Questions to gear up for my first build

Here is a generic building plan for a teardrop designed by the members of T&TTT.

Questions to gear up for my first build

Postby newbuilder » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:24 am

Hello all. I am still new to the site but am all about building my first GEN BEN esque camper. I do have a few questions before I start though.

1. Although I have a trailer frame, it is not the right size. Could I start building my camper while I am still deciding what to do about a trailer? And then just bolt the camper to the trailer? (this would let me get started and then build the trailer exactly how I want it.)

2. In the GEN BEN plans I really don't understand the part of step 5 where you make the 3/8" offset cut. Does anyone have any real pics of this? And what exactly is it for?

3. Do the spars have to be spaced exactly as shown in the plans? Or could I just make them a decent space between them?

4. I know that alot of people use the real nice, expensive ply for the sides and floor. I will be coating the outside of mine in something like the 255 used in the plans or possibly a line-x or Rhino lining type. Is it really necessary that I spend that amount of money on the ply that I am just going to cover?

5. (I'll make this the last for now) I am a bit concerned about the electrical. I would like to be able to plug a small generator into the camer so that I can have light and heat. However, while sleeping, either camping or *hunting* (primary use) I do not want to be running the genny all night. Is there a simple way to use a battery to power a small heater without having to use all of the expensive breakers ect?

Thanks for the help and sorry for all the long questions. Just trying to get my mind set! :)
NB
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Postby asianflava » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:38 am

1) I built my camper body before putting it on the frame. I have a custom frame so I could build it to match the dimensions of the body if necessary. Building the body first gave me a lot more room in my garage.

2) I didn't look at the directions but I think the offset cut is in the hatch area. The cut is to allow for a gasket or weatherstripping. If you don't put that clearance in there, the hatch will be really hard to close.

3) The spars may be like that so that you get a smooth curve in your roof. I'm not too sure about that one though.

4) Not sure which "expensive ply" you are talking about, most people just AB ply and cover the underside with an asphalt compuond (much cheaper than line-x or Rhino). The sides are covered with epoxy/spar varnish or Spar varnish alone.

5)A heater would probably kill a battery in no time. The inside of a tear is nice and cozy, my tear is insulated and it stays comfortable inside. It can be cold when you first get in, some people preheat their tears before turning in for the night. We use unzipped sleeping bags for comforters, we end up kicking them off during the night. Of course your mileage may vary, I guess it depends on how thin your blood is.
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Postby newbuilder » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:51 am

Just an idea on #5, It was -10 here about a month and a half ago. So it gets to be a little bit chilly. On the ply, I would most likely use the standard tar on the bottom of the floor. I am refering to the roof and sides with the rest.
Thanks again! NB :)
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Postby sagebrush » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:46 pm

Get a 12 volt bunk warmer (for a 18 wheeler bunk). That inside of a sleeping you can sleep REAL cozy. Ever wake up with ICE on your moustache? Now THAT'S good sleeping weather!
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Postby satch » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:41 pm

I built mine on top of the trailer, found it easier, but if your camper is good/ square, should'nt be a problem.
The 3/8 cut out is for the insulation on the galley lid.
spar locations don't need to be exact, but you don't want to weaken the box if you use less, make sure you have them at key locations,( galley hinge, any roof skin ends)
Floor, AB, or any smooth top surface, depending on what kind of floor you want (linolium, or paint)
I roof tared my bottom.
Mine is wired for 120v, so I have a built in heater, but I've seen others post that a 12v light puts out alot of heat, other than that, I only used my heater to warm it up, after that, plenty warm with the sleeping bags.
Post plenty of pics, and ask questions when needed :thumbsup:
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