Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trailer

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Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trailer

Postby ssuuki19 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:07 pm

[Edit: forgot to declare its on a 4 1/2 by 9 chassis]
The original thread started http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=67014, but now its on to a build thread. This build is in pretty much going to be slow for the next 8 months, but after that it'll pick up. Until then, here are some pictures to close up the first post. Its been such a fun time building this, I just can't say it enough. Its barely work. :beer:

Edit: removed oversized photo with 962 views, added proper sized photo
tnttt_11.jpg
bottom of cabin - this 3/16" angle frame rail sort-of serves as a 'doubler' increasing strength/rigity of the cabin
tnttt_11.jpg (103.62 KiB) Viewed 2206 times
tnttt_12.jpg
this is the cargo door (i know, it doesn't look like a door think of it like a clamshell and you get the idea)
tnttt_12.jpg (79.63 KiB) Viewed 2206 times
tnttt_13.jpg
current state of affairs on the machine
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Last edited by ssuuki19 on Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:55 pm, edited 6 times in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Small Travel Trai

Postby dancam » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:42 pm

Nice rims! It looks good! Do you have another photo of the front of that trailer? I cant quite make sense of whats going on in the second photo. Too many reflections :)


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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trai

Postby ssuuki19 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:52 pm

Working on it.. have a pic I'm sure somewhere.. ya the rims are.. dadadahh aluminum of course. Had to use wheel spacer adapters to fit them. If you look close at the pics you see how the back wall of the trailer is off level. This is on purpose so that the cargo door can be left open in the rain and the water hopefully drips away.. we'll see if it actually works, but its in the design. The whole shell is being leak tested for sure, just given the weather it will have to endure over the winter just sitting there.. right now the trailer is full of water, doesn't seem to have any leaks.. I dropped a medium sized c-clamp from over-height like 7ft on the skin, and punctured it with a dent and a tiny hole, and afterwards I realized it wasn't a big deal I just drilled a hole where the puncture was and riveted it with a rivet dipped in acoustic sealant. Its boat tech, so seems pretty easy that it will work with a novice aluminum welder such as me.

Edit: removed oversized photo with 938 views, added proper sized photo
tnttt_15.jpg
tnttt_15.jpg (114.96 KiB) Viewed 2206 times
tnttt_16.jpg
tnttt_16.jpg (81.96 KiB) Viewed 2206 times
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trai

Postby ssuuki19 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:17 pm

Edit - removed oversized pics with 938 views, added proper sized pics
tnttt_17.jpg
only see the tires in the mirrors, 54" wide
tnttt_17.jpg (92.35 KiB) Viewed 2206 times

tnttt_18.jpg
successful practise run with the cabin on
tnttt_18.jpg (83.6 KiB) Viewed 2206 times
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trai

Postby ssuuki19 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:41 pm

For those interested in reducing overall drag ratios using many tiny vortices of air this is the idea about using airtabs: (you get the idea, one line on the tow vehicle, one line on the trailer)
Edit: removed oversized photo with 938 views, added proper sized photo
tnttt_19.jpg
tnttt_19.jpg (67.12 KiB) Viewed 2207 times
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Small Travel Trai

Postby Dan242 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:05 pm

ssuuki19 wrote:For those interested in reducing overall drag ratios using many tiny vortices of air this is the idea about using airtabs: (you get the idea, one line on the tow vehicle, one line on the trailer)
tnttt_19.jpg
I need to learn more about Vortices, My trailer has a square back end on it. Is their a thread on this?
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trai

Postby ssuuki19 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:20 pm

there might be a mention somewhere, its a small mod you can do and it does pay off, even for safety/handling. i've researched it lots, haven't used a setup yet.. so this is all talk for now. but build time will tell. i think you can just epoxy them on so if its not square it doesn't matter you just have to line them up so to speak for the effect to work best, and its a small effect, but noticeable by the reviews so i think this setup would be a good one to try them out. plainly put if they work properly they are supposed to pay themselves off in fuel savings... like i say i'm just researching them, but its seems pretty clear the install will be a significant upgrade to the tow vehicle / trailer combo. I can't wait to see what mileage it gets.. this is going to be very interesting indeed.
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trai

Postby ssuuki19 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:47 am

dancam wrote:Do you have another photo of the front of that trailer?

