New Foamie--The Hermit

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New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Jana » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:26 pm

Hi, I am Jana from Albuquerque and I am building a foamie canned ham. In 1958 my dad built a trailer designed after the old Winnebego trailers and my trailer memories including our trip to Yellowstone were the best ever!!! I loved that trailer and I want to make my own. About a year ago I came across this forum and have been so excited to discover that I can do this!! I am so grateful for all the experiments and creative ideas that have emerged over the years. Thank you so much for your willingness to share your expertise! My criteria for the build is that I want it simple yet comfortable, with a low carbon foot print, within my skill capacity, and beautiful in a form-follows-function way. My build is the hermit because we like to unplug from our busy lives and get away from it all. We enjoy dispersed camping so a self-contained electrical system will be important. I am looking at roughly 6 x10 x 6 ht. I got a 5 x 8 Northern Tool trailer which my husband and have been modifying--axle above the springs, extra width and length using PVC pipe. One set back is that after greasing the bearings (a new skill) I discovered that 1 stem on each hub was bad and they are sending replacement hubs--which means pulling both seals again. I guess I needed more practice. Will upload pictures when I figure out how. :thinking:
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby me&z » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:25 pm

If you haven't found this one yet, you might want to take a look. A little bigger than your goal but really well documented build. And short - for a foamie thread. :FNP

viewtopic.php?f=55&t=62527
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby ghcoe » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:31 am

Might look at this plan to get some ideas http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/The%20W ... d%2010.htm. Make sure when you start to modifying a trailer that axle placement is correct.
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Bruue1 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:06 am

Sounds like fun. I am currently building a foam travel trailer. We (my wife, two children and I) are planning to take it to Yellowstone NP leaving at the end of May this year. I hope this trip will be as fun for my kids as your trip with your family was for you.

:)

You probably already know but you'll find all the answers to any questions you have on this site. These guys seem to be very pleasant and helpful and responsive.

Best of luck, can't wait to see your camper.

:thumbsup:
Stumpy, Lefty and One Eye all agree: experience is the best teacher.
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby amandacreiglow » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:17 pm

Good luck! Sounds like you’ve made a good start already.

Can I ask, when you say you’re extending with pvc pipe, how do you mean exactly? Any pics?

Also, repacking the bearings was a new skill for me too, and not one I liked! You have my sympathy for having to open the seals again. :-)


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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Jana » Fri May 04, 2018 10:12 pm

So a couple of days ago I wrote a really long post and then somehow I didn't end up saving it. :cry: I don't know how everyone manages working full time, doing the foamie and documenting about it. I am still having difficulty figuring out about pictures. I think I'm doing the steps correctly and then it doesn't work. :oops:
So here goes... First thank you for your interest and support. I had read both of those threads previously. (I've spent a lot of time at this forum in the last year!) The canned ham foamie was both inspiring and intimidating until I realized that I could build based on my skill level. :) With that in mind, I have purchased a door and windows. I was thinking about a skylight plexiglass window but haven't decided--I also don't want to deal with possible leaks.
About the PVC framing. I used 1.5" schedule 40 PVC that is bolted to the sides of the rails--front, back and sides. On the sides it extends the with of the fenders (8 inches) and rests on the fender supports. In addition to the carriage bolts, I have 25 steel cable ties to wrap around the steel frame and the PVC pipe. On the front I will also have a 3 ft piece of c-channel to tie into the cross pieces of the tow rail to lend additional support. On top of the PVC and steel frame is 1" foam with the underside reinforced with gripper and fiberglass screening. Glued to the top of the foam is 1/2" plywood with holes drilled and countersunk for the bolts. On top of that will be 1/8" plywood and stick-on linoleum in walking areas.
The walls will rest on top of the floor. There will be a 2" strip of foam 2" in from the perimeter for supporting the walls. The furniture (bed and benches) will be made out of PVC with wood slats. The PVC legs will be glued into the foam strips supporting the wall. 2" foam will be glued to the wall and wedged between the PVC legs. The bed will be in the back. Half of the bed will be permanently in place. There will be 2 benches over the wheel wells that provide the rest of the bed with a part that slides out from the center of the permanent bed. There will be a bunker shelf above the bed made of foam and PVC supports between the walls. There will be PVC supports for the roof--haven't decided how many I need. Roof will be 2 " foam. The curved parts may be 2- 1 inch pieces put together if it is easier to Kerf 1" pieces. The front will have PVC shelving units that can go outside for an outdoor kitchen. There will be a permanent shelf about 3 ft high made of foam with PVC support. There will also be a bunker shelf closer to the ceiling. Since the lower shelves are not built in, I am thinking about facing the uncurved part of the front wall (3-4ft) with 1/8" plywood to lend additional support. I may have 2, 3 foot shelf units up front. But this may change if I decide to do a space for a porta potty in front. Side walls will have fiberglass screening and gripper and may be covered with 1/4" cork underlayment. Haven't decided what to do about the ceiling--canvas, gripper and screening painted, or a fabric ceiling of some kind.
My battery will be under the bench by the wheel well. Heavy gear will be stowed between the benches when traveling since they will be over the axle.

