Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby Hamilton Felix » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:26 pm

Hmm..... open in the rain while driving would be a challenge. I gather that properly designed Wiley windows are OK for camping in the rain.

Just kicking the idea around, but picturing a 5 x 10 (external dimensions, given 2" foam, will be 5'4" x 10'4" and 4' height inside, so 4'4" external height), I'm thinking doors on both sides up front, Gamma Seal "porthole" windows in the doors, and Wiley windows on those. Then, on the side walls toward the rear, "porthole" vents, just screen & Gamma Seal, because it's only opened for ventilation.

I'm going to bevel the top front down 6" or so, maybe drop the rear top a foot in the last couple of feet. We were toying with the idea of just setting a plexiglas window into that beveled portion, not to open but for light. Just seal it in with lots of silicone. Mostly came to mind because I already have scraps of plexiglas around the place.

On a completely different thought: I see people put diamondplate on the front of trailers, to protect against small rocks, sand, road debris that gets kicked up. An extra layer of 2" XPS foam would be cheap and weigh almost nothing, and it would probably take a few years of trailering to wear it out. Just think of it as a consumable, sort of like ablative shielding.

John61CT you are making me think outside of my box. There's no rule that says vents have to be on the sides or the roof. Gamma seals have pretty good gaskets, so a person could do front, rear, or floor vents.
Last edited by Hamilton Felix on Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:29 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby PiperBob » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:47 pm

I read the whole thing :M If there's ever a Foamie meetup someone should put that on a shirt.

Anyway, I'm thinking of making a thrifty little trailer for going to Burning Man next year. The camper would probably only be used for that one purpose (we have an rPod). I already have a 4x8 HF trailer that I can build it on, so it would just be the costs of the foam and covering. I'm thinking a simple box. The biggest difficulty in planning is figuring out how to store it. No flat places in our yard and the rPod is already there (wife really won't want to see a second camper in the driveway). So I'm thinking I want either a design that comes apart and stacks flat (bolt together on site) or maybe a two piece design (like a scamp) that can be taken apart and brought through the basement door.

Before I started reading about Foamies I had been thinking of maybe making a light frame on the HF trailer and covering it with a poly tarp. That would be really thrifty, if it held up for the 3500 mile trip.

Way back (maybe page 50?) in the "bear proofing" discussion someone mentioned Kevlar fabric. I have a piece that's about 25 feet by 53 inches. In the 2nd Gulf War they made the vests locally and this is a remnant I bought from a mill for maybe $1 a yard. I had been planning on skinning a popup roof with it, but we've gotten rid of the popup. Maybe that would be the caviar of pmf 8) But I don't know how to cut it. The guy at the mill suggested buying a pair of cheap scissors and then throwing them away.

Oh, and this is kind of neat. I found out that our Volvo xc60 t5 (which came from my Dad's estate) has a tow rating of 3500 lbs and gets 31 MPG highway.

Hamilton Felix wrote: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.


I had previously thought of doing something like that with PVC DWV cleanout fittings.

With the Gamma Seal is there some glue that will stick to the plastic to seal it to the foam?

I see DWV cleanouts are easy to buy in up to 6" size, which would make them suitable for forced air. The straight sides would make gluing them into the foam easy, and a short piece of 6" pipe could be used to attach a screen to.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby pchast » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:58 pm

hey,,,,
A portable shed,
play house for the kids,
Tool box.
:thinking:
It could be anything
when not camping!
:thumbsup:
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby John61CT » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:14 pm

Never leave floor vents open with the engine running, can be fatal.

Seal up by default, screen against critters
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby rjgimp » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:40 pm

PiperBob wrote:I read the whole thing :M If there's ever a Foamie meetup someone should put that on a shirt.

:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

WOOHOOO!!! Congratulations and welcome to the asylum.

PiperBob wrote:Way back (maybe page 50?) in the "bear proofing" discussion someone mentioned Kevlar fabric. I have a piece that's about 25 feet by 53 inches. In the 2nd Gulf War they made the vests locally and this is a remnant I bought from a mill for maybe $1 a yard. I had been planning on skinning a popup roof with it, but we've gotten rid of the popup. Maybe that would be the caviar of pmf 8) But I don't know how to cut it. The guy at the mill suggested buying a pair of cheap scissors and then throwing them away.


Could you use a straight razor?
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:03 am

“Bear proofing" … Not likely with Foam … maybe STEEL … maybe ??? That’s like trying to make something "Kid proof" … :lol:
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby PiperBob » Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:40 am

rjgimp wrote:
PiperBob wrote:Way back (maybe page 50?) in the "bear proofing" discussion someone mentioned Kevlar fabric. I have a piece that's about 25 feet by 53 inches. In the 2nd Gulf War they made the vests locally and this is a remnant I bought from a mill for maybe $1 a yard. I had been planning on skinning a popup roof with it, but we've gotten rid of the popup. Maybe that would be the caviar of pmf 8) But I don't know how to cut it. The guy at the mill suggested buying a pair of cheap scissors and then throwing them away.


Could you use a straight razor?


I was thinking maybe a utility knife. So far I haven't had a need to find a way.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby takoeller » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:08 pm

OK, I haven’t been here for awhile, my old hang out. :thumbsup: I always wanted to experiment with this Foamie thing. Has anyone tried landscaping fabric as a cheaper alternative to canvas, or is polypropylene too hard to bond to?
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:37 am

As a cheaper alternative to canvas , There’s always bedsheets , jute bags , old blankets , Old T-shirts , blue jeans , POLYESTER garden fabric , Basically anything that you can find enough of , except polypropylene which is Tough to glue with our usual adhesives .. And then a good canvas is not really that expensive considering it can last a long time … ( 6 years and counting with my canvas covered trailer , and that’s living Outside in the weather … !!! )

As our leader has spoken … “ The quality is remembered long after the price has been forgotten “ :thumbsup:
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby RJ Howell » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:05 am

On the Kevlar question. That was an interesting question and had to look it up. I get very curious at times!

<The guy at the mill suggested buying a pair of cheap scissors and then throwing them away.>
In a sewing forum they talk about re-sharpen the scissors to a lesser angle. They spoke of that's the difference in the expensive shears sold to cut kevlar.
Another spoke of using a manual rotary cutter. That I use on most fabric (including the 10oz canvas).

Think I'd try a utility knife first. Not much I can't cut with that and a straight edge.

Good luck and let us know what you figure out please.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:17 am

IMHO, Kevlar wasn’t That hard to cut with a good pair of SHARP scissors , and then we had some “Spectra" cloth that was ridiculously hard to cut with anything but a HOT knife … That would make a pretty bullet proof skin , but it could get very Pricy … :o

And having lots of old scissors arounds here , we’ll try sharpening them to a lower angle so they’re more “shears “ … Great idea … Thanks !!! 8)
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:45 am

Where are all the Foamies … ??? We’re all done for the winter and stored away till Spring . :thumbsup:
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:58 am

Hey Everybody !!! Have a Great Holiday Season !!! :D
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby ghcoe » Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:28 pm

Merry Christmas!
George.

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 rjgimp » Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:47 am

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-Rob


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