Intro to the truck, the build and a questionable purchase

Do you really need a trailer?

As is probably pretty evident already, Aiden is going to write most of these posts. Just about any of the ‘blog’ or ‘travel’ posts will be coming from her. I’ll do most of the behind the scenes work keeping things like the truck and travel running, and of-course, the site. I also feed the pics over to Aiden when we can’t go through them together šŸ™‚

This post is mostly just going to be an intro to the truck, namedĀ Bolton. For more history on it (and a little more on me), I have a blog of sorts for my initial travel and adventures. There isn’t a whole lot there, but if you want, its a quick read. rawlk.com/blog


BoltonĀ was a relatively recent purchase. Though a bitĀ old and high mileage (just past 267K miles now), I have already taken it on a few relatively long drives with absolutely zero big problems. The main drive being my move from Oklahoma to the bay area in California. One of the stellar benefits of an older pickup is the amount of freedom in changes you can make to them. If you put a hole into something, scratch up the paint or let someone climb up onto the hood, *ahem*, it just adds character. In posts like this and in the future, I’ll document some of the changes that I make to the truck (and trailer) along with wishful thinking future plans.

Dodge on the PCH/HW1
Dodge on the PCH/HW1

One of the many things I’d like to do is to add a platform to the back of the truck. It currently has a craigslist Leer 122 hightop hard shell that has been through a 200$ paint job. It isn’t anything spectacular, but it certainly yeilds a lot of space back there, nearly enough for Aiden to stand in (albeit hunched over). As such,Ā I have some plans that I drew up for a slide deck and storage boxes that could better utilize some of that space. It’ll mostly be made out of 1/2″ and/or 5/8″ ply with the intent of carpeting it when it’s all said and done. That should give me a bit of wiggle room for not having to get the looks perfectĀ on the first go šŸ˜›

I really like the look and functionality of this one, so I may have stolen some inspiration from there. I do not yet have a fridge, so the main goalĀ for me is accessable storage space and room for expansion later *whileĀ still* being able to haul stuff around.

basic truck bed box/drawer design
Preliminary truck box design

The far front/back/towards-the-cab of the box will be room for an aux battery (maybe two) and electronics like a raspberry pi, relays, charge controller, inverter etc and the air tank. Each of the four corners will have boxes to stow other things that I won’t need often (chains, liquids, etc). The hope is to do this in a build-sprint around Christmas time since I don’t have much in the way of resources out here to get this done by myself.

I also purchased a semi-questionable set of nerf bars from Amazon. I’ll got those installed just before our trip down to LA that Aiden will post about shortly. The bars looks pretty good, but those will go in another post.

In other news, I picked up one of the *oh so popular* M101A2 trailers off of craigslist! It seems to be in superb shape with nearly zero rust. The vinyl (not canvas) cover is practically new, only a few small holes where it creases around the corners but otherwise seems to hold out water just fine. At the moment I’m going to use it simply as a heavy duty cargo trailer for my future move back to Oklahoma. After that though, I’d love to build it out into something closer to what others have done.

Just like any other vehicle, the trailer got a name. The dodge got named Bolton because its a Dodge Ramsey. Following the theme, the trailer’s name is Roose. And no, Aiden isn’t exactly pleased with the naming convention… Apparently she didn’t like Ramsey or something, can’t imagine why…

I’m just impressed you wanted to name your truck after Ramsey after how he tortured Theon, but it’s stuck now. -Aiden

New trailer on it's way home behind the F150
New trailer on it’s way home behind the F150

RooseĀ is very obviously running nose-low on this pickup. My Dodge’s hitch runs several inches higher, so we’ll see later how much of a lift I’ll need to put on to even it out. Speaking of hitches, it has the standard-issue pintle hitch. A LOT of the builds i’ve seen with this trailer end up swapping the hitch for something else, like a MAX coupler or something. I assume that is mostly for the noise? The lunette on this trailer doesn’t pivot so it COULD bind if I got into something super steep, but I doubt I’ll ever reach it with how tame my driving is.

Sitting on the trailer! It does ride a bit high doesn't it?
Sitting on the trailer! It does ride a bit high doesn’t it?

Either way, I’m looking forward to getting to test it out and hopefully build into it later down the road.

If anyone else is looking for M101 threads (yes, highly unlikely I know), I’m going to keep this list *relatively* updated:

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