Many Many Questions...

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Many Many Questions...

Postby jamorgan3777 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:03 pm

Hello everyone! I have been lurking for a long time and now am ready to take the plunge and build a camper. I am looking to build something with an offroad asthetic, but will not likely need high ground clearance or all steel construction. The first set of questions I would like to ask is around surface treatments for the walls and roof.

I really like the idea of rhino-liner/line-x/monsterseal etc for the exterior. I am worried about applying it to plywood though as I have seen some horror stories about cracking, flaking, etc. I am also considering skinning with aluminum or Filon and then bed-liner coating over that. I want to go with a grey/black color theme.

The next set of questions is around edge trim. How do you trim between the roof and the side wall? I dont like the idea of the "anneal and bend" aluminum channel. seems like there should be premade radiused pieces with different diameters. I have seen some of the bed liner covered builds with no trim between the roof and the wall.

Finally, I am considering building my own trailer, am I crazy? I would be teaching myself to weld and am not scared to buy a set of quality tools and practice, but is it crazy to think I can go from 0 to safe square trailer in a reasonable amount of time? I am very skilled in woodworking/building, and understand the process of MIG welding, but have not jumped in yet.

Thanks for any comments or advice. Below is my current incarnation of the build. Its 5' wide and 10' long
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Re: Many Many Questions...

Postby wysedav » Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:09 pm

I welded up my trailer. With good prep, a little studying and practice it’s totally reasonable to expect to e able to weld up your own frame. Aluminum sheets and trim are expensive, about 800. Seems like a waste to paint it. I’d sheet in plywood and fiberglass it. Then paint however you want

Good luck and have fun.
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Re: Many Many Questions...

Postby tony.latham » Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:16 am

I really like the idea of rhino-liner/line-x/monsterseal etc for the exterior. I am worried about applying it to plywood though as I have seen some horror stories about cracking, flaking, etc.


Fiberglassing plywood is fairly straight forward. Especially if you do the walls on the bench.

Image



And that of course will seal the wood and keep it from checking under a bed liner.

I dont like the idea of the "anneal and bend" aluminum channel.


Trim that's made for this purpose is dead soft and doesn't need to be annealed.

Image

I am considering building my own trailer, am I crazy?


I think people are crazy not to consider this. MIG welding is easy to pick up. There are numerous excellent videos on Youtube on how to MIG weld. Watch a bunch of videos, scrounge some scrap steel and you'll be well on your way.

You'll end up with a better chassis as a foundation.

Image

The curve on the rear of your drawing looks a bit tight for bending 1/8" Baltic to me.

But that's my six-bits. :thinking:

Tony
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Re: Many Many Questions...

Postby jamorgan3777 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:37 am

Awesome replies, thanks a bunch! Next step is learn to weld! :twisted:
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Re: Many Many Questions...

Postby schnottus » Sun Aug 28, 2022 10:20 am

Dont be discouraged from making your own frame, its not as difficult as people seem to think and a very satisfying process turning that pile of steel into a functional trailer. Honestly i think desgning the frame well and choosing an appropriate thickness of each member is more challenging than the welding. Steel is very forgiving to learn on, just do some scrap pieces and make sure you have good penetration and a strong joint. The thickness of steel used on trailer frames (mostly 1/8in or a little less) is a little on the thin side, careful not to overheat and blow a hole through it.

Fiberglass over plywood and then painted is the best cladding in my opinion. Very durable, easily repaired, and fairly cost effective. I avoided the trim issue by fiberglassing all corner seams but you have to put some thought into how the panels are attached and the seams reinforced (probably wouldnt do that if I was new to fiberglass).
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