Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And Now For My Next Recreation...

As many of you know, I spent a little time in our Country's armed forces a couple of years back doing a variety of different jobs. One of those jobs included a stint as a track and wheeled vehicle mechanic (63H10/63W10). It was during this time that I was introduced to the M109A3 and that is the topic for this blog post!

The M109A3 is nothing more than the oldest workhorse in the US armed forces arsenal (i.e., the beloved Deuce-and-a-half general purpose truck) with a box trailer on the back. This deuce-and-a-half variant is used for one of three purposes:
1) An electronics repair truck
2) An armorer's repair truck
3) A mechanic's repair / part truck

One of the best things about being a 63H/W10 in the field is that you might get assigned to one of these vehicles and as such, you basically have a movable apartment with electricity, built-in lighting and a dry place to sleep while in the field. It was my privilege to be assigned to one of these vehicles for a number of years and it was during one of those times in the field when I decided I wanted to have one of the M109A3s for my own personal use. At the time it was a pipe-dream but it was one that has stuck with me through the years.

Fast-forward to three weeks ago; the religious holiday known in Arkansas as modern gun season for deer was just about to open and religious zealots (read as deer hunters) were out in force. It was one of these zealots that reminded me of my desire to own an M109A3.

Toni and Madison were running into one of our two local mega-merchant stores that are based out of Bentonville, AR and I was waiting in the parking lot for their speedy return when a privately owned deuce-and-a-half pulled into the parking lot loaded down for the deer woods! In that moment, I decided I knew why I wanted to own the M109A3 and that if this guy had a deuce-and-a-half that surely I could find a M109A3 for my own!

I whipped out my trusty iPad and started a quick internet search. Within minutes I had located several government auction sites and I had found two M109A series trucks for sale! I bookmarked their auction pages and started watching the auction site like a hawk looking for field mice. In the following days I plotted and planned exactly what I wanted to do with the M109A3 once I acquired it. I researched my vision and found several others who had gone before me and created very similar creations with their own M109A3s.

What had I envisioned so long ago and what did I want to do with an M109A3 should I acquire it?

Simple: create the ultimate hunting/camping RV!

Think about it; it is six wheel drive, runs on everything from used motor oil all the way up to turbine engine fuel (thanks to it multi-fuel system) and is next to impossible to get stuck! Couple all of that with the fact that you can pick one up for just shy of $5k and parts can be had from Memphis Truck Supply for next to nothing and you have yourself the ultimate off-road RV!!!

Still not convinced? Think of it this way, a Polaris Razor (a soupped up four-wheeler with seats) runs about $10K. It seats two people, cannot be driven on the road and is only good for driving around in the woods. Now, knowing that, wouldn't you rather invest in the ultimate off-road RV? Yeah, me too!

I let the first two M109A auctions expire without bidding on them to see how high they would sell for. I was hoping to see them sell for about $1,500 but one sold for $4,800 (it for sure ran and needed no mechanical work) and the other sold for $2,800 (based on the pictures I would have been surprised if it needed any mechanical work). Now I know what I will have to spend for one and after the first of the year I will be once again closely monitoring the government auction sites for a good M109A3 to go up for auction.

Keep checking back to find out how I fair in turning my pipe-dream into a reality!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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