Please review - Plans for my Escape Pod

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Please review - Plans for my Escape Pod

Postby mclanem » Tue May 12, 2015 2:02 pm

Is been a long time coming but I am getting ready to build my camper. I first started this plan two years ago but got derailed by life, school, and the wife. I believe I finally have things sorted out to the point where I will be starting to build soon, possibly as soon as next weekend. I thought I would toss my plans up people to review what I am thinking. I hope to scan some of my drawings and post them up later. Please read though my plans here and post any comments, questions, or remarks. I have a lot of thoughts and ideas that didn't all make it into my write-up. Once I actually start building I plan to create a build journal. I am hoping to get my wife (a professional writer and editor) to take over that task but we will see.

Overview of the Escape Pod.

I am planning to build a 9 x4 teardrop with a Benroy Profile. The goal is to go fairly simple on this so I am not planning a lot of extra features or fancy cabinetry. While I plan to run electrical I am not going to have a battery or run DC (more on this later).

I’ll start with a Harbor Freight trailer. I am currently not planning on doing extra welds but I am going to repack the axel Barings (gotta figure that out) and repaint it with black enamel. I am still trying to decide if I am going to upgrade to 13” tires. I might save that for later.

I am going to build the floor over the wheels so that it goes to the outside edge of the wheel covers. I think that will make the camper 5’4” on the outside and will allow for a queen size mattress on the inside. The floor is going to be built out of 2x4s and OSB. I’m not sure on the thickness of the floor plywood either ¾ or ½. Once build I am planning on using either PCV or old garden hose to add a conduit for electrical wire, trailer wire, and possibly a propane run. Once I have all that together I am going to paint the bottom with Roofing tar or something before attaching it to the trailer with lag bolts. I do not plan to insulate the floor.

My plan for the side wall is to sandwich framing and ridged insulation between luan. I hope to not need to run a lot of wire through the walls. Just what is needed for a porch light on each side. I am not currently planning on scarfing my plywood or anything for the wall and instead will cover and re-enforce the seams with the outside skin (more later).
The galley will have a simple counter top and two shelves. I am still working on what exactly I want for storage in the galley. I am however thinking of putting in one or two pull out shelves for the cooler and possibly the grill. One added thing I want to add to the galley are doors for the space under the counter. These will swing out and have flip up tables attached to them to give a U-shaped workspace. I plan to build a fairly standard galley hatch attached with a hurricane hinge.

In the cabin I plan to create a small headboard with some storage and a small shelf. I also plan to add to reasonably sized storage cabinets. I need to leave enough room between these cabinets and the door to put in a removable “hammock” type bed for my 6 year old. For that I plan to use fabric stretched between heavy curtain rods/pipes.
My electrical system is basically an inlet installed in the middle front of the camper and is attached to a 3 way splitter with GFCI built in. One branch will attach to an extension cord that runs to the galley. One branch will provide power to the cabin area, and the third will provide power for the lights. Each area will be supported by a powerstrip in a sense. I also plan to use remote control power switches instead of running wire and switches in the walls. I can provide more details on all this if anyone is interested.

The roof is going to be fairly standard. Luan, spars and insulation, and luan like the walls. I plan to install a vent of some sort. If I can figure out a skylight I would like to add that but I might skip it for now. I do plan to add a fixed, non-opening, window in the front of the camper.

Once I have all the walls up and the ceiling done I plan to skin the whole thing with PMF. Titebond, cotton fabric, and then exterior paint. I hope this will make the outside much stronger yet lighter than if I had used ½ ply on the outside.

Each side will have a fixed, non-opening, window and a door. I plan to build the doors myself and they will include wiley windows that will open. For these windows I plan to have a wood panel, and plexiglass panel, and a screen panel.
mclanem
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Re: Please review - Plans for my Escape Pod

Postby mclanem » Fri May 15, 2015 1:03 pm

Did I put this in the wrong place on the forum?
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Re: Please review - Plans for my Escape Pod

Postby Glenn Butcher » Fri May 15, 2015 1:25 pm

If you're going to cantilever over the wheels to get 5' width, you might consider using the Northern Tool 5'x8' trailer. It's already painted black, too...

The rest of your build sounds pretty standard. Mine is far less ambitious, so I'll leave comments about structure, etc., to the experts. Does sound like yours will be heavy, though...
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Re: Please review - Plans for my Escape Pod

Postby Socal Tom » Fri May 15, 2015 4:35 pm

My only concern is the hammock with the luann walls. You will need to make sure you have the supports in the right place or it will all come apart. Also, you said it would be 4 ft wide, and you said it would fit a queen size mattress. Which is right?
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Re: Please review - Plans for my Escape Pod

Postby mclanem » Sat May 16, 2015 9:33 am

Glenn,

I have considered the NT trailer. I was going to go with HB because its a bit cheaper and I can get one locally. I was worried about the overhang for a while but I have seen plenty of examples of people doing what I am thinking so I decided it would be OK.

I am wondering why you think its going to be heavy. I have been thinking it would come out relatively light. Lighter then using 3/4 OSB for instance since the bulk of the balls will be foam insulation. Is it the PMF that you see adding the weight? How do you think I should modify the plan? I am completely open to suggestions. The reason I was going to go with the described method was to save on weight and to provide a bit of insulation so that we could use it later in the season. It can get fairly cold here in Michigan in late fall but I would still like to be using the camper.

Tom,

I hear you on having the supports in the right place. I was thinking of putting an additional piece of wood running on the wall in the cabin to add more support for that hammock just so there was more support. I also am going to make sure there is framing in the right place for the hammock to screw into. As for the size, what I meant was that its going to be 9 foot long and 4 foot tall. I am planning on building it over the wheels so I think the external dimensions will end up being something like 5'4" or something. This will make the internal cabin about 5'2" which is enough for a queen mattress plus a little wiggle room for making the bed.

Thank you everyone for looking over my plans. Any comment helps. Questioning parts makes me either rethink that choice. It helps a lot.

Matt
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Re: Please review - Plans for my Escape Pod

Postby Glenn Butcher » Sun May 17, 2015 10:38 am

WRT trailer width, cool. I'm not one to talk; my first build will be on the 40x48 trailer and will extend over the wheels to get a little less than 4' inside, and up to 1.5' off the front and rear to get 6'.

I thought "heavy" when I saw you're using 2x4s for the floor frame. Again, not one to talk because I'll be doing the same so I have some heft onto which to attach walls that are meant to be disassembled at the end of the season. Also depends on your wall framing; what lumber will you be using for that?
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Re: Please review - Plans for my Escape Pod

Postby rebapuck » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:49 pm

I think a cot would be a better choice than a hammock. Seems like a hammock would really pull inward, although maybe not with a child.
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