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Old 04-18-2010, 08:07 PM   #21
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Norm,

Thank you for the information. Although I think it will take a bit of work to crunch the numbers, I think the exercise will pay off. I only have an hour or two into it so far, and it is very interesting to see how the weight is distributed. I'm trying very hard to *not* move the axle as it would be a royal pain to do so. If we need to adjust the floorplan or change it entirely, that would be a much less painful option.


John,

Thanks!!! This is EXCELLENT information!

I hope you and Cindy had a good weekend out camping. Just saw that you met up with Kitty and Gary so I'm sure there was plenty of Sunline fun to be had!

I had ran the calculations I posted based on the way they were explained on that page I linked. This is my first time working with moments, and although the principle makes perfect sense to me, it did take a minute to wrap my head around the math.

I really appreciate the time you took to draw the diagram. It helped re-affirm what I was reading, and I was able to use that data to confirm that the basics of my spreadsheet worked. I used your water weight (I was a few ounces heavier) and our numbers match, thankfully! See screenshot below:



I double-checked things using your method on paper, and so far I seem to be matching up. In the spreadsheet, I stuck with measuring off the rearmost point for now because the origin of my drawings is there and it's quick to get distances that way. With the matching numbers I'm comfortable that I have Excel doing the math correctly.

You brought up left/right loading. This is something I had thought about, but it didn't even cross my mind that it could be calculated in the same manner. You turned the lightbulb on, so I started tweaking the spreadsheet. Here's the current working model based on your feedback (sorry for the wide picture, it's very hard to read at 640px wide):



I'll probably work on refining it a bit further tomorrow.

Let me also give some figures here so you can have an idea of what I'm trying to work towards. The original pop-up GVWR of 2745 lb. The axle is a 3500# Alko torsion, which has been de-rated to 2600 lb. Right now it is has 175/80-13's, Load Range C, however, we lifted the frame yesterday so it will be getting a larger tire & wheel before it hits the road.

Unfortunately, we worked on the frame modifications until 11PM last night and I was unable to reassemble things to get the bare frame weighed. I will get that done ASAP this week. I also need to weigh the fridge, furnace, a/c, etc.


Now, those darn tanks. The tank location is really tied to the shower and toilet locations. With the Que SE floorplan having the rear bath, I dont have much choice but to have the gray tank sitting quite a ways back. There isn't enough room in the floor to have a horizontal pipe run and maintain adequate slope. I checked over the tank dimensions and I should be able to bring it about 9" further forward, returning approx 13 lb to the tongue, but that's still a big loss. The SE floorplan also has a rear refer, which is going to be another considerable loss.

I'm going to play with the numbers some more and see if there's enough stuff up front to make it work out. If not, we may have to change the floorplan to better suit the frame we have. Much better to find that out now then after it's all together.

I'll post more tomorrow, I'm still really exhausted from the insane work day we had yesterday. We have made some serious progress on the frame itself though, and I'm behind on updates!


Thanks again John and Norm!!

- Frank
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:52 AM   #22
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The solution in our trailer is a raised floor in the bathroom, about 4 inches. This does cut into our trailer's low head room, barely 6'1". We extended the head room by adding a plastic bubble skylight over the shower.
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:57 PM   #23
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I'm way overdue for an update. So here's a big one to get everyone caught up. I have made some progress with the floor plan, and I think I have found a reasonable weight compromise by flipping the bathroom configuration. I'll get all that information together and posted ASAP.


Right now, it's time for pics!

First, April 4 - April 7, I spent a couple evening hours starting to repair the A/C shroud. Apparently the previous owner's kids used the pop-up as a skateboard ramp. The shroud took a serious beating:








As you can see, it had some louvers broken out and it was generally pretty much busted up. These shrouds are a little expensive to replace, so I'm trying to stretch the budget a bit by repairing it.

The repair process is identical to what I've posted before for fixing ABS tanks. First I stop drill the ends of all the cracks, then go to work with a dremel to bevel along those cracks. Once it's beveled, it is cleaned and the "liquid plastic" is put into place.








