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 rowerwet » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:17 am

Ambitious! :thumbsup:
just hope you don't run into the problem I did, I built and painted my tear during a very rainy spring, while the surface of the paint was dry, it takes a bit longer for all those layers of paint inside the fabric to cure. I got rained on and it left grooves in the paint. :cry: :x (need a smilie shooting his head) I couldn't park my tear under anything except a cheapo picnic awning or a tarp, thanks to the finish just being paint I was able to paint over the grooves and they don't show now.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby Mdrinnon » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:06 pm

Your build is really progressing and looking awesome. I have to second the profile comments I really love the profile you have going.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:26 pm

rowerwet wrote:Ambitious! :thumbsup:
just hope you don't run into the problem I did, I built and painted my tear during a very rainy spring, while the surface of the paint was dry, it takes a bit longer for all those layers of paint inside the fabric to cure. I got rained on and it left grooves in the paint. :cry: :x (need a smilie shooting his head) I couldn't park my tear under anything except a cheapo picnic awning or a tarp, thanks to the finish just being paint I was able to paint over the grooves and they don't show now.

Unfortunately when I'm ready to start canvasing it'll be Monday or Tuesday. Monday is rainy and 45 °F, Tuesday is Sunny but high of 45 °F. This is vs today where it's partly sunny and a high of 80 °F, but I'm not ready to canvas. :x

Good news is that even if I canvas on Tuesday when it's 45 °F (inside a cramped garage), it's a high of 54 °F on Wed, 60 °F Thursday and Friday, so I should be able to canvas, let dry, paint, and have it dry enough to go by Saturday. :thumbsup:

Mdrinnon wrote:Your build is really progressing and looking awesome. I have to second the profile comments I really love the profile you have going.

Thanks. I saw the Australian Sportsman Stretched profile, and liked it the best out of the other profiles I used. After struggling to make a profile in Sketchup, I discovered you can get plugins and got a curve plugin, with included a Bézier curve function. That made it really, really easy to get a nice curve. In the end, even that was just a rough guide as me and my Dad just used a few critical measurements from Sketchup and lofted in a nice looking curve.

Well, today I did not get as much done as I would have liked to do. I untaped the hatch piece, and discovered it did not hold the curve 100%, the bottom came out a couple inches due to tension on the outside surface. Making a couple of ribs to hold the hatch in the proper shape should not be a difficult job.

I decided to skip making the second part of the hatch right away and instead started working on the doors. Because it was mostly sunny and about 78 °F, I pulled the trailer outside to work on it.

ImageBefore Door Cutting by jseyfert3, on Flickr

After looking up door sizes on the forum, measuring where I would sit up in bed to "sit and swivel" to get out of the teardrop, and measuring my particular teardrop, I decided to go with 30" wide by 36" tall. I put the bottom at 6" from the floor, with the mattress at about 12" this should be low enough to sit at the edge of the mattress without snagging the door frame. I cut them mostly square for ease of assembly, but I decided I needed to round the corners, square corners just wouldn't fit in!

The curves at the corners were outlined using a dinner plate after I looked around for a couple minutes for a suitably sized round object.

ImageOutline of Door and Some Cutting by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Using a drill bit to drill a hole to start, I used a jigsaw to cut out the door.

ImageFirst Door Cut by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Soon after the second door was cut out!

ImageBoth Doors After Cutting by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Once the door were cut I had lots of light to get a picture of the inside from the front looking back.

ImageView from Inside Front by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Also took a picture showing the inside of the front curve. The gap at the bottom runs the width of the teardrop and will be used for fresh air ventilation as well as well as A/C venting (which will eventually run under the trailer).

ImageWidth-Sized Gap for Ventilation by jseyfert3, on Flickr

So, not as much done as I'd like, but it's probably enough. I'm hoping to get the roof vent cut out later tonight when I'm done with work, or else it'll be cut out tomorrow. I'll be using 1x2s to support the weight of the roof vent, as well as to straighten the door frame and the doors themselves. I'm planning on making the doors out of the 2" thick foam pieces I cut out of the wall. If that doesn't work good enough (probably discovered after driving in the rain), I'll deal with it at that time, but I think it'll work out fine.

