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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:26 pm 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
Have you thought about installing interior and/or exterior speakers? I really like the option of being outside and listening to music or satellite radio. It might not be as important to you, but if audio speakers is something that you think would enhance your camping experience, then this is the time to run the wires, mount the speakers, and decide on a head unit.

We thought about it, but decided not to. My wife and I are both introverts, so we especially like the quiet of camping and the sounds of the woodland creatures and the wind. That's not to say we don't listen to music. She has a nice set of Bluetooth speakers that would work great in a camping setting if we wanted to have music on sometimes.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:32 pm 
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The second coat of urethane is on as of this afternoon! It sure does make the wood grain look beautiful.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:47 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
The second coat of urethane is on as of this afternoon! It sure does make the wood grain look beautiful.

Image



that outlet should be GFCI, unless there's one first on the line else where or you installed a GFCI circuit fault interrupter.

also, im not sure about outlets on trailers and their water impermeability... I assume you've done that research though.

also, inverters usually dislike GFCIs, so just install regular outlets on that. I blew up a few inverters in my days.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:01 pm 
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PALiftedKK wrote:
that outlet should be GFCI, unless there's one first on the line else where or you installed a GFCI circuit fault interrupter.

also, im not sure about outlets on trailers and their water impermeability... I assume you've done that research though.

also, inverters usually dislike GFCIs, so just install regular outlets on that. I blew up a few inverters in my days.

Thanks, but no worries... There is a CGFI outlet at the front end of the circuit, as well as a 15 amp fuse. Those are the first things in line after the shore power inlet.

The pure sine wave inverter has a built in CGFI outlet of its own. That way, no matter which direction the AC is coming from (shore or inverter), there is a ground fault outlet protecting the circuit.

The outlet you see is missing its weatherproof cover, which I took off for the polyurethaning. It is designed as an outdoor outlet and bought through an RV supply company.

Thanks for your concern though! It is good to at least attempt to keep people from doing stupid dangerous crap... :dead:

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:12 pm 
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good to see its built in! Id recommend to tare the front housing off and solder the wires on and not to use an extension cable. just more permanent that way. :2cents:

are the outlets openings (anywhere) siliconed to prevent water infiltration? that's the weakest point for water to enter into.

EDIT: ogh, I didn't know you bought a pure sine wave inverter.... :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:55 pm 
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Tonight I measured, cut, and drilled the frame pieces for the rear door. Very satisfying indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:57 pm 
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PALiftedKK wrote:
good to see its built in! Id recommend to tare the front housing off and solder the wires on and not to use an extension cable. just more permanent that way. :2cents:

are the outlets openings (anywhere) siliconed to prevent water infiltration? that's the weakest point for water to enter into.

EDIT: ogh, I didn't know you bought a pure sine wave inverter.... :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon: :rockon:

Thanks for the suggestions! I haven't sealed around the outlet boxes yet. The plates that go on them come with a foam gasket that goes between the plate and the aluminum siding. I don't know how waterproof that would be all by itself.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:37 pm 
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Good news! I will be picking up a set of 4 GMC 8-lug rims tomorrow after work. The rims come with well-worn (but usable for a trailer) Toyo Open Country A/T tires. They are 265/75R16's, so are just a hair taller than the tires on my Jeep (245/75R16). The difference between the civilian tires and the old military ones is these tires are 32's vs. the military tires which are 36's, so the trailer will sit about 2 inches lower. That is fine with me, as the deck is already 2 feet off the ground!

Photo credits go to Jim G. From Craigslist.
Image

These tires don't have much tread left, but do hold air and are not dry rotted.
Image

Because these rims are 16's, the Duratracs currently on my Jeep will be able to spend their retirement on these rims later on.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:15 am 
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I picked up the tires last night and at least 3 of them look pretty good, which is all I need!

