Ultralight Design?

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!

Postby jagular7 » Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:33 pm

BG and Mike

I've been a lerker on the site for some time. I've finally got registered and I've become an active member, yah! :lol:

I've been keeping up on a lot of the forum making notes of suggested areas of change, redesigns, hardware, tricks, etc. I've read over the ULW subject and am intrigued.

For the ULW design, have you looked at OTR trailer's design. The trailer is structured in such a way to be able to flex, yet be durable and sustain its shape. The sides are aluminum sheets riveted to some inner structure. The top is plastic to let natural light in. It's the frame that harnesses all the forces. This would be the lightest of all structures wouldn't you think? Little trim on the corners, seal/protect for water, and you have it. What about them airplanes? Similar design of riveted to inner structure, but kept round for structural purposes. These have to be kept light.
Wasn't the Airstream design based on taking a flat sheet of aluminum, adding a simple slight bend, and this strengthens the aluminum? Add one on top of another, sort of like lego blocks, and the entire structure becomes rigid in many different force planes.
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Postby rayharis » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:39 am

Mike:
I've been lurking here for some time. I really love the ultralight--it is something I could pull with my Neon. However, regarding your:

Most of the details are in this thread... but I've gone and pulled some stuff into a document... Natually this document has a long way to go, but it's good enough to build from... (I'm building from it as we speak!)

How long are the 1/8 inch strips? They must be at least 16 feet. How wide are they? Did you rip them from 16 foot 2 by's? Or did you purchase them somewhere
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Postby Arne » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:41 am

Mike, is there a location for any development on the ultralight where all pics or progress is in one place?

I'd like to see what the frame and suspension look like........
www.freewebs.com/aero-1
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Postby PaulC » Sun May 21, 2006 6:41 pm

Hi Mike, Just wondering how you are going with this build. It has piqued my interest.
Cheers
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Postby mikeschn » Sun May 21, 2006 7:43 pm

rayharis wrote:Mike:
I've been lurking here for some time. I really love the ultralight--it is something I could pull with my Neon. However, regarding your:

Most of the details are in this thread... but I've gone and pulled some stuff into a document... Natually this document has a long way to go, but it's good enough to build from... (I'm building from it as we speak!)

How long are the 1/8 inch strips? They must be at least 16 feet. How wide are they? Did you rip them from 16 foot 2 by's? Or did you purchase them somewhere


I ripped the strips from a 1x6x8' long. There are many joints (butt joints) which you can see if you look close at the pictures...

I'd like to get back to building the Ultralight, but things have been pretty busy lately...

Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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Postby spchytr » Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:25 pm

I was wondering if I could get dimensions of the frame pieces for this, I would like to build a 'squared off' tear that still has a somewhat teardrop shape to it, and something like this seems to be an easy way to do it.


The rough framing is going to look like this...

Image

Then I'll use a router to cut it down...

Mike...
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Postby mikeschn » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:10 am

I think I still have that drawing. Let me look tonight...

Mike...
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Postby Ron Dickey » Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:01 pm

critter wrote:hey mike,
maybee alum frame? how bout something like airplane... painted cloth over wood? :thinking:


Image

Sure looks light and strong but very expensive.

I have some aluminum in mine (not siding) and may have more as I go along.

Ron D.
Your trailer base looks alot like mine but mine is 3 times heavyer. 2, 2x3 iron tubes cross bar springs and axel. I reinforsed the front with 2x4's and a aluminum cross bar all the way across the front (made from an alumimum skit or frame used with solar unites.)
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Postby TinKicker » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:20 pm

Okay, guys, I've just read 15 pages of progress on the ultralight and now...nothing. Was it finished? Surely to God it was! Somebody throw me a bone here! I'm bleary-eyed and this is like a good novel with the last page torn out! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Before I found this I was drawn to some 30x80 hollow core doors at HD for under $20 each...strong and light and two side-by-side would achieve my 5' target width. So give me a clue: what's the best, strongest way to join them together? Has anyone done stressed tension wires through objects for such a goal?
Probably a smarter question to ask is, is two doors side by side a bad idea? Should I just build a BIG hollow core myself? But the premade ones look so SLICK!!
Help me guys. This is just one of the million-and-one questions floating around in my head.
I like the whole "doing the mostest with the leastest" idea. Minimalistic, functional, kewl.
Thanks.
Kelsey
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Postby TinKicker » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:38 pm

