The Wedge ... UPDATE 07/07/2012

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The Wedge ... UPDATE 07/07/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:07 pm

To get the back story behind what I'm trying to build go to the newbie section and read that.

Link to that thread viewtopic.php?f=40&t=48671

For more check out my gallery. Names of the pictures sort of explain it.

Here's a pic I found on the compact camper site that is something like my plan except I'm going to have hard sides and back instead of tent fabric.


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I have a fairly good place to do this, but it has NO HEAT and heating it would cost a fortune. I can only stand about 2 hours at 36 degrees working out there and glue and paint usually require 45 degrees or so.

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You might notice the barrel stove in the corner. It was all rusted out and unsafe when I got this place 6 years ago, so it is useless. I've just never taken the time to remove it or replace it.

Here is a picture of the current trailer and my tow vehicle.

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and a shot of it in use behind my old tow vehicle.

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I have a canoe trip coming up in March, so I need to get the current trailer ready to haul two canoes. I began with a little destruction removing the current 54 inch canoe bars, the license plate, and the lights. Then I turned to cutting My Yakima cargo rack bars down from 78" to 68". Manufactured some brackets to mount the Yakima to the trailer from some scrap steel I had. I'll bolt those to the side of the frame. After much scratching of my head about how much width I really needed, I decided to cut the racks to 70" and give that a test fit, because you can't glue the steel bars back together once you've cut them. I also cut a 2X4 for the bumper/light mount. When I bought this frame kit they provided TWO license plate brackets that I didn't use so I'll use those to mount the lights to the bumper. The reason I need the bumper is to mount the lights out beyond the boats which will stick out 3.5 to 4 feet beyond the end of the trailer. It looks REALLY wide. They stick out 15" on each side from the frame. The car is 67 inches wide so it might be fine. The mirrors stick out another 5 inches each side.

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This is where the cold got the better of me and I called it a day. After more sketches and calculating I still can't decide whether to cut them down farther.

Question for the group...Should the lights be above or below the bumper??

Also, I was thinking of using 1/4 wafer board instead of plywood. Less than half the cost.

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If I water proof this real well do you think it will hold up??
Last edited by mckenney56 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:29 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: The Wedge 02/14/2012

Postby Martiangod » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:51 pm

Waferboard is the demise of most manufactured trailers, its also heavier then ply.
Where are your wanting to use it on the trailer?

As for lighting there are DOT specifications that need followed
Tailights must be 15" to 72 inches off the ground


http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/standards/conspicuity/trlrpstr.html
If it ain't broke, fix it till it is

Chris

Deep in the Heart of Nowhere
The topper viewtopic.php?f=50&t=58140, gone to a new home to be converted
into an ice fishing shack...FREEBIE !!! for a nice young family
The trailer viewtopic.php?f=50&t=48156
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Re: The Wedge 02/14/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:16 pm

I was thinking of most all of it in wafer board. Floor, walls, and door. I already have about a sheet and a half of that stuff. It would have saved me dollars. This stuff is around $6.50 a sheet. 1/4 inch ply is twice that I guess.

The trailer floor currently sits 17" off the ground. So I guess on top it is.

Thanks for the info.

There are some very artistic drawings I made in my album, including a ply sheet cutting diagram.

I was going to try to get away with only 6 or 7 sheets and fall back on the stuff I already have when that runs short. Are you saying maybe I could use it on the inside or forget it altogether?
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Re: The Wedge 02/14/2012

Postby Martiangod » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:25 pm

Floors are an absolute no no, roof if you don't walk on it and use a good aluminum or membrane skin, and seal really really well.
Walls, umm wouldnt recomend it but if you treat it and edges very well, especially the bottom, you might get away with it.
My trailer sides are black right now, I knew it wouldn't get covered and have to go through rain and snow for a few months, i soaked it good with oil base stain, just happened to have ebony on hand
If it ain't broke, fix it till it is

Chris

Deep in the Heart of Nowhere
The topper viewtopic.php?f=50&t=58140, gone to a new home to be converted
into an ice fishing shack...FREEBIE !!! for a nice young family
The trailer viewtopic.php?f=50&t=48156
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Re: The Wedge 02/18/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:37 pm

Got out to the shop for a few hours today. I drills some holes and put in some bolts and got the bumper, lights, and rear rack mounted.

