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 Sep 07, 2016 10:20 pm

Interesting, 3GKnight. It seems like it's hard to judge whether you should what feels responsible and go all-out or be more sensible and accept some roughness around the edges. Hindsight is 20-20. At least you have a super solid trailer now, and you didn't give up halfway through.

I got in a few hours today before some unscheduled rain invaded. To be honest, I wasn't feeling it anyway. Due to the quick tarping and tool cleanup, I have no photos. Basically, I got the entire weather seal area around the rear hatch completed (but the weather seal is not installed yet). That involved cutting some pieces and adding more 3/4" plywood. I also did some more general wood filling, added thin plywood over where the bottom of the sink was showing, framed in and skinned the bottom part of the wall that's under the hatch, and insulated and skinned part of the inside of the hatch.

In the effort to get this thing weather proof, I also cut out the big piece of rubber for the larger, rear roof. Then I cleaned it up and let it dry (until it rained).
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:23 pm

Oh, and I just ordered a mattress. So I guess I'm actually committing to sleeping in this thing at some point! Now I just hope the trailer survives bumpy roads. :worship:
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:41 pm

There was reportedly a zero percent chance of rain today. So it rained. In the morning, I went trailer supply shopping at IKEA. I bought kitchen stuff, decorations, exterior hooks, lights, and some other stuff. Then I went home and did business stuff until maybe 4:30.

The sun finally came out, so I went outside and cleaned up the rubber for the rear roof and hung it up to dry. I learned that a scrubby sponge is the best way to clean the rubber. Power sanding is out - damage happened whenever there was the tiniest thing under the rubber.

While that was drying, I installed an old hatch strut on the trailer hatch. I retired it from another vehicle, despite it's inability to fully lift that hatch. I have a new strut bouncing around somewhere, but I couldn't find it. Anyway, after I installed this one, the hatch feels about 50% lighter, so I'm going to see about buying a matching one for the other side. The hatch will still get a little heavier, but I'm hoping this works.

Then I tossed the rubber on the roof and straightened the edge where the rubber would be under the plexiglass. I cleaned up the roof. It had got wet in two spots - on wood filler and on the topside paint. As you'd expect the wood filler was mush and the paint was fine. I glued the rubber down in the front half of that roof only, to avoid covering the mushy wood filler.

While I was at it, I decided to try installing the plexiglass. What could go wrong? I found a small crack and drilled out the end of it. Actually, I think I ended up putting a bunch of little cracks here and there - nothing major. But I'd definitely go with thicker plexiglass next time. It is 1/4", so maybe 1/2" would do it. We shall see how long it lasts on my trailer. It looks good though. Anyway, I used rubber washers between the screw heads and the plexi and plenty of silicone between the plexi and wood/rubber.

If you ever do that, seriously consider waiting until someone is around to help. The silicone set up for me about the time I was finishing up. I got silicone on my clothes. Rubber washers ran away. Some screws were too tight. Some were a little crooked, even though I pre-drilled. It took a while to line holes up. But I'm really excited that the roof is covered. It could probably rain tonight, and everything would be okay. It won't rain though. Zero percent chance.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:49 pm

I worked for maybe 4 hours today, not counting shopping. I started the day out by planing the sides of the trailer and hatch in the back to get everything flush. Then I used wood filler to touch some things up.

While that was drying, I motorcycled around for a couple of hours looking for a "tailgate lift support" that matches the one I already installed. Unfortunately, nobody had it. Then I grabbed some staples and came home and spent another hour looking for something online. My best bet is to order online and wait. Then there was a long business call.

So I went back out and sanded and touched up the wood filler. Then I hit all of the sanding spots and the entire rear hatch with that topside paint. I hit the area around the roof and hinge pretty hard because I hope never to see them again. I put some CV joint grease on the hinge and then covered it up with a long strip of rubber. Then I glued down the back half of the rear roof rubber and flattened it out with plywood (which is still sitting up there in the photo). I also taped up all of the borders around the plexiglass and siliconed the heck out of the edges.

