Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:01 pm

Here's a shot of one of the hinges being test fit in the mortise. You can see that these little guys are not only concealed, they open 180°. They're also very well built.
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Here's the hatch in the closed position with hinges installed.
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And in the fully open position. I have some magnetic door holders that will hold 'er open. The cabin doors will have them as well, but the v-nose doors will likely get gas struts.
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:beer:
Steve
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:15 pm

A couple of miscellaneous pictures.

Here's a shot of the font bulkhead - basically the electrical/mechanical area of the camper - without the v-nose walls and doors. The two vertical blue tape lines are just a mock-up of where the air conditioner cold air duct will run. It'll leave the top of the a/c unit, run up the duct and into the ceiling/attic cavity and flow down into the cabin along the entire length of the camper. The batteries will sit on either side of the a/c. The inverter and eventually a generator will be installed on a hinged shelf that will be installed a couple inches above the a/c. Terminal boards, wiring and other electrical items will be added as I get time.
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Here's a picture of the safety chain mount that I made.
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And a shot from the bottom.
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Later!
Steve
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:37 pm

Rear hatch baggage latch installation....

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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:52 pm

Sprayed the front grill of the air conditioner black...
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...because this grate will be mounted inside the cabin for the return air.
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Now the white grill doesn't show from the inside.
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:00 pm

Welded some angle iron (from an old bed frame) to make some battery holders.
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Bolted them to the tongue box floor.
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A little rattle can paint, some J-hooks and another piece of angle iron and your batteries are secure.
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:beer:
Steve
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:22 pm

Apparently I didn't take many pictures of the fender fabrication and installation.

Here's a shot of the fender after the back and steps were welded on. A support bracket was also welded under each step for support and to hold the auxiliary reverse/turn assist/porch lights.
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And here's a pretty bad shot of the fender bolted in place with the lights installed. The wiring tucks up and out of the way under the steps. I was reluctant to put the clearance lights in the fender well, but I completely refuse to use those top-of-fender dual light things. The original plan was to put them under the steps with the other lights, but I was afraid they wouldn't pass inspection because the step would obscure the view from above. Having them in the fender well is a little risky because they could be damaged by rocks, etc..., but they're super cheap, readily available and easy to replace, so no big deal.
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BTW, the fenders, battery holders and a few other things will be power coated this winter. Spray paint will have to be good enough for now.

:beer:
Steve
Last edited by StrongFeather on Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:35 pm

Made a little jig on my trim router to make the mortise for the door striker/latch. The two pieces of wood locate the bit and a couple of marks on the tape tell me where to stop at the top and at the bottom.
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The mortise looks a little bumpy in this picture for some reason, but it's actually smooth. I had to modify the striker plates to work on my 1" thick walls - oh the joys of a custom build - everything has to be modified it seems. I epoxied the holes to keep the wood dry.
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The modifications took some time, but in the end the doors shut smoothly and are solidly secure when shut. I just need to add the windows and weather stripping and the cabin doors will be done.
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:beer:
Steve
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby OP827 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:27 pm

Your carbon panels technique worked and the build looks great! :thumbsup:
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:56 am

Thanks, OP. Just trying to find time during the busy summer months to finish it.

Steve


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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:05 pm

Finally time for a couple more pictures. It's been a busy summer and I missed the first big deadline for a family camping trip in MN last week, so I haven't been as motivated as I'd like. Now I'm just trying to get it weather tight so we can use it a few times this season, then take the winter to put some finishing touches on it.

So, on to the V-nose/Tongue Box.

Things got a little tricky here. The tongue box - not sure if I should call it the tongue box or the v-nose - anyhow, the two side walls are each made of two skinny (~6" wide) vertical panels and two small horizontal panels (basically making a door frame). Then there's a skinny (6" wide) center panel between the two side walls (the front of the V). The tricky part was cutting the angles. The angles between the center panel and the two sides are slight (about 30deg), but the angles where the sides meet the cabin walls are well beyond the 45deg tilt of the table saw.

In this picture, you can see the middle panel on the bottom and the part of the tongue box wall that meets the cabin on top. The center panel angles were pretty easy to cut on the table saw, but the other angles being greater than 90deg were pretty tricky. We (my brother-in-law and myself) ended up running the panels through vertically, with the fence on the left side of the blade, which really messes with your mind after decades of always cutting with the fence on the right.
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Luckily, my brother-in-law is a master wood worker and with a lot of patience, planning, contemplating and so on, the cuts all turned out perfectly. Here's a shot of one of the difficult angles with the inner BB skin on. The notch you see nearest the camera is where the wires pass through the cabin walls into the tongue box.
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And the money shot... all three panels dry-fit and mocked up in place with clamps. They all fit great.
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:beer:
Steve
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:18 pm

On to actual installation of the tongue box walls, which will be joined with thickened epoxy and biscuits, and bolted and VHB taped to the frame just like the cabin walls.

I taped the front panel to the side panels and marked lines on the tape for the biscuit locations. These were easy.
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Cut the biscuit holes and did a dry fit to make sure everything lined up.
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Here's a shot of the holes that the 1/4-20 bolts go through to secure the walls to the frame. Later, VHB tape was added between the frame and the walls as well.
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:31 pm

The sharp angles of the tongue box-to-cabin wall junctions created more issues with the biscuits.

The locations of the biscuits was marked out using tape.
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The biscuit cutter guide only goes to 45deg, so I was just careful to make sure that the cutter face was flat against the surface (it's not in this picture).
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Since there was no common reference surface (because of the issue in the previous picture) I had to measure (carefully) and mark the cabin walls for cutting the biscuits. I'm happy to report that the dry fit of all panels worked out great! Now I just have to permanently attach them.
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:beer:
Steve
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby StrongFeather » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:42 pm

Permanently attaching the first tongue box wall actually went great. I was worried that the wall would stick to the tape (on the frame) as I was trying to maneuver it into place, but it wasn't an issue.

Here's a picture of the wall installed, bolted down and clamped, waiting for the epoxy to cure.
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And a picture of the junction between the two walls. I've really been worried for quite some time that this joint would not come together nicely. Luckily I was wrong thanks to some very careful work.
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:beer:
Steve
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby greygoos » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 am

Really enjoying this build. You will be out there camping soon
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Re: Carbon Fiber/Aluminum build for a family of 5

Postby OP827 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:43 pm

Carbon wall panels look amazing. What is your design plan for the roof?
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