Finally Started- 6x10 conversion (Ready for first trip)

Converting Cargo Trailers into TTTs

Finally Started- 6x10 conversion (Ready for first trip)

Postby pmowers » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:43 pm

I have been lurking and making a few comments for awhile, decided it was time to either build or get off the porta-potti. I hope that I put this in the proper place.

A little background- a couple of buddies and I have going fishing/camping for a long time. Usually, it is one of those "Thursday night calls", asking if you want to go fishing this weekend. Get home Friday night, throw the stuff in the truck and head out- the spot is about 100-200 miles away depending on where you live. Pull into the site, get ready to eat supper and find out that they thought you were bringing the plates, you assuming they were. We decided that we needed a big box/small trailer that we could just hitch up and go.

The road to perdition is paved with good intentions. :) and starts at the front door of Harbor Freight.

It started with the tiny HF frame (38x48) and a box that fit on it. Nothing fancy, the painted plywood box was divided into a bottom which had a hatch on the back to put tents and long stuff in, and a top which was divided down the middle. Passenger side had a pullout counter for cooking, room to store equipment and supplies. Driver side folded out on steel cable to form work area, room for lanterns, fishing gear. I used window latches to hold the sides closed.Worked well for several years. When the amount of gear grew, we started to strap boxes to the roof. If I can find some pictures I will post them.

I am putting on my signal to pull onto the on-ramp of the road.

Then the next edition was on the same frame, but now its 4' wide, cut out over the fenders, and the original 4' long has now got a 18" modified V-nose projecting out over the tongue. The "nose-cone" has a side door, bracket for a 20# propane tank, shelves, pegboard on the inside of the door. All of it covered in vinyl laminate. Additional features such as a cube refrig, microwave, coffee maker, lights, built-in 25' retractable power cord, trailer dollies mounted on the back corners for leveling and stabilizing the trailer soon appeared. Cargo rails off of an S-10 pickup fastened themselves to the top where extra supplies started strapping themselves on for the ride. Mark II was starting to put on weight, good thing the trailer was rated for a little over 1000 lbs., bad thing was that my back wasn't.
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Well, now I am at the top of the ramp merging into the traffic- sure a lot of funny little trailers on this road.

Well, I just cannot leave things alone. Last Labor Day, I bought a 6x10 Lark from a local dealer. The floor is 3/4 ply, 3/8 on the walls. Barn doors in the back, side door on passenger side. Okay, I got it, now what? Ask my friend, Google,"What's next?"

Google thinks about it, then says that I had to check out Don & Christi's 6x10 Cargo Conversion, oh, and make sure you browse through the rest of the Teardrop and Tiny Travel Trailer site.

Where is everybody going?, I better put the pedal to the metal!

I do not normally plan on sleeping inside, but I want to be able to in a pinch. The goal is more of a keeping things organized and keeping out of the weather at times. One constraint that I did have, was that the cargo trailer may actually have to (gasp!) be used as a trailer.

My fellow travelers like to look at pictures, but I think that you have probably seen enough bare plywood walls and floors.

There are three of us doing the work on the trailer-me, myself and I, and we spend a lot of time arguing :R so things are going a little slow, with lots of "what was I thinking?!" moments.

Finally figured out what I was going to do. First thing is get some stabilizers for the trailer. Google tells me that there are adjustable ones on sale for $30, they are 13x20. Okay, I figure out that the 20 is how far down they will reach, but what is the 13? Turns out that is how long the shaft sticks out from the frame, at shin height :x . Hacksaw and a little welding are in my future.
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I got a good deal on some sheet vinyl for the floor, so I installed that using adhesive.
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For the walls, I decided to float FRP panels with rivets. E-track would go on one side to hold tables, chairs, etc.,
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with adjustable shelves and baskets on the other side to hold my gear.I have several other shelves and a counter top to install.
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In order to simplify the wiring, I ordered a WFCO 8945 from ebay, decided to put it into a cabinet on one side, with outside outlets and a Marinco 20A shore power connector. The converter is what will go into the bottom of the cabinet in the picture above.

