Penny's Place

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Penny's Place

Postby tvag06 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:44 pm

Ok, So I've got a bitch of a sister who hates dogs and a summer cottage that our families share. SO... I've got 3 options:
1. Shoot my sister. :twisted:
2. Leave my new little buddy, Penny, home for the summer. :cry:
3. Build Penny and myself a teardrop and camp in the rear of the property. :beer:

I've decided to work on option #3 (but #1 is my fallback).
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This will be a basic (no frills) foamy for a couple reasons:
1. This is a budget build (Wees Poorh)
2. Light = less gas
3. I'm a maverick and am always doing things... different.

So some details to start:
My initial thought is to go with a Benroy design. I'm a scavenger by nature and am on the lookout for older windows, vents and doors to recycle. In that vein, I've got an older boat trailer I pulled out of my buddies back yard with salvageable tires and frame in good shape. The size is odd tho. 3 1/2' x 14' (frame is 7', tongue extends another 7'). I'm at a loss on what to do about the vast length of the tongue but I figure if place an 4'x8' wooden frame on top and make another platform for a storage box I can use 3' or 4' of those feet. It'll be long and a little awkward but that's what I'm thinking right now. I could cut it and weld it shorter but, I can do that later. Time is more of the essence but your suggestions are all welcome at any time folks.
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I plan on building an 4x8 wooden platform using 2x2's upon 5/8 treated ply filling the gaps with insulation. I have not predetermined what to top it with at this time. I might go 3/4 on the lower ply but I like to push limits and I'm leaning toward the 5/8ths. Again your thoughts welcome. My intention is to cut 2 4x8 2" thick insulation for the walls with a hot knife. I've got 2x4's I pulled out of a haphazard basement finishing project by my home's P.O. (he was bad). I plan on ripping those in two and using them as 2x2 stringers. I've got three 1/4 (1/8?) 3x8 plywood scavenged from Costco I wanted to use for the ceiling but I wish I had one more. Again these are 3'x8' pieces so for my 4'x8' floor plan I'm going to have to be a little creative. No definitive plan yet but I like a challenge so I want to work with them. To finish it off will purchase 2 9x12 #8 canvas, Titebond 2 and have plenty of paint to spare.

Suggestions welcome folks! First step is to clean up the trailer, fix the lights and rethink the wheel wells. Pics to come.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." - - Winston Churchill - -

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Re: Penny's Place

Postby kinto » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:27 pm

tvag06 wrote:Ok, So I've got a bitch of a sister who hates dogs and a summer cottage that our families share. SO... I've got 3 options:
1. Shoot my sister. :twisted:
2. Leave my new little buddy, Penny, home for the summer. :cry:
3. Build Penny and myself a teardrop and camp in the rear of the property. :beer:

I've decided to work on option #3 (but #1 is my fallback).



HAHAHAHAHA! :lol: :lol: :lol:


There are a lot of helpful people here so hopefully you can avoid jail time..

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Re: Penny's Place

Postby tvag06 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:58 am

<Trailer tune up>
UPDATE: Trailer Wheels, Tires and fenders

After a day or two of clearing enough space in "the project center" (my garage), I was able to wheel this rangey 14' trailer into place. After WD40, heat and hammer blow treatment I was able to loosen the lugs and removing the wheels. Bearings on one side were moving more freely than the other so I'll repack them in time.
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I got it up on jacks to remove the fenders. They are held in place by 2 bolts. I snapped one bolt on each, this hardware was wasted. I like how the fenders have lichen actually growing on them!! I may clean them up and reinstall. I'm still undecided about the width of the trailer yet so, these may be scrap.
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With much brute strength and a little dish soap I was able to get the tires off the wheels. The tires were dry rot with little or no tread left in areas. Wheels have a bit of rust, I've seen worse but not sure if I'll reuse these wheels on this application. I'd like larger wheels on this project and could use your input as to what might be a good size fit for this trailer and where to purchase. This is a budget build tho so I may just clean these wheels up and go down to the tire shop for new tires and mounting.
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NEXT UP: remove wiring and lights, inspect the welds, wire wheel the frame.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." - - Winston Churchill - -

