1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

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

Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby MMOLLECK » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:23 am

jseyfert3 wrote:I just had a friend ask me how much for me to build him one. I said twice the material cost, which would bring it to the neighborhood of $3000 (I'm around $1500 material cost so far and most stuff is purchased). Building a second one would go much quicker, and that would be a nice chunk of change for college this fall...if he is serious about it I don't see why I would say no...

MMOLLECK wrote:Holy crap that looks good! Man I gotta get over there and check this thing out! Maybe next weekend sometime or an evening after work this next week if you're free. I'm amazed that that thing is made of foam!

Thanks! I work 2nd shift the rest of this week. Unfortunately I'm leaving Illinois for Wisconsin with this teardrop this Saturday (at least that's the plan if I can tow this thing by then). You may be able to drop by in the morning before I leave and see it, or else I'll be back with it in August...



I'll have to wait to see it when you return. I do paintless dent removal as a second job and have a really bad hail damaged truck I have to fix this weekend….(funds for my build) so I'll be wrapped up with that. But hey, by the time you get back in august, we'll meet up, my build should, well, better be complete by then! Good luck with the maiden voyage, I'm sure everything will go just fine! Nice work man! :thumbsup: :beer:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby lthomas987 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:38 am

Looking great!

Are you going to finish your electrical and AC and such in Wisconsin then? I hope you keep posting updates!
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:21 pm

rowerwet wrote:I wonder if you had enough paint on the roller, I found that a dripping soaked roller was the right tool to work the wrinkles out of my canvas, and that was after I rolled a runny coat onto the tear and the fabric before it was applied.
I was sleeping in my tear two nights a week before it was painted and after, I believe the rain that grooved the paint fell that night or the next day. Mostly just make sure it has a good dry skin before it sees rain.
I don't know how long you could wait between the primer coat and filling the weave and top coating. I did it all at once in one day, I would wonder how road dirt would affect the canvas before it was fully impregnated with paint.
I also did my roof before the walls, in hind sight I would do the walls first and then the roof, just thinking I could have done a good overlap from the wall to the roof to seal the seam, and then trim the edges of my roof flush with the top. YMMV.
:thumbsup: :applause:

lookin' good!

Hmm, not sure. The Glidden Gripper is just so thick and sticky it just liked to pull up the canvas. I found that Mike did a sample with paint on foam and painted, applied canvas, let dry, then painted the top and it looked good, so I figured I was go to go this way and it would make it a lot easier. You rollered paint on both the foam and the canvas before applying? Wouldn't that turn the canvas into a big soggy mess to apply?

I overlapped both directions, I think it looks okay. Maybe not necessary but a little stronger with the double overlap. You should see that tonight around midnight or so when I post up the day's work.I hope to have the outside primed tonight, then I'll figure out if I want to "fill the weave" a little more with a second coat or go straight to paint.

Gunguy05 wrote:Man that is looking good! :D I am intrigued with the whole foamie concept, and have been since we started out build. I think that you are doing an outstanding job, and great work on documenting it!

I would think that the 3K you quoted your friend to build one would be a fair price. If he says yes, you will will have a good footing from building this one to make pretty short work of it and make some good $$. If not, then so be it...

Looking forward to seeing it complete.

Excellent job!

Thanks!

I figure it's pretty fair, it's a good amount of time to build one but after building one already a second one should go much faster, no research needed, a better idea of what to do when. And if I build it over the summer where I'm staying, I'll have a barn to build it in. Not as clean as my garage, but a lot bigger so I can do a few things while other things are drying or curing.

MMOLLECK wrote:I'll have to wait to see it when you return. I do paintless dent removal as a second job and have a really bad hail damaged truck I have to fix this weekend….(funds for my build) so I'll be wrapped up with that. But hey, by the time you get back in august, we'll meet up, my build should, well, better be complete by then! Good luck with the maiden voyage, I'm sure everything will go just fine! Nice work man! :thumbsup: :beer:

Alright, sounds good!

lthomas987 wrote:Looking great!

Are you going to finish your electrical and AC and such in Wisconsin then? I hope you keep posting updates!

