New build 5' x 12' sleeping 4

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

New build 5' x 12' sleeping 4

Postby LMarsh » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:11 pm

I decided to start our build thread in a blog but either here or there hopefully I'll have time to keep things updated. It will be a week or two before the axle shows up and then actual construction can start. If anyone sees any major flaws or weaknesses in my design the sooner you tell me the better! I'll finalize my list of frame pieces and pick them up as soon as I find time this week.

Luke & Laura Blog

-Lucas
Last edited by LMarsh on Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby LMarsh » Sun May 15, 2016 10:15 pm

Nothing too exciting to report but I did pick up my Torflex axle, the steel angle, and starting rough fitting my frame. I bought the Harbor Freight cut off saw and a Dewalt 14" wheel but either the wheel isn't flat or the saw is bent or just junk because it was wobbling quite a bit with visible run out. I managed my cuts anyhow and I will be returning which ever is faulty. I also received my entry and baggage doors I just haven't gotten any good pictures yet.


Image

Image

Image
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby LMarsh » Sun May 15, 2016 10:55 pm

As promised here is a copy of my ProSpec from an engineer at Dexter. These aren't the exact specs I ordered but it gave me what I needed to know. The outside bracket dimension is self explanatory, hub face dimension will add length to your axle between the inside of the arms and the outside of the bracket (this where you figure in extra clearance for side walls, etc), and there are a bunch of other good dimensions on there like if you give the engineer your chosen tire and wheel size they will enter it to show the specs, which I figure is an estimate. I went with a short spindle, added .125" of extra clearance on each side, and will be keeping my overall trailer width just under 80" at the fenders.

Here is what I provided my vendor when ordering:

Torflex #9
Electric brakes
EZ lube hub
1/2" studs
Capacity: 1500 lbs
Bolt pattern: 5 on 4.5
Hub face: 70.25"
Outside bracket: 58"
Low profile top mount brackets (STANDARD ORIENTATION)
Spindle: Short
Torflex start angle: 0 degrees
195/65R15 tire on 15x6 wheel (with zero offset)

The only other confusing thing is the short or standard spindle. This does NOT change either the hub face or bracket dimensions, it changes the length between the inside of the arms. I know, I know, but this is not apparent because when you ask for the specs they automatically add more material between the inside of the arm and the outside of the bracket (I hope I'm explaining this right). The only way I figured it out was I got a ProSpec for the same axle dimensions, one with a standard spindle and one with a short spindle. The only difference on the two ProSpecs were the "inside of arms" dimension that changed from 59" to 60". Everything else was the same. When you look at the Torflex Application Information pdf, the "#9 overhang per side" minimums given for each of the two spindles are the actual dimensions from the hubface to inside of arm for one side of the axle. Confusing huh? You basically double it, 6.5" x 2 = 13" for the standard spindle (or 12" for short) and add this to the outside bracket dimensions to get the shortest possible hubface dimension. Dexter leaves .25" of minimum clearance between the inside of the arm and the bracket (there is another thread with a hand drawing to show this, but it has an error in the minimum clearance), but you can add to your hubface dimension to increase the clearance up to 10.9" per side. Again this was confusing because the engineer didn't decrease the hubface dimension when switching to the short spindle, he kept the hubface dimension the same which added .5" of extra clearance on each side between the inside of the arm and the bracket. Other than noticing the one change on the ProSpec, it would be easy to miss and is still confusing to wrap your brain around.

There is no price difference for the two spindles, but there is an extra price for the high profile bracket.

Here are all 5 pages of a Dexter ProSpec (I included the last two pages just to show the complete write up you will receive, although maybe I got page 4 because no matter how many times I told the engineer I wanted top mount, he kept it as side mount):

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby LMarsh » Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:49 am

Well I pretty much finished my trailer and even had it painted (these photos are just before finishing it), but I didn't take into account my "departure angle" or "angle of departure". The entry angle when attached to the vehicle is not much of an issue but I didn't read anything until recently about departure angels. I placed my axle at 45% from the rear because with no galley and large tongue box I needed to take some weight off the tongue. With such a long frame the back end hung out quite a bit and just barely scraped our driveway. My frame height was nearly dead on from my Dexter axle figures but I want a bit more clearance for backing up or down slopes. Instead of moving my axle back I'm currently working on cutting a section off the back and angling it up 18 degrees from the tire.

Also I mounted my 4 swing down stabilizer jacks but they rattled so bad just pulling it down the driveway I ordered some different slide out types. I'll get some photos later but unfortunately these new jacks will be harder to make fit because they're larger and I already made the trailer to fit the other type.


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby KCStudly » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:19 am

Another trick I've seen used to good effect is to mount a fairly rugged caster (think shopping cart wheel) under each of the back corners. That way when the end touches down it just rolls and doesn't scrape.

If you get the height of the caster just right you can sneak them in underneath and barely see them; and they can still swivel all the way around w/o hitting the inside walls of the frame.
Last edited by KCStudly on Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
KC
My Build: The Poet Creek Express Hybrid Foamie

Poet Creek Or Bust
Engineering the TLAR way - "That Looks About Right"
TnTTT ORIGINAL 200A LANTERN CLUB = "The 200A Gang"
Green Lantern Corpsmen
User avatar
KCStudly
Donating Member
 
Posts: 8948
Images: 8051
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:18 pm
Location: Southeastern CT, USA
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby Vedette » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:41 am

For jacks, you might want to consider scissor style "Car Jacks". :thinking:
I used 1993 - 99 Toyota Tracel jacks on both of my teardrops and love them.
Good Roads
Brian & Saandi
Good Roads
Brian & Sandi
Here is a link to my Build Journal
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50912
Image109106109111109110138766
User avatar
Vedette
Silver Donating Member
 
Posts: 5024
Images: 441
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:28 am
Location: Westbank B.C.
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby LMarsh » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:41 pm

The caster wheels idea probably could have worked if I was far enough along that I couldn't change the frame, but since I still could I did.

I was going to use the automotive style scissor jacks (which Harbor Freight also sells) but then opted to go with the swing down kind. I don't know what the official names are for these stabilizer jacks. At first I was going to use them to lift the whole thing off the ground to level it but then decided it would be better to keep the weight on the wheels while leveling and just stabilize the corners with the jack stands. I left two of the swing down ones on the front of the trailer because there wasn't room for the longer scissor style or the other slide out type which I used previously and liked. The name brand stabilizer jacks are way higher quality too. I got two sets of jacks being sold on ebay and amazon that are cheap and work, but they're kind of low quality:

Drop down jacks
Image

Slide out
Image

scissor style
Image
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby LMarsh » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:07 pm

I finally have the trailer finished, and the floor too. Building a 5 foot wide trailer creates lots of plywood waste so I did a lot of the floor out of multiple small pieces of 3/4" plywood left over after cutting the full sheets to the actual floor width. I made the whole floor from 2 sheets. I need to cut a piece for the drop floor and the rear section I angled up, but otherwise its finished. Next I'll work on some templates for the side profiles and make my 5' x 12' walls by splicing more 3/4" plywood together. I've previously used big 2" lap joints to join 3/4" sheets with good results but this time I'm going to do spline joints. Besides purchasing the trailer lights and interior electrical stuff I actually have everything I need stocked piled to finish the whole build. I've had a ton of extra time from my work being slow, but I'm also about out of money if things don't pick up.

Most of my pictures are pretty bad from poor lighting. Direct sun or in the garage with sun shining in the door just never seems to work for me. I can't stop and set up for photos all the time either and I've got not power in my garage for closing the door and turning lights on. I would like to make a photo album when finished but most of the pics are all blurry, dark, or washed out.