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Re: Penny's Place

Postby KennethW » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:33 am

Here is my thoughts on you build for the floor. Put down 2" a 4x8 sheet of EPS foam on the frame Extending 12" out the back and cut out for the wheels. Use 1- 2x4 upright and notched to be flush with the top of the foam in the front. Cut the foam to install upside down shelf brackets around the outside of the frame flush with the top of the foam. Then but 1/2 plywood on top mounted to the shelf brackets and front 2x4. In that way you clear the tires or have only a little inside wheel well and maybe be able to get a full-size mattress in(54"x74") For window look in the form for Wiley windows(can use a glass cutting board for the glass) Have you look at doing a foamy 1 1/2 eps foam for the walls with glue on hard points(1/4 plywood squares after canvas) and 1" ceiling that is curved for strength surface with surface wiring. I have not tried this but I was thinking a roll up galley hatch would be easy . Using a Used tonneaus pickup cover(velcro side strips).
Just my thought!!
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby tvag06 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:15 am

KennethW wrote:Here is my thoughts on you build for the floor. Put down 2" a 4x8 sheet of EPS foam on the frame Extending 12" out the back and cut out for the wheels. Use 1- 2x4 upright and notched to be flush with the top of the foam in the front. Cut the foam to install upside down shelf brackets around the outside of the frame flush with the top of the foam. Then but 1/2 plywood on top mounted to the shelf brackets and front 2x4. In that way you clear the tires or have only a little inside wheel well and maybe be able to get a full-size mattress in(54"x74") For window look in the form for Wiley windows(can use a glass cutting board for the glass) Have you look at doing a foamy 1 1/2 eps foam for the walls with glue on hard points(1/4 plywood squares after canvas) and 1" ceiling that is curved for strength surface with surface wiring. I have not tried this but I was thinking a roll up galley hatch would be easy . Using a Used tonneaus pickup cover(velcro side strips).
Just my thought!!


Thank you very much for your suggestions. I like them all. I wasn't quite sure what route to take with the platform. I feel like this solution might make it ok to forgo any treatment for under the camper and trailer carriage. I don't need to protect the insulation from the environment, right? :thinking:

Also, what's the purpose of the 2x4? Lower portion of a future 'T' brace for the walls??
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby KennethW » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:57 pm

The 2x4 is to bridge the tongue and support the front two corners. It also would act as a guard for the foam from road damage.
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby tvag06 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:44 pm

KennethW wrote:The 2x4 is to bridge the tongue and support the front two corners. It also would act as a guard for the foam from road damage.


Yes I see now. It would lay perpendicular to the tongue, supporting the leading corners of the walls. I'm with you. I imagined it standing straight up from the tongue (don't ask me why). :oops:

Cut the foam to install upside down shelf brackets around the outside of the frame flush with the top of the foam. Then but 1/2 plywood on top mounted to the shelf brackets and front 2x4.


I'm having a hard time picturing this mounting system with "shelving brackets". Does it look something like my mock up below? Senario A, B, and C are the ways I pictured how the bracket would be attached based on your description KennethW. :thinking:

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Re: Penny's Place

Postby KennethW » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:34 pm

I was thinking C as it would make your frame wider and support the plywood floor that can over hang the foam for a little wider cabin. Just thinking off the top of my head to maximize the trailer you have without spending a lot of money. The floor does not have to be super strong as you will not be walking on it. The walls will stiffen the floor up a lot. I am giving thoughts for a extreme budge build in that it is not built to last a long long time but to get you camping at a low price.
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby tvag06 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:11 am

UPDATE: Trailer Bearings, and axel

Got all the hardware off the axel last night and cleaned them all up. Used our favorite excellorant to degrease (safest? :thumbdown: ).
All the bearings are in good shape. I did not remove the rearmost bearings because they were pressed in there behind a seal and I didn't want to go to that length. But I degreased every part and inspected.
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Axel in good shape
Bearings in good shape
Rust on all exposed hardware: nuts, grease cap and a large washer (as to be expected). I'll hit them with the wire wheel.
Grease was original (some discoloration, little to no debris and some hardened chunks).
The housing is really rusty. I don't have a blast cabinet so I'll hit them will a wire wheel and call it a day.
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby KennethW » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:57 am

To pack the bearing you have to remove the inside bearing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMXLcbllwDM PS seals are cheap if you tear them up.
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby tvag06 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:50 am

KennethW wrote:To pack the bearing you have to remove the inside bearing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMXLcbllwDM PS seals are cheap if you tear them up.