The inside sees the same action:






With the cracks taken care of, it's time to deal with those louvers. For this I started with CA clue (krazy glue) and a CA accelerator. The accelerator is very cool stuff. You put the CA glue on your parts, position them in place and give a little spritz of the accelerator. This makes the bond instantaneous.

Here's the stuff I used:




Once the louvers were CA glued into place, I beveled the areas where they broke from the inside and added more liquid plastic stuff:




At that point, we're looking OK, but I'm missing one louver. Time to try something new. I pressed a piece of aluminum foil into the good louvers, then carefully removed it and placed it over the missing spot. Secured with some tape, this gives me a very simple "mold" to work with. I placed a small plastic ABS rod into the mold cavity for some support and then filled the mold depression with the liquid plastic:




It took about a week to cure since it was so thick, but the initial results are promising. There was some shrinkage during drying, and the edges are a little jagged, but it has a louver in the spot now. I think some careful application of additional plastic and then some work with the dremel tool will make it quite passable, especially when it's 8' overhead. More pictures of the shroud when I get back to working on it.



April 8th was day #2 of frame cleanup. Back up on the sawhorses:




I removed the very bent rear bumper. This doubles as an action shot of my brother (Chris) and his girlfriend (at least, I think that's what she is) working:




A little later, Chris attacking the header and the A Frame:




Getting dark out, primer covering the day's work:








As I had mentioned in a prior posting, the left side frame rail held a lot of water and was heavily rusted internally. Here's a close-up shot of the worst section. This is after a lot of serious wire brush action, and is in the middle of the application of acid based rust converter:




One more angle to show the extent:





Jumping ahead to April 15. This is now day #3 of frame cleanup, and boy is it getting old. At least we're finally flipped over and working on the underside:



A few hours later:



And yet a few more hours later, we finally are 100% in primer!!!








Now some black on the underside:






The rust converter did a very good job at neutralizing the rust and turning it into some form of black oxide, although it did take 5 applications to fully get all the rust converted. After some careful measuring, I decided it would be a good idea to reinforce the left side main frame rail. Last Friday, I made a trip to the local steel supplier and had 30 linear feet of 12ga sheared to fit inside the rails. While I was there I also picked up a 6' length of 2x3x1/8" wall steel tubing to facilitate a lift.

This brings us to this past Saturday, April 17. Big plans for the day - Reinforce the left side frame rail, fully box both frame rails, remove the axle and reinstall with a 2" "lift." For this I enlisted the help of an old buddy of mine, Max. Max and I have been building and fixing all sorts of weird things together since we were teenagers. It turned out to be one of those days where everything was going to fight, but we finally got it all done after about 12 hours. I was too busy to grab pictures all along, so we're going to have to make do with the shots I do have.

Here's that left side frame rail after it's been fully boxed. The right side rail was boxed by the original builder for about 6 or 7 feet above the axle. I'm not sure why they did it, and that was certainly the lighter side of the pop-up, but I liked the idea. We added the plate that is seen with all the holes. The factory boxed section had holes, so we added them as well. Not sure of the original builder's reason for the holes, but they sure came in handy to clamp the pieces in place to be stitch welded.



and another angle:




Here's a close-up of the 2x3 we added to act as a spacer for the 2" lift.



The plates seen on the side of the axle were the only things holding the axle in place on the original configuration. We carefully cut these plates off the frame rails and moved them to the 2x3 box.





Action shots! Max laying a bead



and yours truely welding the other side




Once we were done with the modifications, we got some primer on whatever was ground or welded. It was pitch black at that point, so these shots are from Sunday morning.

The right side frame boxing. The careful eye will notice the factory box vs. what we added by the spacing of the holes:



And the left side fully boxed:



And finally an overall shot with my (very dirty) 2363 in the background:




With the modifications, I'm now much more confident in the frame. The 2" lift will allow him to run a bigger wheel and tire which should add up to a 3" increase in ground clearance over "stock". Big BIG thanks to JohnB for posting his axle work from last year. Using his techniques for aligning the axle made the job very straightforward.