I decided on 2 columns, microwave in between and a counter underneath. I have never done any decent cabinet work, so I went to a place that sells cabinet doors for $5 each, any size, shape, finish or material. The owner also had 1/2' maple finish cabinet plywood for $12/sheet. The framing is all 1x2 poplar which I am going to paint a dark black-brown, just using clear wipe-on urethane for the maple doors. Started to use biscuits, decided life was too short and took the advice of others in the forum, used pocket screws.

The upper left cabinet will hold a pull-out pantry, the upper right, shelves for now, I plan on putting in pullout drawers.
94601

Got the microwave installed today.

I installed 120V/USB and 12V outlets under the microwave. I have a set of halogen lights which will also go under the microwave.
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The columns are fixed in place, and are about 20" deep, flush with the edge of the side door. I am planning on making the center base 24" deep, adding drawers/baskets inside. Lately, there is an idea floating in the back of my mind- what if the center was interchangeable, and on rollers? One trip it could hold drawers, another trip, it could be exchanged for a cabinet with a built in sink, water reservoir and storage tank.

I just got the deck inspection plates, and a 5k air conditioner to make into a rig similar to the one Shadow Catcher showed.

The thing that I have not been able to visualize as yet is what to do with/to the ceiling.

So, that is the status at the moment, I am quite open to any suggestions, especially regarding the ceiling. The trailer is 6' tall inside, and I am a little over that.

Pat
Last edited by pmowers on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby d30gaijin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:56 pm

Pmowers,


Your build is coming along very nicely. You're doing excellent work. :thumbsup: I really like your forward cabinets/galley area. Keep us posted as you go. We need more builds on here so we have more ideas to steal. :R

Don
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby pmowers » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:18 pm

Thanks Don!
I am thinking about doing something like you did over your front cabinets. I think your doors came out really well. Like I said, you were my inspiration. :beer:

The standard counter-top height of 36 inches would be about even with the bottom of the doors over the frig. That only leaves me about 14-15 inches for the counter. Originally, I was going to have the microwave cabinet only come out 16 inches, but that was only 4 inches from the fronts of the columns. Since I made the microwave cabinet flush with the others, I decided that I would probably not prep there, It is a great height though for a coffee maker or convection toaster oven. I plan on doing most cooking over a coleman outside, to keep the smell out of everything.
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby Wolfscout » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:28 pm

It's funny sometimes to think back on what we wanted when we first wanted something besides a tent that has seen more flooded campsites than it's seen nice weather. Then we graduated to "tent on wheels". Then upgraded with power. Then bed upgrade. Then we added ac. Heck, ... Now I have everything including the kitchen sink. :lol:

Edited to add.. we can empty out all but the front cabinets in about 20-30 minutes of quick snatch and grabs to "haul stuff".
Larry Fulmer, Jr.

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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby pmowers » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:31 pm

I know what you mean, Wolfscout. We were setting up camp one day, and the Winnebago owner across the way came over to check out the Mark II. After looking at everything, he just shook his head and said that we had everything that he did, except an engine. :lol: The first 10 years we went for a week-long fishing trip,it was tent, bag and sleeping pad with a big blue tarp suspended over the campsite. 10 years later, it is a camper, a separate kitchen trailer (we likes to eat!), and enough power draw for a small city.

Pat
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby Wolfscout » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:58 pm

Yep. I run so much in our camper charging batteries and other electronics I have to run two shore powers lines through my camper Because I started with a too small WFCO and have not upgraded yet.
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby d30gaijin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:18 pm

Wolfscout wrote:Yep. I run so much in our camper charging batteries and other electronics I have to run two shore powers lines through my camper Because I started with a too small WFCO and have not upgraded yet.


