Was Foam Conestoga Now Stick Built Vardo

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Was Foam Conestoga Now Stick Built Vardo

Postby depatty » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:16 pm

Life keeps getting in the way but one way or the other I am gonna get started on another camper soon. Am about to the point of just starting to build and forsaking detailed plans as I know what I wanna do. Found a deal on a trailer on CraigsList today, called, and after going and buying a ball for the truck, went to look at it, dickered a bit, bought it, and brought it home. Had a problem with the hitch but used some bailing wire to hold it shut and got it home without incident. Got oil on the adjustment nut soaking now and will take it apart and do whatever needs to be done including replacing the entire unit before taking it back on the road.

And as I know how we ALL like pictures 8) here it is in all it's glory.

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Twas home made a LONG time ago.
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Had some quality tail light repair, but at least it's red.
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Good springs. Maybe too good for a foamy. Bit of a seal leak on this side but had it up to 65 on the way home and had very little heat on the hubs when I got it here so hoping the bearings are ok. Will take them down, clean and repack and get new seals asap.
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First step after getting the hitch fixed is gonna be to strip the floor out and see how much frame metal will need to be replaced. Haven't decided it I'll leave the side rails yet or cut them off and start with a flat platform. As I'm planning on building a modified Conestoga I may leave them and use them for the side supports. Fenders were a + and will use them but will most likely cut them off and do some straightening and reshaping before remounting them. More as I get to it.
Last edited by depatty on Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GPW » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:36 pm

Dave, looks Stout !!! A little cleaning and some paint and it'll be Perfect ... Nothing going to slide off that eh !!!! :lol: :thumbsup:

Why not keep the side rails and us it to hang the old water barrel from ...and other authentic wagon goodies... :thinking:
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Postby depatty » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:05 pm

I'm thinking of a cross between the one Tinksdad did in Sketchup and the one showing in the Conestoga Wagon Plans in the Vintage Plans section. Below a copy of the basic plan taken from the pdf.

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Will most likely use the railings to attach the wood and foam to for the base section/seats. Still thinking of how to add a rounded front to cut down on wind resistance.

I see that Harbor Freight has wire welders on sale and I'm gonna need to do some welding on this frame. :roll: Seems like perfect timing... 8)
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Postby squatch » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:41 pm

Looks like a great start. If it was me I'd just buy a new hitch coupler. You'll sleep better in the long run. That trailer has been sitting out for a while. Rust in the coupler is not good. I have 4 trailers including my log splitter. Anything that doesn't have a pintle was converted to 2" a while back with new couplers. That way all my trailers are the same size ball. I don't have to worry about using the wrong trailer on the wrong sized drawbar. Easy to make a bad mistake when you have too many things going on. I've seen a trailer come loose and it ain't pretty.

That trailer with the side rails looks like a great one for the circle top you're wanting to build. Thanks for sharing.
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Postby GPW » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:27 am

That's so Cool ... a small footprint on the trailer , fully supported by the railing , and wide inside where it counts ... :thumbsup:

Gosh I never saw that plan before ... Don't know how I missed that ...
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Postby eaglesdare » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:11 am

i have to admit this one is going to be exciting. :applause:
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Postby tinksdad » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:23 am

Nice stout base to build on. A good start. I guess I have a vested interest in this build (sort of), so I will definitely keep an eye on the progress and see where you go with it.

I really like the Conestoga concept; but when I showed my design to "she who camps with me", it was nixed. She doesn't like it. She also said the "beerdo" that started the Silly Foamie thread was out of the question as well. The vardo is a "maybe" if I can convince her that we really don't need a hatch and an outside galley. Otherwise, it's back to square one. Oh well, I digress. I return this thread back to the topic at hand.

:pictures: Even if it's only grinding rust in preparation to build upon. :D
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Postby tinksdad » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:27 am

Barrels and such hanging on the frame would look cool and add some extra storage space, if it suits your fancy. An old style travel trunk (or facsimile) on the tongue wouldn't look out of place either.
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Postby GPW » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:23 am

That wagon looks just like a FoamStream , roof construction wise ... 8) Conestoga + rounded front end = ConestogaStream ...
:lol:

Dad , wives just don't usually understand our creative frivolities... :roll: I found best get it done first , and then they more readily accept it (sometimes actually like it ) ... In the design phase , around here, with all the drawings and calculating , I just get strange looks , and comments like ... " Not another one ??? " :o
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Postby depatty » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:34 am

On the way in to work this morning, had to get fuel and went a different route than usual. On leaving the station saw a canvas covered awning for sale laying on the ground in front of a building and had one of those AH-HA moments. 8) This was one of the ones made of conduit and rounded on both ends. Well the rounded end part is what I have been trying to figure out how to build for the camper. I'm now thinking of doing a framework of bent and welded conduit for the entire upper part with foam inside and between the ribs, using spray foam to seal it to the conduit and glue/canvas/latex covered. Gonna try to figure out how many pieces it would take and check on conduit prices in the next day or two. I've already got enough .78" blue foam to do the shell, so the conduit, canvas, glue, spray foam and 3 or 4 pieces of the 2 inch thick should finish it off. :twisted: Well there's also that wire welder that's on sale at Harbor Freight that I'll "need" for this part of it too... :roll: :lol:
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Postby GPW » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:43 am

Cool Idea !!! 8) We used MIG'd EMT on many projects (bicycle choppers ) Worked Great .... watch out for the galvanizing .. The smoke .. you know !!!

tubing bender would be Handy too .... more tools ... :roll:
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Postby starleen2 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:59 am

One more suggestion: what about wedging the foam in between the ribs and runners giving the ribs the illusion of depth. - so when you cover the whole outside with canvas it gives the appearance of canvas streached over ribs - but have a solid base as well :thinking:
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Postby tinksdad » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:00 am

GPW wrote:That wagon looks just like a FoamStream , roof construction wise ... 8) Conestoga + rounded front end = ConestogaStream ...
:lol:

Dad , wives just don't usually understand our creative frivolities... :roll: I found best get it done first , and then they more readily accept it (sometimes actually like it ) ... In the design phase , around here, with all the drawings and calculating , I just get strange looks , and comments like ... " Not another one ??? " :o


Wife???? :? Had one of those once.
"She who camps with me" may be a wife in the future; but for now we are just friends with privileges. :oops:
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Postby depatty » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:25 am

starleen2 wrote:One more suggestion: what about wedging the foam in between the ribs and runners giving the ribs the illusion of depth. - so when you cover the whole outside with canvas it gives the appearance of canvas streached over ribs - but have a solid base as well :thinking:


Good idea! I'm actually hoping it will work like that after looking at that awning this morning. The foam I have now is .78" thick and if necessary I can set it back a bit from the surface and use the spray foam on the inside of the EMT to mount it. May have to get thinner foam for the insert pieces or do a bit of routing on the surface to get the proper depth. Depends on the size of the EMT that I end up using. If 1/2" the OD is .706" but if I go to 3/4" it goes up to .922" or 1" would be even better at 1.163" but it's all gonna depend on price per stick, as I have NO budget for any of this stuff. :(
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Postby Conedodger » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:40 am

tinksdad wrote:
Wife???? :? Had one of those once.


A Guy advertised in our local paper for a wife, he had 500 replys, all from men saying "Please take mine" :thumbsup:
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