I did get the underside of the frame back in black yesterday afternoon but didn't get a chance to take pictures yet. Once I get some hands to help me flip that frame, I'll finish up the paint and then it's time for some real building!


- Frank
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:26 PM   #24
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Frank

Your handy work is absolutely GREAT!!!

And we really appreciate the pic-to-grams. Our club here is so unique and great at sharing and helping. Super. The talent we have amongst us in so many different areas is just super.

Keep up the good work.

John
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:53 PM   #25
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Frank,

Awesome job! I'm really enjoying reading you narrative on the build and viewing the pictures.

Thanks for taking the time to share all this with us.

Hutch
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:16 AM   #26
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Quick update!

Got the frame completely painted and the axle re-mounted. Also cleaned up the brakes and re-packed the bearings.





Then we let it down on it's wheels for the first time in several weeks and got it weighed. The complete rolling chassis tips the scales at 509 lbs (220/wheel & 69 tongue).

Next was a trip to home depot for some lumber. Picked up 3 sheets of 1/2" ACX fir ply and a small pile of fir 2x4s. Ripped the 2x4s down to 2x2s and got a floor structure together:













The front edge of the floor will be cut to length as soon as he decides on the shape of the front - rounded or angled.

The complete floor weighed in at 145 lbs, which was in the ballpark with the estimate I made off the plan. That's good news to me, as it indicates the rest of the estimates should be as close.

Hopefully the main LP trunk will be installed later this week and the floor bolted down temporarily, that will allow us to frame on the walls.

Today's project is to overcome the road block we hit with the windows. A local guy deals in surplus materials and bought a bunch of windows and doors when Sunline was auctioned off. When I went to pick up the windows last week I found out that he did not get any clamping rings with the windows. I either need to find the rings somewhere, figure out how to make some, or find an alternate window source (that doesnt want big $$$).

Been working on the floorplan and the balance sheet. Hope to get updated versions of both posted real soon.

- Frank
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:44 PM   #27
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Frank

Nice work!!! Cool. And good frame balance to start with. 13.6% dry frame tongue weight. Now everything adds and subtracts from that starting point.

I also noticed a pattern. Some days the new camper is in the back of the house. Then is it in front of the house. You putting on pre-camping towing miles? LOL

The window inserts inside to hold them in. If you cannot find any... if you have a buddy with a press break and a sheet metal shop they can form up the Z shape out of 14 of 16 gage steel. Then to make the formed corners. Technically you can make a set of forming roles that one radius you need and roll the formed Z shape to make the corners. It will take a few practice try’s but I know you are up for a challenge.... Use the same concept to roll angle iron around a bend. Then paint it white when all done.

Good luck

John
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:59 AM   #28
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Thanks John!

Before long it will be too heavy to drag around to the front, so we'll be in the back with the 2363 full time. Less space back there, but you gotta do what you gotta do..

I went back to the surplus dealer and picked up one window to experiment with. The depth of the window frame looks to be the same as what our fiished walls will be, so the mounting shouldn't be too difficult. I think it may be as simple as some washers or plates and then make a nice looking trim piece to cover it. Since I'm comfortable with them working, I need to run over and get the rest of them. That may happen this afternoon. At $29/window for essentially brand new ones, it's worth the effort to make these work.

Lots of parts have come in, been scoring some incredible deals on ebay thankfully. The tanks are on order from Ameri-Kart, and we should have those in 2 weeks or so.

I've been working on the framing diagrams, so here's a sneak peek of what this thing should wind up looking like:




And while we're at it, here's the current working floorplan:



Still working on placement for weight here and there. Here's the data on the current configurations. These will continue to be updated as I get more planning done.

First, with full black & gray tanks ("to the dump station"):




Now with the fresh full and 2 gals in the black tank ("on the way to camp"):




And with the tanks empty ("on the way home"):




In the near future, we'll load the fridge to get an idea of what it will weigh if he heads out. Also will do the same for the various cabinets and cargo holes. Once I have the windows here I can finish the framing diagrams and draw up the cabinetry. At that point I should have a fairly accurate weight & balance estimate.

John, do those numbers look sane to you? There's still some room for tweaks and a few unknowns remaining, but I want to make sure I'm not too far off-base.

My brother caught some kind of nasty cold, so no work for us today. If he's feeling better on Saturday I hope we can run the LP trunk and make the jig for the curved front framing members.

- Frank
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:51 PM   #29
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Frank, I can only admire the work that you and your brother are doing....I can't even get DH to hang the clock in a new location for me!!!! LOL

Really nice and very interesting reading.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:19 PM   #30
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Frank

Boy timing again..... I'm heading out Friday AM camping. So I can't get back to you in more detail until Sunday night to dig deeper into your spread sheet.

When I first saw your layout I thought, wow there is a lot behind the rear axle and only the bed up front? But your numbers show the center of gravity and tongue weight OK. I'll have to study it more to figure that out Sunday how your gaining all that ballast up front.

But here are some quick thoughts.

I see you moved that gray tank over the axle. Good. Now no big balance upset to deal with.

Better check what happens to tongue weight when both LP tanks go empty. These light TT’s have to watch everything. On 30# LP tanks there is 15 gallons at 4.2#/gallon in both tanks or 63# weight full from just LP gas. Don't know if you are on 30#'ers or 20#'ers

The A frame, do not know if your sketch is in scale or not. It looks like the bed and front of TT is overhanging on the tongue. Can steel some length and no floor. Tricky.... However most of these A frames I have seen are made up on a 50 degree inclusive angle. Seems the ball couplers are made that way to fit them as standard. This PU frame may be different. The thing I saw was, if you are hanging over the tongue with the front of the camper more then when it was a PU, heads up watch the truck fenders when you turn. Mock up the width of the truck pivoting on the tow ball and take it to jack knife. If the tail light hits the front of the camper early that might be something to think thru now.

On the bigger TT's and a WD shank, you can put the truck tail light into the LP tanks before and not hit the front of the TT. But that is at a full 77 degree turn and that is about all you will ever get.

Check what “stuff” weighs in the kitchen cabinets. And you may have to alert brother he can only put so much gear weight in the back.

I see you have the AC unit forward of the axle. Good. That helps put positive balance to the tongue. And you can slide it more if needed. It is a heavy permanent object.

Your doing good and really neat. Your helping me think thru all this some day when I redo mine, I’ll have had 10 years to think thru it…… We are all rooting for ya.

John
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:04 AM   #31
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A simple change to your layout would be in the direction of balance. You could easily interchange the location of your fridge and sink in your kitchen layout. This would move the heavier fridge near the axle and the zero weight sink to the extreme rear.

In our Sunline the fridge is over the axle. As well our food pantry is just forward of the axle. I do suspect we carry more food than most campers due to our camping schedule.

One other thing we did in our redesign was to increase the height of the bed. This allows us to put more draws uder the bed. Useful because the space above the bed is virtually usesless and draws mak it everyday accessible.

In our motorhome the bed lifts, handy but really not useful for every day storage.

Though you do not mention outside storage, we find it to be important for convenient travel, i.e. no loading of the tow vehicle, just hitchup and go. Our Bed is at the rear of the trailer and we have draws coming out the back of the trailer from under the bed, again the bed height helps.

Keep up the good work; fun to watch your progress
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:00 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Frank

Boy timing again..... I'm heading out Friday AM camping. So I can't get back to you in more detail until Sunday night to dig deeper into your spread sheet.

When I first saw your layout I thought, wow there is a lot behind the rear axle and only the bed up front? But your numbers show the center of gravity and tongue weight OK. I'll have to study it more to figure that out Sunday how your gaining all that ballast up front.

