5X8 Modified Benroy Build (Flat Back)

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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby Sheddie » Sat May 16, 2015 4:11 pm

Progressing well :thumbsup: Looks good. The new frame looks like it would be a piece of cake to relocate the axle, if the balance isn't quite right. How long have you got before your memorial day weekend?
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby Eulalia » Sat May 16, 2015 5:05 pm

I plan on heading out on Thursday evening, so that gives me 4 or 5 days. My storage box is already removed, so the axle being where it is, about 3.25-3.5 feet from the back should be alright as long as I'm careful about loading. I want to attach the cabin in a way that will be removable, so drilling some new bolt holes won't take long if I wish to change it later. :thumbsup:
Never mind the maneuvers, always go straight at 'em. - Horatio Nelson
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Re: First Build - 2014

Postby ChasCABQ » Thu May 21, 2015 11:15 am

Eulalia wrote:Seriously though, there are benefits to working for a remodeling business.

Now I know why your build looks so nice. You've got mad skills dude! :thumbsup:
I had one semester of wood shop over 40 years ago and have only done rough framing-type projects a few times since. My teardrop build is going slowly with more than a few missteps along the way. Your build's an inspiration to just keep'er going. A friend once said if confronted with a mistake, "beat to fit, paint to match." :lol:
Build journal: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=61303
In 2016, I received a kidney transplant, finished my teardrop, and took it on the road! In 2017 I sold it and am back to car camping.
Thanks to all forum members who provided advice about my build and posted info to help me get started.
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby Eulalia » Fri May 22, 2015 11:44 am

Thanks for the kind words. Pictures hide a multitude of random mistakes and goofs, but I suppose carpentry experience does help. I finally got packed and am ready to head out - most likely forgetting something important. I'll leave you all with this:131957

I will be back with updates on how the first little trip goes. Not finished, (bare galley) but camp-able. :D
- Jesse
Never mind the maneuvers, always go straight at 'em. - Horatio Nelson
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby Sheddie » Fri May 22, 2015 6:15 pm

Eulalia wrote:Thanks for the kind words. Pictures hide a multitude of random mistakes and goofs, but I suppose carpentry experience does help.

You know what they say, "the sign of a good tradesman is how well he hides his mistakes"
Eulalia wrote:I finally got packed and am ready to head out - most likely forgetting something important.

I will be back with updates on how the first little trip goes. Not finished, (bare galley) but camp-able. :D
- Jesse

How many times have we been about 20 miles down the road and said, "oh bugger we forgot to bring the ???? Oh well we will have to do without it, we ain't going back now".
Congratulations on getting this far, have a great trip, and I can't wait to see the trip report. :pictures: :pictures:
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First camping trip!

Postby Eulalia » Thu May 28, 2015 10:37 pm

Since I got back from my first trip with my Teardrop, it has been right back to work, so I haven't had much time to check back in with an update on how it all went. I finally got some of my photos uploaded (I really didn't take all that many since I was too busy doing nothing).

I originally had big plans of leaving Thursday night. I worked on the trailer until the afternoon of that day, getting the battery wired in (mostly done by a friend), buttoning up some critical areas (I had to build a temporary door for the tongue box), and cleaning the trailer and shop. By the time I was packed, it was well into the evening, so I decided to just leave on Friday morning. The picture in my last post was taken Thursday night. That was the first time I had ever towed my trailer down the road, and my teardrop trailer spent its first night out in the weather.

Friday morning, while preparing to leave, I noticed something concerning: the front canvas near the tongue box had stretched and was beginning to bubble slightly (due to dew - haha). After some well-placed thumbtacks (too late to do anything at that point), I loaded up some last few belongings and headed off down the road to my destination, about 130 miles away in central Oregon.

I watched the bubbling canvas on the front of my trailer in my rearview mirror, but it looked like it was held down well by the aluminum "suspenders" (honestly, that's exactly what it looks like), and the trim along the top of the tongue box. My 1991 Ford Ranger, which has the 2.3L 4cylinder motor was put to a thorough test as I took the most hilly route to State Route 14 (In anticipation of a long grade up to the campground, I wanted to make sure it could handle the climb). WA SR-14 itself is a winding route along the Columbia Gorge, and it makes for some beautiful scenic driving. Somewhere near halfway to my destination, I stopped at a rest area, and spotted a view that was neither beautiful nor scenic. My teardrop trailer had developed a tumor.

