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I finally got most of the little projects standing in my way taken care of and have now started to build a Teardrop RV from scratch.  I'll warn anyone interested in following this build that this is a complex and labor intensive project.  While there will  likely be spurts of progress this is going to take time.

 

Here is my concept drawing although my projects tend to evolve as they progress so we'll see in the end.  I have a few requirements that can't change.  It must be able to boondoggle.

 

20200612_141333.thumb.jpg.095423ad94017e6d164e096b06d0cc85.jpg

 

Teardrop are small campers designed for 2.  This one will be roughly 5' wide and 9' long not counting the tongue.  Some of the key features I'm looking for:

 

  1. Air Conditioning and heating
  2. 12 volt and 120 volt power
  3. Solar and utility power options

 

I have already built a 3/4 ton trailer for the project and started buying doors, windows and hatches.  I plan to use skeletonized plywood construction so I must have exact dimensions of all components before major construction can begin.  I am planning on the AC being in the rear as pictures but will offset that weight with batteries in the tongue box.  I will insulate the roof and wall pockets but probably not the floor.

 

A major consideration for one of these is weight.  I hope to keep this under 1400 pounds but less is better.  My tow vehicle is a Sierra so that's not a concern however you should be able to pull them with almost anything.

 

I'm guestimating the cost right now at $2500 but that is from the hip.  RV parts are expensive for example the door was nearly $400, each window nearly $200, a hatch $125 etc.  If I top at $3000 I'll be happy,  a 5x9 queen from a dealer will set you back $10,000.

 

Now that I have set my targets, started to purchase and build let's see where this goes! 

 

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Well this looks interesting, looking forward to seeing what you come up with. We have been looking at trailers for quite a while, but have  not yet actually pulled the trigger. Thinking about it, one of the coolest features I have seen is pull out Drawer / tray that seals with a door on the door side and runs on a track, through dead space, all the way to the other side. The tray is divided into compartments which are padded to give a soft ride to what ever you put in there. The more you pull it out the more compartments you expose.  When I saw it , the first thing I thought of was a BGE MiniMax grill, charcoal and the gear to go with it. if you have an awning on the door side the sliding tray / drawer would open underneath that cover and give you great access to your cooking gear. Good luck, brother. 

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This will be fun we can all suggest how you spend your money on this. I would drop the trailer down lower on the wheels and possible put ac on roof for better air movement, and to spend your money add an awning across the front . I spent a lot of time under one watching liquid clear and sunny come down. Good lock and keep us posted

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56 minutes ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Well this looks interesting, looking forward to seeing what you come up with. We have been looking at trailers for quite a while, but have  not yet actually pulled the trigger. Thinking about it, one of the coolest features I have seen is pull out Drawer / tray that seals with a door on the door side and runs on a track, through dead space, all the way to the other side. The tray is divided into compartments which are padded to give a soft ride to what ever you put in there. The more you pull it out the more compartments you expose.  When I saw it , the first thing I thought of was a BGE MiniMax grill, charcoal and the gear to go with it. if you have an awning on the door side the sliding tray / drawer would open underneath that cover and give you great access to your cooking gear. Good luck, brother. 

I actually thought about pull out storage under it the other day but I need to solve a few other mysteries first.  The belly might be where I need to store the spare.  If not I think I will look in to this for sure.  No square inch of storage can be spared.  This is part of the "evolution" I was talking about! 

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23 minutes ago, len440 said:

This will be fun we can all suggest how you spend your money on this. I would drop the trailer down lower on the wheels and possible put ac on roof for better air movement, and to spend your money add an awning across the front . I spent a lot of time under one watching liquid clear and sunny come down. Good lock and keep us posted

 

A canopy of some sort is certainly on the menu but I'm debating.  It might be a traditional one or maybe one of those "add-a-screen-room" kind.  It will be one of the last things figured out.

 

For the AC I'm going with a small window unit (5000 BTU).  More than enough capacity to cool the small space so efficiency isn't a top concern.  With that said, the top and back of the unit will be 100% open to the air and the sides will have 3-4" of air.  I would go with a roof mount RV AC except one requirement is to fit in my garage, another is to fit through my side gate.  10' wide but has a top crown that's about 7'.  The other thing is an $800 AC versus a $100 AC. 

