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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:33 pm 
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I have been following this with great interest from the start, with little to offer except for my appreciation of what you are doing.

That said, I really don't like the wooden "J" clamps for the windows. It seems to me that wood is particularly ill suited to exert force in that shape due to the grain structure. You may want to consider using a strip of aluminum U or J channel in the wood groove or just make your J an L to hide the aluminum.

Looking forward to your continued progress, thanks for taking the time to document and share.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:57 pm 
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Thanks for following my build!

To tell you the truth I'm not completely sold on the J-clamp design either, for the same reason. I was thinking that with enough surface area holding the window on, the force on the wood at any one point would be lower, and it would be less likely to snap. However, I am not sure what to do with the curved corners in this design.

I have been thinking that it might be possible to build a nicer looking and better functioning clamp ring out of plywood, layered and glued together. That way, the curved corners of the window can be covered and be part of the design, and there is no chance of wood snapping along the grain. I will keep you updated.

I was at HD today looking at their aluminum L-bracket and channel selection. They didn't have anything particularly well-suited, and aluminum is very expensive there. If I can make my own clamp rings and have them be reliable and safe, I am all for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:28 pm 
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Not much in the way of construction has occurred since my last post, but I've ordered/acquired a good number of parts in preparation for skinning.

- Stainless steel screws
- Butyl tape
- Sikaflex 221
- Rubber inserts for my aluminum RV edge moldings
- Tee Nuts and bolts for door hinges and latches
- Solar panel rack
- Solar panel wiring and fuses
- Lunette lock (so no one can easily tow my trailer away while I'm not home)

I'm waiting for a nice day (24 hours without rain) combined with a little free time. The next step is to put another layer of urethane sealer on the trailer, since it leaked with only two.

With an hour here and there to work on it this week, I cut out and installed a few more pieces of wall insulation.

Looking forward to installing doors, windows, and aluminum skin. Hopefully soon.

Cheers,
Lauren

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:03 pm 
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Some progress this afternoon!

We have a back door with a latch and hinges! (You can see I ran out of urethane on the door after giving the trailer a third coat.)
Image

The hinges are held on with tee-nuts, recessed slightly into the wood. The interior skin will cover these up.
Image

Clamp ring update!
Image

I'm making them out of plywood using the same principle in my prototype, but this will look much better. I think it will hold the window much better too, as there is more surface area holding the window on, and no grain in the wrong direction that can snap off.
Image

Here's a close up of the wood pieces that will hold the window by its interior lip. A router is amazing tool.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:15 am 
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Nice work. Your attention to detail is superb. And I agree, routers are very helpful, especially considering that they are relatively a cheap tool and their uses are endless.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:11 pm 
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Thanks! :D

The trim ring test-fits well. It will be permanently installed after skinning the door with aluminum and backing it with 1/4 inch thick material that matches the interior of the trailer. (We haven't picked out what we want on the inside walls yet.)

There are two trim rings left to build, for the front two windows. Those window frames are different (deeper) than the frame on the back door, so I will need to modify my trim ring design slightly. I will keep you updated!

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:34 pm 
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just going to put this here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBRuvwZZQrI

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:14 pm 
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Ryan, that's awesome. I would like to get one of those Me-Ter devices for the Tracer to keep track of battery capacity, as well as solar panel power status. It would be very useful to put on the "dashboard" of my camper. I plan to have an interior panel near the front of the trailer with 12 Volt power outlets, household AC outlets, the remote inverter switch, switches for reading lights, and vents for the eventual HVAC system. I think I saw those Tracer meters on Amazon for around $40 when I was researching solar. Did you find yours for less?

I like your DIY overhead console. Looks really good, and useful too! Nice work.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:30 pm 
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Bought for 36 bucks. Shipping was next day for me.

Luckily the port is an rj-45 so it's universal. Your not limited to having the display in your trailer. You can put it in your jeep if you want to get that serious. Other then displaying voltage and charging status, the thing is useless. I've just wanted the display for 3 years so I bought it.

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M1101 Trailer Build- BUILD IN PROGRESS / 70% http://www.lostjeeps.com/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=83940


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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:25 pm 
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Today's progress:

Hung all three doors and cut out slots in the door jambs for the latches
Built the 1/2 inch interior molding that the utility doors close against (will put weatherstripping on it)
Transferred the three batteries to the trailer and rigged up the DC electrical system (I have interior lights now)
Closed and locked the doors for the night!

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:04 pm 
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Some pics from today:
(It was dark out when I remembered to take them, but now I have ELECTRICITY! :D )

Rear door jamb and threshold with 1/2 inch lip:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Side utility door, also with a 1/2 inch lip around the opening:

Image

Image

Some interior shots:

The fantastic vent fan is hooked up and works great!
Image

~240 amp hour battery bank:
Image

Left side utility cabinet (battery charger, AC inverter, DC fuse bank, automatic transfer switch):
Image

Right side utility cabinet (Tracer MPPT solar charge controller - no panel hooked up yet, but green light indicates charged batteries):
Image

Light switches for the overhead LED's and porch LED:
Image

And my trailer looking like Captain Nemo's Nautilus after dark. :twisted:
Image

I wonder if my build needs a code name? M116A3 isn't exactly easy to say. How about The Nautilus?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:01 pm 
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Didn't know the batteries were going in the cabin :juggle: not sure about that though... Maybe complicate things a little more by making a sort of simple circuit to turn on the ceiling fan a few hours out of the day every day to evacuate the gas that may build up. :2cents:

Man, that tracer display would be great with your set up!!!!!!!!!!


