Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakdlk)

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

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby bdosborn » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:22 am

kayakdlk wrote:Here is a view of our teardrop from the main office
Image


I driven by that KOA quite a few times and I've wondered if it was any good. Looks like a pretty nice spot.

Great trip, I think you've got a nice system worked out.

Bruce
2009 6.5'X11' TTT - Boxcar
Image
Boxcar Build
User avatar
bdosborn
Donating Member
 
Posts: 4301
Images: 452
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: CO, Littleton

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby drewh1 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:41 pm

Great photo, love to see these TD's out in the wild!

drew.
"If only I knew what I know now when I started . . ."

My Build Journal http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=56916
User avatar
drewh1
Donating Member
 
Posts: 245
Images: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:01 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby FIREBALL05 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:31 pm

Awesome build, thanks for sharing! Tons of good ideas and well planned and well executed.

Quick question - are you happy with the open shelving at the foot of the cabin and in the galley? Do things move around too much while driving? Any off road, gravel, dirt driving yet to test out suspension?

Thanks!
FIREBALL05
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:24 pm
Location: Central PA
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby lrrowe » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:55 pm

I like your book. I did preview it and it is quite interesting. And the trailer is great.
Bob

First Post on Purchase of Trailer: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=60722
Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

Image Image
User avatar
lrrowe
Donating Member
 
Posts: 3285
Images: 439
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:54 am
Location: SW Virigina
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby kayakdlk » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:39 pm

lrrowe and Fireball thanks for the nice comments.

FIREBALL05 wrote: are you happy with the open shelving at the foot of the cabin and in the galley? Do things move around too much while driving? Any off road, gravel, dirt driving yet to test out suspension?!


So far I like the open bottom galley (lots of flexibility). Once I put both coolers, blue Rubbermaid tub with dutch ovens and the black baskets for food in it is pretty tight and nothing really slides around. My original plan was a to build a slide out cooler shelf (maybe even 2) but there isn't room right now with everything else. Some day when it is just myself and the wife (No kids) I will not need as much stuff and may build in something below. I started with some 18" kitchen anti skid mat rolled out under each cooler but decided it was more work that what it was worth and not really needed. I do use it on the upper galley shelves and things stay put.

After several trips I did install peel and stick tiles on the lower galley floor so it was easier to slide stuff in and out and it made it look more finished. On or off road (gravel, washboard, etc.) things do not seem to move much around. I have a basket or two sitting on the upper counter and use a bungee cord and hook and things stay in place. I do use a bungee cord and hook to latch the tables in the bottom, I have some cup hooks on the ends and was concerned that they might slide back and forth and damage the hatch inside.

As far as the suspension go when I first started driving (both empty and full) i would try and find rough roads (not rock crawling) or spots on the road to see what the trailer did. It never bounced, or swayed things didn't move to much inside and it pulls very smoothly, and tracks well behind the Jeep. Overall I am very happy with the suspension. I got rid of the issues I have always seen with spring trailers that bounce a lot when empty.

For the cabin shelf I have never had the duffle bags we use move around much at all. On the headboard shelf I have an alarm clock that gets bounced around but I expected that. We like the open shelves, there is nothing to hit you head on, sometimes it looks messy but is easy to reach and finds things.

Dan
User avatar
kayakdlk
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 308
Images: 392
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Foothills of Colorado
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby Metalhead » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:51 pm

Really beautiful and inspirational build with lots of fine touches.

You have me sold on coating my exterior withe the colorized liner coat. :thumbsup:
User avatar
Metalhead
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 39
Images: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:01 pm
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (kayakdlk)

Postby Metalhead » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:02 pm

kayakdlk wrote:I glued in blocking for the tail lights. handle, etc. and cut all of the holes and started wiring the hatch
Image

Here is the hatch partially wired. I ran out of heat shrink so I didn't get it finished
Image

Here is the hatch lights powered on during my testing of the hatch wiring
Image


Dan,

I have some of the 6in oval LED tail/turn/brake lights with the grommets. It looks like from you photo that you used the round style with the grommets. You stated that you put in blocking for the taillights. Did you do anything else to help keep water out or did you feel the grommet was sufficient?

Thanks in advance for the feedback! :thumbsup:
User avatar
Metalhead
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 39
Images: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:01 pm
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby kayakdlk » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:49 pm

Metalhead, sorry somehow I missed your question you posted. I just used epoxy around the tail light openings. The rubber grommet for the tail light fits tight and no water has gotten in. I used Clear RTV around the hatch handle to make sure it was sealed.

