Feasible floor frame idea?

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Feasible floor frame idea?

Postby forestfrog » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:39 am

I've been pondering a floor frame idea all evening and now it's time to ask for help. :thinking:

Background: I just purchased a 4'x8' Harbor Freight trailer frame and plan to build a 5'x8' teardrop. Reading through past posts, I've found most people, when building a TD with 6" overhangs use 1"x2" framing for the floor (+ply/insulation) and weld 6" 'wings' on to support the side walls. I'm building a fairly lightweight TD using mostly 'leftovers' from the house restoration...it won't have any cabinets, just a couple of 1"x14" cypress shelves, a simple sealed/primed/painted exterior and interior, plexi windows, etc...

I had planned to use 2"x2" framing, 1/2" ply, and 3/4" insulation for the floor frame since I already have all those materials leftover from past projects. When I approached a friend about welding on the 6" 'wings' he laughed and said it was major overkill considering how light the TD will be and the way I plan to frame the floor. He said if I was really paranoid about the side walls flexing, I could change a couple of the 2"x2" crossbeams in my sketch to 2"x4" (which I also have) and there'd be no way the side walls would budge.

If he's right, all I'll have to buy for the floor are bolts (I really hope he's right, LOL!), but I wanted to ask the experts...
What do you think? Will this floor frame be solid and sturdy without the additional 6" welded extensions? Any input will be appreciated! :lightbulb:

(sorry, the wheel placement/width isn't quite to scale)
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Postby madjack » Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:54 am

Kristi, I do believe you could hold a barn dance on that floor with no problems....if you seal the bottom with asphalt emulsion, you can stick the insulation into it while wet and be done...personally, we don't insulate the floor believing that it creates a place for moisture to collect and stay...for that same reason, I would use Tite Bond III and completely coat the 2x's with it to create a solid seal against moisture...you still need to come by the shop and see the Alligator Tear...we are only 2 mi out Dyson Creek Rd.
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Postby forestfrog » Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:53 am

Whew, that's a big relief! If I don't have to buy materials and wait for welding help, I can actually start building over the 3-day weekend. :woohoo:

I keep changing my mind about the insulation...I know around here it's not really necessary, but when I was in northern Utah last December it was 6 degrees with a windchill well below zero (brrrrrrrrr). A friend and I are planning to visit Canyonland NP, Bryce Canyon/Hoodoos, Zion, etc either in December or early Spring...hopefully in the TD. I guess I need to find out average temperatures there and decide whether I can live without the insulation. Regardless, I'll be sure to coat the 2"x2"s with Titebond...thanks for the tip!

If work ever settles down, I'll try to stop by the shop one day...I should probably see at least one real live teardrop before I jump into building one, LOL! ;)
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Postby madjack » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:02 am

re: insulation....I figure if Camp-Inn, one of the absolute top tear manufacturers in the country and located in Northern Wisconsin doesn't see a need for floor insulation, then?????????????? Consider that your floor will be covered with 4 to 8 inches of mattress, which is a pretty good insulator and if more is needed, a 12v mattress warmer should take care of the rest....
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p.s.s....clarification...in coating the 2x's, I was referring to the contact area with the ply only...not the entire 2x....MJ
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Postby angib » Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:31 am

I'd say the 2x4s are overkill - 2x2s everywhere is way more than you need already.

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Postby jagular7 » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:20 am

That's the layout plan for my TD. I really don't think its necessary to build a frame out to the outer edge of the TD. Though, I'll have skid rails for the edges of mine, it'll be used offroad some... :R

As for insulating the floor area, I'm with MadJack. If push comes to shove and you do feel cold, you could always add that reflective sheet some tenters use when camping on cold ground.
Your body heat is tremendous and I really doubt you'll be sleeping in your birthday suit in the winter. You'll be covered in layers of bedding, you'll have your next day clothes in there with you to get warm (I hate putting on cold clothes), and with a small compartment, it should be plenty warm inside.
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Postby Kens » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:41 am

Made mine a 5x8 on TS 4x8 frame. I made a 2x2 frame work with a sheet of 1/2 ply screwed and glued on top. Worked out fine.
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Postby forestfrog » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:15 am

I'll defer to the experts, the insulation is gone, LOL! I may change the center 2"x4"s back to 2"x2", but I'll probably keep the ones on the ends...they don't add alot of extra weight.

Now, if I can find some rounded fenders for 12" wheels locally :worship: I'll be set.

Thanks for the advice everyone!
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Postby madjack » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:27 am

Kristi, remember you have an excellent resource for locally available products...ME....look at the products in this link;
http://www.redneck-trailer.com/ anything in the catalog is available thru Red Ball Welding Supplies on Rapides Avenue...they will probably have to order but that is a couple of days to a week max kinda deal...tell 'em the teardrop guys from Pollock sent ya...
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Postby forestfrog » Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:56 am

Excellent resource, thanks! If I can't find the fenders in-stock somewhere, I'll order them from Red Ball Welding.

Since I'm building out over the wheels, I need to have the fenders mounted to get accurate measurements for the floor frame and the sidewall cutouts. I really wanted to start building over the 3-day weekend, but I guess I can wait another week (maybe, LOL!) if the fenders have to be ordered.
:hammer:
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Postby Steve Frederick » Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:02 am

forestfrog wrote:Excellent resource, thanks! If I can't find the fenders in-stock somewhere, I'll order them from Red Ball Welding.

Since I'm building out over the wheels, I need to have the fenders mounted to get accurate measurements for the floor frame and the sidewall cutouts. I really wanted to start building over the 3-day weekend, but I guess I can wait another week (maybe, LOL!) if the fenders have to be ordered.
:hammer:

Since you're building over the wheels, will you even need fenders?
You could just build a box (water-proofed) over the wheels, and create a curved opening in the outside wall, a fender well!

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Postby Nobody » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:25 pm

Kristi - I built a 5' wide on a 4X8 HF trailer. Check out the pix in my album. Used 2X2 (actually 1 1/2X2") ripped from 2X4's for my frame with a 1X6 side rail, cut out for wheel clearance. Works great & I only have about a 1" vertical rise in the wheel well inside the cabin. :thumbsup:
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Postby forestfrog » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:50 pm

Hmmmmm....I like the fenderless idea, especially combined with the siderail idea! :thumbsup: I can always add wooden trim around the cutout to get the curved fender 'silhouette' I want.

Nobody...those step by step progress pics are excellent, I saved most of them to print for future reference (hope that's okay). I now know I need to buy more clamps, LOL! Great build!
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Postby Jiminsav » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:28 pm

I think Mad Jack is in love...
and Kristi, you don't need no frame for 6 inches of overhang..just flop the plywood right down on the frame and go from there.
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Postby madjack » Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:07 am

Jiminsav wrote:I think Mad Jack is in love...
and Kristi, you don't need no frame for 6 inches of overhang..just flop the plywood right down on the frame and go from there.


...personally, I would disagree with both statements...I know her family and have actually met her when she was about 2' long and weighed about 20 pounds...so, intrigued would be a much better word....as to the floor...the weight of the whole body will rest/connect to those edges and I wouldn't want them without some form of beefing/stiffening up...but then, that is just me
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