Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Hamilton Felix » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:05 pm

Good point. That would be overkill. I like to keep things simple.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Tyrtill » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:30 pm

My semi v nose trailer makes me agree with don't do miter joints. Keep it to 90 degree angles and try to keep in mind which way the force is generally going to be applied to the joint. Try to design it so that force will keep the joint together rather than try to shear it.

On my semi V nose when you push on the front it forces the side walls out which is not ideal. If it were a square front the force would be transferred into the sidewalls much better.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Hamilton Felix » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:41 pm

Good points. We will count on the PMF to give it strength.

I just realized: I’m modding this trailer to be a flatbed, the exact size to set the foamie on. The perimeter steel is placed to easily bolt down the plywood deck - but the foamie will be 2” thick, so any bolt down points will be inboard of the perimeter and not likely to have metal under them. Well, I will just plan about 8 or 10 bolt down points, set 3/4” plywood into the foam at these points, and figure bolting to the trailer deck will do.

I did see mention of building a couple of tiedown straps into the PMF. I was toying with the idea of doing that. I have some nylon straps around here somewhere.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Hamilton Felix » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:21 pm

Haven’t been able to post lately. Posted “just testing” today, and it worked. Yay! Figured I’d edit that into the post I intended. Nope, General Error again. Removed the image I’d attached; still General Error.

Well, that worked, so let’s try again: Nope, General Error. Maybe it’s just enforced brevity. Can’t post more than a few lines.


Finally got the old Jayco frame modded to the dimensions I want. My welding is horrible. I never was a Welder, just use one now and then for about half a century, and I’m sadly out of practice. One of these days when I’m retired, maybe I’ll take a class. Oh well, an angle grinder and heavy paint can cover a multitude of sins. :NC

Got it primed Thursday, painted Friday. Doing it with a 2-1/2” trim brush takes time, and it definitely “looks fine from 30 feet,” but the cost was right and the metal is protected.

The Jayco had four leveling jacks. I figured a way to mount two on the rear after my mods. With the tongue jack, that should be adequate, and not too much of a weight penalty. I think I’ll salvage the other two jacks before the metal I cut off goes into the scrap heap. Might want ‘em for another project.

Hey, success!
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby ghcoe » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:42 pm

I bolted my Bug Out trailer to the trailer cross members. I also use what I call interior frame rails. 1x2's or 2x2's that run alongside the interior walls. This spreads the forces from the tie down points from flexing the floor, ask me how I know. :roll:

Of course this means that the ends will not have a tie down point since the trailer end cross members are still under the foam wall. I used a 2x2 and spacers the same thickness as the frame material. I cut the 2x2's to fit exactly between the trailer frame so that it could not move side to side. Then I added a spacer and bolted through my interior frame rail, floor, spacer washer and 2x2 fit snuggly between the trailer frame.

Later I did ad 1x2's to lift the body from the frame so I could put a drip edge on the body. Having the body sitting directly on the frame was a bad idea. Movement of the frame and body quickly sanded through the trailer paint. With time it would have worn through the canvas and caused bigger problems. Here are a couple of diagrams I did for my YouTube channel.

Drill Holes #1 s.png
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Frame wide body attachment 4 foot with cross ribs s.png
Frame wide body attachment 4 foot with cross ribs s.png (10.72 KiB) Viewed 1012 times


I would not just use a screw from the bottom to hold the trailer on the frame. :thumbdown:
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Gorrilla Glue, Great Stuff and Gripper. The three G's of foamie construction.

My build viewtopic.php?t=54099
Working with flashing for foamie construction viewtopic.php?f=55&t=60303
Making a hot wire http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=55323
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Hamilton Felix » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:35 pm

Thanks, that looks like a good idea. I did take to heart the advice to put some rub strips on the bottom of the foamie. I agree that setting the Poor Man’s Fiberglass directly on the plywood trailer deck (which is not going to be sanded super smooth, because I don’t want a slick trailer when not hauling the foamie) would result in vibration induced scuffing.

I was just going to put 1/4” plywood on top of the PMF floor so our knees wouldn’t dent it. Then, planning ahead, I was going to have some pieces of 3/4” plywood let into the foam wherever I wanted a strong point. But putting a 1x2 strip on top of that, next to the walls, should not be intrusive into the interior, and it gives some stiffening for my anchor bolts.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby rjgimp » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:54 pm

Hamilton Felix wrote: Maybe it’s just enforced brevity.


Can we apply that to the politicians...? :stompspam:

:lol: :cry: :lol: :cry: :lol:

Hamilton Felix wrote: Oh well, an angle grinder and heavy paint can cover a multitude of sins.


Indeed.

Hamilton Felix wrote: Doing it with a 2-1/2” trim brush takes time...


