"TrailTop" modular trailer building components

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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:56 am

It was just over one year ago that I started my experiment with using Olympic Rescue It deck coating on the tilt-up camper top.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=58690&start=480#p1092819

Last September I strapped one of the test samples from the post above to a railing outside my workshop, and it's been outside in the weather ever since - a very tough winter and all summer. I took the photo below yesterday - the sample is exactly as I left it a year ago - no deterioration whatsoever.

Image

The trailer top looks great too, although right now the big flat top is serving as a workbench in the garage so i won't post any current photos of it :).

Based on this one-year test, I have no hesitation in recommending products like Rescue It for trailer use. Since I did this test some of the companies offering these products have come out with smoother finish versions (the version I used has grit in it to form a non-skid surface); the smooth finish versions might be even nicer than this in many applications. I'm planning a chuck wagon top for my military trailer on that I'll use a smooth finish so I'll report on that when I do it.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby DrewsBrews » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:17 pm

I'm coming into this very late, and have only skimmed over 3/4 of the pages, but I wanted to add some thoughts before I forget them.

Including the radius face panels would make a kit like this very hard to pass up for a novice. And if those are included in a kit, the below design (as a non tub version) IMO would be one of the most feasible "conventional" tear designs to go commercial. It would be a very compact unassembled package for most economic shipping compared to using larger radii pieces.. No plywood radius bends to make yourself, and a flat hatch. That's about as simple to build as you can get.
Image

Inner fenders.. Might be beyond the scope of a floor sleeper, but might be a necessity for doing much with a HF frame. I believe you already have an inner fender option for the tubs, but would it easily adapt to a non tub kit?

Thoughts on using VHB tape for adhering the fg parts together?
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:54 pm

DrewsBrews wrote:I'm coming into this very late, and have only skimmed over 3/4 of the pages, but I wanted to add some thoughts before I forget them.

Including the radius face panels would make a kit like this very hard to pass up for a novice. And if those are included in a kit, the below design (as a non tub version) IMO would be one of the most feasible "conventional" tear designs to go commercial. It would be a very compact unassembled package for most economic shipping compared to using larger radii pieces.. No plywood radius bends to make yourself, and a flat hatch. That's about as simple to build as you can get.
Image

Inner fenders.. Might be beyond the scope of a floor sleeper, but might be a necessity for doing much with a HF frame. I believe you already have an inner fender option for the tubs, but would it easily adapt to a non tub kit?

Thoughts on using VHB tape for adhering the fg parts together?

I agree, that would be about as simple as you could get to assemble a teardrop-like camper.

Yes, I've done fiberglass inner fenders as part of the Jeep-tub trailer kit that's now on the market; they could be easily used in a design like you're describing for a non-tub kit that could be assembled to fit a Harbor Freight frame. Here's a photo of the Jeep-tub trailer kit that shows the inner fenders:

Image

I don't have any experience with VHB tape so I'm not qualified to comment on that. There are lots of adhesives that work well for assembling TrailTop components so putting the parts together isn't an issue, but if VHB tape is strong enough, it could be an even easier option.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby DrewsBrews » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:51 pm

With the prototyping you do I'm surprised you haven't worked with vhb tape. It is very quick to apply and has most of it's strength available immediately after application, compared to adhesives that must dry/cure. As long as there is appropriate surface contact area for the load it just takes a combination of surface cleanliness, and momentary pressure to ensure full contact. A little warmth from a heat gun can help quickly boost adhesion. They use the stuff to hold emblems and trim pieces on cars, and window glass on skyscrapers. In fact when I installed a wing on my car, I threw out the fasteners and used 100% vhb tape instead. It's lasted 2 years so far, withstood triple digit speeds and feels just as attached as the day I installed it.

Say, you want to rent a booth at a trade show and build a trailer right there in the booth to show potential investors/licensees how easy your parts are to work with? VHB tape can make that happen... no mess, no wait.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby Kaz » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:38 pm

What A great concept! You would sell them like hotcakes. There is no limit to mods and uses. Put those in a DIY kit and and retire happy!
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Thu Sep 24, 2015 6:41 pm

Kaz wrote:What A great concept! You would sell them like hotcakes. There is no limit to mods and uses. Put those in a DIY kit and and retire happy!

What if I'm already retired? :)
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby dogscats » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:36 pm

DrewsBrews
They use the stuff to hold emblems and trim pieces on cars, and window glass on skyscrapers

I threw out the fasteners and used 100% vhb tape instead. It's lasted 2 years so far, withstood triple digit speeds and feels just as attached as the day I installed it.

