Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:55 am

One thing to be said … we’ve got plenty of insulation !!! :thumbsup: :lol:
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby davidAndshannon » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:12 am

We bought a tear drop camper in October that was built by someone else. I have been thinking about adding a canvas titebond roof to it. Does anyone have experience with doing this as a retrofit? And am wondering how to handle this with the galley hatch area which does not have a great seal on our camper.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby ghcoe » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:22 pm

Not sure how your hinge is designed, but this might give you a idea. Basically a living hinge placed over a piano type hinge.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:30 am

D&S, are you doing it to protect the roof ?? If your roof is plywood , that’s a GOOD idea ... :thumbsup:
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:01 am

Guys , I just had to mention this , the recent FS restoration project showed up a problem in using Titebond Two to glue Canvas to Foam … ( in our Wet Climate)
On any area of our trailer where water consistently collected ( even a little ) , the T2 actually softened, dissolved and allowed the canvas to rot . :o
In our case , it was the perpetual morning dew that eventually did us in … First dripping down under the floor , allowing water to collect day after day , eventually saturating the smallest of openings , attracting Bugs , and causing more and more compounding damage all along …
We knew of the superior waterproofing of the Gripper (chemically) , and how it was supposed to be better to attach canvas although we had problems with it in the past . We finally found the trick this time … paint a generous coat of the Gripper on both foam and canvas , THOROUGHLY covering Both surfaces… then we stick them together and smooth it out with hand or spreader. Allow extra length for shrinkage . Then once dry paint on a final generous and well brushed in coat of the Gripper … That seals everything for good and the adhesion is assured … We’ve now seen painted /Grippered canvas that was extremely Tough , and impossible to separate layers without doing significant damage ..

That and use a "Drip Edge “ around the base of the trailer!!! … after actually building and testing , and actually seeing the water roll right off to the ground, I’m convinced this would greatly extend the life of many floors …even OSB or plywood (both treated with the Mix) , or a “board floor “ which we now like a lot !!! :thumbsup:

* Gripper = Good !!! :thumbsup:

* Drip edges = Very Good !!! The best ( and easiest ) “preventative” so far IMHO…
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby John61CT » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:04 am

Excellent, confirming my instinct (guess) on GG.

And of course it is primer, so those susceptible to overkill, or just for aesthetics, can apply whatever else they like on top.

Link to cheap but good drip edge implementations?
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby dancam » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:29 pm

Fiddlin'Billy wrote:DONE!!!! :applause:

Hello, my name is Billy and I'm in the process of amassing parts for a Foamie. I will start a build journal and post the requisite pet photos in the appropriate thread.
Here are some tidbits I'd like to add to this never ending tome.
The south does not have the market cornered on hot weather. Iowa gets into the 100s and high humidity with long stretches of 80s to high 90s for most of June July and August, and lately that has spilled over into April, September and October. We don't have hurricanes (thank God) but we do have tornadoes and wicked thunderstorms with high winds and the other nastiness that comes with that.
It also gets well below zero here in the winter - 72 degrees is not cold ;) please stop saying it is. :eyebrows: And it's NOT relative, cold is cold and 72 is freaking warmer than my thermostat in winter - put a sweater on. :R

What else....?
I gotta say, to continue to tell someone they just have to read this thread before they start (or to learn the build methods) is a bit ridiculous. :roll: Better to update the master list of build journals or point folks towards George's build since he's refining the process so nicely. I had to keep the browser open at work for 2 full weeks before I got smart and started emailing links to whatever page I was on at the end the day. Before that, when the browser was closed (accidentally by my co-worker who shares the computer and tolerates my duty shirking) I would have to click through a cARpload of pages because there is no "go to page x" button. :x It's a good thing the subject matter was so compelling and I had libations waiting to help ease the thread drift. I think there was a nice summary of the novella a few posts back. So much has happened in the ?!?!ten years two months?!? this story has been told. I hope folks are in good health and that the foamies are still intact.

