Canonical HowTo, "Best of TNTTT" foamie threads?

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Canonical HowTo, "Best of TNTTT" foamie threads?

Postby John61CT » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:16 am

Focussing here on PMF skinning, both the "materials science", heavy canvas vs light dropcloth, Gripper vs TB2,

as well as process tips & techniques, timing, tools etc.

I'm happy to read thousands of pages taking notes if need be,

but I would prefer to start with the best threads, and then fill in gaps or consider alternatives from the rest of them.

Are there more or less "canonical" howto build threads y'all can link to?

Detailed build notes on units that turned out great?

Summaries outlining the various options?

Maybe think in terms of your gurus, leading light members,

which build threads reveal their experience best?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Canonical HowTo, "Best of TNTTT" foamie threads?

Postby John61CT » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:30 am

ghcoe's #1 build thread

ghcoe wrote:http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=54099 . I tried to detail my build step by step as best I could and there is not really too much fat, keeping it just at 50 pages. Even though there is a lot of good content in there, some of my build thoughts have changed and some even changed during the building documentation. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the thread. George.


Thanks George!

PS to everyone, in order to keep this thread focussed, let's not discuss actual build issues here.

Just links to what you consider "the best" learning threads for those starting out,

And comments, if any, only at a "meta" level, about the threads themselves.

As George suggests, substantive commentary on the techniques themselves can take place over in those build threads.

TIA
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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby tac422 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:56 pm

I may be biased, :R but...
there are a lot of great build notes and pictures on The Big Pink build. And it turned out awesome !
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=56441
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Re: Canonical HowTo, "Best of TNTTT" foamie threads?

Postby lthomas987 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:33 am

I followed this one until I got to where he had to stop because of school. He's got good pictures. http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=58559

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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby willrothfuss » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:50 pm

I'll chime in as a new poster inviting the wrath of the older members and echo the topic starter with probably less tact. I admit to being very frustrated in trying to find a simple, concise build journal for a traditional (Benroy type-not interested in the boxy look) teardrop built with foam or a foam and wood hybrid. Something with canvas and maybe wood trim- old school looking.

But I can't find anything. Even just some pictures of finished examples. The closest I came was the unfinished trailer by the student. I have to be honest- I don't have the time or the inclination to sift through the 500 page thread to get the information I could probably find in a well-edited blog of 10 pages. Not a criticism, just a flaw in the basic message board model- I gather this was the only foamy thread for a long time. Are "foamies" still in the experimental stage? I don't believe there are any commercial makers?

Links, internally or externally? Photos? A glossary would be useful too. It took a while to figure out what TB2 was and even longer on PMF. :o

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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby me&z » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:59 pm

Try the mad dash. Relatively short build thread. Stays mostly on topic. Good pictures.

viewtopic.php?f=55&t=62128
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Re: Canonical HowTo, "Best of TNTTT" foamie threads?

Postby John61CT » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:34 pm

Commercial? Must be joking, in litigious Amerika?

But I think mature enough, doesn't **have to** be experimental anymore, for those who don't want to pioneer new variations.

I noticed looking at the web based version of the site starting at the domain front page, there have been some attempts historically to highlight different design resources, the list o' links, best of gallery etc.

I guess something like that specific for foamies would be pretty ambitious, but maybe a motivated noob plowing their way through the archives could pull something together in a wiki, then the old pro's add/correct things, over time could become a centralized HowTo.
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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby GPW » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:20 am

QUOTE: “ I gather this was the only foamy thread for a long time. Are "foamies" still in the experimental stage? I don't believe there are any commercial makers?”

Yes!!! There was only one Foamie thread we had for a long time , one little thread in the general discussion, focused originally on saving money building trailers ( Thrifty Alternatives) .. , that developed slowly over time, just a few FRIENDLY interested people having a casual social media chat , discussions ranging from pets and recipes to Foamie Planes , Boats , and Trailers ,everybody having a really good time , and after the first few were built , others tried it and Liked it .
Due to the newness of the concept , a lot of people had the mistaken idea that it would blow up, implode, fall apart , fly off the trailer , etc. etc. etc. on the highway at speed … Early skeptics, naturally cautious !!! We tried !!! ( not even a bird strike as we can recall ) Never happened , in fact we never had any complaints , even though we even asked everybody …
Previous to that the only Foamie threads we saw were Glassice’s heavily Fiberglassed Foamie trailer ( not light , easy , or Cheap ) and we don’t know if he ever finished it completely…that thread just stopped , never heard from him again … And there was "the Bub" which was like a popup (again heavily fiberglassed ) box ( just a box that was supposed to Float ? ) and that one also never got finished ,then sold to Bonnie who reduced it to little pieces ... :o

