Rough Road Raindrop

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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:49 pm

We have an awning solution :thumbsup:

After weather issues on our previous trips (too much rain and then too much sun) we knew that we needed some sort of outside cover. I poked around on the web for a bit looking for ideas but couldn't really find anything appealing. Most seemed to hang out over the roof or curves like an afterthought. I knew I was going to lose some of the aesthetics by putting an awning on, I was really hoping to keep it looking like it belonged. Our solution? We went with two Smittybilt 6.5' awnings mounted to the roof slanting at an angle when viewed from above, like a V, though not meeting in the front. The forward end sits right over the gap between the front windows, the back end overhangs where the roof line starts to curve down to the galley:

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I mounted them to the roof using L-track, so they're relatively easy to remove if need be (the awnings, not the L-track). I drilled new holes in the ARB mounting brackets to allow them to mount at an angle:

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The L-track is perpendicular to the roof line. I used shorter sections to try and help prevent water from getting caught and pooling.

The awnings sit close to the roof but don't quite touch. I did have to add a small loop of line to the zipper pull to make it possible to zip the covers up.

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I used a copious amount of SikaFlex to seal off the screw holes and ran a good bead under the length of the L-track. I'm not a big fan of holes in the roof, but this idea wouldn't have worked with side wall mounted brackets.

We also got a bonus by mounting the awnings at an angle. There are optional wall kits available for these awnings and if I go that route then there will be a minimal gap between the trailer and awning. This would give us a nearly completely enclosed room on either side of the trailer. Almost time for our next trip!
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:18 pm

Trip #3 is in the books. We started off with a night in Deception Pass S.P., then a ferry ride over to Scenic Beach S.P., Then Taidnapam Park, then Horseshoe Lake in Gifford Pinchot N.F., then two nights at Ohanapecosh in Rainier N.P. before looping back home. We had the longest and roughest dirt road days that we've taken the trailer on so far and it performed like a champ. In fact, it's almost too easy to forget that it's back there. I've taken to driving with my headlights on so that the side marker lights illuminate. I can see those in my rearview mirrors and they act as a reminder that I'm being followed.

The trailer worked out great with no new issues. Some of the old issues have been addressed and some of the old issues still need to be addressed, but overall everything worked.

Stbd awning deployed:

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A view from above showing the awning mounting:

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I'm still working on the galley chuck box idea. In the meantime, I made a quickie table out of an old project and a cheapo trekking pole. It's got a suspension dealie in it which gives the table end approx 1/2" of suspension travel. I'll be taking that out at some point. The table attaches to the trailer via lift off table mounts, one above each taillight so that I can use it on whichever side is convenient. Oh, and I installed gas struts so that I don't have to worry about knocking the stick that I was using before to hold the galley hatch open.

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I don't have a problem sitting on the edge of the door and dealing with my shoes, but it's a little bit on the high side for the other family members. I'm currently looking at different step ideas that unfold from under the trailer, but in the meantime we're keeping it simple with a folding step stool.

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And here's a view from the front with both awnings deployed, aka airplane mode.

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Current nights inside now stands at 14 I think. Current regrets stands at zero. :thumbsup:
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby KTM_Guy » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:54 pm

Nice job with the awnings. It is something I have been struggling with on my build. But I have a few more months before I need to think about that.

I think I'm going to have that step problem too.

Todd
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:01 pm

I was asked in another discussion about interior pictures and realized that I don't have many posted up here. So, here's some from today along with descriptions:

