A Good idea?

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A Good idea?

Postby wolfix » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:34 pm

My idea of a small camper has changed dramatically since I discovered this website. But I am getting what I want narrowed down.. The one thing that interests me that I never thought of before is the dropped floor to allow a dinette setup without a tall profile.

I've tried to find info here using the search option , but what I cannot find is the suggested height off the pavement the bottom of the lowered floor should be.

Keeping this thing light is important. So I am looking into an aluminum trailer frame with aluminum construction throughout. I realize the expense, but I want it to be right. I have a Tech college near me that teaches welding and I have a chance to have a student weld the aluminum for me as a project. {Not the trailer]

I want the industrial look on the outside....... How hard is it to rivet the aluminum skin to the aluminum frame on the the outside? Airplane type rivets? What special equipment is needed? I use a small rivet gun now, but it is no where big enough.

Has anyone ever used unpunched aluminum planking, in their trailers floor? I know that LivinLite uses it in their pop-ups.

Here is a badly done pic of the design I want to use...[Sunspot design}

Anyone have any warnings of any kind for me?

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Postby Miriam C. » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:56 pm

:applause: My first impression is WOW.
Concerns:
Door more to center if bed to dinette on 8'.

Build over wheels so door can be center. Go for five wide.

Lil Diner inside idea, should give you dimensions for box too.

Are you building your trailer frame? If so Ed and Ruby's "we be gone" has a dropped floor that works and would be great.

Mikes ultralite might also fit the bill with some adjustment.

Enjoy
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Postby wolfix » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:08 pm

Miriam C. wrote::applause: My first impression is WOW.
Concerns:
Door more to center if bed to dinette on 8'.

Build over wheels so door can be center. Go for five wide.

Lil Diner inside idea, should give you dimensions for box too.

Are you building your trailer frame? If so Ed and Ruby's "we be gone" has a dropped floor that works and would be great.

Mikes ultralite might also fit the bill with some adjustment.

Enjoy


5' for sure........ It was the Lil diner that really tripped my world. What I want a dinette for is to be able to stop along the road at a rest stop and get on my wireless laptop to stay in contact with my clients using e-mail and cell phones. Use the dinette table as a desk..... Just be able to jump in and stay connected. Then be able to use it as a camper too.

What is Ed and Ruby's "we be gone" ????? How do I find that on the site. ?

Thanks....
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Postby Bill_Storey » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:13 pm

Wolfix,

My thought on depth of foot well. Draw a straight line from the bottom of the rim to the center of your coupler. Don't let anything hang below that line.
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Postby Miriam C. » Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:30 am

Here is Ed's album. He made the stepdown part of the trailer so Ruby could get in and out easier. I was in it at Bernice and it is fantastic. You could add a table and make the beds (2) merge to one when wanted. If you just wanted a quick nap just climb right in. Shape is similar to yours.

http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/album_personal.php?user_id=2806
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Postby asianflava » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:37 am

wolfix wrote: I want the industrial look on the outside....... How hard is it to rivet the aluminum skin to the aluminum frame on the the outside? Airplane type rivets? What special equipment is needed? I use a small rivet gun now, but it is no where big enough.


If you plan on riveting the skins, one word that you will get familiar with is "Cleco" The are the rivet equivelant of a clamp. You drill the hole into the skin and rib and insert a clec. The cleco will hold the skin in place while you drill more holes.

If you are planing on using square tubing for your ribs you will have to use "blind rivets" aka. pop rivets. You can get larger rivets at www.summitracing.com for a decent price. "Aircraft" is like "Marine" stickng it on the name of the product autmatically doubles the price. If you need to do a lot of riveting, get yourself a pneumatic gun.

Channel or hat sections will allow you to use regular rivets.
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Re: A Good idea?

Postby alaska teardrop » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:38 am

wolfix wrote:How hard is it to rivet the aluminum skin to the aluminum frame on the the outside? Airplane type rivets? What special equipment is needed? I use a small rivet gun now, but it is no where big enough.
    Wolfix, Sunspots are cool. 8)
    I can probably help with the rivet questions. I use 3/16" closed end structural rivets - buttonhead (dome) aluminum with steel mandrel on 2" or 3" centers. They are very strong at 840# tensil strength, they don't leak and the mandrel always breaks off out of sight, down inside of the rivet body.
    I use an air/hydraulic rivet tool, because this type of rivet is about impossible to pull with a hand tool.
    Tips:
    Use the proper size drill bit.
    Use the correct grip range for the material thickness.
    Keep the material pieces tightly clamped together while drilling & riveting to prevent the metal shavings from getting in between the pieces (spoils the grip strength of the rivet).
    I'll be interested to see what you come up with. :thumbsup:
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Postby angib » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:16 am

A thought on the aluminum planking - would you really want to sleep on it? I would expect it to transmit warmth or coolth well, which isn't the same problem in a pop-up.

And another tip on using pneumatic riveters on aluminum is:
Push the rivet firmly into place before taking the first squeeze on the rivet gun - this will lock the rivet in place, but usually won't snap the mandrel. Then switch to gently pulling the gun away from job, so that when the mandrel does snap, you don't punch the job with the head of the rivet gun. A scrape mark next to each rivet is not a smart finish!

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Postby steve wolverton » Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:48 pm

> The one thing that interests me that I never thought of before is the dropped floor to allow a dinette setup without a tall profile.

