All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Design & Construction of anything that's not a teardrop e.g. Grasshoppers or Sunspots

Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:29 pm

More progress.

No word from Frank Bear at Vintage Technologies yet, so I went ahead and installed the doors with the wrong sized rings (and I paid extra for the larger ones). The doors look good and function well, so I'm just going to try filling the gap with expanding foam and then see how hard it is to make look good later. I think the trailer looks much better with the doors on.

I also installed the kitchen counter and sink. I made a trip to the big box store and bought a bunch of plumbing stuff, among other things. I got the correct drain stuff and drilled a 1.5" hole and ran some ABS pipe out that for the sink drain. I wasn't able to find a rubber p-trap like I wanted, and I'm worried that water in the trap would freeze, so there's no p-trap in the system now. I only wanted it to prevent the draft, so I'll just put a magnetic thing in the sink or something. Maybe I'll make a plug for the exit to keep critters out. I bought the wrong size connector for the supply side, so that'll require another box store visit. But the sink and faucet look good. The tape in the photo will be removed after I finish caulking.

I was still worried about durability, so I picked up some self-drilling 3" bolts and drove a bunch of those in with a nice countersink and then filled the holes. I also ran a tube of interior adhesive as caulk around a bunch of the interior seams to combat draftiness. Hopefully this thing won't rattle apart on it's maiden voyage.
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trailer_sink_installed.jpg
trailer_sink_installed.jpg (36.94 KiB) Viewed 1283 times
trailer_bigger_bolts.jpg
trailer_bigger_bolts.jpg (31.94 KiB) Viewed 1283 times
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby 39Ratrod » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:32 am

It's coming along! I am enjoying all the pics. It's nice to see a something come from a sketch to life.
The biggest difference between a dreamer and a doer is the follow through.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:47 pm

I got maybe four hours of work done on the trailer today. I started by installing the little Coleman stove that my friend gave me a long time ago. It's sitting flush on the counter now, and that probably won't work. The plan is to space it from the counter with 3/4" screw spacers and see if that lights anything afire. Maybe I'll put a diamond plate ring under it. Unfortunately, it looks like you'll need to reach under the counter to adjust the flame. I still haven't decided if I want to run a propane line from the front to the back of the trailer or have a small local bottle back there. It would be nice to put the furnace back there too, so I suppose I'll be welding in some propane line protection soon. But I won't buy that furnace until I start getting paid again.

I also sanded out a few rough spots and cleaned up a bunch of silicone around one window and repainted the entire exterior with topside paint. Another morale booster. Most surfaces have at least two layers now. I'm thinking of spraying a clear coat on them later.

My jigsaw died, and I've been depending on it for a lot of the work, so I took it apart and tinkered with it until it started working again. I think one of the brushes was out of whack.

I cut a long, thin piece of ply to cover the little gap between the front wall and front ceiling and stuck that up there.

I broke out a can of expanding foam insulation and shot a bunch into the door gaps. I also hit the oddly-shaped area around the sink drain and then filled the gaps between the front diamond plate pieces and the lower frame. I'm going to seal those gaps up with the fiberglass Bondo crap. I'm likely wrong, but I think this thing will be pretty much water-tight below the doors and hatch.

Finally, I roughly cut a piece of rubber pond liner (used, from when I had to rebuild my pond) for the front roof. It was pretty dirty, so I washed it hard with a pressure sprayer and hung it up to dry. The idea is to glue it to the roof and roll the edges around some strips of steel and screw them to the walls.

It's nice seeing visible progress, and that's got me optimistic. The plan is to seal this thing up and keep it nice and solid. Then I can smooth out any rough edges, so to speak, with time later. I think I'll have a hard time NOT working on it and improving it over time. So any little bits that bother me can be fixed right up. I'm creating a whole new house project from scratch here!
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trailer_stove_installing.jpg
trailer_stove_installing.jpg (26.24 KiB) Viewed 1235 times
trailer_foam_door.jpg
trailer_foam_door.jpg (24.34 KiB) Viewed 1235 times
trailer_in_gray_paint.jpg
trailer_in_gray_paint.jpg (43.31 KiB) Viewed 1235 times
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:11 pm

A little more progress today. I had a lot of other stuff to do, so I started early and ended earlier.

I re-caulked all of the windows and doors, this time with lots of tape. Lots of silicone too. I removed the great stuff expanding foam overflow from the door gap. I should have remembered how sticky/messy that stuff is and taped everything up. So that took a while. Oops. But the doors look good inside now. I added the little trim strip to the one door I hadn't put it on yet. I taped up the sink and caulked that and a bunch of other interior stuff too.

I also cut away the foam overflow from those lower seams and then mixed up (hopefully) my last batch of the crappy Bondo. It didn't want to stick - it's so hairy that it's like trying to stuff loose, wet dreadlocks into a cranny. It came out of my container in one long thing, like the noodle in Lady and the Tramp, and if I pulled a little too hard, the whole thing would come out of the gap again. But I got a bunch on there. I doubt it's waterproof, so I'll use the structure (assuming it hardens) to hold some liquid nails or something.

