My Epiphany - Sanding - Sanding - Sanding

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My Epiphany - Sanding - Sanding - Sanding

Postby parnold » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:03 pm

Image

I've been toying with different design ideas for months now, and I think the above drawing is going to be pretty close to my final design. The red couch on the left will pull out into a queen sized bed, only for resale value, I'll sleep on it closed up. The table will fold down to the far wall when the bed is pulled out to it's max size. The green cabinet will house an a/c unit, vented to the outside. The bench with the pink seat will hide a porto-potty. The enclosure on the right side top, will have a tv and car radio with speakers.

Interior height is 5', hence the name "Slouch". Total length, rounded end to rounded end is almost 11'. lower portion attached to frame is 9'. Width is 78" which should allow me a 75" mattress side to side.

The low profile should allow for not too much wind resistance. If my measurements are close to accurate, the trailer will only be about 10" taller than my tow vehicle.'

Wall construction will be luan, foam, luan, with the exterior being covered in several coats of polyester resin for waterproofing and rigidity, then painted with automotive grade paint. I am planning on using 3/4 plywood cookie cutter construction for the walls, and will use minimal spars to keep the weight down.

No indoor plumbing or stove. There will be a provision for a table/counter hookup outside for cooking.

I welcome comment, suggestions, or anyone willing to point out something obvious that I may have missed! I have a few months before I start building since I have no heated area to work in.

I've got some funds put away already, so I'm starting to look at windows on fleabay.
Last edited by parnold on Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:51 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: The Slouch .. build #2, sketchup drawing

Postby mikeschn » Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:34 pm

parnold wrote:Image


Hey Paul,

That's similar in size to the Giant teardrop. Your design has a nice table setup and lots of floor space. But you lose the hatch. It looks very comfortable for extended stays. Too bad you cant work a galley into it.

How wide is your table, and the green cabinet? If you make the table 30" and the cabinet 18", you have 30" left to walk to the couch, which is nice and comfortable.

Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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Postby parnold » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:01 pm

Image

There's plenty of room to move around in there. I've had previous designs with a hatch and galley in this size, and perhaps if I moved the door to the back, and the bed to the front, I could arrange it in this basic floor plan also.
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Postby myoung » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:23 pm

Paul,

The front counter is ideal for an interior galley, provided you chuck the huge and probably unnecessary speakers. If you want music, get an iPod with a portable speaker or two either A/C or D/C or battery or all three.

Next, a TV hung on a side wall on an arm or hinge or not would remove it from the area over the counter improving the galley space.

Having a table is a pleasant addition, but you don't have to fold it down to get it out of the way of the extended bed. You could put it on a swivel arm as I have done and rotate it over the PortaPotti when you need the room. GoWesty.com sells the swivel arm or you could fabricate your own. Pretty simple but effective and it gives you lots of possibilities for placing your iPod/speakers or even a laptop computer or iPad for movies and TV shows.

Lastly, you might want to consider some simple kind of pop-up. You know what I prefer, but there are other designs possible. It seems a shame to build such a large trailer and then have to slouch just to move around the interior.

Enjoy the refinement.
Mike Young
build thread: viewtopic.php?t=40459
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Postby parnold » Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:21 pm

Image

Mike Y. awesome idea on the swing away table. that would make it much easier and quicker. I've done a drawing reversing the layout, which gives me room for a galley in the back. Haven't really thought this one out too much, but certainly is a possibility.

I can't believe you used the "A" word with me.. lol. I have an MP3 player with external battery operated speakers. Yes the speakers are too big, and mostly unnecessary, but I think of them as bling same with the TV. Only in extreme circumstances would I watch TV while camping.

As far as the popup goes, I'm not too concerned about being able to stand up inside, maybe trailer #3. I would like to be able to sit inside and eat if the weather is real crappy, or sit inside with my laptop or tablet.

If I put the hatch in the back with a galley, and you can't stand up inside, technically this is still a teardrop.. right??
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Postby myoung » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:53 pm

Paul,

With this rear galley arrangement, I should think you would want the axle further back. By putting the side door ahead of the axle and moving the axle back, you should be able to have enough tongue weight to eliminate the need for jacks at the rear.

I find jacks a nuisance so made sure I had 400 pounds or so on the ball. I may even have a bit more but the Dodge can handle it easily and the trailer tracks like a dream.

Too bad you have to have that clunky A/C unit in there. The noise would drive me crazy. I guess back East you have too much humidity to use the little swamp coolers that perform so well out here.

As you look at the dimensions of the extended bed, consider just two cushions rather than three. If one vertical one sits behind the horizontal one, each could be the same width perhaps. Do you get the picture? Rather than having the vertical cushion rest atop the lower cushion, place it behind the lower one.

I still think that upper cabinet is unnecessary and detracts from the openness of the interior. Better, I believe, to keep the cabinets down low and out of eyeshot when seated. Cuts down on the head banging too.

Oh, and isn't the exterior galley hatch hinge too low. Or, are you planning to have it fold over onto the back of the trailer?

One last thing. Shouldn't the windows be as high as you can make them so you can look out while seated?
Mike Young
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Postby StPatron » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:09 am

I like parts of the first design, Paul. Incorporating the couch seating into the dinette seating is an idea I've yet to see, interesting idea. It takes but a couple of seconds to either drop or raise the table, I don't see that as being inconvenient or a hassle if you're solo camping. With two people, one may desire to sit at the table while the other is in bed, conflict. For resale purposes that may be a factor to consider.

