CrowsWing , So long and thanks for all the fish.

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

CrowsWing , So long and thanks for all the fish.

Postby Elizabeth C. » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:40 pm

Hello Everyone! (I've had to repost this, it was lost in the switch-over, unfortunately some may be missing)

Here is the beginning of the build thread for the “CrowsWing” teardrop. It will be an offroad teardrop built on a Benroy profile. It will be 5 foot wide, 10 foot long and 5 foot wide (not counting fenders). It includes the following features:

Basement storage accessible from outside hatches
36 Gallon water tank
Aluminum chassis with built on running boards and fenders
Deluxe kitchen with nor cold refrigerator and stove/oven combo
Hidden wine rack with capacity for 12 bottles
It will be aluminum clad , silver on top, black on the sides , diamond plate guards on base
Lots of other stuff .

We want this trailer to be able to do moderately rough trails ( no rock crawling) and be comfortable for extended dry camping. My Hubby and I are what some people call “glampers” We like our camping equipment to be not only fully functional but well-built, something that can be used for years. Dinner is something to look forward to not just a way to fill our guts, and it should be served with a nice bottle of wine. We like being comfortable and our motto is “If you are hungry, cold, or wet, then you haven’t planned very well.”

If we can’t find a piece of equipment that we need , we will modify or build from scratch as needed. I find that designing , building and planning to be nearly as much fun as tramping through the woods. When camping, we keep a notebook handy to keep track of things we need to change or ways we might improve. There is always something to change or try differently.

I realize many people are enamored of “roughing it”. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not for me or mine. This build will be a little more expensive and complex then some. I make no apologies . This will be our first trailer build, however both my husband and I have worked together on many projects. I only hope that we will be able to use the extensive knowledge we gleaned from this forum make the teardrop of our dreams. (If it doesn’t come out as planned, I suppose there is always the possibility of a second build.)

Here is the latest Google sketch-up pics:

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We have already made some progress. The chassis, front box ,and hatches have been ordered from a specialty metal shop. We hope they will be ready soon. We have a room full of bits and pieces ordered online. There is a stack of 1/8 inch 5x5 Baltic plywood in the garage, and we already have started cutting the 5x10 plywood to form the sides.

The first tangible thing we built was the lockers that will contain the 10 lb propane tanks.

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The details of their construction are in the propane forum here:

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=47079


We made a template out of ½” plywood. We “stretched the plywood by cutting dados and using splines to glues on pieces to make it 5x10’.

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The outline was carefully drawn on it and a jig and router used to cut the curved sections.

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Then the plan was laid out. Then changes were made, then more changes.

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Kitty thinks of Teardrop building all day.

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Then the door, window and insulation spaces were excised.


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Scary skeleton!


The next step was to use the template to cut out the side panels. The plywood was marked, then the perforations were rough cut with a jig saw and finished with a flush cut bit on the router.


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Making sawdust!!

Then a dado was cut along the back hatch edge. It is approximately ½ wide and just over 1/4” deep. There will be weather stripping that sticks out of it.

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Hatch edge detail. The dado is my husbands idea. He wanted something that would seal like the o-ring on a pelican box. I used a micrometer to measure the true sizes of the plywoods (.118 and .719) and tested the router depth on a few scraps before committing to the real deal. We definitely didn’t follow the K.I.S.S. principle here.

This is pretty much everything we have done so far. We will try to keep this thread updated as we build.

I want to thank everyone who has built and have contributed to the build threads we have researched on this forum. Without their help we would be lost.

TaTa For Now,
Dr. C-Dawg
Last edited by Elizabeth C. on Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Our build in e-book form "The Teardrop Year" available at e-book, book or pdf at book or pdf

Read my Hubbys version here: CrowsWing Teardrop
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Postby Jst83 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:11 pm

:applause: Nice I'll be watching this one. I always thought the idea of under floor outside storage would be a neat idea for storage. Keep the pictures coming :thumbsup:
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Postby bdosborn » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:30 pm

I like this thread better, it has more pictures :lol: :

CrowsWing

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Postby Kharn » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:29 am

I was thinking of a similar drawer arrangement for a camp chef, are you putting a latch or other mechanism to secure the drawer in the open position?
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Reply to Kharn's question.

