This is my design phase. I wasn't sure if I should post this here or in the build journal forum because I haven't started building yet. If the mods think this should be in the other forum, feel free to move it. I'll be designing this and collecting all materials over the fall and winter, and will begin the build in the spring.
I've been contemplating getting a small camper for a while. Something that I can park anywhere, even in smaller tent sites. I'm not a fan of the areas in campgrounds where you can take a big camper because it's basically a big open field with lots and a few trees. The only privacy you get is staying between trailers... So, the big camper stays at the lake. I didn't feel like buying someone's used camper and possible problems, and I'm definitely not dropping cash for a new one.
I thought of building a teardrop for a while. Besides, I've been thinking of adding a new hobby to my list. But the reason I wanted a CAMPER was because I usually tent when I go to other campgrounds. And tenting is ok, but for a week it's a little annoying. No room to stand to get changed and whatnot. And I've had a few abdominal surgeries lately that make things more difficult at times. Plus, the wife gets annoyed early and late summer when it's really cold and damp at night.
Because of our climate in Alberta, we get some crazy weather that can change in an instant. We can be out enjoying the sun and then 5 minutes later we're getting rained on hard, which makes getting into the tent when you're soaking wet an annoyance because our bedspace gets soaked. So for this reason, the teardrop idea went out the window and I decided to build something a little bigger that we can stand in, and that we can get into with wet/dirty clothes without climbing directly onto the bed like a teardrop trailer.
I really like the design of the Expedition Cabin A, pictured below. But, I don't like when the table is also the bed and you have to change it up. I wanted a table AND bed. I also don't need anything inside for cooking or washing because we do all that outside.
Expedition Cabin A, the inspiration for my design.
At work on a boring Friday afternoon, I made a little drawing using PowerPoint which I could do to scale using the shape properties (The blue cube under the bed is where the water tank will go:
View from the top
Then the next day I started doing the 3D designing. Yes, everything in the 3D model is to scale. The Expedition is 15' long, but since I have no need for a kitchen or bathroom, I was able to cut out 3 feet, still have tons of storage, and be able to fit it all on a 6x12 trailer.
I designed the walls. All made from 4x8 foot plywood sheets. The outside blue layer is 1/2" sheets. The green is 3/4" that I offset so the seams don't line up. I cut out holes to lighten the wall, and I'll be able to fill them with foam insulation. Then a thin 1/8" plywood will finish the interior. They will all be glued and fastened together, and the wiring will all run inside the walls for all the electrical. I made the 2 layers 2-tone so you can see how I laid out the different 4x8 panels.
Here's the 2 side walls and the rear wall where the door will be. The rear wall is built the same as the side ones. The floor will be framed out and strong as well. But I'm not drafting that yet because it's pretty straightforward.
Below is the rear-passenger side corner where the roof will sit. The roof have the same 3-layer design, but thinner and lighter. The inner 1/8" panelling and the middle hollowed-out structural panel will sit on top of the inner panels. The middle structural panel will be 1/2". The outer roof panel will sit on top of everything including the outside walls and will be 1/4".
I then started framing out the roof. The smaller blue square will be a roof vent with a fan. The larger rectangle one will just be a window that we can see out of when we're in bed. The 3-layer roof will go from the rear of the trailer, to the 2x4 crossbeam that's above the front side windows. From that beam forward, and all the way down to the bottom-front of the trailer will be a few thin layers of plywood that I can curve down, topped off with a thin sheet of aluminum. There will be a solar panel on the roof just forward of the roof vent.
One thing I question though is crossbeams. The ones around the rear roof vent in the pic above are all 2x2. The rest towards the front are 2x4's. Is that overkill? Keeping in mind, I may be driving on some rough roads and I want this to last. I'm not too concerned about weight because I'll be pulling it with my F-150, so it doesn't have to be super light... The roof won't be supporting any weight except for the solar panel.
More to come!