Stud Walls, skin and window questions

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Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby KendaldaCosta » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:11 am

Hi All,

I'm in the planning stages of my trailer and I have some questions. Keep in mind that I'm in western Canada and would consider making this a 4 season rig. I' appreciate the feedback from this group as criticism has always been constructive.

Walls

In my head, my walls would be as follows:

- 1/8" plywood skin
- 2x2 stud wall with rigid insulation infill
- 1/8" plywood interior

In looking at many other tears on here, I don't see many stud walls. Is my construction overkill? I don't want to drop a bunch of money into construction techniques that are not necessary.

Skin
I haven't seen a single screw hole on the exterior skin of another tear. Does that mean everyone is simply gluing their walls together? I am interested in the woody look and I assume screw holes=leaks.


Windows
As you can see from my attached photos, I want to have a long window built into each side. Is this a lofty idea or can it be achieved? I would think that I'd need to have some structure to support such a large window (I.E. stud wall). Any thoughts here?
Attachments
Idea Rear.jpg
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Idea.jpg
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby tony.latham » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:59 am

Lofty idea? I think your bumper is a lofty idea. But I like it. The whole thing has a really nice retro look.

I do think a 2" stud wall is overkill. I use 3/4" plywood, skeletonized for the interior wall structure. I've used 3/4" pine but it's much more labor-intensive than the plywood. Put that 2" into your ceiling. (I'm down here in Idaho and we do get our fair share of winter––but we don't try to camp greater than the warmer six months.)

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As a lot of people here know, I highly recommend Steve Fredrick's Teardrop Builder's Shop Manual to help think the project through. Especially for hatch construction. http://www.campingclassics.com/shopman05.html (And I'm not associated with him.)

Whatever you decide for your interior wall structure, make sure you can get the same thickness foam. That 1/8" ply will work. But I'd stay away from luan. I think it's a low-bid box store product that may cause problems down the road. Look at 1/4" subfloor plywood. Cheap, solid core, glued up for moist conditions and inexpensive.

Looking at your sketches, I think you can do the windows. But you are going to lose lots of heat through them and they will be a condensation problem in cooler weather (insulated drapes would help...). If I wanted more window, I'd put in a moonroof, there's a few on this site. Make sure two of your windows open up. Teardrops need lots of ventilation. I can't overemphasize that.

Also... look at the door location of most teardrops. I think yours is way too far forward. Put your door where your hips will be. You can sit up, open the door, and pivot out. :thumbsup: And the bottom of the door should be halfway into your mattress.

Keep your plans lofty though! You'll end up with something special. :thumbsup:

Tony
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby KendaldaCosta » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:01 pm

tony.latham wrote:Lofty idea? I think your bumper is a lofty idea. But I like it. The whole thing has a really nice retro look.


What about the bumper is lofty? I figured it would just be attached tot he hatch and lift up as one unit.

tony.latham wrote:I do think a 2" stud wall is overkill.


I feel like I really want to keep that long window in there and I'll need some more beef to carry it. I would probably jut build a 2x2 outline around the side wall and then reinforce the areas around the window and door instead of having studs at 8"-12" on centre. That way I can reduce the weight but keep the structural aspects.

tony.latham wrote:That 1/8" ply will work. But I'd stay away from luan.


I'm looking at 5'x5' baltic birch ply. I want the extra head room of a 5' exterior wall. I'll likely butt join 2 pieces of ply together get get to 10' length that I want.

tony.latham wrote:Also... look at the door location of most teardrops. I think yours is way too far forward. Put your door where your hips will be. You can sit up, open the door, and pivot out. :thumbsup: And the bottom of the door should be halfway into your mattress.


The door is positioned where it is to keep the design as it was. Being that there is an extra foot of headroom, I don't see it being an issue where it is.
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby tony.latham » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:23 pm

What about the bumper is lofty? I figured it would just be attached tot he hatch and lift up as one unit.


Lofty was a bit of a joke. (From your, "Is this a lofty idea or can it be achieved?") I'm not much of a comedian.

The last 'drop I built, I added a bumper to the chassis. It sticks out just far enough that it's not a problem when monkeying in the galley. But I would strongly suggest you keep your hatch as light as possible.

I always thought that a 5' ceiling would just be a place for the warm air to go. There are some that have built that way and like it.

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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby jsnbergman » Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:43 pm

I love your concept. I would consider your interior cabinet needs before deciding on those windows. If I had moved my windows forward I could have built deeper cabinets in the rear cabin. I have a very large cubby above my windows. If the storage is a non issue :thumbsup: I cant speak to the wall thickness, Ihave zero desire to camp in the cold.

would you be suicide hinging the doors?
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby KendaldaCosta » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:14 am

jsnbergman wrote:I love your concept. I would consider your interior cabinet needs before deciding on those windows. If I had moved my windows forward I could have built deeper cabinets in the rear cabin. I have a very large cubby above my windows. If the storage is a non issue :thumbsup:


I'm really hung up on the design as well. I have a tendency to dream up things that prettier than they are functional.

My plan for the windows is to have the portion towards the tongue to be see through, and the portion towards the hatch to be decorative. I'm going to Limo Tint the window so that it'll look uniform from the outside, but in reality, the back portion will be covered up with cabinets on the inside. See picture.
Cabinet idea.jpg
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jsnbergman wrote:would you be suicide hinging the doors?


