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 Don L. » Sat May 05, 2018 4:12 pm

That is an awesome bunk arrangement!
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Sat May 05, 2018 4:35 pm

Thanks Don! I thought so too. I got all the slats in today and laid down on mine. Plenty of room and it didn't feel like it was going to break. I mean I know I could break it, but with normal use there won't be a problem. I'm breaking for dinner right now, then I'm starting the kitchenette cabinet after. Rockin and Rollin.

KC Studly: You are right. When I realized about the pictures I realized I was going to have to contribute a little bit too. I'm working like 14 hour days on this camper right now every day I'm not at my job. Posting on here before I pass out most nights is my wind down time. I'm just in here for dinner before heading back out to the shed. So I haven't had a ton of time to really figure this site out, and I am brand new to forums like this in general. I've looked very minimally to no avail... How do I donate? Anyone?
Thanks!
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby S. Heisley » Sat May 05, 2018 7:33 pm

:o That's the cleverest bunk system I've ever seen for a tiny trailer!
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Sat May 05, 2018 9:26 pm

Thanks S Heisley! :D :applause: I'm glad you like it.

That bunk design saving the 30" square inches of overlap is what drove this entire project from idea to reality. A lady at an RV shop where I bought my door told me to try to sell it the design. I thought it would be better to just put it in the public domain so anyone who wants it can have it. I'm sure its been done before anyways. I've seen similar set ups with three bunks myself, but never four.

I was really feeling the timeline stress today. Looking back now I think I'm in good shape. I have a good start on the kitchenette now. The cabinet skeleton is starting to take shape I have the water tank, fridge and heater sitting loose roughly in place. It is so ugly I kind of don't want to show it until the face frame is on. I'm just tick tacking it piece by piece. LOL. Gonna go get some plumbing for the water and propane tomorrow morning.

I put the bunk slats in today, I have a better pic of the bunks below. I like this pic. It is a better angle and the slats help to really show the set up.

I also posted a pic of these little lights I bought and the mounting box I made for them. Pretty straightforward. Function over form on the mounting box, I was in a hurry. The lights were cheap. We have four of them. One in each bunk. They are LED, directionally adjustable, they can be warm white or blue, I guess, I haven't powered them up yet. I hope they are good for reading.

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby KCStudly » Sun May 06, 2018 8:27 am

Bruue1 wrote:How do I donate? Anyone? Thanks!

Follow the link I posted above. It takes you to the donation thread. In the first post there is a link, from there you can choose to use a credit card or Paypal. It's easy.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby OP827 » Sun May 06, 2018 9:11 am

I like your bunks design, they are original and they allow people talk to each other, I can imagine late night stories told there. :applause: :thumbsup:
Your camper looks great, that's probably most compact and still comfortable concept for sleeping four people! Thanks for sharing it here.
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 » Sun May 06, 2018 8:25 pm

Thanks KC Studly: I am now a donating member.

Thanks for the positive feedback OP827! I'm glad you think they are neat. I'm happy to share the design. I like the way they look too, rest assured we'll be telling plenty of ghost stories and the morning will be fun too, when everybody is just waking up, etc...

Why can't a family of four get a camper with four bunks, a table and a small kitchen cabinet under 2000lbs? I guess if you want one you have to build your own. Maybe someone will pick this up and build more so a family of four can get a camper with four bunks, a table and a kitchen cabinet without having to build it.

I spent half the day today going to home depot and menards, twice each, over an hour in menards on one visit playing with my water tank and a bunch of 3/8 inch flares. Plumbing 3/8 inch flare was new to me today, after some initial frustration running the flexible copper through the frame I have it down now. (I'll have a propane detector in the camper among other detectors). I first bought the $10 flaring tool from menards. I got through four flares before the threads were shot. It was a joke. The $23 flare tool from Husky at home depot got through the rest of the project and is a little easier to use, it's definitely not a machining tool but it works, it is added to my tool kit. I now have all the propane plumbing done with the exception of the stove top. All of the water tank plumbing is also done. Stove top, sink drain and faucet supply have to wait until the face frame and the counter top are on.