I also finally formulated a plan for the back hatch and got a tiny start on that.

A supply run for little stuff is in order. I'll be off this job for at least a few days after tomorrow.
Attachments
trailer_side_resilicone.jpg
trailer_side_resilicone.jpg (28.05 KiB) Viewed 1204 times
trailer_crappy_bondo.jpg
trailer_crappy_bondo.jpg (10.99 KiB) Viewed 1204 times
trailer_caulked_sink.jpg
trailer_caulked_sink.jpg (29.03 KiB) Viewed 1204 times
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:01 pm

I only spent 2-3 hours on the trailer today after doing a too-long parts run. I started by doing some wood filling. Then I worked on the back hatch, which involved lots of head scratching and drinking beer. Then I pulled out the back window and discovered that it doesn't have a ring to hold it in a wall. I developed a plan to mount it in a board, which I then measured up and cut out. Then I spent over an hour cleaning the thick black gunk from the window.

That'll be it for about a week, I think. I can't wait to make more progress.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:31 pm

I got some work done on the trailer today. First, I scraped and smoothed the filler I used to fill gaps on either side. Then I cut out some trim strips that will go around the left wheel well. And I connected the cold water part of the faucet. The water works well and has nice volume, but there's a small leak where the hose attaches to the "bulkhead."

Then I finally started on the rear hatch. The photo doesn't show much, but this took a couple of hours at least. It's got some insulation, an opening for the window, side supports for the bottom of the hatch, and I've got additional supports for the bottom part ready to go. I think it will work out. And I finally found some weather stripping that I'm happy with
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:09 pm

I worked for about four hours today. I spent about two hours cleaning the garage and the driveway and pulling the trailer into the garage before it rained. I spent the other two hours working on the rear hatch and some other little odds and ends. I think the rear hatch is about 2/3 done. The window is in and the major structure is there. With one average day of work, maybe I can hang the hatch. I still don't know exactly how I'm going to latch it - after researching on the forum, I gave up on a turn handle, but now that it's been a while, I'm optimistic again.

No photos - when I was done, the hatch was buried under heavy stuff to get it glued nice and flat.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:49 pm

I worked on the trailer for 3 or 4 hours today. I started by putting in the wiring for the back hatch. Unfortunately, when it came time to take photos, I didn't want to disturb the wood filler by turning the hatch around. But I've got a bright red LED wired in to be a sort-of porch light that supposedly won't attract as many insects. It has two leads and is brighter when both are powered, so I left the wires hanging out for two switches (I could only find one in my electronics kit). I also left wires ready for the white LED that will go back there, matching the interior lights. And then I filled the screw and brad holes with "plastic" wood filler, so I had to let that dry. The interior paneling/skin for the hatch is almost done now, but I left the bottom part to await hanging so I can get the weather-seal surfaces perfect.

Then I sanded up the front part of the roof that will be covered in rubber. I glued a scrap piece of rubber to some scrap wood with wood glue. If that sticks well, it would be super easy to use that for final adhering. So I'm waiting for that to dry too.

Then I planed down the cross supports that the plexiglass roof will rest on. I left a slight upward bow to limit oil canning and distribute load. Then I pulled them both out and sanded them well with 100, 220, and 500-grit sandpaper. Out of clean clear varnish, I had to forego the dark stain for Australian tree oil, which I used on the kitchen counter (to go under epoxy). So I oiled those up and put them aside to dry too.

So now that everything is drying, I have no choice but to do actual professional (but non-paying) work. Boring.
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trailer_rafters_oiled.jpg
trailer_rafters_oiled.jpg (17.21 KiB) Viewed 1084 times
trailer_door_with_window.jpg
trailer_door_with_window.jpg (26.35 KiB) Viewed 1084 times
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Sun Sep 04, 2016 12:29 pm

I didn't take many photos again. Apologies.

The trailer was still in the garage while it rained yesterday. I pulled it out later when it was sunny. As you can see in the photo, it's a little messy and cramped in there.

I actually managed to hang the rear hatch. It's pretty heavy even though it isn't finished, so that was difficult alone. The screws through the hinge into the door were too long and bound up the door, even though I had taped brad shafts to the top seam to keep the gap perfect. So I pulled those out and used the leftover screws from the door kits. I've only got about 1/3 of the screws in, but everything works well. So I'm pretty confident the door will be solid with all the screws in once I buy some shorter ones. The gap for the weather seal is good enough but not as tight as I'd like. Maybe paint, etc. will fill that up. For what it's worth, two layers of rubber will cover the hinge.

I cut the rubber front roof coating down to the final size and glued that down. I had sanded it with 100 grit on the power sander first to make sure it stuck well. Then I stacked sandbags and lumber on top to get it to flatten as much as possible. The rubber needs to be in place before I put the plexiglass down, because the plexiglass will sandwich the rubber down. So I need to get the rear roof rubber installed soon. Meanwhile, I installed the now-finished roof rafters and pounded them flush with a rubber hammer. I filled the little gaps around them with wood filler.

