Just kicking a thought around... DIY Teardrop-ish...

Discussion in 'The Other Stuff' started by dbhost, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I have REALLY got to stop watching Youtube... I ran into a mention here, so I looked up "foamies" on youtube. Tiny yet awesome little campers made with residential insulating foam, and a stiffening layer such as fiberglass, or resin impregnated canvas...

    The sadistic part of me sees these, and glances over at the orphaned 5x10 utility trailer my father in law left to us when he passed, and the gears start churning...

    I could easily strip and refresh that trailer. Extending out so that it provides a 6x10 floor, I could do a micro camper of sorts... With good design I could squeeze in a.

    1. Queen bed that folds to a sofa.
    2. Through wall mounted 5K BTU window unit AC.
    3. Standing height interior. Give it at least 6'6" and I won't be claustrophobic.
    4. TV.
    5. Kitchen space. Most likely accessed via a hatch and set up like a teardrop.
    6. With the bed in sofa position, room enough for a slide out portable toilet, and possibly a shower.
    7. If I make the walls the right height, I could do a DIY awning rig that would provide plenty of headroom, that would give us good outdoor space, AND provide at least partial shade to the camper.
    It would be a TIGHT fit, but I think it could be done. And the good thing, using foam sandwich fiberglass construction, it would be light, most likely light enough my Saturn could drag it around all day long and not bat an eye...

    I've seen some of these done, they look pretty good, and some look like road apples. It all depends on the quality of the build...

    The appeal of this approach honestly, is less setup once in camp. Just make sure I have a leveler at the back of the trailer, level with that and the tongue jack, and just have a good go at it...
    This would likely be more effort than I am wanting to do, and honestly, if I were to build a custom DIY camper, I would prefer going through the effort, time, and expense of building a Nida Core / fiberglass sandwich based truck camper...

    Just a thought, and probably a dumb one is all...
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
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  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Not dumb, but when i get these ideas my first question is it really needed. Will all the work building the camper be better and less work in the long run compared to the set up woes of the one you have now.
     
  3. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    I was about to build a 6x12 cargo trailer into a camper then my current pup came available at a price too good not to pass.
    And it was turn key. But I would still love to build one just for our mountian biking excursions. Somewhere to get out of the weather, sleep and haul our bikes and equipment. YouTube can be a dangerous thing...lol...just dont mix it with Pinterest!
     
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  4. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I am doing the same thing here every since I saw one of these on-line...

    [​IMG]
    Google image..

    This trailer was called a terradrop from Oregon and super expensive..

    Just recently I saw some kits for the platform and roof mounted tent setup even with a patio and ladder at a much reduced price...

    Now I am really getting serious about doing something like this even if I just use a UTILITY TRAILER like you are suggesting...

    I was doing a lot of solo camping with my ham radio setup back off road usually up in the George Washington Natl Park near here back off a forest service road... I like the idea of sleeping in the tent but I will need an enclosed area for my radio equipment and of course a kitchen setup... I might even use a JEEP to tow all of this verses my truck... Some of the places I have been going to the truck and off-road POPUP trailer is almost too big to get into the place... I had to cut down a small tree one time to get it turned around hehe...

    Here is another view of TERRADROP Trailer and tent setup from Oregon... The inside room would be my radio setup and of course the rear with the kitchen is just what I need... I would sleep on top...
    [​IMG]
    Google image

    Pipe Dreaming again hehe...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  5. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Too late!
     
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  6. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I like the trailer but think a stand alone tent might be better. Getting in and out of the tent with a ladder doesn't look fun. I don't really see much benefit with having the tent on the roof.
     
  7. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that is a pretty awesome looking little teardrop! I am not exactly on board with the roof top tent though. Just for my usage is all...

    For my uses, I would need something a bit taller. I am 6' 0" (Actually I was, after some disk issues, I am probably 5' 11" now), I want something I don't have to crawl into, although inside standing room isn't required. The awning on that thing is awesome! That is a real winner. Looks like something that could be bolted to a regular SUV Thule roof rack.

    Not super likely I am ever going to go with something like that, but it sure does look awesome!

    [​IMG]
    Google image..
    [​IMG]
    Google image
     
  8. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    For me this would be for my solo camping only... With the family it would not work very well haha... I doubt I could ever get momabear to climb the ladder...

    Momabear was not keen on my trail camping either...
    [​IMG]

    or my outdoor facilities
    [​IMG]

    This would be for me and my Jeep days...

    [​IMG]

    I too am 6'0" tall...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  9. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I am also interested in doing some gold digging along the East side of the Blue Ridge Parkway here in Virginia down into North Carolina...

    There is known gold in this area dating back before the Calif Gold Rush in the 49's… Lots of local towns here in Virginia with Gold in the name... GOLDVIEN is one for instances...Was mostly controlled by the govt here when you read about it...

