Johnny's Custom

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Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:18 pm

Hello all. Been reading the forum for quite a while getting design ideas and learning all I can and now I've taken the plunge and started my build. I actually bought my trailer chassis (Ironton 5x8) last year in October of 2016 and after staring at the box on my garage floor for a year I decided to start building this past October.

My design profile and size is based quite a bit on the Vistabule which was the first (and so far only) teardrop I've seen in person. I'm going to keep it a little simpler and low maintenance though. No folding seat and table or running water. Although the folding seat and table are pretty cool features of the Vistabule, I don't get really excited about making my bed in the morning so the idea of setting up the couch and table every morning is just not going to happen.

Here's the sketch I made to help visualize what it will look like.

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Using an Ironton 5x8 trailer as a base for the build. I wanted brakes so replaced the original axle. Mounted the axle on top of the leaf spring. Also used 2x2 steel tubing to add a tongue extension. I'll be replacing the rims and tires eventually.

Some pics of the the trailer frame coming together:

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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:24 pm

To plan out the side profiles, I used some heavy duty underlayment paper to draw it in full size. I included window and door placement, bulkhead wall and galley counter. At the last minute I realized I would like to hide the trailer frame as much as possible and added a 3 inch piece to the bottom of the profile and adjusted the front and rear curves to better meet the trailer frame. These plans will be used to measure the floor and to make the side profile template which will be used to cut the sides.

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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:04 pm

To create the floor, I used 3/4 inch poplar for the inner frame with 1/4 inch plywood on the top and bottom and foam insulation in the middle. The bottom is coated with a couple coats of black beauty fence post paint.

Before gluing down the top plywood layer, I counter sunk holes for the carriage bolts into the inner frame and attached it to the trailer chassis. Since the trailer is 8 feet long but the floor is almost 10 feet long, I built a small frame underneath the front to rest on the trailer tongue to help support the floor.

The floor was finished with a few coats of varnish.

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Well that's it for tonight. I have some more to post to catch up to my current progress but it will have to wait for another day.
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby pchast » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:44 pm

Looks like a good start. Do you have a target weight
in mind? :thinking:
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:04 am

I'd like it to be fairly lightweight but I haven't done any detailed weight calculations. It would be great if it could be towed with a Prius (even though I don't actually have a Prius). I'll be happy with anything under 1500 lbs and I won't have any problem towing with my Jeep Liberty.
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby KCStudly » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:02 pm

+1, looks like a very good start. :thumbsup:
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby Woodbutcher » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:46 pm

Good work. I think 1500 lbs should be no problem. Enjoy the building process, it's a big part of the fun.
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:59 pm

Here's some pictures of the walls coming together. I used 3/4 inch MDO plywood for the inner frame, 1/4 birch plywood on the exterior and 1/8 on the interior. I started by making a template with 1/2 MDF and making all my cuts with a router and trim/template bits

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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:06 pm

I brought the walls inside to varnish. It's been way to cold to varnish out in the garage. Put the first coat on today.

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That pretty much brings me up to my current progress.

Next up is Propex heater underfloor installation including ducting and gas piping, Then work on doors.
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby Woodbutcher » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:29 pm

Nicely done John. You are going to have a first rate trailer when you finish. :thumbsup:
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby pohukai » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:44 pm

Dang Johnny, that is the nicest work shop I've ever seen. If that really is the living room, you've got a wonderful wife.
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:18 am

pohukai wrote:Dang Johnny, that is the nicest work shop I've ever seen. If that really is the living room, you've got a wonderful wife.


Yeah that's my living room. One of the advantages of being a bachelor :D Although my girlfriend is quite wonderful, it was her idea even. It's been too cold to varnish in the garage.
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby tony.latham » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:27 am

Nice, well-thought-out construction using quality materials. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

This will be an interesting project to watch.

Have you got a first-trip on your bucket list for this sweet camper?


Tony
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:13 pm

Thing slowed down a bit in January as it has been pretty cold for working out in the garage. But I got the Propex heater mounted on the bottom, ran gas piping, ran brake wires and formed a skid plate to protect the heater and hoses.

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The trailer is now back to right side up again and I hope to mount the wall panels this week.
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Re: Johnny's Custom

Postby mattsokj » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:18 pm

tony.latham wrote:Nice, well-thought-out construction using quality materials. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

This will be an interesting project to watch.

Have you got a first-trip on your bucket list for this sweet camper?


Tony



Thanks Tony.

I think the first trip will be a trip to Niagara Falls. I've never been to see them. The other bucket list trip is to take the Alcan highway to Alaska but since that is quite a bit further and much more remote I want to make sure all the kinks are worked out of the teardrop before tackling that one.
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