New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

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New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby ssuuki19 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:35 pm

I probably should have joined back in May.. anyhow I am well into an all aluminum TTT build, well everything but the half-axles, RV door, windows, sikka-seal, and some mounting hardware which is mostly zinc plated. Essentially the whole trailer and frame is MIG welded 2"/.xxx and 1"/.125 6061 square tube aluminum, skinned in 16 gauge/0.051" 5052 aluminum with all 3/16" aluminum-aluminum rivets, sort-of like a jon boat.
I have the rest of the month to push through on:
-mounting the RV Door (full sized RV, paid cash bc it was shipped with minor scratch on it) and 3 crank-out windows (purchased from Li'l Bear site when it was still running)
-flooring.. I really want to use aluminum honeycomb but am having trouble finding a Canadian supplier (or otherwise for that matter)
-sourcing custom stainless steel u-bolts.. no luck so far in Canada, found one boat trailer supplier in California though
-mounting the rear hatch/cargo door.. hurricane hinge, or just a beefy aluminum 'round tube in square tube' style

So first off just wanted to say hi to everyone.. I'm not even looking at the budget on this prototype, there will be time to do the master BOL in the fall. I'm just very obsessive about not hitting any 'deal breaker' obstacles.
Lastly, I am in Vancouver, BC and perhaps there might be some folks who are local (Washington, Oregon, Alberta, etc.) that would want to consult with me.. I've never done a project with so many 'firsts' in it, but so far it is pushing through, waay behind schedule (if there is any).
I put a teaser picture in just so everyone knows I'm serious about this build even though I am a new poster.
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tnttt_01.jpg
each rivet was dipped in sikka-seal
tnttt_01.jpg (53.13 KiB) Viewed 694 times
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby Alan_H » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:49 pm

Interesting looking build. I have a question.. Since you custom made your frame from aluminum, is there a reason you made an additional frame for the floor of the trailer? Why not incorporate that into the build?
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby Roly Nelson » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:01 pm

Welcome to the forum, there may be another "all-metal-builder" right here on the forum that you may want to contact. Or, he may be contacting you. He's in Canada and is an amazing td builder. Also, Halfdome Danny, may chime in and you guys can share thoughts. Good luck on your build. I know nothing about metal, since I am strictly a woody guy, like Lowes plywood, 1x12 pine lumber, tight-bond glue, wood screws, dowel plugs, and a bunch of spar varnish. Good luck on your build, post pics, we love em.
:) 8) :thumbsup: Roly, the li'l ol' woody teardrop designer/buiider and user in sunny So Calif.
See the little 1/2 Nelson Woody constructions pics at: http://gages-56.com/roly.html
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby ssuuki19 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:21 pm

Alan_H wrote:Interesting looking build. I have a question.. Since you custom made your frame from aluminum, is there a reason you made an additional frame for the floor of the trailer? Why not incorporate that into the build?

Alan_H, yes there is a reason - the whole 'cabin' is going to be separate from the trailer, so that when not in use it sits in the yard as a 'lockable shed', thus leaving me with a flat-deck trailer I can barn fence or do otherwise with, lend to friends, etc. Just one of the many 'gotta haves' in this build. Yes, its more work and investment, but I can't see why others haven't gone with this option, I mean doesn't every man want a really light flat-decker? Plus now the trailer can be stored vertically or horizontally against a wall, for example and its light enough to carry by one person (and I mean, 'carry') as I've already done this several times myself moving it from hitched to the car, to the back yard.
Also the cabin separated will clear just about any garage door I've seen this way as its about 6'9" at the tallest part of the door. So in some neighborhoods if one wants/has to have ttt out of sight one can put in the garage.
Mark
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby ssuuki19 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:33 pm

Thanks for the reply ^ too, Roly. I too am a lover of wood, and only recently discovered my love of aluminum. Quite seriously, if weight weren't such a design basis in this build, I'd be going in the direction of what your trailer looks like! But for this one, its gotta be as light as possible, in order to set a new 'standard' for what 'lite' and 'feather' means when it comes to trailers. This baby is going to be really, really light, and aerodynamic as its shape is based off an aircraft wing profile. But let me be clear, this trailer is still being 'built' and I don't want to put the cart before the horse. There are many obstacles to overcome still, and I am hoping the other builders you mention, Roly, will chime in and offer me advice. I'm hoping to set a new standard, but also admit I'm stupid/er, audacious enough to do this all on my first build. :?
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby alaska teardrop » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:24 pm

Welcome aboard. :shake hands:

As a builder of metal trailers I appreciate seeing your efforts. This link might be helpful to you:
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=51991

Not to be critical but to critique, I hope you are planing to add additional strength to your tongue arrangement. As it is, the single tongue tube welded at the first cross member, won't last a day with a load on it. Also, why half axles? Again, consider the stress on the aluminum tubing where the axle mounts. And will the half axles have brakes?