Postby Elizabeth C. » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:05 am

Good question. I wish I had an answer. I know some drawer slides have automatic stays that will stay open until pushed closed, however the slides I have purchase don't have that feature . I am open to any suggestions. Here is a more detailed picture of my drawer plan.

Image

Image
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Postby eamarquardt » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:45 pm

Your propane tank canister work is impressive.

If you are going to be bending more aluminum angle iron you might consider getting a shrinker/stretcher set (although a lot of the Harbor Freight stuff isn't great their shrinker/stretcher seems reasonable). Here is a picture of a test piece that I curved. The process does dimple the al a bit (but this can be sanded out) but no annealing is required.

Image

Your reefer. I bought a Norcold three way with about 2 cubic feet capacity. There are those on the forum that will argue that a propane reefer can't be safely and economically installed in at teardrop. I don't buy that. However, I purchased a used Norcold 60 (or so) quart electric chest and love it. You can put a lot more stuff in a chest than in an upright as nothing falls out when you open it. I've actually purchased three of em. One was about half price ($700, one was a better deal at $400, and the third was a steal at $150). They use about 30 (I'm guessing) amp hours a day and a 2'X4' solar panel would probably keep one going w/o any extra charging of the battery required. Soooooo, you might consider one of the efficient electric chests. If you are intent on a three way, contact me and maybe we can work a deal. Running the three way on 12 volts is not a good plan as it will only maintain cold as it doesn't pull down the temperature well on 12 volts and it is also a power hog on 12 volts.

A simple barrel bolt should suffice for locking your stove shelf in the out position.

Keep posting.

Cheers,

Gus
The opinions in this post are my own. My comments are directed to those that might like an alternative approach to those already espoused.There is the right way,the wrong way,the USMC way, your way, my way, and the highway.
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Postby Elizabeth C. » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:53 pm

Thanks for your reply Gus,

We have already purchased the Norcold DE-0751 refrigerator.
norcold wwebsite

It runs on AC or DC and draws 3amps/hr. We will have 2 deep cycle batteries on board along with our Honda generator to keep the juice running. Eventually we plan on adding solar.

Dr. C-Dawg
Our build in e-book form "The Teardrop Year" available at e-book, book or pdf at book or pdf

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Postby eamarquardt » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:19 pm

Elizabeth C. wrote:Thanks for your reply Gus,

We have already purchased the Norcold DE-0751 refrigerator.
norcold wwebsite

It runs on AC or DC and draws 3amps/hr. We will have 2 deep cycle batteries on board along with our Honda generator to keep the juice running. Eventually we plan on adding solar.

Dr. C-Dawg


I looked at the parts diagram for the little reefer and it appears to have a linear/swing compressor so it's very similar to the chests in its mechanical/electrical operation. The three ways (ac/dc/propane) use an entirely different mechanism to generate cold and have no compressor.

Cheers,

Gus
The opinions in this post are my own. My comments are directed to those that might like an alternative approach to those already espoused.There is the right way,the wrong way,the USMC way, your way, my way, and the highway.
"I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it." Klaatu-"The Day the Earth Stood Still"
"You can't handle the truth!"-Jack Nicholson "A Few Good Men"
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The Marines don't have that problem"-Ronald Reagan
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Postby bdosborn » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Elizabeth C. wrote:We have already purchased the Norcold DE-0751 refrigerator.
norcold wwebsite


I replaced my absorption fridge with a compressor fridge due to the poor performance of the absorber fridge. I've run a bunch of tests on electrical usage here:

Tundra TJ-22 link

The Norcold is a re-badged Engle and I almost bought one myself but found a great deal on the Tundra. The Engle should have very similar performance or maybe slightly better (depending on who you talk to) as the Tundra. You can plan on using around 25 - 30 amp-hrs a day in warm weather. Depending on the batteries you get, that would be 2-3 days run time. I would definitely follow thorough on your plan to add a PV panel as most people that run a compressor fridge without one aren't happy with the energy usage.

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Postby myoung » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:55 pm

This one will be lots of fun to watch. Creative solutions. Beautiful execution. Congrats.
:thumbsup:
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Re: Reply to Kharn's question.

