Author Topic: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion  (Read 230797 times)

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Offline MountainDon

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Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« on: January 21, 2014, 04:35:16 PM »
I thought I'd start a new thread on this since we went through major changes since the original conception. We are starting with a 6x12 deep vee nosed cargo trailer and want to end up with a travel trailer of sorts. The general plan is to be basic and functional rather than have all the frills and be fancy. It is not all that big but that is a part of the point of the exercise.

Today I brought the trailer home and parked it beside the garage. It has 6'6" headroom inside, for now. That will decrease as it gets insulated. Photos of our new baby...

Head on view of the deep vee. Six feet across the width, 4 feet from there to point. Front jack is a swivel mount type.




front quarter view




Interior view, looking back from door in vee. The wheel wells are welded sheet steel. The factory followed the directive to not install the 'trim' strips as the interior plywood will be removed to insulate against the skin. The fasteners that secure the 3/8 plywood to the wall framing are real screws. Easy to remove with a drill driver.




View looking forward from the open rear doors.




Exterior rear view




15" radials showing the slim fenders.




The previously posted floorplan may have some refinements, but it will be pretty much only minor adjustments.



Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 04:58:37 PM »
 [cool].  I thought that you were going to make a teardrop trailer?

Offline bayview

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 05:42:41 PM »
MtDon:

I like the trailer . . .    Especially with the front door.   I had never seen one before.

If you are open to suggestions . . .
   Consider a “fold-out” couch where the bed is.   You would have a place to sit and then open it into a bed.   And, make the various components so they can be easily removed in case you need to haul cargo.

Good Luck with the build.

/.
    . . . said the focus was safety, not filling town coffers with permit money . . .

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 07:36:16 PM »
[cool].  I thought that you were going to make a teardrop trailer?

The teardrop grew up.  ;D   More or less we decided that if we were going to make something we wanted to be able to have a shower, however small it would be. Plus stand up room, as small as that may be, for rainy days.



We spent a lot of time going round in circles over the bed; queen size fixed in place vs all sorts of folding, lifting, collapsing ideas. Maybe we're lazy, spoiled or something... but we don't like 'converting' beds into tables, etc. We had that years ago with the class C we had and before that with a Boler. (A Boler is like a Scamp / Casita. Ours was only a 10 footer; 1970-something.   :D  )

This is an exercise in many compromises.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 07:53:29 PM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline containercabin

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 04:00:53 AM »
This is an exercise in many compromises.

That's an art. Compromise.

Looks like a brand new one! really nice. I will take many notes of what you do as I plan to make one myself.

I have so many questions but I will just sit tight and enjoy the ride for a while  c*

Good luck Don! I would have been happy to give you a hand but you are "only" 2000 miles away! One day  ;)

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 01:59:46 PM »
Picked up some 1" and 2" polyiso insulation.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 02:57:10 PM »
Some progress, or proof that I have been working on the project.

The first layer of polyiso insulation (1") has been cut and inserted / sealed in place; ceiling and walls. Voids filled with great stuff.







That's a 21 gallon waste (gray water) collection tank for those times we are in or close enough to civilization to not be able to let it out on the ground. No black water as we will be using a portable toilet when there is nothing available in the camping area.



It is just sitting there on wood clamped to the frame to get an idea of how things will go together. Note, that is NOT where the shower will be located. See previous floorplan; (it will be located on the left partly over the section where the gray water tank is located.


FWIW, the documents from the purchase indicate the shipping weight of the trailer was 1050 pounds.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline North Sask

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 07:40:59 AM »
It looks like you will be adding a big window. Did you build the window frame yourself? Are you planning to install an RV window in that space?
It would be greatly appreciated if you stopped by my thread and left your two cents.
Great Northern Saskatchewan Adventure...Round 2

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 09:27:51 AM »
RV window yes.  I had it framed in when the trailer was built; less trouble for me and at a fair price.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline new land owner

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 11:08:18 AM »
Nice project, can't wait to see how it turns out.

Online firefox

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 01:08:50 PM »
Kitty obviously approves. What more would you want?
Bruce & Robbie
MVPA 23824

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2014, 02:44:10 PM »
Todays progress.
#1
The Fantastic fan is installed along with one of the Fantastic Ultra Breeze Vent cover.



#2  The window. I cut a hole in the wall for the window. This was easy. With the window opening framed in with steel already I was able to cut from the interior. I drilled a start hole and used the pointed blade to get a cut started. I used the Sawzall with a 24 tpi metal cutting blade. The steel made a nice guide. I stopped where the corner radius started and switched to cutting from the exterior with a 32 tpi blade in the jig saw. Here's the view of the hole from the inside.



Now a shot with the window in place...



The view from the exterior...




I also made mounting support rails for the gray water tank between frame rails, but I did not take a photo yet.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 03:18:49 PM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2014, 02:42:57 PM »
An update. The rear section of the floor...



I did that this morning and took this picture part way through.  The frame spaces have been infilled with tight fitting 2" polyisocyanurate. Some of the frame cross members are channel, some are 2x4 rectangular tube. Where there was a channel the foam was fitted into the C-section. I used pieces of 2x4 ripped to fit tightly under the polyiso in the channel. Screws and construction adhesive was used to hold the wood in place. Other section were screwed and glued to the other cross members places to support the polyiso up flush with the frame top.

Then a second layer of 2" polyiso was cut and fitted to fir on top of the frame. Polyiso is rated to be able to support 20 PSI under a floor or under concrete; my cals indicate there should be no issues here.  Then the 3/4 plywood that the trailer came with was refitted and screwed down with new longer screws. It was cut sort of loosey goosey, but I'll fill and cover those gaps when more insulation is applied to the inner side of the walls.  For the curious let it be noted I cut the foam on the table saw or with a hand held circular saw finishing the cuts with a knife as necessary.