Thanks! Yes and no. Part of the electrical has to be run before I go, like all the signal lighting. Some may wait until I'm in Wisconsin, but I want to run it before I canvas (in a groove under the canvas), so if I canvas the inside I need to have the electrical done. As it's looking though, I'm not sure if the inside will be canvased before towing. It may wait until after I move it to Wisconsin if I decide it doesn't need it for towing strength. (Since the inside canvas helps stiffen the entire camper just like the outside canvas does, although probably not to the same extent)

AC will not be done at all until Wisconsin, and of course I will keep posting updates until it's done. :)

Also it looks like I'll be towing it up with no doors or hatch as some of that is detail work, and they aren't required for structural strength. However, rain is coming Sunday here in Illinois and Sat night in Wisconsin, so if that speeds up and gets here Saturday, I won't be able to tow it up that weekend...
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby KCStudly » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:56 pm

:thinking:

Just thinking out loud here, for towing over the road with just the outer skin... it may be just fine, but if we were to analyze it... the biggest thing you might worry about is driving force wind trying to cave the front wall in (or suck the doors open). Most materials are better in compression than they are in tension, so if the walls are going to be weak, the front wall will be weak on the inside against the driving wind (assuming that the front wall is not riding in the slip stream of a van or SUV). Your curved front wall will have a natural resistance due to its arched shape.

I would give it a good "push test". If it seems robust you are probably good. If it seems like it wants to flex a lot (I doubt it will), then you may want to consider skinning the inside front.

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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby tac422 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:35 pm

I towed a uncanvassed foamie several hundred miles.... (750+)
It wasn't finished on the outside, but it did ok towing. had a little bit of wind damage on the very top .
I should think you'll do fine towing with the inside unfinished :thinking:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:40 pm

KCStudly wrote::thinking:

Just thinking out loud here, for towing over the road with just the outer skin... it may be just fine, but if we were to analyze it... the biggest thing you might worry about is driving force wind trying to cave the front wall in (or suck the doors open). Most materials are better in compression than they are in tension, so if the walls are going to be weak, the front wall will be weak on the inside against the driving wind (assuming that the front wall is not riding in the slip stream of a van or SUV). Your curved front wall will have a natural resistance due to its arched shape.

I would give it a good "push test". If it seems robust you are probably good. If it seems like it wants to flex a lot (I doubt it will), then you may want to consider skinning the inside front.

$.02, may or may not be valid.

That's true, but the inside of the front wall would be in tension from the wind force, right? Canvasing would allow the canvas to take that tension force.

I should be able to canvas the inside front curve without a huge time investment, so I may as well do that. Leaves everything else uncovered so I can "sink" the wiring into the foam later on when I have more time.

See any issues towing with no doors/hatch? Besides the fact that I'll have to rig up a temporary holder for my signal lights. I plan to embed them in the outside of the hatch, but I'm not sure the hatch will be even done enough to strap on the back yet...then again, if it's not strapped on the back I'm not sure how I'll transport it. I guess a couple ratchet straps from the front to back to hold the hatch on? :thinking:

tac422 wrote:I towed a uncanvassed foamie several hundred miles.... (750+)
It wasn't finished on the outside, but it did ok towing. had a little bit of wind damage on the very top .
I should think you'll do fine towing with the inside unfinished :thinking:
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=55425&start=15
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=56441

Good to know, thanks! :thumbsup:

Maybe I missed it, but what damage was caused on the top by the wind damage? I saw the edges but that looked like it was damaged before you took possession from Mike. And was that wrapped in plastic wrap before you towed it?
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:41 am

Well, today has been productive, if long. My sister came over again this morning and assisted with further canvasing. With her help we were able to get a lot done. We started by trimming the canvas from the roof and gluing down the overlap with primer. Then we stuck the canvas on similar to how we did the roof. However, do to the seam in the drop cloth, we could not do the entire side with one sheet.It was easy to line up the seam with the front edge of the door though. We rough cut around the door to remove the weight of the hanging canvas.

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Cutting to Allow Folding Over Curve (2) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I cut some slots in the curved corners of the door to allow the canvas to curve around the corner.

Image
Cutting to Allow Folding Over Curve (1) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I cut similar slots in the canvas over the wheelwell cutout.