I find the dead links and unviewable photos, of which there are many (seems like all links in the stickies) to be off-putting (like this post, eh? :) ).

I do have a question about that sledge hammer test and I thought someone else asked it too but it wasn't answered.
Was the sledge taken to a piece that was on the floor or some other surface? It seems to me that a better test would be to build a box and hit IT with the sledge. My suspicion is that it would create a big HOLE. Sort of like standing on a big stick while it's on the ground as opposed to standing on it while one end is elevated - snap! I'm still building a foamie, but I think that particular test shows nothing if it was done in the flat. The photos of the foamie that tipped while driving is the best example of durability. If only there had been a repair made instead of more driving leading to disaster. :cry:

I hope no one is offended as I can come across as a bit blunt when typing. :BE 8)
Wait, I need a couple more emojis
:FNP
There.
I dont know if your still on here but i took a big hammer to a test piece i built. If your interested i can try to find back where that is in my build thread

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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:41 pm

That’s Funny !!! But True … ish … to some extent … “ 72 degrees is not cold ;) please stop saying it is. “ hahahaha

How odd, the suggestions for testing, organizing , documenting , etc. are always put upon the person trying to spread the good word… But ,we have nothing to prove , already Know it works !!! ;) ( Known actually for years now , it's really no longer a secret eh yeah !!! ) :thumbsup:
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby ghcoe » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:45 am

I would be curious on how much saturation of TB II that you had into your canvas. Did it look like the TB II actually dissolved? Or could the canvas not have been saturated enough to prevent water from seeping into the floor through small pores in the canvas? Once the canvas that was not saturated with TBII rotted there would not be anything the TBII could hold on too and may look like it dissolved?

The canvas not being saturated completely could be more the issue. I find that by applying full strength TBII you get a lot of "pin holes" in the canvas where the TBII did not fill in the canvas weave. This is the reason I dilute my TBII 50/50 with water so that the canvas gets fully saturated. I brush on the TBII to the canvas till I see no more "pin holes" and then also apply the TBII to the body to prevent the glue up from pulling TBII out of the canvas.

I also size my canvas edges before I make the bends over the edges. When I am ready to glue the edges up I make my cuts and then use "full strength" TBII on both the sized canvas that is ready to bend over the edge and along the edge I am bending it on to. The canvas is already saturated with "thinned" TBII and is glued along the fold with "full strength" TBII creating a water barrier.

Just some thoughts. George.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:33 am

George , you know we started building the FoamStream ~ 7 years ago , and since then we’ve Learned so much more from talented builders /designers such as yourself and others … So things built a while back aren’t as well “Foamie engineered” as the new techniques have produced. Back then the Foamie idea was received with a “prove it“ attitude, and we were just “guessing” basically about construction , only relying on years of previous RC foam modeling experience.. Now with so many Foamies having been built and travelled , we know so much Better what to do to make a trailer that will perform , last a Long time , and not have to sell the farm to own or maintain ..
Your contributions and improvements have been much appreciated , and been exemplary in the construction sequence!!! :thumbsup: 8)

With the FS , all I know is , it was looking good till the ants bored holes in the walls and moved in, which allowed the water to seep in , likely as you say , wetting out /rotting an incompletely sealed canvas , and later on revealing that same problem again , but even worse under the floor as the canvas wrapped around from the wall to floor transition . All water from rain and morning dew , daily wetted, and that allowed the untreated OSB ( my bad ) to go mushy … :duh:

When we made the FS , some parts of the canvas were held on with T2 ( port side) and some with the Gripper (starboard) , and as you can see large areas on the T2 side had rotted up into the wall …The canvas was pretty pulpy and the weave patterned glue just crumbled away from the bare foam ( which in reality looked good underneath , save where the a-hole Ants burrowed their chambers … The whole thing was a recipe for skin failure … The Gripper side suffered none of those indignities and was in fine shape above the floor line …( see pics) … We did have an adhesion problem on the roof on that side , but that was due again to incomplete gripper application leaving “dry ish spots inside ..easily fixed by removing the canvas and re grippering underneath , and BOTH canvas and foam thoroughly and completely wetted with the Gripper… No problems with that since …
From debris analysis , it would seem the canvas rotted thoroughly , much of it unsized , the T2 glue weakened considerably , and the floor edges mushy and weakened , on both sides.
I believe the use of drip edges , a treated ( clear and dry) board floor and Ant poison will eliminate many problems in the future…

