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

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

Re: A different kind of pop-up (8-30-16) bed decked

Postby les45 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:20 pm

The queen size bed is now fully decked with partially closed storage compartment below. This work included walling in the rear of the storage area to keep anything from getting into the cable hoist system at the rear and left side. I was able to re-use the 1/2" marine grade plywood decks from the old pop-up pullout beds for this work. It was a pain in the @$$ since they were spliced with narrow strips of thin plywood and a ton of staples that had to be removed. I decided to hinge the covers over the storage area even though we will generally slide plastic storage containers in from the front which will remain open. The 12" area along the rear wall was covered with three removable panels for easy access to the hoist system for future maintenance or repair. The black latex paint (two coats) was left over from a previous house project. This part of the project only cost the $20 price of the two piano hinges. Next order of work will be the bead board all around the side walls and dinette seats.


Bed frame before this work started.
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Walled in the rear half of the storage area with 1/4" plywood to keep anything from moving around and getting into the hoist cables.
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Decking was cut from the old pop-up pullout bed decks which were a nice 1/2" marine grade plywood.
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Generally the bed will be covered with a foam mattress and access to storage will be through the open front.
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Thumb holes and piano hinges provide easy access to storage area. Three small removable panels across the rear with thumb holes allow easy access to hoist system.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (8-30-16) bed decked

Postby rustytoolss » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:49 pm

Looking Good 8)
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (10-2-16) bead board complete

Postby les45 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:16 pm

After traveling for two weeks around Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks (where I saw a lot of teardrops), I finally got back to work and completed my bead board walls and trim. The following pics show the chronology of my progress inside the cabin area so far. Each bead board panel is butted to the next (not overlapped) and screwed in place for easy removal for access to the hoist system cables and pulleys. The bead board will be painted later. Next steps will be cutting 3/4 plywood for dinette seats and a hinged full width shelf on each end that will fold out and support a sloping portable end wall. I finally designed the end wall panels to have the same slope as the ends of the roof in order to break up the monotony of the cube look. More on that in my next update.

This is the interior after demolition.
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Old vinyl flooring stripped and rear wall re-built.
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Interior framing complete.
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New vinyl flooring installed.
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Bed deck roughed in.
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Bed deck complete with hinges and paint.
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Bead board installed around rear walls.
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Bead board installed around front walls plus dinette seats.
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Last edited by les45 on Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (10-2-16) bead board complete

Postby cshane » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:43 am

Well done, looks good.


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Re: A different kind of pop-up (10-13-16) dinette (nearly) d

Postby les45 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:51 pm

I'm nearly done with the bottom end except for painting and staining the woodwork and installing a few trim pieces. My final design is starting to come together now. In order to keep from looking like a big ol' cube with the portable hard walls (like the Apache), I've decided to slope the two end walls at the same angle as the ends of the roof. I have completed a hinged shelf on each end that will support the wall panels and provide a 20"x76" area on each end for storing stuff while camping. The rear shelf will be especially useful for all the stuff you want near the bed at night (luggage, flashlight, watches, glasses, etc.). The shelves will fold in when the roof is down and will also provide access to the cable lift system on each end. This week I've essentially completed the dinette seats and table. The seats will hinge up and be covered with cushions. The left seat houses all my electrical systems (AC and DC) and the right seat will store the port-a-potty. I salvaged the table hardware from the old pop-up to mount the table pretty much as it was originally except that I've shortened it by about 10". While I've finally got good weather, I plan to start painting the exterior of the cabin and roof before I start building the portable wall panels.

