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Old 09-14-2009, 09:35 AM   #1
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Norm's Trailer

I've reached the conclusion that I should build my vision of the ideal trailer for us. I am thinking of posting my specifications on the Sunline site. I recognize that this may not be approriate for the site. If so, people who are interested can drop me an email at my normal email address and I'll keep you updated via my normal email, Normacs@aol.com.

I have started a paper design and built a floor/wall panel as a test. However I would not start construction until next year.

Depending on the response I will post the specifications here tommorrow.

My goal is to build a trailer that can be safely towed by my Honda. The trailer is laid out similar to the Sunline 1950, but with a design goal of 2500 pounds loaded.

If you think this is inappropriate for the site do not hesitate to let me know.

I conclude by saying we love our Sunline. If there were a rig that met our requirements we would buy it. We have looked at many other brands and see nothing that meets our needs.

Thank you,

Norm
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:00 AM   #2
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Hi Norm,

While it may not exactly be appropriate for the site, I think a great deal of us, including myself, would have interest in it.

I'll see what I can do to figure out where to have it. I'm thinking about requesting that Sarah create a "SOB Discussion" or "Other RV Discussion" forum, in which that could be appropriate in.

I think that there's so much knowledge between all of us that you could gain many suggestions based on a posting.

I recently came across a book that outlines how to build an RV to RVIA specs. I tried to put it in a condensed link since it's so long, but it doesn't show up then.

http://www.rvia.org/source/Orders/in...ow=1&PageNum=1

Jon
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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I like the idea, too. There are lots of high tech materials and assembly methods that can be used in a project like this.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
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GO for it Norm! Based on how much interest there is in any discussion of mods, I'm sure many of us will be interested. With Sunline being out of business I think it's totally appropriate to put it here.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
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We vote YES!!!!!

Your posts and mods are always informative and we'd love to see more!
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:33 PM   #6
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Norm

Since you are a Sunliner… . And you are possibly going to make a new camper, well you will always be comparing the new one the Sunline of what you like and don’t like. So what is not Sunline about that???

I know of at least one other very good SOC member thinking of making his own as well.

And those of us who are MHC’s (Mod Happy Campers) (like me ) we would really like to see your new rig. As we can use ideas off of it for ours….

So yes go for it

Now where to put it, The Some Other Brand does not really fit. Yes it can but this is not another brand, it’s a Norm-onda. Sort of like Lode’s, truck camper who has a LodeLine TC. We may end up with a SOB section but that fits pre-manufactured campers.

It fits in a category of it’s own as I’m sure there will be others of us with heavy reconstruction projects, like a few others have already done. It is sort of like a Super Mod section. Or a category of maybe, “New Construction/Reconstruction/Refurbishment”. As those who are in this phase of heavy damage repair it is an undertaking, not a mod, it’s an adventure….

Have fun and take lot’s of pics…

John
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:47 PM   #7
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Norm,

I'm certainly interested.

Earlier this year my younger brother got bitten by the RV bug. The plan was to build a trailer for him from scratch. Unfortunately, his interest has turned to a boat instead. Has me pretty bummed out, I was really looking forward to the build. I had come up with a couple of different floorplans, did a bunch of component sourcing, and did a ton of weight estimates. I also did some "test" work, including bending up some sample siding.

For him, I was designing around a length of approximately 12' bumper to tongue. Wet bath (to save space), small cooktop, small LP fridge, convertible dinette. Target weight was 1800 lbs loaded wet. One floorplan was Que RE inspired, while another was very close to the little Fun Finder.

I'm still considering building a smaller unit for the two of us, to be used on those shorter trips. I like my 2363, but something small and ultra-light would be great for 1 or 2 nights out. Plus, fun to build. I am fairly certain that I will be building our next "big" rig, which I would like to be a 5'er in the neighborhood of 24'.

You should also check out the forums at mikenchell.com. Most of the building going on there is teardrops and the occasional tiny travel trailer, however, there's a few real talented folks over there that do some nice work. Great for ideas and inspiration, plus none of them will tell you that you're crazy for building an RV

- Frank
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:23 PM   #8
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Folks,

I've been thinking about the trailer and have a preliminary spec, floor plan and description all partially written. Maybe another couple of days and I'll be able to post.

Basically we love the 1950 and our layout is similar except our goal is half the weight. We plan on an 18 x 8 foot internal space, slightly bigger than a 1950 and a 21 foot overall length. A difference is that the front of our trailer is not flat but trapazoidal.

As well I have built a test wall, floor or roof panel. A 4x8 panel weighs 20 pounds and consists of two thin sheets of plywood sandwiched (Glued) over a 1.5" thick piece of high density foam with an R value of 7.5. It came out amazingly stiff. The total weicht of all panels for this trailer would weigh 400 pounds.

My next task is to make a test frame.

I wish I could find an aluminum axle but haven't seen one yet.

One of the advantages of building one is the ability to be more creative with storage.