Experimental … That’s up to You !!! Not as many naysayers as when this idea first started many years ago … Those who like to read can look back the past 10 years and see all the Foamies been built, things tried … Been a lot now and hundreds of thousands of miles travelled puts them sorta’ past the experimental stage … If you asked the Foamlings around here that have built a Foamie or two, I think you’d find much satisfaction in their practicality … and they’re light and Cheap … The idea all along promoted by our moderator Eaglesdare , was her idea of a “Hard Tent” ... :thumbsup: She had a campable foamie made long before anybody else !!! Still has it …

Commercial trailers are made to fall apart quickly and need lots of garaging and pricy specialized maintenance ( we had one :frightened: ) … Really Nice if you have Lots of Money to burn !!! And they’re Pretty !!!
Foamies are made to last a long time living outside with no special care or expensive repairs , No Profit in that eh ?
A far as production , if you’ve ever watched the Jayco video where they build a complete trailer in 30 minutes , that just wouldn’t be practical for foamies which need time for glues and paint to dry . All time consuming , awful for mass production and who would pay $20,000 for a Foam trailer anyway ??? The RV industry is about the PROFITS , little else …

I think it’s always been the standard around here that if you have a question , any question , Please don’t hesitate to ask it, and surely you’ll get an immediate answer . We’re all here to just SHARE information about Cheap and Easy to make and tow trailers … All for FUN, and FUN for ALL!!! 8)

Attempts to organize the thread into the relevant material was a Herculean labor , it was just too far out of hand already for any one person to do , and there’s a lot of us that just don’t know how or didn’t have the time ( all volunteer) … Basically the point of the whole thing over time is to just to get people thinking , and coming up with their own ideas , and as you can read here , many were built and were Brilliant , and made very Cool campers . Ask anybody here !!! :D
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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby KCStudly » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:14 am

willrothfuss wrote:I'll chime in as a new poster inviting the wrath of the older members and echo the topic starter with probably less tact.

No wrath, just opinions.

willrothfuss wrote:I admit to being very frustrated in trying to find a simple, concise build journal for a traditional (Benroy type-not interested in the boxy look) teardrop built with foam or a foam and wood hybrid. Something with canvas and maybe wood trim- old school looking.

That's the beauty of building DIY, we can all customize our own builds to be exactly what we want, unique to our own needs and vision. Naturally, that means that there will likely not be a perfectly laid out example, paint by numbers build that we can follow. (You didn't really expect it to be that easy, right?)

willrothfuss wrote:I have to be honest- I don't have the time or the inclination to sift through the 500 page thread to get the information I could probably find in a well-edited blog of 10 pages. Not a criticism, just a flaw in the basic message board model...

You don't have time or patience? You are underestimating what it takes to be a self builder. If you don't "do the research", even into the traditional builds where there are a lot, repeat lot, of lessons learned in TD construction and end use conveniences, you will likely be spending a great deal of time and money (relative) and may not get as much bang for your buck as you are hoping for. Too many rush in, underestimate the scope, get frustrated and quit, or end up with something that doesn't really work the way they were hoping for; some even go on to build a second, just to fix the mistakes made on the first. Not enough time or patience to get it right the first time, but enough to do it twice?

As to blog vs. build journal, it's not so much a flaw as just the nature of most people's builds and the reason most people post in more of a daily diary format rather than a post production polished recap. We are looking for feedback and support, input and advice, to help us along our way; as opposed to merely documenting what we did after the fact. This is a builders forum. If I tried to boil my build thread down into 10 pages, you would miss most of the design rationale, building techniques, troubles and tribulations. In short, you would only see the glossy surface, and a false sense of ease that would unfairly lure you into thinking that these things are easy and can be built in a week.

willrothfuss wrote:Are "foamies" still in the experimental stage? I don't believe there are any commercial makers?

ghcoe, rowerswet, and GPW are the only ones that I can think of (atm) who have built multiple foamies. The rest of us, to some degree or another, must surely feel like we are still developing and experimenting with the process. My own build, TPCE, is a hybrid. I've experimented with some of the techniques posited in the big thread and incorporated somewhat of a Steve Freddrick's method. I don't think that the glue and canvas aspect of PMF would ever take off in a commercial application; fiberglass construction is so well established in the boating and RV industries that those tools, methods, and materials would more likely be used... but at a cost over current RV slam dam thank you ma'am, dosen't it look pretty for a moment, maximum profit, "you need to drag a huge box" norm. (Although there are more and more smaller, better quality RV's coming to market these days.)

willrothfuss wrote:A glossary would be useful too.