Image
Cutting to Allow Folding Over Wheelwell by jseyfert3, on Flickr

After the entire wall was completed and the edges trimmed, while my sister glued down the edges I got under the camper and wrapped the canvas up onto the wood. I primed the wood, stuck on the canvas, then primed the outside of the canvas while I was there. This worked fine as unlike the roller a brush doesn't pull the freshly stuck canvas away from the surface, and I really didn't want to go under the trailer a second time just to stick the canvas down, especially as I already have to get under again when it comes time to paint the canvas.

This picture shows the general workflow of the canvas wrap at the wheelwell. Prime some wood, stick canvas, then prime that section of canvas on the outside.

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Three Stages of Completion of Canvas Underhang by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Completed wheelwell from outside. The canvas wraps nicely around curves after cutting the slots in it. The wheel had to be removed to stick up the canvas on the inside of the wood at the bottom. I used a jackstand to support the jack while I was under the camper, just before I took the picture I removed the jackstand and was about to put the tire back on.

Image
Completed Wheelwell by jseyfert3, on Flickr

The middle seam in the canvas that some of them had (2 of 5 where a single piece with no seam) was rather thick, so I cut the seam out. Anywhere that has a seam on the teardrop is simply made by overlapping the canvas edges about two inches.

Image
Cutting Out the Seam by jseyfert3, on Flickr

We had to pull the teardrop outside to move it over so we had room to start on the other side. While it was outside I took a picture of the progress quick.

Image
First Side Canvased by jseyfert3, on Flickr

If you saw the indents in the canvas I took a close up picture of them. I will forever have the Owens Corning symbol in my camper, as well as a reminder that I used R10 2 inch thick foam! Next time I'll stick the printed side inwards. Gives it some character though. :D

Image
Detail of Indents Showing. Square is the Owen's Corning Symbol by jseyfert3, on Flickr

When I had to leave for work, me and my sister were able to get one of the two pieces on the second side attached, but we didn't have time to even rough cut the edges.

Image
Progress Before Work by jseyfert3, on Flickr

When I returned from work this evening, I was on my own. After trimming the first piece we applied this morning, I laid up the second piece as I wanted it and used a brick to hold the end at the top of the teardrop as it wanted to fall down. Then I arranged the rest of it, and marked the top of the curve with a marker.

Image
Laying Out and Marking Canvas by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I removed the canvas, and applied a generous amount of Glidden Gripper to the entire section.

Image
Glidden Gripper Applied by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Using the marker line I made on the curve, I stuck up the canvas, again using a brick at the top to keep it from sliding off. Then I began smoothing it down with my hands from the top middle, spreading left and right of the middle as I went down.

Image
Partially Smoothed Out by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Image
Completely Smoothed Out by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Once smoothed, I trimmed all the edges.

Image
Trimmed by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Then used the primer to stick down all the edges. Not just here but the entire side. This, along with trimming the door, took a long time.

Image
Edges Glued Down by jseyfert3, on Flickr

But I was able to get the entire side done, I just stayed up later then I really wanted too.

Image
Side Two Complete (1) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Image
Side Two Complete (2) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Putting the canvas on was the easy part. Trimming the edges and sticking them down was a bit of a pain and took forever. The part that especially sucked was getting under the camper to stick the canvas to the inside of the wood 1x4 at the bottom of the wall.

The good news is that since everything is stuck on, I can prime the entire thing this morning when I wake up and not have to worry about the canvas coming up or sliding. Most of it will be done with a roller, and it should go pretty fast vs how long it took to do the sides with all the trimming and edge work.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby rowerwet » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:12 am

jseyfert3 wrote:
rowerwet wrote:I wonder if you had enough paint on the roller, I found that a dripping soaked roller was the right tool to work the wrinkles out of my canvas, and that was after I rolled a runny coat onto the tear and the fabric before it was applied.
I was sleeping in my tear two nights a week before it was painted and after, I believe the rain that grooved the paint fell that night or the next day. Mostly just make sure it has a good dry skin before it sees rain.
I don't know how long you could wait between the primer coat and filling the weave and top coating. I did it all at once in one day, I would wonder how road dirt would affect the canvas before it was fully impregnated with paint.
I also did my roof before the walls, in hind sight I would do the walls first and then the roof, just thinking I could have done a good overlap from the wall to the roof to seal the seam, and then trim the edges of my roof flush with the top. YMMV.
:thumbsup: :applause:

lookin' good!

