If you’re thinking about or just bought a Military light/heavy tactical M1101/2 trailer you’re probably wondering the best way to tow it. One great benefit to the trailers are the weight, only 1450 lbs. One great challenge for many is the height. It might look daunting to first hitch a wide HMMWV Military trailer, but it’s pretty simple with the right tools and training. Learn and apply at your own risk!
1st Time Check
If you’re buying a military trailer for the first time, especially from an auction, we do not recommend towing it back to your location. One of the most common problems with M1101/2 trailers are the hubs and bearings overheating. We don’t know if this is manufacturer specific or not. Regardless, you don’t want a problem to turn into a disaster towing a nice trailer 100 or 3000 miles only to find that 50 miles down the road the bearing are ceased up. There was, maybe still is, an issue with the bearing being too tight, over-torqued. The fix is simple if you have basic tools and is elaborated in another post. For that one reason, rent a simple flatbed or car hauler your first time, just in case.
If you insist on towing your M1101 or M1102 trailer, drive 30-50 miles down the road and touch the hub caps. If you can’t keep your hand on it, they are probably too hot and over-heated. You can take a risk and drive it, but be sure to over-inflate the tires for less resistance, or bring the basic tools you should be carrying anyway to remedy the issue.
Be sure both manual hand or parking brakes are disengaged before departing.
Technically, the standard HMMWV M1101/2 Trailer tires are rated for no more than 55 MPH. The tread pattern, bead-lock rim, and run-flat inserts aren’t designed for speed. We’ve towed a number of trailers short and long distances with different trucks up to 80 MPH. We haven’t had any issues at low or high speeds. If you have issues towing your military trailer, there is something wrong with your truck or trailer. Be sure to read the pre-departure checklist and recommendations to verify and check other areas such as suspension for damage or shock absorbers for leaks.
One quick way to change the ride feel and height is changing the tire pressure. If your M1101/2 trailer is bouncing around behind your pickup, SUV or HMMWV, simply decrease the tire pressure. This especially happens when the M1101/2 trailer is empty, but can happen with a load too. We over-inflate the tires in our trucks for better handling and gas mileage. You can inflate your truck or Humvee tires up to 90% of the max PSI. We do not recommend the same strategy with the light tactical trailers. Read about tire pressure here such trailering in tactical situation, rocky terrain, fording/swimming, and emergency procedures.
The M1101/2 technical manual states that 17 PSI +- 2 PSI is optimal. There are too many variables (weather, truck, weight, etc.) so you’ll have to learn by first-hand experience to determine the right PSI for you. We’ve had the 37″ HMMWV tires up to 45 PSI on these trailers without issue. Empty it really bounces around, but loaded it’s smooth.
Chose a Hitch
The military trailer is designed to be towed behind a HMMWV, yet it’s light enough to tow an empty M1101/2 trailer with a car. The height is something you’ll have to work out. You can tow the trailer with the tongue downward, see images of the Toyota Tundra, but beware of bumps and dragging chains. It’s recommended for safety, to tow the trailer as level as possible. See images of RAM PowerWagon. We discuss hitch options and heights in another post.
The Right Angle
Do your best to get as straight a shot from the tongue of the military light tactical M1101/2 trailer to your hitch as possible. The quickest and cheapest option to level the trailer with your truck or SUV is to purchase a raised pintle hook hitch that is 3-12″ high or more, whatever you need. Expect to pay over $300 or more for a strong, sturdy raised pintle hook hitch. You can run into real problems if the tongue is angled down dramatically. Such issues include overheating hubs and unsafe bouncing.
Do you have a fun story, experience or expertise towing a military trailer? We want to hear from you.