New Dirtbike Trailer - M101A3

Been on the lookout for one of these trailers for a while now. Haven't seen any come up around home or for cheap, so I paid for one and took a trip to Ft Meade to pick it up.


Mods I had in mind are backup lights and an armored dome light mounted inside. Hope to be able to wire them both through the trailer plug connection for a clean install. Also going to mount a toolbox from an M116 across the tongue and two fuel cans somewhere. Then do something to get the tailgate to lay flat like M105's do.

My Dad and oldest son went with me so this was a 3 generation load out. Great way to make some memories.

When we got to Ft Meade I was glad to find that the trailer was in excellent condition! It went through Rework in July '09 and doesn't look like it's ever moved from it's parking spot! Tires still had the tits on all the tread and underside of trailer is as clean as the inside. This trailer is VERY nice, only marks on it are fork truck damage I was able to straighten the fender out smooth but it's still got the rash. Very happy with this one for sure.




On the way home we stopped off at Cracker Barrel for some much needed breakfast and later on in the evening stopped off to let Dad check out the Green Sulpher General Store in WV, which was built in 1854. I found this on a motorcycle ride once by accident and now I make it a point to stop there any time I pass through the area.



Once I got it home I went straight to work on the mods. I swapped the landing gear with my M116A3 (flatbed trailer this size but used to carry Generators) cause I chopped about 3" out of it to be able to crank down low enough to get on the wife's Yukon. I'll chop this one too at some point, just didn't feel like doing it at the time. I plan to swap out the 37" tires and wheels for some 33" BFG's I put on the M116A3 as well to make it sit more level when hooked to the truck.

I ordered some recessed D-rings from They look plenty heavy duty enough to hold anything ill have in the trailer. The bolt holes in the backing plates could have been lined up to the holes in the d-ring plates better and the thin plastic bags they come packaged in had torn and a few nuts and lockwashers were missing, but those issues are easily resolved.

I almost hated to cut holes in the floor to mount the recessed D-rings, but I can't tie the dirt bikes down without doing it so out came the drill and dremel. I had to cut about an inch off the D-ring backing plates to get them to fit between the floor cross braces under the bed. Cutting the 3 1/2" hole for the D-ring recess was a pain. I went to Lowe's and got a 3.5" hole saw and it worked great for the first hole I used it on, but dulled the teeth a bit and then smoked my drill - literally got so hot I couldn't hold it and was smoking - on the second and third holes. Had to resort to the dremel with cutting wheel to finish the job but it works.


Got the D-rings primed and painted with walmart camo green.



Once the D-rings installed and they look better than I thought they would. You can see how the backing plates overlap the floor supports, I think they'll be plenty strong enough.



Replaced the chain for the tailgate and hung the OE gate latch off it with a threaded quick chain link. I worry about the tabs on the tailgate bending over use though, I'll keep an eye on it I guess. I'm gonna paint the chain green and get some chain sleeves. The pic looks like the chain is swinging but that's actually where the stock chain rubbed the paint on the ride home.




Picked up two work lights from NAPA to use as backup lights. Made some joining brackets from the strips I had cut off the d-ring backing plates. I mounted them using the lift points on the rear of the trailer. They look good hanging under the trailer, need to hit them with some green camo though.




Took one of my spare Mil trailer cables an removed the plug from it. A 7-pin plug fits over the fat cable perfectly, so that worked out real nice. I poured over the pin outs for the NATO plug, the 7-pin civy plug and my truck recepticle. I've got backup lights under the rear bumper of my truck that are controlled by a factory button on the dash. I ran a jumper from them down to the brake controller pin on the factory 7-pin recepticle to power the trailer backup lights. Now when I hit the button both sets of backup lights come on, truck & trailer. This was done wiring the add-on 7-pin plug to the mil trailer cable on circuit 23, which would be the BO Stop circuit. This allowed running the power wire from the lights across the frame rail and plugging in with a packered connector right at the mil tail lights, using the OE wire harness. Nice clean install.