Similar to the front of my trailer, a portion of the roof canvas at the back near the hatch must not have been stretched tightly enough, or saturated well enough with paint/glue to form a solid bond. The heat and air flow worked itself under the canvas, causing it to bubble up 1-2 inches above where it should lay. The odd part was that it must have only been a few pinholes that the air was going into, because it did not deflate until I got to the campground and poked it a few times with another thumbtack. But I am getting ahead of myself...

After that little shock, I had to just tell myself to relax and wait until later to fix the problem, I had stressed far too much in the last couple of weeks to bother with one more issue. I had tarps anyway. The rest of the drive was uneventful. I refueled in The Dalles, Oregon, where I determined that my little pickup had only burned through about 5.5 gallons of gasoline (not bad... right about 20 miles per gallon). The grade heading south from The Dalles was my biggest concern leading up to the drive, and it turned out that my choice of tow vehicle was just fine after all. The manual transmission helped immensely, although I had to grind up the grade in 3rd gear at about 50 miles per hour (heater maxed out with windows wide open to make sure I didn't overheat). The elevation gain is intense, about 2600 feet in 22 miles to the Tygh Grade Summit from the Columbia River. Going down the other side was a matter of riding my brakes for several miles (just kidding, I simply selected a lower gear and let friction do its thing).

When I got to the campground, I only had to give about ten tours to intrigued parties before I could eat my lunch and get camp set up. My solution to the bubbled roof problem was to park under a tree and string up a large tarp. Problem solved (for the weekend anyhow).

The rest of the weekend was largely relaxing and uneventful. Ate too much barbecued food, stayed up too late talking to friends, and woke up earlier than I might have liked (I was right next to a cow pasture and they got pretty raucous in the morning). A few events are shown in the pictures, but most of the time was spent just unwinding, which was totally OK with me after two weeks and probably 60-80 hours of time working on my trailer to get it ready to go.

On Monday morning (Memorial Day here in the states), I packed it all up and hit the road once more, stopping in The Dalles for lunch with some friends. The roof bubbled up once again on the home journey, but at that point it was expected, and I knew there was enough holding the canvas in place that it wouldn’t fly away on me (trim, hurricane hinge, roof vent, etc.).

Since unloading it on Monday, I haven’t done anything with the trailer, and it will probably remain that way for a few more days, especially since I no longer have a big deadline looming overhead.

Remaining tasks:
Determine what can be done about the roof I may be able to get it to stick down again. As you can see in the picture after I got home, the fabric has mostly settled back down, although redoing the roof with aluminum or some other material would not be extremely difficult.
Galley cabinetry needs finished
Galley countertop needs to be surfaced
Interior cabinets need doors or some other solution (possibly removable baskets)
LED light strips inside could use some valances to make the lighting more indirect (right now they are incredibly bright).
Radio needs to be replaced or fixed (it was a unit that I had sitting around so it was questionable anyway)


TLDR: Went camping. Look, pictures! V V V V :pictures:

Camp set up, I quickly turned into the chuck wagon for mine and my friends' foodstuffs.
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The "Mini Winnie" a tiny travel trailer built by a friend of mine, although it has teardrop characteristics. It sports a double bunk bed and fold out countertop in the back, as well as many nifty repurposed accessories, such as a projector screen for an awning (not to mention for a projector screen, if you use the prop rods on the roof). He came up with some pretty cool stuff on this thing, and the best part its that his tow vehicle is a hatchback Geo Metro :) . I think he may have been the cause of many near-collisions as people rubber-necked and took pictures. Seriously though, everyone has seen a motorhome pulling a Geo on a tow bar, but what about the inverse?
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Saturday trip to White River Falls. Nice waterfall, and it also has an abandoned powerhouse that has some cool stuff to check out inside.
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Sunday evening cruise with some friends who wanted to do a photo shoot of their Mustangs. Amazing view of Mt. Hood from the location, and a great drive up there as well. Three generations of American automobile manufacturing (although two are owned by Canadians ;) ).
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And finally, a everything unpacked on Monday afternoon when I got home.
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For those of you who made it through that long ramble, I salute your courage and fortitude. Speaking of which, I shouldn't leave this without saying a heartfelt thank you to all of our military veterans, past and present. Memorial Day is not just another day off of work. It was set aside to honor those who have laid down their lives in service. May their bravery and sacrifice never be forgotten.