We had a day-long 1-2 inches of rain event yesterday, and unfortunately water got through my tarp. There are probably holes in it that developed from putting it up and taking it down over sharp corners. The whole roof got soaked under the tarp, and there was some drippage through the fan hole and window frames. There is not as much carnage as I would have thought, because of the two coats of spar urethane on there. 99% of the trailer is ok, but two coats is definitely not enough, because there were a couple of places that water seeped through into the plywood. One was on the roof itself, and the other was through the end grain on the sill of the starboard window cut-out. I had some water also come through the front window frames and soak under the foundation from the inside of the trailer too, but there doesn't seem to be any bending of the wood there.

My solution was to towel up as much water as I could get, then fire up the compressor and blow water out of the joints between the wood where it had pooled. That worked to get the free water out, but there is still some water that soaked into the wood itself. I'm hoping a day in the sun will help to flatten out some of those areas (especially the roof). I enlisted the help of a 45 lb kettle bell to encourage the roof to flatten out where it had bubbled up.

Image

So what are it's chances, doc? Any chance the water damage to the sanded pine ply will flatten out reasonably well?

I squirted some Titebond II wood glue into the separation in the window frame, then clamped it tight. I think this wood will recover.

Image

I really need to get the aluminum on soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:41 am 
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Marine grade plywood is the best for not warping or being impacted by moisture. Other types of plywood is more of a gamble in terms of resiliency to moisture. From my experience, regular plywood is more likely to swell up or buckle when it gets wet. I think you will be fine, just don't let it get wet again!

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:28 pm 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
Marine grade plywood is the best for not warping or being impacted by moisture. Other types of plywood is more of a gamble in terms of resiliency to moisture. From my experience, regular plywood is more likely to swell up or buckle when it gets wet. I think you will be fine, just don't let it get wet again!

I had a downward bulge adjacent to that upward bulge in the plwood roof, so the kettle bell wouldn't have been enough on its own to make the roof lay flat. On the advice of someone on the Tiny Trailers forum, here's what I did:

Outside:
Image

Inside:
Image

There is still a little upward bulge near the edge, which you can see as a gap between the plywood and the side roof beam. I stuck the 45 lb kettle bell over that in hopes that it settles. I am 99% happy with this solution. Will fill the holes in the roof with PL Premium once everything dries straight.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:27 pm 
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Here's the difference:

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:00 pm 
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Today I beat the rain until about 3:00, then the thunderstorms arrived. I had enough time to make a door!

Image

I also experimented with different ways of making my own clamp rings for those windows (like the one you see in the door). It's definitely possible. I made a prototype wooden trim piece with my router that has a lip that catches the aluminum window and holds it in. Those pieces of trim can be screwed into the wooden window frame from the inside. More detail on that later.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:07 pm 
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I practice installed the door latch. This took some careful work with the router, jig saw, and drill. Glad I didn't try it for the first time on the actual door!

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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:03 pm 
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Here are my prototype clamp rings, version 1.0.

Image

Image

The outer plywood square is the same thickness (1/4 inch) as the inner door/ wall skin, so imagine that it is continuous over the whole surface.

The J-shaped wooden clamp rings hook over a lip on the inside of the aluminum window, and can be sandwiched in between the wall skin and the window, and secured in place with screws. The tightness, or how much it draws the window in, can be adjusted by changing the thickness of the wooden clamp ring, and the screws pull it (and the window) inward.

Image

These two little prototype pieces actually hold the window in place all by themselves, at least here in the workshop. For the final version that will experience the rigors of the road, I will make a longer strip of wood that fits each straight window edge, so it's clamping every surface except the rounded corners. I guess I would make 4 cosmetic wooden corner pieces to hide the aluminum window corners, so it would look consistent from the inside.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:18 pm 
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It's looking really good. Are you going to put two vents on your trailer? Or, will one of the windows be screened? If you had two vents, one fan could suck cool air in while the other pushes warm air out. Also, do you have plans to install a vent cover?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:21 am 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
It's looking really good. Are you going to put two vents on your trailer? Or, will one of the windows be screened? If you had two vents, one fan could suck cool air in while the other pushes warm air out. Also, do you have plans to install a vent cover?