So then I rolled up the edges of the rubber roof and stapled them down like before. This time I couldn't find the adhesive silicone sealant, so I used pure silicone. I saw some wet wood glue on the roof, and it'll take forever to dry now that I've sealed the edges. But I really want this thing water tight. The rear roof is still dirty (it was at the bottom of my pond for maybe a decade), but the trailer already looks better. At least in my opinion, which is mostly skewed toward liking a nearly complete roof. Anyway, I think I'm going to silicone the edges (redundancy) before calling it complete. And recoating the rubber is an option, particularly because I have some white elastomeric stuff around.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby S. Heisley » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:20 pm

It looks like you're coming along nicely. Do you think you'll be camping in it before old man winter raises his head? It looks like you might....
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:30 pm

I don't know about camping in it, but I definitely think the envelope will be complete before winter starts. Complete, but maybe not leak-proof. :D
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:48 pm

I spent plenty of time shopping today, but only produced a sheet of plywood and a quart of paint that my fiance insists is a bad color.

I also cleaned up some out-of-place silicone, cleaned up some rubber, applied silicone around the rear window, and painted a bunch of interior in a semi-gloss white. I also installed the stovetop by drilling holes in four corners for screws into the countertop and holding it up with halfway-screwed screws under the other four corners.

I applied the weather seal around the back hatch. Unfortunately, there are gaps in some places. I'm not sure whether I'll get the matching weather seal and have it mate with the first or put a generic foam tape under it. If any readers have an opinion, let me know. It turns out that I'm one of the unskilled craftsmen who are advised simply to make better gaps in the first place.

I also carved into a block of wood to install the switches for the red light that's mounted in the hatch. Then I glued that to the hatch. I also installed two LED lights - one on the hatch and one on the ceiling.

I also made progress on the bathroom - an old military folding shovel that I found over a year ago at a scrap yard. It had totally been stuck, so I drilled out the spade pin, heated it to the point of combustion, and then pounded it with a hammer to get it to fold once again. I'm entertaining the idea of mounting it on the trailer once it's done.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:49 pm

By the way, the color I bought is here: http://bit.ly/2cmF6sC
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:11 pm

Here's the green - on the right side. I mixed the green with some leftover gray topside paint, and that's what you get on the left. If anyone is reading this, do you think the left part is still too green? Maybe with some sort of accent stripe or something? This is not my strong point.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby S. Heisley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:07 pm

:thinking: I think both greens look good. It's all in the eye of the painter (you).

You don't have much room for a stripe. With all the design interest, you really don't need it. If you wanted to, you could maybe put a decal between the door and the window. That might look nice. However,I think it'll look good without anything extra.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby pchast » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:37 pm

I'd love a picture in the sun but I believe Sharon is right. :thumbsup:
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby S. Heisley » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:02 pm

:thinking: Thinking more about the two greens, I think you should go for the one on the right. This is because if you have to touch-up anything later on, you don't want to have to mix it again and try to get it to match. The one that has been created by a computer will most likely always be right.
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:08 pm

Thanks for the input on colors! I read the first two opinions and went out and painted three sides of the trailer with the gray/green mix. I'm hopeful that the color could be matched later. For what it's worth, I've had pretty good luck with matching colors myself while "fine art" painting.

Actually, I tried to paint the trailer yesterday, but some guy fired up a leaf blower next door and blew debris into the wet paint not long after I started. So I went backpacking instead. Anyway, I like this color just fine. I'll ask a creative friend of mine about a decal or stencil. If he gets it right, I think it would look great - maybe in black.

The painting is showing me all of the little imperfections in the body. I really hope it looks good enough later. Meanwhile, though, I'll add some corner molding around the edges, and I've been putting off doing the metal work for the front storage areas, and those things may help. Plus the propane hose is in, so the time is getting right. Plus we have a four-day vacation coming up (you know, a break from being unemployed) in two weeks, and it would be great if I could get this thing on the road by then.

I have a couple of terrible photos of the new color - my phone's camera lens is finally dying completely - on another computer. I'll post something soon.

Thanks again!
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby S. Heisley » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:29 pm

Remember that most times, you are your own worst critic. :)
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Re: All-Season Off-Road Tiny Trailer

Postby artquixotic » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:38 am

In case anyone is interested, my estimated costs are at $2400 so far. The big costs have been the doors ($650+ total), steel (~$350), plexiglass ($200), battery ($150), and wheel adapters ($150).
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