Postby Kharn » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:35 pm

Elizabeth C. wrote:Good question. I wish I had an answer. I know some drawer slides have automatic stays that will stay open until pushed closed, however the slides I have purchase don't have that feature . I am open to any suggestions. Here is a more detailed picture of my drawer plan.

Image

Image
I would want something more secure than just push-to-close slides, the biggest concern is if the impact (somebody trips or whatever) pushes the drawer closed with lit top burners. Maybe mount a dovetail on the wood back panel, with the mating piece being large enough to go past the drawer opening?
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Postby bdosborn » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:49 pm

I used a retractable spring plunger to hold my drawers closed but it could be used to keep them open too:

Image

Or a barrel bolt as Gus suggested would work just as well.

Hidden Drawer Latch

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Postby Elizabeth C. » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:10 pm

Well, we had one of those days. Yesterday we used West system epoxy to seal the walls sections and the floor. Today we had planned to insulate, start glueing on the baltic birch and cut the bulkhead and upper floor.

In good spirits we started out cutting the styrofoam.

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Marking the foam.

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Cuttin' the foam.

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Foam is doam, I mean done. :)

Then it all started to go horribly pear shaped. My Hubby was going to grab the camera to take another picture, He stumbled, somehow managed to hook the camera strap on the table and hit the shutter button at the same time. Here's the last picture that camera will ever take:

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:cry: Canon G9 Swan song :cry:


The camera flew through the air and managed to land on the one small area of concrete floor that wasn't covered by Styrofoam. It landed on it's extended lens. Then all it would do is make a pathetic buzzing noise and an error message would appear on the screen. My husband looked up the error online and surprisingly enough it is apparently a bad thing for this camera model to crash land on its face. Average repair build $250. Replacement camera $200. Soooo , then my husband thought he might be able to fix it himself ( him having a degree in wildlife sciences after-all). I fixed us some lunch as he started the dissection:


( WARNING: If you are a Camera buff or Repairman-AVERT YOUR EYES NOW!
Image

It turns out that a modern digital camera is a little more complicated than a carboard box with a pin-hole in it . The remains were placed in a baggie and respectfully put out of sight. We borrowed my daughter's camera for time being and I ordered one of those newer shock-proof cameras from Amazon. ( I broke our last camera by dropping in on one of the many rocks at Dolly Sods)

We decided to run into town to refill the propane tank so we can use the heater in the garage. Didn't happen - the propane guy said no propane until tomorrow. Sooo we went to Wally world to pick up more epoxy rollers and stuff, stopped to get gas and found we had a flat tire. We were able to air the tire up enough to get home without having to use the spare.

Next step of trailer build; skinning inner side of walls.I trimmed a panel of 1/8" baltic birch roughly to size, then we spread a goodly amount of Titebond III on the wall and placed the first panel. Then the clamps!!! (And anything heavy we could find in the garage.)


Image

Image

When it dries I will use a flush trimmer to cut it perfectly to size. I trimmed the panel for the front , and then the back. Then we realized the back panel was bad side out. Argggg. :x . At least we can still use it on the other side.


That was enough for today, tomorrow, back to work so I can rest.

Over and out, :)
Dr. C-Dawg
Our build in e-book form "The Teardrop Year" available at e-book, book or pdf at book or pdf

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Postby S. Heisley » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:08 pm

This is a great build blog. I am enjoying it all and will continue to watch. Thanks for sharing! :thumbsup: :applause:
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Postby eamarquardt » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:18 pm

"Soooo , then my husband thought he might be able to fix it himself ( him having a degree in wildlife sciences after-all)."

I have a "degree" in Biology. You'd be surprised at what we natural sciences majors can do.

Cheers,

Gus
The opinions in this post are my own. My comments are directed to those that might like an alternative approach to those already espoused.There is the right way,the wrong way,the USMC way, your way, my way, and the highway.
"I'm impatient with stupidity. My people have learned to live without it." Klaatu-"The Day the Earth Stood Still"
"You can't handle the truth!"-Jack Nicholson "A Few Good Men"
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The Marines don't have that problem"-Ronald Reagan
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