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 KCStudly » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:32 pm

Better to have some squeeze out than to starve the joint. You can wipe the excess with a damp paper towel or rag, or just scrape it off after with a paint scrapper.

I have found that freezer paper (with a plastic film on one side), available in the same aisle as alum foil, works good as a release layer or mask. I usually will tape some down to the work bench with some blue tape to keep glue from making a mess or sticking where I don't want it to.
Last edited by KCStudly on Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:11 pm

This reply covers work done on the 19th of February.

After the boards sat overnight, I ended up with a slight overlap on the spacers and glue sticking out.

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Excess Glue and Overlap by jseyfert3, on Flickr

This was okay, I used a flush cut router bit and a router to trim them down quickly and easily.

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After Flush Cut Router Bit by jseyfert3, on Flickr

At this point, they were ready to install.

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Ready to Install by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I did not start the floor assembly yet, I instead finished working on the trailer, which I'll cover in my next update, which I'm writing directly after this one.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:52 pm

This reply covers work done on the 21st of February.

About the only thing I had left to do on the trailer was clean and grease the bearings and hubs, and then installed the hubs and the tires. HF hubs do not come with greased bearings, and the stuff that's on the bearings is not grease. It needs to be cleaned off and the bearings packed with wheel bearing grease. I first tried to remove the grease seals to get the rear bearing out by using a large socket and a hammer, as I found on the forum. I ended up completely destroying not only the seal, but the bearing as well. I wouldn't recommend that route, rather, I recommend you order some replacement seals and use a seal puller like the Lisle 56750 that I used. Spare seal and replacement bearing info and a picture of the seal puller are included in the aformentioned link.

Once I received new bearings and had cleaned them, I used a Lisle 34550 bearing packer to pack the bearings with Timken wheel bearing grease. Both Lisle purchases and the grease purchase were based on high ratings on Amazon. Note that a seal puller and bearing packer are not required, but can make things easier.

After loading up the bearing packer with the grease, I placed the first cleaned bearing inside.

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Lisle 34550 Bearing Packer by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Putting the handle down, I pushed. This requires lots of pressure, and the grease flows slowly. Here's the grease just barely poking through the bearing.

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Grease Coming Through (1) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I went until it had a bunch of grease sticking out.

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Grease Coming Through (1) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

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Greased Bearing by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I put more grease on the outside of the bearing, over the rollers that did not get greased with the bearing packer (the packer filled the insides of the bearings). Then I put the bearings in the hub and slathered some more grease around. I did not pack the hub full of grease, only around the bearings.

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Greased Hub by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I took a grease seal and filled it with grease.

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Greased Grease Seal by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I found the easiest way to get the seal in was to use my plastic headed hammer and tap around the seal until it was seated. You can also use a block of wood and a regular hammer to do the job as well. Make sure to work your way around the seal, don't try to shove one side all the way in before touching the other side.

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Grease Seal in Place by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Placed the outer bearing, and greased along the edges.

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Front Bearing in Place by jseyfert3, on Flickr

At this point I slid the hub onto the axle. It didn't want to go on, the bearing didn't want to slide on the shaft. After much wiggling and pushing, I was about ready to give up and stopped pushing as hard while I debated what to do, and the hub slipped right on at that point. :? You can see the sunlight, it was in the 40's that day and I was enjoying the fresh air and sunlight.

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Hub #1 on Axle by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I installed the flat washer over the bearing with some grease on it, then put the castle nut on. I tightened by hand until it stopped, and I could feel resistance while turning the hub at this point. I backed it off till the hub did not have this resistance. There was a slight amount of play, which as I've read is good. You want just a little. Too much, and the bearing life will be shortened, none because you tightened the castle nut too much, and your bearing life will be drastically reduced. Don't forget the cotter pin for the castle nut! After installing the cotter pin, I covered the bearing front and castle nut with grease.

