Project popcorn shrimp. NC

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Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:33 pm

I've been dreaming about a teardrop for about 2 years or more.

I'm in the South East and my wife and I are avid adventurists (or aspiring) and we have always done mostly car camping in my 2000 Toyota 4runner.

I think the first time I decided I wanted one was when I saw one at a small local car show in Tryon NC and a guy had built his own one and was a beautiful classic tear.
I thought that maybe that had one with a bit more travel and could go "Overlanding".
Sure enough I saw plenty of picture out there with lifted Teardrops and that's what got the creative juices going.

I'm getting started in the design phase at the moment and have been researching heavily for the last 4-5 months now.
It got started when I found a perfect trailer base locally here from a guy who had started to build one but life got in the way and decided to sell the rolling chassis.

My design is going to be simple and minimalist. I don't want a lot of stuff and I want to feel like we are still "camping" and roughing it out as we like to find primitive camp sites in the woods.
This would require being able to take the trailer offroad a bit.

Inspiration was taken from Oregon trailer who have been very helpful and have answered all my questions on the building technique.!!
Also deign input from Timberleaf trailers.


So far I have been using Autodesk Inventor for the design work.
Great program as I can build every part and then assembly them.

Here is my current design so far.

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Very excited about this build and there is loads of info on this forum which is a big help so far.
I'll be starting a build pretty soon once I get closer to finishing up the designs a bit.
Also I work full time so in between work and school I'll be working slowly on it.
My hopes is to have it close to being finished by next year but that may be asking a lot
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby KTM_Guy » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:02 am

Curious, why the galley hatch doesn't go all the way down to what would be the floor? I know the Oregon trailers are like yours. To me that space is more valuable for food and galley stuff. Once you start cooking and have stuff on the counter it all needs to be moved to get into the storage. With a full hatch you can get to the area from the back not the top. Then you can put drawers or pull outs in. Also a full galley hatch could give a little more sun, and maybe rain protection. My plan is to make a tarp/fly that will connect to the open hatch and extend to the back with a few poles to give me protection from the sun and rain while cooking.

Todd
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:06 pm

KTM_Guy wrote:Curious, why the galley hatch doesn't go all the way down to what would be the floor? I know the Oregon trailers are like yours. To me that space is more valuable for food and galley stuff. Once you start cooking and have stuff on the counter it all needs to be moved to get into the storage. With a full hatch you can get to the area from the back not the top. Then you can put drawers or pull outs in. Also a full galley hatch could give a little more sun, and maybe rain protection. My plan is to make a tarp/fly that will connect to the open hatch and extend to the back with a few poles to give me protection from the sun and rain while cooking.

Todd



I have gone back and forth actually about that. The main reason I haven't added the full galley hatch is for keeping costs low and for using the space for storage. Right now the full complete length of the cabin is at 96". I have 2" of insulation, 1/8" wall, 78" fold up sofa bed then the rest is designed to take the 12v cooler with a 3/4" wall. It left me with no space for a 2" galley spars to go to the bottom.
I could add in but then I'm adding more than 96" unless I follow the same type of hatch design as I think you went with.
I'm still on the fence about it.
I might actually move the 12V fridge to the back of the 4runner that way we can access it easier while driving. then I could reduce a inch or 2 in a few areas to give me the space I need to build the hatch down to the floor. Also that would allow me to factor in less energy required for the trailer. The 4runner doesn't have much power so the lighter and more compact the better.
Ideally i wanted to go with a 4X8 but the frame I bought came as 5X8.
As i have found as well the more you get into the design phase the more you keep adding on stuff and the more money it costs.
As my first build this should cover all our requirements.

Here is some pics of the frame at the moment. still a work in progress but mostly how i bought the frame off the guy.
I added 10" dexter brakes and changed the hubs out to 6 lug to match the spare on the 4runner.
The wheels came off one of my Land cruiser builds many years ago and I'm pretty happy how the old school chrome came out.
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby KTM_Guy » Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:57 pm

It's hard to get everything to fit in the 96" isn't it? We are keeping the cooler in the Jeep. We have been looking at 12v fridges I like and know a few people getting the Snomaster that has part freezer and part fridge. But they are spendy. So we will stick with the Rtic cooler for now. I will put a plug on the camper so I can plug the fridge into the camper battery while at camp. I'm thinking of a soft side Rtic bag cooler https://www.rticcoolers.com/shop/coolers/softpak/RTIC-SoftPak-20-Greywe'll use for in camp where we can load that up with a few drink and anything that needs to stay cold and have that in the galley while we are preparing meals.

