Re: Newbie near Seattle - I'm back!

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Re: Newbie near Seattle - I'm back!

Postby Prototear » Thu May 16, 2013 1:59 am

Hi everyone!
I have wanted to either get or build a teardrop for the last few years. I grew up in Michigan, spent my summers in college in Colorado, and settled near Seattle about 25 years ago. I’ve been backpacking and car camping in all these states, but would like some kind of decent small portable kitchen and bed to bring along without having to invest in the cost of an RV and the engine/transmission that comes with it. I want to upgrade from a tent but don't need a condo-on-wheels.

I almost bought a used 5x8 Little Guy Silver Shadow 2 years ago but have since decided to build one. This way I’ll get what I want, maybe include a few unique features, and maybe save a little cash (if I don’t account for the labor). Three talented friends are involved and they each want to build one too – they are eager to learn from my project first and look to me to be their prototype, thus the userid. I’ve been browsing through these forums for the last few months to learn what I can make of this project and am about to embark in hopes of having it done (or almost done but useable) for this summer. As I get a plan and the initial materials together I may start a build journal to show my progress, mistakes, and seek ideas if I get stuck.
Last edited by Prototear on Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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First Build: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=57021
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby Fyddler » Thu May 16, 2013 2:12 am

Hello from Port Orchard. Looking forward to your build!
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Build Log: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=55017
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby AlgoDan » Thu May 16, 2013 4:40 am

Hello and welcome aboard, you will find plenty of info on the forum. Good luck and post pics as you build.
Here now but Camping later.............Dan

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http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=54681
102535 103199 105576
From .................Paper...........................To.......................... Pavement............................
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby pabloa3 » Thu May 16, 2013 8:00 pm

Hello,

And welcome from West Seattle. I did not build but rather had my built by Orama Teardrops in Tenino. I picked it up a few weeks and have my first trip (to Verlot) over Memorial Day Weekend.

Can't wait to see picts of the build

Paul
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby Prototear » Fri May 17, 2013 2:02 am

Thanks for the welcome!

I am planning for a trailer 5’ wide and 9 ½ feet long (plus tongue) with a kitchen in the rear and queen mattress inside with roughly a Benroy shape. I’ll also include a receiver on the back to hang a bicycle rack so I can take along either road bikes or mountain bikes. With this extra weight in back I'll have to plan my weight distribution to keep the tongue weight right. I’m currently shopping for a trailer frame and just got a verbal quote from a welder for a steel frame with a torsion axle and brakes with a reasonable lead time to get it. Baring any surprises in the written quote, I'll order it.

One of my friends helping me gave me some 4x8 sheets of aluminum honeycomb sandwiches for my floorboard (surplus aircraft materials). This is 1/2" thick and extremely strong and rigid, but only slightly lighter than the equivalent size plywood (strength and stiffness may be more comparable to 1" plywood). The honeycomb is covered by aluminum skin on both sides bonded with epoxy, and one side has an added layer of Kevlar. I'll put the Kevlar side down so it is more resistant to rock strikes from gravel roads. The honeycomb structure is made so that if in case there is a perforation and water gets into one cell, it won't propagate to adjacent cells.

I'll make the side panels most likely of marine plywood, hoping to find sheets that are 3/4 x 54" x 10' through the help of one other friend helping me who is a contractor and has built wooden boats. I'm also looking into polystyrene structural panels from a plant a few hours drive from here but I have no idea how much they might cost so I sent in a request and I'll find out. They are interesting because of the light weight and the ability to specify a thickness, length, width, edges and what skin to use (plywood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, etc.). See http://www.singcore.com/ Maybe these panels will be cost-prohibitive, but maybe not. At least I'll learn something from it.

Next I'll be looking for doors so I have them in time to start the layout on the side panels.
Steve
First Build: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=57021
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby bc toys » Fri May 17, 2013 11:39 am

welcome from Bobby in Las Vegas Nv sure would like to follow this build so we need it in the build section with lots of :pictures: :pictures: :pictures: I love following builds good luck.
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby mezmo » Fri May 17, 2013 9:23 pm

Welcome to the forum prototear,

Your build is starting out pretty unique. Aluminum honeycomb
panels aren't that common, needless to say. It'll be interesting
to see if you use the singcore panels. They seem like a worthwhile
product. Have you seen this link ?
http://www.everyonecandance.com/Airfloat_Process.html
He's redoing a vintage Airfloat TT with them.

Have fun planning and good luck with the build - we'll all be
following along on your progress.

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby dreadcptflint » Sun May 19, 2013 11:58 pm

Hello, I look forward to seeing your build. I grew up in Bothell and live in the Right Side of the state. :D
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby Junkboy999 » Mon May 20, 2013 10:54 am

Welcome to the forums.

Man it is too bad you did not get a chance to go( or know about ) the 20th Dam gathering of the Tears at Shasta Dam CA. There was 172 teardrops. They ran the gambit from ones that gets used every month and look like they been towed to hell and back ( and had fun along the way ), to show room teardrop that might get out of the garage once or twice a year. There was tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, and round ones as far as the eyes can see. It would of blown your mind.

Here a link to the thread for the gathering. Some pic and slides shows are posted already and I’m still working on one my self. I took picture of every camper there. The bottom of page nine is after the gathering was over Pages 1 - 9 just talk about it.

GL in your build
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby mjg444 » Mon May 20, 2013 11:12 pm

Welcome! Always glad to see a new teardropper from the NW! :)

Michele
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby Prototear » Thu May 23, 2013 12:44 am

Thanks for the additional welcomes! I see that there have been others from this state join recently.