Fred
Northern Lite Traveler design: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=51991
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby Roly Nelson » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:28 pm

I'm sure you are sold on building with aluminum. Good for you. However, I just want you to know that my little 4 x 8 woody only weighs 450 lbs and I can lift the tire off of the ground with my 84 year old back. 1/4 inch plywood sides, 1/8th inch roof and similar cabinetry will attain the light weight you are looking for, probably even better. As far as your concern about being aerodynamic, unless you plan to strap it onto the nose of a space rocket, the effort is of no concern. Burbling air from the back of your hauler, has little effect on the front of your teardrop, it has been proven and I believe it. However, build it to the shape you desire, I'm sure it will work out just fine. Teardrop designing and building, is what makes our crazy hobby interesting, and I am looking forward to your results. Keep building as you wish, let no one sway you in your design....me included. Your one-of-a-kind will be a joy to see. Keep it up, and good luck. I'm looking forward to progress pics and your So Calif visit during your maiden voyage.
8) :applause: Roly
See the little 1/2 Nelson Woody constructions pics at: http://gages-56.com/roly.html
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby ssuuki19 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:31 pm

alaska teardrop wrote:I hope you are planing to add additional strength to your tongue arrangement. As it is, the single tongue tube welded at the first cross member, won't last a day with a load on it. Also, why half axles? Again, consider the stress on the aluminum tubing where the axle mounts. And will the half axles have brakes?

Alaska Teardrop, first off, just want to say Hello! I will definitely check out the link, I am a data junkie. Ok, on to your questions.. so first-off, to clarify, the single tongue tube runs the entire length of the trailer.. better design structurally but I think what you are talking about is something like, this perhaps: (the real stripped down version of the concept)
tnttt_02.jpg
tnttt_02.jpg (113.41 KiB) Viewed 551 times

Secondly, half axles allow the trailer to be lowered more, whilst leaving nothing in the way for clearance issues. Thats essentially why I chose them.. well that and the weight savings as they are 14lbs apiece (the rims and rubber weigh 62lbs). They are Flexiride, adjustable splines, rated at 930lbs, and the way they are u-bolted to the frame (Edit:: this says 3 temporary generic steel u-bolts a side, soon to be zinc plated, galva, or stainless steel, it will be only 2 u-bolts needed a side and they will probably be flat u-bolts made of zinc plated steel) and with a welded plate, at both the frame edge and cross-beam, I think they will be ok. Having said that, 80 miles on a logging road will test them pretty fast, I'm sure we can both agree on that. Trust you me, I deliberated on this point for many an hour, but decided to go with the half axles. Consider me a tester of them, we'll see how they do.
Lastly, no brakes on the half axles, I am confident this trailer will be so light it won't need them. Part of me wants to throw out a target insulated, ready to rock bare bones weight - lets say 600lbs. I see no need for brakes at this weight (swaybar included). Around 800lbs or so its getting in need of that weight addition.
I really appreciate your input, sir. Not afraid of being critiqued at all, that's why I joined this forum. I've reached the point where I need constructive criticism. You see, the thing 'aint done yet, so I can build others expertise into this piece of functional art.
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:33 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby ssuuki19 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:55 pm

Roly Nelson wrote:I'm sure you are sold on building with aluminum. Good for you. However, I just want you to know that my little 4 x 8 woody only weighs 450 lbs and I can lift the tire off of the ground with my 84 year old back. 1/4 inch plywood sides, 1/8th inch roof and similar cabinetry will attain the light weight you are looking for, probably even better.

450lbs, is excellent weight for sure, Roly. You know what, when I get to the interior, what you just said there, may influence some future decisions.

Roly Nelson wrote:As far as your concern about being aerodynamic, unless you plan to strap it onto the nose of a space rocket, the effort is of no concern. Burbling air from the back of your hauler, has little effect on the front of your teardrop, it has been proven and I believe it. However, build it to the shape you desire, I'm sure it will work out just fine. Teardrop designing and building, is what makes our crazy hobby interesting, and I am looking forward to your results.


Thanks, man! Appreciate it, but also know, you have permission to 'smash my ideas with a hammer'. That's how the 'good' ones remain hehe.. anyways turbulent air from the hauler can affect the sway of a teardrop, especially when tractor trailers pass it, but I do agree the front of the teardrop doesn't care whether its laminar airflow or turbulent airflow coming from the hauler. But the rear of the teardrop, or in my case ttt, is severely affected by shape, hence why the teardrop is a most fantastic, best design. Best I can do is a 'tail-cone' if you get what I mean, so that the rear isn't just a flat panel. Thats what I was getting at with the aerodynamics, and I plan to test pull it with a 1.6L 4 cylinder motor to see how 'good' or 'bad' she hauls. Essentially the design is going for laminar airflow from the rear of the hauler to beyond the rear of the ttt.

