A different kind of pop-up (5-27-17) all done

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A different kind of pop-up (5-27-17) all done

Postby les45 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:00 pm

I've been mulling a new project for a while. I like the simplicity of my old weekender but it was just a little too confining. I want a standy but not a full time tall rig. Want it to be light weight and be able to see over it when towing so that leads me to a pop-up. But I don't like the canvas and outrigger beds. My concept is to take a conventional pop-up and remove all the canvas, outrigger beds, and all inside furnishings and build a very basic camper with hard walls replacing the canvas. The walls will be light weight foamie panels with windows or vents. The interior will consist of a queen bed on one side that will fold into a couch, a small two person dinette on the other side, and a cabinet in the middle for the camp stove, coffee pot, etc. A porta-potty will store under one of the dinette seats. I finally found a donor unit this weekend, a 1989 Jayco Model 1006 for all of $650 (can't buy a trailer for that). The 10'X7' Jayco is in very good shape for its age with solid frame, shell, and top and one small spot of water damage. During the two hour drive home it towed like a dream. It looks like a perfect base for my concept. The journal begins. Next step demolition.

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Last edited by les45 on Sat May 27, 2017 1:01 pm, edited 42 times in total.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby tsmyth » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:01 pm

Save the pop up mechanism that raises the top and incorporate it in the design. I made a hi low basic camper which is a foamie hybrid (12' x 6') which weights 1400# and tracks like a dream.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby les45 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:49 pm

tsmyth wrote:Save the pop up mechanism that raises the top and incorporate it in the design. I made a hi low basic camper which is a foamie hybrid (12' x 6') which weights 1400# and tracks like a dream.


Definitely. I may not have been clear on that point but the pop-up aspect is what I'm looking for to get the standy headroom. Will definitely need the telescoping corner post mechanisms to raise the top. My foamy panels will fit between the top and the bottom shell in place of the canvas when the top is fully raised. That part is still a concept so I don't have specific design details yet for fastening the panels and making them watertight. I also plan to use the existing door sections so the foamy panels will have to attach to the door frame too.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby les45 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:35 pm

Another Forum member (jandmz) found a pic of an old Apache camper that is essentially the concept that I'm going for. It is a pop-up with ABS panels instead of canvas. Most had ABS paneled bed extensions on the ends but apparently they made a few without the bed extension like this one. I hope to make mine look a little nicer.

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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby Funluvin001 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:21 am

I had bought a jayco pop-up and thought long and hard about trying to build something modelled after the apache with bunk pop outs, until I realized part of the function of the flexible abs panels, was the "flex". I figured trying to do the geometry with rigid parts would be a very difficult task and opted out. The rectangular box would be far simpler. I also thought the jayco lift mechanism wasn't very strong to do what I was hoping to.

Good luck with your build! :D
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby Padilen » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:43 am

I was told the the panel type wasn't popular. I had an Apache briefly. The condensation is bad in them, so I'd plan on some way of keeping it dry.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby les45 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:23 am

Padilen wrote:I was told the the panel type wasn't popular. I had an Apache briefly. The condensation is bad in them, so I'd plan on some way of keeping it dry.


It probably wasn't popular because it was so plain looking (ugly). My greatest challenge will be to build a box that has some charisma. I'm hoping proper window styles, paint scheme, and an awning will clean up the boxy look. I plan to replace the AC with a Fantastic Fan as we don't camp in the heat of summer here in the South. I had the same fan in my weekender and had no condensation problems. Also, I think the foamie panels will be less conducive to condensation than the ABS panels in the old Apache.
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A different kind of pop-up

Postby Padilen » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:18 am

I only had one for a short time never camped in it. But it was the biggest they made. One thing I did learn was to fix cracks you use super glue and baking soda. The one I had had no AC,vents or fans.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby tony.latham » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:31 pm

I was told the the panel type wasn't popular. I had an Apache briefly. The condensation is bad in them, so I'd plan on some way of keeping it dry.


That's because there wasn't any insulation and ventilation was poor.

