Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:32 pm

Hello!

I've been lurking on this forum (and specifically in this section) for a while now, but haven't been ready to post until now. I haven't *quite* gotten through the bit thrify thread... I'm currently at 236/465. I see the end in sight, it's just still pretty far away.

Anyway, when I started reading through all this, I got pretty big dreams pretty quickly of building a 7'x12' foamie to live in for a while. But over the last couple weeks, I've decided that maybe I should pare back and try and go for something smaller first to try and learn the basics and figure out what I'm doing, as well as to give me a little trailer to travel in for a while so that I figure out what I really do want/need in a big trailer. My TV is a 2001 SAAB 9-5, which has a surprising towing capacity of 3,500lbs, but only if the trailer has its own brakes. It's only 1000lbs without them, so I'll be looking to make this thing no heavier than 750lbs to be on the safe side. Looking at the builds and weights that I've seen on here so far, it looks like that may be doable, which is exciting. Also hoping to keep this to under $1500 overall, although if that ends up balooning to closer to $2000, that's survivable. Will do my level best to keep it from going any higher than that, though.

Soooooo here's the plan so far:

4'x8' teardrop, 4' high, built on the standard 1195 capacity HF base
Very similar in shape to the original foamie GPW did in the front, with a plane flat back flat for simplicity's sake
No curves, to avoid having to worry about kerfing and shaping and all that jazz
Basic electrical to charge/run computers and some of the galley, and run a fan or heater as required, maybe with solar panels (have to price that and do some research to see if that's feasible)
Standard waterproofed canvas covering, possibly with a thin epoxy layer over the very outside depending on budget at that point and feasibility
identical self-built doors on each side, with plexiglass panels fixed in them
Standard 14" roof vent for ventilation

I've downloaded sketchup to try and get a detailed 3d model of it, but have yet to learn to use it. Too busy figuring out what colors I'm going to paint it. :D As soon as I figure that out I should be able to describe more specifically what I've got in mind.

I've called the nearest HF store (~40 minutes away) and they have the trailer in stock. Will be headed out there tomorrow to grab it when I'm able to borrow my dad's truck. When I've got it put together, I should be able to use it to go to the local big box store for the bulk of my materials. If I do this quickly enough, might even be able to take advantage of some of the Father's Day sales. Plus, using the trailer base to help me build the teardrop just feels right. :thumbsup:

Heeeeeeere we go. Wish me luck. :)
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby mikeschn » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:05 pm

Good luck.

The 7' x 12' sounded kinda large, so I think you are headed in the right direction. Remember, wind is the enemy...

You could almost live in this one though. Add a composting toilet, and maybe an outside shower...

Here's a link to Joy's thread... viewtopic.php?f=55&t=67965

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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby linuxmanxxx » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:06 pm

You'd get much better value if you bought the 5x8 from tractor supply which has mesh floor and 13 inch tires. The 12 inch tires are horrible quality and you have larger platform to build on. Jmho

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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:55 pm

Thanks Mike! Yeah, wind might be an issue for sure when looking into doing the bigger trailer, especially since my TV is a sedan that isn't particularly tall. Joy's thread is interesting! Looked at it when it was just the first couple of posts. Looks like it's coming along nicely. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the input Steve. I think for my purposes, the 4'x8' HF is definitely a better value proposition for me. The $340 extra dollars for more space than I actually want to deal with, as well as having to deal with the siderails that I don't want, the mesh floor that I don't want, and the loading ramp that I don't want doesn't seem like the best option for me. Plus, it's listed as 400lbs empty weight, and while some of that would be less since I'd be taking the back gate off, it would still cut further in to my weight limit than I think I'd like.