Thanks Ken. I did end up removing the rear bearing and seal. Punched it through with a piece of PVC pipe and rubber mallet. Cleaned bearings with diesel, air and brake cleaner. After inspection there is little wear and I'll reuse them, seals too.
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby tvag06 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:07 pm

UPDATE: Windows

Put up an ad on CL for salvaged trailer/rv parts. Got a reply and picked up some windows. Dimensions are appox 24x15, 36x22, and 50x24. If I go with a one door camper I can see fitting all 3. Do I want to tho? That's a lot of light for somewhere I'll be only sleeping. Pro's Con's? I'm leaning toward using the 2 smaller windows on either side of the trailer.

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Last edited by tvag06 on Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby swoody126 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:01 am

GREAT QUEST!

when using components like you have it is a small investment to REPLACE all bearings races AND SEALS

the outsides of those little cast iron hubs will virtually always have some surface rust which doesn't affect their ability to do their job

if you have the time you can spray the outsides w/ Rustoleum after wire brushing butt in the overall scheme of things it aint no big deal except for cosmetic reasons

the under side of your platform deserves to be protected and leaving insulation un-covered brings to mind BUBBA towing his mowbeal home down the road w/ pink stuff flying out from underneath ;-O

wheels... clean the wheels w/ the wire buffer and paint them inside n out

tires... trailer tires(indicated w/ "ST" in their size stamping) have an expected life span of 5 years MAX since they have been being made in Kung Foo they rapidly succumb to OZONE degradation NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE TREAD MAY STILL LOOK

SO wait to buy new tires until you are ready to launch

8" wheels can utilize 2 different sizes 4.80x8 & 5.10x8

if replacing the wheel/tire combination is knot in your budget you might at least consider the 5.10x8 tires since they are slightly larger in diameter will roll easier and will slow the bearings down a bit(all points make for better performance)

while you are at this stage consider your trailer lighting system along with the wire routing B4 decking the frame permanently

also consider yout coach battery placement and if you plan to use the TV charging system to charge it while going down the road and run the wires for that B4 decking permanently

running wires while sitting on a rollabout stool beats doing it on your back working upside down

I LOVE WATCHING NEW BUILDS

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Re: Penny's Place

Postby tvag06 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:07 am

Thank you all for your input. It's great to read your thoughts so I can make more informed decisions.

UPDATE: Axle, Leaf springs and rust

So I pulled the axle last night and will wire brush the rust off the frame first then the axle components. They used red primer so without good lighting sometimes I strip more than I have too. :NC
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Also, I received my new wheels (including spare) and trailer jack in the mail yesterday. I'll clean up one of the wheels and put the spare on it, but bought all new wheels and tires for the road. :thumbsup:
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Finally, it turns out I have an embarrassment of riches. The friend who 'donated' this trailer has a father-in-law who wanted to get rid of a 4x8 utility trailer and gifted it to me as well. I'm not so far into this build I could turn my attention to that trailer, but in all honestly, I could really use that trailer for dump runs and runs to the lumber yard. I have no truck. Decisions, decisions. :thinking: Here's a terrible picture for you all. :FNP
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Re: Penny's Place

Postby KennethW » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:26 am

Decisions, The I think is a Harbor freight trailer is 4 foot wide. and a lot of people have used them and can look at the different mod's for them. Think about going 5" wide with shelf brackets. the extra room is great.
I used one and here is my mod's 1) I remove all but the main spring leaf for a smoother ride, but I built a very like foamie. 2) moved the axle over the spring to reduce height. But I have the super heave duty with a round axle. 3) bolt the last two cross beams under the main beams to lower the floor in the galley and make lots more room. If you face the C's at each other you can slid a piece of plywood in between them. 4) change the coupler to a center jack coupler as the tongue is to bendy for a side jack. 5) when mounting the jack I used 4"? long pipe under the bolts to move the jack up so that it does not drag. 6) extend the front over the front of the frame. to add 8". Click the pictures to enlarge.
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