A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Fri May 18, 2018 11:06 pm

Well I have an edge glued aspen panel which I will turn into our dinette table tomorrow. I have some scrap pieces of wood, one of which will become the transition to the entry door frame (like a little ramp allowing us to sweep out the junk on the floor without a dustpan and also pinning down the floating memory foam linoleum right at the edge there). Thats it. It is done. I'll post pics tomorrow night. Curtains, cushions, doors, drawers, counter top insert, all done.

We have all of our reservations for the trip made just last night and today. I was lucky to find a site on the Oregon Coast Sat Memorial day weekend but I did. After checking many places. Over all the trip is going to be great. Most of our sites and campgrounds are exactly what were looking for. The Sat 5/26 site might be a little small. The lady at the little private campground said they usually don't let people reserve it because most people decide they don't want it when they see it and just turn around and leave. They just rent it as a first come first serve instead. I had to talk her into letting me have it. She was fun. I can't wait to meet her. Its only one night, It's on Cannon beach, it does have a fire pit and a table, no water or electricity, we'll be fine. I told her we'll just watch the Goonies on our tiny DVD player on the way there and we'll love it.

I wonder what I'll do tomorrow after that table and transition. I should have those done before lunch. Hehehehe It is fun to be done. Feels great. Maybe I'll jut lay down in the camper with the vent fan going and take a nap.
Stumpy, Lefty and One Eye all agree: experience is the best teacher.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby OP827 » Sat May 19, 2018 9:51 am

Bruue1 wrote:...
I wonder what I'll do tomorrow after that table and transition. I should have those done before lunch. Hehehehe It is fun to be done. Feels great. Maybe I'll jut lay down in the camper with the vent fan going and take a nap.

Gongrats on completing the build. Yes, take a nap :thumbsup: and then send us your interior pictures for inspiration :pictures: .
My foldable foam trailer build: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=61344
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Sat May 19, 2018 9:00 pm

Sounds good. I didn't nap but I did lay in the bunks for a minute. They are great. Very comfortable. Very open. Lots of light in the camper. A great place to lay around. Being in the camper around all the oiled wood, even plywood, is just an awesome feeling.

Here is a pic of the dinette taken through the entry door.

154505

Here's a picture of the completed kitchen. I think its pretty good for plywood scraps. I know the right sides on both cabinets are screwy. Please remember these were pieced together without a plan, out of scraps, intermittently, in a rush over a period of weeks. I was putting brad nails right through the face frame on many occasions. They are very functional. I like the wooden sink insert. I like the cabinet fronts, door and drawer fronts too. The drawer boxes, rails and stops are all made out of plywood scraps too. The contrast between the 1/4 utility and the 3/4 birch is very pretty once they are all oiled up.

154503

Another picture of the bunks, this time with cushions!

154502

We have curtains from the pop up camper for every one of these windows, they are not cut and re hemmed yet, so they look sloppy, so they are not in these photos, we are going to use them as is for this first trip. Later we might replace them all together with a pattern that matches our cushions better. That is really the only thing left to do.

In about three or four weeks I'll have a build slide show put together and posted on our you tube channel TheBruceVlogs. I'll post a link in this thread to it when that happens.

We're going to keep this camper for a long time. When the kids are no longer camping with us my wife and I will remove their bunks and replace them with more storage so we can use it more long term, heading south for the winters.

By the way this ended up being a lot of storage, way more than an average pop up, and I see opportunities to add more right now without removing any bunks.
Stumpy, Lefty and One Eye all agree: experience is the best teacher.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby KCStudly » Sun May 20, 2018 1:09 pm

Shazam, bam, and it is done! Wow. You pulled that together quickly. Don't mention the cabinet sides and nobody but you will notice them. It all looks great! :thumbsup: :applause:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Sun May 20, 2018 4:40 pm

Thanks KC!

Yeah we're lovin it. We've been packing for the last day or two (I'll have to get a loaded weight I never did weigh it dry), and hanging around in it a little bit. We're leaving this Wed, can't wait.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Mon May 21, 2018 4:37 am

Bon Voyage !!! 8) :thumbsup:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Nodrog » Mon May 21, 2018 5:34 pm

Hey !!! All systems go!!! Everything looks great, have fun!! For my money I like the rocky features along the coast, starting just north of Cannon Beach on south, great views from Ecola State Park, just south of Cannon Beach. Get a state map at least, and stop at all the state park areas you can...They sell a state park pass for the fee areas, might be worthwhile for you. [edit- the whole Oregon coast is open to your wanderings, up to the high tide mark. So, if you can get there, you can stomp it! Lots and lots of access points! ] Get a tide book, they are everywhere at the coast, free. You want to know if the tide is coming in, that can be dangerous, right?
Sorry, I can't help it....sneaker waves grabbing people, rolling logs in the surf, hot coals buried in sand burning kids, people stuck in bad spots at high tide, we see a lot of crazy stuff on the news from the coast....folks should heed all the cautionary signs. Sad, but the ocean eats people every year....
You'll be fine, though, have a really good trip, ok?? All our best to you and yours....Nodrog and his lovely wife!
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Tue May 22, 2018 12:28 pm

Thanks Nodrog! For the well wishes and the advice. We'll be sure to be careful. Park Permit check, I didn't even know about tide guides, we'll get one and pay attention to it for sure.