Draw your own conclusions … I’m just still Learning as we go , Your shared knowledge much appreciated by many !!! …

One good thing , we proved to ourselves how really EASY it is to patch/repair/restore a Foamie … It was even easier than I’d thought … :o
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:49 am

… and more … Even in my early days of painting on canvas , we were always taught to “size” (seal) the canvas ( rabbit skin glue ) which would seal the individual canvas fibers and protect them against the long term effects of the oil paint .. Then a Primer ( Painting “ground” ) applied over that .. Paintings on canvas hundreds of years old prove it works …
So for our applications , as you say, the sizing with the thinned binder is an essential part of covering and finishing. :thumbsup:
We’ve never had any “rules” around here allowing specific freedom to build anyway you want , but there now seems the need for some really serious “ Construction Hints” .. Things we know work For Sure !!! :thinking:

Sorry , gotta’ run to the grocery and stock up on some last minute items before the storm hits here … that should be Fun , along with everybody else… :R
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby John61CT » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:58 am

GPW wrote:We’ve never had any “rules” around here allowing specific freedom to build anyway you want , but there now seems the need for some really serious “ Construction Hints” .. Things we know work For Sure !!! :thinking:
As requested here http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=70097

Perhaps a "Best Practices" collaboration thread.

Of course there will be some different approaches, you could always have a "GPW technique" thread.

But trying to consolidate the lessons learned into a small set of threads

perhaps linking to specific posts back in build threads or the super-long discussion ones

would be a tremendous service to the virgins of the ever-expanding community.

I keep referring people here in general, but can't give them a "layman's entry point", so too many get overwhelmed and end up just buying an expensive POS commercial unit.
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:35 am

John , you make a great point !!! … This thread is waaaay too long and filled with non applicable trivia . We do need a very condensed thread for beginners , suggesting things to make their Foamie experience Fun and successful .. With EVERYBODY contributing their techniques !!! :thumbsup:
Maybe it should be divided in sections like Trailer , Framing , Foam , and covering, and Finishing… Maybe we should get Eagle to set it up for us in the Sticky threads ??? … make it official , and then it can be edited when needed or new information should be added or changed … :thinking:

Maybe if we take one topic at a time we can get some “standard examples" going ( things that we all know that work !!! ) And best we keep this discussion (s) to those of us that have actually Built a Foamie trailer … ;)
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby eaglesdare » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:53 pm

GPW wrote:John , you make a great point !!! … This thread is waaaay too long and filled with non applicable trivia . We do need a very condensed thread for beginners , suggesting things to make their Foamie experience Fun and successful .. With EVERYBODY contributing their techniques !!! :thumbsup:
Maybe it should be divided in sections like Trailer , Framing , Foam , and covering, and Finishing… Maybe we should get Eagle to set it up for us in the Sticky threads ??? … make it official , and then it can be edited when needed or new information should be added or changed … :thinking:

Maybe if we take one topic at a time we can get some “standard examples" going ( things that we all know that work !!! ) And best we keep this discussion (s) to those of us that have actually Built a Foamie trailer … ;)


GPW We thought about that a long time ago. This thread was too long and to undertake that to condense or pull from this thread would take a lot of work and time. So I guess if someone wants to do it I say go for it. But honestly, I see nothing wrong with ready the thread. LOL :wine:
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Re: Thrifty Alternatives ..Building Foam Campers

Postby GPW » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:58 am

We all have the freedom to read this lengthy thread or not … Considering it’s a Non-Fiction work in progress, it’s purpose is mainly informative and educational , with enough “human Interest” to let everyone know real people were involved … Reading is merely “suggested” , not required
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