Torpender Build Thread: Update - campin'

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Torpender Build Thread: Update - campin'

Postby fartblossom » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:29 pm

Harbor freight had a parking lot sale a few weeks ago and I couldn't resist any longer. Bought a trailer and stashed it for a bit. Had to wait while we went on vacation, but now I'm back and I've taken over the garage for the duration.

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Build is to be 4x8, as light, simple and cheap as I can build it. This will be an experimental trailer, to see how much I enjoy camping. (haven't done that much since the kids were little, and that was a long time ago.) If I decide I'm really enjoying it, I will probably tear this one apart and do a classic teardrop. I know from experience that if you want to do anything right, you have to do it twice anyway, so I'm not too worried about having a super-fine finished product on this one.

I've been really inspired by several builds here, and want to do a shoutout. Jonw, yours was the first build thread I read through from start to finish, and is exactly what I'm talking about when I say a "proper classic teardrop". Mad props.

Rbourne3 and les45, loved your builds too. And much thanks to Mike for the original weekender design.

So as I'm assembling the trailer today, sitting on the floor and listening to my old back bark at me, I had a rare good idea, and decided to turn the frame into a build table, at least until I have the floor and sides done and ready to mount.

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I used the stakeside brackets and turned them upside down enabling me to put some 2x4 legs on the trailer to bring it up to where I can work on it without bending over. This should also make the squaring up of the frame much easier.

Anyway, many more pics to come as I progress. Thanks to you all for the inspiration and the knowledge shared.
Last edited by fartblossom on Mon May 05, 2014 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby Jdw2717 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:36 pm

That is a pretty good idea, but I would maybe add some temporary cross bracing to the bottoms of the "legs" to make sure they don't fold under and bend the frame metal once you start to put more weight on it. Just a thought. I know that would be my luck. :x
"Twenty years form now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines... Explore. Dream. Discover" Mark Twain

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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby Junkboy999 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:48 pm

Sound great. There a few people out there the did the same. Built a simple teardrop or weekender plan,
then later repurposes the same frame and when bigger or wider.


I know it does not have the stylish TD look but have you check out Richard's rmclarke's Sunhopper It has a
lot of great ideas incorporated in to it. I love his split back door / extra table combo. I'm wondering how a
door system like that would look on a Benroy desgine.
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:22 am

Well, I didn't get much done this weekend, but I sure did BUY a lot of stuff.

Kreg pocket screw jig, new set of drill bits, a set of stepped bits, a chop saw, blah blah blah...

The only thing I had time to do after all the shopping, was replace the hinges on the folding trailer with some heavy flat strap, since it's never going to be folded.

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Next weekend, I will do the floor. Instead of plastering the black pookie stuff on the underside, I'm just putting a sheet of FRP between the elements and my floor. Pics to follow.
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:44 pm

First off, thanks for the suggestions Jdw and junkboy. 2nd, I'm finally happy to report some progress.


First, I clamped some 2x2's down the side rails, inset a half inch for the half inch sides.

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Then, I screwed them down with these screws, 4 per side.

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Then, I used my fancy new Kreg Jig to make pocket joints and insert the cross members of the frame.

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Here it is, all framed up. If you look close, you can see the rips of 5mm plywood I put over the crossmembers of the trailer to level them up to the side rails.

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Then I laid my sheet of 4x9 FRP on top of the frame, and cut it down to size using a rotary saw and a rip guide.

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Next, I did the same with a sheet of 3/8" BC ply I'm using for the floor. (saving a little weight over the 1/2" called for on the weekender)

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Over the weekend, I intend to remove the wood frame and glue it to the sheet of frp on the floor of the garage, then reattach it to the trailer with the frp on the underside, and attach the plywood floor on top. Why didn't I just put the frp on the trailer before I built the wood frame? Because FRP sags a lot in horizontal applications, and I want to glue the frame to it on the garage floor, keeping it as tight as possible before transfering it to the trailer. Am I overthinking it? Probably, but I'm in no hurry so no big deal.