The right side of this picture is forward showing the bunks, left side is where the grownup feet go. The ceiling lights are all LED and can be red or white. The ceiling light is dimmable in red or white. All windows have curtains that can be installed for sleeping and it gets DARK inside. The switch above the door goes to the porch light (there's one for each side). The fan is a Fantastic Fan rated at 900cfm max, the trailer is less than 200 cubic feet, so it can really move. We rarely use it at the highest setting, the lowest is more than enough.
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Bunk beds. Bottom bunk is slightly narrower but we can make it bigger by sliding our pillows down a little. Tongue box access is through the bottom bunk area, I'm still working on the trim pieces. There are lots of little things that I still have planned, but it was at the point of being usable for camping, so we're using it. I'll have winter to work on it. Also, the top bunk can be removed. The barrier that keeps the kiddo in folds down under the mattress. The bottom bunk mattress can be stood up allowing the top bunk to be lowered down onto a pair of cleats on the floor and turning it into a couch.
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I looked at building cabinets inside but for our style of travel we've found that we prefer duffel bags. The shelves reflect that. The top shelves hold four medium sized North Face duffels when we're sleeping. For travel we set them on the floor between the wheel wells to keep them from falling off and to lower the CG. The lower shelves are used as a catchall for whatever. I've recently added the shelves and cubbies above the wheel wells to give us more storage. They don't work too well at the moment because the 1yo thinks it's a treasure hunt. I've got some mesh material that I'm going to make storage pockets out of and affix to the inside walls, it's on the to-do list. The center of the lower shelf is the electrical center. We've got 2 Blue Sea high output USB chargers (4.8a each), two cigarette lighter plugs, a voltmeter tied into a momentary switch, a master switch that controls all power through a solenoid relay at the battery, and a Propane/CO monitor (I have plans for a Propex but haven't installed it yet). Behind the panel with all the electrical is a fuse block.
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A better view of the storage area. There's almost too much room under the lower shelf. My feet aren't huge (10.5) and I can lay with my legs crossed wearing work boots and not hit the bottom of the shelf. It's plenty of room for me. My wife's feet don't even extend under the lower shelf. The wheel well cutouts do take a little space away, but it's still wider there than in our 2 man backpacking tent and it hasn't been an issue.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:20 pm

KTM_Guy wrote:Nice job with the awnings. It is something I have been struggling with on my build. But I have a few more months before I need to think about that.

I think I'm going to have that step problem too.

Todd


I'm torn on it. I like the looks of the Trekstep by Bestop, and I'm pretty sure that I can adapt it to work. It manually folds up or extends and looks like it tucks up close, but they don't have a generic model, so I'd have to buy one and then cut/fab to make it work. Not a big deal, but at almost $200 per side, it's a bit more than I want to spend on something that I'm going to have to cut up and reweld.

Northern Tool has their Buyers Retractable Truck Step that's available with one, two or three rungs. The only downsides are that they extend down further than I'd like when stowed and I was hoping to use the space that they would need in order to make a set of tracks to hold a shoe storage cubby. So, I keep coming back around to a folding stepstool. On the plus side, the folding stepstool can also be used for accessing stuff in the bed of the truck through the side doors of the canopy. The downside is that it is one more thing to pack.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby tony.latham » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:13 pm

What a classic 'drop.

I believe something's missing. I think a set of coat hooks near the ceiling --above the wheel wells-- would be a great addition if you've got a hard point to mount them to.

Image

Something to consider.

:thinking:

Tony
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:35 pm

tony.latham wrote:What a classic 'drop.

I believe something's missing. I think a set of coat hooks near the ceiling --above the wheel wells-- would be a great addition if you've got a hard point to mount them to.

Image

Something to consider.

:thinking:

Tony


I'm a step ahead of you :R

If you click on the first pic of my interior post you'll see it up there on the ceiling :) It did take me a while to finally run across that style of hook, all I seem to run across around here is the regular drunk fighting octopus style:

Image

I am thinking about adding two more hooks on the vertical piece of cherry just forward of the bulkhead dome lights for the kiddo's coats. Our last camping trip was a bit chilly and we were all layered up. All of the hooks were full when we went to bed. I figure two more will let us separate the kids and grownup clothing a little bit better.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby tony.latham » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:28 pm

I'm a step ahead of you :R


Damn! :thumbsup:

T
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby stupido » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:47 pm

Hi, any details on the axle and hubs? I want to build a small trailer for my first gen Colorado. IIRC, it uses the same bolt pattern as the Tacoma.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:58 am

stupido wrote:Hi, any details on the axle and hubs? I want to build a small trailer for my first gen Colorado. IIRC, it uses the same bolt pattern as the Tacoma.


I used 3500# Dexter hubs and axle with the 6 on 5.5 bolt spacing and brakes. One thing to keep in mind is that the Dexter hubs are lug-centric (the wheel is held on and centered by the lug nuts). The Toyota wheels that I'm running are hub-centric (the lug nuts hold the wheel on but the centering is done by a flange on the hub). I wound up needing to use an adapter to go from the lug-centric hub to the hub-centric wheels. You'll want to keep that in mind when figuring out the length of axle to order if you're trying to match the track width of your truck and match wheels.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby stupido » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:22 pm

Louisd75 wrote:
stupido wrote:Hi, any details on the axle and hubs? I want to build a small trailer for my first gen Colorado. IIRC, it uses the same bolt pattern as the Tacoma.


