Building on a pop up frame

General Discussion about almost anything Teardrop or camping related

Building on a pop up frame

Postby Lakkdainen » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:29 pm

Hi everyone! Been reading and learning tons. This is my first post.

My fiancé recently bought an old pop up that needed lots of work. It’s a 1991 Starcraft Meteorite. The roof was rotting and shot, the lower body is starting as well, and the canvas is questionable- especially the zippered windows.

We initially considered rebuilding it, but since we are going through all that effort, we may as well create exactly what we want. We have three kids: 16, 10, and 6. We are leaning towards something that we can stand in (barely). Our main criteria: sleeping for two adults - kids will be in tents. Seating for 5 to escape heat or rain if needed, and as much storage as possible to hold the kids tents and other things.

We will be towing with an F150, so I’m not worried about the tow vehicle. I’m still in the process of stripping the frame down, but it looks like I’ll have about 6 x 8.5 floor space to work with.

I’ve looked at the design section here, and it seems what I want has been done before, BUT there are some complexities. :). I am 6’3” so that limits bed options. Seems we are limited to length wise for the bed instead of width. Also, my fiancé does not like the table/bench folding into a bed setup. She has a vision of a Murphy bed that folds down, and that vision is concrete if you know what I mean. I built one in the house so the idea is stuck. :)

I envision the Murphy bed hinging on the long side, and while up for seating, it would be the backrest. What I don’t like is that it would completely block any window in that wall, but that’s the price of an unhinged mattress I suppose.

There’s some challenges, but they can be overcome I believe. One thing I haven’t been able to find in the forums: what is a good source for reasonably priced RV windows? That will likely be one of my biggest expenses.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Lakkdainen
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:04 am

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby DaveInConesus » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:56 pm

I am using the same donor camper for mine. It took a couple hours with a sawzall to take it apart. You end up with 8' from the front cross member to the back of the bumper. I am looking at doing about a 9' floor on mine, 5' wide. I may move the axle back also. It looks like you can get about 7" that way.

Dave
DaveInConesus
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 16
Images: 3
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 3:07 am

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby DaveInConesus » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:58 pm

For windows I am looking at using these in the doors https://store.lci1.com/12x21-inner-oute ... seal-black with pop up vents in the side walls https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/Al ... ts-651.htm That isn't finalized yet. You may also find some windows in a scrap yard.

Dave
DaveInConesus
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 16
Images: 3
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 3:07 am
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby Lakkdainen » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:00 pm

Thanks for the info! How are you getting 9’ though? I’m unsure what’s street legal as far as having a rear bumper.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Lakkdainen
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:04 am
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby prohandyman » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:43 pm

Lakkdainen...where are you located? We have several RV surplus outlets in Indiana, and the one I use has hundreds of surplus windows, most are $5-10. Located one hour north of Indy it’s called Ickes RV surplus and they will ship if needed.
Their number is 765-728-5668
I’ve built 33 campers...a lot of them with surplus material from Ickes!!
Last edited by prohandyman on Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dan
155071103454121995155200
User avatar
prohandyman
Super Lifetime Member
 
Posts: 1881
Images: 756
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:21 pm
Location: Greenwood, IN
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby Lakkdainen » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:44 pm

I’ll have to check that out. I’m in Cincinnati, not far from the Indiana border.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Lakkdainen
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:04 am
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby DaveInConesus » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:33 am

I am going to get to 9' by extending forward of the front cross member onto the tongue triangle and maybe a bit at the rear also. I am coming out at about 8'8" for the bed on my drawings.

I am in NY and no camper surplus stores here.

Dave
DaveInConesus
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 16
Images: 3
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 3:07 am
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby working on it » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:35 pm

DaveInConesus wrote:I am going to get to 9' by extending forward of the front cross member onto the tongue triangle and maybe a bit at the rear also....Dave
* When you add to the frame length, be sure to keep the 60/40 front-to-rear balance ratio in mind. I didn't, adding 2 feet to the rear, and only 1 foot in front, to make my 50" x 60" original frame into a 4x8 size. It turned out to be my biggest mistake, so please don't make the same one on yours.
* Afterwards, I made my galley and rear bulkhead of the cabin the repository of all my heaviest items: generator w/extended run-external fuel tank, Coleman stove-lantern-fuel can(s), loaded cooler, full Aquatainer, and A/C w/exhaust ducting system. I intended to counter that weight with spare tire, battery, and toolbox, on the tongue. It wasn't enough!
* By putting the long extension in the rear, and heaviest cargo there, I made the tongue weight almost nil. I have since corrected the imbalance by adding more storage in front: tonguebox w/battery & parts/tools & heavy items inside, and front racks, with more large items on them, over the front end of the body. Now my tongue weight is 12.7% of the total weight, so the balance is OK, The trailer doesn't care if the 60/40 ratio is actually there, but it does respond to weight balance, though. Mine tracks perfectly, being towed by my HD truck, with the heavy tongue weight (253 lbs).
* It took me a lot of time, money, and effort to correct my mistake, though I had thought that it wouldn't be as much out of balance as it was, at first. It would've been easier, better, if I had done it right, initially.
2013 HHRv "squareback/squaredrop", semi-offroad, 4x8 TTT, 2065 lbs
  • *3500 lb Dexter EZ-Lube axle, w/brakes *27x8.5-14LT all-terrain tires (x 3)
  • *LED lighting, triple fans, Pioneer stereo *A/C & heat, Optima AGM, inverter & charger(s)
  • *extended-run, on-board, 2500w generator *Coleman dual-fuel stove & lantern, Ikea grill
  • *zinc/stainless steel front racks *more features to come!
156212148599156215
User avatar
working on it
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1769
Images: 449
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: DFW Texas
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby DaveInConesus » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:54 am

