Buster's First TTT

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Buster's First TTT

Postby Buster1903 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:11 pm

This is my first build it is a prototype/test bed. I am using it as a learning experience for the build. All advice, warnings and suggestions are welcome and appreciated :)

It will be used as a trial for short and long road trips, and different camping/RVing situations.
My biggest issue is I don't know what I want in a small travel trailer. I know I will not figure it all out until I get out there and start camping and travailing. My outdoors living background is backpacking, canoe river camping, and drive-up tent camping I have way too any questions about what I need/want to list here, but my plan is to start simple (maybe too simple :NC ) and add stuff as I go. I'm not working from any plans just a quick sketch and the ever changing picture in my head but its going good so far. As far as my building ability I am fairly confident I can handle this build. The stuff I build usually does the job intended, rarely falls apart, and sometime looks pretty good 8).
The Idea here is a inexpensive TTT to try out idea and learn from. If I get 2 good years out of it I'll be happy
I am trying my best to keep to the K. I. S. S. principle. My base is a harbor freight 1175lb. trailer (new). The design is what I think is called a square back/flat back. My tow vehicle is a 2007 Honda Civic.

My criteria for the build:
1. Cheap --- As much as possible I'm using what I have on hand, lying around, or can scrounge up/craigslist.
2. Cheap --- After reading some Foamie posts around here I might have tried one but I'm just more comfortable working with wood to start.
3. Light --- 2007 Civic
3a. Limit leaks --- (lets face it something is going to leak (ie. window, door) I just want to avoid sleeping in a puddle while water drops tap me in the head) looks like I'm going to try painted canvas here (learned this from a cool new forum I joined) ;)
4. Some thought to aerodynamics --- Front top curve its not much but better than a shoe box. by the way is there a name to this part? If it were a boat I would call it the "prow", or if a trailer has a tongue this would be the "forehead?"
5. Cheap --- Who am I kidding I'm poor. :cry: If I want any money to travel the rest of this year I'm going to have to keep this budget to a bare minimum.

So far I put together HF trailer (left off tongue, lights, and fenders for ease of access). Bolted down 1/2in. pressure treat ply as sub floor. Cut out and dry fit all of the outer shell. I'm using 3/8in. sheathing for inner floor and everything else accept Luan for curve in forehead :lol: . Structure is very solid as it was in photos. Since photos I have taken it apart cut out rough opening for windows (STORAGE SHED Windows 14x21) and it is ready for adjustments and permanent assembly.

Also since I have never tried painted canvas before I mad up a test piece (with curve, seems, and window cut out) to try it out. Titebond II worked great with old sheets (old sheet is what I got). I should get paint on it this week.

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Painted canvas Test :SG

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I'll know where I am when I see the tree shake on the map
Buster1903
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Re: Buster's First TTT

Postby Buster1903 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:18 pm

Well it has been a few months. Sorry I didn't keep up with the build posts, but there didn't seem to be any interest :roll:
I finished the build by early May, about 10 weeks total.
Build went well, I'm very happy with how it turned out. I said I would be happy if I could get 2 years out of it but I feel it went together very well and should last much longer.
I stuck to my criteria very well, Out of pocket was under $500, empty weight is 540lb. (It's nice when you can weigh your trailer with a bathroom scale :) ) Fuel mileage has been right at 30mpg mixed driving so far. I have some long trips coming in September, I'm eager to see mpg on full highway travel.
I have taken 5 or 6 trips (WOW I'm loosing count already :shock:) and for the most part it's been a bed in a box. I have gotten stuck in the rain and it's not bad chilling inside. I have been able to cook inside with a backpack stove

As I said at the start this is a testbed and there will be lots of changes and modifications. I bought 2 old military footlockers off craigslist I think they should make good tongue and tail boxes. Battery to run fan and small inverter coming soon. I will be charging it off my car's alternator.

That's it for now

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I'll know where I am when I see the tree shake on the map
Buster1903
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Re: Buster's First TTT

Postby Mr. Lahey » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:34 am

:applause: :thumbsup: Congrats on your finished build!!

You finished on a quick timeline.
Kept the budget low.
Plus have already used it multiple times.

That's a lot of success in a short time. On short money too!! Who could ask for anything more?

Enjoy!!!!
My teardrop camper build journal: viewtopic.php?f=50&t=64721
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Re: Buster's First TTT

Postby retep » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:44 am

Wow well done. Love the simplicity of it. Great job!!!!

On time.
On budget.
What more can you ask for.

Cheers
Peter
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Re: Buster's First TTT

Postby rjgimp » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:13 pm

Buster1903 wrote:My criteria for the build:
1. Cheap --- As much as possible I'm using what I have on hand, lying around, or can scrounge up/craigslist.
2. Cheap --- After reading some Foamie posts around here I might have tried one but I'm just more comfortable working with wood to start.
3. Light --- 2007 Civic
3a. Limit leaks --- (lets face it something is going to leak (ie. window, door) I just want to avoid sleeping in a puddle while water drops tap me in the head) looks like I'm going to try painted canvas here (learned this from a cool new forum I joined) ;)
4. Some thought to aerodynamics --- Front top curve its not much but better than a shoe box. by the way is there a name to this part? If it were a boat I would call it the "prow", or if a trailer has a tongue this would be the "forehead?"
5. Cheap --- Who am I kidding I'm poor. :cry: If I want any money to travel the rest of this year I'm going to have to keep this budget to a bare minimum.


I would have figured #2 and #3 to be nearly mutually exclusive, particularly having a Civic as a tow vehicle. Your final weight is awesome. How did you accomplish that with wood? You certainly didn't frame it with 2x4 lumber and 1/2" plywood skin as some rookies are wont to do. LOL!

That window is fantastic! Is it really a functioning double hung as it appears?

Great final product. Well done!
-Rob


I hope to make it to a Procrastinators Anonymous meeting someday...
just as soon as the steering committee gets around to scheduling one!
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Re: Buster's First TTT

Postby Buster1903 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:25 pm

rjgimp wrote:I would have figured #2 and #3 to be nearly mutually exclusive, particularly having a Civic as a tow vehicle. Your final weight is awesome. How did you accomplish that with wood?

Base is harbor freight 1175lb. trailer I think it 250 lb. by itself.
Sheathing is 3/8 CDX. Framing on side and back walls is 1in by 1.5 or .75in the 3/8 ply is stiff enough to let me space the main studs 24-26in apart. The front curve and top are 1.5in by 1.5 or .75in. The trailer is fully insulated. My neighbor had a big desk set delivered it was packaged with lots of 1in EPS (Styrofoam). And I got some 1in. XPS off craigslist for free. To save $$ and weight I used cardboard for interior paneling :oops: It's temporary but it's working better then one might think.
In the end it is really solid and still light.
I'll know where I am when I see the tree shake on the map
Buster1903
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Re: Buster's First TTT

Postby Buster1903 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:34 pm

rjgimp wrote:That window is fantastic! Is it really a functioning double hung as it appears?

Yes they are, functional double hung windows with screens, I have one on each side. Got them off Amazon Shed Windows 14" X 21"
I'll know where I am when I see the tree shake on the map
Buster1903
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Re: Buster's First TTT

Postby aggie79 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:41 am

Fantastic build! I don’t know how I missed your first post. We had a 2004 C-RV. It pulled out 1100# teardrop well.


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Tom (& Linda)
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