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Washer and Castle Nut Installed and Covered in Grease by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I think I put a little grease around the inside edges of the dust cap, but I can't remember for sure. I then installed the dust cap. It didn't want to go in, it kept tilting and then getting stuck. I tried using a block of wood on the top and a hammer, and my rubber hammer on the edges of the top, and all I succeeded in doing was denting the dust cap top. I then grabbed a big flat screwdriver and using the hammer, tapped the dust cap in place, seating the screwdriver on the lip of the dust cap. I worked my way around the cap, gently tapping it in. Again, don't try to push one side all the way in, go a little bit and then go on the other side, keeping it as level as possible as you work it down. This picture shows that process on hub #2, that's why the dust cap isn't dented.

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Installing the Dust Cap by jseyfert3, on Flickr

At this point, hub #1 was finished! It just had a slightly dented dust cap. :oops: However, that's not an issue besides looks as long as it still seals well and doesn't touch the axle inside.

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Hub #1 Installed by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I repeated this process for hub #2, however I got stuck when the hub would not go on the axle. The problem and solutionare discussed on this thread. In short, bad QC caused the axle to be machined slightly too big on that side, and the bearing could not fit on the axle. This was solved by sanding the axle with emery paper. I also had the slots on that castle nut mis-cut, but I fixed that with an angle grinder. That thread has pictures showing the problem and solution, I not going to copy those here as I hope this is a relatively limited occurrence...
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:55 pm

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

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:14 pm

Finally, today's work. I installed the coupler on the trailer. One of the bolts was in the way of it, I ground it down. Accidentally ground a bit more then I needed too off.

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Coupler Grinding by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Then I installed the tires by propping the hitch up and using my jack to support the rear of the trailer. Disregard the mess, a one car garage is not fun to work in and it'll be easy to clean up now that the trailer can roll outside. One thing I noticed was the bolts seemed to keep turning forever after they got tight before they reached 85 ft-lb of torque. Maybe that will only happen the first time as everything fits into each other and whatnot. It just seemed weird, I kept thinking my torque wrench was broke and not clicking for some reason. (I even went to my car and tried it on the lug nut to make sure, sure enough, it clicked instantly, so it was working)

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Installing the Tires - Ignore the Mess Please by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I used some EP Moly grease I had to coat the hitch ball.

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Ball Covered in EP Moly Grease by jseyfert3, on Flickr

The safety chains were a bit long for my hitch, but I could cross them over the hitch to keep them from dragging on the ground. They don't bind in the corners this way, but I'm not sure if they will keep the hitch from hitting the road should it happen to come off. Actually, thinking about it, I'm not sure if that's possible to have chains that allow turning but keep the trailer hitch off the ground if it came undone with such a short TV. :thinking:

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Safety Chains by jseyfert3, on Flickr

And that finished it! The trailer assembly is done, besides painting the tongue black (everything else will be covered). I didn't install the fenders since it's likely that they will either be attached to the TD itself or will not be attached at all and something else modded in place. I tested the trailer by towing it up and down the residential street in front of my house, that's as much as I'll tow before I add the lights and the license plate.

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Done! by jseyfert3, on Flickr

As the picture shows, it sits somewhat nose down. This is with a 3.5" rise on my hitch, the highest U-haul had available. I don't think this will be a problem, many here have said a slightly nose down angle is actually better for towing. If I stand on the trailer tongue right behind the coupler, the hitch drops about 1.25". I'm 160 lbs, and that's the max tongue weight my car can take via the owners manual. Hopefully it won't need to be anywhere close to that, at 10% that's a 1600 lb trailer! I want to keep this light, owners manual says I need breaks over 1000 lbs and I want to avoid that if I don't have too, that would add another $500 or so to the build.

My deep fryer is warming up now, and after I eat I'm going to install the rear lights that were included with the trailer after I clean up my garage. I won't be using them on my TD (I'll be buying round LED lights), but I'm going to use this trailer to go get OSB and foam sheets later today. Why pay $20 to rent a truck or trailer when I have my own trailer I can use?
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby KCStudly » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:20 pm

You're doing a great job working thru the issues!

That's what its going to take to get to the end. Plan, work, figure out what you need and why something didn't work the way you planned so that you can get to the next step.

