to all four, nothing more, nothing less.
I do enjoy the comforts of push-button ease with my 2015 Ram, but this truck isn't used for getting me into the backcountry like the Chevy K10 does. If something breaks, I'm generally within cell service and a 1 (800) call gets help on the way.
I'm gearing up for a trip from Wyoming to Baja at the end of the month, and in my toolbox is an HEI distributor and Edelbrock carb with a 6-psi electric pump should I experience issues with the modern fuel injection. Just like a simple manual 4x4 engagement system, I want the assurances of a simple ignition and fuel system if modern EFI fails me somewhere. 1 (800) CHEVY isn't available on a 1971 Chevy K10, and cell service isn't guaranteed in Baja.
Sounds Of Wheeling
"The Sounds of Wheeling" is darn good writing!
I'm an avid off-roader, Jeep dealership service advisor, former English teacher, and the son of an English professor. It was really nice to read some high-quality composition about the activity I love most.
Keep up the excellent work!
I've attached some photos of my 1977 International Scout II, Ralley. It has about 64K original miles on it. Original paint, 345-c.i. V-8, and standard transmission. I had a 2.5-inch lift and 31-inch tires put on it. I enjoy taking it out every now and then, as it's a joy to drive, and it's quite the conversation piece. A friend of mine showed me his Four Wheeler magazine, so I thought I'd send in a few pics after reading about the "ugly 1977 International Scout II. "
Fan of Old
I know it's a little late, but just read your article. I am, and always have been, a fan of the "old" ways. Lever shift T-case, manual transmission, solid axles, crank windows: The list goes on! I do have to say the three things I miss, and loved the most, were full bench seats, the kick switch for the high beams, but most of all, the wing windows! I'm a longtime reader and love your guys work!