If I feel the wheels on my HF trailer aren't doing it for me, it seems like it would be easier for me to just do that than it would be to deal with the extra weight, expense, undesired elements and size of the tractorsupply trailer. But thanks for the additional option for me to explore. :)
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby GPW » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:06 am

Amanda , Good luck !!! Help will be here just for the asking !! :thumbsup:
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby KCStudly » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:04 pm

Welcome to the forum! :thumbsup:
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:23 pm

Thanks for the welcome, guys! Was able to get the truck to head out to Harbor Freight today and grab the Trailer. Wasn't expecting it to be in two boxes, but in retrospect that makes perfect sense.
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Time to get my ikea-skills on. :D
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby GPW » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:52 pm

While you’re putting it together , be SURE to re-pack the wheel bearings with fresh grease…. The stuff that it comes with isn’t suitable ... :o
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby mikeschn » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:48 pm

All right, your on a roll!

Remember, lots of pics! :pictures:

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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:04 pm

Finally started buying materials! :D Went to Lowe's because I had a 10% off coupon for a purchase there. Pretty nice. Picked up all the foam and plywood I should need, as well as some molding that I think is going to go a long way towards making it look fancy despite the fact that I'm doing all of this absolutely as simply as possible. Was unfortunately unable to get all the things on my list as it was late and the store was closing, but should be able to do another run soon. Progress! :D
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby HMK » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:12 am

I'll be following along. Love to watch a build come together :thumbsup:
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:15 pm

Progress! :D

I've bought or ordered pretty much everything I think I'm going to need for the trailer as a whole. It was scary, as I'm sure things will change during construction. But I think I feel pretty confident that the materials I've bought and ordered are what I'm going to end up needing. Only thing at this point that I'll still need to buy is exterior paint, weatherstripping, and electrical (once I get my head around the basics of how electrical works). So far, it looks like, unless everything goes very wrong, I'm going to end up just $300-$400 above my original guestimate, which is pretty good as far as my projects generally go. 8)

So, right now I'm trying to nail down the finals of door size and placement so I can start figuring out exact measurements for foam cutting. I have two questions for you lovely people:
1) What is the wheel placement like in the harbor freight trailer? I need to know so that I don't accidentally have the door placed somewhere it will look weird or be unopen-able, but I haven't actually assembled the trailer yet for space reasons. From what I can see on pictures online, it looks like the wheel is not exactly in the center but actually a little bit towards the back. If so, how much? How far from the front can I safely go with the door before I run into door/wheel conflict issues.
2) Aesthetically, it looks nicest with my door design to have the doors open the opposite way that I see all the pictures of teardrops online opening. Is there some reason it's done this way that I'm just overlooking and that I'll regret if I do it this way?

Tried to learn sketchup so that I could show you guys what I'm thinking/planning, but the program is not playing well with my brain for some reason. :-/ Hopefully can get some pencil/paper sketches that will give you an idea once I've gotten it all a bit more settled. I'm not an artistic person, though, so it'll definitely be a bit, erm, rough. :lol:
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby QueticoBill » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:18 pm

I'm only guessing but doors hing on forward side so if it opens, wind is closing it not ripping it off. And they do call rear hinged doors on cars and trucks suicide doors.

Generally it seems the axle us around 30-35% of the length of load - cabin or cabin+tongue box - from rear. I'm moving my axle 6" rearward to achieve better balance and allow doors far enough back to make sitting and swinging feet in comfortable.
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:20 pm

Thanks, QB. Did a quick search for "suicide doors" and yeah, it looks like they're avoided at least in part for safety concerns of the wind forcing them open. Definitely something I don't want to deal with. :( Unfortunate.

Looking at things, it seems like the bottom of my door will actually clear the wheels wherever I put it, because if the 2 1/2" thickness of my sandwich floor and the height of the door frame at the bottom itself. So I think we're in the clear there.

Drew up a quick first sketch of what I'm thinking as far as where everything goes. It's pen and paper, and definitely the lowest-tech thing I've seen on here. :R It's also a bit approximate, as getting down to exact inches would be tricky at this point. But here it is:

IMG_1468.JPG
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The little boxes are 2x2's run across the width of the trailer. The dashed lines are generally 1/4" ply used for shelving, other than the countertop which will be 1/2". I haven't shown it here to try and keep it uncluttered, but there will be a frame for both the inside and outside of the door also out of the same 2x2's.
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby GPW » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:09 am

Make the door the way YOU want to…. The only thing a "suicide “ door needs is a good latch , and conscientious owner … ;)
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