Dan
User avatar
kayakdlk
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 308
Images: 392
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Foothills of Colorado
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby Gunguy05 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:45 pm

I'm doing a Frederick style hatch and was wondering where/what seal material you purchased for the hatch? I see a couple different ones, but one can't decide if

Image

Will be too tall,

or

Image

Will be too short?

I used the 1/4" router bit to cut the 1/2 side seals, so I think mine are about the same as yours in that respect.

Looks great, and it looks like you are enjoying it!

Thanks,
Brian


Checkout my buildThe Regal Eagle Bow front for 4
Image
Also my teardrop updates from blog on Dad Rambles
User avatar
Gunguy05
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 385
Images: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:45 pm
Location: South GA
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby kayakdlk » Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:09 pm

I used a flat weatherstrip similar to your #2. I found it at home depot in black and used it for the hatch, tongue box and doors. Not sure what dimensions it is but it works fine.

Dan
User avatar
kayakdlk
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 308
Images: 392
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Foothills of Colorado
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby KCStudly » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:17 pm

You only want to compress a bulb type seal 1/4 to 1/2 of its free height to achieve and effective and long lasting seal. Compressing more than this will only crush the seal, tending to give it a set and making it much less effective in a shorter period of time.

http://www.trimlok.com/cms/TSInstall_24.aspx
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

Poet Creek Or Bust
Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
TnTTT ORIGINAL 200A LANTERN CLUB = "The 200A Gang"
Green Lantern Corpsmen
User avatar
KCStudly
Donating Member
 
Posts: 9230
Images: 8116
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:18 pm
Location: Southeastern CT, USA
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby Gunguy05 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:01 pm

KCStudly wrote:You only want to compress a bulb type seal 1/4 to 1/2 of its free height to achieve and effective and long lasting seal. Compressing more than this will only crush the seal, tending to give it a set and making it much less effective in a shorter period of time.

http://www.trimlok.com/cms/TSInstall_24.aspx
kayakdlk wrote:I used a flat weatherstrip similar to your #2. I found it at home depot in black and used it for the hatch, tongue box and doors. Not sure what dimensions it is but it works fine.

Dan


Thanks you both. I will probably go the route you suggested then Dan. I saw the one that you are talking about I think . I was not thinking about that KC (overcompressing it) My gap is 1/4-3/8 so I think that will work.

On paper, it is 1/4, but my router work was a little sloppy on the seal, I some if about 3/8.

Thanks again for the help.. sorry to hijack the thread, but I thought it might be relavant to others reading your thread as well.
Brian


Checkout my buildThe Regal Eagle Bow front for 4
Image
Also my teardrop updates from blog on Dad Rambles
User avatar
Gunguy05
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 385
Images: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:45 pm
Location: South GA
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Modifications (kayakdlk)

Postby kayakdlk » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:53 pm

After two full summer and falls camping in the Teardrop trailer with a couple long (2-3 weeks each) and many shorter (1-4 nights each) trips I have made several modifications to my Teardrop trailer. I thought I would post them for other to get ideas of things to think about when building. Like always most of the ideas came from others on this web site and from test runs. This is my documentation of my design of those great ideas.

2" receiver hitch for bicycles - I had been looking for a way to carry bicycles with the Teardrop. I have an over 80" light bar on the rear center of my frame so I thought since I couldn't center a 2" receiver hitch that option was out. I looked at roof racks and had installed extra bracing for one but was looking at solar in the future and didn't want to clutter the roof up with more stuff. After thinking about it for a while I decided my best option was a rear receiver hitch so I could use my 2" receiver hitch bicycle carrier with my tow vehicle after I arrived at the campground. So I decided I could put a 2" receiver hitch off center on the rear of the Teardrop. I could easily make a bracket and weld it on and with the bicycle front wheels turning a little bit (bungee cord to hold them in place) they didn't stick out any more then the fenders did. I did a mock up and then found the right 2" receiver hitch, extended it with a 2” piece of tubing to reach to the next frame cross brace and welded it in place.

Image

With the Timbren rubber suspension there is little bounce as I go down the road so the bicycles ride nice on the rear of the teardrop. Not sure I would use it for long cross country trips as I would then have to remove the bicycles to open the hatch on the road but it works great to transport to local campground base camps and then I can put the bicycle carrier on the Jeep or truck for day trips.

Foam Mattress Topper – After a couple nights on my 5” foam mattress my wife and I decided it wasn’t quite as comfortable as we wanted. I ended up getting a 1½” memory foam mattress topper from Walmart and that made a big difference.

