A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby dancam » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:38 pm

Nice! How much paint did you buy? I was amazed at how much mine took... Also if your interested in how strong this stuff is keep reading in the post #2 i linked. I did some destructive testing :)

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Don L. » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:17 pm

I used to use oil based porch enamel on my 100 year old porch floor in the past but the last couple times it has not lasted like the older stuff did. It quickly cracked and flaked off. They use modified soybean oil instead of linseed oil these days and I think that is partly to blame.

My latex paint on my foamie has lasted 2 years and looks great, I haven't needed to wash it. It is not beneath trees however.

I think latex ( I use exterior gloss latex ) is great. I am priming my canvas (glued on with TB2) with glidden gripper like others have suggested here. And others have had good results with it.

I did use rustoleum paint on the metal frame before attaching the camper to it and that looks good.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Don L. » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:26 pm

You are priming the canvas?

Not sure if rustoleum is compatible with pva glue
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:13 pm

I have Glidden Gripper Primer. Should I just paint it without priming? I can return the Gripper.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:37 am

The primer helps to fill the weave and provides good adhesion for the Latex top coats...
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Don L. » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:53 pm

Definitely prime it. And as GPW said the gripper fills the weave.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:03 pm

Yup the plan is to prime the canvas with the gripper and then to paint it with latex paint. I bought two gallons of primer. 5 gallons of exterior UV protection paint for base color. Also one gallon of the same but semi gloss for the stripe (which is close in color to the tow vehicle).

Primer and paint will start tomorrow.

Once the paint job is done, the rest will be a nonstop push to the finish line. It should go quickly. After paint I would maybe call this camper 75% done. Maybe 65%?

I'm thinking about zinc plated screws for mounting the doors, windows etc.... I don't want to spring for stainless screws. its like $10 vs $100. Any thoughts on other readily available hardware options? Maybe I can find little 1 inch deck screws? Whatever it is will be screwed right through the face flange of the windows and doors right on the outside of the camper. I've resigned myself to eventually having to paint the heads or just to leave them chrome against the black surface.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:43 pm

dancam wrote:Nice! How much paint did you buy? I was amazed at how much mine took... Also if your interested in how strong this stuff is keep reading in the post #2 i linked. I did some destructive testing :)

Thanks! I got two gallons of Glidden and 5 gallons of some decent exterior paint. And another gallon of exterior paint for the stripe. Cool posts about testing. Its good info and fun too.

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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:01 pm

I got a slow start today. This morning an arborist came out to my house to quote the removal of a dead willow and a dying cotton wood on a hill in my back yard. I also asked for a price on a Maple in another spot. I've cut down plenty of trees myself. These ones are very dangerous and/or in extremely tricky locations, I wasn't comfortable doing them.

This "arborist" had the gall to tell me I could contract him out for a day, 8 hours from the time he leaves his shop to when he returns to his shop, he'd bring all his equipment, even a crane, he'd get through as much as he could but no guarantees, $4500. This guy was about 6ft tall and about 400lbs I doubt he ever climbed a tree in his life. I also would pay 3% surcharge and 7%sales tax. Plus he was kind of bullish. Who hires these guys? How much money is in the world that this guy is getting paid like that for a job like this? He didn't get a dime from me. He wasted my time trying to exploit my presumed ignorance. 4500 buys a 12 man roofing crew and a license for a day.

I then asked my neighbor across the street who is also an arborist (I just didn't want to bother him, hes a busy guy, always on a project). Dude came over this afternoon and laid them both down for $300. He would have cleaned them up and taken them away for another 400 but they are on an overgrown hill and can just rot where they lay.

So I did get started painting a little after lunch time. 1 coat of primer. 2 coats of paint. The first pic is primer (with a little paint on the upper left corner showing from the roof. Second pic is after two coats of paint. The second coat of paint was sheeming pretty good. I think we're getting there. Its still going to get at least one more coat of paint, probably two more. Then a blue stripe over the Cosmic Quest Grey base color.

My wife and I like it. Painting is always fun. Makes a project start to look finished. Way better looking than "dried glue yellow" color under the paint
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:46 am

Bru, after a hurricane we had a large water Oak fall on my house , I got the local "tree man" to remove it , they charged me $10K only because they knew the Homeowners insurance would pay for it … They did a great job and did no harm to the house , But they really took advantage of us to make a quick buck (s) … There’s a LOT of that going on here… Just plain GREED … I think that was the only thing to “trickle down” from the “economy” … :R
Glad you found someone reasonable … a “good neighbor” :thumbsup:

2 coats of latex + primer should be plenty … too many layers of paint can crack later … And remember latex can take a couple weeks to completely dry and cure … You’re doing GREAT !!! 8)
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Don L. » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:50 am

You are making nice progress on your yet to be named camper!

