Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-Foru

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby flboy » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:29 pm

Insulating the trailer is hard work. Bet you are glad it is almost done.:-)

Make sure to have the proper sized circuit breakers or fuses for the gage wire you are using. No more than 15A for 14 gage for instance. That is the important thing. The breakers / fuses are there to protect the wiring from being overloaded.

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Don (Flboy)

Current Build CTC:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=65498
Old CTC Build (sold)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=50647
YouTube Videos of Finished Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FASF-x9ofMY - Interior
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb-pvBbyyBs - Exterior
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:10 am

flboy, Thanks so much. I will do that. I am guessing that for 16 gauge no more than 10 amp, 18 no more than 5, and if I use 12 gauge, no more than 20. The fuse box kit seems to be set up that way.
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:39 pm

First, I will soon be drilling four holes in my plywood, insulation and out the metal siding. These holes are for both the intake fans and exhaust fans. I will have to carve out the foam a little in order to get the little fans to fit, but once that is done, I can screw the fans to the plywood.

Now the QUESTION: I am using stainless steel louvered covers on both the inside and the outside. What kind of sealant do I use on the outside to seal the louver to the metal trailer skin? The inside should not need sealant, and I really do not want to put a sealant on the inside grill simply because I will be using the cooling fan dust filters, that will do double duty. They will prevent critters from crawling through the vents to the inside, and of course, they will filter out much of the dust. Leaving them unsealed on the inside allows me to unscrew the vent, and replace the filters.

But I am still waiting for this weekend when I can get to Homely Despotty to pick up some more foam insulation and rolls of reflective sealing tape to finish up my insulation job. Once that is done, I can put the original plywood panels back on, plot the locations of those four holes, and drill them.

I consulted with the local hardware store on fasteners to hold my Luan ply sheeting I will be using to finish off the interior. They got me right to the correct hardware bin for pan head self tapping screws. From what I gather, it will take about a week to get the ceiling done. I have to screw in the center, then work my way out slowly bending the Luan ply, allowing it to relax before I drive the next set of screws. At least that is what I gather from talking about this part of the project. Anyone have a better way of putting in a ceiling? Remember, I don't have the room to fir out the walls. I cannot afford to lose any more space inside my 4 x 6 trailer. As it is, when I put in the interior wall, I will be losing about three inches in length. Hopefully that will not scrunch me up on the bed, as I am six feet tall. Will have to deal with that when I get to that. Just have to build it, and then make do with what I have. Anyway, better than trying to sleep sitting up in a Honda CRV. :-)
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby McDave » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:29 pm

Hey Caley Ann,
You may want to fashion a "Dead Man" to help with the ceiling panels. Basically it is just 2 pieces of lumber screwed together to form a "Tee". The trick is to make it just the right height so it will press and hold one end of the panel while you screw the other end in. Or you may want a pair to hold up both ends while you attach from the middle. Working overhead can be tricky and tiring. with the supports you can adjust the panel and get it just where you want it and held steady while you attach it. If the support is an inch or two longer than ceiling height you will be able to jam it with your foot so it presses the panel up firmly to the roof supports. I would start in the middle and make sure the first panel is straight and square, then work out from there.

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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby McDave » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:11 pm

You can use butyl tape sealant for the outside vents and any other holes you cut into the aluminium skin.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Fabral-1-4- ... /207149821

The luan should flex enough to conform to the ceiling curve without relaxing I would think. However, since your trailer is only 4' across and 6 long you will only need 1 sheet 4x8. So, cut it down to correct size and screw down the middle on each support, and then work out probably 1 ft either side of center and at each edge. 5 screws per roof support. I think I would do all the centers, then move over 1 ft and do all of those, go to the other side of center and do those, then one edge, then the other. If you use the "Dead Man" you can use it to help you bend the luan while you put the screws in.