Jumping ahead, I also cut out the plexiglass to the final dimensions and pre-drilled all of the oversized installation holes. I also pre-drilled the holes into the lumber that I had installed earlier in the day. The white plastic coating is still on the plexiglass, which is good, because I've been moving it back and forth a lot to prepare the mating surfaces, drill holes, etc.

I planed down the lumber that framed out the hatch hinge that stuck out above the roof line due to the funky angle. There was a hideous gap in the roof above the rear hatch, so I covered that from the inside with plywood, filled it with insulation, and capped it off with wood filler. Not pretty, but I think it'll do after being smoothed out and covered in topside paint and rubber. I filled a bunch of screw holes and seams on the back hatch too, after I'd applied more plywood to it. I've been using brads lately (in combination with lots of glue, of course), so I've been filling those holes too.

I drilled a hole through the diamond plate all the way into the cabin behind the sink drain hole. Then I pushed some wire through that will power a little LED license plate light I ordered while eating lunch. The license plate will cover the drain up, at least when viewed from the rear.
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trailer_hinge_spacers.jpg
trailer_hinge_spacers.jpg (25.35 KiB) Viewed 1037 times
trailer_in_garage_hatchless.jpg
trailer_in_garage_hatchless.jpg (34.34 KiB) Viewed 1037 times
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:05 pm

I only put in about four hours today. I folded up a rubber seam on the side of the front roof and stapled it to the side. I folded it under and put adhesive silicone sealant under it so the water can't wick under. When I was done, I put more silicone over the staples. I was low on staples, so this was only a proof of concept. I think it looks fine enough.

I applied some more wood filler to screw holes and did some sanding. The plexiglass mating surface is all ready, but I need to prepare the rubber for the rear roof before setting the plexiglass over that on that side. I straightened up more silicone around some of the windows and cleaned the frames up a bit. And I went inside and painted a bunch of interior white with multiple coats. It's not done yet, and already it's looking a little too white, so I'm wondering if it'll need more color later. I'm excited about maybe finally being done with parts of the interior paint soon so that I can install lights, CO and smoke detectors, etc. There's obviously more to do in there, and it should be low priority. But my fiance was in the driveway today, so I didn't want to make a bunch of noise and dust with power tools for the exterior.

We also grabbed some color swatches for ideas about exterior color (not all shown here), and I taped them to the exterior. I'm liking the somewhat darker of the light greens.

Again, I owe you more photos. My camera lens is ailing, and the photo-posting process I'm using is annoying. But there's really some progress to show, so maybe tomorrow.
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trailer_rubber_seam.jpg
trailer_rubber_seam.jpg (22.33 KiB) Viewed 1007 times
trailer_colors.jpg
trailer_colors.jpg (15.39 KiB) Viewed 1007 times
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:03 pm

I only put in about 20 minutes today. I put in the remainder of hinge screws, cleaned the hinge, and painted it black. Then I took measurements for the rear roof rubber and pushed the trailer into the garage ahead of more rain.

For final color, I'm thinking of something between the right-most two.

There's obviously a lot more to do. I'd love to find some 45-degree molding for between the diamond plate and the body...
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trailer_with_swatches.jpg
trailer_with_swatches.jpg (29.95 KiB) Viewed 973 times
trailer_with_painted_hinge.jpg
trailer_with_painted_hinge.jpg (31.63 KiB) Viewed 973 times
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby 39Ratrod » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:20 am

Looking good! Bet you can't wait to use it!
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby 3GKnight » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:41 am

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:09 am

39Ratrod, I'm (unsuccessfully) trying not to think too much about using the trailer. I can't wait.

3GKnight, that looks like a really challenging project, and yet you made it. So there's hope for me. And an example of a tiny trailer carrying a motorcycle!

By the way, the trailer is now back-heavy, so all that front stuff is mandatory, plus the ramp/motorcycle will be a nice weight addition. I'm planning my propane strategy now.

My friend just brought by his brand new (but empty) Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 that he's started retrofitting for adventure. I was jealous that he can take strength and exterior finish for granted.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby 3GKnight » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:19 am

artquixotic wrote:39Ratrod, I'm (unsuccessfully) trying not to think too much about using the trailer. I can't wait.

3GKnight, that looks like a really challenging project, and yet you made it. So there's hope for me. And an example of a tiny trailer carrying a motorcycle!

By the way, the trailer is now back-heavy, so all that front stuff is mandatory, plus the ramp/motorcycle will be a nice weight addition. I'm planning my propane strategy now.

My friend just brought by his brand new (but empty) Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 that he's started retrofitting for adventure. I was jealous that he can take strength and exterior finish for granted.


Thanks art, but had I known, I would have handled mine completely different. I would have just cleaned it, replaced all the wood and the mattress, fixed the axles and called it done. I would have even left the aluminum as-was and gone with a rat rod look. That would have cost a fraction of what I spent, been done much sooner, and achieved the same thing. Live 'n learn.
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