A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:56 pm

Thanks for the comments and ideas guys. I'll take them all into consideration. Drip caps for sure. Drip Rail flashing around the bottom too.

GPW, I hope you enjoy your new window. I look forward to the install. Making a trim ring wouldn't be too bad either but i think a tight fit and adhesive would probably hold too.

This camper got its stripe! The base paint is satin and the stripe is semi gloss. The sun was out today. Made the lighting a little weird in the barn. The three pictures below combined give a good all around view of what it looks like. The paint is a good exterior paint with an extra UV protection additive in as well. The painting is pretty much done. I'm going to paint the family brand on each side and the camper's name once we have one. I ran Blue Lightning past my wife. She wasn't all that impressed. We liked Lightning Sprite but are afraid we'll end up struck by lightning if we go with that.

Spent a lot of time yesterday and today cleaning and organizing the shed. Shrinking the mess so I have room to get going on the next step. On Tuesday I'll get going on the next phase. Finishing Phase.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Don L. » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:19 pm

You have a fold out step there! Nice!

Paint looks great!
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:17 am

Looking GOOD !!! :thumbsup: :applause:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby DaddyJeep » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:32 am

GPW wrote:Looking GOOD !!! :thumbsup: :applause:


I agree with this guy.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:27 pm

Thanks Guys!
:D 8) :beer:
It is fun to be at this stage. I even allowed myself a few beers Sat night. I think the hangover helped me take my time with the stripe on Sunday, prevented me from getting to ambitious with the paint scheme and had an overall positive effect on the camper.

We're pretty pleased over all. The side wall panels run vertically. At the same spot each side you can see the butt joint between two panels running from top to bottom, I'm surprised at how apparent it is. Still I knew it would be there. I rushed past fairing out the body, I can live with it now. If I had shaved some of the proud foam off and then smoothed them all out with lightweight spackle they would not be there. This camper with paint is super solid. I have never seen, in person, another camper this strong. When you palm slap the side the whole thing plays like a drum. Its really cool.

So my window and door screws are due to be delivered today. I'm writing this from my lunch break at work right now. I can't wait to get going on everything tomorrow. I'm gonna rock this thing out. Windows, speakers, doors, hatches, awning etc... Then, from the outside, it will look done and at the very minimum we can put our bunk matts on the floor and tow it around.

I figured out what I am going to try for my camper box/trailer frame flashing. I ordered a roll of Pro Tape Flex and Patch Butyl Tape. It is black, I'll try to get it on relatively straight. I'm going to give it a shot.

I'll get some end of day pics tomorrow, should have some windows in by then. The entry door has to wait until after the butyl tape arrives as the flashing will run under the door too.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:57 pm

"This camper with paint is super solid. I have never seen, in person, another camper this strong. When you palm slap the side the whole thing plays like a drum. Its really cool.”

We’ve been telling folks this for Years now and unless you experience it , you just don’t know how Good it really works … !
Then after you’re done , let it sit outside in the sun to “Cure”( it tightens up even more ) … :thumbsup: ;) ...
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Tue May 01, 2018 11:06 pm

Windows and doors installed today. All that is left are the brake lights and the awning, both of which will go on tomorrow morning. I still have an open hole for the fridge, the water fill dish and the heater vent. I am going to do these as I install the kitchen.

I used butyl tape behind the flanges. Found 150' for $30 on amazon, came in 5 30' rolls. They called it putty tape and also butyl tape in the ad. I took a chance after reading reviews. It was butyl tape not plumbers putty. I drilled holes through the flanges and used these 1" square drive, black head, zinc plated RV screws to install everything. I used some salvaged white screws from the old pop up camper for the white things. Everything worked as planned.

I have some grey caulking but it is noticeably lighter than the paint. I might have to return it for clear. I am thinking maybe I will not caulk at all. I only did a little bit before I decided to stop and think on it. I feel good about the butyl tape and I don't necessarily want a bunch of caulking ringing all my doors and windows as it will eventually get dingy, especially if its already not the exact same color. What do you think? Caulking or just call it good with the tape?

So tomorrow is going to be brake lights, awning, then on to the interior. Thinking I will do the bunks first followed by the kitchenette which will lead to the dinette bench.

Below are some pictures of what I installed today. It looks like camper now.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Tue May 01, 2018 11:23 pm

I installed my camper box to frame drip flashing today too. I made sure it runs under the door as well. I used a butyl tape for this flashing:

ProTape (brand) flex and patch butyl tape. It is sealing tape. The tape is only sticky on one side and comes in different widths and in white or black. I guess it is often used to repair pool liners and people get a season or two out of it. White ones are available in all widths. They must be having production issues with the black stuff because I could not find anything available narrower than 6 inches. I found ads for 2" think but they stated the product was currently out of stock. Everywhere I looked this was the story. So I grabbed 6" by 50', which ended up working out really well. I thought the stuff was very easy to work with once I got used to it. I put a 6 inch piece in back under the boat tail. I cut a bunch of lengths in half and put 3" wide pieces around the camper box sealing it to the frame. I like the tape. I cannot speak to longevity right now but at this moment I would definitely do it exactly the same way again. It seems really neat.

I have pictures of the tape installed below so you can see what it looked like stuck on the camper.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Wed May 02, 2018 5:32 am

Sure looks very NICE !!! 8) :thumbsup:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby KCStudly » Wed May 02, 2018 8:24 am

It's all coming together now! :thumbsup:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Wed May 02, 2018 5:28 pm

Got the tail lights and the awning on this morning. Got the tail lights, exterior speakers and porch light wired and put the floor down. The tail light wiring slowed me down some but I got it figured out. The wire colors were all wrong.