But here are some quick thoughts.

I see you moved that gray tank over the axle. Good. Now no big balance upset to deal with.

Better check what happens to tongue weight when both LP tanks go empty. These light TT’s have to watch everything. On 30# LP tanks there is 15 gallons at 4.2#/gallon in both tanks or 63# weight full from just LP gas. Don't know if you are on 30#'ers or 20#'ers
Thanks John! The LP empty does of course drop the tongue weight quite a bit, a scary bit in fact. Right now I'm still missing several hundred pounds, so I hope when the wall/roof weight is factored in that the % drop won't be as extreme. He's also been talking about wanting to use a pair of 6V GC batteries instead of a single 12, so that would be a rather large weight gain up front. Dual batteries might require dumping the dual LP rack for a single, but that decision can be made at the end when I have solid, real world numbers.

The other thing I've been trying to do is keep the tongue weight on the lower end (without going too low) because I figure this thing is going to load heavy to the front. Although kitchen stuff is generally heavy, there's a fairly limited amount of storage space back there, and I'm trying to keep those compartments as close to the axle as I can. Up front, there's the couch/bed which is 90% storage underneath and a whole bunch of that weight should wind up on the tongue.

Sound like a logical approach?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
The A frame, do not know if your sketch is in scale or not. It looks like the bed and front of TT is overhanging on the tongue. Can steel some length and no floor. Tricky.... However most of these A frames I have seen are made up on a 50 degree inclusive angle. Seems the ball couplers are made that way to fit them as standard. This PU frame may be different. The thing I saw was, if you are hanging over the tongue with the front of the camper more then when it was a PU, heads up watch the truck fenders when you turn. Mock up the width of the truck pivoting on the tow ball and take it to jack knife. If the tail light hits the front of the camper early that might be something to think thru now.
It is in scale. I did a quick sanity check the other day and double checked the body to ball measurements. Right now, with a planned 12" overhang, I have 2" more body to ball length than my 2363 does, plus I'm 7' wide instead of the 8' 2363. However, you bring up a really good point and I'm going to take some measurements off his truck and see exactly how much turn angle we could get before kissing the body.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Check what “stuff” weighs in the kitchen cabinets. And you may have to alert brother he can only put so much gear weight in the back.

I see you have the AC unit forward of the axle. Good. That helps put positive balance to the tongue. And you can slide it more if needed. It is a heavy permanent object.
This weekend when he is here, I'm going to have him go shopping in my cabinets and load up for a trip. We'll weigh his stuff, and then I'll let Kathy do the same thing and we'll weigh that. I figure between the two loading opinions, I should get a fair number. I'll also have him do the same thing with some pots/pans/etc.

I've been keeping the AC location a little loose for just the reason you mention. It's easy to move and I don't have to pin it down until fairly late in the game!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB
Your doing good and really neat. Your helping me think thru all this some day when I redo mine, I’ll have had 10 years to think thru it…… We are all rooting for ya.

John

Thanks again, John. I really appreciate the feedback! It's good to have the forum here to bounce things off of. Lots of experience to ensure I don't miss anything!

- Frank
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:08 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
A simple change to your layout would be in the direction of balance. You could easily interchange the location of your fridge and sink in your kitchen layout. This would move the heavier fridge near the axle and the zero weight sink to the extreme rear.

In our Sunline the fridge is over the axle. As well our food pantry is just forward of the axle. I do suspect we carry more food than most campers due to our camping schedule.

Thanks Norm. The reason I kept the layout with the fridge in the rear was the storage. With the fridge & micro on the rear wall, there is no storage space back there. That forces the pots/pans/dishes/pantry onto the side wall, which gets things closer to the axle. So far, it seemed like the right decision. I'll know better after we do a little mock-up of loading this weekend. It's a fairly easy change to make.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
One other thing we did in our redesign was to increase the height of the bed. This allows us to put more draws uder the bed. Useful because the space above the bed is virtually usesless and draws mak it everyday accessible.
This is an excellent idea that I did not think of. Thanks! It would be fairly straightforward to add a pair of drawers under the front couch/bed and would really improve accessibility.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
Though you do not mention outside storage, we find it to be important for convenient travel, i.e. no loading of the tow vehicle, just hitchup and go. Our Bed is at the rear of the trailer and we have draws coming out the back of the trailer from under the bed, again the bed height helps.

Keep up the good work; fun to watch your progress
Unfortunately, it is not indicated on the picture, but I do have outside storage planned in. A cargo door on each side up front will allow for access to the under bed/couch area. There is also a small section of dead space on the back wall next to the fridge. That will also receive a cargo door, and will be a good place to store something lightweight.

Thanks for the ideas, we'll be watching your thread as well.

- Frank
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #34
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Ball to Trailer Body Distance.

Our 7 foot wide Sunline has a trailer body to ball distance of 30 inches. From your drawings it looks like your distance will be greater than that from your drawing. As a reference we have never hit the body when backing and as far as I know never come close.

I've been comparing our frame to yours. The frame on our Sunline is not nearly as substantial as your frame, yours is wider, has stiffer cross beams and a full perimeter frame.

The heaviest things we carry is food, canned goods and drinks. Our single heaviest appliance is our refrigerator, particularly when full. We do not have an air conditioner. Depending on where we're going, we may have a full water tank though it is not variable weight in the sense it's over the axle.

Propane is variable but in a two tank system, you probably always have one virtually full so the percentage change is relatively small since the tank itself is half the weight. As well two batteries will dominate the tongue as to weight.

I can't remember if I mentioned it but we have had no problem with only having a single propane tank.

I had also planned on making a continuous curve on the front of our trailer rather than the segmented approach used on our existing trailer. I'll be interested in seeing how you create the curved section. Recently I visited trailer works in SC and saw how they do it.

Basically the side of their trailer is a 1/2- 3/4 piece of plywood cut on a curve. Stringers are than run across the curve attached at each side, creating a curved ladder looking front to the trailer. This is topped, in their case, with thin sheets of aluminum.

Keep up the good work, it's always interesting to read how people think thru these things.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:50 AM   #35
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Frank,

I've been disassembling our Sunline and learning somethings about trailer construction in the process that might be of interest.

I have now removed the kitchen base cabinet and the gaucho couch. I immediately noticed how the trailer loses much of it's stiffness when the cabinets are removed. The walls really shake when one closes the door now. Cabinets trully add to the strength of the trailer. Something I realized before hand but now witness during the destruction.

This speaks to having walls of continuous cabinets and making them integral to the design.

In our Bounder I have noticed that there is an overhead member, actually a small archway before the bedroom that ties one side of the Bounder to the other about two thirds of the way back. It looks nice but I suspect it has a structural quality as well.

It probably suggests the importance of attaching the over head cabinets to the floor. We have a lot of overhead cabinets in our new trailer design. Wherever possible it makes sense to see that they have a connection to the floor other than thru the outside walls. For example our bedroom overhead is suspended by two hanging closests that reach to the floor as is our pantry.

I have noticed in our sons' Scamp and Casita the kitchen cabinets over the sink are also 'grounded' to the floor by an associated cabinet and/or auxillary support.

One other area I attempt to stiffen is the door way, a weak spot in our present Sunline trailer, our doorway is now out of square. My plan was to incorporate a small over head cabinet between the kitchen cabinet and the front of the trailer overhead, virtually a little box beam that runs over the door. It would be a place for storage of grab it as you go out stuff like keys or a camera. I

t may not be as much of a concern in your design because your perimeter frame extends to the edges of the trailer. This is not a characteristic of Sunline designs, at least mine.

Additionally I see your bed has a long dimension against an outside wall. In our existing trailer, we have slept in the same configuration, with me against that outside wall. Effectively I serve as additional insulation for my wife on cold nights. In taking apart that wall yesterday I found barely one inch of insulation in that wall, one side of the insulation is aluminum, a great conductor of heat/cold; the other side is 1/8th inch plywood.

