Benroy on the prairies

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Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:20 pm

Well we pulled the trigger and bought a 41 year old homebuilt 5x8 utility trailer. Good thing they make a sturdy trailer base in 1978, only problem was someone had painted over the VIN. Luckily we were buying it in a small town and after a quick phone call from the owner to the insurance agency everything got sorted out.

In the end we have a solid base for our 5ish x 8 benroy build.Image

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:30 pm

First thing first was to get the old floor off and cut away all the unnecessary steel and clean the trailer up. Also welded some new steel to help brace the tongue and repaired the couple welds that didn't survive it's first 40 years. Also used a steel brush on a grinder to clean away most of the surface rust.ImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:42 pm

Next we hit it with a solid hit of rust converter before painting it with a few cans of rustoleum. Also got some Jacks for the back corners, and got the floor on and sealed up with a very healthy coat of roofing tar/sealent. We have opted for the no floor insulation beyond our mattress, if we find the mattress isn't enough I think we can retroactively get insulation in the bottom frame with minimal headache.

Luckily we got all this done before the snow started falling. We don't have a garage so we will have to leave the trailer is until we get back up to temperatures that will let glue dry. So the plan is to get everything we can built in the woodshop all winter and as soon as we get back above -7C (hopefully early April) we will assemble it all together and hopefully be good to go for our already booked site may long weekend.ImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:48 pm

We have a plan! And found some great windows at a local scrapyard. For the low price of 35$ each we got some windows. Unfortunately the door will not be so easy and suppliers are minimal in Canada. So until we get a door we won't touch the door wall. But with a window we could make the skeleton of the window wall with 3/4 spruce plywood. The plan is to skin both sides with 1/8" birch, then epoxy and paint the exterior.ImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby rjgimp » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:36 am

Great start! Something that has survived that long with relatively few issues is sure to make a fine base for your project.
-Rob


I hope to make it to a Procrastinators Anonymous meeting someday...
just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:11 am

Well progress has been slowly been coming along on the trailer. We managed to get a door, after a very steep 620$CAD we got a door shipped across the border from Aero teardrops. Seems like a good door, so hopefully it was worth it.

Having the door meant we could also cut the skeleton of the wall that will contain the door in again 3/4" plywood.

I also found some 3/4" insulation that was cut to fit into all the slots and the walls were then ready for skinning.

We have decided to do 1/8" birch on both the exterior and interior walls, and got one side glued and stapled on. Only 3 more sides to go.ImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:14 pm

So progress is slowly coming along, we got the 1/8" birch skins on all the walls. Then we focused on getting the cabinets and kitchen together, making sure once the snow melts we can get it out of the door and onto the trailer.

It's built entirely out of 1/2" plywood and such together with construction adhesive and 1 1/4" staples, giving plenty of cabinets for both the interior cabin and exterior kitchen. Next is cleaning and smoothing it out, building some drawers and cabinets doors.

It is a little concerning building everything without being able to actually put anything on the trailer, but fingers crossed when we go to stick it all together it will fit as intended.

Also while finding all our electrical components I didn't want to pay full price for a fantastic fan, so at a local scrapyard I managed to find a tent trailer that had one installed. Originally they quoted me 40$ for the fan, but after 3 hours of me fighting with it on the roof in -20C weather to get it out, they decided just to cut the chunk of roof is mounted in and give it to me for 20$. Once I had the roof in the shop I was able to get the fan out with a heat gun and a solid effort. In the end the fan works great, just needs to be cleaned up and a fresh coat of paint on the cover. Much better then the 180$ I was looking at for a new one.ImageImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:54 am

It's been a while since the last post and we have made quite a bit of progress.

First thing was building cabinet doors, which we wanted to both keep them light and use whatever scrap wood we had laying around, which was 1/2" spruce plywood and 1/8" birch plywood. So after a few different attempts we were able to make a nice light and strong door. So we made all the doors and fit them glued together. The doors that will open towards with a little piston had a little more flex then I wanted when compressing the piston so I glued and stapled an additional 1/8" birch panel on the back giving them a lot more strength.

Next we painted it all so that when we get it into the trailer we will just have to do touchups in the cramped space.

Lastly while waiting for warmer weather we replaced the bearings and wheels, going from the very small 10" wheel top a more reasonable 12" wheel.

