Page 1 of 5

Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:30 pm
by alaska teardrop
    This sketch is from a series drawn in the winter of 2006 under the Northern Lights in a small cabin on a ridge above Goldstream Valley, Alaska.
    Image
    The plan envisioned a light weight chassis, riveted aluminum cabin construction, strength, durability, low maintenance & a reasonable aerodynamic profile to be pulled with a small car.
    Well, I finally made the mechanical drawings & built it in Greenville, Michigan. It came in at 525#. 900# GVW. Allowing 375# for gear. Hitch weight 90#. Ride height 10". Tire track 62".
    Overall length 10'-4", width 5'-9", height 5'
    Interior length 80-1/2", width 45-1/2", height 42-1/2", footwell height 20"
    Door with slider window 26"x36". Window with slider 30"x20". Tailgate 18"x46".
    Edit: added mechanical drawings on page 4.
    Sharing the experience:
    Image
    Image
    Image
    Image
    Image
    Image
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:40 pm
by alaska teardrop
    The chassis & cabin floor frame were welded on a flat metal table with a 220A MIG welder. It was then sand blasted, acid dipped & powder coated. The cabin floor is .063" (1/16") aluminum tapped with VHB & riveted to the floor frame & two cross members.
    Image
    More on the chassis in this thread.
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:08 pm
by alaska teardrop
    The cabin is constructed using: .063" (1/16") 3003-H14 sheet aluminum. 16 gage (1/16") x 1" 6063-T52 square tubing. 1/8" x 1" angle cleats. 3M 4919F VHB tape. 3/16" *closed end* aluminum structural rivets (575# shear - 840# tensile).
    Image
    The walls are made on the work table, outer film protected surface down. The side plan is layed out on the inner face of the sheet. The curve of the roof, window & door openings are cut. The rivet holes are punched or drilled. The hoop is cold formed by hand over a wooden buck. The tube framing is cut & secured in place with tape. The cleats are installed. The assembly is turned outside up. The tubing is drilled through the premade holes in the outer sheet & riveted with a pneumatic riveter.
    The walls are installed to the steel floor frame with tape & rivets along the bottom. The ten vertical wall frame members are cleated to the top of the floor frame.
    Image
    Image

    The cross ribs are attached to the hoop with three cleats at each end.
    Image
    The ribs are inset to allow for complete insulation sheathing of the front wall & roof.
    Image
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:30 pm
by GRY GHST
nice looking trailer

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:31 pm
by alaska teardrop
    The walls are fitted with one inch of *EXTRUDED* polystyrene insulation. The front & roof are fitted with one inch between the ribs & another inch of continuous insulation over the ribs. The floor has two inches of continuous insulation on the top side of the aluminum floor.
    Image
    Image
    Image
    It doesn't have to be freezing, but anytime the inside temperature is greater than the outside, moisture created inside will migrate to the cold side. *EXTRUDED* polystyrene doesn't absorb water. The surface & edges are a vapor barrier in & of itself. With the seams & openings taped with *made for* vapor barrier tape, the moisture barrier is complete.
    Image
    Image
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:53 pm
by alaska teardrop
    The ceiling is barrel bend birch & the walls are 1/8" birch ply.
    The side panels were matched to the outer walls on the work table.
    Image
    Both sides of all the panels are coated with a sealing primer. The interior sides are finished with three layers of hand rub polyurethane.
    Image
    As an additional thermal barrier, all of the interior panels have an extruded polystyrene underlayment attached to the back sides.
    Image
    All the wall panels have a no glue rubber edge trim. The interior is installed in place with large head aluminum rivets.
    Image
    The flooring is 'lay flat/no glue' vinyl on top of the 2" insulation.
    Image
    Note: In case of damage, the interior can be removed by drilling out the rivets & replaced.
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:09 pm
by alaska teardrop
    The galley & cabin shelving is made with 3/4" birch ply. All the pieces are routered on one side in a pattern to half depth in order to reduce weight. Assembled on the bench.
    Image
    Image
    The assembly is secured to the wall framing with riveted aluminum angle.
    Image
    Image
    Image
    Note: Air flow over the top of the dividing wall if the tailgate is open & 2 1/2" double screened vents on both sides for cabin make-up air.
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:19 pm
by alaska teardrop
    The tailgate has a powder coated 16 gage steel perimeter frame with an aluminum piano hinge. The aluminum on both sides & outer trim are attached with VHB tape.
    Image
    Image
    It closes against a 1/8" x 1 1/2" aluminum angle outer frame with a 1" rubber 'D' seal.
    Image
    Edit: Corrected the size of the seal. BTW, all of the trim & seals made by Trim-Loc.
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:41 pm
by alaska teardrop
    The two brackets & the rear of the jack mounting plate could be used to attach a storage box without drilling or welding to the tongue rails.
    The jack is a 750" Bulldog. The geared shaft retracts up flush to the frame & the wheel drops out, leaving nothing to hit on uneven ground. With the rear corners of the trailer blocked, the jack will lift the trailer tires off the ground.
    Image
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:48 pm
by alaska teardrop
    The tires are 195/70/14 all season radials mounted on aluminum trailer wheels run at 21 psi.
    Image
    The aluminum fenders are riveted to the cabin framing & side walls.
    Image
    That's all.
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:48 pm
by High Desert
That is one heck of a nice build Fred! Thanks for sharing all the details.

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:04 am
by TJinPgh
That is one sweet build. Of course, I do have a bias toward the reverse tears....

Amazing how light weight that is despite being all metal with all that aluminum being used.

Not an inexpensive build, I would imagine, but it should last forever.

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:11 am
by alaska teardrop
    Thankyou John, Shaun & T.J. for your appreciation of the effort.
    :peace: Fred

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:02 pm
by Greg M
Fantastic job! I still have a printout of your original 2006 drawings in my idea file. The profile inspired my Deco tear.
How hard was bending the hoop? Did you use a full size buck or something smaller and adjust the radius as you went?

-Greg

Re: Northern Lite Traveler

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:24 pm
by alaska teardrop
    Hi Greg, Cool, the shape worked for you. Are you asking because you're considering aluminum next time?
    Well anyway, the tubing is 16 ga. x1" sq. 6063-T52. The buck is made of two pieces of 1/2" ply sandwiched between the one-by flanges.
    Image
    Image
    Image
    Allowing for a cut-off, the tube is clamped at the end, pulled down by hand & clamped every 6" or so. It bends to the shape without distortion. It does spring back. If I use the buck again, I'll tighten up the radii to compensate.
    The smaller radius is 21" outside. Any lesser radius would probably require annealing.
    :peace: Fred