Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

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Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

Postby Patrio » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:21 am

Hello, all!

I've been lurking here for quite some time, as I have already started my build and this is a great source for advice.

My build isn't really a teardrop, as I am a Large-American (6' 4" and well, many, many pounds) and I tend to get claustrophobic in small spaces. So, I needed a "standy" in order to feel comfortable.

My base is a 4x6 home-built utility trailer that my dad made for me a while back. It's tough as nails and built like a tank. He estimates capacity to be in the 2000-2500 range based on the thickness of materials used and assembly techniques, and says that if I ever want to carry more, I can bring it back to him and he'll add reinforcement and upgrades to make it mega-heavy-duty. (It's all welded heavy L channel and is way overbuilt, but still light enough that I can pull it up the slight hill in the backyard by hand, even with some building supplies in it). I've hauled well over a thousand pounds in it and while you knew it was there, the trailer handled it with no problem.

What I am doing is making a slide-in pod for it. I envision skids on the bottom and a cradle that I can back up to. Hook up to it with a hand-crank winch and pull it off onto the cradle. Move the winch and do the same thing in reverse to load it.

Due to limited space, I'm building it as a set of panels that I will screw-n-glue together at a later time. I may have access later in the winter to some major garage space...my brother-in-law's dad has a big metal building about 8 miles down the road and my BIL said he would absolutely love to host my project.

But, the lower part of the build will still be assembled later.

I used isometric grid paper to mock up my design. If you've never used it, it's great stuff. I call it "Poor Man's CAD".

Here's the cutaway of the floor plan as it stands now...subject to change of course (as evidenced by the large number of eraser marks on that paper).



Here's the lower tub framing, test fitted, minus the floor. Yes, the spare tire will have to move.



Basic construction on the lower tub and load bearing panels is 2x2, sandwiched with 1/4" ply on the exterior, and Lauan on the interior, with foamboard insulation in between, outside with PMF. Like this:







Wife and I sat on opposite ends of the front cross-member after I sheeted it. The thing didn't even budge. And, as I said, I am a Large-American. Wife isn't though.

Top half, except for the ceiling, is going to be 3/8" ply exterior + furring strip frame + foam board insulation + Lauan interior. Ceiling will be 2x2 to accommodate roll insulation and a roof vent.

I added up the weight per linear/square foot of all materials and I expect the shell weight to be around 600 lbs. Even if it goes up to 800-1000 total weight, that's a comfortable weight as far as the trailer is concerned. I estimate the weight of the trailer itself to be around 300-350 lb. So far, weighing panels individually, I'm below target weights on every panel by a pound or two.

I don't plan to have any permanent electrical system in it. If later I find the need, I will use surface conduit to run my wiring. Everything else can be run by batteries; AAA powered lights, rechargeable power packs for phone/tablets, etc. I've used these before during weekends in the wild and they work remarkably well, and I believe they will be just fine inside the camper. I will have a pass-through to run an extension cord and power strip inside if needed. Otherwise, no plumbing, no water tanks, no permanent heating/cooling. In the colder months, I may add a portable toilet, but that's as fancy as it will get. It will just be a dry, semi-climate-controlled sleeping capsule with a full bed and space to move around a bit and store my things. KISS. I will add electric/gas portable heat and a window air unit as necessary or available. I'm basically looking for something one step above a tent that will keep me out of the elements during trips to our farm and camping out in the wilds.

The trailer has excellent ground clearance, and I've already pulled it to some pretty remote (and difficult to get to) locations while heavily loaded with my Xterra, which will be the tow vehicle. For example, to get to our farm, one must drive the creek. Not through it; literally in the creek, as that is the road. Gotta love WV. The trailer has never come close to getting stuck anywhere I've taken it, even with a full load on some pretty rough trails.

Anywho, as I finish a panel, I'm coating the exterior of each piece with PMF as I go, which brings me to my first question:

How far along can I do the PMF on the individual panels before assembly? For example, if I completely finish the panels, including paint, can I then "tape" the corners with another strip of fabric and paint over that too? Or should I only do glue until everything's assembled and then paint?

I know I'm being a little windy, but I've been waiting a couple weeks on a membership and now I'm just excited to share what I have and ask all my questions. If I need to move any of this stuff to a different forum, let me know.

Thanks in advance.
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Patrio
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Re: Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

Postby Sparksalot » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:17 am

Nice start!
Done? Surely you jest. A teardrop is never "done".

The Compass Rose build thread: viewtopic.php?t=23213

Inspiration: http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/Trailer%20for%20Two.htm

It's got a cop motor, a 5.3 LS plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. ~ Elwood Blues
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Re: Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

Postby pchast » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:50 pm

Are you expecting the covering to do the assembly/attachment?
I've painted and added another piece of material overlapped or
as a repair. That has worked.
:D
But structurally.......... I kind of doubt it would add much to
hold things together by itself.
:thinking:
In addition to something like pocket screws it might be good.
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Re: Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

Postby Pmullen503 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:47 pm

If you can glue/screw the panels together then a strip of PMF to waterproof the seams should be fine. I wouldn't paint it until the seams are done. Any chance you could add the interior laun after all the panels are connected?
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Re: Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

Postby Patrio » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:27 am

pchast wrote:Are you expecting the covering to do the assembly/attachment?
I've painted and added another piece of material overlapped or
as a repair. That has worked.
:D
But structurally.......... I kind of doubt it would add much to
hold things together by itself.
:thinking:
In addition to something like pocket screws it might be good.


Oh, no. I'm going to glue and screw them together with PL. I'm strictly viewing the PMF as a waterproof covering that is relatively cheap and easy to apply.
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Re: Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

Postby Patrio » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:32 am

Pmullen503 wrote:If you can glue/screw the panels together then a strip of PMF to waterproof the seams should be fine. I wouldn't paint it until the seams are done. Any chance you could add the interior laun after all the panels are connected?


I thought about that, but I would have to change my design and add a separate "header" to each panel to anchor the Lauan.

I plan to drill (or perhaps "rout") a series of holes in the Lauan so that the PL Premium can reach the 2x2. Then, I'm going to assemble them with 3" wood screws.

I haven't built the sides yet. I might modify my original plan to see if it's possible, esp. since my side walls will be thinner.
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Re: Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

Postby pchast » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:00 pm

Can you have enough fabric to simply wrap onto the next
panel to the rear. Then you don't need to add a strip and
you are letting the air flow like water rolling down a roof.
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Re: Hi. I'm Patrio. And I'm building a thing.

Postby Patrio » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:26 am

pchast wrote:Can you have enough fabric to simply wrap onto the next
panel to the rear. Then you don't need to add a strip and
you are letting the air flow like water rolling down a roof.


Yes, that's the plan for the upper part. Everything under the overhangs (except the back panel, which I haven't built yet) is already skinned, which is why I was asking.

I can't join the tub pieces together inside my building and get it out the door. But, when I skin the side, front, rear, and top panels, they will likely already be attached to the tub and I will wrap the bottom.

What I was concerned about was whether the overlap pieces would stick to the tub, which would likely already be painted. And, according to the answers here, I'm GTG on that.

Thanks!
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