The Astroliner

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

The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:52 pm

I'm fairly new to this forum and definitely new to camper building. I've been working on a project for a few months now, as time and money permit. This is a joint effort between my girlfriend and I and she thought it would be good to start a build journal. I've been lurking around the forum for a while now, getting lots of good ideas from the rest of you. I appreciate the creativity and the skill-set on this forum. I am a professional race boat builder by trade, and I decided why pay stupid money for a camper that I want when I can just build one myself. So together, my girlfriend and I have started this project. Thank you all for your input and constructive suggestion!
Last edited by Atomic77 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New Build... The Astroliner

Postby danlott » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:02 pm

The name sounds interesting. Now just need to see some pictures.

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Re: New Build... The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:14 pm

Working on resizing my photos. :thinking:
Last edited by Atomic77 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Build... The Astroliner

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:46 pm

Well here is our humble beginning. we purchased a used Palomino pop up camper. I figured this would be the best way to get a frame and a clear title. It was actually being used as a tomato stand along the side of the road. It was full of rotten tomatoes and black walnuts. Pretty nasty but it was a deal!

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Last edited by Atomic77 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Time to get messy!

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:02 pm

As soon as I got the old Palomino pop up home, or what was left of it anyway, I started on the demolition process. Most of the wood was either wet, rotten or moldy. It's hard to get that nasty smell out of your head.

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Last edited by Atomic77 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Time to get messy!

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:16 pm

After the frame was completely stripped, it was time to take a grinder to the frame. There was a lot of surface rust but nothing very deep at all. It took about 4 nights in the garage with a disc grinder, but I was able to get about 90% of the frame back to shiny metal. The next step was POR 15, a product that I highly recommend to convert the rust and stop the corrosion process. I've used this product before on a street rod build and it works flawlessly. I could have used either black or silver, but it just so happened I had a quart of silver already in the shop.

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Last edited by Atomic77 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Let's paint

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:27 pm

After the POR15, we painted the frame with Dupont Black Single Stage with hardner.

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Now it gets complicated...

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:39 pm

Here's what happens when you get a woman involved in your project. She completely complicates everything! My original plan was to build a simple, small teardrop. Now at this stage of the game we've decided we want a Standie. With an indoor toilet. And an indoor galley. Honestly its not that she complicated my plans, it's just that her ideas are a lot better than mine! So now we're working in a new direction. We've seen some shapes that we really like and we've decided on something like this:

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CAD and a model...

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:14 pm

Admittedly not very original but there are none being built like this in the States. So we decided to do a version of our own. We've been working on CAD drawings and a simple model just to get the feel for the dimensions.

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Last edited by Atomic77 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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It's growing...

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:39 pm

Ok... so we scrapped the original TD plan and decided on the Standie. This greatly complicates things. Our original trailer of 5' wide by 8' long is significantly too small for our project. Therefore our options were to get a new trailer or work with what we've got. Since we've already got plates and title, we decided to go ahead and continue on with the old Palomino frame. We purchased 3" C channel to extend the length of the frame and the width of the frame to accommodate our new design. We purchased a new 3500# axle and leaf springs with electric brakes from an RV supplier. The new frame is now 7 1/2' wide by 10 1/2' long. Not counting the tongue. We have now ditched the 8"wheels in favor of some new 14 " Aluminum Wheels and some new tires. Notice the picture with the tire in the frame. The new cross member sits right where the old wheel used to. You can get a feel for how much this frame has grown! All that welding really screws up a nice paint job!

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Last edited by Atomic77 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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It's growing...

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:59 pm

Since we know we are going to do a lot of boondocking, we've decided to add a 40 gallon black water tank and a 40 gallon grey water tank. We welded in supports and brackets as well as quick releases in order to drop the tanks if necessary for repairs. The girl in the picture is my girlfriend who isn't afraid to be creative or get dirty. She cut all the C channel stock to fit while my brother and I welded them in place. The guy in the picture is my brother in the middle of a highly scientific method of determining where the crapper will be so we can properly locate the black tank position.

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Last edited by Atomic77 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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New Paint

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:35 pm

With all of the welding completed, it was time to reprime the trailer frame and put a new coat of DuPont single stage black enamel on it. Well, actually several coats. By this point I'm sick and tired of the jack wheel either falling off or never being either on or off when I need it to be. So we have fabricated and welded up a new permanent installation for the wheel. With this setup the Wheel Jack cranks completely up into the tongue and disappears. There is no need for removing the wheel for travel anymore.

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Last edited by Atomic77 on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Michael

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Re: New Build... The Astroliner

Postby noseoil » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:24 pm

Welcome & nice job on the frame. This is a great forum with plenty of helpful people available for technical help. What type of boats do you build? Picture of a boat? tim
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Prepping and Plumbing the Tanks...

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:26 pm

After the frame was painted again, it was time to install the tanks. They are hidden pretty nice and we used the Valterra plumbing components to put it all together. Shown are the separate Black/Grey water dump valves.

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Finally making some Sawdust!

Postby Atomic77 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:43 pm

We're starting on the floor now... It's sawdust time! We are building the floors out of 5/8" Plywood and 1/2" Foil Wrapped Celotex. A couple of things of importance on the floor. All the Plywood is coated with West Systems Epoxy. No surfaces were left exposed. Then we bonded the Celotex to the underside of the Plywood with West Systems. Then we coated all the edges of the Plywood and Foam with the Epoxy. This should make for a nice waterproof floor. Once the floor is bolted to the frame we will spray the entire underside with black bed-liner. I've used the black goo stuff on other projects and I'm completely opposed to it for this project. If I ever have any issues with the bed-liner I'll just throw it up on the lift and spray the bottom again. But I really don't think it's an issue. I bolted the flooring down to the frame with High Grade bolts. Completely unnecessary but I just happened to have the right size left over from something else. Notice that I also Sunk the bolt heads into the flooring and sealed them in with epoxy. Moisture proof and puts back whatever strength we removed from drilling the holes. Finally I leveled and filled the seams so that the final flooring would lay perfectly.

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Last edited by Atomic77 on Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
Michael

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