It feels like a real project since I feel like I'm behind already. I'm still waiting for the written price on the trailer frame before I commit and make a down payment. Meanwhile, I got a call from Sing Panels he's willing to work with me on this - I've sent him a side view of what I'd need and am awaiting his reply. I'm a bit afraid it may be too costly since what I'd be seeking is likely a unique configuration and not a standard build for them and I'd need to add edge blocking for door cutouts. I've attached the side view similar to the one I sent him and created another just in case I end up using plywood with and a few more details and cutouts for polystyrene insulation to reduce the weight (which would need an additional 1/8" skin inside to cover it so I'd perhaps reduce the main plywood to 5/8"). The dimensions and mounting are the same, and both have made me think through many details for the assembly.

Maybe I'll give them both a call tomorrow.

106958

106959
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby Forrest747 » Mon May 27, 2013 11:03 pm

Intresting materials looking forward to following the build.

Your shape and size is almost the same as Becky's. Here is the link to her build. http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?p=858633#p858633

also there is Zack http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?p=862792#p862792

both are great builds and i love Zach open concept and next build will have alot of his features.

Good luck and ask questions plus we love pics.

Harbor freight trailer may be a good option.

Update: Look at your plans noticed a couple of things. You dont need insulation in the galley area, so no need to cut out those spaces. You said in teh specs of using 2x4 for teh wall to the floor. A 2X2 will do just as well. also how many panels did you get? Just curious could use them for the side as well and tig them together. just a thought.
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby Prototear » Thu May 30, 2013 2:18 am

Thanks for the suggestions!

In reply to Norm/mezmo, I discussed the Singpanels again with the company and the owner would be very interested in making something for a teardrop but we both realized that it it wouldn't be practical to do so - even if he did it at a very reduced cost (just for fun and making no money, maybe even loosing some), it would still cost more than sides made of marine plywood. I could have taken him up on this but even if I were spend the extra amount for this experiment, it would present more project risk of getting the design exactly right the first time for my first teardrop build - if I were to make a mistake along the way there would be a repeat cost/effort/drive for both of us to get a new panel that would be more difficult than getting another sheet of plywood.

We also discussed how a rot-resistant puncture-resistant floorboard in any RV is desirable because if it ever rots one must remove the rest of the cabin to get to it to replace it (removing the cabin might be intact or in pieces, depending on its design). He could make a panel with aluminum skin on both sides and filled with either polystyrene or urethane foam and the wood grid he uses to make it very stiff, light weight and durable. Such a panel would run a few hundred bucks. I could consider it but I already have my aluminum honeycomb sheets in the garage for mine.

In reply to Forrest747, thanks for the observations. You apparently made a few more clicks and spent some time to open the pictures to see that detail. The idea of the 2x4 cleat at the bottom of the side wall is to have a raised false floor for storage leaving a cavity 3.5 inches deep (I've seen this on the Silver Shadow). Otherwise a 2x2 cleat would be sufficient. had put the foam insulation in the galley just to reduce the weight, but you make a good point that I don't need insulation there so I may just keep it simple and avoid the extra work and leave it with more "meat" in the walls to attach cabinets or hardware. I'm not too concerned about the insulation because in most of the areas I'd use it, it doesn't get too hot here in the PNW, and even wood would be more than a thin nylon tent has given me for insulation over my last few decades of camping.

I had seen Becky's build, and hadn't found Zack's until you pointed me to it (I had spend many hours looking through this and hadn't previously stumbled into it - goes to show how big this forum is!). I like the idea of MDO plywood that he used and have found that I can get 4x10 sheets nearby, and maybe even 5x10. The interesting twist is that the plywood wholesaler that most likely has it is about 2 miles from my house but I'd end up ordering it from a lumberyard about 8-10 miles away.

Then last thing I'm thinking through before buying the plywood is figuring out how to have more interior height than a simple 4' wide sheet of plywood would allow, given the way I'd loose vertical height with the way I'll likely attach the wall to the side of the frame and the storage under the false floor. I'll either get 5x10 sheets, splice some together, or try something like Zack's wide roof ridge (that is inspiring, but I'd go without the convertible roof). :thinking:

Meanwhile, I have been playing email/phone tag with the welder to order the trailer frame and I hope to conclude that in a day or so that he can start fabrication and get the axle if he doesn't have it in stock (he has some torsion axles in stock but not sure if they are the size I need).

Steve
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby Prototear » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:16 am

I've had difficulty getting a frame welded but I stumbled into a deal I couldn't pass up.

The welder that I had been working with faded away so I looked for another. One wanted way more than I wanted to spend, and another said they will work up an estimate and they didn't reply even after discussing it on the phone. Yet another was very interested and we were making good progress on a plan and terms but he's part-time and been too busy. It looked like it might come together finally but after no reply I was peeking around on Craigslist for ideas (not really expecting to buy anything) and happened to stumble into a partial teardrop project that a welder started and couldn't finish. :shock: It was designed by a fabricator for his own use but his family grew and his life got too busy so he is ready to unload it. It is a frame with sidewall supports, built-in fenders, and an axle and wheels. I will pick it up tomorrow! It is just slightly larger than I had been planning and the wall construction will be be foam and skin over the steel frame rather than the plywood sides I had been planning.

Here is a picture from the Craigslist ad:

108121

Its time to refine my plan, get more materials/parts and start a build journal. :thinking: I still plan to use the aluminum honeycomb sheets I have on the floor so the plywood on this frame will be re-purposed for structure somewhere else.
Steve
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Re: Newbie near Seattle

Postby Fyddler » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:35 am

Nice find!
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Build Log: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=55017
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