"Silver Nugget" Teardrop Trailer

...ask your questions in the appropriate forums BUT document your build here...preferably in a single thread...dates for updates, are appreciated....

Postby synaps3 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:04 pm

Johnny - Thanks! I'm hoping to be done by the summer. Looking forward to getting some good camping in. :)

I'm still not sure about the name of my trailer. We've had a lot of suggestions (both online and in-person), but nothing has really stuck yet. :thinking:
-- Dave

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Postby H-Balm » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:07 am

Cool journal so far.

What plans do you have for the trailer, trailer hitch?
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Postby down under tech » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:13 am

Thanks for your words of approval. My build should go into high gear soon as the weather breaks. I really don't have plans for the hitch yet. I might make a slide-in table out of aluminum to use while camping. The options are endless with that tube there. I bought the tube at HF and I had the other steel, a welder and the time, so there it is. Mainly I added it because of future resale value. It will be worth more with it on there. Take care, 8)
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"If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, your right !" ... Henry Ford

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Floor Build, with a lot of pics.

Postby down under tech » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:39 am

Hello Peeps: I am going to tell you how I built my floor in this segment, with pics.
When I started I did not have any saw horses, so I used the HF frame to lay a sheet of old plywood to work on. I measured and cut all of the wooden 2x3s using my 12" chop saw. I used Gorilla glue and my Kreg Jig pocket hole tool to attach it all together. I placed two holes on the bottom of boards. When it was dry, I flipped it over and placed one more screw in each joint going the opposite direction on the top. Everyone needs to remember, this is my first TD build so overbuilding is inevitable. I placed waxed paper below the frame so it would not stick to the plywood. The Kuffel Creek plans did not call for the braces going down the center of the frame but overbuild struck me again.

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Here it is after three coats of Cabot marine spar varnish. Or has it been dipped in honey?

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I used a sheet of 1/2" marine grade plywood for the floor. I secured it to the wooden frame with PL premium construction adhesive and countersunk 1" long screws every six inches around the perimeter and where the cross members are located. I then covered the screws with Bondo wood filler and sanded it all with 80 then 120 grit sand paper. Here it is with three coats of spar varnish on it.

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I insulated the bottom of the floor with 1 1/2" R Max foil lined foam panel insulation. You can see the sizes of the openings written on the blue tape. This made it faster to cut the pieces because I had the dimensions for all openings. I used a hacksaw blade to cut the pieces 1/8" over sized. PL adhesive them in and interference press fit them in.

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After all of that I placed a sheet of .050" aluminum on the bottom of the floor as a road debris deflector and to keep the insulation from getting ripped out. I secured it with SS screws down the center and along the sides to hold it up. I didn't have the screws attached along the sides yet in this pic. There is a space between each group of three screws. The cross members will hold those areas up.


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I got a 5x9 sheet of vinyl flooring from Lowes and glued it to the floor. It has a 6" by 6" pattern in it. I liked the look of this better than a 12" by 12" pattern. It looks more in scale to the small interior dimensions of the TD. I probably should have waited to install the flooring, but I thought it would be easier to do now. I didn't think of possible damage to it as the build continues. I will just protect it with something as I progress.

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Here we go now, it is getting some where.

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This week-end I want to paint the frame silver and attach the floor to it. I have all the holes drilled and I will use galvanized carriage bolts & lock-tite to secure it to the HF frame.

I hope to make an update tomorrow, with more pics of the painted frame and floor installed.

Thanks for watching "Silver Nugget" Television ! :shock: :o :roll:
Last edited by down under tech on Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby synaps3 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:50 am

:o Impressive!

You make me feel like a slacker, with my 3/4" (no frame) floor. I bet your tear will keep temperatures very well. Are you planning on winter camping in it, or is the insulation to keep heat out? :thumbsup:
-- Dave

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Postby DasBaldGuy » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:13 pm

Very very good! I like your over-build tendencies!

I had my frame powdercoated Silver....looks very sharp!

:thumbsup:
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Thanks, Dave

Postby down under tech » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:35 pm

Hey Dave: I put that much insulation in the floor because I had 1 1/2"s to work with. It will be a great barrier for hot or cold. The 1 1/2" R Max has an R9 value. In the colder nights, I don't want to feel like I am sleeping on a sheet of plywood under me in the open. The summers here in the west can be very hot, too. The ground heats up during the day and retains that heat and releases it through out the night. When you park your TD, that heat rises as you know and it will make it through your floor if it is not insulated. The foil backing should reflect it away from the floor. Then I will be a "Happier Camper". The walls will use 3/4" and the top will use a total of 1 1/2" for it. It should resist heating up in the day time or cooling down too much at night.
You never know when you will need to sleep in it, so build it now and not add to it later. This will make things that much better in the end. I am not done yet. I am sure I will mess up something and have to redo some of it, but that is where we learn for #2 & #3 TD builds. They get better the more you build.

