Starting my build

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Starting my build

Postby Jimmyg » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:10 am

I got this great idea to build my own teardrop after looking for a small camper to tow behind my Crosstrek. Most of the campers I found are too heavy (my car has 1500lbs max. towing) or too small. It's going to be 5' x10' Benroy style and shooting for 800 lbs. empty. I joined the group in April, been designing and collecting parts since. I'm like on my 5th design and it's still changing, go figure.....
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Re: Starting my build

Postby RJ Howell » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:22 am

If weight is a critical point in the build.. Take a gander at the Foamie Section here. Some very nice builds over there!
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Re: Starting my build

Postby retep » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:02 am

I stopped counting my design iterations. But I am with you on the basic Benroy design. Good luck and will be watching your progress

Cheers
Peter


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Re: Starting my build

Postby Squigie » Sun Oct 06, 2019 12:46 pm

You'll get there. And if you're tweaking an existing plan, it shouldn't take too long.

It took me a while to trim the fat from my designs and decide upon exactly which features were mandatory. I was designing from scratch, however.
Over time, I pared the concept down from a monstrous 16-foot mess to a bare-bones 8-footer. ...I kept drawing, waffling, and iterating. I drew things backwards, upside-down, and from different angles, just to have a different 'perspective' as I tried packaging things a little differently.
In the end, I kept coming back to the bare-bones 8-footer.
I have a one inch binder with all of the designs, sketches, and details; as well as any literature and receipts for items I've already purchased. It's already full. I need to trim the fat there, now.

(I haven't even started welding steel or cutting plywood for this first trailer, but have already started planning and designing two more: A 5x10 to be towed by the Nova, and another 'rough road' trailer big enough for the whole family. :NC )
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Re: Starting my build

Postby tony.latham » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:46 pm

I'm like on my 5th design and it's still changing, go figure.....


When you get it figured out on graph paper (or better yet, Sketchup) build a full-sized template out of 1/4" ply. Lay all of your structural elements and storage out on it.

Since you're building a ten-footer you'll need to "stretch" it out. It's easy to join two pieces of ply for this using fiberglass sheetrock tape and wood glue.

Image

Once you have both sides taped and glued, you'll be amazed at how strong the joint is.

Image

:beer:

Tony

p.s. A goal of 1100 pounds is more realistic.
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Re: Starting my build

Postby Squigie » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:42 pm

tony.latham wrote:p.s. A goal of 1100 pounds is more realistic.

Tony brings up a good point.

If you go look through the "Estimating your teardrop weight" thread, you'll find that 5-foot-wide builds tend to run an average of 110 to 150 lbs per linear foot.

I think 800 lbs is possible for a 5x10 Benroy, but you'll have to really focus on weight in design and construction. If you can lose it, do it. If you can shave weight from something, do it. If you can get away with two shelves instead of three, do it. If netting can take the place of cabinet doors, do it. Etc...
If you're using the Generic Benroy as a guide, I'd also put some thought into simplifying the rear end. Everything behind the interior cabinet face is, in my opinion, over-built, over-complicated, and over-weight. There's a lot of material in the Generic Benroy galley and storage areas that I think could be eliminated.

..

My own build has a target weight of 600 lbs. I can tell you, definitively, that I really don't think I can build to 600 lbs or less with the materials, parts, equipment, and techniques I plan to use (or already have on hand). I'm already sitting on more than 300 lbs worth of parts, without walls, a floor, or a frame. That 'unrealistic' goal does, however, serve as a reminder that I need to keep weight in mind with everything; and it should, hopefully, result in a finished empty weight under 800 lbs.
I'm fine to more than 1,200 lbs, empty; but I'd really like to see it come in at 800 lbs with propane and a battery (so it isn't so close to the suspension's max rating, when loaded).
So, I keep '600' in mind and hope it comes in under 1,000... :roll:
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Re: Starting my build

Postby RJ Howell » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:17 pm

As a lonely voice out here.. I say look into a foam build and how to incorporate it.

It doesn't have to be 100% foam, yet portions there of.

Yes, I was very skeptical of doing so and what I've learned is it's a pretty way to reduce weight. All I say is look at it. Can it assist your quest? Maybe. It did for me in my topper and in my final build I will find ways of using. I need to lose 800#'s in overall weight to meet my goal. I know my roof will be a fiberglass unit, yet the walls can easily be foam. Many of the interior components can be as well. I just wouldn't walk away without looking into and how to incorporate.

MHO
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Re: Starting my build

Postby pchast » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:03 pm

Its amazing how strong foam cabinets can be too.
There are utube videos demonstrating that.

