M100 Canvas Support Frame

 This page shows the canvas support frame that I built for my M100 trailer.  The pictures are of the canvas installed with the support in place and the support and how it was made.

I got this idea from a short article in Army Motors magazine, issue 114, page 52 and 53 (this issue features an unrelated article by a fellow club member and friend, Steve Smith on page 25).
The author of the Army Motors article built his frame out of 1/2 inch CPVC pipe. My visit to the hardware store suggested that CPVC pipe might be a bit too flimsy for a support frame on a trailer that will see action (such as our 100 mile convoy). I instead chose 1/2 schedule 40 PCV pipe. Well this was a mistake. The schedule 40 was too thick to flex enough to install the frame into the trailer. I then tried standard 1/2 PVC (which has a thinner wall than schedule 40) and this was what I was looking for– rigid enough to stand up to use, but flexible enough to actually flex and install. When you make your frame, compare the 1/2 CPVC and standard 1/2 PVC. Forget the schedule 40 PVC all together. NOTE: a ten foot piece of 1/2 PVC sells for about $1.40.
I did not glue any of my fittings on this frame. The pipe and fittings fit very tightly. By not gluing the fittings, I can take this frame apart at any time for storage or transport. I finished up the frame with a coat of OD green paint to kind of soften the plastic PVC look.
To keep the frame from scratching the inside of the trailer during installation and removal, I placed a piece of self adhesive foam on the sides of the fittings that contact the trailer. This material is available at Wal Mart and similar stores in the craft dept. and sells for about $1.00 for a 12×12 inch square.

Maybe these pictures will help you figure out how to tie down your canvas.

Conclusion: The canvas support gives the canvas a nice, tight look and prevents sag should the trailer be caught out in the rain. It also reduces flap and bounce as you tow your 1/4 ton trailer in the next 100 mile convoy!

Click on images for a larger view!