Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

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Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby depatty » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:09 pm

Since the vardo is close to done am starting to plan a flat panel foamie. Have the frame and most of the materials other than glue, GS, and foam. No budget for this one so not sure when I'll actually be able to start on it but want to throw the initial plans out and see what y'all thought of them. Basic profile/insperation from Norm/mezmo's sketch from his gallery at gallery/image.php?album_id=546&image_id=90556. Hoping that the pix I have uploaded will show enough detail. If not will rescan them and try again.

Trailer is 52" wide and 108" long not counting the tongue which adds an additional 42 inches. Here's the basic floor plan.

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And a side profile.

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Looking to use 2 layers of 3/4" foam for sides and top. Top is going to be thicker at the center by about 2" with triangler ribs spaced about a foot apart on the flat part with starts 5' from the front and runs all the way to the back. Doors on both sides just in front of the wheel wells. Swing up hatch/rain roof in back under the overhang with swing out doors/work counters at the bottom. Looking to build this one as light weight as I can. Floor is going to be a sandwich of plywood and foam. Haven't decided on the bottom thickness yet.

More as I figure it out. Comments welcom. :roll:
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby Mary C » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:26 am

Dave, I think it would work. I wish I had gone even bigger with mine but oh well. Yours will be great!!! Just keep in mind width, length and height and ballast and it will be fine.

Mary C. :)
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby GPW » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:52 am

Any idea how you’re gonna’ cut the angles in those foam panels ?... Cool idea ... 8) :thumbsup:
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby depatty » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:18 am

GPW, I saw a video a couple of years ago about using a taping knife to cut foam panels http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuFWRTEULD0 that works quite well. I cut all of the foam in the vardo with one and it worked better than any other way I have ever tried! :thumbsup: Thinking that I can cut the joint angle(s) on the side of short pieces of 2x and use them along a straight edge as an angle guide for the taping knife to get the joint angles at least close. Then fill any gaps that are left with GS, trim and round the edges. Planning on using painters canvas tarps then paint to cover the entire thing as the local Big Lots has 9x12 7 oz drop clothes for about $15 (2 of which I've already got stashed back). :twisted:

And yes, Mary, got room in the galley as well as more in the tongue box area for the ballest for me and Cat. :beer: :wine: 8)
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby GPW » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am

Dave , I was just thinking about gravity cutting in the angles with a large hot wire bow ... Pretty simple and gives very smooth accurate cuts... less GS needed.. Gravity always cuts straight down , no matter the orientation of the foam panel ... :thinking:
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby depatty » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:59 am

Hadn't thought of that layout (block to get the proper angle) for hot wire cutting.How about putting a pivot/hinge on one side of the bow, and attaching to the table, kinda like a paper cutter but for foam. Will dig out the variac, isolation transformer, and roll of stainless steel wire and see what I can come up with. :thinking:

Thanks for the idea!!! :thumbsup:

For now got to hit the road. Back later this afternoon.
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby mezmo » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:27 pm

I shall be watching with great interest !

Cheers,
Norm/mezmo
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby GPW » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:42 am

Dave , in the past we’ve cut some angles in Foam for planes , sometimes with jigs of a complex nature , but the “hands off” gravity cut always produced the smoothest neatest cut ..and that makes the smoothest , easiest join ... (no touch up sanding /fitting required ) ;) Looks as if a machine cut it ..no pesky “ridges” or imperfections to deal with... 8)

Here’s a simple hot wire bow setup we’ve made and used for many years now ... and you can make it as long as you want ... ;)
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby depatty » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:09 pm

And years later... :oops: Life got in the way for a while there but back at it and trying to pick up where I left off with building the camper.

Valspar makes a bonding primer that the local big box store sells. The other BB store that sells the Gripper is about 12 miles further away, and the Valspar is cheaper. Bought a gallon today and am going to try it on the foam. Want to see if a thin layer of it will allow the TBII to stick better.