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Maybe tomorrow I'll get the front rack put on. Then I'll move on to repacking the bearings.
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Re: The Wedge 02/19/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:58 am

I got the front rack mounted.

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Decided to remove a leaf from the Springs. Only saved about 5 lbs according to my bathroom scale. After removing a spring I also decided to shorten the bolts.
Before
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Then after.
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I Also lengthened the wires and tucked them out of harms way.
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Here's a pic of my cheap jack stands.
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And here's a pic of my alternative tow vehicle. A little slow though.
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Next on the agenda. Repack the bearings.
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Re: The Wedge 02/18/2012

Postby TJinPgh » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:44 pm

Greg,
I was looking through some things online and came across this and immediately thought about your build...


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I have no clue what brand/model it is. But, seemed like something that could easily be adapted to what you're doing with a minimum of fuss?
-TJ
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Re: The Wedge 02/18/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:46 pm

That's pretty cool. But it is still a tent, which I already have 4 of those. I want mine to be hard sides and solid door in the back. Sort of like half of a Aliner. Here is pic from their website.
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Re: The Wedge 02/20/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:45 pm

Got the wheel bearings repacked and decided a test run was in order. Loaded the canoe and kayak and hooked it up to the car.

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Realized when testing the lights that the wood bumper doesn't conduct juice for the ground. That's why we test these things. Ran a ground wire from each light to a bolt on the frame. Problem solved. Test drove around the county roads near my house for a while and it seemed to tow just fine.

when I got back and was attempting to turn it around I hopped out to look at the turning clearance.

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looks like I could either move the boat forward about 10 inches, or cut 10 inches off of the tongue. That would leave 2 inches to spare. Moving the boat forward might add to the tongue weight a little, but would cut down on the 4 foot overhang out the back.

Speaking of weight, I weighed it again with all the changes and the boats loaded on it. I had 54 lbs at the ball, 151 Left tire, and 155 right tire, for a grand total of 363 lbs. That was with all the paddles inside the kayak, which might amount to 7 or 8 lbs.
Last edited by mckenney56 on Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Wedge 02/18/2012

Postby TJinPgh » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:47 pm

Oops.

Sorry, I had forgotten that you'd said you wanted to do hard sides.

I've seen the A-liners. They have a local outlet that usually has a setup at the RV show here every year.

Pretty cool trailers, if not somewhat over-priced.

The one question that keeps popping up with respect to hardsided a-frame home builts is how to seal it properly where the sides meet the roofline. Will be anxious to see how you work it all out.
-TJ
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Re: The Wedge 02/18/2012

Postby Martiangod » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:57 pm

I wouldn't shorten the tongue, longer tongue allows the trailer to track better.
Lot of people with early egg trailers actually have the tongue lengthened to settle down swaying, esentially adding tongue weight by leverage
If it ain't broke, fix it till it is

Chris

Deep in the Heart of Nowhere
The topper viewtopic.php?f=50&t=58140, gone to a new home to be converted
into an ice fishing shack...FREEBIE !!! for a nice young family
The trailer viewtopic.php?f=50&t=48156
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Re: The Wedge 02/18/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:35 pm

TJinPgh wrote:Oops.

Sorry, I had forgotten that you'd said you wanted to do hard sides.

I've seen the A-liners. They have a local outlet that usually has a setup at the RV show here every year.

Pretty cool trailers, if not somewhat over-priced.

The one question that keeps popping up with respect to hardsided a-frame home builts is how to seal it properly where the sides meet the roofline. Will be anxious to see how you work it all out.


