5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

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5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby mjcook » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:36 pm

Need a super lightweight trailer I can pull behind my CR-V on long hauls, so here's my current design that I'm working on. Yes it's tiny, and yes it has nothing but a bed inside it. I don't actually want a camper, just a super lightweight box trailer big enough for a double bed, and maybe a few cabinets. I figure if I make it light enough, I'll be able to lift the box off the frame with the help of a few friends; then I'll have the flatbed available.

I want to keep this on a pretty tight budget (< $1,000) but I was able to source a 4' by 8' harbor freight trailer for free, along with an rv door and some windows. My current design is a 4' by 5' by 8' shell made out of 1" XPS, sandwiched between 1/8" ply. I'm figuring some Marine topside paint on the outside will keep it weatherproof.

I'd love to hear people's thoughts about the structural composition of this plan; it's not too sturdy but being so small I'm hoping good enough..? Also, I'm wondering if I can get away with using cheap materials from home depot for this build? If not, anyone have any good ideas for sourcing cheap/recycled materials?

If anyone wants to see the Sketchup file, I hosted it in dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8jjlu6fnpgiqesi/tiny%20trailer%20%28rev%202%29.skp?dl=0
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Last edited by mjcook on Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby BigGoofyGuy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:15 pm

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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby BigGoofyGuy » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:23 pm

Your design seems similar to the Runaway camper / trailer.
http://www.runawaycampers.com/
Image
:thinking:
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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby mjcook » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:07 am

Thanks for the links, but like I mentioned before, I have a harbor freight 4 by 8 available for free, and it shouldn't cost me any significant amount to modify it to my needs. I do like the runaway designs, that's totally what I'm going for, but at a 10th the price (if possible, lol). I wish there was some inside pictures though...
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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby JoyceB » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:17 pm

Just search runaway trailers and you'll find inside puctures

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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby BigGoofyGuy » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:16 pm

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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby mjcook » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:27 pm

I will admit, I did seriously consider the smaller size of the 'tent' trailer, but I decided against it for 2 reasons: It doesn't have as much volume for hauling bulkier items (like my mountain bike), and it needs to be set up. Setting up isn't really an issue for me, except that it may be frowned upon in a Walmart parking lot (which I can foresee myself staying in on a regular basis).

I'm still wrestling with some points of construction in my 'budget' design; primarily a durable weatherproof exterior. I briefly considered PMF but dismissed it as too costly/time consuming to do. But trying to effectively weatherproof cheap plywood is even worse, so PMF is back on the table and looking better than ever (especially now that I've researched it a little better). The only issue with that, is that I may have to seriously rethink my trailer construction. I guess my question at this point is if 1" XPS with 1/8 birch ply on the inside and PMF on the outside will be strong enough on it's own; without any timber frame reinforcement...

*sigh*

I suppose it's time to scour the forum again, gleaning from those who have gone before me. Thank God for this forum! :thumbsup:
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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby dancam » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:04 pm

Nice. Whats your interior plan? Im building a 5x10 pop-up that fits behind the car when down and is standing hight when up. I am making a pathway down the middle, storage on each side and the front 2ft high inside. To sleep we lift the top up and put bed slats on top of the plywood storage dividers and inflate an air matress on it. You could do something similar.
Can always weld a tow hitch to the back and use a bike rack. Or do a roof rack on the tv.
Pmf is light and strong but it is not cheap and takes forever to build.
If your looking for cheap and quick look into waterproofing the plywood more.

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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby VT800C » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:15 pm

I did my 4x8 on a Harbor Freight. your design should be fine. If you think about some of the foamies built on this site, you might want to add some reinforcement ribs in the walls and ceiling. I built mine on a harbor freight 4x8 using 3/4 ply. it's heavy, but I could almost throw a party on the roof.

Take the plunge. you can always modify it later if you find a deficiency
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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby Andrew Herrick » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:55 am

Since you're building a box, I think you could do it for less than $1,000, especially if you've found a chassis and a few windows for free.

Now, don't get me wrong. You can't build a 20-year camper for that price. You get what you pay for. I pay over a $100 for a good battery charger alone. But if all you want is a rolling box for maintained roads, sure, I think a $1,000 will cut it. Here are some ways you might be able to slash costs.

- No Fan-Tastic fan! Those are $150 - $250. Either use a Ventline fan by Dexter, or dispatch with the 12-volt DC system all together. I think that's what Runaway Campers does. If you're desperate for a little power, you could tap into the auxiliary power line from your tow vehicle's hitch power module.

- As long as you adhere the skins to the XPS foam - be sure you remove the plastic skins first - then they'll be plenty strong enough. The HF trailer will break before the walls do. Loctite makes a Foamboard adhesive. 3M makes 30NF. Hmmm ... some people like Gorilla Glue, even though it foams.

I think you'll find the challenge with a sandwich wall is the joints. How do you attach the wall to the floor? What about wall to wall? Wall to ceiling? You can't use standard screws. They won't hold in 1/8-inch plywood. I think you'll find it easiest, for each wall, to build a perimeter out of 1x2's and use 3/4-inch insulation instead. Much easier to connect panels that way.

- You can find 6x8 vinyl remnants at Big Box Stores for about $25. Good for flooring.

- It's easy to spend $200 just on exterior trim if you go with aluminum siding. I'd stick with PMF or just paint the thing four or five times.

Good luck. One last bit of advice: If you can, spend more money :p
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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby Tigris99 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:57 pm

$1000 without the cost of trailer is fairly simple especially as simple as your planning.

PMF isnt expensive at all really. And will out last just some basic exterior paint.

My build Ill have less than 2k into including the trailer. I didnt use foam fully though. 5x8x4. That includes buying a cooler, stuff for a sink in the galley, all lights, battery etc. May have slightly more since i want to do all exterior corners in aluminum.

-Trailer $375 after mods
-All lumber ~$400, 2x2s for most things, few 2x4s, massive stack of luan (high humidity variant), ply for the floor, bunk, and door.
-$20 hardware
-$70 canvas (amazon you can get a 12x15 no seams for $40)
-Paint is unknown, up to $200 possibly (may have access to some free paint to do base and fill with before final colored coats)
~$80 for 1.5" foam board, 4 sheets.
~$95 for 2 RV windows (one crank open, one solid)

I may have over bought on lumber too which i can return any whole lumber i dont use.


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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby mjcook » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:37 pm

I've started building!
Thanks for your suggestions and comments; they have been helpful. :thumbsup:
here's my build thread: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=69013
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Re: 5x8 Tiny (Hopefully budget friendly)

Postby mjcook » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:50 pm

Updated the original sketchup file to match revised construction. (It still looks more or less the same though)
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