Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby rowerwet » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:34 pm

getting everything to line up open and closed wwill be very hard, good luck.
1/4" plywood will be noisy in rain, cold in cool weather, where it will also condense and drip, in hot weather it will be hard to cool. Imagine slieeping inside a snare drum :shock: every bump and thump will be amplified, and that pinecone or acorn in the night will sound like a gunshot.
I have private standing space in my sidetents and the 4' headroom is more than enough to do anything on the bed.
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby Bluebunny » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:21 pm

Hi Rowerwet,
You are spot-on; getting this correct is going to need design and build accuracy. I find this structural stuff fulfilling. I spent a few late happy nights working out the geometry "on-paper" to get those curves to behave together in the up-down-middle positions, and I am getting closer... The rear curves were critical, because of the 38 inch arc of vertical travel, but the horizontal swing along the plane of the curve is zero due to careful hinge location. The result on the rear curves is a "tight-loose-tight" fit to the curves going from up to down, etc, with no potential interference. The front curve was a challenge due to a "loose-tight-tighter" fit as they swing. The front vertical swing is only 14" at the far end of the front curve (good news), but I cannot easily get around the 2-1/2 inch shrink in the horizontal plane. My solution is to torture the plywood just a bit in the middle stationery panel, so that the top gunnel of the middle stationary panel matches the curve of the top shell gunnel. In other words, the up-rail of that middle stationary panel will be tilted, thereby "shortening" the curve of the plywood up there, and slightly "lengthening" the straight section (by 2-1/2" across a span of plywood 14" wide). I have not completed the details up front, but suspect a little twist in that center panel will get me there. I figure it is at most 1/8 inch of troublesome interference.

All of this complication is hopefully ONLY in the design and build. My intent is to pull over, lift and lock, drink a cocktail, and then sleep. No other setup desired. I want the illusion of walls around me. Probably will be stopping at a roadside table or church parking lot. In the morning "maybe" make the bed, drop and lock, and hit the road looking for breakfast. Make the miles, see the small towns, eat at the local family restaurants; drive the "Mississippi Hot-Tamale trail"(look it up)! (Have not convinced the wifey to join me). :vroom:

Good tips about the snare drum roof and all. I am not concerned about the cold. More so the heat. My intended point of use is "on the road", not camping, so will be used only in the evenings toward dark thru early morning. But you have me thinking about roof insulation...hmmm...I wonder what kind...thin and dense...
Kind Regards, Butch
(psst...offthread boat-talk...mouseboat #76 built in 2004, and I just bought the lumber for a Michalak RB42)!
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby Pmullen503 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:41 am

Foil faced polyisocyanurate foam would probably be the material with the best r value per inch. I'm not sure how thin you can buy it but don't try to hot wire it thinner!

Perfect, airtight fit of the seal isn't necessary or maybe even possible. I'd worry more about making sure there is no place where water can collect and sit.
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby OP827 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:22 pm

I like your streamlined trailer idea. I think the additional effort of building something cool looking and good is well worth it. Why not use XPS foam? It is better structurally than polyiso, waterproof, easy to hot wire cut. It can be laminated canvas and house paint or with epoxy and fibre glass. It will protect from heat and sun if surface is painted white. I am now thinking of similar design fold down front hinge streamlined build, but maybe less complex than yours. Trailer front is the same height as TV and 60-50-% height in back. Walls are folding inside. Roof will be very light and easy to lift, it will be XPS foam and fiberglass.

One guy made this trailer and his truck did not see MPG decrease when towing:
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby Pmullen503 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:46 am

The polyisocyanurate foam suggestion was how to add insulation to a 1/4" plywood roof. I would make the trailer from canvas covered XPS (at least the upper section for insulation and to reduce weight.)
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby OP827 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:05 pm

Pmullen503 wrote:The polyisocyanurate foam suggestion was how to add insulation to a 1/4" plywood roof. I would make the trailer from canvas covered XPS (at least the upper section for insulation and to reduce weight.)