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I know you are using self tappers but a pilot hole will help you get them started.
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:50 am

McDave, Our Home Depot does not carry that sealant tape. I will have to try something else. I guess I could say unfortunately for where I live, basically away from any large city, certain products that you would have locally, are not available to me. That's one reason I order almost everything from Amazon. The problem with Amazon is like this Butyl sealant tape, it is not available at a price I can afford, or it is available, but in huge quantities. I only need about five feet of it. No point in having a big quantity, as where I live tends to shorten the shelf life of many products. I guess I will have to go with some kind of squeeze out sealant that is made for outdoors. I will test fit, and drill the cover holes for the screws, then put a bead of sealant on the cover edge, and then screw it in place. Hopefully that will work out OK.

Yes, my hardware store person suggested a pilot hole also, so I purchased a drill bit that can go through metal
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby PlaidCat » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:14 am

Hi CaleyAnn,

If you have a plumbing supply store anywhere near you they may carry (or be able to order) butyl tape or butyl based caulking. The major advantage of the butyl based products is they stay flexible much longer than silicone based products. Good luck in your search. Nice job on your build so far. :)

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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby aggie79 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:00 am

If your louvers have surfaces that lay flat against the outside skin there is no need to use butyl tape. On my teardrop, I used latex-based Dap Dynaflex 230 sealant between my teardrop aluminum and the electrical inlet, battery vent louvers, door locks, door hinges, tail lights, etc. There have been no leaks in 8-9 years since everything was installed. This DAP is available almost everywhere - Wally World, Blue and Orange box stores, most hardware stores, etc.

Another good option, particularly if you're looking for something that can fill slight gaps or uneven matting surfaces, is OSI gutter sealant. It used to be called "Quad" but I believe it is now called "121". This is also available at most big box stores.

I did not use any butyl tape on my teardrop. For my windows, roof vent, hurricane hinge, aluminum trim, and other surfaces that didn't mate up perfectly, I used 3M 4200 marine adhesive/sealant. This is rated for below water line exposure on boats. It is pricey and it is not available locally (usually).
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby John61CT » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:34 am

Best butyl tape http://shop.marinehowto.com/products/bed-it-tape

Investigate Sikaflex for the outer caulking, different types for different substrates.

Never uses silicone!
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby McDave » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:38 am

I can understand that. I am more than 200 miles in any direction from the nearest Home Depot or any Big Box store. Amazon and ebay are lifesavers for me. If there is a RV dealer near you I bet you could charm them out of length of tape.
They may have other 12v and camping items as well. Ace Hardware and as always NAPA have lots of handy items, also your local ranch supply store possibly Walmart.

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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby hankaye » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:17 am

CaleyAnn, Howdy;

Check yer PM in box.

Have a roll will mail.

OR

you can choose the ship to store option and order it online from either of the BBstores
and pick it up when it arrives at your local store ...


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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:10 am

Hi, Back after a couple of very hard days of doing my volunteer work up at the observatory. Whew!!! I was totally pooped.

I watched a video about a battery box this one gentleman built out of pine. One of the key features he showed was a fan, about 120mm in diameter that he installed to blow on his inverter to keep it cool. The box also had two PVC elbows in the rear wall with window screen to keep the critters out. In addition, he had the bottom open in one spot so that cooler air could flow up into the box, and out the two PVC pipe vents. Withe the fan running, this box gets great air circulation, keeping most everything inside cooler than if it just was a plain old box with a just one vent.

The above leads up to my eventual plan to do what everyone has suggested, installing a pair of Duracell 6V AGM batteries for my solar power system. I have talked with a few people, and they say that I can probably get by with fashioning a trailer tongue box support out of the steel angle metal that has all those round and oval holes. They say no problem with bolting it to the tongue, but say just attaching it to the trailer front bulkhead will probably not work in the long run. They suggest, as someone here did, that I find a welder to tack weld the ends of this angle metal to the trailer frame.

Then I can build the wood battery box like I saw in the video. That way I have no worry about getting sick from hydrogen gas, as I will only have one hole running into the inside of the trailer for the two 4 gauge power wires.

Anyway, I took advice from a friend, and am taking three days off from my volunteer work, and resting. Well, resting, but working on my trailer. So off to Homely Despotty I go for my foam, tape, screws, and vent sealing stuff. Be back in a few days. Thanks for the help.
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:45 pm

Nice to have a day off from the normal drugery, and be able to work on something for me. I finally got the forward trailer bulkhead insulation finished. Got the rest of the major seams taped and sealed. And I reinstalled the original plywood that came with the trailer.