A couple pf questions: My windows install with compression rings. Do I need something solid between the foam and the window? Would something like 1/4 inch flat PVC be solid enough? What size screws do I need for 2" walls?
Any suggestions about a skylight? I would love to see the stars at night!
On a 6 x 10 ft trailer, how many spars do I need to support the roof?
I am thinking about putting the outside canvas on the walls before attaching them to the trailer. If I don't extend the glue beyond the foam, at a later point when the walls are attached to the floor, will I be able to turn the canvas under and glue it down to the underside of the trailer?

I have considered quite a few of the details--however I am certain that there are some things that I have missed and some things that won't work as I have planned. :worship: I welcome suggestions from your experiences.

I am still working on creating a gallery for pictures. :? Jana
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Jana » Mon May 07, 2018 10:03 pm

I think I finally figured out posting pictures! Framing...Jana
gallery/image.php?album_id=4806&image_id=154295
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Pmullen503 » Tue May 08, 2018 9:02 am

I'm a little concerned about the frame/floor system. The PVC frame extensions will carry the weight of the walls and ceiling. The 1/2" floor/foam will add little rigidity by itself and the foam underneath will compress over time loosening your mounting bolts. Could you stand on the PVC perimeter and bounce on it without it failing or flexing?

If you are committed to using the PVC frame extensions then the floor should be much stiffer.
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Jana » Tue May 08, 2018 8:33 pm

Thanks! I really appreciate your comments. The PVC can take my weight without flexing or collapsing. I think we will make some modifications to further beef up support. In the area by the door we had put 10" carriage bolts through the steel frame and both PVC pipes to add extra support.This made it rock solid. I think we will will switch to 10" bolts on all of the 8" side areas. I think we will add either another 1/2" or 3/8" layer of plywood to the floor. Compression on the floor over time does concern me but I don't think we can redo that at this point. We do plan on gluing all the layers of the floor together and gluing the foam to the frame as well. Don't know if that will help. May have to figure out a way of putting in spacers underneath if that becomes a problem down the road.
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby pchast » Tue May 08, 2018 9:03 pm

I would recommend using crush proof blocking wherever you plan bolting
to the frame.
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby GPW » Wed May 09, 2018 6:58 am

Gosh , I don’t know about that trailer frame extension :NC … PVC is funny stuff , it can be brittle , or very flexible , or in between … ( we make bows out of it , and test it first ) But I don’t think I’d make a perimeter frame out of it … But what do I know ? Maybe just call this another “Test” , and see how it works out . Jana could be on to something … We never know the real TRUTH till somebody tests it …

And you may not know PVC gets Brittle in Cold temperatures , so for those folks that live up North ( above Baton Rouge :lol: ) You might want to use the thicker wall schedule 80, the gray PVC which has proven stronger …even at lower temps …
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby KCStudly » Thu May 10, 2018 2:21 pm

Image

Click the quote button to this post (no need to actually reply) to see how the coding looks when using the Img button to bracket the link to your picture.

I hope that PVC works out for you, as it is not really a structural material. Looks excessively complicated to my eye, but that is the beauty of these things; we each get to do it our own way! (... and I'm sure my way looks... nay IS, just as hard!)
:D :lol:
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Jana » Sat May 12, 2018 7:06 am

So this is sounding like a really bad idea. :NC I need to ask worst case / likely scenario. My brother said he's seen a whole pile of PVC shatter--but that would be -20 in Wisconsin--which is not our typical temperatures. Could hitting one good bump do it in? :frightened: Does it get more brittle over time? Over time will it start sagging over the weight of the sides and roof? We could have done a wooden frame but this idea was just so clear in my mind. Innovation and experiments are good--but I don't want to be foolish about it either. At this point I am exploring how to proceed. I was also planning to shorten the back by 6" using repair couplers and I would use the 10 inch bolts all the way around except the front which is supported by c-channel. Will a 1" floor help? Do I consider a wooden frame on top using 2x2s? Dismantling it all? Do I wait and see what happens? Repairing this after the fact would probably be more difficult?
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Don L. » Sat May 12, 2018 6:29 pm

Itmight be good to reconsider the structure at this point, in my opinion. Remember the weight of the walls and roof and anything else attached to them will be weighing down onto the pvc.
Most trailer frames will have a little metal bracket piece extension welded to the main frame that stick out and support the outer walls. I'll try to show a pic of my frame.
Another thing that would support the walls would be a thicker wooden floor, at least 1-1/2" thick (2 layers of plywood or similar. That gets weighty though.
The bracket behind the wheel in this picture illustrate my point the best in this shot.
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Re: New Foamie--The Hermit

Postby Don L. » Sat May 12, 2018 6:42 pm

Here are a couple pics to show how I did mine. Not that that is the only way by any means. The wooden rail along the outside edges is what the walls rest on and spreads out the weigh of the wall and floor. It is left a little long in the pic, and was cut off to the proper length once I determined the where the wall ended.
I hope this all makes sense.
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