-Jesse
Last edited by Eulalia on Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Never mind the maneuvers, always go straight at 'em. - Horatio Nelson
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby KCStudly » Fri May 29, 2015 6:37 am

Nice trip report. Thanks for posting! :thumbsup:

The Mini-Winnie is awesome, too, thanks for including that. :applause:

I'm really surprised that you had a bond failure with your canvas. It is over wood, right? I could see where canvas over foam might tear away the glue from the foam under certain conditions, but I would expect wood to be much less likely to separate.

Sorry, no time to look back at your prior posts at the moment, but did you roll glue onto both the roof and under side of the canvas or just the wood side? Light coat, heavy coat of glue? Any sense of if the glue had started to tack up as you were applying it?

Not criticism, just trying to get a feel for the method and what to expect when I get to that stage in my build.
Last edited by KCStudly on Fri May 29, 2015 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby Eulalia » Fri May 29, 2015 9:41 am

No criticism taken. I want to figure out too. On the roof I applied glue to the wood only but it was a large surface and stretching it around it must have gotten loosened up enough that the glue dried before I had it all in place. I am wondering if pre-shrinking the canvas was a good idea after all (washer/dryer) since it had that much more room to grow once it was damp.

- Jesse
Never mind the maneuvers, always go straight at 'em. - Horatio Nelson
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby Eulalia » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:13 pm

Happy update on my teardrop. I'm glad I chose to park my trailer and let it just sit for awhile after getting home from my camping trip. We have had warm and sunny weather for the last week or so, and it looks like the heat has dried out and consequently reshrunk the roof canvas, which got rid of the bubbles. Now I just need to add a couple more coats of paint to the roof and hatch, and finish off the cabinetry and interior trim.

One less headache to worry about. :worship:

-Jesse
Never mind the maneuvers, always go straight at 'em. - Horatio Nelson
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby Sheddie » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:31 am

Looks like you had a very successful first trip :thumbsup: thanks for the photos, sure looks like a nice place. May you have many more happy travels. :)
The beginning of your trip sounds very familiar. :thinking: We worked on ours until midnight, packed everything away, had a couple of hours sleep, then left home at 4am. We were towing with a little 50 year old car, that we had never towed with before, to do about 500 miles by that night.
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build (1.1, or old man winter was not nice)

Postby Eulalia » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:04 pm

Teardrops.

OK maybe not really, but the urge was there for a minute. My trailer is back in the shop and down to wood again; all due to my canvas job not being completely waterproof, and sitting under a tarp in the NW rainy season from about October of 2015 - January of this year (there was no garage space),

:thumbdown:

Nothing structural is appears to be water damaged, but I completely tore off the canvas, most of my 75% completed galley, the battery compartment in front, and the front inner and outer plywood skins, and some minor backing spars. There are several spots of 'suspicious growth' in the galley (it was well sealed inside, so once it got IN, it had no way to get OUT), and general grayness going on from seepage in minimal areas on the outside. I have a feeling that if it was garaged, the trailer would have had plenty of time to dry out between trips, but extended outdoor sitting was just too much, especially sitting on the north side of a building where even on nice days it didn't get a chance to dry out.

I pulled it back under cover and have now been undoing my work of about this time last year. Filon or Aluminum or a combo of same is looking like the way to go from here, along with some Kilz paint. I was thinking about maybe doing another teardrop trailer, but it looks like I'll be doing this one again. I am also reconfiguring the way my hatch lid is built. Rather than a curved profile where it attaches to the trailer, I cut a straight line, which makes the hatch much heavier, but it should be much easier to seal.