Is there different tapes ? How thick do you use?
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby DrewsBrews » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:24 pm

dogscats wrote:DrewsBrews
They use the stuff to hold emblems and trim pieces on cars, and window glass on skyscrapers

I threw out the fasteners and used 100% vhb tape instead. It's lasted 2 years so far, withstood triple digit speeds and feels just as attached as the day I installed it.

Is there different tapes ? How thick do you use?


3M makes many different versions, but mostly I just use the stuff found at hardware stores (usually found near the mailboxes). The tape itself is charcoal color but uses a bright red plastic film to keep it from sticking to itself on the roll. The thickness is a little under 1/16", widths vary.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby dales133 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:33 pm

I just used some to stick composite panel onto a steel frame and it worked better than expected.
I glued some of it with polyurathane adhesive so I have the best of both when cured.
Great stuff and saves alot of time
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby dogscats » Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:37 pm

TODAY IS THE OLDEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN,
YET AT THE SAME TIME, THE YOUNGEST YOU'LL EVER BE,,, SO MAKE THE BEST OF IT WHILE YOU CAN, AND ENJOY THIS DAY WHILE IT LASTS
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:19 am

DrewsBrews wrote:With the prototyping you do I'm surprised you haven't worked with vhb tape. It is very quick to apply and has most of it's strength available immediately after application, compared to adhesives that must dry/cure. As long as there is appropriate surface contact area for the load it just takes a combination of surface cleanliness, and momentary pressure to ensure full contact. A little warmth from a heat gun can help quickly boost adhesion. They use the stuff to hold emblems and trim pieces on cars, and window glass on skyscrapers. In fact when I installed a wing on my car, I threw out the fasteners and used 100% vhb tape instead. It's lasted 2 years so far, withstood triple digit speeds and feels just as attached as the day I installed it.

Say, you want to rent a booth at a trade show and build a trailer right there in the booth to show potential investors/licensees how easy your parts are to work with? VHB tape can make that happen... no mess, no wait.


Thanks for bringing up this tape. I've got another fiberglass project underway right now (not involving TrailTop parts) and I think this tape will work well for that project. I plan to give it a try.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:25 am

jscherb wrote:It was just over one year ago that I started my experiment with using Olympic Rescue It deck coating on the tilt-up camper top.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=58690&start=480#p1092819

Last September I strapped one of the test samples from the post above to a railing outside my workshop, and it's been outside in the weather ever since - a very tough winter and all summer. I took the photo below yesterday - the sample is exactly as I left it a year ago - no deterioration whatsoever.

Image

The trailer top looks great too, although right now the big flat top is serving as a workbench in the garage so i won't post any current photos of it :).

Based on this one-year test, I have no hesitation in recommending products like Rescue It for trailer use. Since I did this test some of the companies offering these products have come out with smoother finish versions (the version I used has grit in it to form a non-skid surface); the smooth finish versions might be even nicer than this in many applications. I'm planning a chuck wagon top for my military trailer on that I'll use a smooth finish so I'll report on that when I do it.


An update on the Olympic RescueIt test after another winter - no change. I'll probably remove the sample from my basement railing now and declare the test successfully concluded.

Today I used another acrylic deck coating product - Behr Deckover from Home Depot. I'm making a chuck wagon add-on for my fiberglass military trailer and there's a Deckover color that's a pretty close match to the olive drab urethane paint I used for the fiberglass tub.

Image

Decokver is very thick, it's almost like trying to apply catsup with a roller. I used a 1/4" nap roller and the result was a nice texture; after only one coat the texture completely hides the grain of the wood.

Image

I used a little over a pint to coat the 4 pieces in the photo (30+ sq. feet), so at about $35 per gallon, it's pretty economical.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby greygoos » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:51 am

Thanks for the update. I along with many of the readers on here am a big fan of your work. I am in Syracuse and was wondering if you ever are coming this way with one of your trailers you might give me a shout so I can take a look at your work and shake your hand for posting so much useful information. Thanks Jim
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby jscherb » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:32 pm

greygoos wrote:Thanks for the update. I along with many of the readers on here am a big fan of your work. I am in Syracuse and was wondering if you ever are coming this way with one of your trailers you might give me a shout so I can take a look at your work and shake your hand for posting so much useful information. Thanks Jim

Jim,
Thank you very much.

I don't get up to Syracuse very often, maybe only twice a year, but I'll keep it in mind.
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Re: "TrailTop" modular trailer building components

Postby JuneBug » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:59 am

Did TrailTop modular components ever go into production? There's a Pinterest page devoted to TrailTop: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=trailtop
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