By going forward I will get closer to the 60/40 number. The wheels are currently at 50%. That is one of the reasons for the extension. I am also looking at moving the axle back but that may not be as easy as I thought.

Dave
DaveInConesus
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 16
Images: 3
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 3:07 am
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby Lakkdainen » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:28 pm

Here’s some pics of the frame I’m using. Looks like I can extend about 10” in the front, and 6-12” in the back depending on if I want to overlap the bumper.

Image
Image


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Attachments
IMG_3290.JPG
IMG_3290.JPG (803.57 KiB) Viewed 616 times
Lakkdainen
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:04 am
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby Lakkdainen » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:06 am

Some progress has been made, but I'm stuck in analysis paralysis and need help.

The frame has been cleaned up, repainted, and the floor is in and sealed. Final dimensions are 6' 6" wide, 8' 4" long. Just like the original popup, the width expands over the wheels. The floor itself is approx 15" above the ground.

Where I'm stuck is the height. Ideally, it'd be standing height inside... 6'6" or so. I'm 6'3" tall. When I model that in sketchup, it just doesn't look right... like it's too tall for such a short length. I feel something like 5' looks more proportional, and puts it even with the height of the tow vehicle (Ford F150) but obviously is much more limiting. I've tried curving the roof from 5' up to the full 6'6" which helps, but still doesn't seem quite right. Due to other elements of the design, the door must be on the back.

Am I just overthinking this? Am I overlooking anything? I'll attach a few screenshots from sketchup that put it in perspective with the tow vehicle.

3.PNG
3.PNG (172.92 KiB) Viewed 550 times

2.PNG
2.PNG (111.71 KiB) Viewed 550 times

1.PNG
1.PNG (83.92 KiB) Viewed 550 times
Lakkdainen
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:04 am
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby rmclarke » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:06 pm

"......it just doesn't look right..."

Ah, you have discovered the crux of the whole matter.....proportion! I don't believe you are overthinking this; your existing design will probably fulfill your needs, but you will also have to be able to live with what it ultimately looks like. It seems doubtful that you will be able to incorporate your design criteria (6' 6" interior) into your existing plan and still have it pleasing proportion-wise.

It seems to me that the only way to get an aesthetically pleasing "look" would be to either lengthen your build or construct a lifting roof or folding top (more difficult, but not impossible)

I understand your dilemma. I am in the process of designing a lifting roof for my second build for the same reasons you stated; my first designs just didn't look right; hoping to start soon.

Keep at it....don't give up!

Richard
"When a hammer is the only tool you own, every problem begins to look like a nail..."

ImageFrom this: Image to this: Image Finally!!
User avatar
rmclarke
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 359
Images: 219
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:22 am
Location: North Jefferson State
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby Lakkdainen » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:40 pm

rmclarke wrote:"......it just doesn't look right..."

Ah, you have discovered the crux of the whole matter.....proportion! I don't believe you are overthinking this; your existing design will probably fulfill your needs, but you will also have to be able to live with what it ultimately looks like. It seems doubtful that you will be able to incorporate your design criteria (6' 6" interior) into your existing plan and still have it pleasing proportion-wise.


Yeah, it's that dang golden triangle. :) I think I'm just going to have to suck it up and go with it. Lengthening would be nice, but I'd need to significantly change the frame, upping the weight, probably need something rated higher than the 1800# dexter axle on there now, want tires larger than the 5.7-8, etc. May as well use a different frame at that point.

Fiance wants it to be a dinosaur / Jurassic Park theme trailer, and we already got a vanity plate. :) Guess we will have to have lots of fun graphics to make up for the oddball shape. :twisted:
Lakkdainen
Teardrop Inspector
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:04 am
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby jandmz » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:51 pm

You can also look at the "Compact" design with the rear entry and folding center roof section. It looks like a fairly simple design to get headroom in the area that standing height is needed, the center aisle in the restroom/kitchen. The extra width and length can give you a lot of flexibility with your sleeping area also. It is in the "rescued design library", and it is based on a 1970's design. Don't let the photos with the canvas popup section stop you short. Go on down to the folding panel design further down the page. The link to alternate floor plans gives some ideas of what can be done with a wide body design.
jandmz
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:24 pm
Location: Southwest, Ohio
Top

Re: Building on a pop up frame

Postby me&z » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:18 pm

And for something completely different:

viewtopic.php?f=50&t=64782
me&z
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:46 am
Top

Next

Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests