WE’RE BUILDING A TEARDROP TRAILER
- THE INSPIRATION
- THE PLAN
- THE PARTS LIST – STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS
- THE TOW VEHICLE – A VW MKV GTI
- DAY 1 – BEGINNING THE FIRST WALL
- DAY 2- FRAMING THE WALLS
- DAY 3- MORE FRAMING
- DAY 4 – SOLID FOAM INSULATION
- DAY 5 – SPRAY IN INSULATION
- DAY 6 & 7 – EXTERIOR VARNISH
- DAY 8 – EXTERIOR PRIMER
- POLL – PAINT OPTIONS
- DAY 9 – LOTS OF SANDING
- DAY 10 – SHEATHING TAPE
- PARTS – WINDOWS AND DOOR HINGES
- DAY 11 – MARINE PAINT
- DAY 12 – MORE PAINT AND THE FRONT WALL
- DAY 13 – FRAMING THE ROOF AND THE BACK WALL
- DAY 14 – BARN RAISING
- DAY 15 – FLOOR
- DAY 16 – ROOF
- DAY 17 – FRAMING THE HATCH
- DAY 18 – MORE HATCH AND DOOR
- DAY 19 – BUILDING THE IRONTON
- DAY 20 – WIRING THE CAR FOR TRAILER LIGHTS
- DAY 21 – INSTALLING THE HITCH
- DAY 22 – REGISTERING THE IRONTON
- DAY 23 – BEGINNING THE INTERIOR
- DAY 24 – KNOTTY PINE CEILING
- DAY 25 – LAUN ROOF
- DAY 26 – BUILDING THE DOORS
OUR FIRST OUTING
The trailer is about 80% complete but we took it for a test run anyway. For the most part everything was great. I’d still like to add a shelf in the back, finish the exterior with a nicer paint-job, and add all of the final trim.
ON THE ROAD
IN THE WILD
PAINTING THE ROOF
PIANO HINGE FOR HATCH
TRIM RINGS FOR THE DOORS
INSTALLED DOOR TRIM RINGS
MORE WORKING ON THE DOORS
A DOOR READY FOR A WINDOW
INSTALLING A WINDOW
TESTING THE SLIDER
CLEANING UP THE DOOR
I FINALLY GOT AROUND TO THE DOORS!
I knew these things would be a lot of work. I’m including windows and locks so they need to be done right. I chose to construct them as a wood sandwich, a bit like the walls. Inside each door there is a frame of 1/2″ thick board which will be skinned with 1/4″ luan.
DOUBLING UP THE LUAN
I needed a 1/2″ outer skin for the door (to fit and secure the locks) so I glued another sheet of luan to the existing door skin. I later trimmed the newly attached sheet to match.
INTERIOR DOOR FRAME
The door frame is glued to the skin and provides structure for the lock, hinges, and window. I’ll go back and round off the outer corners with my jigsaw after I finish gluing all the layers together.
The window is held in place by the door-frame.
I’ll fill this space with some triangles, it seems like the right thing to do, even though this will be hidden by the inner and outer skin.
A COMPLETE FRAME
This door frame is done. I’ve added the corner triangles and cut out a space to install the lock. The clamps are holding everything tight while the gorilla glue dries.
KNOTTY PINE DOORS
Instead of luan I decided to skin the inside of the doors with some leftover knotty pine panels. I think the pine panels will look more finished than plywood and tie in nicely with the ceiling.
I traced out the area for the lock and removed it from the frame with a handsaw and a chisel.
READY FOR THE LOCK
The cutout for the lock is a bit rough but should do.
LOCK TEST FIT
The lock fits nicely. A backplate with a handle and deadbolt switch covers this from the inside.
LOCK FROM THE FRONT
The lock fits snugly in the frame and the plastic flange hides the rough cutout.
FLIPPED ONE LOCK
Because the locks are identical one side has to be installed upside down. Fortunately they have no clear top or bottom and, when installed, you can’t see them side-by-side. These locks were not cheap but feel sturdy, have a deadbolt, and are keyed alike.
RE-SKINNING THE ROOF
My first shot at skinning the roof went so-so. My second effort was much better and the trailer is now wrapped in sheets of 1/4″ luan.
This stuff bends okay. The front curve is the tightest and I had a little bit of cracking as I fit the plywood. Nothing so bad I can’t fix it with a little filler and some sanding.
This ceiling is fully insulated under the luan.
SMOOTHING THE ROOF
I’m puttying all of the screws and seams with an exterior wood filler. I’m hoping to have a very sleek trailer.
My beautiful cohort and co-builder, she’s been super helpful with this build. Her patience and thoughtful approach are a nice balance to my wing-it and hope for the best attitude.
ORIGINAL TRAILER PLANS
I’m still keeping pretty close to my original plans, though I’ve decided to forgo the rear kitchen for now. It will create a lot of weight and I’m not convinced I want to reduce the cabin space. If I change my mind I can always add it later.
OLD PROJECTS ON PAUSE
Awhile back I had begun to build a dollhouse inspired by some of my favorite SF victorians, clearly a project that has been sidelined.
INSIDE OF HATCH
I ‘d like to add some useful hardware to the inside of the hatch. A light would be nice. I’ve also seen people add rods for towels and even install stereos.
INSIDE LOOKING OUT
This hole is where the hatch will go. I don’t plant to immediately build in a galley because I don’t want too add any weight and I like the spacious interior.
In the meantime I plan use some big plastic bins where we can store all of our stuff. These bins will be accessible from the inside at the foot of the bed or from the outside through the hatch. A few screw-eyes and some good bungee cords should hold them in place.
This is a bin I’m considering: Rubbermaid 1172 ActionPacker Storage Box, 24 Gallon.
INSTALLING THE CEILING
Today Karen and I put in the ceiling panels. We’re using tongue and groove knotty pine touched with a light coat of tung oil finish. The panels are nice and light which we hope brightens the small interior.
KNOTTY PINE CEILING PANELS
These panels went in nice and easy. Way easier than trying to bend luan into a tight space.
HAMMERED INTO PLACE
We hammered the ceiling panels into place. We’re attaching them to some wooden edging, which we fixed to the top of the walls with glue and screws.
EDGING TO ATTACH CEILING
Here is the edging which is being held in place with some handy clamps while the glue dries. The edging is made of 2″ x 2″ cut to fit between the framing.
THE CEILING FROM ABOVE
We’ll put some insulation between the ceiling and the roof skin, just as soon as we get all of these panels into place.
Here is Karen cutting and placing our foam insulation. I picked up some more insulation this morning (I used up the first batch on the walls) and this time I chose the higher quality stuff. I figure the top will take the most direct sunlight and benefit from some denser foam.
A well loved tool will love you back. Or not. I dunno. I’m just winging this whole thing.
The ceiling is almost done. Now it just needs a light sand and a bit of trim.
HOLY SNAP – IT’S COMING TOGETHER!
Here is Karen pointing out our newly installed ceiling while simultaneously enjoying our also newly installed foam headboard. We’re really getting down to the last bits…. Finally.