For additional stiffness in our trailer we plan on using a lot of Urethane "Liquid Nails' glue to really tie things together.

Continue having fun,
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:39 AM   #36
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Another aspect that has been reinforced is the weight location of stuff in our existing trailer. Becoming more obvious as I strip out the walls and actually see every component.

Everything of significance, both fixed weight or variable weight is immediately over the axle.

First the axle is a significant portion of our trailer's empty weight, with tires and brakes I think it weighs about 200 of our 1600 pounds of empty weight; 2300 pounds normally loaded with black and grey tanks virtually empty and water half full. It is a 3000 pound capacity axle.

The water tank another 160 pounds when full, the black tank another 80 pounds when full. The grey tank another 160 pounds when full. The refrigerator empty 50 pounds; full probably another 30- 50 pounds. The stove another 20 pounds with pots and pans under another 10 pounds. The pantry another 30-50 pounds. The only real weight towards the rear is the hot water tank, about 70 pounds full (normal condition).

The only real weight in the front and rear is clothing except for tools under the dinette and propane and the battery.

One other thing I see that is nice is the wheel wells. Often I read about people having blowouts and tearing up stuff. In our Sunline the wheel well is metal, a nice little feature. (We recently had a blow out on our Motorhome that tore out all the headlight and front light wiring.)
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:39 AM   #37
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Norm

Sounds like your making headway.

Got Pics? Us curious type are following your endeavors. Including he dismantling part.

Good luck and may your bit driver be nice and square There are a lot of screws in these things.

John
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:26 AM   #38
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Frank, ah good. The stuff it under the bed trick....

Yes a front cargo hole is an area where you can put a lot of stuff... And an outside access hole to it along with inside access makes it that much easier. Key is the trailer is balanced well with not a lot of cargo up front (empty trailer) and then when you fill it, it gets very well balanced. But not letting tongue weight go so far out of site you need a 2500 to hold it up...

Your doing good. Looking foward to the progress.

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:36 AM   #39
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Frank,

Our water tank has a drain pipe that goes thru a hole drilled in the OSB floor. The area around the hole has begun to rot, probably from condensation. If the hole had been painted it probably would not have rotted.

By the way I use this drain to fill the water tank from below as well by having a two way valve on it.

I used to have a trunk on my rear bumper for hoses and blocks. It was supported by three angle brackets. On top of the angle brackets I had attached a piece of 1/4 inch Laun plywood. I had painted it black. In three years of exposed travel the wood Laun suffered no damage, I expect because it was spray painted with Walmart black, nothing elaborate but enough to prevent water damage.

It's obvious that wodden floors need to be protested. In the process of disassembl the floor near both storage compartments is weakened.

I intend to use Laun for the bottom of the floor, glued to the frame. It will be painted with a three layer coat of vinyl paint and than covered with a thin of layer of plastic.

John,

I haven't taken any pictures yet. From the outside the trailer looks the same. My diassembly so far is all inside. Next week I expect arrival of the frame members and will begin taking pictures.

It turns out that the design will be a 23.5 foot trailer with a loaded weight goal less than 3000 pounds. Oh well, one can try....
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
Ball to Trailer Body Distance.

Our 7 foot wide Sunline has a trailer body to ball distance of 30 inches. From your drawings it looks like your distance will be greater than that from your drawing. As a reference we have never hit the body when backing and as far as I know never come close.
Thanks Norm, that's a good reference. Right now, on paper, body to ball is about 33". I wanted to get some truck measurements, but my brother borrowed my father's pickup to bring down the linoleum, so that has to wait until he's here with his truck again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
I've been comparing our frame to yours. The frame on our Sunline is not nearly as substantial as your frame, yours is wider, has stiffer cross beams and a full perimeter frame.
Looks may actually be quite deceiving here. The main rails of this frame are 12 ga, but the cross members and outriggers are very thin, right around 16 ga. When we beefed up the main rails we cut some of the crossmembers free. Without those attached you could easily twist the main rails 30 or so degrees with one hand. Without those crossmembers in place, that frame would twist up like a pretzel.

