Noob checking in

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Noob checking in

Postby GuySmiley » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:51 am

Greetings!

After choking or spraying multiple cups of coffee upon seeing the MSRP of off road trailers and campers, I've decided to try my hand at designing and (hopefully) building a teardrop for family camping, overlanding... and maybe even serve as an off grid office?

I'm a licensed Architect, well versed in CAD and 3d Modeling, and a fair hand at carpentry. I found tnttt through a link @tony.latham posted on Expedition Portal -and subsequently purchased his book- which I've been working through alongside sketching initial design concepts. I've been sponging up the collective knowledge posted here (and elsewhere) about home built trailers, construction methods and design features.

I'll be towing whatever I eventually (hopefully!) build with a 5th gen 4Runner, so I want to keep it light, high clearance to match or exceed the 4Runner, with matching wheel and tire sizes for worst case scenarios. Initially it will need to sleep my wife and myself, along with our 5 year old son. I intend to design it in such a way as to have the ability to add a roof top tent later for when mini-me is no longer mini.

I'll post up some of my sketches, CAD drawings and 3d models once I reach a point I feel is good to take a breath and critique.

Cheers!
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Re: Noob checking in

Postby RJ Howell » Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:46 pm

Welcome and please do bring on your ideas. We've all gone through the stage and hopefully can assist you along the journey.

You'll find me to be a huge fan of standees, which typically means a lifting roof. Several here have done it and in different ways. Great source here to see what and why someone did something, learn from it and hear excitement from those that assisted/encouraged as you proceed.

I personally took a completely different approach and built a 4wd camper with a lift top from my F150. We love the fact that we travel in a low profile and once parked, pop the top and have a standee! The thought for me is to build a trailer using the same basic ideas to tow along or use with our other vehicle as the need requires. Just an example of a idea, concept and a build. Don't fear thinking outside the box here!
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Re: Noob checking in

Postby eLink » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:12 pm

GuySmiley wrote:
After choking or spraying multiple cups of coffee upon seeing the MSRP of off road trailers and campers, I've decided to try my hand at designing and (hopefully) building a teardrop for family camping, overlanding... and maybe even serve as an off grid office?


Been there! It's definitely rewarding to design your own.
I look forward to seeing your sketches!
eLink
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Re: Noob checking in

Postby GuySmiley » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:44 pm

So here's my first go... This is more a thought exercise as I work out what I'd like to accomplish, what design choices I should prioritize vs add if reasonable, etc.

Initial objectives:
-Queen size mattress for wifey and I.
-Toddler space behind for mini me.
-Traditional kitchenette/hatch in back.
-Independent off road suspension running 33" tires (currently showing on Timbren axle-less with the 4" lift)
-Shared track width with 4Runner...

After playing with the CAD outlines Tony so generously posted, I've stretched the platform to 11'-4" to accommodate a small space for a toddler mattress. I skipped the headboard for now to make space, which is a design compromise I'm not thrilled about at the moment. There needs to be some sort of storage up there, maybe a small shelf tucked in each corner up near the spring line of the front radius? My current direction for wall construction is a sandwich of 3/4" interior plywood, 1" of poly-iso, and a 1/4" exterior skin. Exterior will be fiber glassed and painted. I want to minimize thermal transfer points (probably overkill but I'm an Architect...).

There is a storage space at the head of the toddler bed on the port side, I image this will serve as a book shelf.

When mini-me grows out of his bunk space it could be used for storage or a dog box (with a cargo net dividing it from the primary volume), also why I want it to have its own door. The bunk is raised above the wheel wells, and I imagine a water tank will be tucked into the volume below.

What I'm finding challenging right now is maintaining a similar track width to the 4Runner, which is 63" give or take. This requires wheel wells about 6" clear into the body of the Teardrop if running identical tires. My drawing of the Timbren suspension parts is an educated guess based on a diagram with a few dimensions on it...

Schematic longitudinal section:
Image

Schematic plan:
Image

Concerns at the moment:
-Pretty sure it's already too long for my ideal "off road" design brief... Hitch to center of wheel hubs is 12' with a 4' tongue.
-Speaking of, the axle line feels too far back...
-Am I overthinking the matching track width thing? Overcomplicating the design in regards to tubs for the wheels? Removing this aspect would instantly allow for easier correction of the previous concerns.

Lay it on me gurus!
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Re: Noob checking in

Postby tony.latham » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:50 pm

Check out Ryu's kid-bed:



He comes on at about 4:22. An innovative builder.

Here's my 60" wide cabin behind our Tacoma.

Image

It tracks just fine "off-road". (I don't' like that word since even two-tracks roads are roads.)

I'd leave the wheels outside.

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