The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

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The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Wed May 09, 2018 11:50 am

So.. in September 2016, for $250 I bought a frame of an old tent/popup trailer from a farmer.. it was sitting in the back of his field.. he'd torn it down with the intent to make it into a utility trailer, but never got around to it. It was rusty, it was home to who - knows what.. but.. the price was right.

tr2xlarge.jpg
Rust Bucket!
tr2xlarge.jpg (304.77 KiB) Viewed 1118 times


There was lots of work to be done. I stripped the wheels, repacked the bearings, replacing one which was pitted, removed the entire surge brake system which was completely seized and useless. I replaced one tire, and bought a spare since the other was (is) questionable, I ground and sanded the entire frame and then laced it with rust converter, primed and painted it.

It was stored at my parent's house, 2 hours north of Toronto.. but they retired.. and I had to move it to their new place, 5 hours north of Toronto, So I bought some 3/4" plywood and decked it and installed a basic trailer light kit and mounted the license. The trailer registration was unknown, the plate was completely unreadable.. so I had to register it as 'home built' and got a brand new one.

This trailer has been sitting in the barn at my parent's place, while I slowly acquire parts - and this summer, come hell, or high water, or nuclear fire - it will be built to such a stage to at least allow it to be slept within.

The end goal is to have a rolling space that I can sleep in, do some work, and maybe even have a place I can pull out a small stove on rainy days.

I also, don't really know what i'm doing. but hey, that's where the fun is right?
"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Thu May 10, 2018 6:55 am

So, I'm no carpenter. By day I'm a systems analyst, and by any other time a photographer. I do have a keen insight into systems, and making things jive.. but I figgured for my first build I'd go by the good o'l addage of 'keep it simple, stupid'.

The trailer I have is.. well, oddly dimentioned.. it is 7.7 X 6.5. When I decked it, I extended the 7 all the way to 8 Ft. It overhangs the back of the rear rail a bit, but that really shouldn't be a problem with the 3/4" ply supporting what will essentially just be a wall. if it becomes a problem, it is easy enough to reinforce it.

Another little caveat is the fact the wheels are inside the frame, making humps inside the floor.. which is just a tad annoying, but I've built nice rectangular wells which I bolted steel Princess Auto fenders under to keep the spray where it belongs, on the ground. I also coated the underside of the wood with tar based undercoat, so there shouldn't be any issues.

For the roof, there's going to be a vent - I got a cheap one with no fan, so i'll be installing a 120mm computer fan (if it fits.) and wiring in a rheostat to handle fan speed on my 12V. I also have a set of 6 flush mount dc LED lights that will be doing internal lighting, and I'll be building my own 'stargazer' out of a 2X1' piece of lexan which I'll be doing my very best to mount at a very slight angle to the top of the roof to avoid any strange water pooling.

The side window is simply a cabin window I picked up on sale, I kind of want another window on the passenger side, but that isn't in the budget right now.. so I'll most likely be building supports for it with plans for future installation. The roof, front and rear walls will be around 2" in thickness to allow for wiring to pass through easily without compromising strength, and the side walls will be 1". I do intend to run the trailer lighting through the frame, so the side marker lights will probably change as I want to avoid having as much wiring available to the elements as possible.

I will be installing a flush mount female plug on the front of the frame, with a watertight plug for the connector, and similarly on my tow vehicle. I'll keep a length of cable hidden in the trailer that can be plugged between the tow vehicle and the trailer when needed. I don't intend to tow anything else, but if I do i'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I'm keeping all my hookups on the driver's side. I understand most places will have hookups on the passenger side, but for the most part I intend to be going Dry, using my generator, or the solar panels I've got stowed. if I do use shore power at some point, I'll use an extension cord. For stored power, I'll just be using a regular old car battery, and this will be safely housed inside the trailer, with aims to replace it with a proper battery probably next year. Something sealed and AGM most like. I've got a design to deal with any charging vapors in my head just need to stick it on 'paper'. Essentially, a box with a tube at the top that will vent outside, most likely I'll be doing a heat exchanger - or trying my best to anyhow. Warm air full of hydrogen rises to the top, which will go out the tube, while a secondary, longer, internal tube will go to the bottom of the box, and through convection should suck in cool clean air from outside. Hard to describe, i'll just have to draw it next time.

