Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby aggie79 » Tue May 12, 2015 11:46 am

Beautiful teardrop! I don't know how I missed your thread until this point. :applause: :thumbsup: :applause:
Tom (& Linda)
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby aggie79 » Tue May 12, 2015 11:46 am

Beautiful teardrop! I don't know how I missed your thread until this point. :applause: :thumbsup: :applause:
Tom (& Linda)
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Tue May 12, 2015 1:26 pm

Thanks for the note. Greatly appreciated. I just got back from Central Hardwood in Dallas. Picked up some veneer. Hope to have it complete in the next ~10 days. Taking off next week. Had a 'commitment' to Ms. Debra to have this done by our Anniversary on the 22nd. I feel sure the definition of "done" will be a point of discussion.
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Tue May 19, 2015 6:04 am

Over the weekend I was able to get some lighting installed. With 8 holes that had to be cut to find the wiring for the lights I was more than a little concerned. Lots of going back and checking the photos. Note to anyone else-take more photos I couple of the holes I needed to do a little 'angle drilling from the entry hole but was able to retrieve all the wiring.
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On the hatch I rigged up a level to make sure the tail-lights were in the right places and used the nutserts for the license plate mounts.
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Also note the rain water stain I need to buff out. the PVC coating had a small hole and some rain got between the pvc and the aluminum-really embarrassing....

For the lower trim I got some 'drops' sq tubing from Discount Steel and ripped them for the straight trim. They are glued in place with some trim nails. Also installed the door stop.
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When hanging the doors I used blind nuts. The prospect of striped wood screws was pretty worrisome. I have some Birch veneer that will go over the door for appearance.
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We also got the fenders on.
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Today I am planing on starting the tongue box and Debra will be staining the inside of the hatch.
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Sat May 23, 2015 8:34 am

I was very interested in aggie79's build, esp with the front mounted AC unit. Since I am at the tongue box build I was noting you A/C distribution ducting. Very interesting, I may try to copy some of those elements. This is a catch-up post. We had to stop the build when some tornados came through the area. Thankfully the only damage we received was to my son's car. While he was out on swift-water rescues his car was caught in a flash-flood and floated ~30' into the fire hall. We got it dried out and restarted, with only some exhaust damage left to weld up.

For the tongue box I added a front U-channel brace just behind the hitch and a some 1/8" plate from the forward U-Channel on the frame. The forward plate provides a mount for the tongue box floor to connect to and fully integrates the floor into the cabin floor and the complete frame. The brace near the hitch provides support for the front of the tongue box and further stiffens the A-Frame.

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The front edge of the TB floor has a rabbit for the connection to the main frame. The entire Assy was then glued and screwed down.
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We did not want the TB to be a separate structure for several reasons:
1: Lower weight
2: Better integration and strength of the entire structure
3: Lower risk of water intruding between the cabin and TB.

To that end, once the floor was in we framed up the entire TB onto the floor. This allowed the cabin and floor to form a jig that aligned the TB and kept everything straight. We then removed the TB, added the aluminum skin and then clamped and glued everything down.
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Last night we fabbed up the hatch and will skin it later today.
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Today, we are starting on the cabinets.
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Mon May 25, 2015 8:10 pm

Today we completed the tongue box and the cabin cabinet frames. We also got two doors done.
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Debra was so overjoyed to be working on a task she was looking forward to, she stayed up last night and got the first coat of stain on them.
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Next big items are:
1: Finish out the galley
2: Wiring
3: Remaining trim/seals
4: Buff/polish/decals

For the trim, I have some drip rail extrusion that I am annealing so that it can be bent to fit the door profile. I will try to post some pics of the process.
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby aggie79 » Thu May 28, 2015 9:10 am

The tongue box and interior cabinets look great! Your teardrop is coming together nicely. It won't be too long before you're camping again (if the rain ever stops raining here in Texas!)

I hope our paths cross so that I can see y'all's teardrop.
Tom (& Linda)
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby alaska teardrop » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:01 pm

Outstanding work, Bryant. :thumbsup:

Happy trails with your new teardrop creation. Fred
Northern Lite Traveler design: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=51991
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:14 pm

Thanks greatly for the kind remarks. Should have it on the road in a couple of weeks. After it is on the road I will shoot some video of the tongue/frame to try to get a bead on any flexing. I will let you know how that goes. Have you explored aluminum for a frame any more?
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:07 pm

Mrs. Debra was very excited to get the cabinet doors done, connect some lights and move onto the galley.
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The two slots you see that are full of wires will have control/switch panels mounted there for various controls and battery monitoring.

After we got the sink and refrigerator in, we got started on the oven mount.
I had some long slides but they were not the right length to clear the propane connection and still allow the hatch to close.
So I build some dual slides-now we have plenty of travel.
The tray that holds the stove has holes the rubber feel drop into. This gives us a little more room and makes the mounting easier.
The sink has a 5gal water tank and a hand pump faucet. The gray water drain will run forward near the TB to drain.
The door below the sink and sliding doors are done but now in the photos yet-they are in the stain-shop headed by Debra.
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She is out in the shop right now working on sanding and laying down 'more poly...'.

