New Member, New Design, New To building Teardrops

Did you just design your very own teardrop or tiny trailer? Want to discuss it? Here's the place to post your design for discussion!

New Member, New Design, New To building Teardrops

Postby fwdickey » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:18 pm

Hi,

Seeing as I have been lurking on this site for so long while planning my project over the past 6 months I thought I would post some sketches, ask some questions and generally share my greatest fears.

So here goes.

Design:

Dimensions- Its a pretty standard 5' x 10'. I'm having a local trailer fab company build the frame for me.

Design is inspired by the Vistabule without all the clever and awesome bells and whistles (way to smart for me:) I've got a wife and a 2.5 year old daughter and need a simple, comfortable, quickly set up camper that I can pull behind my land cruiser. We are forgoing a full kitchen in exchange for large windows on the top and back similar to the Vistabule. We have a few cabinets in the back, with a small bed on top for my daughter to sleep at our feet. It'll have a fan, forgot to draw it in, its in the spreadsheet of things to order (mostly from Vintek).

Sides will be 3/4" plywood cnc'ed to make it lighter and to fit insulation (you can see the shadow lines of the cutout parts in the sketches). .04" aluminum on the sides and .063 on the top (only thickness I could find online that comes in 5' wide and 10' long.

One thing that I think may be unique is the clamshell back. I loooooove this feature on my 96 land cruiser and thought it would make a nice feature here as a work/food prep surface.


Questions: (Maybe I should ask these elsewhere on the forum? I'm new so I am not sure on this one...)

1. I have found a place in Vancouver that will make me DOT approved curved glass for the windows but I still need to build the frames and trim for them. Searched far and wide on the web for this type of thing but if anyone knows someone in the Seattle area that could help/fab these for me it would greatly ease my mind.

2. Wiring- I am a furniture maker and designer by trade so actually building this thing doesn't scare me that much, wiring it does. I don't know anything about wiring. Again, anybody in the Seattle area that can help me work through this? I'm much better at learning by seeing a thing done than reading and trying to replicate. I could hire someone to do this but I'd prefer to learn how myself. It'll have pretty standard dome, reading, and porch lights. Battery in the front box with the fusebox near the front as well. A 30 amp hookup as well. I'd like to introduce some solar at some point but don't have it planned right now. Any thoughts?

3. Sidewalls. Right now I have it designed with a .75" piece of ply with a .25" piece on the inside and the .04 aluminum on the outside. Do I need a .125" piece of ply laminated to the outside so the .75" piece is sandwiched in or can I just use the aluminum to do that?

Here are the sketches....
Seattle TearDrop Image 1.jpg
Seattle TearDrop Image 1.jpg (23.37 KiB) Viewed 2666 times
Seattle TearDrop Image 2.jpg
Seattle TearDrop Image 2.jpg (22.48 KiB) Viewed 2666 times
Seattle TearDrop Image 3.jpg
Seattle TearDrop Image 3.jpg (20.19 KiB) Viewed 2666 times
fwdickey
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Re: New Member, New Design, New To building Teardrops

Postby One9Sixty7Ford » Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:21 pm

I love the Vistabule design and want to make one for myself in the coming year or 2. I haven't even started sketching. I am in the research phase right now. I haven't tackled a build of anything like this yet but am fairly confident I can do it. I am interested to see how your build progresses and also interested in your glass vender, maybe you could get a discount for 2 pieces of glass just a thought...

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Re: New Member, New Design, New To building Teardrops

Postby Rick Tyler » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:01 pm

fwdickey wrote:Dimensions- Its a pretty standard 5' x 10'. I'm having a local trailer fab company build the frame for me.


If you don't mind me asking, who is building your trailer frame for you? I'm a few months behind you, but I do live in King County (eastside) and was wondering if there were any reasonable trailer fab shops around here.

It's a cool design, good luck!

(If you are OK with a fairly soft, but very strong, material, you could make your curved windows out of polycarbonate [Lexan, Makrolon] sheeting. This is NOT the same as acrylic -- polycarbonate bends and acrylic shatters. You can buy it lots of place but TAP Plastics in Bellevue, Lynnwood or Seattle is a good source.)

Good luck!

Rick
Last edited by Rick Tyler on Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Member, New Design, New To building Teardrops

Postby One9Sixty7Ford » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:14 pm

Rick Tyler wrote:
fwdickey wrote:Dimensions- Its a pretty standard 5' x 10'. I'm having a local trailer fab company build the frame for me.


If you don't mind me asking, who is building your trailer for you? I'm a few months behind you, but I do live in King County (eastside) and was wondering if there were any reasonable trailer fab shops around here.

It's a cool design, good luck!

(If you are OK with a fairly soft, but very strong, material, you could make your curved windows out of polycarbonate [Lexan, Makrolon] sheeting. This is NOT the same as acrylic -- polycarbonate bends and acrylic shatters. You can buy it lots of place but TAP Plastics in Bellevue, Lynnwood or Seattle is a good source.)

Good luck!

Rick

I've been to TAP plastics for some other stuff and they are great. I am just north of you guys in the snohomish county area. It would be great to collaborate on new teardrop builds in the area. I just rented a T@G for far too much money and loved it. Definitely need to improve on the design though.

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Re: New Member, New Design, New To building Teardrops

Postby Junkboy999 » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:20 am

nice looking shape so far.


Might want to rethink the bottom part folding down, or at least make it fold to the lower to the ground. Trying to cook with it flat will put you about 1 and a half foot away from the counter.

Just a thought.
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Re: New Member, New Design, New To building Teardrops

Postby tony.latham » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:41 am

Might want to rethink the bottom part folding down, or at least make it fold to the lower to the ground.


I agree. It's going to be in the way. It also adds a seal challenge. Water coming over the top is going to want to hang there. A one piece hatch that seals on the back of the floor would be simpler and easier to build.

Image

Do I need a .125" piece of ply laminated to the outside so the .75" piece is sandwiched in or can I just use the aluminum to do that?


I'm certain one could do that and it's probably been done successfully before--I know it's been discussed. The problem I see with it is that if water gets under the aluminum––and I think you have to plan that it will––it'll have all sorts of nicks and crannies to sit and soak. I sheath with 1/4" plywood underlayment* and then seal the entire cabin with epoxy. Both on the outside and the galley floor and a few inches up the galley walls (for spills).

*That outside sheathing is then used as part of Fredricks's hatch system and makes for a tight seal.
Image

Image

No dust or water.

I like your design (other than your clamshell) and it'll be an interesting build to watch progress. Have a great build! :thumbsup:

Tony
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