Thanks, Diesel. It is good to be able to figure out some of these details like how to install doors and windows, since they have been on my mind. Nothing like a good rainy day in the shop for creative solutions.

I have one vent fan, near the front of the trailer, and the rear roof is reserved for the 140 watt solar panel, which takes up quite a bit of space. The 40" side windows do open (hinged at the top) and they have screens, so I think airflow will be ok. The windows on the front and rear of the trailer are fixed and do not open. That's by design, as rain and spray hit the hardest in these locations when driving.

Speaking of solar panels, I see from your signature you have a 160 watt panel on your Arctic Fox trailer. How do you like it? Can you tell me how you mounted it and how you passed the wires through the roof? I am wondering whether to mount mine flat on 1" feet for simplicity, or to get a manually tilting frame that I can raise and lower to optimize sun-catching. I'm also wondering about the best way to route the power cables indoors that would be least likely to leak or stress the cables out over time. Are you using 12 or 14 AWG wire for your system?

Thanks for the info, and for following!

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:38 am 
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As long as you have side screened windows, the fantastic fans will work nicely. Those fans are so powerful that they will actually bog down when there isn't air flow to help push and pull air. I'm guessing that your fan is reversible? Did you get the built-in rain sensor or are you putting a vent cover over the fantastic fan?

lfhoward wrote:
Speaking of solar panels, I see from your signature you have a 160 watt panel on your Arctic Fox trailer. How do you like it? Can you tell me how you mounted it and how you passed the wires through the roof? I am wondering whether to mount mine flat on 1" feet for simplicity, or to get a manually tilting frame that I can raise and lower to optimize sun-catching. I'm also wondering about the best way to route the power cables indoors that would be least likely to leak or stress the cables out over time. Are you using 12 or 14 AWG wire for your system?


Northwood (Arctic Fox) has a solar package option, therefore our unit already came wired for solar. The only upgrade that I made was going from the factory 120 watt panel to a 160 watt panel. I have plenty of room on the roof for multiple panels, but our dealer said that the 160 watt panel should do everything that we need it to do. And so far he has been right. All of our interior and exterior lights are LED, so I'm sure that helps. The panel is mounted flat on the roof. So far, we've only used the onboard generator to run the rooftop A/C unit while boondocking.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:15 am 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
As long as you have side screened windows, the fantastic fans will work nicely. Those fans are so powerful that they will actually bog down when there isn't air flow to help push and pull air. I'm guessing that your fan is reversible? Did you get the built-in rain sensor or are you putting a vent cover over the fantastic fan?

I got the three speed reversible model, but not the rain sensing auto-closing lid. If it rains, I'll close it manually I guess. When you say vent cover, are you talking about the tall-ish boxy cover that permanently fastens to the roof and goes over the top of the whole unit?

Today's progress included making the two side utility doors and routing out their latch holes, as well as cutting more styrofoam insulation to size and installing it in the doors and walls. I'm maybe halfway done with the insulation now. I just keep chipping away at installing the insulation when I have small snippets of time.

As I am building these doors I am aware that the door jambs need attention next. There needs to be an interior lip that the doors will close against. The wood for the lip around the back door could also help reinforce the back wall, and make it less likely to stress under the weight of the door when it's open.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:13 am 
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lfhoward wrote:
When you say vent cover, are you talking about the tall-ish boxy cover that permanently fastens to the roof and goes over the top of the whole unit?


Yes. We have the MaxxAir covers for our fantastic fan(s). There is a fan in the bathroom and one over the bed. While one is pulling air, the other is pushing air. It's like having your own air conditioning system. The fantastic fan over the bed has a built-in thermostat. This means that the fan will automatically increase or decrease speed to maintain the desired temperature. Since the coach has a vaulted ceiling, we use a remote control to regulate speed, temp, and power while laying in bed. What is nice about the roof vent cover is that you can drive down the road with your vent open. This helps keep your unit cool in the summer months, which would certainly be helpful in your case.

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