another first time teardrop builder (update 4/10/18)

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

Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/14/17)

Postby swoody126 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:55 pm

razorback wrote:Looks like your having a great time... In my humble opinion, I think you will later regret not having two doors. Just food for thought.
keep the pics coming.


'taint too late yet...

sw
"we are the people our parents warned us about" jb
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/14/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:03 pm

I started installing the spars.
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Im new to carpentry but I discovered I love counter sinking screws into wood.
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I hooked the trailer up to the jeep and I can finally picture this thing roll down the road. the excitement is real!
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/14/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:15 pm

razorback wrote:Looks like your having a great time... In my humble opinion, I think you will later regret not having two doors. Just food for thought.
keep the pics coming.


I agree. so the quick explanation for I went with one door is I'm cheap.

the long reason is I'm taking the teardrop camping out on a dried lake bed (playa) in Nevada. the playa has very fine dust that covers everything and gets into everything. I wanted to buy a door with the best seal possible to keep the dust out. I was worried if I made the doors myself I wouldn't be able to seal them that well and my sleeping space would covered in playa dust. the door cost $350 and I can't afford 2. I am going to put a window in on the opposite side of the door.
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/17/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:50 pm

so I plan to cover the camper in aluminum. my question is, do I have to coat the walls (exterior) with any kind of sealer, epoxy, or some kind of coating? the walls are made of 3/4" birch.
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/17/17)

Postby tony.latham » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:42 am

Jeremy757 wrote:so I plan to cover the camper in aluminum. my question is, do I have to coat the walls (exterior) with any kind of sealer, epoxy, or some kind of coating? the walls are made of 3/4" birch.


You absolutely should. At the very least, slop on The Mix which is 50/50 polyurethane finish and mineral spirits. (I use a thin epoxy but I would have confidence in The Mix too.)

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:thumbdown: That little 4x8' was easy to move around!

Tony
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/17/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:50 pm

tony.latham wrote:
Jeremy757 wrote:so I plan to cover the camper in aluminum. my question is, do I have to coat the walls (exterior) with any kind of sealer, epoxy, or some kind of coating? the walls are made of 3/4" birch.


You absolutely should. At the very least, slop on The Mix which is 50/50 polyurethane finish and mineral spirits. (I use a thin epoxy but I would have confidence in The Mix too.)

Image

:thumbdown: That little 4x8' was easy to move around!

Tony



Thanks man that’s what I needed to know.
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/14/17)

Postby bobcat1 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:01 pm

Jeremy757 wrote:I got the template drawn up last night
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cut out the template this evening
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cut out the walls
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I clamped both walls together then sanded them down with a grinder and flapper disk.
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I stood up the walls temporarily to get a visual.
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its coming together


WHAT STATE ARE YOU LOCATED IN? what did you use for your template, a plan or free hand. i like the shape you ended up with :D :D
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/17/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:40 pm

I’m located in Virginia. I used the generic benroy plans to draw the shape on a piece of luan.
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/17/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:49 pm

I started working on the cabinets today. I didn't get a lot up but I got it laid out.
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I also framed in my a/c unit
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I plan on enclosing the outside of the A/C in a tongue box.
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/18/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:13 pm

I new to converters. will this thing work? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LF4RAE/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A33FSTHZ6STYHL&psc=1 what kind of convertors you guys running?
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/18/17)

Postby daveesl77 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:42 am

REALLY NICE JOB! That will be a great looking camper!
Something to really consider is how warm the inside of a small, enclosed camper can get. With ours, while camping last month in WV, nighttime temps got down into the upper 30s/lower 40s. No heat on, but we would need to have one or more of the wiley windows opened and the computer fans on, just so it would get not too hot inside. Granted, by morning we'd need to turn on the Little buddy heater for about 10 minutes to knock the chill out.

Wiley Windows are probably the best, most simplistic to operate, very easy to build and absolutely least expensive you can have. You can make then from scrap wood and a small sheet of acrylic. We kept two of ours open during Hurrican Irma, which tracked just west of our town, and not a drop of water got into the camper. Even traveling we leave anywhere from one to all four open during the trip. Never any water inside. That simply cannot be done with any jalousie or slide window. Plus, you can make the outside shape anything you want. The wiley design allows you to go full closed to partly open to full open.

