Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:23 am

Hello all,

After lurking for many months on this forum, soaking up a lot of great ideas and the endless good cheer and enthusiasm, I have decided to embark on a Foamie Build. It will be based on a NT 5x8 trailer. I have a general idea on the build, but it will definitely be an organic process, changing ideas and direction along the way (within reason and bounds of sanity).

My wife's name is Kit, so we have christened the future Foamie "Kit and Caboodle".

After many days of very unusual cold weather here in western NC, we have progressed from this:

276 pounds of possibilities...
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to this:

a road-worthy chariot
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We added the 7' tongue extension to the original kit. We also swapped out the original 12" tires for these 13" puppies:

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My wife peered at them and pronounced "I feel safer already."

We are extending the front of the trailer a bit, to accommodate a queen-ish size foam mattress. A couple of 2x4s with 1/2" spacers will do the job:

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BTW, that little 2.5" square glued just to the front of the running light is held in place with nothing but PL Premium, and I have declared this glue my new best friend. That little wood block is not going anywhere. It was simply glued directly to the painted metal, and not even a sledgehammer will coax it to move (of course I am not going to test this theory, but I have faith).

I also whipped together some custom-fit wheel chocks out of spare 2x lumber, and they work admirably. The trailer does not budge:

153801

That's all for today, it's 32 degrees in the shop (in April ????), time to go in and warm up. Early this week I hope to trundle on down to Lowes and pick up plywood, foam, etc. :twisted:
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby linuxmanxxx » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:34 am

Joe4Camping wrote:
We are extending the front of the trailer a bit, to accommodate a queen-ish size foam mattress.:


I would recommend you extend the back the same amount you do the front to maintain weight distribution. If you build a torsion box sandwich floor, it's strength would be plenty to forego the 2x4 extensions. As you complete the structure it adds strength to the whole thing.

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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:24 pm

Thanks for the recommendation, linuxman. I did forget to mention there would be a matching set of 2x4s in the rear for the hatch assembly.

As far as floor insulation, I was inspired by another TNTT thread (I'm sorry I cannot remember where I saw it) where the OP wedged foam directly underneath the plywood floor. Like so:

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For the metal crossmembers of the trailer, where I cannot fit the foam, I plan on gluing in place accordion-folded aluminum foil to hopefully insulate against the cold metal. The idea is that the loose layers of foil will provide some insulation. We'll see! If all else fails, I'll still have the 8" foam mattress to shield us from the cold below.
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby amandacreiglow » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:40 pm

Looking great! and having used it for a different insulation project in the past, I have to agree with you on the pl premium... it’s good stuff! Not sure which flavor you’re using, but I went through a truly scary amount of the 3x kind.
Been loving the gorilla glue construction adhesive, too, if you’re looking for something with similar characteristics and application but a bit softer/more flexible finished texture. It’s an off-white, too, instead of the dark grayish color the loctite pl stuff is, if that’s helpful for you.


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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:27 pm

Thanks for the gluing tip, Amanda. I'm using the PL Premium for wood to metal adhesion, but I'll definitely check out the Gorilla flavor of glue when it comes time to glue foam to foam and/or wood.

Today's progress saw the completion of the wooden frame for the trailer, and the fitting of the 3/4" OSB board to the floor. I drilled recesses for the bolts that stand proud of the trailer's cross pieces, as well as slathering the first layer of asphalt paint to the bottom of the OSB.

Here's the asphalt paint:
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And here's the first section of OSB bathed in the stuff. It didn't smell too bad when painting it on. Waiting for it to dry overnight before flipping it over into position.
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The OSB conveniently has tongue & groove to join the sections.

More to come tomorrow.
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:02 pm

Started installing the floor, with the insulation going first underneath:
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Here's the view from underneath, where the asphalt-painted wood strips are screwed through the foam into the plywood floor above, making a tight sandwich:
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After the final glue-up and screwing into the frame, the insulated floor is ready for the camper!

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On to Lowe's to pick up 2" Foam for the rest of the build....
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:04 am

I've purchased the foam, but the weather has not cooperated. It's been too chilly for glue-ups just yet.

So, I've routed out channels in the floor for 12ga and 14ga wire to run between the pd4045/battery compartment in the tongue box and the galley in the rear. Cooler and AC were happy to stand-in for placement checks.
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This is what a sneeze looks like while routing: :R
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This will be covered by flooring, so no biggie!

That's all for now until Mother Nature decides to turn up the heat.
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Fri May 18, 2018 10:24 pm

Finally getting around to wall construction on the foamie. Oddly enough, I am starting with the only non-foam section: the 1/2" plywood wall separating the sleeping quarters from the galley.