We went camping when ours was just primed, inside just bare bones. That was Memorial Day 2 years ago. I think by fall it was mostly done.

Since you asked about mounting windows with screws there are some things to consider, namely water wicking its way in behind the flange or around the screw.
It looks like you have solid wood to screw into which is really good. I suggest you apply some window and door adhesive/caulk behind the flange and look for a little squeeze out.
And to be doubly sure of no leaking put one of those premade aluminum drip caps over each one. If you look around a bit online they can be found for $5 or so. I found mine at a mobile home supply place. I also found some at a vintage trailer supply place for 3x the cost.

FWIW, my windows had an inside ring that screwed to the main window unit so no screws on the outside. I still caulked behind the flanges. But my door and roof vent had to be screwed from the outside. I predrilled the holes and expected caulk to be coming out the hole as the flange was pressed in place. Probably neoprene washers with pan head screws would have worked best but I just ud=sed regular screws.

My only leak was near the floor on the front and back where my wall curves under, similar to your rear wall. Water wicked its way in and it was pretty significant.
I added a little metal drip edge there, right near the bottom of the wall, just screwed and caulked in place and that did it.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Bruue1 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:08 am

Hey Don,

Good advice and thank you. I did get some zinc black head 1" screws (500) they will arrive soon. I'll be sure to use some caulking behind like you said. I have butyl tape for behind the flanges and then will caulk around the edges of all the flanges. Maybe I will just get some neoprene washers.

I did see the window drip edges a while ago on your build. They definitely look like the way to go. My wife and I were just talking about them last night. I don't think they will make it on before our first trip, I think I will get some though and they will be installed before the summer is over. They look like they do the job.

I am planning on drip edge, I haven't decided what yet. Color will be black so it just becomes an extension of the frame.

The base coat of paint is done, just waiting for the final coat to dry before we start taping up our stripe. I'm starting to think we will make it two tone, the entire lower half being darker blue. We'll see how it goes.
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Don L. » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:31 am

One note about caulking, some caulks or adhesive/caulks will over time hold dirt or mold unless the caulk is painted over. So if you put a bead of caulk down and smooth it over real pretty with your finger, it will look good for a year or so unless you paint over it.
At least that has been my experience after having seen and built many things and seeing them age for a number of years.

That butyl tape might work well enough. To me it seemed so stiff I didn'nt think it would spread out well enough behind the flange to make a good seal so I went with adhesive caulk. In any event those metal drip caps keep most water off of it.
Link to my foamie camper build viewtopic.php?f=55&t=67321
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby GPW » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:27 am

Guys, our favorite lumber yard recommended MasterSeal NP1 as a polyurethane sealant/caulk… It’s fairly pricy , not that easy to work with ( requiring mineral spirits ) , and supposedly stays viable (flexible) for a long long time … Something else to test …
Thinking like Big Mike ( our Leader ) , I’ve learned it’s better to spend a little more up front than spend a lot of time fixing things that should have held up better… While Foamies are not really affected much by water , leaks are still an annoyance ( wet eh ? ) , and so must be dealt with preventatively .
If things go right , we’ll be getting a Large window for the FoamStream which will have to be screwed , perfectly fitted and caulked in place , the thing is , we have nothing to screw into ( foam ) ... :shock: But the sealant/caulk should hold … We don’t drive that fast anyway … :lol:
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Re: A Tiny Travel Trailer for a Family of Four

Postby Nodrog » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:28 am

Wow- lookit that trailer, coming along! A couple of thoughts- you could use Vulkem poly caulk to install windows, from Home Despot. How about roofing screws to screw them down, they come in colors, I dunno about black though! And they have nice neoprene washers...I have drip caps ready for my trailer, got them from https://accessories.lazydays.com/ . Although, this morning I can't get their website to work right...should be under hardware...If they don't have a good size, get 2 and cut one end off each to overlap them, they did that on vintage trailers. Lap front one over back one, of course.

Anyway, looks real fine....you will have a great time with the trailer!...later- Nodrog
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