I also figured out that my brake controller is sending power to the brakes when I press the brake pedal, which is great. It also sends power to the brakes intermittently when the right blinker is on. Like in time with the flashing light. At first I thought there was a short somewhere in my trailer wiring I eventually ruled this out by completely disconnecting the right turn signal wire from the trailer, my brake controller was still showing the flash with the blinker. Now I remember thinking I was having this problem last year with that heavy hybrid. It didn't bug me too much but you can feel it a little bit with the blinker on at slow speeds. I generally keep my trailer brakes applying lighter than average pressure os intermittent flashing power to them isn't huge on the freeway when changing lanes.

Still, what did I do? Did I tap into my right blinker wire instead of the brake wire under my dash? If so why was it hot when I hit the brakes? Why does it activate the brakes now when I depress the brake pedal? Is there a short somewhere else in my Highlander?

I don't have time to figure this out. I'm not doing the west coast trip as is or running a four flat with no brakes unless there is no other option. I am going to bring it to a trailer and hitch shop and let them get it wired right. Errgggh!

:x Oh well. At least it will be right, which apparently will be better than I was able to do. I hope its not a mystery short somewhere in a wiring harness... Then I'll really be kicking myself.

:) LOL
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Don L. » Wed May 02, 2018 8:25 pm

You have the right idea, taking it to a shop to wire the brake controller, unless you love that kind of thing, which it sounds like you don't.

I want to give your camper a nickname but I will refrain. I can think of some but I don't want to be responsible....

It looks way cool btw!

I took my Bluebird to an RV supply/sales place and had them install the brake controller. Partly afraid I would ruin it if I did it and partly to go with what they recommended. I wired the brakes and what little else there was on mine, not without some minor screwups. It is nice to have the brakes working, even though the Xterra stops ok without them. I'm like you though, in an emergency maneuver, that's when you need them most.
I recently weighed Bluebird at the cardboard recycling place near me (for free). It came in at 1700 lbs. stocked with basics. I had hoped it was less, but still I knew it was not super light.

Side ramble cont'd-
The Rv place also informed me that because my trailer has brakes (working or not) it has to be inspected annually. And Virginia laws say that it has to have running lights near the top, front and back. :( Something I hadn't planned for in advance. I had read a lot about Virginia trailer codes but didn't comprehend that in all of my readings. I think about the running lights sometimes.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Wed May 02, 2018 9:30 pm

There is a place (Hitch It) about 15 minutes from my house with good google reviews all reporting excellent service and communication skills. Sounds like what I am looking for. I'll call the guy tomorrow and figure out a time.

Don: I think 1700 pounds is very light for a loaded camper. I bet your XTerra pulls that fine. You did a good job with Bluebird. Its a sweet little camper. I'll feel great if I end up under 2000 empty (which I might). There is a rock yard by my house where they have a big scale. My plan is to go weigh in there when I'm done. I'll post the weight when I know. My last camper was 3400 dry, way too heavy. The pop up I destroyed was 2200 or a little less fully loaded, that was very tow able with our Highlander.

I don't know if I need any more lights higher or not in MN. I hope not. I don't want them as they always seem to need replacing on trailers I've had in the past. If I do I'll just glue a running light bar up top and patch in to the wiring from below. There is a nice DMV office in the next county over. It is very small, only two ladies work there and they have always been very helpful to me. By comparison the DMV office in my county is horrible, it is huge and half the women that work there are "ok" the other half try to make me cry every time I walk in. Not just me, they are horrible to everybody in there. SO I make the drive to the small one. At the small one they gave me a build materials cost sheet so I can discount my build materials against my assessed taxable value. They explained that when the camper is completed, I bring them pictures, my build sheet, pay my titling tax on it, they'll give me my plates and new VIN number right there so that I can use the camper. Then they mail all my info in to the state office. The state office may or may not require an inspection sometime down the line, sometimes they do sometimes they don't. I'm guessing that inspection is where they would tell me to add lights if I had to. With any luck I'll never even have the inspection.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Fri May 04, 2018 11:14 pm

I m trying something new tonight. I read in a different build thread that supporting all these pictures gets expensive for the guy who runs tnttt. I gathered that using tags to an "album" somehow decrease the cost of storing the photos? I have created an album, I don't know yet if I can pull pictures from this thread to the album. Most of the pics in this thread are now on an external hard drive waiting to be turned into a slideshow so they are not readily available for me to post to the album from my computer after deleting this from this thread. I will post all future pics to my album and use tags. I'll try to post less pics too. I don't want to be obnoxious, I was just being oblivious to the server space I was taking up. I think I will delete some previous pictures soon too, just to be polite. Many of them are not necessary or instructional.

Below are some photo tags of my interior. The two rear corners. Together they show the four bunks with the feet overlapping. On the one bunk you can see the first side of the kitchenette cabinetry up. In the other photo you can see how we angled the upright support to give a few more inches of flow around the corner. The bunks are 30 inches wide. The two on curbside are 75-76 inches long. The two on the back side are 77 inches long. Our foam matts are 76 inches long and 30 inches wide. One bunk for each of us. Every bunk has a window. The head of every bunk opens into the middle space of the camper. These bunks have better than average head room. My wife will even be able to sit up fully on her bunk with a few inches to spare. Mine is a little short for that but not by much. The uppermost one is shortest but my son doesn't care, he's just happy to have the "top bunk".

154044

154043
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby KCStudly » Sat May 05, 2018 1:53 pm

This makes for a great segue to remind everyone that you can do a small part to help this forum by making a donation.

Mike (always?) does a great job making sure everyone gets a nice gift (mine was a TNTTT logo key chain with LED fob).

I justify my donation by realizing the magazine subscriptions that I no longer keep due to the time I spend following this awesome site instead of reading ad filled print media. In fact, I am overdue for making a follow up donation and am off to do that now.

Donation made.
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