Practice, practice, practice. :designing:
Last edited by down under tech on Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Das Bald Guy

Postby down under tech » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:48 pm

Thanks, oh great Bald Guy: From what I've read from other builders, over building is only natural in your first build. I have my frame already assembled with all the lights and everything done on it. I was going to leave it HF red but it is turning HF pink from UVs. With the "Silver Nugget" theme, I don't want HF pink. That made me decide to "Paint" it silver with Rustoleum silver metallic rattle can paint. I just hope it will look good & match with the aluminum panels on the top & sides.

Thanks again, I have been watching your build. I love your frame and the very nice mods you made to it for your TD. :D
Last edited by down under tech on Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DMcCam » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:30 pm

Hi Johnny, man you are moving on your build! At this rate, you'll be camping this summer! :applause: Thanks for the pics!

Cheers, Dave
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Postby down under tech » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:28 pm

Dave McCam: I thought it is taking me for ever to build this thing. I hope to be done this summer. Where is your saw dust ???

"Got Saw Dust"?

See Ya, :pictures:
Johnny D.

"If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, your right !" ... Henry Ford

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Postby doug hodder » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:05 am

Johnny...if you build the walls like the floor....you are going to be one warm camper! That will be perfect for winter trips or even to the Glyphs in the spring! Good job guy! Doug
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Thanks Doug

Postby down under tech » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:29 am

Hi Doug: You must be wore out from all the progress you made today on the Nomad. You know how it can be here in the high dessert as far as temperature extremes. Hot as H in the day and it can get darn right cold over night. I plan to be either warm or cool. If I do it right now, as I build the TD, it will pay off later. I got most of the trailer frame painted silver today. I used metallic silver rattle cans from Rustoleum. I had to go over the HF red/pink with grey primer because the silver was not covering the red and it was bleeding through the silver. Once I primed it, the silver covered in two light coats. Look for another update tomorrow.

It doesn't look like I will be able to make it to the Glyphs next week. I might see several TDs or TTTs coming through Reno though on their way there. Tell everyone Hi for me out there. I will meet up with you later on this summer. :thumbsup: Have FUN !!!
Last edited by down under tech on Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby doug hodder » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:45 am

Well Johnny...I won't be there either....too bad as it's killer camping up in the high desert in the spring and getting that early morning dusting of snow or cool temps, and seeing the headlights from a car cruising 50 and it's 15 miles away with dead silence I love that stuff. Fall at the Glyphs however is just incredible!....no bugs at night if you don't run a lantern...sleep with the doors wide open....and some yips from the coyotes off in the distance....I'm sure we'll get the opportunity to camp together in the future. In the meantime...good luck with your build and keep us all posted...we are watching. Doug

PS...red is always a bear to overcoat....it does tend to bleed through. A sealer or primer is always best first.
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I got complimented by Super Doug ...

Postby down under tech » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:58 pm

Hi everyone: I took a break because I don't like watching paint dry. Doug sent me several comments since my update from yesterday.
Good job guy! Doug

This is a true honer for me to have "Super Doug" say I am doing good. I just hope I will have a nice TD. I want people to say that looks like you did a nice job. If I keep up the quality of my build which I plan to do, I will hear that in person a lot.

Well I guess I better check the paint for another coat of metallic silver. :guzzle:
Johnny D.

"If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, your right !" ... Henry Ford

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Update 3-28-2010

Postby down under tech » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:20 pm

Hi everyone: I got the HF frame painted with silver metallic Rustoleum and the floor mounted to it this week-end like I wanted to. I had to use gray primer to cover the red paint because the red bleed through the silver. Once I did this I only had to put on two coats of silver for good coverage.

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Before I mounted the floor to the frame, I removed the perimeter screws on the aluminum sheet from the bottom of the floor and sealed it with a bead of silicon sealer, then I replaced the screws.

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I used SS screws and galvanized washers with rubber on the bottom of the washers to keep water out and to seal the screws. These are the same washers that are used to assemble metal buildings and seal the screws there.


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Don't tell anyone that I didn't paint the inside of the HF frame. I thought that it was already painted and that should keep it from rusting. You will never see that part unless you crawl under the TD. :roll:
I painted anything that would be visible along the sides, though.

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You can see the tongue extension I added to the trailer. This really strengthened the tongue. It is now two feet longer than it was from the factory.
Johnny D.

"If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, your right !" ... Henry Ford

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