Unless you plan to spend a lot of time standing at the counter area the slouchy height works great in my opinion. A height that allows you to stand up with only your neck flexed while you take a step inside and then be seated. And, you reap the benefits of fewer materials (cost), decreased weight and improved aerodynamics in a package that fits in a standard garage. My biased opinion.. I couldn't be happier with my slouchy design and would only consider a full standy if I were adding a full inside galley (which I never will) or a dance floor. :lol:

Design #2 appears (in my limited education) to have some weight distribution issues with that wheel location. The bed and limited cabinetry aren't providing much forward weight and with everything you have planned aft of the axle, I think tongue weight is going to be in the negative numbers.

You're on the right track, making a list of your wants and needs and then designing around them. Gaining inside table or desk seating is a big plus that I think you'll enjoy, all in a compact package.

Nice work on the SketchUp diagrams. I'll be looking forward to following your build thread.
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Postby angib » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:20 am

Depending on the version, it seems a shame to not have anywhere to sit in comfort - one seat has no backrest and the other has insufficient headroom. My target for comfort is 30 inches from the middle of foam (ie, the top when sat on) to the underside of the roof above the backrest. At the back, it looks like the curved roof would prevent ever getting enough headroom over the couch.

A slouchy 5 foot makes sense to me - you are standing up for seconds a day and towing for hours a day, so it makes sense to optimise the design for towing.

The front looks good for low drag, but the rear is too curved. As a rough rule of thumb, anything over 15 degrees of inclination won't reduce drag, even if it looks 'aerodynamically styled'.
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Postby parnold » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:08 am

StPatrón: If only one person wants to lay down, there would be no need to open the bed to full width, they could easily lay on top of the couch. I don't really like #2, it was just an exercise in design.

angib: There is actually 31" from the back of the seat to the lowest part of the roof, but I could easily change the curve of the roof to gain even more. I hadn't thought of that aspect, and who knows, someone taller than me may want to join me for a dry lunch some rainy day!

The counter in the front is really just somewhere to catch all the clutter that seems to accumulate while camping. Magazines, journal, laptop, tablet, beer cans, box of cookies etc. I wouldn't try to use it for food prep or anything.

I really like the spaciousness of design #1. It's almost cavernous in there (especially compared to my little 4x8). I will admit, this is all about me, while I'm putting a little thought into possible resale, I will not personally give up something I want for the sake of resale.

How about a sliding kitchen that stores under the bed in design #1. A counter that slides out to put a stove on, with a well to store food stuff and spices. Storing that stuff in a well means no worry about them rolling around. Since I camp here in Jersey in bear country, I keep anything but canned foods in the car anyway.
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Postby Billy K » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:10 am

IF, I may ...

I get the reasons for a 'Slouchy', and I understand the aero- dynamics BUT..

To my thinking, if you profile it more 'Rimple- style' you get more head space.
The second floor plan drawing is more to my thinking .

You could go with a bit more square front - say a 20 something radius (top,frt) and move the over head cabinet forward.
By venting and hinged doors you could have under bunk (over tongue) storage.
Then on the back, you could mirror the front or even reduce the radius gaining storage and rear cabin head space; while not hurting the aero-needs.

The weight distribution and technicals, I leave to the more knowing..

Whatever you decide, your first is a nice one; don't expect you will settle for less on the second...It is yours; and my eyes are not yours..Build what you want and we'll be here to support and muddy your thoughts...whichever ya need.. ;)
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Postby parnold » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:23 am

Billy K.: Thanks for the thoughts. It seem like profile is questioned by many here, so I will probably opt for something a little more square in overall dimensions.

I don't anticipate spending a lot of time inside, but want something fairly comfortable if the weather is extremely wet/hot/cold.

I really appreciate all the comments because we all have a tendency to see different things that others may have missed.

Here is a sketch of my slide out kitchen counter thought.

Image
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Postby parnold » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:58 am

Just for perspective, here's the sketchup model with a scale model of my tow vehicle. Replacing the TV is not an option, it's only three months old.

Image

And for the record, I do not have red wheels.
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Postby myoung » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:13 am

Paul,

Looks like you are going to need an L-shaped settee because the axle position must be further aft, which would put the wheel well next to the box under the existing seat.

Then, it might become problematical to put that A/C on top of the wheel well, but if it fits it will be covered by a cushion. That's not bad if you go with the swinging table idea because it would offer seating options in an additional location.

I like the slide-out stove and sink. The legs will be adjustable I presume. An awning could be affixed to the side of the trailer and cover both the galley kitchen and the door.

What is the towing capacity and tongue weight capacity of that little car?
Mike Young
build thread: viewtopic.php?t=40459
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Postby parnold » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:18 am

What is the towing capacity and tongue weight capacity of that little car?


Ahh the magical question......

Officially in the USA the answer is 0. The same model in Europe and Australia, the capacity is 2000lbs. Tongue weight is 200lbs I believe. With the construction teqniques I'll be using, I anticipate a finished weight of around 800lbs.[/quote]
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Postby jonw » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:29 pm

Paul -

I like your design and thinking. Here's an idea:

Having a rear hatch and galley is nice as you'll probably want to cook outdoors as much as possible to keep heat and odors out of the sleeping area. In the design with the rear galley, if you made the top bulkhead removable or accessible via sliding doors, you could use that area from inside the trailer in inclement weather if you needed to.
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