M416 Overland Trailer Build – Part 5

I finally got my sheet metal I was waiting for and was able to make some good progress over the weekend. Until my body reminded me, I’m not 20 anymore, and my back decided to give out, lol. I started working on the top and tacking all the sheet metal in place. It went pretty quick.

I decided to remove the top and start on the drawers. This was a little scary, cutting into the side of my trailer, but it went relatively smooth. I cut out both sides just a hair smaller, then welded in the pre-cut drawer panels I had made. From there, I welded the drawer face on with some small piano hinges I picked up off eBay.

Drawer frame tacked in place.
Drawer front tacked in place.

I wanted to enclose the drawers inside, so other gear isn’t getting in the way, so I built a simple frame from 1/2 square tubing. I welded in the walls but ended up screwing on the top sheet in case I ever needed to get in there to fix something. I also plan to mount my solar panel to this panel to keep it from bouncing around.

Inner frame completed.

I didn’t get any good pictures of the drawer slide setup, so I will explain it as best I can. I got a couple of pieces of thin, 2″x1″ angle steel from Home depot. It already had a bunch of slots and holes drilled in it, so it made it easy to mount. I welded these in place, then used two pieces of wood 2×4 attached to them to mount the drawer slides. I chose to go this route, so if I ever needed to remove them, I could easily do so, and it also lets me use longer screws to hold everything together solid. I used two long, heavy-duty drawer slides. I can’t remember exactly where I picked them up from online.

For the actual drawer, I used two pieces of pine that I had laying around. I believe 1″ x 10″ or 12″ wide. I wanted my stove to be able to swivel, so I used a boat seat swivel in between the two pieces of wood. I screwed it to one piece of wood. I had to drill some holes in the bottom of my stove to be able to attach it to the other side of the top part of wood. I drilled holes in the bottom piece of wood for some 1/4″-20 bolts to drop through to be able to bolt the seat base too. I will try and do a future article explaining this process in more depth.

I had set the tub on the floor to make the drawers easier to build. Nobody was around to give me a hand, so I tried lifting the tub back onto the table by myself, which is what destroyed my back. I guess it had gotten heavier, lol. That ended my day at about 4 pm on Saturday.

I was feeling a bit better on Monday, so I decided to do some more welding on the top since it was removed from the tub. I decided to forgo trying to lift this tub again, and instead opted for four ratchet straps, and little by little I got the tub high enough to roll the frame back under it. Once the tub was back in place, I manhandled the top, which has to weigh over 100lbs by now, onto the tub. I got it lined up and checked fitment and decided to weld my hinges into place. I picked up two heavy-duty hinges from eBay. Once those were done, I lifted the top and set two 100lb struts in place to see if they would hold. I could push it down with a little force, so it should be just about perfect when I get the rack and rooftop tent on top. My goal is for the top to stay down and just use the struts for assisted lifting.

Next, I need to make some brackets for mounting the struts. Still trying to figure out the placement I like the best, that will give the most lift and still be out of the way. I need to design a latch system for the top and drawers, then a bunch of welding and grinding to clean the top and tub up and get it to read for a bed liner. I am waiting for my tubing bender to arrive to start on my fenders and steps on the side of the frame. I still need to finalize lighting placement as well. To be continued.

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