Just to let you know where I am,

Norm
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:46 PM   #9
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I for one look foward to it. I have followed a link on another forum of a guy restoring an old Airstream from ground up. Great reading and a lot for me to learn.
Regards,
MM
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:44 AM   #10
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Specifications

I attempted to include a floor plan but the file will not except it. I'll have to turn it into a picture. Basically this is very similar to the 1950 except it's bigger and a lot lighter. I will send a follow on that is a written description

Norm

Specifications:

Overall length: 21 feet
Inside Length: 18 feet
Outside Width: 8 feet
Inside Width: 7 feet 8 inches

Outside Height: 8 feet
Inside Height: 6 feet 3 inches

Gross Weight: 2500 pounds
Empty Weight: 1800 pounds
Tongue Weight: 200 pounds
Weight goal assumes water tank ½ full, water heater full, Propane full, grey, black tanks empty, Load of clothes, food and misc. @ 400 pounds

Hot Water Tank: 6 gallon, gas and 400 watt electric
Fresh Water Tank: 25 gallons
Built in filter, pressure regulator
Tank hose input is quick disconnect
Quiet Water Pump with bathroom and kitchen switches.

Grey Tank: 30 gallons
Black Tank 15 gallons
Spray Cleaners both tanks with double check valves

Heat: Small Gas Furnace and Electric

Stove: Three Burner with Oven
Microwave: None

Sink: Two Basin Sink with drinking water filter

Bathroom: 32x32 shower
Sink with cabinet
Over head storage cabinet 1x1x2
Medicine chest
Towel Draw 2x1x2
Kitchen:
Stove: 3 Burner with oven
Range hood and light over stove
Refrigerator: 2 Door, 5 cubic feet
Sink: Stainless, two Basin Sink with drinking water filter
Storage: 14x1x1.5 feet 5 door, overhead cabinets
6 draws
Pantry, pullout 1x2x3 feet


Electrical:

Input: 30 Amp, twist lock, 4 breaker box
Breakers: Kitchen breaker, AC breaker, Hot Water and Converter breaker, Breaker Balance
Batteries: Two deep cell Trojan 105 Batteries
Solar Panels: Two 32 volt panels at 5 amps
Inverter: 1200 watts, 2000 peak
Converter: 35 amps with charge wizard fuse block
Outlets: Two outside outlets
Three kitchen outlets
One GFI bathroom outlet
Two sitting area outlets
Two bedroom outlets
Lighting: LED lighting, 10 fixtures

Tires: 15 inch, 5 hole pattern identical to Honda
Manufacturer: Goodyear Marathon ST215 75/R15
Max Loading 1820 pounds/tire, 3640 capacity
Typically at 63% of capacity

Axle Number: Single, springs
Axle Load: 3500 pound
Electric Brakes and auto bearing lubrication

Storage: Three outside compartments:
Rear Compartment: 2x4x1 feet, Two chairs
Side Compartment: 2x6x1 feet, Blocks, Hoses, Cords
Side Compartment: 4x1x1 feet, Tools
Front Compartment: Propane Tank, Grill
Spare Tire: Tongue between frame members

Propane: Single, 20 Gallon Tank
Location front compartment.

Windows: All Jalousie, crank out
Bedroom 2
Kitchen 2
Sitting area 3

Vents: 3 Ceiling Vents with fans, in kitchen, over bed, in bath
Skylight: Over shower


Bedroom: Sleeps 2
Mattress size 48*74, memory foam
Overbed Storage: Cabinets 14 * 1 * 1.5 feet with 4 doors.
Underbed Storage: Draw 2x2x1.5

Sitting Area: Furniture: couch, easy chair, table
Couch: two draws under 1x 2x1.5
Easy chair: small padded rocker
Table: Urethaned wood, normally 2x3, expandable to 2x5
Can seat four with addition of 1 folding chair

Storage: Overhead cabinets, 4 doors 1.5x15x1
Floor Wall cabinet 1 3x1x2

Jacks: Four hand crank jacks, one each trailer corner
Hitch jack, manual

Construction: Frame: Aluminum or light weight steel.

Floor and Walls, Foam Glued Sandwiches
Walls and roof ¼” plywood, 1.5” R7 foam, 1/16th inch ABS plastic
Outside Walls white with painted design, no decals

Floor ¼ inch plywood, 1.5” R7 foam, ¼ inch plywood.
Floor screwed and glued to frame
Floor covered with linoleum


Yellow boxes are overhead cabinets.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:53 AM   #11
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Description

Trailer Description

Our goals are:
1. to have a capable trailer for our 7 month a year go anywhere traveling, that can be towed by our Honda CRV permitting high mileage and low cost; basically a light trailer with a smooth profile,
2. to make a comfortable trailer for two providing a permanent bed, large bath, sitting area and functional kitchen,
3. to provide ample internal and external storage for our life style.