I also had my first inquiry about the TD. Just after I had finished cutting out the first door, while thinking it was odd nobody had yet asked me about this pink blob on a trailer I had been working on, a guy in a small pickup drove past, stopped, and backed up. He asked if I had built it on a frame or if I had built it with no frame. I said I had built it myself with no frame. He seemed surprised. Before he left he said I was doing a good job. I'd imagine that as it gets closer to being done, like after I canvas it and it's no longer pink foam, I may get a few more inquiries on it.

I can't wait for the "Isn't that too big to tow with that tiny car?", "That car can tow that?", "Wouldn't a pickup truck be better for towing that?" comments once I get this thing going. :roll:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby S. Heisley » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:24 pm

...Great shape teardrop! Keep going...We're watching! :applause:
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby capnTelescope » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:33 pm

Looking good! :thumbsup: You're almost there, keep going! :applause:
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Brad
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Building the Bed & Breakfast
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby Chris M. » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:31 pm

Good job. I am really enjoying your build!
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:47 pm

Yesterday I worked on my door frame with my dad. With a slight bow in the wall, a door wouldn't seal good. I figured a 1x2 should take care of that, as well as double as a support for my Fan-Tastic Vent. I made another hot wire cutting attachment to cut these slots for the 1x2s.

ImageFirst Door Reinforcement by jseyfert3, on Flickr

ImageUp Close View by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I cut out the vertical slots while my dad cut out the 1x2s. After I left to work, my dad continued to work on it, finishing the horizontal slots on this side and cutting out the 1x2s for the other side as well. The plan is to attach a lip of thin plywood to the 1x2s that overlaps the opening, allowing a surface to apply a seal, similar to what others on here have done. I plan to use the pieces of foam I cut out of the openings for the doors, reinforced the same way as the door frames with 1x2s. Cheap, and if they don't seal, I can make another door later on.

ImageCompleted Door Frame Reinforcement (Ungluded) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I just finished gluing up that side right now. IDK what was wrong with me, I used way to much glue (I knew after I put it in it was going to turn into a mess), applied glue to the wrong side and had to wipe it off, pull it out, and apply it to the correct side, and was getting it all over my hands, the floor, and even my phone. :?

I'm going to let it cure for a couple hour without being in the trailer so I don't wiggle the uncured glue. While it's curing, I'm going to eat and check out power connections at the automotive store. Then I'll cut out the openings for the other door's 1x2s, the vent fan and reinforcement, glue it up, and try to get the trailer ready to canvas.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:36 am

Yup, I way overdid the glue this morning. Did much better on the other door, much less excess coming out.

Image
I Knew I Used Too Much Glue by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I found a good way to heat the GG to thin it out, just put it in front of my halogen worklight. I left this here for a little while and got too hot, almost able to slosh when shaken. Turns out I never got around to using it after I heated it up though.

Image
Heating the Glue to Thin It by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I was almost halfway through cutting the slot out for the first of two 1x2 supports for my Fan-Tastic Vent and I heard a pop from my dimmer on my hot wire cutter. Can't say I was suprised, it was supposed to drive incandescent lights, 300 W max, not an inductive load like I was making it do. I first wondered if it was an overheat protection, but it wouldn't turn back on. I tried the fan side but it was not enough or way to much (fan side is stepped). I opened it up to see if there was a thermal fuse that I could short out, none that I could see. I'll bet I let the magic smoke out of the TRIAC (black chip with three legs at top).

Image
Blown Dimmer (Probably the TRIAC?) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Looking at my watch, and seeing it was 22:45, I did what any normal person would do and headed for my bedroom. Once there, I removed the dimmer from the wall and returned down to the garage to wire it to my hot wire cutter. What did you say? A normal person wouldn't do that? :lol: (Identical dimmer to the one I already blew)

Getting it running again, I finished the cut and test fit the 1x2.

Image
Test Fit of Fan-Tastic Vent Support by jseyfert3, on Flickr

With a neck that was getting tired of looking up, I marked out a square as good as I could on the ceiling for my cut lines for the vent.