Starting to get real good man. :POPCORN: :POPCORN: :POPCORN: :POPCORN:

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:21 pm 
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Thanks! I am really excited about building it! Even moreso now that it's this far along.

I had the windows cranked open and the ceiling vent fan on while I was charging the batteries today. What you see is a temporary setup. Once I get all the wiring squared away, I can put the tops on those vented battery boxes. They will all vent to the outside. Each kit came with a hose and waterproof vent insert for the exterior wall. I am planning on drilling through the wall to install the vents later this week. The vents will be on the sides, as the front will get the equivalent of 65 mph horizontal rain when I'm on the highway. The middle box will vent to one side also, connecting into one of the other box's hoses via a T-junction. I'll also use straps to hold the battery boxes in place, and there will be a cabinet built around them.

Hey, do you put any kind of mat under your batteries just in case of spill? If you use sealed gel batteries there would be no need, but mine are the flooded kind. My battery boxes have a hole in the bottom so air can flow up through the box and out through the hose attached to the lid. But I can imagine if the batteries spilled, the battery acid would leak down through that hole and pool on the floor.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:30 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
Thanks! I am really excited about building it! Even moreso now that it's this far along.

I had the windows cranked open and the ceiling vent fan on while I was charging the batteries today. What you see is a temporary setup. Once I get all the wiring squared away, I can put the tops on those vented battery boxes. They will all vent to the outside. Each kit came with a hose and waterproof vent insert for the exterior wall. I am planning on drilling through the wall to install the vents later this week. The vents will be on the sides, as the front will get the equivalent of 65 mph horizontal rain when I'm on the highway. The middle box will vent to one side also, connecting into one of the other box's hoses via a T-junction. I'll also use straps to hold the battery boxes in place, and there will be a cabinet built around them.

Hey, do you put any kind of mat under your batteries just in case of spill? If you use sealed gel batteries there would be no need, but mine are the flooded kind. My battery boxes have a hole in the bottom so air can flow up through the box and out through the hose attached to the lid. But I can imagine if the batteries spilled, the battery acid would leak down through that hole and pool on the floor.


I have a metal pan holding my boxes in place. That's a lot better layout then my bungies I used to have.

If there is a vent or opening in the battery box, no need for anything else. And if the batteries do leak, it's just pure h2o. Now, if the battery is dead and you flip it over, that's pure acid. So I wouldn't worry too much about spillage. The charge controller maintains the batteries VERY well and will not cook your battery.

And isn't the purpose of a battery box to contain the battery and unlikely spillage? I'd have to see pictures of what your thinking of with enclosing the battery cabnet. But if it's what I think it is, epoxy will be needed.

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M1101 Trailer Build- BUILD IN PROGRESS / 70% http://www.lostjeeps.com/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=83940


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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:33 am 
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I have 3 of these.

Image

So I'm not worried about making the cabinet around the batteries air tight.

The boxes have a hole in the bottom though. Basically it's a circular hole the same size as the vent hose at the top.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:43 am 
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Again, your progress looks good. The only danger with installing the vents towards the front of the trailer will be keeping it water tight. You may have already covered this before, but why not save much needed interior space and mount your batteries on the tongue?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:15 pm 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
Again, your progress looks good. The only danger with installing the vents towards the front of the trailer will be keeping it water tight. You may have already covered this before, but why not save much needed interior space and mount your batteries on the tongue?

The vent hoses will come out ports on the sides of the trailer, not the front, for the reason you stated.
I'm planning on using the tongue for the HVAC system (ClimateRight 2500 heating and cooling unit) and there will be HVAC hoses that enter the cabin through the front.

Cheers,
Lauren

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:29 pm 
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lauren, some people may say different things about this, but for the switches, you can use a regular switch. just keep the amperage below 5 amps. if its above, a relay can be used.

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M1101 Trailer Build- BUILD IN PROGRESS / 70% http://www.lostjeeps.com/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=83940


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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:59 pm 
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PALiftedKK wrote:
lauren, some people may say different things about this, but for the switches, you can use a regular switch. just keep the amperage below 5 amps. if its above, a relay can be used.

Are you referencing the light switches on the wall by the back door?

Image

The overhead and outdoor LED's are well below 1 amp, so there is a good margin of safety there. I have reading lamps that are the incandescent kind, but they are 1 amp each. I might use a switch to toggle a cheap volt meter on and off, if I don't end up getting the fancier solar display panel. The fan on the ceiling draws 3 amps on high, and has its own integrated switches. The only other switches I can imagine needing might turn the 12 volt power outlets on and off, and those would need relays because they are 15 amp. But I may just leave those outlets hot all the time, as long as they have covers or something always in them like a USB charger.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:44 pm 
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Correct. You would have a better switch selection if you use 120v switches. But 5 amps max on the switches. Dc disconecting arcs at a lower amperage. Unless you can find an inexpensive dc quick disconnect (fast disconnecting switch).

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M1101 Trailer Build- BUILD IN PROGRESS / 70% http://www.lostjeeps.com/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=83940


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