I think it is better to have a bigger battery in the camper than pulling power of the 4 Runner. I know a guy that has a Jeep and roof top tent. He is putting a second battery in to help power the fridge. When he is done buying a double battery tray and two new batteries he will be in to close to $900.

That frame looks nice, good find on that. The wheels look good, what size tires are you running?

Todd
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:05 am

KTM_Guy wrote:It's hard to get everything to fit in the 96" isn't it? We are keeping the cooler in the Jeep. We have been looking at 12v fridges I like and know a few people getting the Snomaster that has part freezer and part fridge. But they are spendy. So we will stick with the Rtic cooler for now. I will put a plug on the camper so I can plug the fridge into the camper battery while at camp. I'm thinking of a soft side Rtic bag cooler https://www.rticcoolers.com/shop/coolers/softpak/RTIC-SoftPak-20-Greywe'll use for in camp where we can load that up with a few drink and anything that needs to stay cold and have that in the galley while we are preparing meals.

I think it is better to have a bigger battery in the camper than pulling power of the 4 Runner. I know a guy that has a Jeep and roof top tent. He is putting a second battery in to help power the fridge. When he is done buying a double battery tray and two new batteries he will be in to close to $900.

That frame looks nice, good find on that. The wheels look good, what size tires are you running?

Todd


Sure is tough! I couldn't imagine if I were longer than 6' and how to fit it all in.
I'm going to do the same. Add in a 12v plug for down the road when i want to put a 12V fridge in. It just made sense after fighting with the design and looking at 12V fridges and the dimensions and power requirements and doing all the calculations to just put it in the back of the car. If one day I get a bigger car with more power to tow maybe I'll build up a 5X9 or 5X10 that will fit a larger cooler in the back.
I have a friend that has one of the Rtic soft coolers and it works really well.
We ride bikes a lot so if I need to drop the trailer off somewhere we will then have the cooler with us instead of leaving it behind.

The trailer has 33" tires on it which are brand new. I may go to a smaller tire though. possibly 31"
The guy who started building the trailer frame wanted to build a offroad teardrop to take with his jeep but then he rolled his jeep so sold the trailer frame to pay his deductible.
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby ARKPAT » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:48 am

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:

Looks like a good start on the trailer build =) Storage and space is a premium on a tiny trailer build ..... use every bit you can find =) The best ideas is visit a gathering and LOOK and ASK the builder questions .... second best is ASK QUESTIONS and GET REAL PICTURES =) That is the way most of us did it and after 14 years I'm still modifying my trailer to this very day and dreaming of more mods =) Have fun, be safe and get out camp ALL SEASONS =)
Life is to short always eat dessert first.
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:41 am

CAD work is on going. playing with exterior colors and cabinetry as well as being busy with work and school full time.
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I have decided at some point to get a 12V cooler and that will go in the back of the 4runner instead of keeping in the teardrop storage. Reason being is if I have to drop the teardrop off somewhere I'll probably want the cooler with me. This way I save myself time in figuring out how to have enough power for the cooler with battery and solar. Instead I will get just a soft cooler for dry foods that will fit in the storage.

Also have updated my cabinetry a bit. The Left side will house the pullout camping stove- I'm thinking I might make a small box that slides out that will have utensils on top then on the bottom of the box the camp stove will slide out from there.

Middle is setup for a 4 gallon water container that has an adjustable shelf for different heights. I have a 7 gallon tank that I have been using and to be honest I have never used all of it up so I'm getting the smaller container. i like the idea as well of having something portable instead of fixed in the teardrop because the majority of our camping is primitive and its hard to find a place to fill up a large tank. Last year we were filling up all our water bottles and shower from a small fresh water spring in Moab that you have to crawl under a big rock for.

right will be storage for plates/ cutlery and glasses.
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Interested to hear your thoughts.

Cheers
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby ojgrsoi » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:57 am

I think you will be happy with the 5x8 size. The extra ft will make sleeping a slight bit better.
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:27 pm

So a little progress is being made.
The past few months have been basically acquiring the proper tools that are needed (Router, Tablesaw...etc) and building a work bench.
On top of that work and school has been busy.