More towel hooks on side of trailer – After camping with the kids I decided we needed more places to hang towels from showers, swim suits and beach towels etc. Most campground prohibit a clothes line and the two double hooks I had one each side plus the Jeep/Truck two mirrors to hang stuff on wasn’t enough. I decided to add 4 more double hooks to the side of my teardrop for a total of 4 (two front and two rear) on each side would work.

Image

Works great for holding swim suits, towels, and shower bags etc. I also use it to hang my fly fishing vest on while making lunch at a lake or river.

Knife Holder – While stopping for lunch on the road or cooking dinner at the campsite many times I had the galley counter full of stuff and had to rearrange stuff to be able to open my drawers to grab a knife. I looked at magnetic holders but I have some ceramic knives I might want to use, so for quicker access I made a knife rack that mounts on the side of the galley.

Image

I can grab one quickly without moving stuff and opening the drawers. Comes in very handy.

Entry awnings with poles – originally we made awnings for both door that slide on the rope awning rail but no matter how tight the guy lines were they always sagged in the middle especially if it rained or snowed.

Image
I bought some thin tent poles from Coleman and my wife made sewed loops for them to hold the awning roof up. This one even has some snow on it from my Memorial Day camping trip

Image

Galley Towel Bar – I had a small clip on towel rack that I used and it always seemed in the way of the getting stuff out of the galley shelves, open the drawers or close the hatch lids and not smashing the paper towels

Image

It also only supported one towel. I decided to add two long kitchen drawer pulls that work as towel bars to the galley hatch lid and now I can hang several towels out of the way.

Image
Image

They stay put even while the galley is closed and dry ready for the next meal. They hang high enough not to bother my head

Slide Out Shelf in Cabin – I had all along planned a slide out shelf and after a few trips I decided it was a good additional. I can use it for my tablet to watch a movie or to place mirror for changing contacts or hold a drink. I used some left over plywood and wood scraps to build the shelf and slides and used a small piece of Velcro to keep it in place while driving.

Image

Mud Guards – after few trips in the fall (late Sept/Oct) when it was sometimes rainy/ snowy I found that going on the dirt/gravel roads to the camp sites here in Colorado I picked up a fine silt all along the door hinge and door handle.

Image

It would cake on about ½” thick and make the hinges gritty and the door handle messy to get inside and made it hard keeping mud out of the cabin. I used my pump sprayer bottle to rinse but then thought maybe there a way to prevent it from happening in the first place. I didn’t want mud flaps on the Jeep or truck so I thought about mud guards on the teardrop to help deflect the silt. I use some Lexan and aluminum and came up with these.

Image

They seem to work pretty well and reduce the amount of splatter on the doors hinges and handles

Graphics - Almost every time I stop for lunch, gas or pull into a campground I get people walking up asking questions or slowing driving by with thumbs up. Especially after it has been parked in a campground all day while I am out Jeeping or fishing. People have had all day to wonder by and are super curios by the time I get back to my camp site I probably handed out 30 plus post cards on a three week loop trip earlier this summer to Montana, Washington, Oregon and back home. I already have post cards to hand out and point them to the tnttt.com web site for more info. I decided to add the tntt.com web site to the back of my trailer for those driving. Good promotion for this web site and hopefully gets more people interested in building.

Image

I also started collecting stickers for where I camped or went while camping in the teardrop. I have been putting them my Tongue box and they draw a lot of attention and visual appeal.

Image
Image


Solar panel and controller and battery monitor - I decided I wanted the option to camp for a week or more without plugging into AC at campgrounds and maybe do some more remote desert type camping in the future. I bought an AC/DC meter that clamps around a wire and measures 12 volt DC current. I used it to test each of my lights, charging cell phones, tablets, etc. and figure out a reasonable duration and updated my spec sheet estimates (using the RV Solar calculator spreadsheet I got off the web) and calculated how many amp hours per day I might need. It came to about a 45-60 Watt solar panel. I looked for some solar panels and most 50 watt were 26" wide which didn't fit on my roof. I needed one 21" or so. I also looked a portable unit but didn't like the idea of storing and setting up as I like the minimal setup most of the time. I found some 30 watt panels and thought about using two of them . I did some more calculating examples based on summer , winter and with and without kids usage and also with a future ARB fridge and decided a 100 watt would be just right and if I really needed more I could add two 30 watt for 160 total watts in the future. I decides I could mount the Renology 100 Watt panel on the roof behind or on either side of fan.