With a full tongue box and the foam mattress
my 4x8 is under 600 lbs. I have neither galley
nor hatch.
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Re: Starting my build

Postby DaddyJeep » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:48 am

tony.latham wrote:
I'm like on my 5th design and it's still changing, go figure.....


Image

.




2 things.... that looks like a real nice elk. :thumbsup:

That picture is trippy after looking past the obvious profile of your camper. All your stuff is "hanging" from the shelves. :?
My big hybrid toy hauler with lots of curves build viewtopic.php?f=50&t=69618

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Re: Starting my build

Postby tony.latham » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:38 pm

All your stuff is "hanging" from the shelves.


It was a bad-gravity day.

Tony

p.s. and that was an archery kill to boot.
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Re: Starting my build

Postby torkcm » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:51 am

I'm also in the planning stages of my build and I found a pretty accurate way to estimate weight of materials used. I'm using sketchup to design my teardrop and it can tell you the volume of each piece designed. So say I have .75" x 1.5" x 42" long piece of plywood, the volume comes to 47.25 cu inches. Take that number and multiply it by the density of the material, plywood in this case. 47.25 x 0.02170138889 = 1.02 lbs for that piece. I know its tedious to do but sketchup handles a lot of the hard work and I can get the weight estimate pretty much spot on using a spreadsheet with a list of everything plotted out. I found that once everything was listed I was over my initial goal of 700 lbs by 190 and it's still climbing.

Sample list of densities for different materials
Material lbs per cu in
plywood 0.02170138889
aluminum 0.098
xps foam 0.001157407407
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Re: Starting my build

Postby eLink » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:57 am

torkcm wrote:I'm using sketchup to design my teardrop and it can tell you the volume of each piece designed.

Sounds tedious. Sketchup does give the volume of an individually selected group, but not multiple selections (without some sort of plug-in, anyway).
It would be simpler to calculate using the material's weight per square foot (i.e., 3/4" B.B. ply is about 2.5 lbs/sf).
A right-click on a material in the materials window will give the total area of that material used in the model.
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Re: Starting my build

Postby Squigie » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:06 am

torkcm wrote:I'm also in the planning stages of my build and I found a pretty accurate way to estimate weight of materials used. I'm using sketchup to design my teardrop and it can tell you the volume of each piece designed. So say I have .75" x 1.5" x 42" long piece of plywood, the volume comes to 47.25 cu inches. Take that number and multiply it by the density of the material, plywood in this case. 47.25 x 0.02170138889 = 1.02 lbs for that piece. I know its tedious to do but sketchup handles a lot of the hard work and I can get the weight estimate pretty much spot on using a spreadsheet with a list of everything plotted out. I found that once everything was listed I was over my initial goal of 700 lbs by 190 and it's still climbing.

Sample list of densities for different materials
Material lbs per cu in
plywood 0.02170138889
aluminum 0.098
xps foam 0.001157407407

I do the same ... manually.

My old CAD program (long abandoned by AutoDesk) is so incompatible with the latest computer OS updates that it's nearly unusable.
I can't get Fusion 360 to do what I need.
And I went so long without an active license for SolidWorks that I'm hesitant to even jump back into that separate-file-for-every-part pain in the butt. (I do have a free license now. I'm just skeeered.)

So, I'm still using graph paper and a calculator. :NC

If you want numbers as precise as possible, be sure to look up the weight per sheet of the actual thickness of plywood you're using - and from that specific manufacturer, if possible.
Different thicknesses have different densities, due to different ply thicknesses and ratios of glue to wood.
If you take the different thicknesses of a type of ply offered by one manufacturer, for example, and graph them by weight (or density), the result is not linear.

For 'ballpark' numbers, there's no need to be that picky. But if you're really trying to get an accurate estimate, it makes a difference.
The first design that I worked up a weight estimate for (now abandoned for excessive use of heavy plywood) had an 83 lb difference between using a generic plywood density (based on 1/2" I think) and the listed densities of the different thicknesses from the actual manufacturer that I can get here. Represented a different way: The difference between estimates was 8.9%; or 930 lbs (generic) vs 1,013 lbs (specific). On some builds, that's not a big deal. On others, 9% is huge - whether 9% over or 9% under.
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Re: Starting my build

Postby tony.latham » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:14 am

Have you looked at this graph?

http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=60392

:thinking:

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Re: Starting my build

Postby twisted lines » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:47 pm

I have been bouncing around interior design before this thread caught my attention so I spent the day adding up and guessing where I am at, just under 1000 with a battery, no cabnets, propane, bed or pillows. If I had tail lights Id go weight it.
She asked why I was doing it three times, so I told her wanted to know if she would pop the tires :BE
Was hoping for 12-13 hun when done. Dought I will make it.
5.5 X 10 Flatback Benroy in a pile,
And it's growing!
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