The Toyota wheels that I'm running are hub-centric (the lug nuts hold the wheel on but the centering is done by a flange on the hub). I wound up needing to use an adapter to go from the lug-centric hub to the hub-centric wheels. You'll want to keep that in mind when figuring out the length of axle to order if you're trying to match the track width of your truck and match wheels.


The 1st gen Colorado is also hub-centric
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Louisd75 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:57 pm

Surprise surprise, the trailer still isn't completely done. I've been doing a lot of little things, just checking things off of my list one at a time. I've started sealing up the wood inside. Some of the sections I've decided to paint. I wanted to stick with varnish throughout, but I have sections where I either sanded too much on the plywood, dripped Sikaflex (which will not come out of bare wood without copious sanding), or other various reasons. We're using some super duper Valspar paint, which is now a Sherwin Williams brand. It's leftover from painting in the house. The nice thing about it is that they've gotten the VOC's down to a level where you can paint and still be in the area. That's been ongoing as I "finish" up one area and move on to the next in the trailer. Personally I think the blue is a bit too much, I do like the yellow though. The yellow really brightens up the inside and makes it feel more spacious.

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You've probably also noticed (though I don't blame you if you didn't), that I cut the vertical sections out of the tongue box storage cubbies. Those were there for extra support but they really got in the way of getting things in and out of the cubby, so off they went. Things are still structurally sound and I'm not too worried about it. I also got the cherry vertical supports cut and routed to fit alongside that storage cubby. It looks much more finished now than before. Still need to varnish the cherry and do a little bit of paint cleanup, but that section of the trailer is nearly done. Oh, I'm going to be making curtains to cover the cubby openings as well, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

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I also painted the basement using the same yellow. I'm planning on painting the floor the same blue as the shelf in the previous picture. I figure we're not going to be seeing it much once the cushions are in place and I currently have more blue paint than yellow paint left in the cans.

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I've had this nifty little LED light for the galley installed but not wired up for quite some time and finally decided to do something about it. Unfortunately, I originally mounted it completely flat against the hatch which was great for lighting up everything aft of the trailer but not the galley itself, so I built a little wedge out of plywood on my NEW holy-moly-what's-he-building-in-there table saw. I also started work on chuck boxes for the galley, one of which you can sorta see in this galley light action shot:

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I didn't realize til I connected the wiring, but the power button for the light is always illuminated which is handy when I'm pretend camping in my garage with all the lights off. It's very easy to find the button in the dark.

There are more bigger things in the works. I'm currently waiting on a couple packages of goodies to show up. I'll try to update more as I get more done.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop

Postby Sparksalot » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:30 am

Louisd75 wrote:Surprise surprise, the trailer still isn't completely done. ..... I'll try to update more as I get more done.


PSSST, it never will be "done". Rose is 11 years old, and still evolving.
Done? Surely you jest. A teardrop is never "done".

The Compass Rose build thread: viewtopic.php?t=23213

Inspiration: http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/Trailer%20for%20Two.htm

It's got a cop motor, a 5.3 LS plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. ~ Elwood Blues
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop (lotsa pics)

Postby eLink » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:58 am

Louisd75 wrote: I downloaded a trial version of AutoCad, drew up some trim rings and dropped the drawings into an email to my local CNC laser/router shop. They came back with a quote that was negligible compared to the amount of time I've already spent on the windows. I dropped the check off Monday morning and had my new trim rings Tuesday morning. Tonight, I got the front corner windows installed. I've got to take a few days off due to house guests, but I'm hoping the big front window goes as smoothly.


Great looking build!
Would you be willing to share your CAD file of the trim ring? It could be just what I need for a custom skylight.
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Re: Rough Road Raindrop (lotsa pics)

Postby Louisd75 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:22 pm

eLink wrote:
Louisd75 wrote: I downloaded a trial version of AutoCad, drew up some trim rings and dropped the drawings into an email to my local CNC laser/router shop. They came back with a quote that was negligible compared to the amount of time I've already spent on the windows. I dropped the check off Monday morning and had my new trim rings Tuesday morning. Tonight, I got the front corner windows installed. I've got to take a few days off due to house guests, but I'm hoping the big front window goes as smoothly.


Great looking build!
Would you be willing to share your CAD file of the trim ring? It could be just what I need for a custom skylight.


No problem, it's a pretty straightforward part. The outside dimensions are 38.5" x 13.75", the inside dimensions are 35.5" x 10.75" I had mine made out of 1/8" aluminum.
Attachments
big window 3.dwg
Autocad drawing for the big window frame used on the front of my trailer. Final product was made from 1/8" aluminum.
(48.63 KiB) Downloaded 49 times
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