New score, change of plans

Design & Construction of anything that's not a teardrop e.g. Grasshoppers or Sunspots

New score, change of plans

Postby DrewsBrews » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:06 pm

So I scored a full size 6'x8' truck bed cap for free a week ago...
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Sorry for the poor quality. I was losing light and the phone pinhole camera can't keep up.

Fiberglass, but of an older design. Someone thought it was nice enough to repaint at some point. It has all of the windows intact (real glass, except the plexi hatch), of which the sides slide open and are screened.. Perfect! However there is one spot in the fiberglass that was punched in from probably turning into something and needs repair (never worked with fiberglass but definitely willing to try by this point). I'd estimate it's around 200lb so not exactly light.

This is prompting a complete design change from the plans I put on hold of an ultralight explorer box style trailer. Life got in the way.. getting married soon, was laid off for several months but eventually found another job. I also lost my "primary" TV to a wreck in between all this, so I can make the next TV purchase more tailored to the trailer. Money is tight right now. And for free.. It's hard to pass up having half a camper already built. Can't afford a honeymoon so planning on this trailer being the alternative. Just trying to look forward to the future at the moment :)

Anyway so I have a bed cap, an axle that is waaay too narrow for it (from the HF 4'x40" trailer kit), 300lb springs that are too soft for the weight that this build will turn into (already reused the HF springs), and a tongue bar that I started welding up that may or may not work..

My current plan is to build out a wood frame to support the floor, maybe standard 2x4" or maybe glued together 1x" hickory boards to make 2x" (if I can soak the cost), and attach a metal tongue. Either bolting the 2x2" tongue bar that I've got to the wood frame, or scrapping that and making an A-frame that attaches to the spring support plates that will attach to the frame. Otherwise all I need to do is make a facsimile if a truck bed to attach the top to. A more appropriate length axle and heavier springs are inexpensive enough to come by so I'm not too worried about that.

Currently for shape I'm thinking of flipping the top in reverse, cutting out the "front" windows and making that area the spot for the door in the rear. That way I can just attach plywood to the front and back to do whatever I need. Which would make it different from the other bed cap builds I've seen, and give it a bit of a sloped back look.

I've already got a decent "full" size innerspring futon mattress to use that is comfy to sleep on. My idea is to keep with the futon idea and engineer the bed to bifold into a couch by pushing the mattress toward the front of the trailer.

Not a newb to DIY stuff.. Heck, a couple months ago my, previously spare.. now primary, vehicle dropped a valve seat and split a piston in half. Managed to get it back running having never opened an engine up except to do valve adjustment on a motorcycle. However sometimes I wonder if all this change in my life is messing with my head. :?

Thoughts?
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby OP827 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:44 pm

Someone on this forum already built a travel trailer using same type top, cannot recall the name. I think it is completely doable. :thumbsup:
My foldable foam trailer build: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=61344
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby WizardOfOdds » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:47 pm

Someone on this forum already built a travel trailer using same type top, cannot recall the name.

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If you not done so already, you might want to read this build thread. He used a special top with a rear door.
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45827
WizardOfOdds: Chalet shaped rag roof clam shell TIER drop for 4 cylinder tow
Tip Top Tier Drop thread http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=56232
Unusual Designs thread http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=64495
Tale of 2 Trailers thread http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=61451
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby DrewsBrews » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:24 am

Yep that and other similar builds are my main inspiration for this. Unfortunately I wasn't lucky enough to find one with the nice rear door, but beggars can't be choosy.

Did some basic sketches for concept. A slim slideout galley could go on the rear or one side towards the front. Though engineering a slideout might push my patience for a build. I like simple.
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Here was my thought for the bed to couch conversion. Though not simple, I dislike sectioned foam cushions. We aren't exactly light people so we need more support.. and the seams in cushions bug the heck out of me while trying to sleep.
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby DrewsBrews » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:37 pm

Score #2! craigslist to the rescue!

Just picked up a HF "Super duty" (non folding, 5-lug, round axle) kit, new unassembled. 200 bones! and includes a new spare wheel/tire to boot!

This simplifies the frame question.. Already thinking of ways I can lighten it a bit since it'll have a more posh life than it's brethren put to utility labor.

So now I've got the top and the bottom...................

Now for the pesky bit in the middle :twisted:
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby KennethW » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:36 pm

Now for the pesky bit in the middle :twisted:

The middle a few sheets of 2" foam and some canvas?
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby DrewsBrews » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:54 pm

KennethW wrote:Now for the pesky bit in the middle :twisted:

The middle a few sheets of 2" foam and some canvas?


I like the foamy idea, it seems to work well when made into a light, cohesive shell. But do you think it would hold up well as a top-heavy multi-piece design? The stubby walls would only be attached to each other at the corners. Would that maintain enough strength for lateral loads? Maybe prudent to burry some sort of support post in the corners?
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby BigGoofyGuy » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:43 pm

It reminds me of the Roughneck. http://www.weiscrafttrailers.com/roughneck.html
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8)
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby brx017 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:19 pm

DrewsBrews wrote:Here was my thought for the bed to couch conversion. Though not simple, I dislike sectioned foam cushions. We aren't exactly light people so we need more support.. and the seams in cushions bug the heck out of me while trying to sleep.
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Check out my build, I'm doing a sofa bed basically just like you sketched out. I built a working prototype to test the concept before I committed to it. I will be updating my thread later, I finished the in floor storage yesterday, so the next step will be the bed.

Barrett's Mountain Build

I can send you my CAD files if that will help, or convert them to PDF or something else if that will help.

-Brooks

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby DrewsBrews » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:38 pm

Winter being a big damper and other things taking up my attention, No progress to report of until just recently.

Finally built up the nerve to purchase a door. It's pretty huge at 43"x43". Cost about 1/3 the price of others I've seen. The place is an RV surplus shop only about 10mi into Michigan. I opted to make a trip out of it instead of paying more in shipping cost than the price of the door itself.
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Distilling my ideas down on the exterior design, and adjusting the proportions to be more realistic.
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Still thinking of cutting out the front window and flipping the top around reverse to how it would be on a truck bed. Back side with the door would be vertical, using the angle of the cap as a small overhang giving benefits to prevent water intrusion from the door. With the size of the door I've decided to move the window type A/c unit to extend out the side of the trailer covered by a hatch. The top of the cap is ribbed for strength, making it difficult to install a vent (I'm also loth to cut holes in a perfectly good roof). Would putting a standard square roof vent on the front be a bad idea? I know folks report leak issues with windows on the front of the trailer.
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Re: New score, change of plans

Postby DrewsBrews » Mon May 08, 2017 11:19 am

Still unable to actually start on the build.. Too much else going on. :roll:

However before throwing out my cheapy old memory foam bedroom mattress I decided to dissect it. Turns out the middle layer of foam that broke down is pretty easily removed. Leaving a bottom 4" layer of nice firm urethane foam. It's pretty comfy as-is, but maybe could use a thin layer of softer foam to top it. So now I've got a queen size mattress for the trailer! Including a decent cover if I pull out the ol' sewing machine to take some of the girth out.
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