The left seat has a vent (hard to see in the black) in the front for the computer power supply that will furnish my 12 VDC. Maybe overkill, but it can't hurt.
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Front shelf will provide storage for galley stuff and an area for charging phones, ipads, etc.
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Brackets for the table mount on the shelf and fold out of sight when the shelf is folded in.
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Front and rear wall panels will fasten to the sloping roof at the top and the outer edge of the shelf at the bottom with gaskets. The connection to the shelf will help stabilize the side to side motion of the roof while the vertical side walls will stabilize the front to back motion.
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The shelves simply fold in when the roof is lowered and while towing. They also provide access to the cable hoist system on both ends when they are folded in.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (10-13-16) dinette (nearly) d

Postby KCStudly » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:34 pm

Looks good. :thumbsup:
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (10-20-16) minor update

Postby les45 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:14 pm

Just a minor update to show how the dinette area turned out after a little paint, stain, and trim. The bead board really stands out nicely although the color is a little off in the pics. The walls are actually a mint green. I'm using the same color scheme of light green and natural wood (Golden Oak) that I used in the interior of my weekender.

As I stated previously, I was able to salvage the dinette table and all the mounting hardware. I cut about 10" off the back end and mounted the wall bracket on the folding shelf.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (10-20-16) minor update

Postby KCStudly » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:35 am

Nice. :thumbsup:
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (10-20-16) minor update

Postby MadMango » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:34 am

Throw some red vinyl cushions in there and it'd look like a retro dinner. Very nice!
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (10-20-16) minor update

Postby les45 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:08 pm

MadMango wrote:Throw some red vinyl cushions in there and it'd look like a retro dinner. Very nice!


It just might end up like that. My wife does the interior decorating (the bead board is her thing) and she is in a red and black mode right now. Whatever the color, the cushions will just be standard sizes like patio cushions or something like that velcroed down with maybe a wedge shaped bolster in the back. Not planning any seat backs.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (11-13-16) update 3 items

Postby les45 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:11 pm

This is a lengthy update so please bear with me. I've completed three more items on my critical path toward building the portable walls. Discussions and pics follow:

First, I installed a 1X6 trim board over the existing wood in the short roof walls all around. This board does two things. It covers the existing wood in those wall sections which had some scattered water damage, especially on the front wall. More importantly, the trim board will support the portable walls when they are in place and provide good wood for my yet-to-be-designed top fasteners for the portable walls. I used primed finger joint boards since they were the cheapest option and they really do not take any bending load. The main problem was the fact that the rear wall had bowed out over the years about one inch for some inexplicable reason. I had pulled it in with straps and left them on for two months while spraying the wood with hot water but they sprung back out as soon as I removed the straps. I decided to reinforce the 1X6 on that wall with metal angle. I initially bought some 3/4" aluminum angle hoping it would help and also keep the weight down. When that didn't work, I ended up buying a piece of 3/4" steel angle which took most of the bow out. As you can see in the pics, I installed both angles on the 1X6. It still bows out about 1/4" now but I can live with that.

Before - rear wall bowed out about 1" in the middle.
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I installed 3/4" aluminum angle on top and 3/4" steel angle on the bottom of the new 1X6 trim board.
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After - when installed, the board with the metal angles pulled the wall in about 3/4" leaving only about a 1/4" bow.
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General view of new trim boards looking toward the front.
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General view of the new trim boards looking toward the rear.
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Another innovative thing I accomplished was the construction of a hinged mast to carry the DC wiring up to the roof for the overhead lights and Fantastic Fan. The original pop-up simply had the wires dangling and they stretched out as the roof was raised. I didn't want a messy wiring bundle visible so I decided to construct a mast that will store along the wall when the roof is down and will pivot up 90 degrees and fasten to the roof when the roof is raised. The DC wiring comes up from my load center under the dinette seat, through the wall and into the bottom of the mast. I used a terminal block to tidy up the connections. The wires will connect at the top using a two prong connector similar to the connectors for trailer lights (see pics). I can't show the mast in its fully raised position right now since the roof cannot be raised fully inside the garage.