Keep it up and before you know it you will be camping! :thumbsup:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby Kharn » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:54 pm

For your tow chains, I would cut off the existing hooks and replace them with quick links, so you can set the chains at the proper length and also don't have to worry about them becoming unhooked while bouncing around.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:07 pm

KCStudly wrote:You're doing a great job working thru the issues!

That's what its going to take to get to the end. Plan, work, figure out what you need and why something didn't work the way you planned so that you can get to the next step.

Keep it up and before you know it you will be camping! :thumbsup:

Thanks, and that's what I'm hoping for!

Kharn wrote:For your tow chains, I would cut off the existing hooks and replace them with quick links, so you can set the chains at the proper length and also don't have to worry about them becoming unhooked while bouncing around.

Thank you, that is an excellent idea! :thumbsup:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:26 pm

Okay, I wired up the included lights per the HF directions, except for the front clearance lights since I didn't plan on driving at night and won't be driving far before I get the camper built and other lights will take the place of these lights. I honestly did not expect the lights to work or not very good using the frame for grounding since everything is painted, but they did. The nuts must scrape enough paint off to allow electricity to flow through the joints. Had this not been temporary, however, I would have run a dedicated ground wire to each light. But for driving a couple miles in the city to grab some OSB and foam it works fine, especially as it won't block my car lights as the TD eventually will.



Now that the lights were wired up, it was time to go get some OSB and foam. My GF was over and wanted to come with me, and she needed to stop for a couple minutes to pick something up, so I checked over the trailer and took a picture. I remembered I forgot to check the tire pressures, I did that here, and the right was at 22 PSI and the left at 11 PSI. :oops: Good thing it was just a couple miles and nothing over 50 MPH. Everything on the trailer looked good besides that.

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Quick Stop for the GF by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I ended up going to the HD, as it's the closest to me which is good in case I need more or need to return something. I picked up two sheets of 1/2" OSB for the floor and five sheets of 2" foam, as well as a bottle of Gorilla glue for the joints. With tax, that came to $177.81, but this is everything for the structure of the TD except for the glue and canvas for the outside. I used two stacked 2x4s on each side to get the sheets up above the floor brackets, then I layered the OSB and foam like a sandwhich, with one sheet on the bottom, foam, then the other sheet of OSB on the top. This was to keep the foam from being dented. Two ratchet straps over the top and it was good to go, and so was I. It was 14 °F with 14 MPH wind, I didn't want to stay outside any longer then I needed too.

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OSB and 2" Foam, Loaded by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I probably won't be working on the trailer itself tonight, I need to clean up the garage so I have room, and I'm rather tired. I'll continue to post updates when work resumes.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby lthomas987 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:14 pm

Awesome! You're building something very like what I am planning to. So I look forward to your updates. I just need the temp to come up enough that I can use the garage. -18f tonight.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:17 pm

Got a little busy doing some other stuff. One of those was cleaning my garage so I had some room. During that, I saw my pile of cut 2x4s and 2x6s and figured I should finish my folding sawhorses I had started, so I did. They should come in handy for cutting foam and OSB on my TD as well. Take a look here for details.

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Completed Sawhorse Set by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I needed something sturdy to hold the hitch up while I worked on the TD, so I constructed a hitch stand out of scrap wood I had laying around. To start off I cut a piece of wood to the right height to hold the trailer level. This is the main support, the hitch weight goes from this to the ground. Technically, this is all I need if I could keep the trailer from moving, but I don't entirely trust chocking the wheels that much. The wood laying there is for the side supports.

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Proper Height by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I then laid out some thinner scraps of wood to support the angled pieces. I made these a little longer then just a 90° piece as I was worried about splitting a tiny piece. Happened anyway, oops. The replacement held up fine. I glued these with wood glue and #8 x 1 3/8" screws since that's what I had handy.

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Oops by jseyfert3, on Flickr

For the long angled pieces I noticed that the short pieces weren't exactly tight fits, so I decided to use Gorilla Glue that I had just bought for my TD because of it's gap filling properties. I wet the ends of the angled pieces by dipping them into a glass of water and applied the glue to the mating surfaces.