Ok so I attached some photos, I just realized you need to see the window for the effect... its a tinted moon-roof style window, I'm going to tint it even more to match all the windows.
Pretty soon, say as soon as the floor is installed, I will have to do the final weigh in, I guess I've been putting it off, I just wonder how heavy is it gonna get? Is this trailer actually going to do what it sought out to do, to run well behind a budget sub-compact?
Hey Dancam, you were asking about the tow vehicle - Heres a pic of the car suspension so to show one way it can be done that seems to work just fine. At 5 or less psi the rear suspension just works with the munroe shocks and h&r lowering springs, at 15psi the airbags raise the suspension back to, (~1.25"), and over stock height, at 30psi its like there is no suspension, the munroe shocks are way beefier than the oems too:

Edit: removed oversized photo with 888 views, added proper sized photo
tnttt_20.jpg
tnttt_20.jpg (85.69 KiB) Viewed 2207 times
tnttt_21.jpg
tnttt_21.jpg (101.99 KiB) Viewed 2207 times
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trai

Postby ssuuki19 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:35 am

Just wanted to send a hibernation postcard to the project. Researching stuff, committing to ordering stuff, saving to buy stuff, etc.

Its the cargo door thats the problem. You see I can't progress until I am confident that the cargo door is mounted and waterproof.
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trai

Postby ssuuki19 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:03 am

The 2" layer of closed cell spray foam insulation is the interior of the trailer.. mockup pics to follow soon..

Edit: no mockup pics followed, but currently the plan is 1" xps in the frame, followed by 1" eps, alumized film, 1/2# mass loaded vinyl, 1/2" eps, for a total of just over 2 1/2" of insulation
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trai

Postby ssuuki19 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:22 pm

Just finished a meeting with a fellow building a pop-top style aluminum camper for his pickup. Hes going to go with the VHB tape for all his panel fastenings, with some rivets at the corners.. fascinating concept. The use of L-track was discussed as its sized the same as 1" square tube aluminum frame. I suggested he go thicker with his panels all the way to 16 guage (.051), as he won't regret it for the added strengths and easier to cut. He suggested a sealing frame idea using angle aluminum for my cargo door. I now have confidence in sealing the cargo door properly. This is just documenting whats coming up on the build starting June 1st when the machine gets back up and running.
Roly and Fred and Dancam and Don were all very helpful to chime in on this build, I hope they will be around for critique later on this season. Specifically related to framing and sealing the cargo door, and finishing the interior in wood. Its nice to see the pictures have been getting some views so ppl are following the thread, not really many chiming in, hey don't be afraid to leave a comment. I am the guinea pig who is willing to try this TV/TTT concept. :?
Its already been worth it get to a build journal.. heck theres always mistakes and ways to overcome them thats the part of the build that teaches me well. I love the process. Slow pace, steadfast determined rules on tolerances and overall structural integrity. I'm really happy with the build quality so far as my tiny travel trailer has been 'leaking testing' all winter. Just checked it out the sikkaseal has been soaked for months in some spots - no problems whatsoever, and the whole enveloped is double sealed extremely well. Now... I've never watched an aluminum weld fail.. well I guess that's gonna happen this summer hehe.. Still overall goal to have the bare bones shell with electrical and propane heating completed this upcoming spring/summer. And still shooting for this barebones heated insulated trailer at around 600lbs, but of course we all know talk is just that. Talk. The scale will tell the truth, next time I take it for a spin I'll scale it out at the local shop.
I know the synopsis for the build journals is you document what you do, but do the research and questions off on the appropriate forum.
So I'm off to learn more about Yellowtop Optima batteries, inverters, 12V/120V RV panels, Atwood Furnaces and Propane delivery, Door Weatherstripping.. I really hope there some good info on wiring/tubing up an Atwood Furnace Heater, one of those small ones I'm hoping to find at an RV surplus. Oh yea and the use of LineX/Rhinoliner type spray for the whole interior... and yes folks it sticks to spray on closed cell XPS foam, all 2 inches of it.
This is still the best picture to represent the project:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=67014&start=15#p1184087
Last edited by ssuuki19 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Small Travel Trai