Yep!
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby KendaldaCosta » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:19 am

I'm curious about batteries and electrical as well. Where do most people have their "utility closet"?
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby tony.latham » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:32 am

KendaldaCosta wrote:I'm curious about batteries and electrical as well. Where do most people have their "utility closet"?


I put the fuse block behind the headboard.

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Speaking of which, seriously think about a headboard. I consider them a must-have for a teardrop. You need a place to set your junk. Books, phone, whatever.

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I put the battery in my tongue box.

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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby tony.latham » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:51 am

One thing I'm not understanding about your sketch (and those rear windows) is how you are going tie your rear bulkheads in? It's my belief they are needed because of the hatch.

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Tony :thinking:
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby KendaldaCosta » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:53 am

Thanks Tony,

I am very, VERY inexperienced with electrical work. Does that guide that you referenced yesterday go through the electrical portion in great detail? That would be the biggest challenge for me, I think.

Post by tony.latham » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:51 am

One thing I'm not understanding about your sketch (and those rear windows) is how you are going tie your rear bulkheads in? It's my belief they are needed because of the hatch.


I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by rear bulkheads, Tony. Can you please elaborate?
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby tony.latham » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:13 pm

The bulkheads are structural walls between the cabin and the galley.

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I build mine so the galley counter goes about 16" into the cabin to form the bottom shelf. It sits on top of the bottom bulkhead and the top bulkhead sits on it. Strength.

Fredrick's manual does cover electrical. The electrical question you need to answer with your camper is whether you want just 12V or both 12V and 120V? We don't have 120V in ours and have never missed it. Fan, lights, USB outlets and 12V outlets.

The marine fuse blocks make for straight-forward 12V wiring. Two wires, a black and red to each light or outlet. And two heavier wires running from the battery to the block. (And fuse that hot wire to the block.) If you decide you need 120V then there's plenty of help on this forum.

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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby KendaldaCosta » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Tony. This is what I had in mind.

WALL CONSTRUCTION.jpg
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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby tony.latham » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:55 pm

KendaldaCosta wrote:Thanks for the clarification, Tony. This is what I had in mind.

WALL CONSTRUCTION.jpg


Gotcha.

I route a mortise into my walls for the bulkheads to slide into. I think you could do something similar by adding another stud.

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Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby KTM_Guy » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:27 pm

I really like the look. I'm needing function over form in my built. But I can appreciate building the other way if that meets your needs. Tony has you on the right track. He has been a huge help in my build. I did get Steve's book and would say I only needed about 30% of the book, but the 30% was worth the price.

A couple of things that jump out at me.

2" stick wall axis overkill. You can put in R10 worth of insulation but what's the R value of your windows, roof vent? Add the fact that you need to run the fan for fresh air and to remove moisture what are you gaining? Add a propane heater for year round camping.
1/8" Baltic Birch I think is to thin for stick built like you framing shows. I would go 1/4" out side 1/8" inside. That is what I am doing on a 1" skeleton.

Not sure what the material you are using for the bumper but it looks like it would be steel. That is a lot of weight to hold up if it is connected to the hatch. Not that it can't be done, just more work and probably expense.

With the doors swing to the back you will hit the fender so you'll need a stop somewhere that will take away from the look. Also the door will stick out a little into to the outdoor living space a little. When the door opens to the front it swings out of the way and stays tight to the camper.

You must have some mad fab skills to go along with your design skills. This will be a fun build to watch.

Todd


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Re: Stud Walls, skin and window questions

Postby KendaldaCosta » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:44 pm

KTM_Guy wrote:2" stick wall axis overkill. You can put in R10 worth of insulation but what's the R value of your windows, roof vent? Add the fact that you need to run the fan for fresh air and to remove moisture what are you gaining? Add a propane heater for year round camping.
1/8" Baltic Birch I think is to thin for stick built like you framing shows. I would go 1/4" out side 1/8" inside. That is what I am doing on a 1" skeleton.


I'm hung up on the stud wall... maybe I can get some 1x2 instead of 2x2. I really feel like that window needs a wider area for support. Plus, wiring between the studs seems like an easier approach. I think you're right about the 1/8" exterior being too thin. 1/4" is probably a better bet.

KTM_Guy wrote:Not sure what the material you are using for the bumper but it looks like it would be steel. That is a lot of weight to hold up if it is connected to the hatch. Not that it can't be done, just more work and probably expense.


The bumper is kind of a pipe dream item at the moment. I think it'll look really cool and increase the retro feel, but it may get scrapped.

KTM_Guy wrote:With the doors swing to the back you will hit the fender so you'll need a stop somewhere that will take away from the look. Also the door will stick out a little into to the outdoor living space a little. When the door opens to the front it swings out of the way and stays tight to the camper.


Having the door not laying flat doesn't bother me much. I'll likely just put a chain to keep the door from opening too far. My design OCD won't let me make the door a different shape and swinging the door the other way on the "short side" of the door feels weird to me.[/quote]

KTM_Guy wrote:You must have some mad fab skills to go along with your design skills.


This remains to be seen... I have all the vision, but let's hope I have the execution too.
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