I have a fully loaded weight from the rock yard nearby. I unhooked the trailer on their scale so this is true weight.

with:
20 ton bottle jack
small jack stand
40lb tool box
50lb tool box
18v Makita drill box with charger and two batteries
Spare Tire
5 gallons water
utensils, plates, curtains, cushions, pillows etc...
tray style 4 bike rack
2 adult bikes
2 children's bikes
full propane tank
group 24 deep cycle battery
2 40lb zero gravity chairs
tote full of towels
it weighed ... 2280lbs LOL I count at least 5-600lbs in that list so dry this would be around 1600-1700lbs on the high end, it might be even 200lbs lighter, who knows. HAHAHA its light as hell, lighter dry than a 16' Scamp, but it doesn't beat the 13'

:D

154581

With those bikes and bike tray on the back, along with the spare tire and chairs under the bunks placed behind the rear tires my tongue is too light, even with the jack and tools under the front bench. It is swaying all over around the corners. Its an easy fix. I have a distribution/anti sway bar hitch sitting in the shed from my old super heavy camper. I was hoping to not use it but now I think it is a better alternative than having to load everything in the front of the trailer. The 100lbs it weighs is significant to changing the tongue weight on its won, even if it was just packed in the rear of the Highlander, hooked up the camper should track rock solid.
Stumpy, Lefty and One Eye all agree: experience is the best teacher.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Nodrog » Tue May 22, 2018 1:10 pm

Yippee!!! Locked and loaded!! Everything sounds wonderful! The thing with the incoming tide, is that the waves build pretty quickly especially near the middle of the rise before posted high tide time, there is a Rule of 12ths regarding this -"During the first hour, the water level rises by 1/12th of the total tidal range. In the second hour, it rises by an additional 2/12ths of the total. During the third and fourth hour, it rises by 3/12ths. Then the increase begins to slow down. In the fifth hour, the water only rises by 2/12ths, and in the sixth hour it rises by 1/12th. The pattern is 1,2,3,3,2,1." So, incoming tide is dangerous, can reach out and grab you...There are definitely spots where people get surprised climbing on rocks that get surrounded...I've seen this at Fogarty Creek, you will see it on the map. That park has a nice picnic area and a large rock on the beach, dry around it at low tide, very wet around it at high tide!!
Anyway, part of the fun is absorbing the lore of the area, and you will absorb a lot,probably soak up some fog, too! Probably will be nice and cool at the coast....dress in layers. Usually the wind is less in mornings, some afternoons will sandblast you on the beach!! Later....Nodrog
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Tue May 22, 2018 3:34 pm

LOL Right on. My wife keeps saying "you realize in the Goonies it is cloudy, rainy and they are wearing jackets in every scene". We'll be a couple days in Oregon, heading south, we'll spend it all on the coast, as it happens it will be Memorial Day weekend, hugely busy, but it is what it is, it will be fun. Yeah we're bringing winter jackets, hats and gloves, hoodies, rain jackets, shorts, tshirts etc.... Every occasion, hopefully.

I just switched my interior speakers out. The interior speakers I bought were 6.5 inch 2 way BOSS speakers, about as cheap as you can get, like 20 something for the pair. I figured 6.5 2 way, what difference does it make, I am not an audiophile at all. A few weeks ago my father in law happened to drop by an old pair of 2 way Dual 6.5 inch speakers he had had sitting around his house for years, still new in the box. These Boss ones were supposed to be 250 watts. They have sounded blown right out of the box since I installed them and powered them up. I kept wondering if it was the speaker or a rattle in my 1/4 ply, foam,etc.. around the enclosure? Well I switched them out for the Duals today, what a difference. When I turn it up I do have some minimal rattling in the camper here and there from baskets on shelves but the speakers are not rattling anymore.

Thanks PAPA! You saved the day with those Dual speakers, we can use the stereo on the trip without gettin pissed at it all the time.