I'm working my way forward to the front. The front will have a 1" layer of foam on top of the frame with the 3/4 plywood on top of that. The rear section will be under the bed so there will be no step up/down to trip over. It is a compromise for headroom where we will be able to stand. The floor insulation will be thicker under the fridge, shower and the counter space in the front left of the vee.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2014, 04:01:57 PM »
Removed the front portion of the floor... 



... and then insulated between frame members, then polyiso on top and put the plywood back.  Didn't think to take progress photos.  I also installed more wire loom than the factory did... the split variety with silicone tape binding.


I also built this thing. Any guesses?



How it is mounted. Not visible are the welded angle brackets on the far side of the frame members... just the bolt heads showing.


« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 04:44:46 PM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline UK4X4

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2014, 08:00:30 AM »
Don you may find some inspiration here under the trailer section and the truck/ camper sections too as there are lots of similar box/van/trailer conversions

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/forums/42-Expedition-Trailers

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2014, 10:24:28 AM »
Thanks UK4X4
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 06:03:43 AM »
Will that LP gas bracket get crushed or hinder you from making tight left turns? Design looks pretty good nevertheless, I'm not sure if I would want one right there which "might" be in the bumper path while turning.

Not a chance of being hit by the tow vehicle. That was checked out before any metal was cut.  Not unless I buy a wider vehicle and that has pretty much a zero chance of happening.

It is always interesting to see the different treatments with CTC's. Yours looks like it suits the purpose well.

Nice scenic photographs too.  :) :)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 08:15:31 PM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 06:29:51 PM »
Did some more of the rough in 12 VDC wiring today.

Also back to interior foam work. Here I glued a section of 1" polyiso in the vee nose ceiling area. Props are to keep it in place while the polyurethane glued sets.



Tomorrow some more if all goes well.   

Got another part (accessory) today; probably the only guy in the country who had an A/C delivered today.   :)  A GE 5050 BTU with remote control. Yeah, I know, a remote in a 6x12 ???  The A/C will be in the rear over the bed; it'll save walking on the bed.  ;) 
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2014, 02:59:50 PM »
yet another ceiling insulation panel...



... with a bunch of bracing till the glue sets.


And the water heater, 6 gallon Suburban, because it fits between the wall ribs with no modifications unlike the Atwood that is wider than the wall rib bays.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2014, 03:18:39 PM »
Don I didn't pay attention to the shell on whether the wall and ceiling have metal ribs to attach you finished interior wall covering with.  And BTW what are you going to use? Something like shower stall material?

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2014, 04:00:00 PM »
Yes John, the roof and walls have 1" deep steel ribs. The walls are a Z-shape.

The ceiling plan is 1" of polyiso between all ribs. Then 1" of polyiso under that all over. Selected areas will have an additional 2" of polyiso. Why the difference? The front area where we can stand will have 1" and that = more headroom. Where we can not stand it gets the extra polyiso.

Walls have 1" polyiso between all ribs. Then the 3/8 plywood will be re-attached to the ribs. Over that 2" of polyiso will be glued to the plywood. Over that will be the FRP shower wall stuff in the shower and kitchen areas. 1/8" or 1/4" plywood will be glued over the foam elsewhere.

The tricky thing about the foam overt the ribs is how to secure anything like a shelf or a cabinet. I'm solving that by not using anything that would normally hang on a wall. There will be a counter on a base cabinet with some shelves that will be built like a hutch; supported by the lower cabinet. There will be a horizontal wood strip embedded under the foam directly attached to the metal ribs to stabilize it.

The polyiso is all foil faced on both sides. That makes glue an issue. Polyurethane glues work well enough. The foil to foil bond with the polyurethane glue between is at least as strong as the manufactured panels foil to polyiso sandwich bond. That's not saying a lot I guess, but foil faced foam polyurethaned to other foil faced foam seems to be able to support its own weight in other trailers.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2014, 05:46:51 PM »
I was thinking something along these lines.  It is available in different thicknesses.  Similar to what they use in car wash bays. 

http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/prod1;;pg103140w_103140w.html

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2014, 07:17:25 PM »
Signboard... also known under the name CoroPlast.  Many of the electioneering signs are made from it. I guess it should take paint well.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2014, 06:56:57 AM »
One progress photo.



The 3/8 plywood has been reattached to the metal wall ribs in the rear section only so far.

Furring strips added to rear section of roof, attached to metal ribbing frames. Infilled with  1/2" polyiso, glued. Then covered with 2" polyiso, glued, plus I used 2" EIFS washers and screws to affix the foam to the furring strips.

EIFS washers, nylon...


As well 2" polyiso has been glued to the wall plywood, as well as having a few EIFS washers and screws.

I have found that polyurethane glue works well for gluing foam to foam.  Still messy stuff but it is a stronger bond than the foam.

Cut outs in the doors are for an A/C unit (right side of image, left of trailer), and a future window. Hinges at top of doors had to be relocated upwards. The hollow doors are almost completely filled with foam in a can at this point. The door with the A/C will be receiving a steel frame reinforcement.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 07:22:09 AM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Don & Karen's Cargo Trailer to Camper Conversion
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2014, 08:31:09 AM »
Don Acetone is great when using polyurethane glue to clean up.   Also not sure whether you mentioned or not and I wasn't paying attention about a power source.  Are you going to have a genset system or solar or combination.  If you are going with a quiet genset will there be a storage area or will you just haul in the towing vehicle?


Sorry for the edit. I didn't change anything but I screwed up a "make a quote"... too many tools I can access and I goofed. So I fixed it but the system won't let me hide.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 02:10:46 PM by MountainDon »

 

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