OMG! Have I failed? :shock: I have no WFCO but I seem to be doing fine, or is that a false sense of security? :( BTW, WTF is a WFCO and do I need one? :NC

I hope everyone has/had a safe and wonderful Independence Day! :beer:

Don
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby pmowers » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:29 pm

WFCO refers to a brand of power converter that is typically used in rvs. The other brand used is Progressive. I like mine because it has both the AC breakers, a 45A 12 VDC converter, 10 circuit distribution panel and a 3 stage battery charger/maintainer/rejuvenator. I just have to figure out what kind of battery to put in and where.
Last edited by pmowers on Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby d30gaijin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:45 pm

pmowers wrote:Thanks Don!
I am thinking about doing something like you did over your front cabinets. I think your doors came out really well. Like I said, you were my inspiration. :beer:

The standard counter-top height of 36 inches would be about even with the bottom of the doors over the frig. That only leaves me about 14-15 inches for the counter. Originally, I was going to have the microwave cabinet only come out 16 inches, but that was only 4 inches from the fronts of the columns. Since I made the microwave cabinet flush with the others, I decided that I would probably not prep there, It is a great height though for a coffee maker or convection toaster oven. I plan on doing most cooking over a coleman outside, to keep the smell out of everything.


Pmowers,

OOPS! I apologize. I was sort of speed reading through your initial post, consumed more with the pics you posted and missed the part about us being your inspiration. Thank you so much for that. It makes us feel that we have helped folks here, and that's a great feeling, which was our intent for documenting our build on this forum. We stumbled across this forum thanks to a Google search with regards to cargo trailers. Once we found it it was "Let's Do This!" and committed to document our build, every bit of it, in detail (maybe too much detail). It's been two years after and we're still going, still building, and still stealing ideas from others here. :D

Be all that as it may, I am inspired by your build. Keep the pics coming.

Don
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby Wolfscout » Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:57 am

Yep I have the 25amp one. it's got two breakers.. and a few 12v circuit breakers. It's just too small so I have anohter shore power inlet that I run the portable ac and a couple other receptacles off off. I plug the 25amp into a 30amp plug. and the other shore power is just a drop cord to a 15v inlet. basically it splits to 3 receptacles inside. With this separate shore power I can plug into my generator and just run the ac while going down the road. camper is cooled when I get there. :)
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby bigbendhiker » Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:36 pm

pmowers wrote:
There are three of us doing the work on the trailer-me, myself and I, and we spend a lot of time arguing :R so things are going a little slow, with lots of "what was I thinking?!" moments.

Pat


The three of you make a great team! :applause: Your work looks really nice.

pmowers wrote:I got a good deal on some sheet vinyl for the floor, so I installed that using adhesive.
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Pat


So what did you use for adhesive? What temperatures does your trailer see and have you had any issues with the adhesive coming loose or the vinyl buckling?
I picked up a couple of samples of vinyl planks that I like at HD. After a few hours in a hot vehicle I can literally fold the samples in half. After 15 to 20 minutes with the A/C on the samples become rigid and won't bend much at all. I'm afraid if it were freezing or below it would become brittle. I've read others on this forum that have not had good luck with vinyl tiles or planks, but I was wondering how the sheet vinyl holds up.

pmowers wrote:
I decided on 2 columns, microwave in between and a counter underneath. I have never done any decent cabinet work, so I went to a place that sells cabinet doors for $5 each, any size, shape, finish or material. The owner also had 1/2' maple finish cabinet plywood for $12/sheet. The framing is all 1x2 poplar which I am going to paint a dark black-brown, just using clear wipe-on urethane for the maple doors. Started to use biscuits, decided life was too short and took the advice of others in the forum, used pocket screws.
94601

Pat


Your cabinet work looks really good, so either your much better than you give yourselves :) credit for or you're a really good photographer. :pictures:

Seriously really nice work on the trailer - it's looking good. Thanks for posting.
Scott
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby pmowers » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:58 pm

I haven't quite mastered quoting quoted replies so I will try to answer your questions below:

Teamwork- Its not bad, but the idiot always insists on using the power tools and hiding the bandaids. :D