Here is a side view of the panel mounted on the back in flat travel mode
Image

Here is a rear view of the panel mounted
Image

Here is a top side view of the panel mounted
Image

After looking at a lot of different options I finally just used some extra 10 gauge brake wire I had left over spliced it to a set of short MC4 cables and ran it through a hole into my electrical section and used black RTV to seal to hole.
Image

I read that any shadow such as from my fan when the vent is raised would cripple the output so I decided I needed a tilting option in case I needed to minimize shadows. I bought a commercial made tilting mount but in the end made my own out of aluminum. It has more flexibility and allows me to tilt it either direction or even raise the entire panel above the roof fan/vent .

Here is a view tilted backwards
Image

Here is a view partially tilted backwards
Image

Here is a view tilted forward. Gives me flexibility to tilt either direction and various heights but I will probably leave it flat most of the time

Image

I only have a small simple 10 led bars battery meter in the cabin and after researching some decided to add a MVM-700 small round battery meter along with my Sunsaver 10 solar charger. I mounted them both in the galley as that is the only place I decided they would fit with minimal impact. I wired a switch in place so I could turn off the solar panel going into the controller while plugged into AC or if doing service on my electrical system.

Image

More 12V outlets – With the kids they have lots of devices that need charging and when they bring friends they have more. After my DC current test and a better understanding of what the power draw really is and since I was adding Solar I had a way to charge and was less worried about draining the battery so I decided to double up the 12V outlets in the galley and cabin. In the cabin I was able to add another outlet to one of my headboard panels, the other isn't able to be modified without a lot more work. I was also able to make two new panels for the galley to double my outlets.
I built a new panel and added another 12V outlet in the galley on both sides

Image

I was able to just add another 12V outlet on one side of my headboard power panel
Image


Lessons learned: I have found I like the minimalist setup and teardown. I pull in and park and can sleep without disconnecting. If more than one night I can disconnect and use tongue Jack. I use a couple wheel chocks and that is about it. I have rarely (only once) used the stabilizers I put on each corner. Once chocked my trailer doesn’t move and no suspension flex. I carry my awnings for the doors, galley etc. and only setup if we are parked for a week camping. They usually stay in the tongue box. My Timbren suspension has worked great, no bounce, smooth and no issues and I would use again. Using the boat curtain track on the inside of the cabin works great. I can slide the curtains in either direction and they do not blow when door is open. The Steve Frederick method for Door seal and hatch has worked great. I do not get any dust in the galley and the doors close nicely. My tongue box is big and several have commented on why such a large box. It has been great. The bottom half is full of charcoal, awnings, door mats, wheel chocks, and extension cords. Mostly light items. I fill the top with a shower bag (towels, toiletries, shower shoes) for each of the 4 of us and another bag with extra towels and that fills the Tongue box. I did decide I needed some better organization in the tongue box. There are few items(lid stick prop, stake hammer, 30Amp adapter, and extension cord adapter) I was always looking for and they seemed to get lost. I added them to my tongue box lids and used some Velcro straps to hold them in place

Image

My teardrop and tongue box are on the large size and comes in real handy and I have no issues with tongue weight with the Jeep and Truck. Building 5” wide and almost 11 feet long was well worth it. I was able to keep within my weight limits but have lots of room. I would look at other options (Foam, less wood, etc.) to reduce weight before I made one smaller.

I really have no regrets or other changes that I have come up with. I have thought of building another Teardrop in the future and it would be modeled after Steve Frederick’s Rondack Lodge (I bought his plans just in case). The only reason would be as my wife and I get older and into retirement we may want to spend more time in place (1-3 months at a time) so, we would want a place to sit to use a laptop and to get out of the rain. I really like the outside galley cooking and don’t think I would want an actual standee but like the mixed standee and outside galley of the Rondack Lodge. Well that about sums up my modification, lessons learned and like and dislikes.

I got only a couple more camping trips this fall before the winter starts.
Happy Camping
Dan
User avatar
kayakdlk
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 308
Images: 392
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:02 pm
Location: Foothills of Colorado
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby tony.latham » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:13 pm

Dan:

Great post. Great update. Really great 'drop! :thumbsup:

Tony :beer:
Image
User avatar
tony.latham
Gold Donating Member
 
Posts: 3029
Images: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:03 pm
Location: Middle of Idaho on the edge of nowhere
Top

Re: Colorado Teardrop Build Journal (Build Complete) (kayakd

Postby noseoil » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:47 pm

Dan, thanks for the post & new information. I like the little touches & improvements to make things better & the dirt deflectors are very nice. I may end up with some mud flaps on my truck after looking at that picture with the mud....
Build log: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=60248
The time you spend planning is more important than the time you spend building.........

137905
User avatar
noseoil
1000 Club
1000 Club
 
Posts: 1379
Images: 106
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:46 am
Location: Tucson
Top

PreviousNext

Return to Build Journals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron