Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby GPW » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:49 am

Amanda , you’ve done WONDERFUL !!! :thumbsup: 8) :applause:

As it turns out nothing is really a nightmare , but just something more “interesting" to work on … and more rewarding when you’re done and it works … ;)
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby S. Heisley » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:14 pm

amandacreiglow wrote:
S. Heisley wrote:For a lower counter, you could add a pull out counter on drawer glides, underneath the original counter. That would actually give you extra counter/shelf space. Or, you could make a drawer to house your stove. You could even make whatever you decide on perpendicular to one end of the original counter so that your galley area would be "L" shaped. ...Just an idea. :thinking:


Good thoughts, for sure. And I think if I weren't so far along I'd be able to incorporate them or play with things or moved them around. But unfortunately my galley is pretty much planned out to the cubic inch, more or less, with most everything glued or bolted or cut to slot into place. So it's the step platform life for me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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Okay....Gotta be "Mama" Sharon here. If you build a platform to stand on, maybe you could add a railing on the back side. (The railing could be removable for storing flat.) The railing is because it it too easy to step back, lose your footing/balance, and end up flat on your back on the ground. If you're really unlucky, you could break something or hit your head on a rock or.... Just sayin'.... Another idea is to get a small table to use for a counter. They have those roll-up metal tables that are pretty nice.
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby GPW » Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:24 am

Mama’s right you know !!!
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:31 pm

S. Heisley wrote:Okay....Gotta be "Mama" Sharon here. If you build a platform to stand on, maybe you could add a railing on the back side. (The railing could be removable for storing flat.) The railing is because it it too easy to step back, lose your footing/balance, and end up flat on your back on the ground. If you're really unlucky, you could break something or hit your head on a rock or.... Just sayin'.... Another idea is to get a small table to use for a counter. They have those roll-up metal tables that are pretty nice.


The step won't be particularly high-- only eight or nine inches. It's a drywall step that I'm cutting down to the right height. And I don't think I'm too likely to forget I'm on it, since it won't be wide enough to really feel like a platform. If I do start losing my footing, I have the countertop right there to grab onto. A railing behind me would greatly impair the easy usability of the galley, and it would be hard to make it secure enough to actually catch me, considering that it will just be sat directly on the ground, and would be easy to tip over if I leaned against it.

So in the end I think it might be more trouble than its worth at this point, though if I have any close calls I'll probably feel differently and you can definitely feel free to say you told me so. :)


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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:51 pm

Haven't been updating this, but have been working!

I gave another try at the whole fiberglassing thing, this time using it to secure two 45 degree angles on the umbrella, so that I can move it forward or back to go over the door or the sitting area.

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Here it is over the sitting area. It can be placed on either side, and can be tilted, too, to give even more shade and easily adapt to where the sun is, or if it's sprinkling or whatever. It covers most of the area in front of the door when it's positioned that way, too. At least plenty of space to stand and unlock the door or put on/take off my shoes.

I'm deep in the weeds with the electrical at the moment, but I'm seeing light on the other side. Dad has been helping me a lot. We got the trailer lights installed, which turned out to be more of a pain than expected. Got them all connected last night but then none of them turned on. Watched some YouTube videos, and today sanded down around the grounding screw, and lo and behold, three came on! Took a long time to figure out what was wrong with the last running light. Assumed that it was a grounding issue, but ran a wire directly to test and that didn't resolve it. Swapped out bulbs, and that didn't resolve it. Tested to make sure current was getting through, and found that the clamp wasn't getting all the way through to the wire to supply it with power. Ended up actually soldering it to connect it and securing it and it's all good now.

Also mounted the tongue box, with two long ubolts, and four long 3/8th bolts that go through into holes directly in the frame, secured with some of the spare lock nuts from the trailer. Those four bolts also secure in a 1/2" ply piece on which I built the framework for the electrical system.
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The bottom of it, that is holding the battery is place, feels pretty secure. The top is feeling a lot more secure now that the wood glue has dried, but it'll stiffen up some more when I get a panel of ply secured to the side of it.

Sat down with dad and worked out what wires we need and how they connect, and I think tonight I should be able to get it all connected. Fingers crossed, anyway.

But working with electrical and doing woodworking, and bolting things down under the trailer? The worst. So I needed a reward. Got my closet caulked and put the drawers in. I've got the sliding panels sitting in there now, too, but here it is:

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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby Don L. » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:36 am

Really nice work and progress! I love the umbrella! I want one.
I have a question about the electrical system you pictured, what is the flat black box there above the battery?
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby mreidsma » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:47 am

Bravo! Those drawers look great.


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Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:04 pm

Thanks for the encouragement guys, and thanks for the kind words GPW, I forgot to say. :)

The black box is a power center thing made for RV's that I got to make things a heck of a lot simpler on myself. I thought that it was going to end up being a bit f a nightmare, but it seems pretty straightforward once you get it going.

It's an interface with integrated step down converter for shore power and has room for six DC circuits, including two that allow for higher loads for slideouts, though those are the ones that are unused for me, as I only went with three circuits. It also interfaces with the deep cycle battery below it, and has a limiter in there to protect the battery in case you hook it up backwards. You have to provide a main breaker (they give you specific 30 amp models that will fit the form factor perfectly in the instructions) and you plug in whatever sized automotive fuses you want for your circuits. I chose one 3amp, for the vent fan and voltimeter, and two 10 amp for the cigarette lighters and USB's. I've got it almost entirely connected, now -- just need to go today and pick up a ground terminal bar to be able to make all the grounds meet up together nicely in a way that doesn't feel jenky.

Here's what it looks like with the cover taken off so you can see the actual interface.

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Finally got the electrical box inside the cabin all wired up and screwed into place! I definitely, definitely hope it all works correctly when I get the ground connected and plug everything in, because you can't imagine how little I cared for every little part in that process. But here it is!

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Yup, finishing the last four pieces of trim on the interior of the cabin is still very much on my list. My long, long list.

Also finally got the final three bolts to secure it to the frame to tighten up, thanks to the torque washers that were suggested here! It's a relief to have that finished. And, because that's done, I was able to finish the tie-downs for my water containers, and get the sink properly installed! I now have a working sink with a working faucet and drain and soap dispenser!

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Took the opportunity after I took this picture to start piling in most all of my kitchen stuff, so that if nothing else, I can *feel* like I'm getting close to leaving, even though my list of tasks to complete before the trailer is really done seems to never be getting any shorter.

Got the exterior of my doors canvassed, which both feels like a step forward and a step back. Unfortunately, even though I had thought I over ordered by a bit, I'd ended up short on my good exterior fabric and could not use it to cover the doors. So I used some drop cloth fabric instead, which worked, but is definitely different from the stuff that is covering the rest of the trailer. The area where the metal frame meets the foam in the doors is, as well, pretty pronounced, even though I did try to smooth t out, I think I don't have either the tools or the patience to really get it that smooth at this point.

The solution I'm considering, and may implement today, is a bit odd. I'm thinking of using some (maybe the rest?) of the polyester fiberglass resin I bought to put the 45 degree angles in the umbrella pole to finish off the exterior of the doors, to fill the weave of the canvas and allow me to build it up around the hard edges so that I have something to sand and smooth, as well.

I'm thinking of using the polyester fiberglass resin because I have it, and it's way cheaper than the epoxy that I did the inside of the cooler with, and I found it a lot easier to work with. I even preferred the smell of it to the epoxy, although I gather that's not a universal preference. Now, I know that this stuff will melt foam that it comes into contact with, but I think that with the coat of gripper between the canvas and the foam, and then the canvas, and then the coat of primer that I applied yesterday, that should keep it from actually making it to any foam to be able to damage it.

Anyone have any reasons this would be a disaster? Or should I venture into the semi unknown and try using it just as a thin outer shell finishing layer, just for the doors?


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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby GPW » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:24 pm

Girl , you should be a Decorator or something !!! 8) :thumbsup: :applause:
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby S. Heisley » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:44 pm

Ya know, you're dazzling us with all your ideas. You're doing good! :thumbsup:
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby KCStudly » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:55 am

Generally you don't want to apply epoxy or poly/vinyl-ester resins over non-compatible paint. Even over PVA glue and vinyl spackle are questionable for adhesion.

Your camper is truly looking spiffy! :thumbsup:
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby amandacreiglow » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:36 pm

Thanks guys. :) I'm enjoying how it's all coming together, too. and now that I've got the mattress in there, I can even crawl inside for a nap when I get frustrated and pretend the whole thing is done already... pretty dangerous, really. ;)

Thanks for the advice KC. I went ahead and nixed the Fiberglass idea, and instead tried the COE smoothie mix that I saw in George's build thread. It seemed goopy and messy and fun, and it was, mostly. Though I found I couldn't get it quite as smooth as I'd like, and there were clear marks from the edge of the putty knife thing no matter how hard I tried. Still I figured, since it was partially spackle, I might try sanding the peaks with something high grit. At least the weave was completely filled!

... and that brings us to another episode of "what went wrong with Amanda's build today."

So, first, the smoothie mix, I imagine due to its being 1/3 primer, actually sunk down a fair bit while drying and has exposed a bit of the weave again, again making the edge where the underlying metal meets the underlying foam pretty obvious. I'm torn between going in for another run of the smoothie mix, or just letting it dry, giving it some gentle sanding, and painting it to draw attention away from the imperfections (per usual). Still deciding.

And then there's the electronics. Got it all connected, got excited, went into the cabin to look and see if the voltimeter was on aaaaaaand... nothing. Plugged it into shore power and got something! The converter cooling fan turned on for a moment, and then I went and looked in the cabin excited to see the voltimeter lit up. But again, nothing.

Then I tried the cabin vent fan, and it made a buzzing noise, but didn't start. BUT, that then turned on the voltimeter.

Ok, right, figured there was something wrong with that circuit. So got out my mattress heating pad and a USB cord for my phone to be able to test the other outlets. And discovered that it was as it thought: the one outlet that was on its own circuit did fine. The others, not so much. Some quick googling later and triggering traumatic memories of my least favorite section of high school science class, and I realized I'd wired up my circuits as serial, rather than parallel. So I've got to open it up and fix it, but I'm having a hard time getting my head around where I should connect what in order to get it to function right with the connectors I have and the wires in place. It's doable, I'm certain. Just will take a bit more thought.

And I'm really, really hoping that the problem with the vent fan is linked to it not getting enough power with the way it's currently wired. Really don't feel like pulling that out and replacing it, although with the way I've installed it, I don't think that'll be impossible to do without breaking everything... just tricky, and the great stuff in there might fight me a bit.

Then it was time to address the fact that the battery didn't seem to be doing what it was supposed to. Luckily, google helped allay my fears that one or both of the most expensive parts of my trailer (other than the base) were just inherently broken. Turns out I had missed out a fuse. There's one in there that's to protect against reverse polarity if you accidentally put it in wrong, but it needs one on the actual circuit it's connected to, too. So there's that. Got the fuse plugged in there and viola! It powers my wrongly-wired electrical system just as well as shore power.

Was also really hoping to get the pullout shelf for my cooler installed yesterday, but it didn't work out that way. I was able to get all the right bolts to connect the hinges to the L-brackets, and bolt the L-brackets through the floor for maximum cooler support. Even found that I had guesstimated what size L-brackets I needed more or less right, and the cooler should fit in the very tight space I have for it. I think.

Unfortunately, it became clear that the way the screws connecting the hinges to the plastic tray itself was not going to work. I was hoping I could just kind of fudge it, but the amount it was going to have to be forced into a right angle was starting to deform the hinges which seemed like not the greatest idea.

Now, someone with basic woodworking skills would probably be able to get some wood with the right angle to be flush with the angled-in sides of the tray. But we've already established that wood and I don't get along, and I'd like more practice with fiberglass, so I decided to go that route instead.

In all, I did three thick layers of fiberglass last night, letting them dry in between, and I'm hoping that it fills in that gap enough to let me get some screws in there at a right angle. But it's a setback, since I'm here waiting for it to cure completely, before I go forward with that. Always more delays!

So then I moved forward with canvassing the inside of the hatch. I removed some of the wood in the bottom that was getting in the way, and hopefully I did enough. Also scraped the glue off of the support blocks for the gas strut mounts, and got those in there. Only one of the screws that was only meant to temporarily hold the mount on the block got stripped out, so I had to drill it out. Of course. Still need to get some bolts all the way through before I can reattach the struts and try again, though, since it's been established that the glue on its own is just not enough, and while the interior canvas may make somewhat of a difference, I'm not confident that it would be enough, and I reeeeeally don't want to re-do these again. So through-bolts with washers it is.

Have almost gone through my second gallon of gripper. Have so little canvassing left to do, but unfortunately, it's just not doing to be enough. Welp.

Highlight of the night: I DID at least manage to remember to lay the magnet for the center of the hatch (for a light or a hook or whatever) before I canvassed it. And I think I even got it put in the right way! So hey, silver lining.

Still, even with the door sort of shoved in just to test fit it temporality, it's starting to feel like an interior space in there. And I think it's pretty much the perfect size for me, with a super comfy bed, and appropriate proportions.

Don't know if anyone's going to read all of that without pictures, but here's a TL;DR: Making progress. Slowly. Kind of. Things going wrong constantly. CANNOT WAIT to be done with this. Hopefully not long now.


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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby Joe4Camping » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:50 am

Really Wonderful Build! I am a complete newbie myself, and plan on building my first Tear very soon. Your thread has been fascinating and inspirational from beginning to end-ish.

Question: you cut up an inner mattress to fit in your build. What brand was it? I'm planning on using an Ironton 5x8 trailer for my frame, and I'm worried that a queen mattress won't exactly fit width-wise (I'll be building 2" foam walls, thus shrinking the interior width). Or, I could extend the floor 4" width-wise to accomodate, I'm not sure. Still, in case I need to slice up the mattress, what brand is most recommended to slice and dice? :roll:

Thanks!
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby Homebrewer25 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:01 am

Milliard makes a 6" tri-fold queen mattress that is 58" x 78". You could put a 1" wide rabbet the bottom edge of your foam sides and that would give you a 58" inside width.
wall to floor.png
wall to floor.png (2.52 KiB) Viewed 144 times

https://www.milliardbedding.com/product/milliard-6-inch-memory-foam-tri-fold-mattress-with-ultra-soft-removable-cover-with-non-slip-bottom-queen-2/
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Re: Itty Bitty Foamie Teardrop Test Build Thread

Postby Joe4Camping » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:08 pm

Homebrewer25, thanks very much for that. That should fit perfectly.
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