Flooring-The flooring is a vinyl that has a sort of fuzzy backing to it. I used the adhesive that was recommended for it. It took two quarts of the stuff to cover the 60 sq. feet with a 1/16 inch square-notched trowel. The vinyl was rolled up in the trailer over the winter, and seemed to be fairly flexible below freezing. I have a thermometer in the trailer that has hit 131 since I put the flooring in and I have not noticed any problems with it. The drill-driver kept slipping out of my hand and bouncing, but I cannot see any damage (to the floor). More of a problem is the fiberglass reinforced panels (FRP) on the walls. They expand about 1/8 inch over 8 feet. They also got very "floppy" when I was trying to put them on the walls by myself with temperatures over 100.

Cabinetry- Thanks alot for your kind remarks. I am waiting for it to cool down before I try sealing and painting the frames. I used to be a freelance photographer, but it wasn't compatible with my lifestyle, I liked to eat and have a roof over my head. I had not meant for the pictures to be that small, but the originals were 14 MP.

Pat
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby aggie79 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:11 am

Pat,

Somehow I missed your CT conversion build thread. You are coming along nicely. I really like what you have done.

pmowers wrote:Well, I just cannot leave things alone. Last Labor Day, I bought a 6x10 Lark from a local dealer. The floor is 3/4 ply, 3/8 on the walls. Barn doors in the back, side door on passenger side.


I may be in the market for a CT to do a conversion. I'm on the other side of the metroplex, but have seen several trailer manufacturers/dealers on the east side of DFW. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about them. If you had a good experience with your dealer, would you mind saying where you bought your CT?

pmowers wrote:I decided on 2 columns, microwave in between and a counter underneath. I have never done any decent cabinet work, so I went to a place that sells cabinet doors for $5 each, any size, shape, finish or material. The owner also had 1/2' maple finish cabinet plywood for $12/sheet. The framing is all 1x2 poplar which I am going to paint a dark black-brown, just using clear wipe-on urethane for the maple doors. Started to use biscuits, decided life was too short and took the advice of others in the forum, used pocket screws.


The cabinets look fantastic! To save time, I had my teardrop cabinet doors made, but I paid a lot more than $5 a piece for them. Can you say what the name of the place is where you got your cabinet doors?

Sincerely,
Tom
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby pmowers » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:13 am

Tom,
I am afraid that I am not going to be much help. I live in Western Kentucky, about 120 miles from anywhere. It seems that I like to shop at wide-spots in the road. The trailer dealer is Ferris Trailers in Beechmont, KY, population 25, if you count the dogs (just kidding), the door guy is Cabinet Doors and More in Fordsvile, KY, a town of about the same size. The door guy has several pole buildings of doors arranged in bins by size, material and style. You just pick through them until you find what you want. I think that most of the cabinet stuff is from National Furniture, who has a plant in Fordsville.

I am sure that a number of members are located in the DFW area and can point you in the proper direction for dealers. Don (http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=38095&start=555#p945188 found a place that does doors pretty reasonably. The other approach, and probably the one that I would have used if the outlet was not available, is to get the prefinished cabinet doors from one of the big box stores and use them. Kraftmaid is what I used when I remodeled my home office. Just design your cabinets around the sizes/styles at the store.

One thing that I can highly recommend is the Kreg Pocket Jig set ($40, not the big one). When you purchase it, you get an access code to download a "cabinets made easy" booklet that really simplifies things. I have used the jig for all of my face-frames, attaching the 1/2" ply to the cabinet sides, the sides to the front wall of the trailer, the drawer assemblies... I also found a clamp at our local Menard's that works great for aligning and assembling face frames ($8). :thumbsup: On the otherhand, I have been extremely disappointed in Kreg's new adjustable saw guide- I should have just freehanded the cuts and I tried it with 2 different circular saws. :x

Pat
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Re: Finally Started- 6x10 conversion

Postby michaelwpayton » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:30 am

Pat... is this the "saw guide" you are disappointed in... http://www.kregtool.com/RipCut-Prodview.html? I ask because I was just getting ready to buy it.
-Michael

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