Side tents--taken to the next level.

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Side tents--taken to the next level.

Postby Ira » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:10 pm

First, does anyone remember the link to that great custom build site once shown here about truck toppers? It got me thinking about building one for my truck...to match the birch on The Crab...to be able to accommodate the entire four of us here in the Ira clan.

But...

It also got me thinking about doing something different, easy and very COOL in lieu of a side tent to sleep 4 people in a traditional TD:

What about building something portable that you can lift/carry, something's that's constructed with long narrow panels, hinged betwen each panel. So narrow that when it's all folded up, it will fit in your cabin for storage.

And you simply "unfold" it and stand it up next to your available door-- also connected to your TD exterior wall somehow for security in case of blasting winds.

Know what I mean? Kind of like a room divider, a dressing area divider... what the heck do they call those things? Almost like you can take unfinished closet louver doors and rig 'em together, finish 'em, to REALLY add that special extra room to the side of your TD.

Of course, I don't know what kind of weight we're talking about using louver closet doors, but do you understand the direction I'm thinking in?

Andrew--I expect a full engineering analysis, feasibility study and cost comparison in an hour and a half.
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Postby Laredo » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:35 pm

Or there's this one ... http://www.rqriley.com/b-camp.html
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Postby bledsoe3 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:14 am

I think Ira's looking for something like this.
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Maybe not this fancy, but something that folds out to create some privacy.
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Postby Ira » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:26 am

That's it, Bled. Along that style of design.

(BTW, thanks for the links to those trucktoppers, guys, but they look way too complicated, impractical and expensive for now.)

So I started thinking about this panel thing, and came up with an idea for a VERY lightweight material--rigid foam insulation that's not paper-backed. (I saw the stuff at HD--and I think it's pretty cheap.)

I think the panels would have to be about 6' tall to clear the top of the door, right? (And even though we're all shrimps in my family, friends may not be.)

So if I make the panels 24" wide, the question is whether you could get them into the cabin at this size. (I think so.) Two panels for each of the perpendicular walls would give me 4 feet of depth, and I would think one would want it to be a minimum of 6' long. So I'll need 3 and 1/2 sheets of foam, and since those bast**** at HD won't sell you a half sheet, I'll have to buy 4 sheets.

Now...

1) White is pretty boring. Any ideas on how you would finish them off? Do you think you can paint or stain that stuff--or would the paint never dry?

2) I envision permanently mounting a piano hinge HALF on each side of the door. The other half of the hinge would be attached (epoxied) to the 2-panel depth foam assembly, and I would then drop in the rod to attach TD to foam. The length-wise panels of foam would attach in similar fashion.

I can find the right hinge for this job, right? One that isn't expensive and where the attaching rods are easy to remove or reinsert? Or do you have a different idea for securing the panels together and attaching to the TD?

3) The roof--I have no idea.

Well, I'm almost as excited about this as I was for my wooden fenders, the fenders I haven't done anything about yet. I had an alternate plan of possibly assembling this as you would one of those roll-up camping tables--strips of rigid foam encased in vinyl that would roll up into a tube. But I think the tube would be too large to fit in the cabin.

Thanks for brainstorming this, ladies and gentlemen. If there's an easy, inexpensive solution to be found for creating this, it'll be found here.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update:

After reading my post, I now realize I probably won't be able to make it 6' long due to the curvature of the TD roof. So I'll have to arrive at actual workable dimensions after taking measurements and coming up with an idea for a roof assembly.
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Postby MeelisV » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:51 am

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Postby Ira » Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:42 am

Ped...that's incredible. When I have time, I have to really study that site.
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Postby Archer_1 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:32 am

Ped,

Now that site is giving *me* ideas about an add-on alcove kind of thing. Not quite a big as what Ira's proposing, but something that would give you room to stand up while changing clothes and such.

Folding particle board or light plywood frames with a heavy canvas roof.

Hmmnn..... :thinking:
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Postby Ira » Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:39 am

A panel that I'm thinking about you can just wipe dry--but there has to be another really lightweight material out there, besides foam, for this type of a structure. I mean, we're not talking about any tough structural demands here.

Particle board would be kind of heavy, and I want to stay away from constructing frames.
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Postby madjack » Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:07 pm

here is a product that might work...I don't know how self-suporting it might be in the thinner sizes also look here for some other similar product that might work
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Postby Ira » Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:56 pm

Powder, I was thinking 2-part epoxy. That would hold the hinges.

As far as the wind whipping them around, remember that they're attached at the ends to the TD. Then I was thinking of using a simple rod or two horizontal-wise, sliding it through a small semi-circular bracket or such, to add lateral strength. It's a good point about the wind, but once it's all connected, it's a rigid structure. Just don't know.

The epoxy resin may be a good idea, but won't do anything real decorative to it. Also, would it really make it stronger?

Great stuff on that site Jack, but I'm also going to be VERY cautious not to overbuild this thing when I can just buy a good side tent. Those panels are EXPENSIVE, and CHEAP is my big motivation for doing it with the foam boards, if possible.

And can you imagine the insulation factor we're talking about? I can charge other teardroppers to store their meat!!!
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Postby joestrom » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:02 pm

why hinges at all? punch holes and lace together....some thin luaun would probably be just as light and more durable than foam
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Postby joestrom » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:12 pm

at the local Menard's I've seem a product in the panelling section that resembles a white plastic corrugated cardboard, can't remember the exact name of it. About 1/4'" thick, seemed to have some structure to it, and was very lightweight. Had some sort of r-factor listed on the sign. Might work well for an app such as this...
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Postby Spadinator » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:17 pm

joestrom wrote:at the local Menard's I've seem a product in the panelling section that resembles a white plastic corrugated cardboard, can't remember the exact name of it. About 1/4'" thick, seemed to have some structure to it, and was very lightweight. Had some sort of r-factor listed on the sign. Might work well for an app such as this...


The stuff is called coroplast or Correx. It.s great stuff. I will be using it to skin the roof of my TD. I also build RC planes out of the stuff...it is virtually indestructable.
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Postby Ira » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:17 pm

joestrom wrote:why hinges at all? punch holes and lace together


That idea was in my head TOO. I just thought that to keep it truly structurally sound where the panels meet, and to avoid ANY corner gaps, gluing long piano hinges was the way to go.
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Postby Ira » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:21 pm

We don't have a Menard's down here, but that Coroplast/Correx sounds like real interesting stuff. Especially at only 1/4" thick!

I'll have to check and see if it's an HD or Lowes item too. How much are we talking about for a 4 by 8 sheet?
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