Proposed Foamie Build

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Proposed Foamie Build

Postby cameronrm » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:15 am

I've been lurking around on this site since I joined several months ago, and I'm finally ready to show what's been cooking in my brain ever since I saw a post about foamies.
I'm about to retire - for the fourth time - and I just know I can't just sit around and watch the grass grow and the snow fall, so this may be a project post-retirement.

The cutout on each side of the bottom is so it will fit on a 6'x12' trailer that has side rails.

I've pulled the nose out so I can have put a king sized bed in it and still have some floor space.

Any comments, suggestions, lessons learned about width, height, and length would be appreciated.

I've got eight months to work on the design, and I'm certainly not an expert at this by any means.

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Foam "Standie"
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Foam "Standie" from the other side
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Inside View 1 showing the wetbath
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby tony.latham » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:31 am

Why keep the side rails on the trailer? Saws-all (saws) are cheap.

:thinking:

T
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Proposed Foamie Build

Postby cameronrm » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:19 pm

I'm leaving the side rails on so that the standing foam wall will be about a foot shorter. These are all development thoughts, and may change as I go down the road. I want 6' 5" of head room so I don't have to stoop while inside the trailer. With the side rails I've calculated that the standing 2" foam wall will be about 5' 5" inches. Also, in my reading I've seen that we should'nt build taller than we are wide. With the side rails in place and building out over the fenders of the trailer I can have an 8' width with the total of 6' 8" total height.

I'm hoping my thought process isn't too flawed.
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby Pmullen503 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:17 pm

I too would lose the side rails in favor of straight walls. That will make construction easier, probably allow more efficient use of materials, and you'll want the extra floor space if you plan to incorporate a toilet or shower.

Second suggestion would be to eliminate what looks like upper storage cabinets. Mostly because it will make the space feel much larger with better light without them. Also you eliminate the need for studs to support the cabinets. Plus anything stored in them raises the center of gravity as opposed to lower cabinets. You'll also have a broader choice of windows.

I like the shape but I would add some type of small awning or drip edge to keep water off the door. You have a big flat roof that collect a lot of water when it rains and you should think about where and how you want it to drain.
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby tac422 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:07 pm

I think leaving the rails on would add a lot of stability and provide some protection to the bottom section...
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby GPW » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:26 am

Yeah , we vote for the rails too as we’ve long wanted to build a camper on a utility trailer … I’d foolishly like a Tandem, with a fold down steel “patio" in the back … 8)

C’ron , That all looks perfectly doable !!! :thumbsup: The FS is in the same ballpark size wise … so we KNOW it will work … Looks like you already know what to do !!! We’ve long professed that Foamies were "the thinking man’s trailer” , since there were so many individual ways of making one … and everybody has different thoughts on construction… Which is really Great because if we all built the same kind of camper , it would get pretty boring … :R
Good Luck , and just saying we love to see the pictures as the build comes along ... :pictures:
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby cameronrm » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:53 pm

I appreciate the comments and the suggestions.

The side rails stay, for reasons that I've already explained and what was also pointed out by tac422. In fact, I"m going to have a welder cut out the last 3' or so on the left side and weld it back on as an extension to the bed, and then weld a 1' "shelf" onto the existing side rails so the overhang has somewhere to sit. The 3' cut section will be the location of a wet bath.

I'm thinking about the overhead cabinets. This is for both me and my wife. If it's possible I need to make this little space as convenient as possible.

Lots of time to think about it.

Right now my brain is working on putting 2" of foam under the floor so I can channel in the plumbing and electricity chases.

I built fourteen slab homes down in Florida one year and I"m using what I learned doing that to design this. Hope it works.
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby GPW » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:22 am

Well, unlike a slab house , a trailer moves and flexes a good deal on the road …. sorta like building a house in FLa. to survive Hurricanes... :o And the more weight you place high on the trailer , the more unstable it becomes … (viz. Overhead cabinets ) You might want to make a list of all the stuff you want to bring , then make another list of only what you NEED to bring … ;)

Please don’t confuse a Foamie trailer with an RV … These are simple “campers" , basically a “hard tent” … Made for Pragmatism , Thrift and Longevity … LIGHT WEIGHT is the secret of our success … Simplicity is the name of the game … If you need to carry a Lot of stuff along , you may want to consider a commercial trailer which is made for that , and is naturally Much HEAVIER … and much more expensive … Or build one after the many fine representations you see in the General discussion or Cargo trailer section … JMHO We all want you to be satisfied with your build … a “ Happy Camper” !!! :D


We’ve long fondled the idea of a camper on a utility trailer :thumbsup: …something simple like this ...87048 Just a sketch ...
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby cameronrm » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:29 pm

GPW - Great sketch. Thanks for the benefit of your experience. I am approaching this in a conservative way - believe it or not - and am glad to have eight more months to think it through. As I said in my first post, these are development thoughts, subject to change as knowledge increases.