Anyhow.. musing mostly, but my materials list is pretty much complete. There will be other things listed, hinges and such.. but for the initial buildout they won't be needed immediately. And I have things like the marker lights, and door hardware piled in the back room waiting the frame to be built.
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Trailer.png
Simple is best
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"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Fri May 11, 2018 6:43 am

Batterybox.png
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The idea behind my battery box. Essentially, the idea is that I'll be using two lengths of tube, thin walled preferably metal that has good thermal conductive properties. The inner tube goes to the bottom of the box, and the outer tube ends at the top.

When the battery is charging, or discharging any heat will force the air out the shorter top tube, while also running along the outside of the longer inner tube, and hopefully dropping off some of it's heat in the process. In turn, because a vacuum has been created now, the inner tube will draw in cool outside air.

I need to find some sort of grill or cap for the outside vent though, that won't allow too much water to get in.. Soffit vents seem to be a good idea, if I can find one the right size.
"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Fri May 11, 2018 10:44 am

Just for additional understanding, I dug up this image of what I was working with on the suspension / wheel side. I pulled those brakes, as noted in an earlier post and repacked everything.
trxlarges.jpg
Broken
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"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Mon May 14, 2018 7:52 am

Just laid down $700 for lumber, going to pick it up on Friday. Victoria day long weekend is a perfect time for people to open up their cottages and do projects so best to get in now before the lumber store runs out of the materials I need.

This won't include some of the parts, but they are small enough I can pick them up. I'm targeting the first week of June to get the build underway. I have pretty limited internet up at the build site, so any updates will probably be text only. Might shoot a video and upload it once I return to the big smoke though!
"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Tue May 15, 2018 6:01 am

In an effort to keep things interesting, here's some more history. After I spent a couple weekends treating it, this is the result - note, there is no paint on this thing, it is black like that because the rust converter has been doing it's work. This is the result after I burned up 4 grinding wheels and 2 brushes on it. Thankfully I didn't discover any gaping holes or problems where i'd need to bust out the welder. the frame was sound, and other than a few holes that had been in it for lights and running brake lines it was fully intact.
converted2.jpg
Rust Converter
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"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby Zomby Woof » Tue May 15, 2018 6:42 am

I've had good luck just putting a thick coat of Tremclad on rusty stuff like that.

Looking forward to seeing the build take shape
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Wed May 16, 2018 6:15 am

After washing the frame off, I let it dry, did primer and then krylon black all over it.. took me around 10 cans to get it mostly done, leaving just the suspension and axle with primer. Later on, I'd be coating that stuff in undercoating. I attached a wooden frame made with 2"X2"X8" pressure treated, and bolted it to the metal with 14MM zinc coated carriage bolts. I had some issues getting the wrench under the frame, so I ended up making 'washers' out of aluminum tubing which I sandwiched between a couple lock washers allowing it to compress as I tightened the bolts. Without that, any other attempts to tighten them ended with me snapping them off. The heads of the bolts were pounded into the wood flush, and then coated with paintable GE silicone. I also sealed up any cuts with underground end coating (that copper stuff) and made sure to glue them firm with wood glue. Since these aren't really structural, the only force I'm concerned about is vertical. I also had a slight amount of trouble getting them square, since finding 2x2s that weren't all squirly was difficult, and I had to work with what I could get. This led to many frustrating clampings and weightings until I could get the bolts in.