Not a glossary, but there is a summary/index thread that is a companion to the big thrifty thread: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=56186

I hope this helps. :thumbsup:
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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby GPW » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:33 pm

Row got pretty far with that one eh KC ! … :thumbsup:

Funny thing about Foamies …. if you’ve already built a trailer (or anything else similar ) , then a foamie is a walk in the park , on a budget… If not it can be confusing listening to all the people saying it isn’t going to work , and those who know it will … :NC Basically , to make something very simple ( without doing it several times , like me :duh: ) , there has to be a good deal of Thinking , planning , and understanding that has to be on your plate before you start building .That’s why we wrote down as much as we could , and answered questions within our certain knowledge ...
The only reason we hung around here so long was to assist the new people that didn’t have that kind of experience , but really wanted a practical camper trailer, that didn’t cost $20.000.00 and $10.000.00 a year to maintain …as an “RV" would … and it can live OUTSDE , no tarp , no cover , no foolishness …It “wears“ it’s own tarp … :thumbsup: Good wash every now and then and you’re good …

You know , our Fearless Leader ( Big Mike ) also built a couple Foamies … It was really NBD for him, all his prior experience … they came out Great right from the get go … :applause:

No matter all the discussion, we still Learn as we go … Nobody knows it all, but we’re all still learning … Fuss’, I’d suggest if you don’t like to read , you skip that entirely and just ask lots of questions… That works too… No pressure eh …. ;)
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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby willrothfuss » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:17 pm

Thanks, I'm sure I will have a lot of questions. And I am doing a lot of reading- probably take a year before I build. The trailer is the one thing that I am a real greenhorn on. As for the shell, I spent my career designing and building things, mostly out of wood, and have all the tools, so not really worried there. What I don't know about are issues of condensation, weight, leak prevention, since everything I built was for inside. LOL. Still looking at a lot of pictures- pictures being worth a thousand words.

One example: what are the best practice principals to hang and weather strip a teardrop door? ( Don't want the generic door everyone uses) I can hang a cabinet door all day. Or a house door. But a teardrop door is a unique hybrid. Or what about homemade windows? Anyone tried those?
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Re: Canonical HowTo, "Best of TNTTT" foamie threads?

Postby John61CT » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:46 am

Let's avoid nay-saying on this.

Just let it sit until volunteers emerge.

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 !!!
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 … ;)


A Wiki would be more suitable, long as a knowledgeable guide helps keep the outline structure organized.

Alternative approaches can be put into sub topics.

Each node can have a linked thread back to the forum for discussions as needed.

Newbies need to ask for edit ability?
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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby me&z » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:02 pm

Edited
Last edited by me&z on Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Canonical HowTo,

Postby GPW » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:14 pm

The only definite thing we’ve proven about Foamies is there’s not just One way to build one … Many Choices … ( too many )
For Beginners I’d suggest pick a trailer style you like , and then ask a lot of questions … many Good people are just waiting here to be Helpful … ;) 8)
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Re: Canonical HowTo, "Best of TNTTT" foamie threads?

Postby John61CT » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:58 pm

me&z wrote:Disclaimer: I have never built a teardrop, foamie or otherwise. But I lurk and I read and my memory hasn't completely gone yet. I'll give a go at answering the window question.

Wiley windows - homemade:
- no hinge
- can leave open in rain
- can be (almost) any size or shape
- frame sticks into interior
- rowerwet started one of the better threads on the topic. Plus pictures. Also has a neat solution for sealing round windows with a gamma lid.
viewtopic.php?t=57192&f=21

Shed windows - purchased:
- inexpensive
- several builders have used

Homemade hinged:
- GPW made one for his first foamie. Others have also
- use a stainless steel hinge (ask GPW)
- basically a sheet of poly on a sash with a hinge to the frame in the foamie.
- making it openable with a screen is the tricky part.

RV windows:
- people have aquired from eBay, Craigslist, RV surplus stores, and other sources
- with and without trim rings seems to be a common issue, plus how to get to fit to the thickness of a foamie
Sorry let's keep the thread for "meta, project management" discussions for getting edited reference howto's done.

Actual howto content should stay out of this thread, please.

Feel free to start a "Windows tips" thread (they're free, it's easy) copying and pasting the quoted Qs and your Answers.
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