"Lite House" Ultralight Monocoque build - 6/25/11

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

Re: "Lite House" Ultralight Monocoque build - 6/25/11

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:26 am

thomas.clark wrote:sorry to resurrect and old thread...

I'm glad you did! :thumbsup: I missed it before, and what an amazing build. :applause: I love these thought outside of the box, not-just-like-the-others builds.
:applause: :applause: :applause:
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.


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Re: "Lite House" Ultralight Monocoque build - 6/25/11

Postby Thomcat316 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:29 am

thomas.clark wrote:[sorry to resurrect and old thread folks :oops: . I don't think my post count is up high enough for PMs, so I'm dropping the message below here]

Hi Thomcat,

Have read your 2011-12 build thread with great interest. I'm contemplating building a foam & fiberglass camper trailer, and would like to make the frame from pultruded products as to bond them directly to the shell, as you've done. Did you have any problems registering your frame/trailer here in Florida (I'm in Orlando)? I worry that they won't understand or recognize the build method.

Yours truly,


It was simple. Went to scale with trailer, got printed scale (weight) ticket (from a local scrap buyer with a drive-on scale). Took ticket to Broward County tag agency, filled out form declaring it a homebuilt trailer. Paid money, got tag. Too light to need serial number/VIN.

Hope this makes things simpler for you.
Build Journal at viewtopic.php?t=44293

And then it went a' roamin'...
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Five Year Update

Postby Thomcat316 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:26 pm

Well, these things do tend to evolve over time....

Somewhere along the way the following magically appeared: aft bulkhead, storage shelf, galley hatch, Dometic CF40 refrigerator, IKEA storage bins for the shelf, a nice wood chuck box for the Magma cookset, the plates, and the cast iron pots & DOs, a Magma 17" kettle grill, and the other below-detailed bits o' civilization.

Electrical -
Updated with an AGM 55AH battery - couldn't find a battery box to fit a Group 22 battery, so I soaked the cardboard shipping box in epoxy, wrapped it in fiberglass, and, poof, a battery box. I still need a cover for this so I don't drop a butterknife and weld the terminals together.

Also updated with, L-R: a full time shore power charger with a specific AGM mode and a 13.6V "shore power" mode so you can run house electrical loads without accidentally tricking your charger into overcharging your battery; A Blue Sea Systems fused load center; a Morningstar SunSaver SS10L 10A/12V charge controller w/LVD, which is an inexpensive PWM solar charge controller that provides a complete load cutoff at 11.5V to protect the battery. Not pictured: Noco GCP1 shore power inlet; 165W solar panel (throttled down by the PWM controller so it doesn't charge at too high a rate for the battery.)

Lighting now includes three Suncor flex-neck lights for the galley area, and two strips of RGB LED lighting for the interior. Mo' better lighting to come.

Ventilation -
We started out the same way everyone else does, with an absolutely wonderful Fantastic Fan. I made the mistake of not potting the mounting through-holes with epoxy, and over time the core compressed and the leaks were not stopped easily. Looking at it critically, I figured that removing the hole in the roof would remove the possibility of 3AM drips, so the forced ventilation was moved from the top to the inside.
The memory of the Fantastic Fan
The new fans, mounted

Mounting for the propane tank -
We'd been using a foam wrap for the propane tank, but now we've got a bracket with a pin and strap to retain the tank firmly.

Structural stuff -
Given that this build had no stringers or bracing, and was not built with a convex prestress, the roof sagged transversely by a small amount. When the roof fan was in use, I stressed the roof upward and added a transverse brace, wall to wall, bedded with epoxy putty to maintain the upward curve. This also gave a nice place to mount fore and aft wash LED light strips and a clothes-hanger bar for business trips.
The following photos show how I jacked up the upper edge of the galley hatch opening to provide a similar slight camber to prevent ponding on top of the tent bolt rope track.

Wheels/Tires -
Coker Tires on Jegs Rally wheels - viewtopic.php?f=35&t=59295

To be completed -
Make a galley counter to fit the cleats mounted on the sidewalls, which can be seen in the battery photo. The counter will be able to slide fore and aft, and will be retained by neodymium magnets from http://www.kjmagnetics.com/
Make a removable side-counter to mount on the passenger side all the way aft, including a drop-in dishpan "sink".
Make a molded-on light bar to replace the bracket-mounted taillights with something brighter, more durable and attractive.
Install the vent "gills" and splash boxes high in the galley sidewalls.
Build some removable cabinetry for clothing et cetera.
Mold a pair of fenders - like aircraft "wheel pants".
Finish making the folding bed.
Paint and decorate, finally.
Build Journal at viewtopic.php?t=44293

And then it went a' roamin'...
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