Hmm, not sure. The Glidden Gripper is just so thick and sticky it just liked to pull up the canvas. I found that Mike did a sample with paint on foam and painted, applied canvas, let dry, then painted the top and it looked good, so I figured I was go to go this way and it would make it a lot easier. You rollered paint on both the foam and the canvas before applying? Wouldn't that turn the canvas into a big soggy mess to apply?

I overlapped both directions, I think it looks okay. Maybe not necessary but a little stronger with the double overlap. You should see that tonight around midnight or so when I post up the day's work.I hope to have the outside primed tonight, then I'll figure out if I want to "fill the weave" a little more with a second coat or go straight to paint.


my tear is plywood, and my paint was not gripper, just porch paint, probably not as sticky. I didn't find the painted canvas too hard to apply, I laid the side panel over the roof and then rolled the paint on, then rolled a run coat on the side, then I put the canvas on the side of the tear (I believe my wife helped with that but can't recall)

I'm concerned about the air load with those open doors, dirt and debris flying in and I'm wondering what the "hammer" effect of the air beating down the sides might do. (drive a modern car with one window open and you get that hammering sound that hurts the ears) hopefully you don't have issues. :NC
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:43 pm

This morning's work is easy to summarize. Enjoy! :D



rowerwet wrote:my tear is plywood, and my paint was not gripper, just porch paint, probably not as sticky. I didn't find the painted canvas too hard to apply, I laid the side panel over the roof and then rolled the paint on, then rolled a run coat on the side, then I put the canvas on the side of the tear (I believe my wife helped with that but can't recall)

I'm concerned about the air load with those open doors, dirt and debris flying in and I'm wondering what the "hammer" effect of the air beating down the sides might do. (drive a modern car with one window open and you get that hammering sound that hurts the ears) hopefully you don't have issues. :NC

Hmm. I should try a sample both ways, for future builds. Too late for me now. :)

I know that hammer effect, but I doubt it would have it as there is an opening at the back air can escape as I will not have the hatch (or at least all of it) in place during the tow either. I'm also not sure if it would be damaging (except to ears!). :thinking: Good point though. :thumbsup:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby Junkboy999 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:43 pm

That is really looking great. You definitely be camping in it, in no time.

Your sister might want one as well, or at least borrow yours.

:thumbsup:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby Prototear » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:08 am

You've made lots of progress lately - getting the canvas on really gives it a look of refinement! :thumbsup:

I've bought the exact same fan for mine and am also thinking about some of the same lights that you have so I'll watch to see how they look installed. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I'm not far enough along to have to make the decision on what lights to buy yet.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby KCStudly » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:33 am

I had the same thought as Rower and you. My Ford Escape pulses something fierce if I just roll the rear windows down. But if you leave the hatch off I don't think it can build the same pressure inside.

I would be most concerned about the weather; you don't want to be towing the unprotected bits in the rain.

I have used a lot of the lightweight spackle and have done a lot of nit picking over trying to get my walls smooth and flat because I had no idea to what level minor flaws will project thru the canvas. I have been working on the assumption that most things, like a good paint job, will show thru. You could always throw some spackle on those brand impressions before you do your final top coat. It would smooth out the canvas texture in those locations, so might still look out of place, or you could skim the whole thing. Another option would be to fair the depressions with spackle (vinyl), then apply as many top coats as it takes to get a smooth uniform texture all over. You know, if it bugs you. (I suspect you are like me, tho, and like the slight texture of the painted canvas.) Or you could just camp in it as it is and enjoy!

You're doing a great job in a short time. When the comment was made about thoughts in your sleep, my reaction was, "What sleep? He's up all night working on the camper!" :thumbsup: :applause: :thumbsup: :applause:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby lthomas987 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:59 am

My tiny bike trailer has a spot where you can see the 5.0. It just has primer and a couple coats of paint. I can try heating it like the dent removal techniques if you'd like. Given its purpose I wasn't going to do anything. But a bit off boiling water is no trouble.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:50 pm

Junkboy999 wrote:Your sister might want one as well, or at least borrow yours.