I also got some of the ply and ran the strips through a planner to make them into veneer to trim out the hatch and cover the screw holes.
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My original plan was to have the AC outside the TB. However, I did not realize that since I am using an A-Frame, my tongue box is ~2" taller internally than David's original design.
That will allow me to have the AC and the power/batteries all in the tongue box. So I cut off the outlet and adapted a dryer vent so that the AC from the heat pump can be duct-ed inside.
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby alaska teardrop » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:30 pm

Debraizhot wrote:Thanks greatly for the kind remarks. Should have it on the road in a couple of weeks. After it is on the road I will shoot some video of the tongue/frame to try to get a bead on any flexing. I will let you know how that goes. Have you explored aluminum for a frame any more?


Well, you're welcome. Good work & innovation deserve remarking upon. :thumbsup: And thanks again for the aluminum frame discussion.

Oh, I'm always scheming on new designs & methods, but for now I'm pleased with the Northern Lite.
Northern Lite Traveler design: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=51991
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:23 pm

A couple of updates. First is annealing aluminum. We got these drip rails from Redneck Trailer and they are hardened extrusions.
I need to soften them to fit the door profile. I am using the Gene Winfield method.
First set the torch for a carburizing flame. Then apply a light coat of soot to one side of the piece.
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Then set up for a normal flame and then start at one end and heat until the soot is burned away.
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My advice for a long piece like this is to start at one end and allow the heat to travel ahead of you.
You do have to be careful because the heat will build and while you are burning off at one end the aluminum may soften.
Do not let that happen. If you do this correctly the aluminum should stay shinny and not dull. If it dulls there is too much heat.
The whole point of the soot is to be a temperature indicator.
After you have heated the piece properly, carefully set to air dry for several hours. Slow is key.
Then wash the part up and bend by hand.
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:44 pm

We also got some trim completed on the tongue box.
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For the edge, we did not have any long "L" trim. So I got the standard trim and glued/routed an aluminum cover for the edge.
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Please ignore the Jurassic creature in the background.
Debra made curtains with sunbrella using 60% off coupon from Jo-anns Fabric (Ms. Debra is frugal and crafty!).
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I build up some poplar for the reading lights. Tried to use the 'vintage' look every where possible.
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The I wired up the load center with the inverter.
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The connections and wiring raceways are under the load center.

We also fabbed up a new vent duct for the AC.
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I was using a portable AC unit. I had a DeLonghi. The unit was bad and the compressor cycled on an off....
not good. So we have set the DeLonghi aside for target practice and Debra got me one of the 5K BTU units from Lowes.
It was $130 and fit well.

The way it was adapted can best be seen in this photo
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I opened the unit up and replace the thermostat with a solid state relay from BG Micro ( http://www.bgmicro.com/REL1070.aspx)
The solid state relay works from the 28VAC that I have from a standard residential thermostat mounted inside.
The plug in at the front switches from the relay. Meaning when the AC is working, there is 110VAC here. That allows me to install boost fans as needed.
The front vent is blocked and cold AC exits from the top.
I then build a duct to channel the back heat into a 4" duct. I will run that heat straight out the bottom.
For the condensation we silicon-ed a 1/4" tube to drain the evap coils.
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In end it works great.
The only things left are the rear hatch seal and some wiring. Perhaps one more week end....
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:57 pm

Well it has been pretty hoppin' out here in Paradise. Long story sort, the Travelear has made it into the wild.
We still have a few tweaks but we brought her to Sulphur OK over the weekend for some camping.
Here is what we were able to complete since the last update.

Below is the galley light. It contains interleaved 5050 LED modules-one set is white the other is yellow.
This allows us to switch the lighting from bright white to a bug-light. It worked great.
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At the front of the cabin I got the AC panel with the 12V master switches finished.
The ducts are from ebay and came from a Peterbuilt truck.
The thermostat controls the AC window unit in the tongue box
In the rear panel there is some room for some volt meters I plan on installing later.
The two switches are for the porch lights.
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Re: Atma Travelear, with Aluminum Frame

Postby Debraizhot » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:05 pm

Then on the hatch we picked up some 'drops' from Discount Steel in Saginaw and made this handle.
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Debra really liked the industrial look of it.

Then we made some draw latch brackets that connect the Dzus, stainless draw latches. They are so very solid, adjustable and pull the hatch down tight.
I avoided a pin-latch because it seemed they are so difficult to adjust so they are tight without slamming the hatch closed.
Plus I was really trying to stay simple and light.
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Speaking of light, when we got back we found a CAT Scale and weighed it.
Fully loaded with all camping supplies, it came in at exactly-1500#
We weight the Jeep and the trailer, then disconnected her and got the weight of just the Jeep.
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And that was that-we boon-docked and it was great. The galley was a dream and Mrs Debra was totally at home with the oven, stove top and fridge.
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