Here are the temporary supports (2 in front and 2 behind) tacked in place to hold the wall as it dries:
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Then I drilled holes and glued bamboo skewers to hold the 1" foam galley walls in place. The brown 1/8" backer board is tacked in place merely as a guide so I can easily guide and push the foam wall straight down onto the bamboo spikes.
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Then, it's a quick smear of TB2 along the bottom edge of the plywood wall and drop it in place, wedged between the 4 right-angle supports. The outer foam galley walls are snugged into place, with PL8 used to glue them to the floor, and PL3 along the wall. No real reason for using the two types of PL, except curiosity to see how they work. The opening in the wall for the 5000 BTU air conditioner makes a handy access for ratcheting down the wall snug against the floor.
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Here's the reverse side, showing where I screwed the wall into the foam sides for added rigidity and clamping the foam walls in place as the glue dries.
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Six hours later, after the glue has cured, I'm happy to report that the foam/plywood wall combo seems to be rock solid. I really like working with the PL, there is no glue expansion to worry about. I'll be using the Gorilla Glue for the main cabin area, I have a feeling I'll need that expansion to fill inevitable gaps.

On to the next phase.
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Tue May 22, 2018 9:37 pm

Today I tested the PD4045 panel, and after wiring it with 10ga and 12ga, following the excellent guide posted here:

http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=65938

I was able to test the 5000 BTU ac. It was just a mock setup, to make sure my wiring and grounding is up to snuff, and No smoke, flames, or sparks. Success!!
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby pchast » Wed May 23, 2018 8:41 pm

:thumbsup:
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:41 am

Started cutting holes in the walls for the doors. Here's the outer door frame, being glued up:

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Then, the door itself was framed, using finger notches and the poor man's angle clamps using strategically-placed screws for the clamps to grip. The corner notches were cut using a pull saw and coping saw:

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After that all was dried and solidly glued up, I glued strips of beadsheets around the door frame perimeter as a moisture barrier. A foam insert was cut and shaped to fit the door frame, and I'm placing the hinges to figure out placement of the wood blocks in the door:

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While this was being glued, I began clamping and gluing the galley walls, which are two triangular segments (one slightly larger than the other, to form a lip that the hatch will ride against). The wooden triangular support that was used to support the dividing wall as it dried can now be conveniently used as a backer wall to brace the galley wall glue-up:

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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:36 am

Here I'm test fitting the door with a scrap piece of Foam (of which I have many!).

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More importantly, I cobbled together a wiley window for the door (also out of one-of-many scrap foam pieces). I wanted to test head-smacking potential should I jerk up awake at night due to a bear/moose/armadillo rocking our camper. I'm glad I mocked this up, because, sure enough, the wiley window leans in a skosh too much for my comfort, so I know to make the side wedges about 1.5 inches narrower for more breathing room. Since I plan on permanently installing a screen in the window, the wiley would really only be for wedging in a 1/4" piece of plexiglass when it rains.

I am going with the wiley window option because:

a) they look cool.
b) my granddad had them on his camper from the '40s, so this would be a nice touch of family continuity.
c) they only cost the price of the plexiglass and screen material, and I didn't want to spend beaucoup de bucks on a pair of RV/teardrop windows.

All told, I've spent about $1800 on the construction of this wee beastie. I *think* my only major investments going forward will be the foam mattress and canvas, so I feel pretty good about keeping costs down and still have something that won't fly apart down the road (literally).
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby GPW » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:49 am

Joe , couldn’t help but notice your OSB floor , and I was wondering if you’re going to treat it with anything to make it absolutely waterproof ???
There’s no place like Foam !
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:42 pm

Hi GPW,

Yes, the underside of the 3/4" OSB subfloor is treated with 2 coats of Black Beauty asphalt paint. In addition, I've attached 2" foam to the underside to provide an insulating barrier from below. Hopefully that does the trick.
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Re: Kit & Caboodle Foamie

Postby Joe4Camping » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:36 pm

I've started gluing the pre-washed king size bedsheet to the interior wall, before attaching the walls to the subfloor. I asked on another thread about issues that might arise by pre-pasting the interior before assembly, and the main concern seems to be bowing. Here's my attempt at avoiding that:

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I laid the wall flat on the subfloor, glued on the bedsheet, and screwed the wall to the subfloor (at strategic points that will be hidden later on by cabinets, mattress, etc) using the largest flat washers I could find. Hopefully these "clamps" will do the trick. I'll let it rest and cure overnight, and we'll see what happens tomorrow!
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