Aluminum composite teardrop

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Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby bobwhite215 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:12 pm

Been reading everything I can find on teardrops the last few weeks, and am finally getting ready to start my build. Should be going to pick up my frame tomorrow.

Will be about a 5x9, with rear galley. Going to build a false floor to store our hammock stands.

Walls are going to be a 3 layer sandwich. 3/4" plywood skeleton, with foam insulation. Outer layer will be 3mm ACM, and inner skin will be tongue and groove pine paneling. The pine is 3/4" thick, but will probably plane it down to 1/2".

I've picked up lots of great ideas here, so thanks in advance to everybody whose ideas I am about to steal.

Wish me luck.


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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby bobwhite215 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:32 pm

Image

Here is profile that I found on line that we will be using as a starting point.

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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby Mr. Lahey » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:51 am

Nice sketch you have to get you started. Planning the build is way more than half the fun.

Hope you are able to find a trailer to build on. Get some sawdust flying soon!
Best of luck with the build
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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby KCStudly » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:15 am

Yes, nice sketch! Welcome to the forums and good luck. :thumbsup:
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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby clip » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:33 am

Ha, I started with the same sketch printed off a bunch of copies and flipped some so I could draw things on both sides, I left it at 10' but curled the backend in base is 9' over all length is 10'
Good luck, enjoy the journey
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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby bobwhite215 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:42 am

Image

Well, the first part has arrived. All we need to do now is build a camper around it.

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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby tony.latham » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:04 pm

Outer layer will be 3mm ACM


I googled it but didn't learn much.

What's it cost? What's the advantage? What's the core made out of?

Thanks, :thinking:

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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby MatthewWorks » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:46 pm

Hey Bobwhite215 -
I think I'm using the ACM as well, at least for the sides. Need to test how much it'll bend for the top yet...

I'm looking at the economy ACM from Harbor sales: https://www.harborsales.net/tabid/130/D ... conomy+ACM

What's it cost? What's the advantage? What's the core made out of?

Tony, for me I wanted aluminum, but don't like the idea of oilcanning, especially with my oversized build. The aluminum is already bonded to a plastic core, so it'll be my outerskin, no plywood. About the same price as aluminum, less work, already meant for exterior use.
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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby bobwhite215 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:50 pm

Aluminum Composite Material (ACM), is a material made of a plastic core, with finished aluminum faces bonded to both sides. It comes in various thicknesses, but I plan on using 3mm. It is sold under various brand names - dibond, maxmetal, and alupanel are a few.

The 3mm weighs about the same as 1/4" plywood. It is used primarily in the sign industry. I own a sign company, so it's easily available. I don't really know what it would retail for, but I get 4x8 sheets wholesale thru sign supply companies for about $35. It also comes in 4x10 and 5x10 sheets, which is what I will be using.

The big attraction for me, besides being something I'm used to, is that I get a clean, perfect finish in one step. I plan on vinyl wrapping the trailer. If I used traditional construction with wood exterior, I would still need to skin it in aluminum to get a good surface. With the ACM, its all done in one step. Should save time, money and weight.

Is it a perfect material for building a camper skin? Who knows, but I think it will work for me.

I should be picking up my frame next week, so the build will begin soon. I'll document it here along the way, so watch my progress here. I'll let you know how it works out.



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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby bobwhite215 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:58 pm

Matthew - FYI, I think that it should bend well enough to use for your top. I've been playing with some scrap pieces, and doesn't seem to be a problem. I don't know where you are located, but you might be able to get some small scrap pieces to play with from a local sign shop.

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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby MatthewWorks » Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:58 pm

Cool! That sounds exciting.

We have some pieces at home, my wife uses it for a drawing substrate in some of her artwork. Just put it together in my head a few days ago, but we've been on the road a week. Getting home in a few hours, going to experiment a bit.

Out of curiosity, are you planning on leaving it white? Out of stubbornness, I want the aluminum to show. Planning on doing some sanding/stripping tests this weejend.
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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby bobwhite215 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:31 pm

I think we are going to go with an old school Shasta camper look. Will do a turquoise color in the bottom (with vinyl), and leave the upper half white.

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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby bobwhite215 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:34 pm

Matthew - you can get material in other colors than white, but more expensive. Also not sure if it comes in the oversize sheets.

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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby dogscats » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:51 pm

How do you plan to seal the ends? So the sun dose not eat the plastic core. Thanks
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Re: Aluminum composite teardrop

Postby bobwhite215 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:03 pm

The ends will all be covered by aluminum trim molding. But even if they were not, I don't think it would be an issue. We use this material for signs. They sit outside for years and years with no protection. the core is an ldpe, which is not terribly uv resistant by itself, but we don't see issues in sign faces, so I'm assuming it is uv stabilized.

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