Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

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Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby mikejohn37 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:23 pm

I have heard that screws can vibrate loose. How would you join the cross pieces to stop the camper falling apart? Cleats and coach/carriage bolts?
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby mikejohn37 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:34 pm

Progress shot.
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby mikejohn37 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:50 pm

Maybe if I bed the screws into the sides about 3/8" and cover with epoxy mixed with a high density filler they will not move?
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby tony.latham » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:15 pm

I use Fredrick's inside-out method.

1. I build a ledge on my walls:

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2. I glue and crown staple the ceiling in place:

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3. I add my ribs. These are butt-screwed and then glued/crown stapled to the ceiling:

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4. The hard board insulation is glued in place:

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5. And the roof is glued and crown-stapled in place:

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Nearly bomb proof. :thumbsup:

Can you cut a mortise into those walls with a router and a template? Even if you can't you could butt-screw them and then glue the ceiling on and glue and screw it to the walls.

Tony
Last edited by tony.latham on Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby Juneaudave » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:15 pm

Looking good! I've never had problems with wood screws coming loose. You might be over thinking this a little. :thinking:
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby aggie79 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:26 am

Juneaudave wrote:Looking good! I've never had problems with wood screws coming loose. You might be over thinking this a little. :thinking:


+1. I wouldn't worry about screws backing out either.
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby woodywrkng » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:40 am

Spax wood screws (http://www.spax.us/) and any type 2 or 3 wood glue is what I used. The screws have an interesting serrated thread that pretty much insures they won't be going anywhere.
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby KTM_Guy » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:39 pm

I wouldn't worry about it as long as you are using glue and not stripping out the screws. What you can do is drive your screw, pull it out, put a few drops of super glue in the hole and put the screw back in. The gel super glue works best. I would only do this if I was attaching a cleat for a tie down rope or something like that.


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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby Esteban » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:44 pm

Home Depot sells Spax screws. Reviews on Home Depot's web site are encouragingly positive. I'll buy a 1# box to try them out. I've been pretty happy using Kreg pocket hole screws. Spax screws may be better, and easier to use, for some uses. Spax screws, if they perform as advertised, seem like they'd be very good for attaching roof spars without the need to first pre-drill pilot holes or to use a Kreg pocket hole tool. That could save time and may be stronger, too.

:thinking: mikejohn, the roof framing in your plan up above looks overly beefy/heavy - like you're using 2x4s. 1x2s (actual size 3/4" x 1-1/2") can be strong enough. Your design has the longer dimension of your spars on the horizontal. Roof spars are stronger when the longer dimension is on the vertical - this also provides for using thicker, higher R value, foam board insulation.
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby mikejohn37 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:59 pm

Yes it is heavily constructed. 90mm x 35mm framing. I want to put a kayak on top of it?
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby woodywrkng » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:59 pm

Mikejohn, I looked at your pics a bit closer, and esteban is right about your spars needing to be turned, especially if you're putting a kayak on top. Also, I had assumed you were wanting to screw through the sides, into the ends of the spars. If you're wanting to connect spars to each other at 90 degree angles, I would make lap joints. You would need either a table saw or a sliding chop saw. Google "lap joint" for lots of examples.
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby mikejohn37 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:33 pm

Yes I want to screw through the sides, into the ends of the spars? What if I ripped the timber down the middle and used the resulting 1-3/4 x 1-3/8 vertically? I can't use the full 3-1/2 x 1-3/8 vertical I think as I loose head space and the lining panel will be below the top of the doors. I am using Kingspan air-cell insulation panels and they are not an issue at 3/8" thick.
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby mikejohn37 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:51 pm

I could cut the 3-1/2 x 1-3/8 into some other size?
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby Esteban » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:23 pm

You can cut up one 2x4 to get four .75"x1.5" boards. Each saw cut wastes about 1/8" of the board that you cut.

I prefer to use popular for roof/ceiling spars because it is a stronger and lighter wood species than many others.

My construction goal is to build a strong, lighter weight, stress(ed) skin. The spars and foam insulation are all glued to the ceiling and roof skins. I do the same with the walls. To speed up construction I use narrow crown staples to attach exterior skins that don't need to be unblemished or pretty.
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Re: Construction to Stop Camper Falling Apart

Postby woodywrkng » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:40 pm

Hi Mikejohn. I agree with esteban concerning poplar. It is surprisingly strong for its weight, and worked out very well for my spars. As you can see in this picture, mine are 3/4" wide by roughly 1 3/4" tall. They are sitting on top of the interior wall / ceiling as shown by Tony Latham's first picture shown earlier. I then screwed through the exterior wall into the end of the spars, while Tony screwed down through the spar into the interior wall. Either way is ok, your choice. In your case the spar appears to be sitting on top of the exterior wall, which may things messier later on, when you put on whatever exterior surface you're using. However, what makes these things fun is that you can do whatever you like, and chances are, with a little effort, it will work in the end.
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