Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby Karebru » Sun May 06, 2018 12:19 pm

I guess it's time to start a log... The money is flowing! :frightened:

My blank canvas is a 2019, Forest River (Continental Cargo) 7x16 dual-axle, with a ramp rear door, 18" V-nose, and about 6'-4" headroom in the rough.
Image
My goal is to build a camper for my wife and I, that's simple but comfortable. It will be geared towards staying in parks that have hook ups and showers, but in a pinch, will be able to get us through a night or two without. It will have a fresh water tank and gray water containment of some kind, but not black water. A portable toilet will do for avoiding midnight treks to the public facilities. Air conditioning is a must here in the muggy Southeast, but we want to be able to open it wide on cool evenings.
It will need room for hauling pair of three wheeler bicycles and miscellaneous camping gear.

I'm good with my hands and fairly mechanically inclined, but I've never built a camper.
Any thoughts, warning, or suggestions will be appreciated. :)

I was playing around with masking tape and poster board... My windows fall between studs. The AC vents will require cutting one, (Not too bad.) and everything is away from the seams in the outside skin.
Image

Image
The 24" under-counter fridge is a little further forward than I had pictured, but the water tank on the opposite side is right over the axles. I'm also adding some weight in the back.
I think with proper loading of gear, firewood, etc. I'll be OK.

Here's my to-scale floor plan,taken off of the blue tape. (But don't hold me to it until I start cutting. I already eliminated the stepped front between the fridge and sink cabinets.)
Image
Larger Floor Plan: https://i.imgur.com/0Sszi7O.jpg

Here's my latest air conditioner installation plan, after some tweaking and some technical support from flboy.
(Thank, Man.)
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I've already found a lot of great ideas and have received good suggestions here on TNTTT.
Like, "Pull your plywood off and check everything."
Turns out, the wiring is atrocious. The dome light inside the side door doesn't even work, and I can already tell that the glue fastening the aluminum to the studs is hit or miss.
I guess I'll pick up a few tubes of Liquid Nail.

I took it to the Depot this morning and picked up 18 sheets of R-5 insulation.
I guess I'm about ready to do battle with the plywood on the walls.

Thanks for looking. 8)
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby Iconfabul8 » Sun May 06, 2018 7:47 pm

I was playing around with masking tape and poster board... My windows fall between studs. The AC vents will require cutting one, (Not too bad.)

If you are not sliding the AC in and out, is it absolutely necessary to cut the stud? It looks like one stud wouldn't be too much resistance. Anyway, just kinda thinking out loud. :thinking:
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby featherliteCT1 » Sun May 06, 2018 7:58 pm

:D Can't wait to see you start cutting holes in the walls to install your air conditioner!
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby flboy » Sun May 06, 2018 8:07 pm

Glad you started the build log. I really like watching these projects go from the drawing board to reality. Looks like you have a real nice floorplan! Best of luck. That is a nice looking Rig!


Icon, cutting the stud isn't so much about blocking airflow, but the type of vent being used. The vents inset into the wall and and the stud would prevent the mounting. These refrigerator vents on the sides of trailers are built in such a way to prevent water from blowing in at highway speeds. There may be some other alternatives out there? Seeing your fab skills... you'd fab something for sure!
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby featherliteCT1 » Sun May 06, 2018 8:09 pm

Would it be possible to cut a notch in the vent to fit over the stud?
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby flboy » Sun May 06, 2018 8:20 pm

featherliteCT1 wrote:Would it be possible to cut a notch in the vent to fit over the stud?
Not the type I am thinking of. If you looked at one... you'd see why. It is obvious once you can see it.
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby Karebru » Sun May 06, 2018 8:29 pm

Iconfabul8 wrote:If you are not sliding the AC in and out, is it absolutely necessary to cut the stud? It looks like one stud wouldn't be too much resistance. Anyway, just kinda thinking out loud. :thinking:

flboy beat me to it. I thought about building them out, but that would kind of defeat the flush mounted design and maybe cause turbulence that would push rainwater inside? :thinking:
I need to add horizontal framing either way. I'm thinking a piece of 1x2 square steel or aluminum tubing between the top and bottom vent.

featherliteCT1 wrote::D Can't wait to see you start cutting holes in the walls to install your air conditioner!

Is that how it's gonna be? "Let's watch him screw it up"? :laughter:
Hey, y'all. Watch this!... Um... Hold my beer for a minute. :guzzle:
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby featherliteCT1 » Sun May 06, 2018 8:31 pm

We got confidence in ya bro!
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby Karebru » Sun May 06, 2018 8:39 pm

The first cut is the hardest. ;)
Anybody use a Rotozip for doing window cutouts?
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby flboy » Sun May 06, 2018 8:52 pm

I used a jigsaw with a metal blade. I like rotozips, but I always get off track without a guide.

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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby PigTrail » Sun May 06, 2018 9:41 pm

Get the right jigsaw blade for "thin metal" and go slow and it cuts like butter.
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby Karebru » Sun May 06, 2018 10:24 pm

Sounds safer. A Rotozip works great for some things, but it can get away from you if you're not careful.
My windows and vents are ordered. Before I put the trailer in dry dock and remove the plywood, I'm going to take the insulation board to the shop and cut it to size on a table saw. Then I'll only have to do some hand trimming and fitting. Hopefully, this weekend.
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby Iconfabul8 » Mon May 07, 2018 3:08 am

Karebru wrote:The first cut is the hardest. ;)
Anybody use a Rotozip for doing window cutouts?

RotoZip all the way. The secret to rotozipping holes is to have the framing all done and use it for a guide and cut from the inside. You run the smooth part of the bit shank against the framing and it does a fantastic job. But you are right about freehanding, that would be scary. The corner radius also needs to be framed. I made some aluminum pieces that I riveted in the corners. I also used some plastic extruded things the factory gave me when I bought the windows. I suppose the easiest would be to cut some out of wood and glue them in place.

Plastic corner blocks
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Set-of-4-Radius-Corner-Blocks-for-RV-Camper-Trailer-Motorhome-5th-Wheel/372383134318?hash=item56b3c3b26e:g:Q5gAAMXQROxRe2RO

My aluminum corner blocks
Last edited by Iconfabul8 on Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby Joel.brian » Tue May 08, 2018 12:42 am

Looks sweet! I’m currently building a 7x16 TA for the same general purposes but my layout is way different. It’s cool looking at your build and seeing how different it is. You did a hell of a lot more planning than me haha

I just finished my floors and walls. Image


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Re: Karebru's 7x16 Build Log

Postby Karebru » Tue May 08, 2018 5:55 am

Looking good.
Is your wall covering reclaimed wood?
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