Check out the pic below, it doesn't look too bad, just a lot of stuff all jammed into a little space. The picture is just of the utility area of the cabinet. Shows the propane coming in from the floor and splitting three different times, the water tank boxed in and plumbed to the water pump and fill dish. You can see the vent for where the heater is going to be. I will have a board and a piece of metal between my heater and my plastic water tank and the propane lines.

The other pic is just showing off the quick connect line for the exterior grill mount. It is now hooked up to the gas line.

Tue will be more cabinet framing and wiring. I'll probably start to build out the bench too which will include the inverter/charge controller box thing. I'd like to have the kitchen cabinet face on with the fridge and heater permanently installed, plumbed and wired too. Even the face frame is going to be plywood. Tigerply Tigerply Tigerply! ughh too late to switch now lol

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby KCStudly » Tue May 08, 2018 6:18 pm

You're doing great work! Keep the ball rolling. :thumbsup: :applause:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Tue May 08, 2018 11:37 pm

Thanks KC, yeah got more done today.

I went to that trailer hitch shop this morning, turns out when I installed my brake controller I had tapped into the wrong wire under the dash. In my 2011 Highlander there is some converter that combines the brake and blinker lines into one line. So I found this line with my little poke probe when I was looking for a hot brake light line to tap into for my brake controller. The guy just cut that tap and then tapped it into the brake line before the converter. I think he called it a converter, sounds more like a combiner to me, but what do I know? The guy was very nice, good communication skills, charged a fair price and didn't try to up sell me at all, just helped me out. So it didnt ruin my day, in fact it made my day. I will go back to the guy. Now my brake controller should work as intended, I have not tried it yet.

After that I went to the DMV. The camper now has a license plate and current tabs. The lady there said that given the camper's small size and weight she doubted the state would try to schedule an inspection and that they would probably just send me a title. I can now expect a new title or a notification to set up an inspection in the mail box the next 6-8 weeks. As of today we can legally drive it down the road.

I did install the fridge and heater today. I'm piecing together the face frame as I go instead of making it all ahead of time. Its turning out ok. Definitely not finished cabinet grade but close enough considering it is made out of plywood and in a camper. I'm pleased with it. I ran the wiring for the rear bunk lights and the water pump (including the on off switch) and I added a 110 outlet to the front of the cabinet too. I realized that the next thing I have to do is the upper kitchen cabinet so I can install the radio and then run the radio wires and the nest of wires coming out of the ceiling down through the lower cabinet and over to the power converter, so that is first thing tomorrow morning. Once that is done all of the wires will be ran, labelled and ending in the same place. Hook them up to the power converter and I won't need my little shop radio or shop light anymore. I can even keep some sparkling waters cool in the fridge while I work. Definitely by the weekend.

Below is a pic of the cabinet before I got the water pump switch and the 110 outlet installed. I have a long narrow under mount sink (like a small bar/prep sink) that will go in the right section. The stove top will go in the middle. Above the fridge will just be counter space. The counter top is an edge glued Aspen Panel from the box store, it will be stained to contrast and sealed with plenty of poly. I like red stain on wood grain, I'll probably end up staining it red. The stove top is flush mount with a glass cover and the sink is under mount. I'll make an insert/cutting board for the sink. When they are not being used we'll have a huge even work surface.

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Wed May 09, 2018 5:09 am

Nice , all Legal !!! :thumbsup:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Wed May 09, 2018 7:43 pm

I got the upper cabinet and the stereo installed today. The upper cabinet face frame is complete but it still needs a side panel, a divider and some shelving. The lower cabinet still needs the same as well as a piece or two added to the face.