And after looking at the forecast seeing that warmer weather was still a long way off and we had hit the point where we needed to start actually building it on the trailer we decided to move the trailer into my in-laws gazebo and put a propane heater in there so we can start putting it all together. The picture is sideways and I can't figure out how to rotate it, but that's the new home, hard to believe a trailer fits in there.ImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:19 am

Now that we have a warm place to work (can get the tent around 10C in -18C weather), we put some paint on the base to seal up the top of the plywood leaving a 1 inch space unpainted where we are gluing the walls (the bottom and edges were sealed with tar).

We then got the walls and cabinet into our little tent shop and got those attached. To attach the walls we did pl premium 3x along the entire edge and then pocket screws every 6" to pull it down and into the floor. I couldn't believe how strong the pocket screws are as we didn't even have to brace the wall after it was screwed in before we could get the cabinet attached. But it didn't at all, just held strong and straight up.

We then glued the cabinet edges and attached it to the wall, with screws spread around to hold it right while the glue cured.

Lastly, we threw the other wall one the same was as the first and it all came together fairly smooth.

Then we got all the spars put in place and got the ceiling glued and stapled in. I thought with how flexible the birch was it would be really easy, but I was sorely mistaken, but we did get it. On the roof side we will definitely be using straps to get the wood around the curves.

It's also a crazy right fit working in the gazebo, so photos are not easy to take. We only have about a foot of space on each side of the trailer.

But now we are getting ready to finish the inside by painting the ceiling and touching up all the other spots it's needed. Also starting to run all the electrical.ImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:59 pm

Well I got to busy building and then camping I never actually finished the build journal, I also got pretty bad at taking pictures.

But continuing on, I ran the electrical wires with the interior ceiling. The plan involved running solar cables from the roof down to the tongue box where the solar controller and batter are, then running a 12 guage main wire from the battery through the ceiling to a cabinet that contains the fuse box and master kill switch. I also ran the trailer wire through the ceiling and wired in the 2 marker lights for the forward side of the trailer. All the other trailer lights will be in the hatch.

For insulating the ceiling I initially planned on using the solid foam, but it was going to be more expensive then I wanted, so I ended up using rockwool insulation as it shouldn't run into moisture problems that would impact fiberglass insulation. One we were wired and insulated I put on the outer skin of 1/8 inch birch using a ton of pl premium and staples.

At this point we also started building the frame of the hatch, doing so on the trailer in hopes that it would fit in the end.

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:09 pm

We then waterproofed the outside with PMF.

I started with the walls, rolling undiluted titebond 2 to get the 8 ounce cotton canvas to stick to the wood. After that I saturated the canvas with a 50/50 dilution of titebond 2 in water.

After the sides were done I did the same on the roof leaving a 2 inch overhang onto the walls to prevent water getting in on the edges. ImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:15 pm

At this point the weather was warning up allowing for painting the exterior and starting to do the finishing of the interior.

I did a final coat of paint to clean up the interior and installed a nice vinyl plank floor so our mattress won't sit on the plywood.

For the exterior we did 2 coats of primer and then 2 coats of an exterior latex paint.ImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:20 pm

At this point we installed the windows, vent and for to seal up the trailer. Lots of butyl tape, caulking and lap sealent later it's really starting to look like a trailer.

At this point I also had to stop putting off the hatch... So we got the outer 1/8" plywood skin put onto hatch, again doing this on the trailer to try and make sure it would fit.

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:40 pm

At this point I only had about a week before or first trip out for the year so I pretty much entirely stopped taking pictures.

But we wired up the hatch and put the interior skin on (again 1/8" birch). I then added PMF the same way I did the rest of the trailer to the exterior of the hatch and painted the exterior and interior.

To attach the hatch I went with a stainless steel piano hinge, to prevent water from leaking through the hinge I put a 4 inch strip of rubber that was held down with strips of aluminum. The sides and bottom of the hatch was sealed with a 1/2" D seal and the hatch lifts with 2 pistons that fit and worked perfectly thanks to that handy calculator I found here.

To keep it closed and lockable I used the same clamps that pop-up trailers use.

For a little bit of aesthetic we then added a nice stick on tile backsplash and a sticker marble countertop.

In the front of the trailer I got the tongue box bolted on and battery installed. The tongue box is just a nice and light 30$ outdoor storage bin.ImageImageImageImage

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Re: Benroy on the prairies

Postby ghamo » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:47 pm

At this point it was just a couple finishing touches and we went out camping.

For a mattress we got a custom made foam mattress that fits with 1" on each edge.

I also managed to get a gazebo that perfectly fits the kitchen and is very easy to set up.

The first weekend was great and the trailer towed really well. And I got a mug that matches the trailer! ImageImageImageImageImage

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