Image
Hole for Fan-Tastic Vent Marked Out by jseyfert3, on Flickr

With a jigsaw held upside down, I cut out the opening.

Image
Fan-Tastic Vent Hole by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I wired it up to a 13.8 V power supply I have, and laid back while I tested it out. Not super loud, but it has some noise. Since both me and my GF sleep with a table or stand fan on low at night for a little background noise, it won't bother either of us. Moves a good amount of air. I also like that I got the reversible model, I may enjoy it blowing directly on me on the hotter days. This model also has a thermostat so it can shut off when the temp drops at night.

Image
Testing the Fan-Tastic Vent by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I was originally going to go to bed after writing this, but then I realized it was already 00:31. The sky has cleared up nicely for tonight's total lunar eclipse. The partial eclipse begins here at 00:58, and the total eclipse begins at 2:07. So I can either sleep for an hour and a half then get up for a couple minutes to look at the total eclipse. or simply stay up and work on my Teardrop for another hour and a half and probably finish up the vent fan supports so they are glued and cured by tomorrow and ready for me to do other things. I believe I will do the latter.
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:13 am

Well, it's 02:52 as I type this opening sentence now. Just about time for bed. Good news though, I completed the Fan-Tastic Vent reinforcement.

In my last post, I had cut out one slot for a 1x2 for the vent, as well as the hole and tested the fan. In that time, I cut the other five slots I needed with the hot wire cutter. I cut the rest of the 1x2s as well. For the short 1x2s next to the fan, I cut a slight angle cut as the long 1x2s have a slight angle following the roof. I think I solved the problem of the roof curve meeting the flat vent as well, I simply pulled the roof curve down to meet the 1x2s. This only flattens the slight curve on the top where you can't even see (unless you're 6'5" like me), and gives a slight downwards angle so water won't pool around the fan either.

Image
Fan-Tastic Vent Hole Completed and Gluing by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Because the 1x2s that ran the width of the teardrop sat on top of other 1x2s inside the wall, I needed to cut the slot out the side of the wall. This allowed me to push one corner up and out from inside the teardrop, line up the 1x2, and push it into the slot. At this point it becomes extremely hard to slide the couple inches to it's final spot, but a hammer encouraged it to do so.

Image
Clearance Holes for Vent 1x2s, Top View of Gluing Process by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Oh yes, and the reason I stayed up and got this done, the lunar eclipse I wanted to see.

Image
Total Eclipse 2014-04-15 02:39:08 CDT by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Picture taken with a Canon Rebel XS, Canon f/1.8 50 mm lens, manual 10x live view focus, manual exposure at ISO 200, f/2.8, 1 second, auto white balance. I used a 2 second self timer with mirror lockup to avoid vibrations. Highest quality JPEG + RAW, this picture is cropped from the JPEG.

For the curious, here is the original picture. I did nothing to the above except crop, and this picture is straight from my camera. The picture was shot from my front porch at 02:39 CDT, slightly before the the mid-eclipse at 02:47 CDT (which I actually missed since I read Wikipedia wrong and thought the mid-eclipse was already over).

Image
IMG_5286 by jseyfert3, on Flickr
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby steve cowan » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:53 am

Great job on the foamie and nice side profile.Enjoyed the eclipse pictures.Weather was rainy here so I missed it all. :(

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

Postby jseyfert3 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:35 pm

The two clearance holes in the wall for the roof vent 1x2 installs needed to be filled, so I figured I'd give Great Stuff a go, as I had an unopened can. I positioned my halogen light to shine on the wall, and filled and taped the holes. Then I moved my light and discovered both lights were too close to my foam wall...

Image
Holes From Halogen Lights by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I had the Great Stuff out, so I filled the holes caused by moving the light to see filling other holes by Great Stuff...