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1 hour ago, ckreef said:

Great project. Will be following this thread. 

 

 

I'm excited to get this going.  Will try to get the floor built and start the undercoating this weekend.  From there I could see some rapid progress once my parts arrive.

This is going to consume me (or it will take 2 years).  A great resource I found is here:  http://www.tnttt.com

 

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Pholpom good thinking on the ac, just trying to spend your money. Is there a reason for the bottom of the trailer going up? This will be interesting to watch. Derhusker crapper full merry christmas from the Griswalds .

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21 hours ago, len440 said:

Pholpom good thinking on the ac, just trying to spend your money. Is there a reason for the bottom of the trailer going up? This will be interesting to watch. Derhusker crapper full merry christmas from the Griswalds .

The steel trailer frame ends where the rear tapers up.  That rear section is the galley.  It tapers up to I improve departure angle, take a little weight off and for styling. 

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First progress update.  I'll add some notes in line but basically the first thing that needs to be done is create the floor or foundation.  Everything else will be built on it.

 

 

Here is a wheel well detail.  Needs enough room for suspension travel.  I elevated the deck a little to reduce the height of the well inside. 

 

20200615_213934.jpg

 

 

I was able to dry fit the floor to test for fit.  Pretty good on the first go, almost perfect.  This is actually 2 sheets of 23/32 BCX plywood joined to get the full width of 64 inches.  4 inches for walls and 60 inches to accommodate a queen bed.  The trailer is 4 feet wide so the floor is intended to support the load extending out beyond the steel frame.  I think the plywood and 2x3 are more than strong enough to support the roughly 8" overhang on each side.

20200615_213921.jpg

 

 

You will see below I had to create pockets under the floor so it fits flush on the trailer over these bolt heads.  This 3/4 ton trailer was a bolt together kit that I assembled.

20200615_203748.jpg

 

 

A look at the trailer frame that will serve as the bones for the build.  Weighs under 250 lbs and is rated for 1720 pounds.  Most of my effort so far was putting this together.  I'm glad this part is over.

20200615_203739.jpg

 

 

Here is an example of the pockets I put in place to go over the top bolts on the trailer.

20200615_203638.jpg

 

 

A look at the detail under the floor.  Used 2x3 to raise the floor 1.5".  They are placed in order to align with the cross members of the trailer.  The floor will be waterproofed next and attached to the trailer using 15 3/8" carriage bolts.  Then the real fun begins!

20200615_203613.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Nice.  Carriage bolts are going to leave a slight hump in the floor.  Might consider plow bolts for a flush fit?

Edited by BURGER MEISTER

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20 hours ago, BURGER MEISTER said:

Nice.  Carriage bolts are going to leave a slight hump in the floor.  Might consider plow bolts for a flush fit?

I considered using elevator bolts (same thing I think) but went with what was readily available.  Most of the bolts are along the edge, I may counter the 2 in the center.

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Couple of quick updates.  Since the bottom of the floor will be exposed to road grime, mud, snow and rain it needed to be protected well.  I opted for several coats of a primer/sealer and an exterior acrylic enamel.  I chose a high gloss white for two reasons.  1. It will keep it bright underneath and make it easy to spot damage or other issues and 2.  I may do some LED lighting effects on the underneath. 

 

Did I ever mention that I hate painting?

 

20200621_194618.thumb.jpg.40fd1897afe43e7f01f1e0fafafa9933.jpg

 

This is now ready to bolt down.

 

In other news my door, windows and rear hatch all arrived in 1 piece.

 

20200622_195708.thumb.jpg.ad57cd12794bbc4a4b7475e3e06eb0ca.jpg

Door has a screen door built-in 

 

20200622_195718.thumb.jpg.2833f0dc3e4a408a921f64d01e7b279f.jpg

Two 20x30 windows

 

20200622_195714.thumb.jpg.45d0d23b0927aa1faf4b2580d0c8a94e.jpg

36x24 rear hatch.  

 

I still need a roof vent/fan and ac.  Then I have a few honeydews before I'll get much more done.

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