The first goal requires a light weight. We’re planning on 2500 pounds loaded with a hitch weight of 200 pounds. I know this may sound like a low hitch weight to many of you but it’s a higher percentage than our present Sunline.

Many of the contributors to weight are fixed no matter the trailer size or design such as the converter, stove, refrigerator, mattress, axle, tires, water, propane, hot water heater….. True it’s possible to make some size choices, like refrigerator capacity, or number of stove burners. The primary place to save weight is in the frame and shell.

Everything begins with the frame, we are considering two types of frames; a brazed aluminum or a light weight steel design. The floor and walls will consist of glued up sandwiches with a core of 1.5 inch, high density foam with an R factor of 7.5. One side of all panels will be ¼ inch plywood. The type of foam facing will vary depending on location, floor, roof or wall.

The floor panels will have plywood on both sides and be glued and screwed to the frame. Floor panels will interlock and be glued together to make a one piece floor. The wall panels on the inside surface will have lightly stained plywood over the foam; the outside of the wall panels will have a layer of 1/16th inch white or tan plastic. The roof will be similar to the walls, though the inside surface may be white.

The entire floor, wall and roof system will be glued together to form a single piece shell adding to the rigidity. Minus windows and door, the goal is for the floor, walls and roof to weigh 400 pounds.

The second goal requires thinking about the needs of two long distance travelers. Nothing is more important then the bed; and nothing is more important than a comfortable bed. We would love to have a walk around bed like our Motorhome, but have compromised by having walk-around on her side. I have to go over my partner morning and evening, now not a bad option sometimes. Also it means that I make the bed every day which is OK, something she did for decades when we worked.

We have opted for memory foam. We have it in our Sunline, Bounder and at home. For me it has eliminated waking with a sore hip.

The primary need in the bathroom is for a large shower. We have opted for a 32” square shower, not shocking large but comfortably large with both over head shower head and a hand held wand. Storage is always an issue in bathrooms. Our plan is for 6 feet of overhead storage, a large 1.5x1.5x2 foot draw, and a shallow medicine cabinet.

The sitting area is probably the second most used area. I like to lie on a couch when working at the computer and Ginny likes to sit a comfortable chair. Here we emulated the 1950; a couch with a facing easy chair. Between the two is our dining table. It is similar to our Sunline table; 2x3 feet except it can be extended to 2x5 feet to sit four using a folding chair.

The couch or table is not designed for sleeping other than for a single person.

The kitchen is great. The driver’s side kitchen wall is about 6 feet long and contains a stove and refrigerator with a 2 foot counter between them. A slide out pantry is located below the counter section.

The passenger’s side of the kitchen is L shaped with a double sink and 4 feet of clear counter space. Over head cabinets abound.

Our third goal is ample internal and external storage space. Inside there is 40 feet of overhead cabinets, 4 large storage draws 2x1.5x2, a pull out pantry, 2x2x3, a small hanging closet and 8 pullout draws.

Outside there are 4 storage cabinets. The front cabinet is 1.5x3x2.5 and contains the propane tank, blocks, jack handles. The passenger’s side cabinet, actually under the bed, has a 4x2x1.5 foot slide out draw. The rear cabinet, also under the bed is 4x1.5x1.5 slide out draw. The driver’s side outside cabinet 4x1.5x 1.5 providing storage for hoses, power cords.

The trailer inside of the trailer is 18 feet long and 8 feet wide; the outside is 21-22 feet long.

I have assembled a 2x4 foot section of a floor panel and it's strong and simple to build. I have also assembled a frame support system and this will surprise you, using steel wall studs and tracks. The studs will be reinforced in the axle area and hitch area. I have pictures and will forward them.

I should mention that I have built a few Geodesic Domes and recognize it is possible to make very strong structures with minimal materials when every thing is bonded together.

I can't wait until next year. Next post will have pictures.

Norm
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:08 AM   #12
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Norm,

Looking forward to watching this take shape!

Take care,
Lode
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:01 PM   #13
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Help

Is there a process for sticking a drawing in a reply?

Thank you

Norm[/quote][/list]
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:18 PM   #14
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Re: Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
Is there a process for sticking a drawing in a reply?
Norm, paper or computer drawing? If paper, do you have a way to convert the drawing to a .jpg or other graphic format? Maybe a scanner? Or use the digital camera.

If you have it in some kind of drawing program but can't save it in jpg, gif or bmp, there's a handy utility called MWSnap 3 that will capture anything you have on your computer screen and then save it as a .jpg or whatever. http://download.cnet.com/MWSnap/3000...html?tag=mncol Stuff from CNet is pretty safe, I've used and trusted them for many years.

This is a very small sample of what MWSnap can do. I captured this on Valterra's website for helping EMD_Driver with his black tank problems. In this case I just grabbed a small portion of the screen, but you get the idea.


I am really looking forward to seeing some of your ideas. I have some hands-on experience with Structural Insulated Panels or SIP's which is what you are planning on using for the walls and (presumably) the roof.
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