(Edit:: at present it is targetting to 65mph and this is fantastic news, so that means it can do 55-62mph for best mileage with the aveo motor in 5th gear, 28usmpg)

at some point a mileage test will be run, one uphill, one downhill, the average to be announced, and the other question is, what mileage is this combo gonna get?
this budget hatchback pulling a somewhat realistic looking tiny trailer behind it
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby ssuuki19 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:34 am

alaska teardrop wrote:As a builder of metal trailers I appreciate seeing your efforts. This link might be helpful to you:

Oooh boy, down the rabbit hole I go... thanks, Alaska Teardrop Fred! I can clearly see now some gorgeous design work, just looking at the pictures, the gussets, design decisions, the finishes, riveting wood, very much thanks, I 'went out on a limb' on this project and didn't realize it was attached to a giant tree!
Geez I wish Michigan was closer to Alaska.. then it would be closer to this functional piece of art.
Mark
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby Roly Nelson » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:37 am

Very few research and contemplate their future builds as you have done. Good for you, I look forward to seeing the result.
:thumbsup: Roly ~~
See the little 1/2 Nelson Woody constructions pics at: http://gages-56.com/roly.html
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby alaska teardrop » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:49 am

Thank you Mark. Glad to see that you'll be adding those two extra tubes to the tongue. The full length center tube is a good idea, however, welding it at the most critical point where the tongue meets the first cross member sets up the potential of stress cracking. A single tongue is especially vulnerable to fatigue because there is not only vertical stress but also horizontal stress that is not really a concern with double or triple tongues. Here is a post by Andrew that explains aluminum fatigue: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=65130&p=1157563&hilit=aluminum+fatigue#p1157563

And another about tongue strength: viewtopic.php?f=26&t=66458&start=45 (13th post down)

Fred

Hi Roly
Northern Lite Traveler design: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=51991
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby dancam » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:27 pm

Hey, looks like a nice build! Just want to add something about aerodynamics- it makes a huge, huge difference. If your trailer is completely smaller than the back of your tow vehicle your fine, however if it is just as wide or larger than the back of your tow vehicle its a good idea to do some planning. The amount of wind your trailer catches slows you down/uses more gas than how heavy it is. To a certain point of course. Heres a photo of a trailer i pull. Trailer and contents are 900 pounds and I had another 500 or so pounds in the car including myself. With that rock catcher in front made of plywood this was harder to pull than the covered u-haul of the same weight. I had to have it floored in 5th to do 100km/hr and had to downshift for slight hills. I took the plywood off, so all the weight was the same and you could hardly notice that i had a trailer. I have a vaccum guage and i was pulling the same vacuum at highway speed as i do going to work empty. Took a little more to speed up and slow down but cruising was seriously the same as no trailer.
Image
Image

Now this trailer is 600 pounds and flat. With that ramp up its hardish to pull. Fold it down its easy to pull but slightly harder than no trailer or the smaller trailer because of the fenders.
Image

Im gonna try a similar idea to this
Image

Notice the fenders too
Image
Image
Figure out what aero stuff has been tried and what works and doesnt work. Do wooden mock ups of your ideas before aluminum to see how it pulls. Just some ideas :)


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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby ssuuki19 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:58 pm

Thanks again for the links, Fred! Being that this trailer was to go really light, some long term structural integrity loss will likely be the case, boy do I ever love your post about the frame for the Northern Lite - you put the two angled tongues all the way back to the axle! In my concept I had done the same, actually ran them all the way to the the back of the trailer. I really like all the re-inforcements that frame has around the axle too - looks super beefy. Now that frame looks confident to take logging roads!
Just to clarify, you were saying that even though the main tongue is a single long piece of square tube that even welding the 'cross beams' at all the vertices (the first, front most being what you are describing), creates an area for fatigue? Also just wanted to mention that the two angled tongue beams will be welded and bolted to the frame and main tongue in the 5 spots that they contact.
Also any comments on half-axles and your experience with them? And surge brakes? - which do sound like a fantastic idea.. perhaps after the build is functional. And also if my post sounded a bit cocky/ego, please do not take it that way.. I must admit yesterday was the first time I towed the combo, just a run through the city, but geez, Fred, it seemed to tow really well even though the tongue weight was low (guessing <10%) since its still a work in progress. I was so happy last night because having taking it for a spin with no apparent problems, I just felt I had finally made a major goal in my build.
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New to forum - well into an All Aluminum TTT Build

Postby ssuuki19 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:17 pm

Roly Nelson wrote:Good for you, I look forward to seeing the result.
:thumbsup: Roly ~~

And I, Roly, look forward to researching your Half Nelson build thread... I'm imagining now the all aluminum riveted industrial look on the outside, like rugged beauty, but beautiful wooden interior, or at least wooden accents.. if it can be done light as you say, and the whole shell is going to have 2" (yes, thats right, 2") of blown closed cell xps it'll already be watertight, but the wood in the interior could be very useful in acting as a moisture sink so to speak. I am sure all you advanced wood-workers will have some nest eggs for me hidden in your build threads. Just got your joke about my maiden voyage! So Cal, eh? For sure I'll take her all the way down the coast the San Diego, and then over to Arizona, and back up through Nevada and the interior! This is truly a fantastic community of people I can see, such diverse professions, and ... well no need to preach to the converted, I guess.
Maybe its time to bump this whole thread to a build thread?? Its already gathered a great amount of critique and informative links.
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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