Hello from Northern California

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Hello from Northern California

Postby markmitch » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:23 pm

Hi all my name is Mark I am a disabled Veteran and I have a few potential projects with zero experience with campers.
We bought a 1988 Coleman pop up camper and basically got ripped off due to lack of knowledge. The canvas is junk, the door is missing, the roof leaks and the ice box is missing. I also have for the taking a 60's era aristocrat lo liner that has been in the same back yard spot for 15 years or so and it was full of toys and clothes when closed up so its rotted inside full of bee's and hard to get into at this point. My idea is to use just what I can out of the aristocrat such as the stove with oven and tear the pop up trailer off the trailer and build a tear drop for myself and my wife to use to drive across the US to visit relatives in Maine & NH. Feel free to say what you all wish about these plans and any advice is also welcomed. :thumbsup:
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby friz » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:31 pm

My advice would be to sell those projects whole and put the money into a well thought out plans or kit built teardrop. There are a lot of good options out there and you will know exactly what you are getting into.
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby kokomoto » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:21 am

Welcome to the forum. We sold our pop up camper to kickstart the funding of our teardrop build. Now that it's finished, we are thrilled that we did. The teardrop turned out to be the ideal camper for what we like to do.

There's a ton of information on this forum, and lots of sound advice. Keep us posted! :)
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby markmitch » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:04 pm

SO the frame from the pop up would not be a good start to build a teardrop? I don't understand how it would be better to start with HF frame or what not? Please feel free to explain this for me. Thank You, Mark
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby drhill » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:41 pm

if the old pop up trailer frame is the size you need, or can easily be modified to the size you need, then it would be far better than starting with a Harbour Freight trailer.
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby markmitch » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:57 am

OK so this is what I got to start with: I have a Coleman pop up camper that needs all new canvas and screening and seems to have a few parts missing.
I have a 1960's era Aristocrat lo liner that needs a rebuild
and last but not least I just got a Chevrolet 30 series RV that has been sitting for 6 years and has a broken window so there is damage inside and the roof leaks.

My idea is to use the trailer from the aristocrat to build a new box onto, the basic stock design will be closely followed but with a different shape, possibly more teardrop then box. Use the windows and door from the RV along with most if not all the amenities. But since both myself and my stepson are six feet + tall I wish to use the pop up top with lift equipment to be able to raise the roof approximately 2 feet as part of set up. I will have screen only in the lift portion but I also will have the aluminum foil bubble rap stuff to put inside the area when its cold & I will have to have a lip around the opening but under the raised roof to stop rain water from leaking in.
This is also usable to allow smoke from cooking inside out. If I put this in the wrong place feel free to move it and if you do please let me know where it went. Thanks Mark
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby GO_C_DAVE » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:04 pm

markmitch wrote:OK so this is what I got to start with: I have a Coleman pop up camper that needs all new canvas and screening and seems to have a few parts missing.
I have a 1960's era Aristocrat lo liner that needs a rebuild
and last but not least I just got a Chevrolet 30 series RV that has been sitting for 6 years and has a broken window so there is damage inside and the roof leaks.

My idea is to use the trailer from the aristocrat to build a new box onto, the basic stock design will be closely followed but with a different shape, possibly more teardrop then box. Use the windows and door from the RV along with most if not all the amenities. But since both myself and my stepson are six feet + tall I wish to use the pop up top with lift equipment to be able to raise the roof approximately 2 feet as part of set up. I will have screen only in the lift portion but I also will have the aluminum foil bubble rap stuff to put inside the area when its cold & I will have to have a lip around the opening but under the raised roof to stop rain water from leaking in.
This is also usable to allow smoke from cooking inside out. If I put this in the wrong place feel free to move it and if you do please let me know where it went. Thanks Mark



Hey Mark, David here from the central valley. Okay... Don't get ahead of yourself... get the trailer issue addressed first. keep in mind, some parts can be "frankenstiened", others can't or shouldn't. A solid base is key. Get the trailer as sound as possible...
Keep as many clips, latches, hooks and funny shaped screws as possible from the old trailers . I just finished my build this year, and... it gets HOT inside! make sure you have plenty of air flow. Don't be afraid to scrap a piece or two, here and there. Change it up if you have to, look at other builds, don't be afraid to ask questions. take your time, if it gets tough,step back and think about it. GOOD LUCK! :thumbsup:
By the way. Where are you in CA?
I can build that !!!!
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby markmitch » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:44 pm

I am in Valley Springs. closest city is Jackson or Stockton. The largest trailer is the build platform its at a friends and will be moved to my house by spring. The RV is fine where its at for now and the pop up may be sold to fund the trailer. I can build a roof that can be raised with smaller components just because the roof from the pop up is to big and so it the equipment that raises it. I still need to get inside the trailer to see exactly what can be used or tossed and how much room is really available.
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby lee senn » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:51 pm

Hello Mark and welcome. Hopefully the pop up frame will be usable and you can get started on your tear build. I would suggest you take a look in design resources on this forum and check out the compact design as it might just be what you are looking for. My wife and I have two fiberglass pop tops, one a Hunter l and the other a Trailswest Campster ( you can sign on to fiberglassrv.com , which is a forum for fiberglass campers and get a look at each of them for reference ). The compact design on the forum shows the pop top full length but I would suggest you only go as far forward as the bed as there is obviously no need for standing room over the bed so a full length pop top only complicates the build and adds weight. Good luck. Lee and Norma
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby S. Heisley » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:22 pm

:thinking: After you see this one, you may decide that the pop-up is what you want to work with:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=68598&p=1205888#p1205888

Best wishes on whatever you decide.
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby Vedette » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:04 pm

So I know this is a "Building" Forum, and it helped me a great deal with my build........BUT, I have take a different approach to your question. :roll:
Not to suggest that you do not have the skills, patience, and money to build your own Teardrop trailer from the "Scrap" trailers you have. :thinking:
But, I would suggest that you sell everything you have cluttering up your yard.....take whatever money you get from them (if any) and start looking for a good deal on a "Professionaly Built" trailer or one built by someone who has built YDs before.
It will be the best money you will spend, and you and your wife can get into Camping mode much sooner! :wine:
Look forward to camping with you some day soon!
Good Roads
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viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50912
Image109106109111109110138766
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Re: Hello from Northern California

Postby Vedette » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:11 pm

A PS here!
There are a number of TD campers that think they are getting too old to use their Teardrops and are changing up to "Standies"....Heaven Forbid! :shock:
So, there ARE TDs available, both store bought to homebuilt.
And I do know of some that are currently available at way less than you WILL spend in the long run ....if you still choose to build.
Good Roads
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viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50912
Image109106109111109110138766
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