I'm going to get all of the cabinet and bench seating framing done before I do any doors and drawers, then I can knock all of the doors and drawers out at the same time. Drawers will depend on the time line, it might be that I have to make doors for everything for this trip and add drawers later this summer. We'll see, I'd rather have the drawers right away. Door and drawer front construction is going to be 1 inch (maybe 2 inch) solid wood rails and styles with 1/4 plywood centers, shaker style. Drawer bodies will probably be 3/8 inch ply strips and 1/4 inch bottoms.

Today I ran all of the wires coming out of the ceiling down through the upper cabinet and the lower cabinet to where the converter is going to be. As the second picture below shows all of the wires from the entire camper interior are now ran to the same place.

So it just keeps moving along. Closer every day.

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby KCStudly » Thu May 10, 2018 9:56 am

I think you said something above about heat shielding? I'm thinking that big bundle of wires right near your furnace is a good place to start! :thumbsup:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Thu May 10, 2018 12:08 pm

Yeah there will be a panel there and those wires are going to run a little farther too. I did take a closer look at the furnace. There is soft rubber tubing and wires that are part of the furnace from the manufacturer running right next to and touching the grey metal sides of the furnace. It makes me think that the sides of this thing don't get significantly hot. It does have a 12 volt fan and there is an exhaust tube running out the back labeled "HOT". That exhaust tube is towards the upper back right inside of the housing underneath where the wires cross above the heater. I'm going to run the heater and see how hot this area gets. I don't think I'm going to be as worried about heat shielding as I was before unless my initial tests with it indicate that I need to be. I'm betting that the outside of this heater housing is relatively cool while the heater is running. It looks like it is designed to be.

I did shield the heat tube on the back of that fridge. I have thin metal bent directing all hot hair/exhaust to run out the open vent in back. Then I wrapped the whole thing in pink foam scraps to better insulate the fridge and to keep any exhaust heat from entering the camper.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby KCStudly » Thu May 10, 2018 2:30 pm

Sweet. You obviously have a handle on this! I'm impressed, and am looking forward to your future progress. :thumbsup: :applause:
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My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

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Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
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Green Lantern Corpsmen
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Sat May 12, 2018 9:25 pm

Things are still rolling along. Got the wooden counter top installed today. Right now I am working on the under mount sink which will be followed by the stove top. Etc... Etc...

Below I have a pic of the installed counter top. It is an Aspen panel made out of 1x4 material edge glued and ran through a planer. I purchased it like this from the box store and cut it to size. I routed the edges, corners and my cutouts, then hand sanded and sealed the top and bottom with a natural sealing oil. It is glued and screwed to the cabinet frame.

There is a pic of the upper cabinet I made this morning, it runs the width of the camper and is on the angled front wall above our dinette. Its small and high enough we probably won't hit our heads on it but it adds a little more storage.

There is a picture of the dinette framing. The only thing it is missing is the slats. Notice the lower right box is open on the camera facing side, this is intentional. That space opens up to the entry way. That will be our little shoe cubby. Should have just enough room in there for four pairs of shoes.

I finished wiring yesterday, all the wires are right, everything powered up just like it should. Thats a big "check" that I'm glad to be past.

The fridge works awesome, chilled right down within an hour plugged into 110. Works as good as any camper fridge I'vehad yet. Been running for days now, no condensation anywhere.

My $20 bluetooth car stereo head from Amazon works intermittenly. Like it has a short in it. I keep having to shake the wire harness around, its definitely the head. I guess you get what you pay for. There is a Pioneer replacement coming in the mail.

The old power inverter from the donor pop up camper turned on, powered up, charged the house battery and ran all the circuits 12v and 110... BUT ... it is humming loud as hell. Like loud. You can't be in the camper with it for more than a few minutes, at least I can't. It is about to die. I custom cut the hole for it too..Ugghh! Well a new one of those is coming in the mail too. I'm glad I found out now and still have time to reinstall it. At least all of the wires are sorted, combined appropriately, and sitting right in the space. It should be relatively quick to swap out, and trim up an opening for, the new inverter.

Overall, success so far. I think the $40 counter top looks great! I'm glad I found that oil on the shelf while I was looking through my old cans of stain.


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