143074
143075
143076
143077
143078
143079
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby LMarsh » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:00 am

I haven't posted anything for a while but I've been slowly plugging away. Honestly I spend more than half my build time making decisions on how we want something to be and what materials to use. Probably more than half actually. Its easy for the things I've done in the past, but every time some thing new comes up that I've never done before I research and scrutinize over it for too long. I'm also second guessing myself on things like if I made the frame strong enough or if my ground clearance will be adequate. Not to mention whether my material choices were the best. I'm farther along than in these photos but they're what I have right now. I'll be bending some plywood over the roof soon (then skinning in aluminum) and I can't decide if I should use 1/4" Baltic birch, some other decent 1/4" plywood or just cheapo under layment stuff from the box stores, if I can get it to bend. I'm even considering using 3/16" tempered hardboard. Anyway here is my progress:

Full sized mock up.
145126

I tried a spline joint first with a 1/4" baltic birch spine but after some strength tests I decided the 3" lap would be stronger. I'm sure the spline would be fine for this but I'm not using any hardwood plywood on the inside to help join the walls together and I just wasn't sure about the spline joint. The inner plys of the baltic birch would rip out fairly easy and it made me worried. Those lap joints took quite a while to do and made massive amounts of wood shavings. I've used Titebond in the past for these kinds of joints but decided on going with polyurethane PL premium this time. I feel like maybe the Titebond is actually stronger but maybe the polyurethane is better against moisture? Of course I went with an interior type 3/4" plywood after getting the run around from my local lumber store on their AC ply that wasn't in stock so I'm sure it doesn't matter. I'm no expert in wood working whatsoever though. I'll coat the whole thing in "the mix" before skinning it too.
145127
145128

Walls all jointed and cut out. Then I worked out the placement of my door, windows, and baggage doors.
145129
145130
145131
145132

Walls up and then the spars.
145133
145134

We're doing no galley to make room to sleep 2 adults and 2 children. The drop floor lets anyone 5'6" stand up nicely (I'm short). I just loose fitted what will be the bench seats with a pedestal table that will make up our bed. The kids bunks will be across the front.
145135
145136

One problematic issue was our ancient garage and its low door height. I was limited to my build height by what would fit through the garage door. Making a standy meant shaving inches off everywhere. Ground clearance, axle start angle, tires, even the fantastic vent fan I special ordered with a low profile base and a low profile cover. I made this all work by swapping tires from little 8 inchers when its in the garage to the 15" rims in the driveway before towing it for camping.

I've yet to even test tow just the frame because I need to weigh it and register it as a home made trailer first. There are no lights on it either and while I could have taken it for a quick drive somewhere I planned it so the teardrop body would work as part of the frame strength (at least I think I did). I didn't want any bouncing to bend the frame from towing it before the body was built. Even now until the interior is done and roof is on it doesn't seem solid enough for a test drive. The whole thing might just break in half while going down the road. Or my axle might tow crooked, or the tongue will snap off. :? I've done so many first time things in this build my confidence is shaky. I probably should have bought a utility trailer rather than building my very first trailer and placing a teardrop on it with thousands of dollars invested in it. :worship: But then I might be worried about nothing or everything is overbuilt.
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby retep » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:45 am

Sounds like its going to be a beautiful trailer when its done. Thanks for sharing your build. I like the drop floor. I'll be watching your build as I wish to start something very similar to yours. I am excited to watch your progress. Keep up the great work!!!