Having two doors is a convenience, but also a ventilation and safety issue. Purchasing a door can be really expensive (as you have found out), but it is actually not that difficult to build a door. You talked about camping in Nevada and the dust. Nothing will get away from that problem. Window open = dust. Open a door = dust. It just happens. I bet you'll use the camper a lot more around where you live in VA than in Nevada. To build a door, when you cut out the opening do it in a manner that is very carefully done, with both sides of the cut being equal. In other words, don't use a drilled starter hole, unless you do it at the top, for the jigsaw blade. Instead, use a multitool blade or dremel cut to make the initial cut. The thicker the material used around and in the frame and door, the more dimensionally stable the door will be. So, if you use 3/4" for the walls and no insulation, then double up the area around the door cut-out (say something like 3-4" around the opening) and the same for the actual door, making it double thick. This helps keep it from warping or twisting.

Make an inside lip that follows the identical shape of the door cut out, but extends about 1/2" into the opening. I made my lips from poplar, it is inexpensive, hard and dimensionally stable. For the outside, make a trim piece that permanently mounts to the door, but covers the door opening and up to say at least 1/4" of the wall on the outside frame. I had a bunch of aluminum panels from a shelf that I cut mine out of, but wood can work too. This trim-door-lip design gives you a "z" type seal. You can then add in a piece of rubber window seal (i use the brown 1/4" self stick from Lowes or Walmart) and mount it to either the outside face of the lip or the inside face of the trim. The lip works best, as it is thicker.

You guys will have a great time with your camper! It looks fantastic!

dave
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/18/17)

Postby daveesl77 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:15 am

As to converters, our set up is a bit different, but works very well.

We have 120v shore power and 12v. We can charge the battery from either 150 watts of solar, the van or from a great little Schumacher automatic, digital 8amp battery charger that we got on sale for like $40. We use nothing but 12v LED lights for lighting. We have a 120v Haier dorm fridge that runs from shore power when available or from a 1,200 watt inverter from the battery when off-grid. We just added a HF Predator 2,000 watt inverter gennie to take with us and on our last trip it was great. Very, very quiet, plenty of power and sips gas.

I got an old 4045 from an RV junk yard for $10. While the battery charging side still worked, I just wanted the fuses/circuit breaker portion, as the charger is really heavy. So I cut out the charger side to reduce the size and weight. I initially used one of my old battery chargers (built in to the panel I made), but it was really noisy and hot. Ended up buying the Schumacher and it fits all the needs. It is light weight, fully automatic, as in when you plug it in, it senses the input power and if you don't turn it on by hand, it turns itself on after 10 minutes. It charges at up to 8 amp until the battery gets to the proper level, then shifts into a maintenance mode. If it senses an overcharge or has been on for more than about 24 straight hours, it turns itself off.

For solar, we have a 100w and a 50w panel setup. Both are Renogy panels from amazon, don't get the HF as they are over priced and under powered. Originally we had a cheap PWM controller (like $10), but on this last trip I realized I was losing a lot of the potential of the panels with that controller. Have since bought an MPPT controller and it is night and day better than the PWM.

For ventilation, we primarily use 140mm computer fans. I already had a bunch of them. These are almost silent and each uses about 0.2amp at 12v. We have a twin ducted air system in the front of the camper, that accesses outside air from underneath the camper. One chamber is supply, one is exhaust. We have one fan on the supply side cooling the dorm fridge and two fans on supply for the cabin at the top of the duct. On the exhaust side we have two fans that exhaust from the cabin and one that exhausts the the electrical panel area. The four main supply/exhaust fans are controlled by one switch, while the fridge/panel fans from another. If we have all 6 on, we are using less than 1.5 amp and moving a bunch of air, silently. I have two O2 12v 10" fans over the wiley windows by the bed, which allow us to individually control air coming in or out with large fans. These use about .75 amp each at 12v. However, in many cases we have found that by just activating the duct fans, they move enough air inside to make it comfy.

dave
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/18/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:53 am

This great stuff thank you Dave!
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/18/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:33 am

I bought a new Honda inverter generator back in July. I used it while camping in Nevada. It is covered in playa dust but it worked wonderfully while I camped in the desert for a week. I will be using it for my teardrop.
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Playa dust is nightmare I’m still cleaning out of my jeep 4 months later.
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Re: another first time teardrop builder (updated 11/18/17)

Postby Jeremy757 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:20 pm

Will this be good for coating the exterior walls of my teardrop? Image
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