    Would love to do something like these guys are doing... Just to say that I got to do this haha...
    [​IMG]
    Google image

    Solo Tent camping would be great here in this area... DILLWYN Virginia is a known hot spot for some of this... Getting permission to be on someone's property would be the biggest problem in these days where everything is owned by someone...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I've never managed too well with a tarp rig, even when I was young... I hate bugs crawling on me while I try to sleep.

    I still have, and use solo, since my wife hates small tents, my Sierra Designs Sirius 3 tent. I do need to figure out how to deal with apnea off grid without power... I.E. electricity free CPAP alternatives... That would open me up to a LOT more camping options.

    Before my back issues, I used to set this up by clearning the spot, sweeping a quantity of pine needles under it to make a nice cushion, then ground cloth, then tent, and then my Big Agnes Insulated Air Core XL inflating sleeping pad.

    Last time I was able to use it full out was in 2005 or so, at Crater Lake. We got hammered with snow overnight in the summer... Handled it with ease...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  11. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    @dbhost , I belong to the teardrops and tiny trailers forum, I think I've been on it 10 years or more. I used to be obsessed with the thought of building a foamie!! And that was before You Tube was big, just from reading posts and seeing pictures. Likely, if I saw a video on building one, I'd get the fever again. I need to not do a search for that. [LOL]
     
  12. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Remember folks, I am just toying with the idea, and a reminder, I am working a barter with a good friend for a mid 90s Coleman Pop up in pretty good condition. I am sure it needs a battery, propane tanks, and tires, but aside from that, it's been garage kept and well cared for. Used market for these here is pretty low. Were I to pay cash for it, I wouldn't go over $2k as I can get them all day long here for that... The PU has a king and queen bunk ends I believe, a cubby for a portable toilet, kitchen, and dinette. The drawbacks are plenty though. To make it comfortable, I would need to get or make bunk end radiant barrier covers, as well as reflectix for the sides and ends of the bunk ends just to keep heat gain to a minimum so the AC can keep us cool.

    Where we live, and what we like to do, we would end up a LOT at Galveston Island SP campground, or at San Louis Pass on the south tip of Galveston Island for some free camping. My little Harbor Freight genny won't run the roof AC, so that limits us to parks during the hotter months, which here that means MOST of the year....

    Going with a Foamie, It's a crazy idea. My wife likes more interior space than a Foamie would allow... FWIW, when we go tent camping, my favorite tent to use is a Coleman Sundome 10x12, her favorite is a Swiss Gear 10x20 3 room... I HATE setting that thing up...

    Of course maybe foamie pop up?

    I like the idea of a foamie due to weight, the ability to customize to fit my needs (where am I going to put my CPAP in a pop up?), insulating ability, and the materials. Using epoxy resin, and occasional wood, or better, but not cheaper yet, aluminum stringers to add rigidity, theoretically you could build somewhat inexpensively a comfortable camper that could easily be towed by the smallest gas sipper cars, be reasonably resistant to the elements.

    I had a Jeep in college that I actually made a fish / live well box for the back out of fiberglassed foam, so I am VERY familiar with the process. Do NOT use Polyester resin on any of the common foam core materials as they will melt under the chemical reaction to the resin, use Epoxy... A built in kitchen / chuck box would need to be made with something thinner to avoid sucking up so much space. Being in Texas, Cedar is cheap, light, and readily available, and it holds clear epoxy coat super well, but will make the kitchen look a bit like the corner bar...

    Like I mentioned above, we do have the 5x10 trailer, which I can fairly easily modify with some help from same said friend with the Coleman, to add 6" each side to give me 6x10, a spring over axle conversion would get the body work up high enough that even with fair size tires, at full articulation I would never hit the camper body, which would be good for doing the beach, or logging roads in deer season...

    Space would be a concern, however like I said, a folding couch / queen bed using a Tri Fold mattress, and a skoolie inspired bed frame would allow me plenty of options, bed at night, couch during the day, and plenty of storage to stow the portable toilet. Design in a way to have a shower there and we are good. I am fine with the tailgate kitchen concept of a teardrop, but I want the option of having it enclosed in bug screen should conditions call for it... And I think I know how to manage that.

    Again folks, I am just toying with ideas. The trailer hasn't moved in over a decade, I am sure it needs tires, lights, and bearings, probably bushings and certainly to be sand blasted, primed and painted... The pop up would get me RV camping a LOT faster...
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  13. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    @dbhost, there is usually a place you could put your CPAP in most pop ups. One bunk of ours has a counter next to it, the other bunk has the sink next to it, which has a cutting board cover to make it into a hard surface. Both have outlets under them.

    The foamie build, for myself, isn't going to happen. Just something I enjoy checking out online. I hope you get your pop up soon! You will love the comfort of it. It's night and day from a tent!
     
  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    If I were to make a trailer, it would be a lot like my FnR. It is easy to raise like an A frame but gives a lot more head room. And having double bed bunks really adds a lo of sleeping space without having to deal with converting a dinette. If you don't need both beds, use the bottom for storage. Or, give it to the dog(s) - mine love their bottom bunk.
     

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