The work bench almost completed. Ready to take on lots of cutting.
Ive also been making many Jigs for the workbench as well as putting together a dust collection system. (Well worth the investment!!!)
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The trailer had to have a bit of work done to it.
I decided to have this done professionally since I hadn't done any welding before.
The main items were to make the platform a true 96' long, add the fenders, add body mounts and then add the bike rack adaptor to the front

Very happy with how it turned out.

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The bike rack is the extension for the Thule bike rack if anyone was interested.

Next on the list is to wire in new tail lights, brakes and the brake controller for the 4runner as well as paint the fenders and all the new steel.
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby tony.latham » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:53 am

I decided to have this done professionally...


What did he charge? :thinking:

T
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:00 pm

More than what I wanted... but they were just down the street.
$600 for everything.
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby tony.latham » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:15 pm

dhracer3 wrote:More than what I wanted... but they were just down the street.
$600 for everything.


:thumbsup: T
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:35 pm

Got a little more done on the frame. Its been nonstop rain in NC at the moment.
I don't suggest painting in the garage..

Got the frame painted up and started the wiring process.
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I had started using the Duplicolor rubberized paint. This went terrible.. wouldn't spray on right and then was not very durable.
Ended up scraping it off with a knife the next day and just went with the bedliner. Went with the Krylon brand and it comes out really nice. The Duplicolor brand comes out almost glossy and blotchy.


Found some pretty nice flood lights that I'm going to mount to the side of the frame. Seem very heavy duty in cast aluminum.
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Also just getting the wiring supplies ready for this weekend. Hopefully it may stop raining enough to install the brake controller in the car.
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:16 pm

More Wiring.

Been finishing up the trailer wiring and the car wiring.
Installed the brake controller and added the flood lights to the side of the trailer.
Wired it up so that the rear reverse lights and flood lights come on the same time. Also made it so that when the trailer is disconnected the flood lights will work off the trailer battery.

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I can now start gathering the supplies for the cabin!
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Re: Project popcorn shrimp. NC

Postby dhracer3 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:36 pm

Update:

Managed to get the trailer all wired up and working.
Started with the cabin now!!

I built a handy dolly to build/cut panels out on.
I needed to use a few long radius in the curve of the profile and so I built a 100' long radius cutting jig for my router.
I also added a small table to the end to hold it in place.

This jig worked out very well with all cuts coming out within the mm of my drawings..

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The template coming out really well. Didn't even need to sand any edges out.

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Picture of the finished template on the frame.

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Once done with that the rest of the wall panels were cut out very quickly by first rough cutting the pattern with the jigsaw then clamping the template down to the plywood and using the router flush trim bit with bearing to cut a perfect side wall.

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gluing the 2 plys together using titebond 3 and lots added weight.
I added quite a bit more than what is pictured. Tile boxes make excellent weights when doing this step. You can buy them at lowes then just return them once done.
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I decided to go with an ACX Radiata pine in 3/4" that was easily accessible from my local wood shop. Essentially I went with what was close to me and then just changed my drawings to accommodate the materials I had to work with.
I'm using the radiata pine on the exterior and then a birch 1/4" for the interior. Walls are now 1" thick which is a bit more than I really need but at least it should be plenty strong enough.

The floor was next. Again using what was available to me. My wood shop here in Asheville had the Baltic birch RV stock in 5'X5' pieces in 7/8" thick. (Again more than what I wanted but just go with what I got)
After careful consideration about how to join the 2 pieces I decided to go with a good wide half lap joint and using West systems new G flex 650 epoxy to glue the 2 together.
GFlex offers some flexibility into the epoxy so that harsh vibrations or hits do not crack it.
Looked to be quite impressive from what I was seeing.

First step in cutting a good half lap was trimming the edges of the ply so nice and straight then cutting 6" line with the straight cutting bit and a straight line jig on the router. cut to exactly less than half to allow for epoxy.
After that cutting out the material with my planing jig and cut to the grooves.
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Afterwards I lightly sanded down any ridges and checked the fitment.
Looks good so far.
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Epoxy filler supposed to arrive this week. Hopefully get the 2 panels joined by Thursday. :thumbsup:
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