I see what you mean on polyisocyanurate now, you are right, all good points there.
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby Bluebunny » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:14 pm

Hi OP827,
That is one cool trailer, and thank you for the encouragement! But...ummm...FOAM??? :crazy: ...you can do that?... Actually I have been intrigued by this foam craze; discovered it and this site when tnttt member Rowerwet posted his builds of a little mouse boat design in foam, which I had previously built in plywood. My challenge is that I know plywood skin structure like Bubba knows shrimp, but...foam??..you can do that?? :NC . There may be some significant torsions in my trailer design. I believe that the lower clam will take most of the stress when on the road. When the top is raised, there may be significant wind-induced stress on the structure... I dunno foam...but I'll do some research here and elsewhere and investigate. I'm a little guilty of only thinking like a hammer, so everything has to work like a nail. I am comfortable and excited about how the design is progressing so far, but one of my unsolved problems; a thin, uninsulated plywood roof will NOT be a comfort, and I believe the solution is "don't do it like that". which is not exactly a solution. How does foam like plywood :NC ?

While I am rambling, another unsolved problem is the dang door. Has anyone done a folding door? My door will be hung in a half-doorWAY in the top shell. The other half of the doorWAY is in the bottom shell. The door will have a piano hinge so that the lower half of the door will swing up against the top half to allow the top to lower down. When top is down and door is folded, I still desire to be able to open the door to get inside. Of course trouble-free operation is essential...
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby OP827 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:50 pm

Bluebunny wrote:Hi OP827,
That is one cool trailer, and thank you for the encouragement! But...ummm...FOAM??? :crazy: ...you can do that?... Actually I have been intrigued by this foam craze; discovered it and this site when tnttt member Rowerwet posted his builds of a little mouse boat design in foam, which I had previously built in plywood. My challenge is that I know plywood skin structure like Bubba knows shrimp, but...foam??..you can do that?? :NC . There may be some significant torsions in my trailer design. I believe that the lower clam will take most of the stress when on the road. When the top is raised, there may be significant wind-induced stress on the structure... I dunno foam...but I'll do some research here and elsewhere and investigate. I'm a little guilty of only thinking like a hammer, so everything has to work like a nail. I am comfortable and excited about how the design is progressing so far, but one of my unsolved problems; a thin, uninsulated plywood roof will NOT be a comfort, and I believe the solution is "don't do it like that". which is not exactly a solution. How does foam like plywood :NC ?

While I am rambling, another unsolved problem is the dang door. Has anyone done a folding door? My door will be hung in a half-doorWAY in the top shell. The other half of the doorWAY is in the bottom shell. The door will have a piano hinge so that the lower half of the door will swing up against the top half to allow the top to lower down. When top is down and door is folded, I still desire to be able to open the door to get inside. Of course trouble-free operation is essential...


Folding caravans are very popular in UK and the designs were around for many years. Look at this patent http://www.google.com/patents/US6840569 for ideas and also look at this patent citations. most of the folding caravans on the market or history are captured there. Folding door is not difficult unless you stay within certain folding planes, there are designs on this forum as well. Plywood glues with XPS ridig foam very well. When you go with foam a generally much thinner skin will achieve rigidity than it is with plywood for the same weight. I do not know if you have structural background to have a good feel for what I am talking about here, but airplanes, gliders are built our of foam with structural skins with great success. I see no reason why this method cannot be applied in light trailers. I am myself is still thinking of the conceptual design I want get built. I do like to have aerodynamic shape and similar to yours a single move setup and break down. Cheers. :thumbsup:
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby Bluebunny » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:59 pm

Thanks OP827. I sure appreciate the help and wisdom of those who have gone before me...In the meantime, fuel your imaginations with my crazy ideas. It seems that I need to pause and do a bunch of research. Here is my door idea so far...surprise; in plywood!128441
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby OP827 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:45 pm

Check out what Mike and other guys did with folding plywood doors on this forum - http://www.mikenchell.com/WWEH_Photo_Album/slides/P8100362.html to help with ideas.
Some other lifting roof designs are noted here: http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=50969
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby Bluebunny » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:38 pm

I have worked out the basics of the folding door. Actually reasonably simple even if it does not look so. If I box the lower door, it can fit into the lower half doorway up to a jam just like the top half of the door. I am also (sounds crazy) looking at putting the doorknob and dead-bolt on the WALL, with the strikers engaging with the door. rules out one-handed door opening, but solves problem of how to fold door around doorknob, and how to open door when the shell is down and door is folded. Technically I can sleep in the trailer without raising the top shell...128446
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby Bluebunny » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:05 pm

...OP827 says "Plywood glues with XPS rigid foam very well."