Oh, this is great...my stupid backwoods too far out in the boonies for DSL dialup fooled me! I thought my computer had hung and hadn't sent my last post(s). I thought that, oh, about 5 times, looks like. Can someone delete 4 of them so I don't look so much like the hick I feel like right now?
Thanks.
Kelsey
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:34 am

TinKicker wrote: Should I just build a BIG hollow core myself? I like the whole "doing the mostest with the leastest" idea. Minimalistic, functional, kewl.
Thanks.


I am starting #3 ( #1 and #2 arn't done but then again they never are)

My free trailer frame is 2x2 angle at exactly 4x8. This frame will flex a bit so I made my floor by cutting a rabbet in a 2x4 to accept a sheet of 3/4 osb.
This cut is made on the 1 1/2" edge 3/4 deep to accept the osb and cuts away 1" of the 2x4 edge. I miter cut the 2x4 for 4' and 8' length long to long but any size will work. On larger floors a couple center supports ripped to 2 1/2 will allow you to piece a larger floor. since I have left a 1/2 " of the 2x4 ring I need to rip the 4x8 sheet to 3'11" by 7'11" Had I not had tire interference I could have made the perimiter 4'1" x 8'1" and simply dropped the 4x8 sheet in the rabbeted pockets. This is done top and bottom. I glued and screwed the osb to the 2x4 8" on center In the void I placed 4 layers of 1/2" blue foam to stiffen the box and insulate the floor. Now that it's done I am confident 7/16 would have been fine and the 3/4 was overkill. If you want a pretty floor I am sure a veneered plywood could be substituted for the top ply. This method allows no flex corner to corner and is strong enough to park a truck on. Some will say it's too heavy and is overkill but I build off of that 2x4 perimiter ribbon as my sides are glued and screwed to it. This is an excelent floor for those trying to make a removable tear box. Its kinda like a turtle.
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Postby mikeschn » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:19 am

It's still sitting in my basement. Too many projects, not enough time. I gave it to Miriam though, hopefully she'll be able to finish it.

Mike...
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Postby Miriam C. » Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:39 am

Kelsey, If you go to the "Hall of Fame" and find Roly's stacker you will find he used a hollow core door to make his floors. Yes you can join them. No different than joining plywood. Might be cheaper to get Plywood though. You can use foam for the insides. ;)
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Postby dwgriff1 » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:32 am

Or you can make your own "hollow core door" to any size you wish, in fact you could make a whole series of them, in different sizes and shapes and combine them, to make a light trailer.

I used a lot of information from this thread and Mike and Andrews designs when I built mine. It is 5 by 8, fully insulated and lined and came out to 580#. I pull it with a small coupe.

I think Mike estimated his unlined uninsulated unit at 385# which is pretty close to bedrock, I think.

dave
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Postby TinKicker » Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:35 pm

Thanks, guys, for the info. I think I will use plywood and just make my own torsion box. Even though I'm sure (by your experience) joining the two doors would be okay, I'd still be wondering about it as I blew down the interstate (and I59 through Birmingham has more of those DEEP potholes ya'll mention from time to time than I can count). I think I'd have more peace of mind. And isn't that what all this is about? I'll be analytical while I'm designing but when I'm OUT THERE I want to be serenely uncaring about the technical details. There was enough of that kind of "camping" in the military for me. HA! :peace:
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Go ahead and get your project started because it's just like having kids...if you wait to start until you're skilled enough or rich enough, you'll never do it. And just look at what you'd miss!
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In planning any project you've never attempted before, always allow for the three three's: It will take you three times longer, three times more material, and three times more money than you thought.
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