This is now a stable surface which I would use later to screw the 3/4" pressure treated plywood deck on. I was going to insulate the floor on the bottom, but later decided against that. The reason for the pressure treated, is this trailer will need to live outside with just the deck for a while before I can build it up in earnest.
underframesm.jpg
Underframe
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"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Thu May 17, 2018 6:06 am

Here's the trailer in its current state at its current location about an hour south east from algonquin. I may be removing those wheel wells as I'm not sure there's enough clearance, but i'll judge that after piling all the building materials on it and giving it a good jumping on later this week. I basically built them out of scrap from building the deck and some shelf angles, bolting steel fenders underneath.

Current.jpg
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"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Thu May 17, 2018 7:06 am

And a second post for today since I probably won't be posting much of anything until mid next week. Testing one of the solar panels I got for my build, I have two.. which I have framed with PVC and set up a rig that folds away. I have 2 50W panels, once which is polycrystaline and one which is monocrystaline. the idea was to get the strengths of both types. I have them wired in series for 24V and attached to an MPPT charger which I had for a different project I didn't end up doing. on a sunny day I can solder until the sun goes down without problems.
solder.jpg
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"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby Papi » Thu May 17, 2018 8:54 am

You're off to a good start! Your floor/trailer/wheel boxes look very similar to what I started out with. I ended up adding 4" of metal between the axle mounts and the frame for added clearance.
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Thu May 17, 2018 10:19 am

Papi wrote:You're off to a good start! Your floor/trailer/wheel boxes look very similar to what I started out with. I ended up adding 4" of metal between the axle mounts and the frame for added clearance.


I really hope I can avoid that. There's about 2.5" of clearance right now.. I should have 3" but I was running out of wood and covering the wheels was one of the requirements for making it roadworthy as-is. I'm doing my best to build my walls in such a way that I can still access the tops of those wells in the case I need to do some surgery. The wheels on this thing are actually a real PITA to work with, there's literally just barely enough room to pull the wheels off I have to take the bearing buddy off first even. I expect after the main build is over I'm going to be looking into finding some shorter hubs.

actually.. maybe adding the steel would be easier than that.. but if i'm getting brakes eventually i'll be replacing the hubs anyhow.
"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Wed May 23, 2018 6:35 am

So, Last friday I went and got all of the lumber I need (hopefully) It unfortunately rained on Saturday, but I cleared up by Sunday which was half sunny and half cloudy. I purchased a single tube of PL in the case I got antsy and decided to start framing and, as it were, of course I did.

So I went into the barn, checked the tire pressure and loaded up enough wood to get the initial framing done.

initiallumber.jpg
Loaded up!
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"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Wed May 23, 2018 12:10 pm

FrameBuild.jpg
Framing it up
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Front & Rear frames made with 2X3s

That is probably the last time I see those safety glasses. must have gotten blown away.. on the bright side, this is done at my parent's place and as long as the sun shines I get to build with the power of the sun! as they live completely off-grid.

I later got out my sunglasses and used them.. and promptly lost those too.. I guess incidental expenses are something that goes along with building stuff right? maybe all those extra man-hours contractors end up charging are just lost safety equipment.
"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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Re: The Wedge (Name Subject to change!)

Postby NorthEGPhoto » Thu May 24, 2018 6:04 am

frameprogress.jpg
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And this is where things start to go sideways. For whatever fool reason I decided to try to build the frame in place instead of building it off on the sawhorses first. Things aren't as straight or square as they appear. I also learned that pocket holes work best perpendicular to the wood grain which lost me a length of 1X3. I really should have taken my own advice and paid a bit extra and done the walls sandwich style. But hindsight is 20 20, and now that I have those holes drilled and lumber glued it would possibly be damaging to reverse course. So, I will soldier on and try to make up for my stupidity with elbow grease.

Also, lifting a half frame and sticking it in level by yourself is an experience in frustration. Don't be me. Do sandwich walls, or be smart enough to frame it on the ground.

*Edit

By the way 'select' framing wood seems to mean 'yeah, we selected the ones that are twisted as much as a strand of licorice or redvine'
"In the morning, the light is golden, in the midday 'tis time to nap, and in the evening the light returns. Into the night the stars shine brightly, now if only the moon would stay out of sight." - Some photographer
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