Now I am at the point of doing the electrical. I still think the only way, with the way this trailer is designed, is to use wood of the correct thickness and width to create both a decorative trim, and also put the wire channels underneath. There's just no gaps the way the trailer was put together to install wires. I think I am going to run these channels along the bottom sides of the walls, then run the wires up the walls to where I want a device installed. This will keep the headroom clear of obstructions that I probably would hit my head on. Remember, I am six foot tall, and going to sleep in this 51" T x 71" L x 44" W trailer interior. I just hope that those who have told me I don't use six feet of bed length are correct. I guess they might be right. I tend to curl up a little.

Anyway, I get to plot out the ventilation holes today, and possibly drill them, if I have the courage to attempt such mayhem.

I changed my mind on how I will do my bed platform. Size will still be the same, with a rounded corner up at the head of the platform where I have to get in and out of the trailer through the teardrop trailer door. That way I won't be ruining knees or other parts of my body as I pass that point. :-)

I am just going to build a platform out of ply and probably cut down pieces of 2x4's to create the support needed. That way I can just slide under the plastic storage boxes I have at home. They will contain clothing, shoes, and various other things needed. Since these boxes are somewhat clear, it makes it easier to see what is inside each box. Should be able to put between 8 and 10 of these boxes underneath.

I'm also debating on whether I am going to put a cabinet up front near the ceiling. I think it is too much of an undertaking for me. I might just put a tall cupboard that I can purchase in the corner, modifying it to fit the corner.

But I still want my entertainment, in case I ever do travel long distances to places I wish to see. Who knows if I will be near a TV center, but I would want to at least have the option of tuning in at night.

As I build each one of these little parts of the trailer, I will post a picture for those to view. I am guessing that is the way a lot of people glean ideas for their own little trailers. Speaking of trying to get an idea, I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has a centralized electrical control panel in their little trailer, and what it looks like. I'd be very interested in what it looks like. I really want everything to look halfway decent, and organized.
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby CaleyAnn » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 pm

My not being very experienced sometimes delays me a lot from trying something new. But I fought the urge to think more about things and went out and drilled those vent holes, and installed the vent covers. The outside covers still need the sealing around the edges.

I just took my time, drilling out the plywood holes first, and removing the wood disks. Then I drilled out the insulation, and pushed a bit to create a little indentation in the trailer skin. I removed the insulation. I then switched to a fairly small drill bit, and drilled a pilot hole. After that, I went outside with my hole cutter, and drilled into the pilot hole slowly, and kept the drill speed down while the hole saw went through the aluminum skin.

Gotta say that my expectations of disaster did not come true. Taking my time, and doing it all in small steps made perfect holes.

I taped the vent covers over the holes inside and out, then drilled screw pilot holes. Then all I had to do is carefully screw in the vent retaining screws, and the pictures are half of what I managed. I am happy with the results.

These vents are not large, only 80mm diameter, but I think that with two intake fans and two exhaust fans, I should get a fair amount of air movement and air exchange. The fact I have a teardrop door to install, that has a window that opens, and a Fantastic Fan desk version should at least keep me fairly cool during the hot months. Wish there was such a thing as a 500 BTU air conditioner. Wouldn't need anything larger because of the micro size of my camper trailer. I probably would purchase a generator that could handle that load.
Attachments
DSCF0514.JPG
Inside Vents
DSCF0514.JPG (75.68 KiB) Viewed 91 times
DSCF0513.JPG
Outside Vents
DSCF0513.JPG (75.54 KiB) Viewed 91 times
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Re: Here Goes with My Cargo Trailer Conversion, In this Sub-

Postby hankaye » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:15 pm

CaleyAnn, Howdy;

Looks like you've done a fine job with the vents. I would like to offer a suggestion if I may,
Now I live in a desert too but it does rain here every once in awhile and dust relies on gravity
to help it locate itself in new spots. By re-positioning the openings you can help keep the
rain and most of the dust out of you walls. Just a thought that struck me when I was admiring
your handywork.

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