I actually offered that (to let borrow) already. :D

Prototear wrote:You've made lots of progress lately - getting the canvas on really gives it a look of refinement! :thumbsup:

I've bought the exact same fan for mine and am also thinking about some of the same lights that you have so I'll watch to see how they look installed. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I'm not far enough along to have to make the decision on what lights to buy yet.

I really like the texture of the canvas. At first I thought it would just be meh, now that it's done I think I like it better then a smooth finish. (Plus you don't have to have a perfectly smooth surface under the canvas as the texture hides a little!)

I'll post up as I finish working on it. RIght now, for the tow to Wisconsin, they won't even be used, I'll use the HF ones that came with the trailer.

KCStudly wrote:I would be most concerned about the weather; you don't want to be towing the unprotected bits in the rain.

I have used a lot of the lightweight spackle and have done a lot of nit picking over trying to get my walls smooth and flat because I had no idea to what level minor flaws will project thru the canvas. I have been working on the assumption that most things, like a good paint job, will show thru. You could always throw some spackle on those brand impressions before you do your final top coat. It would smooth out the canvas texture in those locations, so might still look out of place, or you could skim the whole thing. Another option would be to fair the depressions with spackle (vinyl), then apply as many top coats as it takes to get a smooth uniform texture all over. You know, if it bugs you. (I suspect you are like me, tho, and like the slight texture of the painted canvas.) Or you could just camp in it as it is and enjoy!

You're doing a great job in a short time. When the comment was made about thoughts in your sleep, my reaction was, "What sleep? He's up all night working on the camper!" :thumbsup: :applause: :thumbsup: :applause:

Forcast for tomorrow down here is 8-15 MPH winds, sunny, high of 71 °F. Up there it's 8-15 MPH, 25 MPH gusts, sunny, high of 66 °F. No rain. Once there it goes in a barn till the outside is finished. :thumbsup:

A lot of things can show through, like the logo. It wasn't pressed into the foam a whole lot. However, I'm not as concerned about every bump as I imagine you are on yours. :D And I'm not going to fill the canvas, I like the texture a lot more then I thought I would. So I will camp and enjoy. 8)

What comment about sleep? I must have missed it being tired or something. :lol:

lthomas987 wrote:My tiny bike trailer has a spot where you can see the 5.0. It just has primer and a couple coats of paint. I can try heating it like the dent removal techniques if you'd like. Given its purpose I wasn't going to do anything. But a bit off boiling water is no trouble.

Thanks for the offer, but it doesn't really bother me, and the sun was shining at just the right angle to emphasis the depression in that picture too. If you want to try the dent removal just for reference, it'd be cool to know, but I'm not going to mess with it (at least on this teardrop).


Yesterday I primed the camper for a second time inside my cramped garage after work. Today my dad, sister, and one of my friends came over. We painted the outside with Behr Exterior Semi-Gloss Latex paint. Took a bit more then half a gallon, maybe 2/3s of a gallon. Much less then the primer, the entire outside canvas used at least 3 gallons between sticking it on and the two outside coats. I'll need more before I'm done canvasing the inside of the teardrop. After we did that, my dad and sister started to canvas the inside of the front curve, got about half of it done. My and my friend drilled new bolt holes in my new tongue jack as the ones it had where either too wide or too narrow to fit on my trailer tongue. Must have been sized for American trailers not Chinese ones. Ah well, I just needed to drill 4 new holes. Also mounted the two original HF lights, but as the original mounting location now made the lights mostly hidden, I drilled a couple holes in my floor (I'll fill them back up later) and bolted the light mounting bracket to the floor in the back, since the hatch will not be mounted for this first tow.

Sorry, no pics. I'll try to get some tonight.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby KCStudly » Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:55 pm

jseyfert3 wrote:What comment about sleep? I must have missed it being tired or something.


:? No, that was just me muddling threads together. Sorry. It's hard getting older. :roll:
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