Yes, Those A-liners are cool, but if I could afford one I would be on an A-liner forum instead of here and pulling it with a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee. But then I wouldn't get to build it, which is half the fun right? I'm still working on some more artistic drawings of how the sides and back will get popped in during camp setup and teardown. The trick is to make it quicker and easier than setting up a tent.
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Re: The Wedge 02/18/2012

Postby TJinPgh » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:23 pm

There's definitely something to be said for building your own.

Also something to be said for being able to hand somebody a wad of cash and say "done," LOL

I purchased a small, 14' trailer about 2 years ago but at 1800 lb it's at the upper limit of our non-tow equipped Escape and 800 lb beyond my Vibe so I wanted something realistically capable of being pulled by either.

The only things I've seen sourced locally are the ultra-light tent campers. While they're certainly convenient and quick to set up, I wasn't convinced that they were substantially less prone to leak in a heavy rain than a tent.

So, I've been pondering many of the same ideas you've had and am anxious to see how yours turns out.

Have you been able to estimate how much the whole set-up will weigh with hard sides?
-TJ
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Re: The Wedge 03/01/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:23 pm

TJinPgh wrote:There's definitely something to be said for building your own.

Also something to be said for being able to hand somebody a wad of cash and say "done," LOL

I purchased a small, 14' trailer about 2 years ago but at 1800 lb it's at the upper limit of our non-tow equipped Escape and 800 lb beyond my Vibe so I wanted something realistically capable of being pulled by either.

The only things I've seen sourced locally are the ultra-light tent campers. While they're certainly convenient and quick to set up, I wasn't convinced that they were substantially less prone to leak in a heavy rain than a tent.

So, I've been pondering many of the same ideas you've had and am anxious to see how yours turns out.

Have you been able to estimate how much the whole set-up will weigh with hard sides?


My notes on weight read like this:

Weight calculation
150 1/4" plywood 6 sheets @ 25 lbs a sheet
39 Not sure of the gauge of the current tongue steel. If 3/16 9 ft should weigh 38.9 lbs.
64 axle and springs. This is probably heavier than mine.
48 hitch, reciever, ball
15 tongue jack
19 spare tire
10 jack and lug wrench. The car didn't come with one.
345 total

Use 1/8" ply for 3 of the six sheets would cut 37 lbs = 308

Do without the tongue jack. - 15 = 293

Remove leaf spring might cut 5 lbs. - 5 = 288

Add in the weight of the 2 by lumber in the floor and the 1 by lumber in the walls and roof.
Add screws, bolts, glue, paint, safety chains, coupler, and what ever else I forgot. Oh lights would be nice.
Let's add another 37 lbs and guess 325 lbs total.

Notice that the hitch, receiver and ball weighed in at 48 lbs.

I got some of the weights from the shipping weight on line.

I'll shoot for to keep camping gear, food, and ice chest down to 150 lbs.
Two 170 lb passengers would be 340 lbs.

325 + 150 + 340 = 815.

Now let's add 100 lbs of boats, paddles, and various other paddling gear.

915 lbs.

Most of the builds I've watched here tell me that number will turn out to be too low. Time will tell.

I need to cut down somewhere because the gross cargo weight for the car is 849 lbs. That includes the passengers and anything else in the car. Curb weight of the car is only 2396 lbs. Where I tend to worry the most about weight is wearing out the brakes on the car that were designed to stop 849 lbs of cargo.

What is your guess?
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Re: The Wedge 03/07/2012

Postby mckenney56 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:48 pm

Really nice day here today, so I took the afternoon off to go buy some materials. For $198 I came home with this.
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7 sheets of plywood, 5 sheets of insulation, glue, and caulk.
Worked for about 3 hours reorganizing the shop where I could use the table saw.
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Searched through all my lumber and found enough straight 2X4s to rip some down for the floor.
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Finally, the words we have all been waiting for.....Let there be SAW DUST!
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