Wires run from the load center under the dinette seat through the wall to a terminal block and then up through the mast which is simply a piece of 3/4" plastic conduit.
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The mast pivots on a simple hinge made from scrap parts in my junk drawer.
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Mast stores when down along the top of the wall and secures in a broom handle clip. A similar clip will secure it to the roof in the raised position.
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Wires will connect at the top using a simple two prong connector similar to those on trailer wiring.
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My last item is the cabinet that will serve as the galley with storage for cooking utensils. I decided to use an old shelf that I had built years ago for another project that I no longer needed. It already had two drawers and two shelves so I built a couple of trays to fit in the shelves for items that may be removed when cooking outdoors. We usually do most of our cooking outdoors and this cabinet will only be used on rainy days or for the early morning coffee pot. I used a piece of 3/4" plastic conduit and a couple of conduit straps with a spring latch to secure the drawers and trays while traveling. Everything you see here was made from leftover materials and stuff from my junk drawer and literally cost me nothing.

This is the cabinet before modifications.
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This is the cabinet after installing the trays and the travel locking rod.
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Cabinet with locking rod removed for access to trays and drawers.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (11-13-16) update 3 items

Postby KCStudly » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:38 pm

Those are some nice touches you are adding. :thumbsup:
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (12-7-16) DC to roof

Postby les45 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:37 pm

Things have been a little slow with holidays and other distractions. Finally got around to tidying up the DC wiring to the roof. This will power two existing ceiling lights plus a new Fantastic Fan that is yet to be installed. As reported previously, I am using a pivoting mast that will swing up when the roof is raised and clip into a broom holder at the top. The DC power coming from the computer power supply under the dinette seat will be connected with a two prong trailer type connector at the top of the mast. I have reported on the mast construction in my last update. Today, I completed the top end of this connection and tidied up the wiring by running everything through a terminal block inside a small plastic housing.

The two pairs of wires coming in on the top left go to existing ceiling lights. The pair coming in on the top right is a new wire that will go to the Fantastic Fan through a Wiremold conduit that will be installed with the fan later. The pair coming in on the right side provides the main power and connects to the top of the mast.
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The power supply pigtail will store in two cup hooks when not in use. Note that the gray conduit in the broom holder is just a dummy piece since I can't raise the actual mast to its full height inside the garage. I did find that I'll have to raise the broom holder about 2" to avoid a conflict with the mast hinge at the bottom when the roof is down.
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The box will get a permanent cover after all the wiring is complete.
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This is the two prong connector at the end of the mast that will connect with the pigtail at the top when the mast is raised. You can see the rest of the mast in my previous status report.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (12-13-16) oops!

Postby les45 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:14 pm

I thought I was all ready to drop the top and start installing the Fantastic Fan today. Wrong! When I started cranking down the top, it got within about 4" of closing and it stopped. When I checked it out, I saw that the new trim boards I had installed along the inside walls of the roof were catching on the top of the bottom section of the telescoping legs. The telescoping legs are in three pieces and naturally each piece is slightly smaller than the next so they can nest when lowered. I had installed my wood trim too close to the top leg section which was only 3/4" square so the wood was hitting the top of the bottom leg section which was 1.5" square. So I spent the day removing all the trim on both sides and cutting it down to eliminate this interference. This also involved removing the DC electrical box that I had just installed in the roof. That lack of foresight was bad enough, but I learned another valuable lesson. Don't caulk your inside trim until everything else is done. Cutting through the caulk was the hardest part of the whole job.

The 1X6 on the left runs the length of the roof wall between the legs while the smaller 3/8" piece behind the leg acts as a shim for bolting the leg to the roof. Both pieces were catching on the bottom leg section. These had to be removed on all four corners and about 3/4" cut off to make sure I had plenty of clearance.
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The shoulder on the larger telescoping section at the bottom is where the wood trim got hung up.
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I cut a little more than was necessary (3/4" on each side) just to make sure there was plenty of room.
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By the end of the day, the roof lowered all the way. Tomorrow I'll fill that hole with my Fantastic Fan.
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Re: A different kind of pop-up (12-13-16) oops!

Postby rustytoolss » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:57 pm

My roof's got a hole in it...and I might drown :NC
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