This foamie stuff sounds like a real solution! - and I can keep my precious plywood skin...

OK, so if I glue XPS to the inside of my roof, I get insulation, and I would need to cover it with something; cloth and paint I suppose - sounds good.

If I glue the XPS to the outside of my roof, I would get insulation, and better soundproofing from acorns and rain. There I would need to cover it with a more substantial skin I suppose...

What do yawl recommend - in or out? How thick?? For my hundred other questions on foam - I'll do some research. Thanks OP!
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby RAYVILLIAN » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:37 am

Blue
I really like the design. Mike and I played with the full length hatch for awhile and it is the only way to get standing head room with that low a trailer. I think that hatch weight was the reason we went back to the half hatch for the winter Warrior designs. If you over lap the outside wall you won't have that much of a sealing problem with the hatch up. the rain mostly sheet down the trailer. I've only had a leak with the top up once and that was with a heck of a side wind during a thunder storm.

The back wall takes some work to get the top wall hinge point right but I've done it twice now, but that is the trickeyest part of the design. On ours the hatch rests when down on the bottom wall on a short wall lip and the hinge point for the top half of the wall is just inside of that short wall. that way it seals when down.

I was wondering why the long back porch on the top hatch ? It appears that your back wall is about 3ft back from the back wall point.

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Darn blank states keep getting further away and we keep traveling slower ain't never gona get this map full.
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby OP827 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:38 am

Bluebunny wrote:...OP827 says "Plywood glues with XPS rigid foam very well."

This foamie stuff sounds like a real solution! - and I can keep my precious plywood skin...

OK, so if I glue XPS to the inside of my roof, I get insulation, and I would need to cover it with something; cloth and paint I suppose - sounds good.

If I glue the XPS to the outside of my roof, I would get insulation, and better soundproofing from acorns and rain. There I would need to cover it with a more substantial skin I suppose...

What do yawl recommend - in or out? How thick?? For my hundred other questions on foam - I'll do some research. Thanks OP!


I am thinking of 1-1/2" foamular 300 XPS foam outside and plywood skin (1/8" baltic birch) inside for my trailer lower part. Based on this forum members many years of experience even one layer of canvas glued with TBII and then house paint or fibreglass and polyurethane paint will protect the skin well from any weather elements. My trailer roof will be just foam with both sides laminated with structural wood added where the hinges, roof/wall split and latches are located. Additioinal layers of fibreglass will be added over wood areas to make sure the stress is transferred along the skin without concentration on the wood-foam transition points.
Due to the foam structural integrity temperature range, I will paint the skin white only to avoid delamination from absorbing the sun heat. I decided if after one layer laminated I feel that one layer of fibreglass is not strong enough I can always add more. I know that many people done one canvas or FG layer and are among those happy campers. I want to go with the foam sandwich as light as I reasonably can without pushing the envelope too much to be on the safe side and then test it out and add reinforcements where I see them needed. Pictures of the streamlined concept are in my album.
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Re: Standing clam-shell mousetrip sleeper

Postby Bluebunny » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:09 pm

...Rayvillan asks: "I was wondering why the long back porch on the top hatch ? It appears that your back wall is about 3ft back from the back wall point."

The "porch awning" is somewhat of an extravagance...
cons: -It adds 30 lbs at the worst possible place for weight; at the end of the fulcrum. This may be a deal-breaker...
pros: +It provides a convenient place for the tail lights and plate.
+It will keep the weather off of windows and ventilators in the back wall.
+It provides a place for me to smoke a bowl in the rain (the long-time legal stuff). :rainy:
+It reduces the apparent cross-sectional area of the "drag zone" behind the trailer significantly - hopefully having a very positive impact on
fuel economy at highway speeeeds.
+I think that it just looks cool back there.

I'm trying to get a handle on the hatch weight. Painted, the top clam may get to 300 lbs. It'll be easier to add 100 lbs than trim 50lbs. Hopefully with gas struts I can get the brute force lift at 30 lbs, 40 lbs max...(I know, I know...FOAM!)
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