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Wetting for Gorilla Glue by jseyfert3, on Flickr

After screwing them in place with #8 x 2" screws, I ended up with a mostly completed stand.

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Almost There by jseyfert3, on Flickr

After looking at it, I decided I should add some angled pieces to keep the arms from moving relative to each other, either from loading forces or kicking an arm that was sticking out. I used some more of the thin pieces and screwed and glued as before. This time I pre-drilled the holes since I was screwing into such thin wood. I ended up with this sturdy looking hitch stand.

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Completed Hitch Stand by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Obviously this won't work for camping as it's not adjustable, but as it was made with stuff I already had, it holds off another purchase for a bit, which is good. Building this TD has resulted in a lot of purchases already, so if I can avoid another one right now, that's fine with me. Especially as I need a belt sander. I guess need is a strong word, but hand sanding a sheet and a third of OSB smooth is not my idea of fun!
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:18 am

I was a little slow on continuing my build due to overtime at work throwing off my sleep scedule, which was not helped due to my recent spurt of Minecraft gaming. However, I now have progress to report. On Monday I picked up a belt sander. After reading reviews and debating, I decided not to get the $40 Ryobi, but instead got the $150 Hitachi SB8V2. This is a 3"x21" adjustable speed belt sander. It comes with an 80 grit belt and more importantly, a 5 year warranty, so I believe this will last. It appears to be well made, as it should, it's not a bottom line low cost tool. The reviews mentioned the dust collection system works very well for a belt sander.

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Hitachi SB8V2 3"x21" Belt Sander by jseyfert3, on Flickr

The 1/2" OSB I got from the Home Depot had a very rough side, and this was the side the OSB said goes up. My dad had a name for it, but in plain terms said it's assembled on a mesh type belt, which causes the rough surface on one side. I used the included 80 grit belt to sand down the OSB. I may give it another pass with 120 grit before soaking it in the mix (75% paint thinner, 25% polyurathane).

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Sanding The OSB by jseyfert3, on Flickr

This is a closer view of the rough surface and the sanded surface.

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Close up of Before and After by jseyfert3, on Flickr

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Extreme Close Up by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Finished one side in under 10 minutes, belt sanders cannot be beat for rapid sanding. Note the dust bag is sagging quite a bit, it was pretty full after this.

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First Sheet Sanded by jseyfert3, on Flickr

By the time I got the second sheet sanded, the sander was looking like belt sanders always do, covered in dust. Despite the dust on the outside, the sander does do a good job with dust collection, much, much better then the 25-30 year old Craftsman belt sander my dad has, if I remember correctly. There were definitely no piles of dust left on the wood or dust shooting out of the sander while it was running. It did of course kick up some, but for a belt sander, I'd say it wasn't much.

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Looking Used Now by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Speaking of great dust collection, this is how much it collected.

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Mount Sandmore (1) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

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Mount Sandmore (2) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Two of the 1x4's for the floor frame sat on top of the bolts that hold the trailer together. To combat this, I bought a set of Forstner bits. I marked out the spot where the 1x4 sat on the bolt, then used a 7/8" bit to drill a hole deep enough so the 1x4 could sit flush on the trailer frame.

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Forstner Bits for 1x4's Over Bolts by jseyfert3, on Flickr

To screw together the 1x4s and screw the OSB to the 1x4s, I bought some #8 x 2" Deckmate star drive screws from HD. They are for all treated lumber and all exterior projects for connecting wood to wood. Perfect! They included a star drive bit.

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Exterior Screws for Floor/Frame by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Since I wanted the 1x4s sitting on the trailer to make sure everything fits together good (they were sitting in the hurricane ties but not screwed to them), this required me to come up with a way to hold the side 1x4s while I drilled and screwed. I used two clamps to hold a scrap piece of plywood to the bottom of the 1x4s at the front and rear of the trailer. This supported the side board from the bottom, so I only had to align the board left/right to attach it.