Image
Hole From Halogen Lights After Initial Great Stuff Filling by jseyfert3, on Flickr

My dad and two of my sisters came over, and we sanded all the Gorilla Glue that used out flush, routered the edges of the foam with a 1/4" roundover bit to just add a bit of curve to the edge. We ran a spiked roller over the entire outside to perforate it for better canvas adhesion. One of my sisters also cut up some wedges to use to center my fan once I'm ready to install that, to hold it in place while I screw and seal it.

As a lot of people covered in canvas by painting/gluing the foam, sticking on the foam, then painting/gluing over the canvas immediately to saturate the canvas, that is what I tried doing with the Glidden Gripper. However, when we tried a sample piece, the roller was pulling up the canvas which cause wrinkles that had to be smoothed out and would just be a mess to do on such a large surface as the teardrop. A brush did not pull up the canvas, but using a brush would take forever on such a large Teardrop. It was past 19:00 already, so ee ate, then my dad and sister left, while one stayed.

After searching TnTTT a bit more, I found that some people attached the canvas by painting, sticking on the canvas, and letting it dry before painting to saturate the canvas. I figured this would be the way to go.

My sister said she would stay and help, so we got started on the roof. We started near the hinge line and painted up to the vent fan hole. Note the perforations in the foam, those are from the spiked roller earlier.

Image
I'm Painting on Glidden Gripper by jseyfert3, on Flickr

This Glidden Gripper is thick stuff, thicker then the paint/primer I used to paint one of my bedrooms a few months back. We rollered it on thick, too much if you were painting a wall, but it's not being used to paint but to attach canvas, so there needs to be enough to soak into the fibers.

Image
We Put It On Very Thick by jseyfert3, on Flickr

After painting up to the vent hole, we stuck down the canvas and smoothed it out, then folded the rest of the canvas over onto the canvas we just stuck down and painted the next section.

Image
Painting Section Two by jseyfert3, on Flickr

After sticking down the canvas on this section, it was starting to look good. Note the indent where the fan hole is.

Image
First Two Sections Finished by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Here's a close-up picture of the canvas after sticking down and smoothing out. The primer does not soak through the canvas to the top. After it dries, I'll primer the outside of the canvas, working it in good to try to get it to soak down as much as possible.

Image
Sample of Canvas After Sticking Down by jseyfert3, on Flickr

At this point we paused and finished the roof vent hole. I cut it in an X from corner to corner then we wrapped it in and stuck it down after trimming some of it off. Thinking back, I probably should have just barely wrapped it onto the ceiling so it would be covered by the vent fan surround, but meh. It'll work. I'll hide it while I'm filling the kerfs in the ceiling before canvasing the inside.

Image
Inside Vent Hole After Canvasing Roof by jseyfert3, on Flickr

We continued down the curve, working in sections as before.

Image
Painting Front Curve by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Before much longer, we were done with the roof section!

Image
Roof Done! (1) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

Image
Roof Done! (2) by jseyfert3, on Flickr

I plan to have the canvas overlap onto the walls about 2", the rest will be cut off. I did not stick down the edges because I thought it would be easier to do once the roof primer was dried (or at least drier) and would not pull up easily. I also didn't want to pull up the edges to primer under them and mess up the smooth roof. I'm going to leave my garage halogen lights on over night and keep the door to the house open to keep the temp up to get the primer to dry (it's below 40 °F outside right now).

Tomorrow my sister is coming over in the morning again, and hopefully we can get both walls done on the outside. If so, I'll be able to prime the entire outside of the camper tomorrow night after work, and paint it Thursday or Friday depending on how long I decide to let the primer dry for. Still hoping to tow this up Saturday, but I can push to Sunday or (hopefully not) the following weekend if I must to let the paint cure long enough. I wouldn't want to tow with paint that hasn't cured enough and have the canvas work away from the foam.

People that have done this before, thoughts? If I can primer the outside of the canvas tomorrow night, how long do I want to let it dry before painting, and how long do I want the paint to dry before towing?
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Re: 1st Build, a 5'x8' Foamie Teardrop on a 4'x8' HF Trailer

Postby MMOLLECK » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:12 am

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

Postby jseyfert3 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:49 am

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

Postby rowerwet » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:37 am

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

Postby Gunguy05 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:40 am

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!
Brian


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