I looked at your drawings, and I think you've got some really nice ideas. I'm also going to use a dropped floor. One idea on a dropped floor is to drop it to the ground, or almost to the ground. You can make a box that will lift up while travelling, and can lower while at the campsite. If you drop it to the ground, then you won't have to make it real heavy as it will be supported by the ground. :thumbsup:

You'll just have to step down into the dropped area when entering the trailer, but you'll have a ton of standing room for cooking, changing clothes, etc. It seems like this would be the easiest way to gain a ton of room in a tiny trailer w/o having a tall roof. You wouldn't have to worry about clearance if you can pull the floor up when in transit.

As for ground clearance, I think 5-6" would be all you need. My trailer axle is 7" from the ground. I know there are many cars with their air dam is lower than 6".

Here's my dropped floor idea - not sure if I'm going to have the dropped floor just in front of my kitchen area, or extend it the full width of the trailer:

http://www.stevewolverton.com/profile2.jpg

As for the industrial look, I'm with you on that one. Have you seen some of the new Airstream Bambi interiors? Not sure if you're looking for the industrial look inside - but that's what I'm going for. Check out the Quiksilver Edition interior! I love the diamond plate. http://www.airstream.com/product_line/t ... _home.html
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Postby wolfix » Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:29 pm

This info will really be helpful..Thanks.

I love the industrial look of the Bambi, but I think diamond plate would add weight when not needed. I am not that familiar with diamond plate material and it's weight.
I have worked with WilsonARt/Formica before . Thinking an interior used with this would generate a interesting TD> I can get special deals on this stuff so the cost would be affordable.

I have plans to have the dinette turn into a bed raised off the planking using the seating. However I can see in the winter that the aluminum flooring would generate cool like a freezer.. .....Maybe a good thick rubber mat thrown down?

The info on the rivet guns was helpful.

One thought I had though was this....... I plan on using a laptop with wireless setup. With the trailer being dominatly metal, would this interfer with my cell phone and wireless reception? :thinking:

The rear area will be galley free........I've actually thought of installing a window where the galley door would normally be. I like plenty of windows to allow a more open feeling.

Just curious ..... Does anyone know where a submarine periscope can be bought to be installed in a TD? It would seem to me tha a periscope would make the TD jsut a little more fun......... :twisted:
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Postby Ira » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:21 pm

For the TTT sizes we're discussing here, does anyone REALLY want to squeeze in there just to eat a meal? (And let's face it--we ARE talking about squeezing in there. Big time.)

To each his own, but it doesn't seem to make sense.

If you're going camping, who the heck wants to cramp into this tiny little thing to eat, in the same place you're gonna sleep, when you're parked in the big outdoors to begin with?
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Postby wolfix » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:36 pm

Ira wrote:For the TTT sizes we're discussing here, does anyone REALLY want to squeeze in there just to eat a meal? (And let's face it--we ARE talking about squeezing in there. Big time.)

To each his own, but it doesn't seem to make sense.

If you're going camping, who the heck wants to cramp into this tiny little thing to eat, in the same place you're gonna sleep, when you're parked in the big outdoors to begin with?


My purpose for the dinette table is more to have a desk to write on and use my laptop. Doing this in a car is not fun. And doing this solo..... I have friends who have to go to coffees shops when on the road to work with their laptops. I just want to pull off the interstate...... Be able to fire up a cup of coffee and spend 3 hours dealing with what I have to......

I am not really interested in cooking while on the road.... a microwave yes...... To reheat things leftover.....

I'm thinking TD because they look fun to build. If I had the money I would go this route..
http://www.rt1automile.com/landjet/landjetlt.html

But then I can use a TD it for my outdoor adventures. Attach an awning, put out some camp chairs and a few bottles of adult beverges.
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Postby steve wolverton » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:24 pm

Ira wrote:For the TTT sizes we're discussing here, does anyone REALLY want to squeeze in there just to eat a meal?


Nope. I want to eat outside. I also want it to be 60 degrees and never rain. ;) I want to mountain bike all day long, hike, backpack, etc. I also want to be able to come back to an A/C.

The biggest thing I miss about my popup was the ability to stand up, and to sit at a table while playing cards at night. The thing I didn't like about it was the setup time. I won't have another camper that I can't sit up in or not be able to stand in. Having to take off my shoes when I got inside is also another pain. It's all trade-offs. Tiny trailers have their niche, as do tears, as do 40+ travel trailers. I've done the tear thing and the camper thing - they both have their good/bad points.

For what wolfix wants, it seems to make perfect sense. A place to sit up, and a table for a laptop? Simple enough with a dropped floor.

wolfix - Not sure about the weight of diamond plate, but I'm a weight wussy. I love building light, and there are many faux alternatives. Aluminum diamond plate is very light, but there are even lighter choices than that. There is diamond plate vinyl, and I've even found diamond plate wallpaper. Talk about light! :thumbsup:

Oh - and all the galley you'll need. :) Campmate. It's plastic, folds up, critter proof, and the lid can even be used to wash dishes.


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Postby mikeschn » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:55 pm

Wolfix,

I know the answer is a little late, but my dropped floor in the Lil Diner is 8" above the ground. Hope that gives you a starting point.

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Postby wolfix » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:59 pm

I want to mountain bike all day long, hike, backpack, etc. I also want to be able to come back to an A/C.


The other thing I will use it for is to use it on my cycling trips. So after a day on the mtn bike or road bike I want air conditioning too.... One of the things I do do is enjoy the local resturants when out of town, so the need to cook is minimal.

I just hate spending money on hotels.

I had a popup. It worked great for what iIused it for. We had a rule though.... That all we were going to use for cooking was a crockpot and a small propane grill. We ate good. And it was convenient.
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