Postby dancam » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:41 pm

ssuuki19 wrote:Just finished a meeting with a fellow building a pop-top style aluminum camper for his pickup. Hes going to go with the VHB tape for all his panel fastenings, with some rivets at the corners.. fascinating concept. The use of L-track was discussed as its sized the same as 1" square tube aluminum frame. I suggested he go thicker with his panels all the way to 16 guage (.051), as he won't regret it for the added strengths and easier to cut. He suggested a sealing frame idea using angle aluminum for my cargo door. I now have confidence in sealing the cargo door properly. This is just documenting whats coming up on the build starting June 1st when the machine gets back up and running.
Roly and Fred and Dancam and Don were all very helpful to chime in on this build, I hope they will be around for critique later on this season. Specifically related to framing and sealing the cargo door, and finishing the interior in wood. Its nice to see the pictures have been getting some views so ppl are following the thread, not really many chiming in, hey don't be afraid to leave a comment. I am the guinea pig who is willing to try this TV/TTT concept. :?
Its already been worth it get to a build journal.. heck theres always mistakes and ways to overcome them thats the part of the build that teaches me well. I love the process. Slow pace, steadfast determined rules on tolerances and overall structural integrity. I'm really happy with the build quality so far as my tiny travel trailer has been 'leaking testing' all winter. Just checked it out the sikkaseal has been soaked for months in some spots - no problems whatsoever, and the whole enveloped is double sealed extremely well. Now... I've never watched an aluminum weld fail.. well I guess that's gonna happen this summer hehe.. Still overall goal to have the bare bones shell with electrical and propane heating completed this upcoming spring/summer. And still shooting for this barebones heated insulated trailer at around 600lbs, but of course we all know talk is just that. Talk. The scale will tell the truth, next time I take it for a spin I'll scale it out at the local shop.
I know the synopsis for the build journals is you document what you do, but do the research and questions off on the appropriate forum.
So I'm off to learn more about Yellowtop Optima batteries, inverters, 12V/120V RV panels, Atwood Furnaces and Propane delivery, Door Weatherstripping.. I really hope there some good info on wiring/tubing up an Atwood Furnace Heater, one of those small ones I'm hoping to find at an RV surplus. Oh yea and the use of LineX/Rhinoliner type spray for the whole interior... and yes folks it sticks to spray on closed cell XPS foam, all 2 inches of it.
This is still the best picture to represent the project:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=67014&start=15#p1184087


Nice to see an update!
I did a fair bit of research a couple months ago into batteries and would avoid optimas. Look into Odyssey extreme series or Trojan batteries.
Whatever bedliner product you choose to use make sure the smell eventually goes away. Some stink when hot for quite a while.
Its more money but buy an inverter locally from a place you know can/will service it if need be. I bought one online and its a pain to try and fix the issues it has. Not really worth the savings.
Im still excited to see this happen :)

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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Small Travel Trai

Postby Vedette » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:00 pm

Just found this thread I missed in September, as we were away for a month on the Fall Crawl.
Don't waste your money on an Opitma Battery (they are junk!) and look into a good converter, rather than an inverter......you will be a lot happier!
Good Roads
Brian & Sandi

Hi Roly I completely missed this build. :oops:
I need your new phone #
Please PM me.
Good Roads
Brian & Sandi
Here is a link to my Build Journal
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50912
Image109106109111109110138766
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Postby ssuuki19 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:34 pm

So the 2017 season begins! Pulling the trailer out from its winter hideaway, it held some water, some filth, some dirt on the sides but all looks swell! Today proper 3/8" U-bolts were installed. They seem super beefy, I had to drill out the holes from 5/16th to accommodate them. I ordered these based on the 5/16" ones I fabbed up end of last year to test haul the trailer. They held up well enough for the testing, and were cut off with a grinder today. So next up is lighting and wiring so I can start using the flat deck part of the trailer. I'm really insisting to run all the wiring inside the frame so thats going to add some time, grommets and a lot of drilling/threading.
Also, the insulation foam was purchased today and will ship in in a couple weeks. Its acoustical foam insulation with 1/2 lb mass loaded vinyl and an alumized film layer, open cell foam which will be backed by a layer of sprayed on closed cell foam. Will have some pics of the trailer next to show the u-bolt layout.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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Re: Build Journal: All Aluminum Bare Bones Tiny Travel Trail

Postby ssuuki19 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:29 pm

Washed up the shell, except for the the underside of the flooring. Very impressed with how well it wintered. At worst there was some leafy crud that composted/slimed up a bit on the inside, after all it was sitting pooled with water, uprotected all winter. I noticed on the roof some stance of the faintest beginnings of moss, but very insubstantial, it came off with a rag and water. The moss like greeny looking mold that got into the wettest areas of the nooks and crannies around the sealant came out really clean with just a scrub brush and water. The only tools I used was a scrub brush, a cut up t-shirt, a plastic scrubber sponge, and a wetvac. I thought there would be some uv damage to the exposed sealant but after cleaning it up at worst all I see are some 'expansion bubbles' where my novice bead runner abilities obviously did something wrong. Theres only about 8 of them though and they are all on the inside, so really those seals are redundant anyways. Still, I should learn how to fix them I guess. Ok so thats it for today, I'm going to go out and take some pics now that its golden hour. Don't tell me pppl only want to see the pics now. Geez, what the heck have I got myself in to .. more than I expected, thats for sure. But here's the deal folks - I want to start camping in this!! So lets just say I'm a little more motivated this year.

How does sealant get on my triceps and then my car seat?? more than once??
Aluminum is almost as fascinating as wood.
Link to my build thread: 4 1/2 x 9
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