Pics coming, for those who wish to see the carnage and reconstruction.

For the record, this is not to discourage anyone else from doing canvas and paint. In the areas where it went on well, it went on very well. I was surprised at the amount of force it took to tear off some of the canvas where it bonded strongly. There were also a few areas where I had not thought too far ahead and used a kind of wood filler that broke down after long contact with water. Live and learn, I guess. Just make sure to think ahead about any conditions that your trailer might face, and overbuild it. I was rushing along in the last couple weeks of my build and the old "haste makes waste" saying rings true.

Edit: here are some pictures
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby rustytoolss » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:07 pm

8)
Eulalia wrote:The questions are no problem, if you have questions, someone else is bound to wonder the same things.

My walls are made of a plywood with a sanded face, so the surface was smooth. To give the glue some better chances at adhesion, I scuffed the wall with some rough grit sandpaper.

After that, I test fit the canvas, tacking it in place with thumbtacks to ensure that it all fit, I then left the top tacks in and rolled the canvas up on the roof so it was out of my way.

Then I took the TBII glue and poured it into a milk jug, added some water (not very scientific or calculated, just until it seemed "runny" enough), and shook it up to mix it, which seemed to mix/thin the glue out well. I then used a foam paint roller (the dense kind like for painting cabinets and trim) to spread a layer of glue on the wall. Once I figured the wall was covered enough, we began to roll the canvas and work the bubbles out.

The wetter the canvas is, the better it will smooth out. According to the people in the Foamies section, the glue is mainly just to hold it to the wall, the paint layers actually are supposed to saturate the canvas and add the waterproofing effect. In order to get it smoothed out and work the bubbles out, we just slathered more watery glue onto the surface. From what I understand, it works just as well to use only paint and no glue at all if you have a wood backing, its just more messy. Once the glue dries some more I'm going to trim the edges and paint it with a few coats (just using discount mis-tint / "oops paint" for the base layers, and will go buy my finished color in a smaller quantity for the final layer).

My two bits, I hope it answered some of your questions, Dales. I'm by no means an expert or anything, as this was my first run at it. If you have concerns, try the process out on something smaller first... or just leap in headfirst on a full wall like I did :R . You could get some practice in by covering a plywood cargo box or something of the sort.

Jesse

Edit: parting thought before I head off to sleep--I'd suggest working outwards from the middle, it helps to cut down on the bubbles. We had to readjust the front corner, as might be able to see from first picture above, the middle ended up having too much "slack" around the door, so we had to pull it forward and down to tighten up the canvas.
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Re: 5X8 Benroy Build

Postby Eulalia » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:43 pm

I haven't posted any updates in nearly a year, so I figured I should share what progress I've made.

My trailer now looks quite different from what it looked like when I thought it was "nearly complete" on its first trip. For starters, after my chop job on the galley, I rebuilt it with a vertical rear hatch (where the rear radius started at the top, it now slopes off to about 40" high at the back). I have also since ordered and installed black diamond plate aluminum on the side walls and back hatch, and a white rubber roof. So my trailer now has a distinctly "panda" vibe going on.

As it stands now, my known checklist of things to finish up:
Front battery box/storage compartment: new RV cargo door is ordered from Ebay, so when that shows up I will need to put on a front panel and install the door.
Interior: needs carpet put in, and walls should probably be painted/stained, and I still need some sort of doors or curtains on the above-the-feet cabinet.
Rear hatch: needs a latch system
Galley: Needs cabinet doors built, cooking implement hooks (purchased, need to be installed), and a couple of battery operated puck lights would be nice.
Electrical: some of the wiring went funky on me, so that needs to be sorted out and neatly tucked in the battery box (it looked a bit like a rat nest before).

I think that's it, and when I list it all out it doesn't sound like over much :thumbsup:
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Remodel completed!

Postby Eulalia » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:31 am

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Finally [re]finished!

Needs a mattress and a rear marker is giving me grief (I think it needs to be properly grounded). Other than that, it's in about as finished a condition as I plan to make it. :D
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Re: 5X8 Modified Benroy Build - or a tale of woe and restora

Postby KCStudly » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:06 pm

:thumbsup:
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