Trailer Canvas

Quarter-ton trailer series, Wanted, USED PARTS FOR SALE NO EBAY or COMMERCIAL SALES., and Knowledge Base
Chuck Lutz
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Chuck Lutz » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:49 pm

Farrell....I would opt for the heavier canvas myself if I was ordering one.

Manila fibers come from.... well, Manila or the Philippines in general, which ceased shipments of raw materials to the USA long before the G529 went into production. For things like your jeep tow rope, Sisal became an option. Cotton would not do for a tow rope, but certainly would for something as simple as the G529 tiedowns. Using a slip knot as seen in the photo would be important as WET cotton isn't going to be easy to untie if knotted.

If you go with Sisal, you need triangular "hog rings" to keep it from unravelling. However...a plain overhand knot in the running end with the tip dipped into hot asphalt would be an option for us to keep those dammned hog rings from putting a gash worthy of a few stitches in the palm of your hand at some point in time. Navy guys could tie an end splice in that three strand Sisal if enough length was available.
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Ben Dover » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:42 pm

I use Hog Rings, if crimped correctly there is no worry about injury. I also use the flat metal rings or whips as used on the ropes og GI Duck products.
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:00 pm

Chuck Lutz wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:49 pm
Farrell....I would opt for the heavier canvas myself if I was ordering one.
After speaking with the mill, I will most likely go with #8 (for now), since #10 will not always be available, and they make it in short runs at a time. Additionally, #8 is what is specified in the drawings. I have a source for #10 which is not made by the same mill and is more readily available, but I'll need to test the colors first to see if it falls within the acceptable spectrum.

Chuck Lutz wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:49 pm
If you go with Sisal, you need triangular "hog rings" to keep it from unravelling. However...a plain overhand knot in the running end with the tip dipped into hot asphalt would be an option for us to keep those dammned hog rings from putting a gash worthy of a few stitches in the palm of your hand at some point in time. Navy guys could tie an end splice in that three strand Sisal if enough length was available.
The drawings call for cotton rope with metal ring fasteners applied before cutting to length. Since the drawings specify it, and original examples follow the drawings, so shall the new repros. I already purchased a few hundred yards of the correct rope.
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nick peters
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by nick peters » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:33 am

Hello Everyone. I'm pleased to have got to know that there was indeed a difference between Willys and Bantam covers. Now the next question. Do any of you guys know/ have an opinion. As to which style would have been used on a 45 produced Gemco. :roll:
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Farrell Fox
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:24 am

Without war time drawings from Gemco, that will be hard to say. But I would specify *when* in 1945? Because for the first half of 1945, duck canvas was rationed, and production of items such as Jeep canvas tops was discontinued. So if your Gemco trailer was produced sometime in the first half of 1945, it is very possible it did not get a canvas cover at all. However, I would like to see more information to form a consensus.
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by 1942GPW » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:05 am

Farrell - Please let us know when you begin making the covers, I'll be interested. Thanks - Eric
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Chuck Lutz » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:01 pm

On the one hand, those 1945 contract G529s are Bantam clones, not Willys clones so I would suspect Gemco to copy the Bantam covers. I am not sure if Bantam contracted out the tops or not so it is possible Gemco (and others) sought out the same suppliers.

However....if the late war contracts did not include a cover then those trailers were accepted without one.

So...if you represent your Gemco as a factory issue, maybe it had no cover but once you put on the bigger USA numbers or unit markings, either a "Bantam" or a "Willys" style could have been obtained for it.
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GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by nick peters » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:12 am

Hey Farrell
Im not sure exactly as the trailer Id plate is missing. The frame number is 146837 .So I believe that will make it around may /june produced? Chuck correct me if Im wrong please :) So from what Chuck and you are saying Farrell any style of top will be ok for 'field issue' ?
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:25 am

If you do not plan to restore your trailer to as-delivered from the factory (which simply means not rebuilt since construction), then you could have any correct war time tarp on it, or even a depot made tarp, which is basically a piece of canvas with enough eyelets to secure it to the trailer. Though most vehicles and trailers retained their factory issue equipment for quite some time after delivery.

I used to have a depot made trailer tarp, till my old buddy's dog ate it. It was OD canvas sewn with black cotton thread, and came with my 1943 MBT used by the 5th Marine Division. It was not uncommon for depots to not only reclaim canvas items, but fabricate new assemblies, to include Jeep tops and other canvas items that were of need.
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by nick peters » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Good enough. Thanks for the info. :) :)
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Chuck Lutz » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:22 pm

Nick...

Your trailer is not an MB, a year too late for them. Probably a late June or July, 1945 so it could be one of several mfgers in that time frame. As noted, if there was no longer a requirement for a canvas cover then yours could use either style or none at all and be "correct".

I like the idea of a "field made" top from "salvaged tentage" which gives you the latitude to make one up as you see fit as long as it mimics the correct design elements...and if you have the grommets and a sewing machine that can handle three layers in a folded-over seam.

With that in mind, you could use any small line you could "salvage" from pup tents or larger WWII tents "in the field" to make up the tie-downs if you wanted to.
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)

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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Ben Dover » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:07 pm

Pup Tents? not canvas duck and too thin
I have a NOS Set of GI Issue MB Headlight Covers made of scrap or reclaimed OD canvas. The various pieces sewn tocether that make up the covers are different shades of O.D. They were made by Benicia Arsenal dated 1945. They have a sewn on white Nomenclature Tag.
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Chuck Lutz » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:54 pm

You make due with what ya got....you want a trailer tarp and you are in Luxembourg in winter? If you can't find a wrecked trailer to get one off or there isn't one available because any large canvas tents or truck canvas being "salvaged" were needed for shelter or for use on other trucks... period...however if you had a couple shelter halves and access to a sewing machine...it would be better than coming out each day and finding all your gear was covered in wet snow in the trailer I guess.

We are assuming that GIs in the ETO in winter did not have the Bantam or Willys drawings for the trailer canvas covers available anyway.

Colonel Korn to his staffers, "Men, each time we advance, our HQ gear is subjected to rain, sleet and snow. We are short canvas for the trucks as it is, but there are no covers available for the 1/4 trailers at all right now. Has anyone got a suggestion here on keeping our gear safe?"

From the desk, an HQ staffer, Pvt. Partz raises his hand and the Colonel says, "Only you Private? Nobody else has a suggestion? OK, what is it?"

"Well, sir...I noticed that with all the replacements we have coming up and all the casualties we have had, there are piles of equipment laying around and I just thought that maybe we could use the shelter halves on the trailers, sir. I know there is a sewing machine that has been used to repair holes in tents around here. Maybe we could give some of them to those guys to make up some trailer covers, sir"
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)

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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Ben Dover » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:31 am

And what did "Joe Dope" say? :wink:
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Re: Trailer Canvas

Post by Farrell Fox » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:35 am

The Military always taught to do the opposite of what Joe Dope did or said..... only dopes cared what he did or said.
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