Doubt that I will go with exactly the same layout that I posted the drawing of but am going to be building on the same trailer frame. Will post more as I get things figured out.
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby GPW » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:50 am

Better late than never... :thumbsup:
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby depatty » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:25 pm

GPW wrote:Dave , in the past we’ve cut some angles in Foam for planes , sometimes with jigs of a complex nature , but the “hands off” gravity cut always produced the smoothest neatest cut ..and that makes the smoothest , easiest join ... (no touch up sanding /fitting required ) ;) Looks as if a machine cut it ..no pesky “ridges” or imperfections to deal with... 8)

Here’s a simple hot wire bow setup we’ve made and used for many years now ... and you can make it as long as you want ... ;)


Have dug out the variac and isolation transformer rig. Think I know where the SS wire is and if not have wirewelding wire that I can use. Just got to get an area cleared out or built to set up for cutting the foam. It's gonna have to be under a roof the way the rain is this year. :roll:
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby GPW » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:17 am

Rain … I hear that !! Good Luck !!! :thumbsup:
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby depatty » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:11 pm

Been raining on and off all day today. Humidity is to the point of liquid air. But been working on the trailer in between cooling/drying off breaks.

Got a chance to pick up a large pile of foam tomorrow and am trying to get the trailer ready to haul it home. Gonna be a 250+ mile round trip so decided to check and repack the wheel bearings as the last time I had this frame on the road was in the mid 80's. Took the first dust cap off and water ran out. :( Not a good sign but had hopes that nothing was in too bad a shape. Pits in the roller bearings and in the outer races. Tires are 20+ years old and rims over 50 so made a trip to Tractor Supply for the bearing and seal kits for both sides and then Harbor Freight for 2 new tires, rims, a set of magnetic brake lights, and safety chain. With the 25% off coupon and almost half price coupon for the lights we got everything for about the cost of 1 tire and 1 set of bearings elsewhere. Local parts house wanted 40+ for bearings, races, and seal for 1 side. Got both sides for that at Tractor Supply. :D

Already got 1 side done and the races out of the other side. Was dripping sweat so bad had to come in and cool for a while.

Once I get this foam here I'll decide what direction I want to go with this camper. Am leaning toward a design close to Mike's new Generic Foamie. :twisted: 8)
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Re: Initial Planning - Flat Panel Foamie

Postby depatty » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:25 pm

Other side done and wheels mounted. Not sure the safety chain is going to work the way I had planned. Will have to get the trailer hooked to the truck to find out. Next up is to check the magnetic light out and ducktape their wiring on. :roll: Then to mount the tag to the back and it's ready to go.

Ok, done as I'm gonna get today. Here are some pix of the frame ready to go pick up some foam.

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Trailer hooked to the truck.

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From the rear prior to mounting the tag. Lights taped down and working.

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New tires ready to roll.

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Safety chain didn't mount the way I wanted it to so cut a short length of chain and went around the top jack tube. May not be right but should hold keep it hooked on till I can stop. :roll:

Finished mounting the tag and am ready to roll in the morning. :thumbsup:
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FOAM!

Postby depatty » Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:19 pm

Got the load of free foam today. Took a 6+ hour road trip of almost 300 miles but was well worth it! Most of the pieces are 4'x8' and at least 4" thick with a couple of them being 10" thick. :twisted: Here are some pix of the load that we brought back.

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Trailer load of foam.

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The other side.

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And from the back.

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A 10" thick piece 4'x4'.

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Another 4" thick piece.

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And the last bits.

All in all I think this should be enough to build at least a couple of decent foamies. :thinking: :twisted: 8)

Not only got the foam but tested out the trailer the next camper will be built on. Still got to adjust the wheel bearing nut on one side as it was getting warmer than the other side but overall it tracked and road like a champ! Even with the foam on it couldn't tell it was back there. :thumbsup:
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