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Clamp Holding Support Wood by jseyfert3, on Flickr

First I pre-drilled the holes for the screws with a 1/8" drill bit. Then, based on the response I received on how to waterproof the screw holes, I ran all the screws in before applying any glue.

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Holes Predrilled and Pre-Screwed by jseyfert3, on Flickr

After removing all the screws, I applied a small pool of Titebond III to each screw head indent. This ran down the holes somewhat on the outer 1x4.

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Titebond III to Seal Screw Heads by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I decided it was not necessary to add glue to the holes on the cross 1x4s. I flipped the outer board over and applied TiteBond III to each spot where it would meet the cross 1x4s, which I had previously marked with a pencil. I then ran all the screws back in as quickly as I could, since the glue starts running as soon as you put the board on edge to screw it in place. A somewhat curious thing happened, I got glue leaking out of some of the boards. At first I thought I may have drilled too close to the edge and the screw was about to break through.

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Squeezed Through the Wood, Side 1 by jseyfert3, on Flickr

This was not the case however, because a lot of the time, glue came out both sides of the board on either side of the same screw. This is pretty lightweight, soft wood, and I suppose the glue that got squeezed in the hole in front of the screw had nowhere else to go when I ran the screws in with my impact driver.

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Squeezed Through the Wood, Side 2 by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Speaking of impact driver, I'm in love with the thing. It's Dewalt's 12V Max impact driver, lightweight and small, but it can drive a #10 x 3" screw into a 2x4 until the head is flush with the top of the board with no pre-drilling. Most of the time I was careful driving the screws in to keep them from going too far, but one time I went a little bit fast and didn't pay enough attention and the screw head was halfway through the 1x4 before I realized it.

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Overeager Screw by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I did not want to cut the required 1x4s to match this plan, then drill, screw, and glue them in place at this time. I decided it was a good stopping point, so this is where it sits currently. The frame is not screwed into the hurricane brackets yet, I will not be doing that until I paint the trailer and put multiple coats of the mix on the frame to waterproof it. Still seems like a shame to hide wood like this. I'm not used to buying wood that's practically finished sanded, straight, and knot free.

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Stopping Point by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Of note, I have purchased a 5000 BTU window AC and a Fan-tastic Fan roof vent. I wanted to get the AC because I plan to mount it under the floor, along with the battery, and so I needed it for sizing info and to run the required ducting before I get the floor finished. I will probably purchase a deep cycle battery soon for the same reason. I got the fan so I can start planning how to fit that in with the roof profile as I expect to be cutting foam within a week or two. Perhaps that's a bit optimistic, but if I keep working on it the floor shouldn't take long. The longest part will be waiting for the poly to dry between coats.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby KCStudly » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:56 am

Looking good! :thumbsup: Nice belt sander, too; you should be able to use that for a lifetime.

I'm curious about the wooden side frame rails. They appear to run long at the front. Will those get trimmed off later or does something else go there?
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby Kharn » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:25 pm

Make sure you're able to change the tire with those outer beams as close as they appear.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:48 pm

KCStudly wrote:Looking good! :thumbsup: Nice belt sander, too; you should be able to use that for a lifetime.

I'm curious about the wooden side frame rails. They appear to run long at the front. Will those get trimmed off later or does something else go there?

I hope I can, it should last a while at any rate.

They are 8' sections, and the front crossbeam is not at the front of the trailer. There is a gap of 4" or so that will allow me to add outside vents into the front of the teardrop that are not visible from the outside. They will also allow me to run the AC vent lines from the underslung AC unit I'm planning up and into the bow front of the Teardrop, allowing me to pull air from one end into the AC and blow cold air out the other end, improving circulation (not that circulation from an AC is a big deal in a small camper).

The boards will be left in place as I will be wrapping the side canvas under them.

Kharn wrote:Make sure you're able to change the tire with those outer beams as close as they appear.

If I cannot, and I don't think I can, I will simply trim the boards into a profile that meets tire changing requirements. They do not even need to be in the section in front of the tires. Here is the planned layout for reference, which shows why those boards are not required in that section.
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