Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby camper4life » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:09 am

Hi Dave, your trailer looks great! I would like to know how hard
Was it to bend the aluminum on top of your trailer.
I'm ready to pick up some and was worried that
.063 thick would be to hard to deal with. My trailer
Is 5 ft wide. Thanks!
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby DMcCam » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:32 pm

camper4life wrote:I would like to know how hard
Was it to bend the aluminum on top of your trailer.
I'm ready to pick up some and was worried that
.063 thick would be to hard to deal with. My trailer
Is 5 ft wide.


Howdy Camper4life, Actually the .063 was not that hard to bend to the front curve at all. The AT is only a little shy of 5 feet at 57.25". We started at the tongue bending it back toward the galley. We used vinyl roof cement to keep in in place. I would plan on a couple of extra helpers to keep it under control while you secure it.

As the radius becomes smaller, the bending force become much harder. We had to roll the aft part of the hatch to bend it around. If you are doing it alone, I'd look into a metal shop near you that has a roller. Buy a couple of sheets of 1/8"- 4'x8' Masonite so your aluminum doesn't get hammered in the process. Then have them roll the sheet as a Masonite sandwich and get it close to your profile bend.

I hope this helps,

Dave
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby camper4life » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:53 pm

Thanks for the advice Dave! I just drove home with two sheets of .063 aluminum for the top of the trailer. I picked up my sheets at Nichols Steel in Greenville, MS. They will roll my sheet if i need to for $50- $60 bucks. They cut me a deal @ $97.95 per 5x10 sheet since our shop does all the woodwork on their tow boats. I think I'll try to bend it myself since my smallest radius is 24". Wish me luck! Thanks again, Frank
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby McGuffin » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:49 pm

Hi Dave,

Just a quick question on how you fixed your door hinges.

Did you fix them by bolting them through on the side walls - or did you use wood screws. The reason I ask is because I would like to skin the inner walls with 1/4" veneer before I get around to fixing the doors on - I'm not sure I can do this if I have to allow for bolts coming through (if you understand ... :thinking: )

Regards


Larry
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby mallymal » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:49 pm

In case Dave doesn't see this, have you considered using a nut insert? Looks like this...

Image

You drill an oversize hole in your frame, then screw the nut insert into the frame... You can add a drop of glue to the thread if you like, then you fix your hinges for example using bolts that screw into the insert.

Because of the thread size of the insert, it grabs the frame more than an ordinary screw, but still leaves your inner wall unblemished with nuts.

Just a thought... Ps if your using insert nuts, some sit just below the surface of the frame, others have a flange and sit a whisker proud.

When I eventually build, I think they would be great for things like fixing side frames to roof spars.

Cheers
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby DMcCam » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:06 pm

camper4life wrote:Thanks for the advice Dave! I just drove home with two sheets of .063 aluminum for the top of the trailer. I picked up my sheets at Nichols Steel in Greenville, MS. They will roll my sheet if i need to for $50- $60 bucks. They cut me a deal @ $97.95 per 5x10 sheet since our shop does all the woodwork on their tow boats. I think I'll try to bend it myself since my smallest radius is 24". Wish me luck! Thanks again, Frank


Good Luck Frank!!! Have Fun!

McGuffin wrote:Hi Dave,

Just a quick question on how you fixed your door hinges.

Did you fix them by bolting them through on the side walls - or did you use wood screws. The reason I ask is because I would like to skin the inner walls with 1/4" veneer before I get around to fixing the doors on - I'm not sure I can do this if I have to allow for bolts coming through (if you understand ... :thinking: )

Regards

Larry


Hi Larry,

Nope, I didn't run bolts through the walls. I used stainless pan heads that fit the hinges. As my walls are 1" thick with about 3/8" spacers (for offseting the hinges) I felt that 1 1/4" screws would do the trick. I did add a dab of sealer with the final instal. So far, they haven't moved yet. :)

All the Best,

Dave
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby DMcCam » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:49 am

Hi Everyone,

We almost got the new hatch struts in but they were a tad too strong; they bent the brackets. We'll have them fixed soon and I'll post the solution with pics.

For now, I thought I'd add a couple of camping pics from a weekend trip 3 weeks ago.

Image
The AT in the wild.

Image
A relaxing moment as twilight falls.

Image
Me with our little girl.

All the Best,

Dave
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby McGuffin » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:46 pm

Hi Mallymall and Dave,

Thank you for the great advise. I am about to put the sides up permanently and am trying to figure things out in advance.

Mind you.... the build is going slow just now. Watching too much World Cup football. As I write this the US are putting on a great show against Belgium.

Great photographs Dave. I can't wait until we get camping too.