Anyway, more pics to come. Enjoying everyone else's build threads immensely. I'm hoping to be able to make the Lake Bisteneau gathering this fall.
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:38 am

Well, while the wife is out garage saleing this morning, I got a little more done. First, I crossbraced the subfloor frame to keep it square while I removed it.

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Then I hit the frame with some PL adhesive.

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Here it is sitting on the frp. Right now it's weighted down and drying. Debating with my self over whether I want to go to the bother of insulating it. There's really no way to insulate the solid 1/2" side walls I'm going with, and I'm planning on a small window unit a/c in the galley wall. Hmmmm...

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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:55 pm

Wood subframe and FRP back on trailer, with adhesive, awaiting top.

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And here it is floor compete, all screwed and glued.

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That's it for this weekend. Next weekend I get the trailer roadworthy for a trip to the big box for remaining plywood.
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby rmef27 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:05 am

cool you made alot of progress this weekend
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:53 pm

Installed axle, springs and wheels today. If I'm overposting, just let me know. :)

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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby Jst83 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:25 pm

[quote="fartblossom"]Installed axle, springs and wheels today. If I'm overposting, just let me know. :)



Don't think that's possible helps keep you motivated
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Sun May 05, 2013 4:38 pm

Got the nose on. Since it's gonna be a couple of weeks before I can do anything else, I cleaned up the garage and made room for a car again.
Man, the sawdust was thick.

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118 lbs. at each wheel and 35 lbs. at the tongue for a total of 271 so far. I figure the sides will be another 100 lbs. or so. Looking at a lightweight alternative for the
galley counter, galley divider wall, and galley shelving. "Glasbord" panels. FRP laminated to fluted polypropylene (coroplast). Very stiff, lightweight and weatherproof.


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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Mon May 27, 2013 2:08 pm

Getting back to work today. Picked up 3 sheets of 1/2" 7-layer sanded blond plywood at Lowes. Trying a technique to scab on 2' pieces to make 4x10's that I haven't seen on here. I'm sure I'm not the first to try it. Using 1" Kreg joint screws.

First, drilled both pieces at staggered 6" on centers.

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Then applied titebond to the edges and let dry.

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Finally, applied a little more glue and screwed together.

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I was planning to add a piece of ply or a 1x3 to the inside to reinforce the joint, but after seeing how strong it is, I don't think I need to. I haven't given it the acid test of picking up the sheet from a laid-flat position by the scabbed end, but as long as you handle it by the 4x8 piece, it handles just like a 4x10. No wobble or flex at all.

Next up, cutting the sides to shape. Haven't picked out a front ellipse yet, but leaning towards Mike's Long Weekender dimensions.
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Wed May 29, 2013 1:32 pm

After viewing all the ellipse drawing links, http://www.angib.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/teardrop/tear80.htm, and http://www.cleavebooks.co.uk/scol/callipse.htm,

this site turned out to be the one that I was able to wrap my head around and duplicate. http://www.mathopenref.com/constellipsefoci.html Thanks to whomever found it first.

Used speaker wire as regular string was too stretchy, just like everyone said. (of course, I had to be stupid and try it.)

Will have sides up this weekend come hell or high water.

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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby Junkboy999 » Wed May 29, 2013 2:28 pm

Ok now wait a darn minute. :o

You just can’t go spring new stuff on us without telling us a bit more about it. FRP laminated to fluted polypropylene, where did you get it? What does it cost?
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Re: Torpender Build Thread

Postby fartblossom » Wed May 29, 2013 6:36 pm

Sorry Junkboy, I should have gone into more detail. What I'm holding in the pic is just a sample piece.

This is the actual product, http://www.nudo.com/p_fibercorr_wall.php?crumb=%3Ca+href%3D%27l_wall_panels.php%27%3EWall+Panels%3C%2Fa%3E

I gave serious consideration of using it for my side walls, it's light, sturdy and stiff, but there were still question marks. UV endurance, how does it handle temperature extremes, etc...

Runs anywhere from 80 to 130 bucks a 4x8 sheet, another downer. I'm in the construction industry though, and my material suppliers would probably be able to help me out with a sheet or two. Will work on that when I get around to the Galley. I figure this stuff would make an excellent countertop and galley/camper divider wall.
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