I've never been under a Sunline of your vintage or model, but I would assume the main rails are fashioned out of channel iron like mine are. That's a serious increase in web thickness, which from my understanding is where the vertical strength comes from.

I honestly could have done without the outriggers as the floor would be fine with a simple set of supports, most likely what is found on your frame. They were there, so it was easier to leave them alone. They are so thin, the weight loss would have been minimal at best.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
I had also planned on making a continuous curve on the front of our trailer rather than the segmented approach used on our existing trailer. I'll be interested in seeing how you create the curved section. Recently I visited trailer works in SC and saw how they do it.

Basically the side of their trailer is a 1/2- 3/4 piece of plywood cut on a curve. Stringers are than run across the curve attached at each side, creating a curved ladder looking front to the trailer. This is topped, in their case, with thin sheets of aluminum.
We actually spent some more time drawing over the weekend and ditched the curved front in favor of a segmented, Sunline-like front end. I could not come up with a curve that gave us the interior room we needed while retaining the room we need out front for the battery box(es). When we got close, the curve was so extreme that it not only looked funny, but I had concern about being able to conform the interior panels to the shape.

As for building the curve, the plywood is probably the most straightforward method. I had considered that, but ruled it out due to the large amount of waste and the need to buy a few sheets of fairly expensive plywood.

My plan had been to build the curved framing members using laminated strip construction. Laminated framing members are something on the order of several times stronger than a solid piece of wood of the same dimensions (think LVL beam). Apparently lots of people make canoes with a similiar method. I was going to rip 1/8" or 1/4" thick strips (whichever would make the curve) of fir and laminate them together on a simple jig with titebond 3. A jig is easily made up from a sheet of particle board (cheap and really flat) and some blocks. Here's a link showing how a guy made some laminations for a teardrop trailer (bottom of the page): http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/vie...ght=ultralight


Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
Frank,

I've been disassembling our Sunline and learning somethings about trailer construction in the process that might be of interest.

I have now removed the kitchen base cabinet and the gaucho couch. I immediately noticed how the trailer loses much of it's stiffness when the cabinets are removed. The walls really shake when one closes the door now. Cabinets trully add to the strength of the trailer. Something I realized before hand but now witness during the destruction.
Norm, I agree 110%. The cabinets are an integral part of the design. This was very apparent when I repaired my Sunline. In my mind (be it right or wrong, I'm not an engineer) any cabinet, base or ceiling will have an effect similar to triangulating the corners. Skinning cabinet ends with sheet stock should also give lots of strength for very little weight - it's really hard to push a piece of plywood into a parallelogram


Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
One other area I attempt to stiffen is the door way, a weak spot in our present Sunline trailer, our doorway is now out of square. My plan was to incorporate a small over head cabinet between the kitchen cabinet and the front of the trailer overhead, virtually a little box beam that runs over the door.
I've only seen a few trailers apart, and have honestly never seen one completely apart, however, one thing has been noticably absent in what I have seen - headers. What I have seen had nothing more than the same material used for framing the rest of the walls over doors/windows. That might be something to look into as you disassemble yours.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda03842
For additional stiffness in our trailer we plan on using a lot of Urethane "Liquid Nails' glue to really tie things together.
I'm also a fan of construction adhesive. The PL Premium line of products is also very good. For general wood-to-wood connections, don't overlook titebond 2 or 3 (if you want waterproof). The strength is excellent, it's less expensive, and you don't have to deal with the caulk tube.

The framing work we've done so far was all done with titebond 3. The plywood for the floor was attached with construction adhesive. On Saturday, my brother tried to seperate two pieces of 2x4 that had been stuck together with some titebond 3. He was completely unable to do so. I'm pleased with the product.

- Frank
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