Yes, I imagine so. :thinking:

My dad was in the Army stationed in Germany from '57 to '59 and spent most of that time as a Beetle Bailey impersonator. His usual method when he needed to get someplace without being noticed was carrying a clipboard with a blank piece of paper on it. Occasionally he needed to find something to do when there was nothing to do so that he would not be given something to do. Once during one of our discussions of his adventures he asked me with a twinkle in his eye if I had ever painted a two and a half ton truck with a half inch brush.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
-Rob


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just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Hamilton Felix » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:52 pm

That’s a good one! :lol:

I knew a guy who worked in the hydroelectric powerhouses where I still work (but really hope to retire soon). He always carried a rag. If anything looking like a Boss showed up, Dan started polishing things with that rag - and in no time at all, he’d polished himself around the corner and out of sight. But he knew how to look busy when it counted. :D

Just had a long phone conversation with Six Robblees (century old Washington company that is great for wheels, axles, trailer stuff, etc.) and learned that a Dexter Torflex axle with the hub spacing I want will require wider mounting bracket spacing than my old Jayco frame presently has. So out comes the welder and some pieces of 3” angle from my scrap pile. I was too quick to paint. Ran a few practice beads on scraps of that material before surrendering to the rain for tonight. Tried a couple different rods. Concluded I need more practice. :NC But we’ll Git R Done.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:44 am

We were taught it's just “stacking dimes “ , and getting the heat right …. Yeah Practice !!! :thumbsup: … We used to salvage discarded bicycles on trash piles the day after Christmas ( last years bicycle ) and cut them up and re weld them together into more interesting bicycles … Great practice on tricky thin metal …
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby rjgimp » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:35 pm

<swats away cobwebs>

Helloooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...? Anyone in here???

Sheesh. Everybody must be out camping or some such. Sure is quiet around here lately. :NC
-Rob


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just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Hamilton Felix » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:32 pm

I was thinking about low budget options, looking in tnttt for info on Wiley windows, when I saw posts by a guy who had them over round "porthole" openings, and he decided to make nice round wooden covers with O-ring gaskets, so he could seal them up with towing in the rain.

Shortly afterward, I was getting dry cat food out of a 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma Seal lid. I suddenly had a slightly weird idea: What if you could push the ring for a Gamma Seal into a round opening in your foamy, taking a piece of screen along with it? Glue/seal it in place, and you have a porthole style window that comes with a gasketed screw-on "shutter" to cover it in bad weather. The OD of the Gamma Seal ring that goes onto the bucket is about 12 inches. The opening when you remove the screw-on lid is about 11 inches in diameter. It wouldn't be a big window, but might fit nicely into a door or as a vent in the back part of the trailer.

Does this sound practical?
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:08 am

Ham , our resident Foamie Kayak builder Rowerwet has been using those for hatches for some time now , with good results … Your idea sounds real good …. Sure worth a try eh ??? ;)
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Hamilton Felix » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:53 pm

I think I’ll try those Gamma Seals. We are going as cheap and minimalist as possible on the actual foamie, which is sure to be a learning experience.

I got my new axle in the other day.
Someone gave me four trailer wheels some years ago. I couldn’t resist throwing a couple of extra Corolla tires onto two of them, then bolting them on. Trailer wheels are usually zero offset. Corolla wheels have positive offset, but the adapters I’ll be using are an inch thick, so I think the tires are pretty close to where they will be when we are on the road. At least it looks like a trailer now.

The trailer axle was our biggest expense. I’ve been putting effort into the trailer, with the idea we will use it for other things, and possibly learn enough from our first venture to eventually build another foamie body after experience teaches us what we really want. Now, other than a couple of marker lights and the brake wiring, the trailer is done (just as the weather turns wet). Time to clear out the shop and get busy on the foamie!
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby RJ Howell » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:27 pm

Hamilton Felix wrote:I was thinking about low budget options, looking in tnttt for info on Wiley windows, when I saw posts by a guy who had them over round "porthole" openings, and he decided to make nice round wooden covers with O-ring gaskets, so he could seal them up with towing in the rain.

Shortly afterward, I was getting dry cat food out of a 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma Seal lid. I suddenly had a slightly weird idea: What if you could push the ring for a Gamma Seal into a round opening in your foamy, taking a piece of screen along with it? Glue/seal it in place, and you have a porthole style window that comes with a gasketed screw-on "shutter" to cover it in bad weather. The OD of the Gamma Seal ring that goes onto the bucket is about 12 inches. The opening when you remove the screw-on lid is about 11 inches in diameter. It wouldn't be a big window, but might fit nicely into a door or as a vent in the back part of the trailer.

Does this sound practical?


That's actually a pretty good idea! I went a bit different because I want to have them partly open in rain. I just didn't rout in deep enough for my comfort. Image

This picture is dry weather, yet just going up an inch and attaching during rain.. I'm not seeing rain coming in.. Well, time will tell... That's screen frame stock with a canvas cover. Since I didn't go deeper I may have to do something more than the epoxy tape on the top. May just melt in some wax..
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby John61CT » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:20 pm

I **really** like the gamma lid idea.

Bigger version of deck ports.

Get a big / slow / quiet fan to fit, put near the back, top of a wall, cheap-ass MaxxAir 8-)

Find a spot in the floor near the front for the intake, great sealable ventilation!
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