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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    random lake, wi
    Posts
    39

    Default Want To build a Teardrop camping trailer

    I have always wanted to build a tear drop camping trailer to pull behind my mini cooper. Currently i am enrolled in a tech school for welding and we get to make a final project in metal fab class. This is what i was thinking. i have a trailer all ready and just build a cabin to sit on top. One inch square aluminum tubing really thin walled as thin as i can go build the frame out of it then skin it with AL sheet like 20 gage. then foam for insulation on the inside then more al sheet for inside the walls. the key is as light as possible. Any ideas thoughts concerns please share them. im not totally sure what im getting myself into any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,909

    Cool

    Sounds like you have a good plan so far...Bob
    http://www.teardroptrailers.net/part...s/trailers.htm
    Last edited by aametalmaster; 09-21-2009 at 07:43 PM.
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I actually used to have something similar. I had a old 1930's tear drop trailer that was aluminum skin and shelving with 1/2 angle iron steel frame. It was light enough I could maneuver the shell around myself until I installed the flooring anyway. I ended up giving it to my brother who decided to cover everything with tin for whatever reasons.

    From that experience, I think your framing and exterior covering materials are good choices. Hopefully you can find foam that is an inch thick so your interior walls aren't thicker than they need to be. If I may suggest though, the floor and interior are where your weight is really going to add up. I used 3/4" plywood for my floor, but I wasn't as concerned about weight as you are. I also spent quite a bit of time inside an unfinished teardrop with bare aluminum walls- it was noisy. Perhaps you should consider interior wall of bamboo paneling. It's relatively light weight, super strong, and would add a unique look to what will be a unique camper and car combination.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    random lake, wi
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Thank your for the suggestion i probably will use some sort of paneling on the inside not the metal that was one of my concerns noise how loud it would be. any idea any one on how thin i can go on the tubing and will like 20 gage sheet stay flat if welded on every foot? thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chicago-ish
    Posts
    282

    Default

    I always thought that this would make a cool streamlined trailer. If it was there in my drinking days, I might even have tried to hitch it up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    241

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spotsineyes View Post
    I always thought that this would make a cool streamlined trailer. If it was there in my drinking days, I might even have tried to hitch it up.
    Thay say that sculpture is forged? Interesting how it appears with no seams I wonder how exactly it was made? Im sure it requires polishing on a regular basis.Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Salem ,Ohio
    Posts
    3,909

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by crawdaddy View Post
    Thay say that sculpture is forged? Interesting how it appears with no seams I wonder how exactly it was made? Im sure it requires polishing on a regular basis.Mike
    It has 168 plates welded together...Bob
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bean
    Bob Wright, Grandson of Tee Nee Boat Trailer Founder
    Metal Master Fab Salem, Oh 44460
    Birthplace of the Silver & Deming Drill
    1999 MM185 w/185 Spoolgun,1986 Thunderbolt AC/DC
    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Anchorage AK
    Posts
    344

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mini-number1 View Post
    Thank your for the suggestion i probably will use some sort of paneling on the inside not the metal that was one of my concerns noise how loud it would be. any idea any one on how thin i can go on the tubing and will like 20 gage sheet stay flat if welded on every foot? thanks

    I would not be looking to weld the flat sheet to the frame of anything.
    You will end up with a twisted mess. 20gs sheet welded every foot the weld will telegraph to the outside with a pucker.

    Think adhesive.
    Bolt the aluminum frame together and use industrial urethane adhesives to attach the skin to the frame, and the paneling to the inside.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lodi, CA
    Posts
    1,273

    Default

    Time for a little reading, from people who have done it ....

    http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...light=teardrop

    http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/

    http://www.teardrops.net/

    It took me two minutes to find these, copy and paste here. With a little effort, should be easy to find plenty of other sources of information.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    878

    Default

    Look up vids on youtube of RV-7 riveting. The skin will look sweet with AN426 rivets, and you'll have a blast installing them.

    80% of failures are from 20% of causes
    Never compromise your principles today in the name of furthering them in the future.
    "All I ever wanted was an honest week's pay for an honest day's work." -Sgt. Bilko
    "We are generally better persuaded by reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others." -Pascal
    "Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything." -Pascal

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