My first teardrop had no roof fan/vent and plywood walls. Insulation in the ceiling. I don't care how much we opened the windows when it was cold, we would get condensation on the walls. It was a commercially built model. In our current garage-built teardrop if it gets stuffy we increase the ventilation. Since it's insulated all the way around, there is no condensation.

It's easy to reach for a higher bar with a home-built camper when you're not willing to cut corners like they do in a for-profit factory. :thumbsup:

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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby Pmullen503 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:20 pm

I bought a '63 Starcraft pop up with no canvas or extensions. I had planned to do 3/4" solid foam panels, framed with wood, covered in canvas. The panels would be hinged at the bottom with canvas that made use of the stock channel. Foam rubber weather strip top and bottom. The panels would fold down and rest on the stock tables or maybe a custom bracket. The problem would be sealing up the corners which I planned to do with sewn canvas strips with velcro along the edges. I'd use the stock door and was thinking about using home type combination storm windows. The sides have to clear the corner jacks to fold down, which is a problem

Ended up doing a teardrop on a HF trailer when I realised it would be too wide to fit in my shed and it was wider than the T.V. which I didn't want either. Still might do the pop up as an ice fishing shanty - big enough for 4 guys and has a stove and icebox!
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby les45 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:55 pm

D-day. Stripped the interior and removed the 90 lb AC unit from the roof. I was able to salvage a few things but most went to the trash heap. Found a few spots of water damage but they look to be easy fixes. The biggest issue was the need to re-install the cables for the corner lift mechanisms. One corner doesn't raise as high as the others. The previous owner had installed new cables and eye-bolts but apparently did not get them calibrated properly (hope there is a You Tube video for that). Move inside the garage tomorrow for real work to begin.

I'm estimating that I removed at least 400 lbs of stuff from the total weight.
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Floor is solid and galvanized wheel wells in good shape inside and outside. Interior now totally gutted.
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Lots of cabinets, propane stove, rooftop AC, plus canvas and roll out bed frames all go to trash.
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Buttoned up for rain tonight and ready to move into the garage tomorrow.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby tsmyth » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:48 pm

I but an access panel in the floor over the cable tree (adjustment of cables) in the down position. This makes it easily to adjust each cable without crawling under the trailer to adjust the cables. By putting a 4x4 block of wood between the side and the top, at each stanchion, you can adjust the cable that is loose (the lowest corner).l
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby Padilen » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:57 pm

Did I post this?
This was my utility trailer made out of an Apache pop up - canvas not hard side.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1447807302.529945.jpg
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1447807302.529945.jpg (100.69 KiB) Viewed 3733 times

They have a strong frame and will last a long time. They tow great even way over loaded - not recommending that just stating personal knowledge. The only "problem" is mine had wide tires. And they cost more than the smaller tires.
I saved the galvanized fenders too- but sawmill unloading logs tookem out. So I cut a 55 gal drum up.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby rebapuck » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:36 pm

Think about leaving a longer flap of finished edge canvas at the bottom of your panels. An inch or two. They can lap over the bottom half to direct water away.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up

Postby les45 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:13 pm

Moved the Jayco inside the garage to start some serious work. I thought the lifting mechanism only needed the cables adjusted but found more problems with rust, worn pulleys, and bent eye-bolts. Decided to totally remove the cables, eye-bolts, and pulleys and replace them and clean and paint all the other parts. I did all the work with the top down so I was working in a 28" headspace, a real pain in the butt climbing in and out of the short door section. I have to get the lifting system working as the first order of business in order to raise the roof to do all the interior work. It will probably take a few weeks to get all the hoist parts so I'll be starting to clean up the trailer frame and axle next. Lots of rust but no structural issues. There are telescoping stabilizers on all four corners and they are welded to the frame so that will be a real challenge to clean up.

Jayco fits perfectly in the garage and has plenty of room to raise the roof to full height after the hoisting mechanism is fixed.
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Two of the eye-bolts in the 4 into 1 plate were stretched from overloading so new eye-bolts will be welded type.
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I never really knew how the hoisting system worked until I dug into this one. The hoist cable goes into a square tube where it pulls on a square metal plug which pushes a flexible spring shaft up into the telescoping legs on each corner.
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