Wired the 12V aux power supply from the 7-pin on the truck to circuit 37, which I plan to use to feed an armor dome light mounted on the front head board of the trailer. Haven't decided yet how to run the wire from the tongue up to the light though. Thinking I'll prob go up the front of the outside of the bed and put a packard joint right about the top of the bedside so the head board can still be removed if need be.

I'm thinking the bed floor is gonna be pretty slick when wet or loading muddy dirtbikes. Thinking about having it Line-X'ed but am afraid it wouldn't hold up with the carc under it the way carc chips & flakes over time.

I've mocked up where the tool box is gonna mount and made the brackets, haven't welded them on yet. Doesn't leave much room for the fuel can mounts, I'll have to rethink where to mount them.



Got the tires & wheels changed out with the BFG 33x12.50 on HMMWV wheels from the M116. The trailer looks much better with the 37" tires on it, but I don't think these take too much away from the original look and it sits a lot closer to level on my truck.


I've always missed the grab handles on the M105 trailers when working with the M101 / M116 trailers. They make a great place to hang the safety chains to keep them up out of the way. I bent up a set of handles but haven't got them welded on yet.

I'll post up more pics as more progress is made.

Move the box foward and mount the gas cans behind it :thumbsup:

Ya know......that's really cool!

Move the box foward and mount the gas cans behind it :thumbsup:

If I did, it would cover the junction of the trailer plug and wire harness and make it a pita to get to if I needed to.


Nice find! Those trailers can take a good beating.

Loaded the bikes up today to see how the spacing was going to work out. I think the ends of the bars *may* rub against the tarp when I put it on, but don't think it will hurt much if they do. I'm really going to like this as a dirt bike trailer.



Also needed to load them up to get the location of the front tire keepers so I can drill holes to mount them.


More to come.....

I've always thought about how one would work out with dirtbikes. Guess I know now!! I can alwyas find a couple on craigslist by me for anwhere between $600-$1,500.

I've always thought about how one would work out with dirtbikes. Guess I know now!! I can alwyas find a couple on craigslist by me for anwhere between $600-$1,500.

You have to be sure and get the M101A3 and not an M101A1 or A2. The A1 is an older 6-lug, no brakes trailer. The A2 has the surge brakes and 8-lug wheels BUT it is only 45" between the fender wells. Too narrow to haul an ATV or two bikes. The A3 is 55" between the fender wells and has the HMMWV wheels and 37" tires.


That's impressive. I've always wanted one of those. I was going to ask if the tarp would work with the bikes inside, but you already covered that. It would make a nice little sleeping tent for those overnighters as well! :thumbsup:

That's a killer trailer. Sure beats my Harbor Freight Fold-up.

What is the bed size of the beast?

It's 5x8 with 18" tall sides. Bout like a truck bed.


Whats the empty weight on those?

1500# They are built like a tank, have 1-ton capacity off-road and surge brakes and parking brakes. Also a rear stabilizer leg that you can fold down so you can load it while it's not connected to a vehicle.


nice job!

Got the armored dome light mounted today, gotta get some more packard connectors and wire loom before I can finish the install. Goofed up on the location of the top mounting holes and had to cut out clearance notches in the ribs on the middle board to install the nuts. Oh well.




Clearanced the wire harness cover to clear the brackets for the toolbox when I get them welded on, hopefully one day this week.


Got the tongue handles bent up the other night. They aren't perfect but as good as I could do with what I've got to work with - having no bench vise makes for some creative thinking when you really need one.




Any updates on this man?! I like the idea of of using these trailers versus those expensive as hell shiny ones haha. :eek:

I just saw one of these on CL. Does your trailer have the ability to lock the brakes and then back up to tilt the trailer? (no hydrolics needed)?

Cool trailer.

Need a pic of the bikes loaded with canvas top installed. You said there's enough room but we gotta see. :eek:

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