Word to the wise, I have replaced my cheap Amazon speakers and my cheap Amazon deck. Don't buy cheap car audio electronics from Amazon, they do not work right, I don't know how they get 4 star reviews, people buying them must have low expectations or just don't know any better.
Stumpy, Lefty and One Eye all agree: experience is the best teacher.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Tue May 22, 2018 3:36 pm

Went for a drive with the anti sway hitch, hwy, freeway, curvy roads, it all runs perfect, stops on a dime, I feel safe driving relaxed with one hand on the wheel. Without the anti sway hitch I would undoubtedly have to take those bikes off the back. Those ikes are just leveraged way far out behind the axle compounding their effect on tongue weight.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Thu May 24, 2018 4:21 pm

Sounds like You’re READY to Go !!! :thumbsup: 8)
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby ghcoe » Fri May 25, 2018 11:39 am

Yes! Those bikes are the issue from looking at your photo. Get a tongue box and load all your extras in there and it should make it even better. Once you get osculation it might get a bit scary even with anti-sway. Good luck and have fun. George.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby S. Heisley » Fri May 25, 2018 7:03 pm

Fantastic job! Enjoy your vacation! :thumbsup: :applause:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:01 pm

Well... We're Back. 19 days 5,609 miles, 11 states. It was an awesome trip, tons of fun. We never played one board game, were busy all the time.

All in all the camper performed well. Crossing the Dakotas heading into the wind we were down to 9 mpgs and revving high rpms for extended periods of time. Otherwise we averaged 11-12 mpgs, even in the mountains. It pulled real straight and good the whole way. We're going to add some more shelves, water bottle holders, spice rack etc...

A couple notes:

1: I did not test fit the quick connect female end I had salvaged from the old camper to the male end on my grill before the trip. I just didn't get to it and it was at the bottome of my list. Firt time we tried to use the grill I found out they wouldn't mate. That was the second night out and the first shorter day of driving, my first relaxing evening turned into shopping box stores in a strange town far from home. I ended up converting both ends to standard 1/4 inch ends now, works great.

2: I plumbed the whole water system with irrigation tubing and barbed connections. I don't know why, I have always used pex on all of my other campers and I plumb my houses with copper and/or pex, this was my first time playing with barbs, tubing and hose clamps since my hydroponic gardening days over a decade ago. Irrigation tubing works in relatively low pressure systems, not in high pressure systems. Twice through the trip I developed a little drip. I was able to fix it on the spot both times pretty easily. The second to last day of the trip I heard a pop while hooked up to a campground spigot, flooded the camper floor a bit. Luckily I was right there, turned the water off and mopped up the water right away. I spent the last two days of the trip with no water system. It will be converted to pex soon.

3: I began the trip with two brand new cheap carlisle trailer tires. They were done after about 2000 miles through the mountains, and I mean done, ridiculaously uneven wwear, huge belt marks, as horrible as you could imagine. I found a nice pair of used Goodyear Marathon tires at a tire shop in Watsonville California for $40 each, that included mounting. They ran great, didn't even wear, excellent used treads, I was checking them at every stop. Then one blew for no apparent reason at 85mph in Nebraska on a two lane hwy, this was around the 4500 mile mark. When I bought the used treds I had an option to buy a non name brand of brand new trailer tire treads at the same shop for 80 a piece, they looked nice too, I just went with the goodyears. Next time I will buy the new treads. It looked like maybe the tread just flew off like a poorly treaded semi tire does. Luckily it tracked straight through the blow out, no swerve at all, never felt out of control. Had the spare on and were moving along within 20 minutes. I am going to special order some good 13 inch class D tires for it before any more hugely long road trips.

4: When that tire blew the force of the rim hitting the roadway was enough to activate the torsion suspension and slam the trailer frame behind the wheel well into the asphalt. It did get bent. I'll be able to pound it back to some semblance of its former shape but it got wrenched. Luckily it is a corner framing out the rear of the wheel well, nothing inside of the rails was affected, the frame is still square as is the axle. Inside the camper there is a bump in the camper floor behind the wheel well where the frame pushed up into the 3/4 inch sub floor. The floor is still sitting flush on the frame every where, it is like the frame pushed through on small spot but still has the floor fibers above is all still held in place. The best part of this story is that the floor and also the camper box did not mover anywhere else. I slammed it into the asphalt at 85mph and nothing tweaked at all, nothing moved, other than the frame where the contact was made. I am sure other campers I have owned would have been done with that impact. Other than minimal aesthetics this thing is not affected. Strong camper.

5: Went through one heavy rain, one of my windows leaked just a little bit. That one will get caulking around it and they will all get drip rails eventually as time and budget allow.

It was a great trip and it is a great camper, we love it, it is very comfortable and easy to tow. A family of four could not have done better. Now it will go on local weekend trips for the next two years. 2019-2020 Winter is will again hit the road long term but that time for Florida to John Pennekamp State Park and then to Disney World.

Thanks guys, keep building, keep camping, keep trying.
Stumpy, Lefty and One Eye all agree: experience is the best teacher.
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