BTW I contacted Grant Whipp about the 4" corners of the doors as you suggested and he told me that it'll be problematic when it comes to fitting the "T" aluminium. So I have figured out a way to round them out to a 6" radius without wrecking everything ... hopefully :NC

Larry
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby DMcCam » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:55 pm

McGuffin wrote:Hi Mallymall and Dave,

Thank you for the great advise. I am about to put the sides up permanently and am trying to figure things out in advance.

Mind you.... the build is going slow just now. Watching too much World Cup football. As I write this the US are putting on a great show against Belgium.

Great photographs Dave. I can't wait until we get camping too.

BTW I contacted Grant Whipp about the 4" corners of the doors as you suggested and he told me that it'll be problematic when it comes to fitting the "T" aluminium. So I have figured out a way to round them out to a 6" radius without wrecking everything ... hopefully :NC

Larry


Hi Larry,

If you trim the inside edge to about 1/8" or 3/16" around the curve it bends pretty easy. You'll need to make a nice taper out of both sides of the corners to the full width of the 'T'. I had to still hammer the edge a bit with a piece of hard wood dowel with a rounded end. Here's a link to how I did it back on page 29 of this thread: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=35081&start=420

Slow is good when working with aluminum.

All the Best,

Dave
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby McGuffin » Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:37 pm

Hi Dave,

Thank you - I have sourced a supply of "T" molding this week too so I'll remember to take it slow when the time comes!

On another subject -I'm toying with the idea of incorporating a rear bumper into the build by bolting a few additional bits on to the chassis. Can you please look at these couple of Sketch ups. Obviously the bumper would have to be dropped before the hatch is opened and clicked up when the hatch is closed. So ....

Parking Up


Image[


Image

On the Road

Image

Just a thought .... :thinking: What do you think?

Regards,



Larry
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby noseoil » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:56 am

If you use a compass with the hinge as your pivot, draw an arc in the lower-back area and just leave a 1/2" gap at the inside edge of the bumper for clearance. You should be able to have a nice installation without having to drop the bumper when the hatch opens. With a little planning & simple geometry during the mock-up phase of design, a bumper should be possible. I like the idea of some 16 gauge 2" tubing for a bit of extra insurance when backing up (I suck at backing still).
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby DMcCam » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:31 pm

Hi Larry,

Your bumper ideas look fine to me. The main concern is whether a bumper that can easily be moved will be able to protect the rear very well. My best guess would be a bumper that locks into place by shoving it towards the trailer into a tube. You would then pull it rearward a few inches then swing it down out of the way. This way any impact would be transferred to the chassis not just retainer pins. You definitely do not want to leave it in place and just let the hatch miss it when opening. This will put your feet too far away from the galley and likely end up being a shin killer. We have never hit our shins on the lower deck of the galley but with just an inch or two that would change.

So far, not having a bumper hasn't been an issue. People stay back from the funny shiny thing they are following.

Also, don't hesitate to call Grant Whipp with questions about the aluminum. He's a really great guy.

Have Fun,

Dave
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby McGuffin » Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:51 am

Hi Dave,

I guess I'm more worried about low speed self inflicted dings and bumps. With that in mind I,m going to attempt this and make it swing down as you suggest to prevent shindigs! :)

Thank you.

Larry
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop - Update 3/27 pg 34

Postby BuildingForFun » Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:03 am

DMcCam wrote:Hi Everyone, and thank you so much Sharron!

It was a good weekends work with quite a few things accomplished. Finally got the hatch trimmed out and it seems to be a pretty good fit. Please excuse the squeeze out butyl tape, silicon caulking and smudges; I'm working fast so she'll get cleaned up later. For all those brave souls who are finishing with aluminum a few words of encouragement; patience will serve you well. Even though Grant's moldings are dead soft, it still takes a lot of work to make these tight bends. The stuff buckles and you'll need to hammer it out again and again with those dead-blow hammers. Eventually you'll get it if you take your time and work through it.

Image
The driver's side trim with the hatch closed.

Image
Hatch closed.

Image
Here's the hatch open...yep, the struts are installed but not enough to keep it up. They are 120 pounders too. I'm guessing 130-140 lb ones should do the trick.

Image

Image
A couple of shots of the edge trim with the hatch open.

Image
I installed the galley lights too.

Image
Here's the passenger side door with the rain cap over the window and the drip gutter installed!

Image
Same for the driver's side, wahoo!

Image
I wanted to see how the drip gutter looked with the driver's door open; looks good yet needs to be tweaked a bit.

Thanks for following.

More to come,

Dave


What did you use for the Drip Gutter Above the door and the Window cap?
Thanks Caleb.
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Re: Building The Atma Travelear Teardrop

Postby DMcCam » Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:15 am

Hi Caleb,
BuildingForFun wrote:What did you use for the Drip Gutter Above the door and the Window cap?


Both came from Grant at LilBear here's the link:http://www.teardrops.net/teardroptrailerparts.html

All the Best,

Dave
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