I have some experience with load balancing, having served for a time as a load master in the Air Force. Center of gravity is something I'm very familiar with. I've loaded C130s and KC135s to the limit and they've flown all over the world. They are much bigger, but also have a lot more to lose if it's not right.

I've also been a tent camper all my life, and have done some of that at the 7 - 10 foot level in the Utah Rockies, carrying in everything you thought you wanted, or needed.

I also have a dry wight goal of somewhere around 15 - 18 hundred pounds. The trailer will take the first 890 of that, so I know I have to be careful with the rest.

There will be some wood in this build, but I'm working through some design ideas that would allow using foam in places that may be on the edge - but isn't that what this is all about, seeing how far we can go and still be safe, simple, and remain pragmatic?

I've always believed that even if it takes more time and effort to accomplish what will turn out to be the best solution, then the time and effort is worth it. I don't expect this to be easy, just worth it.

As I develop a thought to the point of being able to render it in some form I'll post pictures and get comments.
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby cameronrm » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:32 pm

GPW - I meant to ask: The trailer I'm buying will have a drop down rear gate - the patio that you may have been talking about.

With your experience and imagination, what would you do with a "patio" that's about 6' x 4', just outside your entry door?
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby GPW » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:40 am

BBQ :D

Ron , usually everything is wet around here ( therefore muddy) so any type of elevated platform is much appreciated … I’ve seen them alot on utility trailers around here ( mostly yard and lawn care guys ) , so figured it would be a handy thing to have one … Nice place to put a folding chair on a sunny day ... :thinking:

With Foamies , everything is so deceptively simple , planning is the key to success … We’ve long been an advocate of the “Think Method “ … ;) The more Thinking we do up front means the less we have to redo later… Foamies are easily renovated and modified so you can “fine tune” the structure as needed … And then , there’s always that idea in the back of your mind about that "second Foamie" :o
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby GPW » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:04 am

You know what to do !!! Once you make one , you’ll think it’s so Easy …. and it really is … :thumbsup:

Just a hint , Foam is probably the lightest element in the whole construction process , so feel free to use it for places you think needs reinforcement … As we found , if the foam isn’t strong enough , make it thicker …. 8) Foam “arches” (gussets) make roof to wall joins stronger( and can be decorative) Lots of tricks you can use to make a strong Light cabin …

And if you have any questions , please feel free to ask …The folks that hang aound here have lots of Foamie experience , and hundreds of thousands of miles in them … !!!
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby cameronrm » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:04 am

GPW - I spent some time yesterday while eating lunch here at work looking over your gallery. All that you have said in your posts is nicely backed up with pictures and drawings. I'm grateful to have people with as much experience as you all have to look to for help in thinking this through.

I've been using Sketch Up to draw out my thoughts, and have been amazed at how much detail can be seen as I've worked out how to fit the foam parts together. It has been a great help in working through keeping it as simple as possible.

One of your drawings of a wall/floor joint shows a drip edge on the underside of the joint. Since I've always seen drip edges used to keep water out of a door opening or window opening, or from running down behind a ledger board so the water can freeze there, I'm wondering if this is really a splash guard so that road water doesn't get up into the joint?

I' will feel fortunate if I'm able to build my first foamy, much less a second. I'd have to be able to sell the first one in order to build a number 2. I don't have the real estate to store more than one. The remodel aspect of a foamie is much more likely in my world.

Enjoy the day, and thanks again.
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby ghcoe » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:29 pm

If you are looking for construction ideas you might read through my thread. I tried to document the build well and the read is fairly short compared to others here http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=54099.

In general I am happy with the build, but would change some of my build knowing what I know now. Good luck and welcome to the sickness, George.
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My build viewtopic.php?t=54099
Working with flashing for foamie construction viewtopic.php?f=55&t=60303
Making a hot wire http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=55323
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Re: Proposed Foamie Build

Postby GPW » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:57 am

From what we found , water splashed up on the bottom, etc. is Not usually a problem if it has a way to drip off or evaporate quickly … We found it was the “captured" water that did much damage …
For example , our All Steel Cargo trailer has unfinished boards for the floor and being over 20 years old and living outsiode , has no damage ( no Rot ) , but it has a big Drip edge all around , so the wood stays out of rain , Sun, and the most damaging thing of all here , the Morning dew ( that everyday soaking ) … I think if we all used drip edges , we‘d never have to replace a floor …( not till it’s an Antique anyway … )

Note: Some people may live in an area unbothered with Humidity and typically rainy weather … ( Lucky!!!)

WARNING: Foamie Trailers are highly “Addictive” !!!! … Many of us finish one , while thinking about the next one … ( Right George ?
C/ron , be sure and check out Georges builds :thumbsup: … and everyone elses … many Great ideas and builds to pick preferences from now … In the old days we had to test Everything … Now , everything’s been pretty well tested and confirmed … :thumbsup:

The real Beauty of Foamies is all these Great people working together to help each other … It’s been a Wonderful experience ... :beer: 8)
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