Cheers Peter
retep
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:55 pm
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby LMarsh » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:09 am

Thanks, I'm planning on attending some gatherings in our area next year. We've been to the Fish Creek Pond gathering once before and there is another one forming at Fairhaven Beach state park in April that is only an hour from us. I had just better be finished by then.
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby retep » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:51 pm

Hmmm That is not outlandishly far from Toronto. I may plan on attending, if only in a tent. Thanks

Take Care I'll be watching your progress.
Peter
retep
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:55 pm
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby LMarsh » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:41 pm

Got a few more pictures here. I've run wire for my lights, all LEDs. Eight interior puck lights, exterior awning style light, driving lights, and my fantastic vent fan. I went up a few gauges in wire over what was needed so everything is either 18g or 12g. Both the interior lights and the porch/awning light are wired through a 12v dimmer and are completely dimmable from off to 100% brightness. I'm currently working on insulating the ceiling and then I'll be bending plywood for the roof. I used FRP for the ceiling panel and while its a little heavier duty, and heavier weight, than whats really needed I like that the color is uniform all the way through in case of damage or scratches. Its also quite durable so it really shouldn't get damaged. Its also waterproof. Just to note, I used tub surround adhesive on the FRP. I believe I first used a tube of Loctite Power Grab and it dried pretty good within 24 hours. I then needed a second tube and grabbed some PL550 from a different store and it took forever to dry. It was too soft to remove my supports for 3-4 days. It was pretty annoying but now that its been weeks both adhesives are gripping very well and are quite solid. Many of these adhesives didn't specify FRP but I think maybe the PL550 did. Either way they still gripped the smooth FRP very well.

I also wanted to hold the 3/4" styrofoam in place at least a little and I found hot glue at a low temp works well and gives an immediate strong hold. Too hot and it will melt the foam but I didn't want to wait for a glue that needed to dry and most adhesives like the spray on stuff eat the foam. The stiffer colored foam board insulation was too rigid to bend around my curves.

145177

Interior LED with the sash removed. The wife requested warm white but I lean towards the cool white which is also available. Warm white it is, she's in charge of the styling.
145178

145179

145180
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top

Re: Our newest build is officially underway

Postby ELM » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:12 pm

Your moving right along.
My Build journal. viewtopic.php?f=50&t=65395
User avatar
ELM
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 238
Images: 176
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:49 am
Location: Sutter Creek CA
Top

Re: New build 5' x 12' sleeping 4

Postby LMarsh » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:29 pm

I haven't posted any updates for a while because the build was on hold over the winter but then we also finally bought our first house this spring. Moving in has been a long process but after rigging up some temporary lights I finally got the teardrop to the new house. It was the maiden voyage in an unfinished form but it towed great. I even picked out quite a few speed bumps and speed "dips" to check the ground clearance on the trip over for the dropped down floor and had no problems. Since my last update I finished all but one small section of the roof.

Image


In my previous 3 builds I used luan for the outer skin but this time I got a decent 1/4 plywood and it bends SO much easier. There is absolutely no comparison and I could have saved myself a lot of head aches and even money if I had known what a difference it would make in bending it. I had to use really expensive bendable plywood on one build because the luan kept breaking no matter what I did. I could have just used 1/4" if I had known and if I had more experience with woodworking. I learn something new on every build and always try something new each time as well.

Image

Image

Image


I got it skinned all the way except for 10" on top for the drive to the new house.

Image


Finally home in the new messy garage. At least it fits through the garage door unlike our apartment garage which was only 66" high. This was also my first build not using the HF trailer and while I considered buying a 5x10 prebuilt utility trailer I decided to make the frame from scratch. I was really nervous on this first drive about the strength and if I made the side rails strong enough for such a long trailer. I was also pretty scared the drop floor might hit the ground coming out of inclined driveways or the speed bumps. The tongue is super heavy duty but also really long to accommodate a large tongue box. I could trim it back and use a smaller or triangle box but it does provide space for a nice swing-away jack.

Image


Time to order the aluminum skin from SAF and finish the interior. I don't have a lot of time to work on it but if we don't get to use it this year the family will not be happy. I'm not even sure how many years the kids will fit in the 5' long bunks. Its been over a year since I started but they're growing like weeds. I can't believe my son is 6 & 1/2 now!
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top

Next

Return to Build Journals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kmucha16 and 6 guests